Event:2016/06/16 Delegates Meeting

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Weekly Omni Delegates' Meeting - 16 June 2016

Last meeting's notes


Introductions

Introduce yourself: Name; Preferred Pronoun; Affiliation

  • Marcus - working groups, he/him
  • Maryann, Chiapas Support Committee, she/her
  • Betsy - Long Haul / Cohousing CA, she/her
  • Jenny, SUDO, She/her, wgs
  • Rachel, GWS, she/her
  • Laura - Building Bloc, she/her, egs
  • Almaz - GCS, she/her
  • Melvin - GCS, he/him
  • Troy - Sudo, Librarian, he/him
  • Steve, BAPS, he/him
  • Robb - SUdo, LL, he/they
  • Alex (remote)
  • Angel -him/they, LL, HNJ
  • Kent Brookes - GCS / YES, he/him
  • Ken - CCL, he/him
  • Joe - FNB, he/him
  • Akanke - Yes, she/her
  • Theo (Later)

Meeting Roles

  • Facilitator/s: Jenny / Troy
  • Explanation of hand signals: "deaf applause", "raised hand", "point of process", "direct response"(wildcard), etc.
  • Stacktaker: Robb
  • Timekeeper: Rachel
  • Notetaker/s: Laura, Jenny, Troy
  • Vibe Reader: Steve
  • Next meeting's facilitator(s): GWS!

Delegates

  • BAPS: Steve
  • BH: inactive - Alex (remote)
  • CCL: Ken
  • CSC: Maryann
  • FNB: Joe
  • GWS: Rachel
  • LL: Liz remote / Angel
  • Sudo: Jenny
  • TIL: inactive
  • Quorum: 8/8 active collectives

Announcements

  • Laura: July 8/9th, very large event in the ballroom, entry hall and disco room. If you're used to hanging out in those spaces, those dates won't be available - Progress and Poverty Unconference
  • Troy: Shut down the Nazi Rally - June 26th in Sacramento, 9am State Capitol, 12pm Showdown
  • Angel - re move of collectives. How do people feel about removing the carpet down in the basement? General approval indicated.
    • Steve suggests checking for what is under the carpet before removing it completely
  • Steve: Juneteenth celebration in Berkeley on the 19th, Adeline between Ashby & ALcatrex, from 9-6... another in E Oakland at 78th & Richie, Saturday the 18th.
    • Melvin - another one on June 25th 11-7 3233 Market St
    • Jenny - Richmond, June 18th 10 a.m. at the corner of Cutting Boulevard and Marina Way,
  • Troy - meeting at Revolution Books, Channing Way, 7pm meeting on Saturday on worlwide revolution
  • Melvin - Job & Health fair June 24th 8411 Macarthur Blvd, Oakland - 11am-3pm, Center of Hope Community Church

Bans/Asked to Leave

  • Diana - asked to leave pending mediation for physically assaulting a member in the space. IF they attempt to enter they are not welcome in the pspace althouh they are welcom to pursue mediation. Can email mediation@lists.omnicommons.org if she wants to enter mediation and return to the space
  • Jacob Appelbaum - Sudo Room has a reciprocal ban agreement with Noisebridge. One of founders of Noisebridge, he is no longer welcome there due to a history of bullying and sexual assault

Working Group Report-Backs

Building & permits

Meetings: Mondays at 8pm

  • This group needs help; https://omnicommons.org/lists/listinfo/building
  • Joe - sheetrock is hung in entry hall. Screws need to be fianlized to pass inspection. Appreciates help.
  • Almaz - has a contact for someone who wants to help who is having an event in the entrance hall. She will connect them.
  • Jenny - during the last week of June there are plumbers scheduled to do work in CCL and build a mop sink, porbably in the wheelchair bathroom.
  • Ken - are they still going to put water in the former buried seeds room?
  • Jenny - I'm pretty sure Phat Beets doesn't need a sink abut we should check if we think it woudl be a good idea.
  • Jenny - Shout out to Angel and Robb and others who helped get the ballroom ready for the wedding. Robb was vaccuuming the rafters today.

Commons

Meetings: Second and Fourth Thursdays at 7pm

Communications

  • Jenny - June newsletter is out. Only enough printed for NCPC meeting last night. Will send out to more lists. Went to that meeting last night. At the last meeting OFficer Huxol made a number of false and inflammatory statement about the OMni. After that we had a meeting with a number of high up city officials where his misperceptions were corrected and he promised to retract and apologize for his statements. Last night, after prompting by Jenny, he backpedalled but didn't apologize. Approached Jenny after the meeting and reiterated his interest in doing a walk through the building. He said that he understood that there would be a lot of opposition. Jenny said she was glad he understood that.

