Event:2015/08/06 Delegates Meeting

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Weekly Omni Delegates' Meeting - 6 Aug 2015

Who's Here?

meeting roles

  • Facilitator/s: libbie
  • Introduction to the Omni Commons & our values:
  • Explanation of hand signals:
    • "deaf applause", "raised hand", "point of process", "direct response", "time's up", "stop and reflect", "kermit" (wildcard), etc.
  • Stacktaker: mia
    • Explanation of progressive stack: Raise your hand and make eye contact with the stack taker. Please wait your turn, and try not to interupt or speak over others. Direct responses are allowed only as Points Of Information/ Clarifications, etc (use hand signal). For everything else, please raise your hand and wait your turn.
  • Timekeeper: libbie
    • Reminder to keep comments brief.
  • Notetaker/s: yar
  • Important Note for the Pad:
    • Please do not move or delete meeting notes from the pad, unless you have archived them properly. Always leave the most recent meeting's notes, and the template at the bottom. !! Thank you.
  • Vibe Reader: sarah
    • Reminder to stay calm, be respectful, and think before speaking.
  • Next weeks facilitator(s): sarah


  • BAPS: jose
  • CCL: n/a
  • FNB: helen
  • MPM: n/a
  • Sudo Room: yar, matt
  • TIL: emji
  • OptikAllusions: sarah
  • Quorum: yes


Introduce yourself: Name; Prefered Pronoun; Affiliation; If you are new, what brought you here? Please be brief!

  • libbie, baps/omni
  • julio, sudo
  • daniel, sudo
  • ben, sudo
  • lori, gws
  • niki, baps
  • helen, fnb
  • jose, baps
  • yar, sudo
  • matt, sudo
  • rob, sudo
  • laura, baps/omni
  • mia
  • sarah, opal, here because we made her
  • emji, til
  • kristi holhan, RPS


  • emji: TIL's show in the basement was cancelled, need access to the calendar. also, tooth from black hole wants off the lease
    • yar: we decided last week that we intend to do that
  • rob: lulzlux wants to apply for membership but doesn't have anything written


  • matt: has kwikness's ban been resolved? from FNB. they showed up confused. does anybody know anything about that?
    • helen: not affiliated afaik

Global Womens' Strike

  • niki: i forwarded their app a couple weeks ago. told her you're ready to decide. are you?
  • mia: you wanted storage space. what's going on with that? is that need met?
  • niki: we looked at a couple places which could potentially work. need to nail down with other collectives. we can determine that later. not a need for a huge amount of space - just some desk space and filing cabinets
  • matt: what do you all do? volume of meetings?
    • lori: we had "tales of the grim sleeper". produced a good size crowd. our regular meetings are small. small core, people who've been around a long time. don't occupy a large space. we got kicked out of our long-time space in SF, had a fight. some of our storage issues got resolved by ???. we have wage jobs, do a lot of thing. try to work collectively once a week in a place with a small group of people. then of course all kinds of things we do on the street - protests, pickets, get out the bullhorn, get arrested, etc.
    • matt: so about a meeting per week and ongoing small desk activities, plus big events?
    • lori: that sounds right
  • yar: sudoroom member wants to know if you're trans inclusive
    • lori: we have an org called Queer Strike, the US prostitutes collective. we organize autonomous groups within our network. QS is LGBTQ, women-identified org. So we do have trans women. We do a lot of work on sex work, historically.
    • emji: so does that mean your org is or just the subgroups?
    • lori: we have trans women. we continue to discuss it. we're an international collective.
  • matt: concerns and hurdles with Omni Commons organizing or coming in here?
    • lori: we're really excited to be part of a collective space. we had space in a nonprofit building, don't like that so much. really pleased, we've been in movements for years. we know its' work, but we're still here! [laughter] here for the long haul.
  • niki: i've been speaking with lori & rachel for months now. after this vote, we'll work out various details about where exactly a desk will be, go through sublease, answer questions. been talking a very long time. i sent you a very long email outlining the whole thing, lori. definitely details to work out but you have most of the info.
  • lori: we run a legal service - "legal action for women" but we deal with everybody. need to meet privately with a sex worker who's been raped etc. that's what niki means. can work it out.
  • delegates in favor of GWS becoming member collective: yar, jose, helen, sarah
    • abstaining: emji
    • niki: so is that yes?
    • yar: yes [applause]
    • lori: i think it's been a really good process
    • laura: can we quote you on that?

