Event:2015/10/15 Delegates Meeting

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Weekly Omni Delegates' Meeting - October 15, 2015

last week: https://omnicommons.org/wiki/Event:2015/10/01_Delegates_Meeting

Who's Here?

Meeting Roles

  • Facilitator/s: Matt Senate
  • Explanation of hand signals: "deaf applause", "raised hand", "point of process", "direct response"(wildcard), etc.
  • Stacktaker: Jeremy
  • Timekeeper: Arthur
  • Notetaker/s: Lori
  • Vibe Reader: Joe L
  • Next meeting's facilitator(s): Robb and Dragon


  • BAPS:
  • CCL:
  • FNB: Joe
  • MPM: John Schmidt
  • LL: Dragon
  • Sudo:Matt
  • TIL:
  • GWS: Lori
  • Quorum: 5 / 8


Introduce yourself: Name; Prefered Pronoun; Affiliation

  • Matt Sudo room he/him/whatever is cool, impromtu meetings
  • Dragon LL he/him, socializing, present a new collective
  • Adam new music collective he/she/cool, life makes me happy
  • Edwin potential new music collective he/or anything, funny text pictures
  • Matt he/him dogs
  • Alex she/they
  • Jerimy no pronoun preference
  • John male, Big Bason yester
  • Thunder, potential new collective, herbal medicine, plant medicine
  • Cecile, any pronoun, genuine connections
  • Joe, Food not Bombs, Smashing Capitalism, explanding conscious
  • Joel, Sudo room, hacking
  • Julio, he/they/it, sudo, fermentation
  • Loren, Financial group, financial systems whisperer
  • Jane, GWS, nature, no pronoun
  • Arthur, xy cromosomes, Food not Bombs early 90's, agenda item
  • Lori, GWS, she/video projector that works,


  • Remote-Jenny: Contact me if you're interested in participating in a rent party / 'collabazaar' on Saturday, October 24th in the former La Commune space, and again on October 31st before the Haunted House. The idea is to have at least 15 local merchants each week donating $50/booth for a fall market. This would generate a needed $1.5K for the Omni, as well as sustainability for local artists and craftmakers. *jenny@omnicommons.org Jenny - Rachel Lyra has proposed a craft fair for November. WOuld be good to coordinate these similar activites
  • Join welcoming@lists.omnicommons.org to participate in plans and action to cultivate a more welcoming front desk area. We need folks to volunteer for front door shifts, guiding orientations, creating flyers/zines/infopackets, construction and aesthetics! Next meeting is next Thursday at 6pm in the entrance hall.
  • Joe - Welcoming. It's sort of -- there was a time when there were regular shifts. For new people, welcoming is one of th emost important things because it's watching the front door. If the front door isn't watched, I don't want to be fearful, but things leave the building. Give the front group a collective status because it is a really import job they are doing.
  • Robb: Police were down 48th street running plates and it came to our attention and we talked to them and apparently someone went down to city hall and complained about ppl drinking, doing drugs, and about blight so they came over rolling deep.
  • Matt: I would like to turn this into an action item- if anyone is available to talk to all of our neighbors and nearby businesses. People have been assuming that it was someone associated with us but I don't know if it was. Is anyone available to check-in with our neighbors.
  • Rob: I can.
  • Dragon, Julio can help too.
  • Joe: There was a noise cmplaint at our last big event last thursday and there was another one recently. It's time to get really serios about asking ppl to behave so we don't get a nusance complaint. We have a lot of ppl that like to drink outside the building.
  • Matt: Our policy is that there is no drinking outside of the building. If you see anyone drinking please ask them to stop.
  • Laura: Cheryl wants to go door to door
  • Work party on Saturday at 12 noon for entrance hall.
  • Becoming Omni Commons our visioning / planning process holding it's third meeting this Sunday at 9am (final session scheduled thus far).

Working Group Report-Backs

Financial Report Back

Thursdays at 7pm

  • Matt: dropped in on their meeting so we can have a brain storm. 5 grand budget short fall. Try and come up with ideas to cover the short fall.

Overview of finances. We still have a defficit which isn't going away. Please pay Novembers rent.