Betsy asks about relatioship with the fire department.

Finance

Meetings: Every other Thursday at 6pm

  • Jenny - we're broke, as always. We continue to borrow about $5000 a month from members to pay all our expenses.

Buy the Building

Meetings: Mondays at 6:00pm

  • Working with a consultant from NCCLF who's an expert in real estate loans and New Market Tax Credits, helping ot make our loan app awesome & apply for NMTC
  • If any collectives are becoming fiscally-sponsored projects, we need to meet and open accounts at the bank

Presentation by Betsy on Cooperative Governance: Lessons learned from Elinor Ostrom's Nobel Prise winning work on commons

How can we manage resources without turning to a bureaucratized state or privatization? Ostrom began by studying water in California. She studies resource commons which exist stably for a long time. LOng term sustainabliliyt exists in these commons through out the world.

Governance of the Commons (1990) - 8 Principles of successful long-term commons

  • Successful long term environmental commons have certain cahracterisitcs that the ones that fail don't have.
  • Her work confirmed that most of us prefer to and will cooperate in resource management situations.
  • Trust, cooperation, reciprocity and structural variables that interfere in those processes
  • Provided a language/framework for people in academia and public policy
  • Most knowledge on this is scattered.
  • Betsy is interested incomparing her principles with those from other long term sustainable, cooperative examples like Mondragon, CoHousing, OMni
  • Hands out chart comparing these
  • ONe of the things you are trying to work out is EO #1, clear and accepted boundaries.
    • Designated users, users of space, wireless, toilets, kitchens...
  • EO#2 who and how is the resource maintained and reprovisioned at he OMNI? Do the rules match the needs of the users?
    • WOuld be good to map out how the spectrum of users get feedback.. measures of the health of the Omni... physical cleanliness, spirit of joie de vivre, etc;
  • EO#5 - graduated sanctions for rule violations, banishment being the ultimatte sanction
  • EO#6 - access to local and low cost prompt dispute resolution. HAs been and ongoing issue.
  • EO#7 - Long-term, successful commons have a relationship with larger systems (eg City Council, city permits, police, fire etc)
  • EO#8 - Federation - nested within a networked set of supporting institutions
  • Also, brings up adaptive governance. Doing evaluations and responding to changes rather than assuming that once a decision is made it will always be the solution.
  • The edge in her work is about the 1 to 1 relationships, and the trust and reciprocity needed in them within a commons or cooperative enterprise.

Proposal: Application from Global Communication Services/YES Program to become a member collective of the Omni Commons

Proposed by Almaz Yihdego, 6/2/16

1. Mission statement What do you do? The mission of Global Communication Services (GCS) is to provide community service for individuals, families, and community groups toward health consulting, health benefits, cultural exchange and immigrate support here in United States and international. The mission of Youth Empowerment Services (YES) is to advance and support children, youth, and family on academic breakthroughs in life development, job placement and other activities focusing and envisioning a community where all young people have the opportunities and access to programs without restriction of race, cultural difference or socioeconomic status.

What happens in the world because you exist? Our program serves the community by tutoring/mentoring and providing educational workshops. We also teach cultural art history, and different languages through workshops and events. Our services encompass problem solving approaches based on education and tapping into the cultural strengths and living experiences of African immigrants and Black African American youth and families. We help to uncover the individuals hidden talents and strengths which leads to healthy self esteem, individual and group self-reliance. Our program is open to all ethnic groups who choose to excel and claim their genius!

2. Origin and group history How did you start? Originally, Global Communication Services (GCS) was established in 2012 as my (Almaz’s) consulting business to provide community service for individuals, families, and community groups toward health consulting, health benefits, immigrate support. Which inculeds language interpreting and translating services. I had people working with me doing the same thing. As a part of GCS we taught cultural literacy for African immigrant youth, like cultural dance, language; as well as sports and hiking and camping trip to Yosemite National Park. After a long time personal experience working with immigrant families and being one of the reader for 13 afterschool programs at the City of Oakland in 2013. I seen the main problem children face especially around the low-income families and how new immigrant dealt within the public school system. At the end of 2014 decided to incorporate a few staff members to GCS and enhance the youth program, YES, which will focus on youth academic and life development support. www.globalcommunicationservices.org

How does your group make decisions?

