Event:2014/09/25 Weekly Delegate's Meeting

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  • Facilitator: david b.
  • Stack: david k.
  • Timekeeper: joel.
  • Notes: yar
  • Delegates: andrew (backspace); patrick (sudo); steve (lc); db (baps); mary (ccl); helen (fnb); joel (til); danny (pa); tati (bh) [inactive]
  • Quorum: YES.
  • Vibe Reader: korl
  • explain hand signals and share the URL of this pad!
    • new signals: "hurry it up" and "irrelevant elephant"

intros

  • mary (ccl)
  • helen (fnb)
  • david (baps/sudo/omni)
  • paige (omnidance)
  • abby (od)
  • olive (od)
  • tati (bh)
  • joel (til)
  • danny (pa)
  • scott (baps/sudo)
  • winston (omp)
  • alana (omp)
  • yar (sudo)
  • andrew (bs)
  • pat (sudo/os)
  • korl (sudo)
  • liz (sudo/os)
  • kathleen (baps/camo)
  • mark (baps)
  • joe (fnb)
  • ian (baps)
  • steve (lc)
  • david b (baps/lc)
  • jehan
  • rhodey (sudo)

new groups / events

birthday party

  • 3k for one night, sep 26
  • conflict w/notley event worked out
  • take it to ballroom wg

deconstruction

  • 4 days in november, 24h/d nonstop hackathon, $1500
  • take it to ballroom wg

lightning round report backs?

  • 60 seconds on recent decisions and actions from each working group and committee and from each collective, too

Facilitating Collectivity

  • We are currently in the process of reaching out to member collectives and working groups to assess each groups structure, decision-making process, representation at the delegates meetings, alignment of OOC vision/values, current projects/tasks, engagement with the wider collective, and contributions (monetary and non-monetary).
  • We are also working on a model for better distributing tasks among the community (ideally in collab. w/ building maintenance & niki/david/maryanna)

Ballroom/Events

  • draft of contract coming together, figuring out event reservation and booking flow
  • need help

Communications

  • meeting this monday night 7pm (every other)
  • developing language for the website

Community & Fundraising

  • video filming oct 5
  • wanna raise 70k by end of the year
  • point people: noemie, pat, joel. all collectives should have a point person as well to liase with us and plan some sort of activity that depicts what your collective is all about, that can be filmed for the fundraiser video.

Challenging Dominant Cultures

still developing safer space policy, but here's a statement...

Proposed Statement on Next Steps regarding the Zach Houston and the Omni Oakland Commons as a Safe(r) Space:

The Omni Oakland Commons is not currently equipped with the resources to be able to offer restorative justice to community members who commit acts of violence. We are working to gain the training and experience necessary to be able to offer these services to our community in the future.

The offering of conflict resolution and restorative justice services will be contingent upon those who have committed acts of violence demonstrating an earnest engagement in personal transformation.

We do not feel that Zach Houston has yet exhibited a commitment to addressing and transforming behaviors which have made the community feel unsafe.

As such, we do not feel that the OOC has any obligation to take action in regards to this situation at this time.

Finance

  • Approx $34k in the bank
  • Please pay your rent for October and shared expenses for September if you have not yet!!

kitchen

warning: we need money soon! "bwahahaha"

building

  • been making it ready to open to the public, eradicating code violations
  • work gonna continue monday
  • also will need more money plz

print studio & TIL

tabled til next week

OMP

Proposal 09/21 from Scott for a new tenant: Omni Music Project:

  • To provisionally rent out the small office (closest to shattuck) located inside the basement reading room to the forthcoming music/recording collective (temporarily titled "Omni Music Project", or "OMP"), for 400$/month, which, once the collective has finished soundproofing the space, will be a common room again.
  • During the first *3* months of tenancy (this proposal is only for a tenancy, and specific # of months can be decided before approval,) the OMP will be working, solely, on soundproofing the ballroom at no cost to the OOC, provided that the OOC pay for the materials (for the ballroom only), and that the OOC allows the OMP, at no cost, to throw a large fund-raiser concert in the ballroom upon completion, in order to help get the collective off the ground. This particular labor will be organized as the "ballroom soundproofing wg" or something similar, and will be open to any/all OOC members.
  • The OMP also requests, as a condition to this provis. proposal for tenancy, that the OOC not rent out the rest of the office spaces, since the OMP eventually plans to use one as a control room (that can still be used for small meetings etc. by OOC members), and keep the rest as completely free common spaces (ex: classrooms for BAPS, meeting rooms, quiet rooms). It should be noted that, while keeping these spaces common, the two other offices could still generate revenue for the omni (ex: a physical therapist or acupuncturist could rent out one of the office spaces for 5 hours, one day a week. Once soundproofed, these rooms will be really conducive for prospective tenants like those mentioned above.)

more discussion:

  • Scott, Winston and Alana are here! Scott intros them and the proposal.
  • winston: wanna increase access to this kind of equipment which is expensive. infrastructure so anyone can be a part of it. offering classes & trainings. will be able to record events, run sound, document what's happening. interested in making art & music with all the collectives.
  • alana: this seems like a dream space for what we're hoping to do. potential for amazing relationships with people & creative endeavors. excited to work on the ballroom as a show of good faith, and to use it to fundraise. excited to be creative with space & using it efficiently, be malleable & open. wants to make the recording world more accessible to "women & other minorities". wants a cyclical beneficial relationship with the omni!
  • where's the money coming from? who gets to book time?
    • at this moment they're just talking about renting one room. future is uncertain but plan is to be paid for by the collective. will have equitable labor arrangements with members.
    • they're coming from professional recording environments - winston is from firehouse, alana is from faultline studios
    • they want to have fundraising events in the ballroom
    • the proposed $400 is already being paid to store their stuff elsewhere
  • so the recording workshops would be in the ballroom?
    • ballroom work would be pro-bono
    • "we're only asking for that one room right now, and hopefully if everything works out we'll move to the other room, which will be soundproofed as a control room"
  • so for now, that room will be for your exclusive use? "yes."
  • if you eventually made the control room, others could use that for classes though? "yes."
  • you'd want to rehearse sometimes in the nearby common rooms? "yes."
  • if your group succeeds wildly, would you commit to paying more of that money towards omni?
    • can't speak to that but open to it
    • lots of stuff they have to agree on internally. one of the reasons for this phased proposal.
  • but if you can afford more, you probably should in principle, right?
    • yes individually, but noncommitally, can't speak for the group because they have their own process
  • how soundproofed will the ballroom be? joan baez or led zeppelin?
    • they're bringing in sound engineers. they will do their best.
    • ceiling will probably be most expensive
  • david b: we don't have tenancy defined yet. does any delegate want to delay this a week?
    • yar: tenancy definition is later down on this pad...
  • does sudo consent?
    • yep sudo's excited
  • straw poll: which delegates would be willing to vote yes on this tonight? 9 yes. 1 block from CCL because they want more time to discuss, but expect it to pass next week.

$1k more to Cep

  • PROPOSAL: Authorizing another $1000 for Ceppie Maes to complete work on making the ballroom & omni safe for the public
  • he's been coordinating practically all the fire safety work in the building. he's worked more than we've agreed to pay, but on the faith that we would probably pay him anyway. can we pay him for that extra time? he can help with the soundproofing. he can start on monday.
  • joe: does that include the front door? yes.
  • steve: do we have the $$ for this? we had 15k loans for this stuff, we've probably spent 8-9k of it.
  • danny: is this worth the money? can you put the amount in perspective?
    • we already agreed to 250/day which is pretty cheap for a contractor
    • in terms of seeing it to completion, that's largely up to us
    • ADA we're pretty much almost there. fire life & safety should be good soon. 1000 = 5 days of work.
    • in terms of productivity, he will be more productive if volunteers show up to help him!
    • VOTING: 10/10 yes. the inactive BH votes yes as well.