  • Loren: The real goal is to see how much can the member organizations actually pay for the space. As for a sustainable organization you have member collectives that can pay rent and you have renting out the space and other occasional use. So the question here is how much can you make regularly and how much can teh collectives pay for the space. How can you use the space which I would say is your biggest financial asset.
  • Joe: think we need a more accurate proposal. How much is in the bank right now?
  • Matt: If we had regular information about who is paying and what they are paying.
  • Loren: Bank accounts on the order of $20,000 in all accounts. If you look at every penny you have you have 4 months worth of payments.
  • Joe: Can you say how the rent comes in. [see below]
  • Loren: Wish I could, i don't have that information.
  • Arthur: is there anything going on the grant writing.
  • Matt: Need to leverage our collective wisdom, need creative ideas and come back to the next meeting to turn defficit around. Not many grants are in the pipeline, biggest problem is labor shortage.
  • Loren: Anyone who wants to ask me more questions can come to the finance working group next thur and I will go into as much detail as you can stomache.
  • Matt: Also fundraising working group Monday at 6pm. Can we talk about Food not Bombs fundraiser?
  • Monthly financial break-down:
    • 2K sudo
    • 2K ccl
    • 1k baps
    • $600 mpm
    • $300 til
    • $100 ll
    • $750 pb
    • ~$250 other pub groups in til
    • $50 community democracy project
    • $1-3K common space event rental
    • $600 Rise above
    • = 10.5K - $13.5K/month not including utilities (~$350/collective/month)
  • Matt: There is a finance report on the discussion list about our financial situation.
  • Matt: Sudo room discussion, may want to pay more, more fundraisers, ink works may want to work with us, new products, more of a general store in the enterance, more parties, art auction, cool shirt, crowd funding, classes in programing at the Omni, selling stuff, security conferences, Korean web site streaming our meetings, reality TV on the Omni forum.

FNB Idea for Fundraiser

  • Arthur: Food not bombs, idea of fundraiser for Omni. In December, but prefered Valentines day. or Both.
    • Do something like a Christmas bazaar sales, etc, Valentines big day long party, as many bands and performers, kick out the jams. A stretch doing that in Dec. Big bands, 4 people who wanted to work on it. See if we have consensus. We pulled an event here for $1000, if we have lead time and more promo we could double that.
  • Matt: Maybe a mid Dec event. Are you open to both.
  • Arthur: We can see about both.
  • Joe: Get some feed back for bazaar's and then we can decide about this.
  • Jeromy: Events should be coordinated through Commons Working Group.
  • Loren: This is different from general events.
  • Joe: We are doing Becoming Omni about becoming a better more loving community collective.
  • Laura (remote): This is a topic for commons wg. Please come to a commons mtg. or fundraisiing. There have been many unsuccessful fundraising events here by many different gorups. It's not simple to raise money at an ebent. Please coordinate with COmmons and Fundraising.
  • Matt: There is also the issue of utilities. The way we have been charging for utilities has been behind several months. I don't know how ppl would like to pay. If you want to pay all at once or if you would like to keep paying one month behind.
  • matt: Have you all thought about marking up how much is charged of each collective for utilities so it a consistent amount and there would sometimes be a surplus that would grow over time.
  • Matt: WE could do that.
  • Tatille: If we are a new group can we ask questions during the meeting?
  • Matt: Is there anyone who will chat with you after the meeting.
  • Jerome: Will do.
  • Tatille: How are utilities charged?
  • Matt: Get utilities from land lord then divide by no. of collective.
  • Lori: We sould like to pay a flat amount.
  • Matt: Have we thought about creating a model to pro-rate?
  • People agree that would be complicated.
  • Thunder: Have you all thought about using alterantaive method. There is a group that puts solar panels up and works with schools.
  • Robb: We could go through each collective and get a general idea about wattage.
  • matt: Lets circle back about this but it sounds like everyone should join the finance working group.

Building & permits

Meetings: Mondays at 8pm

  • This group needs help; https://omnicommons.org/lists/listinfo/building
  • Matt: Work party last Saturday and will have one at 12noon on Saturday. No skills required. Learn anything you want. We have dismateled the bookcases, waiting for the wall to be ready.
  • Rob: Almost done with the wall, not really. We could probably pass the inspection.
  • Matt: Someone doing Cadd design and drawing. 7pm on Tuesday.

Rob: There is an electrical permit involved in stage lining.