La Commune

  • Yar is their exit liaison. They asked for a $2100 security deposit to be returned. Sad to see them go, but this is also a fantastic opportunity for us to offer space to a new group in Oakland. Yar proposes that we do an outreach campaign inviting groups to apply for this space
  • yar: has spoken with David Brazil, Pam and Niki -- but it's not clear that the deicison to leave was unanimous, so they might ask to stay/return. it will be up to the . They askd for a 2,100 security deposit to be reutrned so that they can refund debts to friends and family who had given money.
  • TLDR-- the process is ongoing, but if anybody has any desires for the process, i will pass it on to La Commune people.
  • matt: i've been reaching out to people about that space assuming we have a budget shortfall. assuming we have a vacancy. should i proceed? should we fill that space? should we not do that? should we discourage that? what should we do in the meantime?
  • yar: only expressing personal opinion. We should meditate in the meantime. but i have no decisionmaking authority
  • libbie: how do things stand now?
    • yar: it's open to interpretation.
  • Laura: I think we should put a time-limit on the discussions so that the delegates know how/when to proceed.
    • emji: i think we need a decision sooner than that. been going to meetings with them. burning me out. want to know whether that's worth it.
    • robb: i don't mean to be cold but if money's refunded it seems clear
    • yar: david brazil asked for that, it hasn't happened yet
  • mia: i support emji's opinion because it means we have a budget shortfall we need to fill
  • libbie: yar, what help do you want in creating a timeline?
  • yar: a couple people aren't in town but everybody is going to try their best to talk to each other soon. we'll see if that turns out to be true.
  • matt: there's a lot of different ways to proceed, and thanks to Yar for stepping into a role you were asked to play. There was a person who was empowered to be the delegate, and that action was taken. But other members of the group do not feel that he was accountable to them. Our definition of delegate is to be totally accountable to their collective. So we should nullify the 30-day notice.
    • [epic amount of hand-twinkling. wow]
  • yar: i think we should hold the space open. urgent that we not treat it as urgent. becoming omni process should hold this as a symbol of our possibilities.
  • helen: accountability?
  • sarah: if la commune doesn't stay, I think we should consider ROck Paper Scissors
  • Laura: i agree with both matt and yar, but there's nothing wrong with letting people know, getting the word out
  • matt: i met with some RPS members. they see this as an option, they have other options on the table. also, helen, i think groups should be able to hold their delegate accountable.
    • helen: we can't make them pay
    • matt: it enforces itself. they signed a contract. one person asked to get out of it.
    • laura: if people talk to any groups about this, they should let the whole group know
    • rob: isn't this premature to assume other members are against this decision? shouldn't we accept at face value that it was an agreed decision? shouldn't that other person have said something officially?
    • yar: they talked to me, the exit liaison. that's official.
    • libbie: is it ok to wait to hear back from yar and discuss next steps next week?
    • matt: i'd like to avoid a 5-day notice if things break down
    • libbie: so should delegates decide on a deadline for a decision?
    • emji: so they're still on the lease until a new decision?
    • libbie: do we need to do anything formal?
    • rob: we should receive notice they want to nullify
    • matt: there's no rule, no requirement. we should understand the urgency. ???
    • helen: I think we should vote on a sense of the meeting, not a decision, something we can say this is what the delegates think. matt, propose a statement to vote on
  • yar's proposal: we do nothing for a week
    • robb: we should assume they gave notice
    • emji: if members say delegate was in bad faith we shouldn't accept it
    • yar: my proposal is we take no action, make no interpretations, or decisions, for a week.
    • rob: i would amend that to say notice was duly given
    • libbie: i think that's separate from yar's proposal. yar, does that reflect yoru position?
    • yar: that's not my position
  • Matt's Proposal: The Omni Commons delegates will proceed under the understanding that the La Commune delegate may not have represented the intent (i.e. consent) of the members of La Commune in issuing a 30-day notice. As such, this first 30-day notice is nullified and the Omni Commons delegates seek a new, representative resolution of a 30-day notice (at a later date) consistent with the process of the La Commune collective.
  • daniel: can we invite them to come here? would be more solid
  • laura: trying to synthesize these two proposals
    • proposal: we won't take any action but we'll count the 30 day notice from when LC members clarify their consensus - 4-0-1
    • proposed ammendment: and until then, all the same responsibilities and obligations apply. - 4-0-1
    • sparkle-fingers!
  • mia: another friendly amendment - we'd like a response within a week
  • yar: i really just think we should move on. this is confusing because the one-on-one meetings haven't happened which need to happen.
  • libbie; as facilitator i agree with yar, the exit liaison
  • matt: what's an exit liaison? why can't we vote on mine?
    • libbie: ok...
    • laura: reads proposal above
    • we incorporate mia's amendment
  • yar: i don't want this to be who we are. rigamorole over a few hundred $$.
    • emji: but it's consent violations etc
    • yar: i'm talking about the urgency of figuring this out this week vs next week when things will be clearer
    • mia: but there was a proposal and it passed