PROPOSAL : BAPS Dedicated Space

Brought by BAPS 2014-09-25 Due to the proliferation of dedicated space, BAPS requests dedicated space in the form of:

  • The room next to the TIL office upstairs in the mezzanine
  • The small office on the other side of the TIL office
  • The balcony room in the ballroom.

discussion:

  • nature abhors a vacuum
  • keeping space shared is taking way too much BAPS labor
  • asking for a portion of dedicated space that's equitable with the size of their group and the money they pay
  • trying to claim it in order to preserve it
  • will still want to use other rooms in the building for classes as well
  • "backspace would have to block this because we also want to propose taking BDRM 2"
    • dk knew they were considering this as one of their rooms, was gonna talk to them about it
    • maybe the ticket booth room? more accessible.
    • makes more sense for baps to have all their rooms next to each other.
  • cutting off discussion because it's moot for now
  • also we should wait til oct 1 when we can get up there and actually see it!
  • but what if some new group wants to pay lots of $$ for those spaces?

PROPOSAL : EMPOWERING WORKING GROUPS & BALANCING WORK AT THE OMNI

Brought by David Brazil, 9/24/2014

After long reflection on how to skillfully intervene in some of the work imbalances in the Omni to date, I would like to advance this proposal for consideration to the OOC.

This proposal is in two parts.

First, we formally affirm that the working groups are fully empowered to make decisions in their respective domains, and that individuals seeking to work in those domains MUST proceed through the working group. (Working groups that determine it is necessary to refer issues beyond their competence or which seem to call for a larger community decision are encouraged to bring such issues to the Delegates Council.)

Second, we require that individual members of the OMNI participate in NO MORE THAN TWO working groups at any one time.

This proposal is advanced in order to try to balance the workload at the OMNI & begin to effectively delegate power & work as broadly as possible. We need to make sure that no one is working too much. Overwork is a political problem -- it creates an imbalance in our whole project and is larger than just one person.

discussion:

  • a while ago we agreed that collectives need to populate working groups more. is that happening?
  • figuring out requirements for "stewardship of the building" to motivate and inform MORE volunteer activity
  • patrick: sudo is concerned that this duplicates work from the collectivizing wg.
  • db: to clarify, this is much more a proposal about dealing with overwork. the idea of empowering wgs is that people go through those and only through those, and ppl are only in 2. it's a dialectical issue: ppl have to step back if ppl are gonna step up.
  • brel: how about we make time next week for a check-in about wgs?
  • dk: decisionmaking isn't work! people who propose things should be required to actually do them. worried about creating hierarchies - if wgs make decisions and others do them, we risk creating a managerial class. for example, ballroom wg getting to decide what events happen here is too much power. Working groups ought to implemnt more than make decisions- Required to take action.
  • scott: this feels like it's breaking down what it means to work hard. should say something about how hard work == social capital?
  • andrew: this is 2 things. empowering working groups is its own thing, it's not as related to the overwork issue. we can solve the "manager" problem with more transparency, like you need to keep meeting notes and highlight action items. e.g. ballroom wg created a system for systems getting filtered in, it's not their intention to be the deciders about what events get to happen. they also don't want to flood the email list. save that for actual disagreements.
  • Yar: how to protect consensus and uphold the ability to block something happening in a WG anyone doesn't like?
  • dk: this won't solve the overwork problem because most work doesn't happen in WGs!

"non-member-groups"

voting on a re-wording of the tenancy proposal

  • 09/02 Proposal from Governance Committee AKA Facilitating Collectivity
  • Non-member-groups are defined as those groups renting space from the Omni who are not obliged to participate in the collective of collectives (i.e., attending delegate meetings, participating in working groups, etc.).
  • Non-member-groups must sign a sublease, agree to the Omni's safer space and conflict resolution policies, statement of solidarity, and all pertinent decisions made by the collective of collectives. Non-member-groups will not have voting rights at the weekly delegates' meetings.
  • All non-member-groups will sign a fixed-term sub-lease with the OOC.
  • VOTING: 11/11 yes.