Becoming Omni

This Sunday, 10am-6pm (Breakfast at 9am)

  • We have put the Omni purpose statement and the elements of our vision for 2018 up on walls around the building and will put all the work up soon.
  • The last BO Meeting is this Sunday 10am-6pm with breakfast at 9:30. We will be making a plan to overcome the obstacles to achieving our vision of the Omni. Everyone's contribution is very important. We will have someone to be the remote participation interface if people want to join via google hangout.
  • The underlying contradictions we identified are (in no order):
   ** Dissonance between reality and desired reality - IOW not accepting where we are as OK
   ** underestimated need to have a process for building participation
   ** contradiction bet. needing money and labor and radical/anticapitalist politics
   ** Our focus on projects and infrastructure obscures the value of personal relationships and self care
   ** We haven't figured out how to reconcile values that seem to conflict (examples: privacy/transparency; security/safety/access)
   ** Our communication practices are not aligned with our values
   ** We have different conceptions of how to participate in and steward the commons
   ** We are resistant to a culture or processes that support critical reflection and healing
   ** Community-wide accountability leads to people with power perpetuating oppression
   ** There are many reasons why it is hard to focus on anti-oppression work
  • Alex: Everyone should come. Last meeting is this Sunday (breakfast at 9am!!) from 10am - 6pm Creating Strategic Plans this sunday.
  • Joe: We don't have a restorative justice working group. Working hard to get a healing circle together, from UC Restorative Justice Center. To reconcile our past transgressions.


Meetings: Sundays at 7pm

  • Tomorrow night: Dance party to benefit Yuba Libre; Saturday: Anarchist Panel, see http://tochangeeverything.com
  • KPFA Livestreaming & Media Production training next Saturday afternoon (the 24th) in the ballroom starting at 1pm
  • Julio: We went through the events, Jenny is helping remotely. Need more help, Sundays at 7pm, join the mailing list as the dates change.
  • Dragon: Suggest you see the calendar.
  • Joe: They also tell people how to sign contracts, and make sure the event runs well. Want more people available, it goes to 2am Saturday if anyone can help that would be great.
  • Jeremy: Submit a booking event to the calendar.
  • Arthur: Applied to do this twice, but ran into a brick wall. Needs to be more transparent.
  • Laura: Ommons notes are posted on the wiki and the meetings are open.
  • Matt: Lets move the conversation on.

Buy the Building/Fundraising

Meetings: Mondays at 6:00pm

  • Matt: Not meeting to much lately. Monday meeting, please come.
  • We are negotiating with the potential lender and Bay Area Communiy Land Trust


None this week.

Supersonic Pandamonium (Music Collective)

  • Matt: Good to share what you are about.
  • Edwin: Has a hard copy of their proposal.
  • Adam: We want to start a music collective, have been told there isn't one. We are in touch with musicians around town. Like to have a production study downstairs, initially mixing, we also want to utilize the space for shows events and workshops. Contacts with schools, and being involved with the community. Good to have local people involved, not a bunch of people doing a thing you are excluded from. Five of us are talking.
  • Edwin: Have a bank of music you can reach into.
  • Dragon: our issues is documentaries, adding music to documentaries, this is a historic place and people are still alive and may want to contribute or be involved with our collective. Couple of our members have equipment, we want to grow so we have more practicing artists that can contribute music items and skills, they can have a class, show people how to play. Not going to fast.
  • Julio: how would you except members to your collective.
  • Dragon: we had organic conversations with each other, word of mouth, started talking with each other. We are accepting new members.
  • Edwin: Taking people we have initially, most of our expansion will be word of mouth, interacting with new people and seeing what works.
  • Joe: Do you have any idea what you can commit at first as far as rent goes, have you organized events before?
  • Planning to pay $100/month to start.
  • Adam: I have organized events and classes but not so much experience with workshops. Our members have different skill sets/ experience and together I believe we'll be able to make it happen.
  • Robb: I ahve some concerns- we've talked about creating a production collective before and ppl and delegates have said that it isn't the right time. I have been trying to do this for a while and people have said we're not ready. We have had a number of extremely competent people who have tried to do this but we don't want to hurry forward because events are a big deal. I just think this is a really big discussion. There is a possibility that all of teh $$ we get from an event could be considered charitable source.
  • Matt: Primary function is audio and sound connection? Are you ok with a 3 month check in on the monthly rent being $100?
  • Adam: $100 initially because we want to be able to give something, the plan is to hope and expand and then be able to give back more.