Working Group Report-Backs

building & permits

Meetings: Mondays at 8pm

Challenging Dominant Cultures (CDC)

  • Merging into the Becoming Omni process. Please come to planning meeting Sunday 2-6


Meetings: Saturdays at 1pm

  • major changes. events only approved once a month.
  • laura: asking that all requests for a month are sent in by the 2nd friday of the previous month. so event requests for september need to be received by 2nd friday in august. we'll meet the next day to rank them by criteria. so we can be mindful instead of scrambling. also putting a cap on the # of events a person can be a point person for.
  • sarah: does this apply to everyone?
  • laura: if you're a collective you don't have to go through commons
  • emji: what's the process for that?
  • matt: can talk after meeting about that
  • laura: if a collective wants to do something surprising or different, it might be wise to check in with commons because there may be things you don't know. but you don't need to get our approval per se.
  • daniel: you need more people helping, right?
    • yep
  • sarah: so opal's gonna do our monthly film screening. we wouldn't need approval?
    • laura: no
    • matt: but if you were gonna have a big event we'd want a month lead time. but that can always be changed if you throw volunteers at commons wg
    • libbie: i encourage this to happen after meeting

Communications / SysAdmins

  • yar: We want to start meeting again but need a bottom-liner. Anticipating getting some press in the near future when we buy the building. Also, outreach is a major shortcoming right now. People have trouble knowing how to get involved. It feels like a secret club.


Meetings: Every other Thursday at 7pm

  • we're broke
  • helen: people are trying to put them all together. thinking about the 501c3 app.
  • sarah: can we talk about being broke?
    • yar: stay tuned...


Meetings: Mondays at 6:30pm

  • aka "buy the building", aka "until the revolution"
  • Needs consensus at THIS MEETING

Buying the Building

PROPOSAL: empower the finance & fundraising working groups to act quickly to buy the building.

  • Seems like the only way for Omni Commons to stay afloat is to do this!
    • Anonymous donor offering up about $1 million
    • $1.1 million on 30-year term with 5% interest.
      • Mortgage calculator outcome (monthly): $5,900 / mo
      • Plus 1.4376% property tax (at $1.95 million, that's ~$2,336 / mo) = ~$8,236 / mo
      • Plus current shared expense rate ~2k / mo (neglecting reduced insurance savings) = ~$10,236 / mo
      • Minus what we currently pay in taxes (at $321,425.00, that's ~$385 / mo) = ~$9,851 / mo
        • Compared to current $13K base rent + $2k extra expenses = ~$15,000 / mo -- at least a ~34% savings
    • Plan is to buy the property (land and building), then give the land undernearth the building to a Community Land Trust (a non-profit to be determined).
      • also potentially place the property into a land trust: either the bay area community land trust or the oakland community land trust
    • Timeframe: ASAP (before end of September!)/


  • mia: thank you for everyone.
  • yar: thank you for being awesome enough that you're worth this!
  • libbie: any more questions?
  • rob: that's a lot of power (as to "empowering the (special) group to buy the building")
  • helen: what timeframe do you have?
  • laura: before we run out of money
  • matt & yar: asap
  • laura: we might need to make decisions quickly before there's a delegates meeting. we're asking the delegates to put some trust in us that if we make a decision between delegates meetings, people are gonna be ok with that.
  • yar: please get involved, join fundraising mailing list.
  • emji: any strings attached to the money?
    • laura: both donor and lender have reasons why they're interested in supporting this project. not strings in terms of you have to do x or y, but they want omni to keep doing the radical thing it's doing
    • matt: 3 weeks ago we had a review of the needs of the lender and donor. it's what laura said, why they want to give us this money. those are all the terms.
  • mia: i support this because it seems we have no alternative but i request these groups come to delegates meeting with proposal of how we'll have monthly payments
  • yar: we already have half a million in debt because of the lease. our lawyer has already said: because we have no garuntor, you can just file bankruptcy, and none of the individuals will be targeted. but the worst that can happen is that all of the organizations will have to
  • laura: right now our rent is 14k+expenses. that'll go down. we're way overinsured. monthly payment on loan would be ~5k.
  • matt: looking at 8k mortgage payment vs 13k base rent. but i agree mia & sarah - yes we can schedule this purchase, challenges being broke with resurgence. still risk of not having steady income. people are applying for grants, that might help. should pursue all opportunities.
  • laura: property taxes will go up because we'll be paying for the sale. john bought building for 300k. but won't go up to 10k/mo
  • sarah: how much do we raise from events, and how much do groups actually pay?
    • niki: ~9k from members. don't always make remainder through events. that's why commons wg has been killing itself trying to host events. but that hasn't been happening.
  • rob: if we buy building, our groups will be liable for code violations. not same protection being a lessee.
  • delegates in favor: yar, emji, sarah
    • abstaining: helen
    • jose is not here, so abstaining according to laura
  • jose: i am in favor

how much do collectives pay now?