discussion:

  • dk: this isn't fair, e.g. rise above needs more security than month-to-month
    • what if we changed it to "at most 6 months"?
    • helen: or fixed-term? or case-by-case?
  • we should encourage tenants to go to meetings even if they don't have to
  • scott: OMP wants to participate in wgs as tenants! and eventually bottom-line a wg!
  • andrew: "choose not to participate" is strong language because they should want to participate even if they don't have a vote. also, month-to-month is too restrictive.
  • korl: what is the protocol for multiple ppl as a tenant who want to turn into a collective? what's the protocol for changing from a tenant to a member collective? wouldn't this prohibit them?
    • they would just apply through the process like any other group
  • rhodey: does the word tenant have too many legal implications? do we wanna avoid it?
    • dk: jesse palmer agrees about magic words. would be great if we had another word - the only tenant in this building is the OOC. if we signed a lease with them with magic words, and there was a problem, it could be weird.
  • kathleen: i don't see a positive definition. it seems strange, like aliens are entering the space and we're worrying about them.
  • scott: there should be a difference between tenants who want to be a collective eventually, and tenants who don't. what if OMP did all their ballroom work and then got kicked out? they'd lose months of free labor and overpaid for storage. that'd suck.
  • danny: ballroom wg is dealing with a lot of groups who just want to have 1-time events. ONL, Phat Beets, etc. they want to form relatinoships with those groups that are intentional & regular.
  • dk: we're all tenants. there's no distinction between being a tenant and being a delegate. we're talking about people who are here all the time, have a key, a dedicated portion of the space.
  • db: "somebody who rents in the building but isn't a part of our process."
    • "Those groups renting space from the omni who are not obliged to participate." and remove the month-to-month language and just say "a fixed-term lease".
    • danny: a better term might be "non-member-groups".

Tenancy cap

  • 09/02 Proposal from Governance Committee
  • In order for there to be an active core of member groups participating in the OOC, the ratio of non-member-groups' rental income to member collectives should not exceed 30% non-member-groups to 70% member groups.

discussion:

  • dk things this should be reworded, e.g. by our actual lawyer. actually, sudo's "rent" doesn't count towards 501c3 either!
  • AL: the idea of "core" doesn't match up with rental income coming from a group
  • should go back to the governance committee?
  • HF: we don't want to be a business, we want to be a collective. thought that was the intent of this!

this is the OMNI Oakland Commons, not the Omni Oakland Collective

IMO this is an announcement, not a proposal (then would someone be so kind as to make it an announcement? It would be nice to just spread the word so we can all make this essential linguistic shift! - stephen)

In the spirit of carrying on the original intention of our project and in aligning ourselves with our legal name, we should make an effort to shift our language from the "Omni Oakland Collective" to the "Omni Oakland Commons" I.e. not much changes other than referring to our project as a commons and not a collective. Why? 1. A collective inevitably signifies an amount of insularity by identifying a group of people. Yes, this space is consensed upon by a group of delegates, but we are not creating a space merely for these delegates. A commons signifies something different than a collective by pointing primarily to the outcome and possibility created by the effort of people who come together through a common and shared interest. By leaving this group of people less defined, and focusing on the fact that we're creating a commons, I believe we will better represent our vision and intentions: to build a space together that includes all people from the community, whether they are a delegate, a member of a collective, the owner of the property or a person who walks into the building for the first time. This is all of ours. 2. Given that we are already legally filed as the Omni Oakland Commons this isn't a difficult nor adverse change. We can easily change our web address to reflect ourselves to omnicommons.com and have the old address fwd to the new. 3. This will set our project apart from the common use of the word and activities of "collectives" since we are in fact shooting for something different and I think sometimes we ourselves get confused about calling ourselves "the collective of collectives" when what we really are is several collectives sharing common visions, values and locale.