Rob saying the discussion is being so large, if not started how will it go anywhere. Maybe this is whats needed to begin the conversation.

  • Edwin: an in studio recording process.
  • Joe: I got the impression that your collective was going to do mostly stuff relative to your collective and not trying to take over all event production at teh Omni.
  • Edwin: That is correct.
  • Joe: So recording not live?
  • Edwin: Both.
  • Jeremy: This sounds awesome. Maybe open the conversation up to more folks.
  • Adam: It is a huge discussion, but it is not exclusive to us, not only that we do that, but it is about sharing that with everyone.
  • Dragon: Meet Sunday @ 5pm in entry space.

Birdhouse Proposal to become a Member Collective

Mission statement

  • To bring into the Omni community artists whose perspectives, experiences and artwork challenge the dominant culture.
  • To increase free, donation based arts programming in the Bay Area
  • To create a visible arts presence and broadening the perception of the Omni as an arts space.
  • To provide a platform for artists and non artists alike, to use the infrastructure, community and resources of the Omni for free and horizontally organized arts and arts education programs.
  • To collaborate on creative projects with other member collectives and horizontally organized groups in the Bay Area.

Origin and group history

We originally started as the “art department” of BAPS, funded by an Alternative Exposure grant. As such, we’ve organized a handful of classes, talks, and other events. We have been regularly meeting for the last year, with many meetings centered around both conceptual and concrete ways that an arts collective could successfully operate in a space such as the Omni, and what an arts collective could contribute to the space.

Participation in the Omni: Why are you interested in becoming a member? How does your group intend to use the space? What are your needs?

In the last 3 months we’ve written a strategic plan to sustainably expand our programing. These are divided into three main components: educational programs, including classes and talks; curatorial programs that will bring artists, art collectives, curators, and other cultural producers/visionaries into the Omni to incorporate art into the space (everything from commissioned murals to temporary installations to performance series); an artist in residence program that would bring 3-6 artists into the Omni for a several month period to complete a research, writing, or visual art project that works in conjunction with the space and collectives-in-residence. We have realized that what we would like to organize falls outside of the scope of BAPS and it makes financial and organizational sense to separate and form our own collective within the Omni. Outside of space for our programming (see answer to #5 below) our needs are relatively minimal - we can provide most materials for classes, exhibitions, and other programming.

Group finances and paying rent: What does your group do to support itself financially? What is your best plan for contributing your potential share of rent to the Omni?

We have about $2000 from the Alternative Exposure grant, which we plan to apply toward rent. We propose to pay $200/ month in rent plus utilities for a three-month trial period. We have also discussed charging sliding scale admission to lectures, screenings, and other large events. Payment will never be forced upon any participant, keeping true to our mission of free arts programing. Most likely the largest funding source for this project will come from grants and monthly member donations.

Dedicated space: If your group would like some dedicated space at the Omni, what square footage and what features are you looking for? Which specific rooms do you feel might be suitable?

Our needs for the space are flexible - we anticipate holding approximately 4 classes or lecture series/quarter (Sept-Dec; Jan-March; March-June), that would meet for variable lengths of time in flexible spaces around the Omni to be approved through the Commons with some use of larger spaces like the Ballroom, Basement, La Commune, or the Disco Room for more high profile talks/events; we will seek curatorial projects and proposals that use the space creatively and flexibly. Our residency will need a small amount of dedicated space (we plan to provide lockers/lock boxes for residents to store a/v, electronics or other valuable equipment, which we will need to keep somewhere; we also need a dedicated space for residents to work - this could be as simple as a desk or a wall that remains in a room that could be used for something else.

Other contributions to the Omni: This question should inspire some imagination. We are exploring ideas to pay rent and purchase the building in the long-term. The basic plan is for each group paying a share of rent. Potential plans include groups sharing profit from their activities, producing Omni events, and booking other events. What is the best-case scenario for using the Omni space to further support your group? (less than 5 sentences)

  • Help Commons Working Group by soliciting paid groups and supporting outside arts groups in renting the space for events.
  • We hope that this project will greatly expand the scope of the Omni’s community and increase its visibility. There is a chance that funders and donors to the arts introduced to the Omni through Birdhouse would financially support the larger project of the Omni. We also plan to bring in artists, arts collectives, curators, and others who would increase the diversity of the Omni’s community in many ways, including inviting programming for and by artists who represent our neighborhood and community. As an example, we are currently working with New Space, an art studio for disabled adults, to create a show of their work at the Omni.
  • We are interested in stewarding unused/ underused spaces that can be used not only for an artist in residence or other curatorial projects and other groups in the space.