  • Bay Area Public School (BAPS): $1000
  • Sudo Room (SUDO): $2000
  • Counter Culture Labs (CCL): $2000
  • Optik Allusions (OpAl): $100
  • Phat Beets (PB): $750
  • Rise Above Graphics (RAG): $600
  • La Commune (LC): $1100
  • Timeless, Infinite Light (TIL): $300+
  • Material Print Machine (MPM): $600
  • Events (average): $2000

total: $10450 current max


PROPOSAL: Omni should become a 501c3


  • yar: fundraising working group proposes omni apply for a 501c3
  • laura: any concerns or controversies?
  • helen: there was also a suggestion to form a separate org to collect rent
  • laura: we can do that also
  • yar: this is the reason we want to meet weekly. there will be proposals like that soon, like be a 501c2
  • emji: how will this effect member collectives? TIL has fiscal sponsorship from another group
  • matt: in our lease some groups were listed as projects of omni commons
    • jenny: i don't think so. any group w/o official corporate status was listed as an 'unincorporated association' - some projects in omni have separate fiscal sponsors, but would be cool to be able to umbrella other omni-related projects
  • delegates who consent: yar, sarah, helen, emji, jose
    • no abstains or blocks. passes w/quorum

Meeting Weekly Again

PROPOSAL: Delegates should meet weekly again, starting next week (Aug 13). We will decide at the end of September whether to continue meeting weekly.


  • emji: can we put a cap on this?
    • yar: i think we can decide to meet less once we see there's less to do
    • niki: any delegate can propose to go back to semiweekly at any time
    • helen: i propose making this week to week
    • yar: but then there's one more thing to talk about at eveery meeting and the whole point was we have too much to talk about
    • mia: also then if people assume we're meeting regularly people might be confused
    • emji: any sense of how long this would take?
    • laura: we need to buy it by october...
    • yar: i trust us to scale back again when necessary because we've done it before
    • libbie: we can say until the end of september or until we consider it no longer necessary
    • matt: i'd like to rephrase that and propose the delegates decide whether to continue at the end of september
    • libbie: so we decide to meet weekly and check in about that at the end of september
    • matt: stuff about hte 501c3 app taking a long time, blach blah blah blah, risky for lenders
  • delegates in favor: yar, emji, helen, sarah, jose
    • no abstains or blocks, passes w/quorum
    • libbie: proposal passes

Red Stage Area

Proposal to Allow Black Hole to Move Their Stuff Out of the Basement 3/4/15, Timeless Infinite Light-Emji Spero

-Black Hole will move their stuff out of the basement between the dates of Aug 13-15, with the bulk of it being moved out on Aug 13th.

-Tooth, of Black Hole, has been asking around for friends with trucks to help him move stuff. The only friend with a vehicle who is available to help is David Keenan. Moving is difficult to coordinate if you have no car. I think we should allow David Keenan into Omni between the dates of Aug 13-15 for the purpose of helping move move Black Hole's stuff to ensure that it will be out before the Fire Inspection

Proposal to use this area for bike parking


  • yar: I don't think removing their stuff needs consensus. the delegates removed them as a member collective last week.
  • Laura - I think the proposal is to let David come into the Omni to help with the move
  • laura: i appreciate this, it's delegate. want to know if we can make it a work day
  • emji: yes it can be. help would be great on the 13th. need to double check in w/tooth about that day.
  • matt: rob & i curious about moving it to the bottom of staircase so it's staged & ready to go. can we move it pre-emptively?
  • emji: probably, not sure what's theirs, but if you know...
  • matt: i can assess what's equipment for photograph & film
  • yar: do you think as his friend that this wouold be risky for his self care or any of the issues he had with omni before?
  • emji: idk. this isn't an omni thing, it's a black hole thing. really? really? he's trying to help a friend as anyone else would. if people block, they should offer help.
  • matt: i was just trying to help. i offered help.
  • yar: in order for him to come back, according to the delegates they would need to decide he can
  • laura: nothing says he can't bring the truck outside, we can help load
  • niki: it's my truck...
  • emji: it's not worth this much effort to me. want to help not get his stuff thrown out. if it's an issue other help is fine. don't want to deal with it.
  • Libbie: i think we all want to as well.
  • libbie & yar volunteer to coordinate with tooth
  • niki offers truck pending the day, as long as it's free
  • emji wants to just amend the second part.
  • mia: not a proposal anymore so let's move on
  • emji: i'm going to block the bike parking proposal, just FYI
  • libbie: so i propose we end the meeting

End of Meeting