sudo room ban

  • Matthew Stevenson was asked to leave for reasons of safety
  • been domineering & intimidating everybody, trying to convince you he has power & connections
  • told DK that he's "a hit-man", offered to murder people
  • he was asked to leave, and told he could come to a sudo room meeting to appeal his case
  • offered opportunity to come to sudoroom to appeal, obviously is not here
  • hasn't participated in anything, just comes in to sleep on the couch
  • was creeping on noemie
  • [VOTE] permanently banning him from sudoroom for reasons of safety?
  • [CONSENSUS] 11 yes, 1 abstained

Discussion

  • MWard: difficult for people to know this individual, might need infrastructure/signs/something?
  • we don't have enough time to get too deep into this
  • next week: discuss how we might implement and enforce bans

PROPOSAL : BUYING & INSTALLING LIGHT TIMERS

Brought by Bay Area Public School, 9/24/2014

Following increasing PG&E bills, we propose that OOC allocate funds to purchase & install light timers to automatically shut off lights in unused spaces. BAPS will bottom-line this work effort to purchase and install.

discussion:

  • s/increasing/skyrocketing/
  • self-explanatory, will save us money
  • kathleen: worried about getting stuck in a dark room far away from the lightswitch. not blocking but insists we look at the different kinds of systems, some of them are oppressive. maybe motion sensitive? just please make some effort to research it.
  • amanda: sounds great. also needs safety elements in place like nightlights. people are tripping and hitting their heads on stuff already.
  • korl: I agree, safety is key. personal lamps are awesome, too!
  • dk: let's put this to our electrician. i think we need motion sensitive lights. he could recommend a good combination.
  • korl: before we allocate more money for light stuff, safety should be considered most important. for instance, string lights we have in the hallway - we should have things like that all along the ballroom.
  • kathleen: i wasn't suggesting that we shouldn't have a timer system, just that you make a distinction between safety and task work
  • danny: will try and figure out new arrangements with PG&E

next week

  • all agreed that next week we will devote at least an hour to discussion of safer space & conflict resolution, bans, etc.




Meeting ends. Things below were not discussed.




NOT DISCUSSED

PROPOSAL : KIDS ROOM & KIDS WORKING GROUP

Brought by La Commune, 9/24/2014 La Commune would like to spearhead an initiative to transform the present Timeless Infinite Light office (vacant as of October 1) into a Omni Kids room. La Commune would like to stock this room with used books available for children to read. We would like to call on our community to convene a Kids Working Group and figure out what the best way would be to create free or low-cost childcare at the Omni and to navigate the relevant bureaucratic hurdles. This proposal would reserve the present TIL office for such use, and would reflect our collective desire to have such a childcare space there -- further details to be developed by a nascent Kids Working Group.

splitting allocations

  • PROPOSAL (Sept. 2): To split equally between financially contributing collectives and tenants, expenditures which delegates have voted to allocate to projects. Finance WG will send funding request proposals to member collectives for an equal share of any non-invoiceable costs

safer space & conflict resolution policies

Proposal for Proposals

Suggestion for how to do proposals:

Before submitting: Write out your idea. Show it to as many people as you can who have a stake in your idea and consider their feedback on your proposal. Revise. Don't submit it until the folks you have talked to think it's fully fleshed out, clear, and acceptable.

When submitting on the pad, please include: the date you put it on the pad; your name, or the name of the working group that developed the proposal; the name of the person who will be at the meeting to present and take questions.

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

flag

We propose that the Omni raises a flag from the main tower of the Omni, over the 48th & Shattuck entrance. It could be a red flag. Or it could say "Omni". Whatever the collective decides. Perhaps it could be the Omni logo?

  • Alternatively, a big "OMNI" sign above the entrance, with each of the letters made by a different group (dibs on the "I" for CCL). Can be lit up from battery powered by small solar panel on the roof.
  • sudoroom proposes we build a shed. we could store bikes in it?

PROPOSAL: Let's only meet every OTHER Thursday!

  • yar's counterproposal: let's all do more work throughout the week so there's less to say at meetings
  • danny suggests: WG's/committees leave each meeting recognizing decisions made & action to take