Additional: Is there any other information that you think would be useful for us to know about your group? (as many sentences as you like)

  • Membership - our collective will have an broad member base, where those who organize and those who participate are all considered members. Those who participate in our residency program will be temporary members. Invitees, such as artist, art collectives, and curators, would not necessarily be considered members unless they show continual involvement at Birdhouse.
  • Organizers are point people for certain responsibilities and are made up of the membership. Organizer roles are clearly defines are rotate every 3 months along with our class and exhibition schedule.
    • Question from Fundraising: Is Birdhouse willing/able to be a 501c3 fiscally sponsored project of the Omni? Absolutely!

Matt: Are you open to new members? Alex: yes. Classes working through the Commons working group. Matt: frequency of events? Alex: Two to three class's a season, might have more events the more we grow. Jerremy: How would the $200 work for you in terms of space. Alex: That's a starting amount, may try to get a public grant. Joe: After two becoming omni meetings, the collectives don't preform on a day to day to basis the actual goals we have laid out challenging racism, and the patriarchy. Are collectives doing things in action is something i am planning to look into. Alex: Addressed a couple of things, groups that are creating things are engaged with a cultural enviornment, not to fair to say we are not engaging with the community on these issues. Matt: From the other side of the coin, it has been difficult for groups with larger pools of people, do you think you will be able to participate in this meeting, two members active in two different working groups. Find the time between building a community and participating in the work. Dragon: we are connected to people that are outside people interested in this program. Minimum get your foot in the door, may be able to have more people get involved. Dragon: meeting Sunday at 5pm, people walk by and want to sit in and listen. Alex:Birdhouse not totally new, we do have people around the last year. Have strong networks in our community, have people who we can bring into the Omni. Thinking alot about what makes the space sustainable. We are being really intensional about these issues. Joe: Wasn't challenging you to be more of anything. Hope Food Not Bombs can be a part of this growing community. The collectives need to help run the building, guard the building. People walk right by me when I am cleaning the floor and emptying the trash. Matt: have a delegate at the counsil, having two people in working groups. Julio: Those things that Joe is speaking about, a request but it is suggested. It may become a requirement. Dragon: Part of the welcoming group in the front room. Front board with comments. Alex: Thx for the clarification. Jenny: Would you be willing to be a fiscally-sponsored project of the Omni? Alex: We can talk more about the details, but I think yes.

Sudo Mesh as Fiscally-Sponsored project of the Omni

via Jenny, 10/15:

  • Sudo Mesh is currently deploying a community-owned and -operated wireless network for the East Bay. They have been operating out of Sudo Room since January of 2013. You can learn more about the project at https://sudomesh.org
  • The Omni as a legal entity is currently applying for federal 501c3 status. One of the ways in which we seek to achieve 33% charitable income is by fiscally sponsoring groups and projects within the Omni's network. Currently, all member collective agreements are subleases, designated as 'rental income' and therefore non-charitable.
  • Sudo Mesh would sign a fiscal sponsorship resolution designating 7% of all charitable income to the Omni Commons. In return, Sudo Mesh would be eligible for tax-deductible donations and grants designated for non-profits through the Omni Commons.

== Discuss GWS use of space == 5 min

  • Lori - Global Women's Strike is a new group here at the omni. We have been accepted in the group in August. We are still trying to work out lease, insurance policies, and some designated space. We are interested in using the designated space in the Treatment Room upstairs.
  • Proposing to do $300 / month for the Treatment Room upstairs. Interested in sharing with someone else.
    • WE do several things:
      • Regular weekly "center" work days, where we work together in one space --
      • Legal work, so we need private consultation space.
      • Monthly event organizing meeting
      • We try not to meet all the time--prefer to work.
      • Need a locked filing cabinet, some banners storage.
      • We petition a lot at the welfare department, so we have placards and other materials / equipment / etc.
      • Thursday works well
  • Share-of-cost -- can we have a set amount to pay per month instead of paying variable utilities, etc?
  • Matt: Cheryl Ward has similar needs.
    • Matt/Julio/Robb/Joe willing to help problem solve to address both needs

End of Meeting