       Our group makes decision collectively by majority vote if necessary to do so. So far we don’t have any conflicts or misunderstanding, each staff member contributes to the program cooperatively.  

What have you done? We have helped several youth with their academic work, job placement, health and wellness training. We host community based cultural events and workshops. We are a pioneer collective group with different cultural and educational backgrounds. We work collectively with community groups locally, nationally and internationally. Our staff meets at least once per month.

3. 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? Our mission and the objectives of the Omni are aligned. We both are working diligently to improve and empower individuals and the community. We also enjoy the location of the Omni. Hosting events at the Omni would be of great value to our team. Becoming a part of the ownership team is also a very exciting opportunity for our organization. We would like to be fiscally sponsored by the Omni. How does your group intend to use the space? We intend to use the space for workshops, classroom trainings, events, rehearsals, and collective member meetings. What are your needs? Our need is to have space at the Omni as a member collective. We will use the space to have locked storage, books, and a table for small class meetings. We will also have larger events like fundraisers, health trainings, or music and cultural programs that we would like to hold in the larger common spaces.

4. 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? Please include relevant financial statements, documentation of sufficient income (e.g. balance sheet, bank statement profit & loss statement).

We have about $500 from the community fundraiser events and we are planning to charge sliding scale admission for workshops, classroom trainings, and other large music events. We have been invited to apply for several government and private grants. Our anticipated largest funding source for our youth project will be coming from grants and monthly member donations. We propose to pay $100 a month in rent plus utilities for the first three-months until we receive grants to support our program. After the first three months we will pay $200 for rent plus utilities and would like to become the stewards of the blue classroom and have priority use of that space. We do not plan to charge youth or low-income families for our services however, we do accept donations. We do not currently have a bank account. As a fiscally sponsored project we would open a sub account under the Omni’s bank account.

5. 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?

We are proposing to steward and maintain the Blue classroom and keep a locked storage cabinet there after our first three months of membership. We would have priority for our youth classes and family consulting, and would make the space available to other groups when we were not using it.

6. 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?

One of the ways that we may be able to generate funds is by hosting monthly events. At first this income may be slow yet if we continue we will look to attract sponsors and also grow our attendance of our events.

We also plan to produce mutually beneficial community programs for the Omni that would entail youth related film screenings, concerts & workshops…

We can help the Omni by participating on the working groups. Almaz has been volunteering with the Commons working group for about 2 months.

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 introduced to the Omni through our Program would financially support the project of the Omni. We plan to bring more African and African American community members and others who would increase the diversity of the Omni’s community in many ways, including inviting programming for and by community groups who represent our neighborhood and community.

Wanda Sabir of KPFA and Sophie of KPOO are also media supporters of YES. We can mention the Omni on our radio broadcast and other media collaborations.

7. Additional information?

Our collective will have diverse group members, artists, business owners, educators, musicians, authors, which all those who organize and those who participate are all considered collective members. Will also have volunteers temporary member participates from deferent community groups, which include college/university students and community educators. All participates in our program would not necessarily be considered members unless they show constant involvement at YES program.

Introduce your key collective members here

  • Almaz Yihdego Founder and program coordinator/Tigrinya/Amharic teacher.
  • Noura Hassaini Child Development English/French/ and Arabic teacher
  • Lawrence Brisco Business development, entrepreneurship trainer through creative gardening and landscape design.
  • Daniel Williams Swahili and mathematics teacher
  • Akanke Adesokan Holistic health and culturally relevant, Responsive holistic empowering counselor and performing artist
  • Eden Mana health and wellness, health eating habits and nutrition counselor
  • Fiyory Melake chemistry and biology teacher
  • Mical Free art and graphic-design teacher
  • Baba Kala Music and cultural history teacher
  • Far I Shields musician, artist and author for global transformation
  • Melvin Cowan program fund and resource advisor
  • Yoel Haile student academic resource and job placement coordinator
  • Kent: Thsi a mainly an organization to help youth lean grow, and learn some of the values theyre not learning in this horrible society. We want ot introduce poelpe who are havign difficulties in this society to ways to do better, get along with other peole. We also want to introduce african cultures to the rest of the community, Help youth form these communities adapt to whats going on today.
  • Melvin: the focus in on youth development. Helpingout our african and black american youth. Find a safe palce to find their identity and get support. Also cultural aspect - cultural education for youth and to give to the community. Musicians and artists. VOe time we would love to buildi and branch out.
  • Almaz - we do tutoring and mentoring in different sites, like libraries, schools. We also do community awareness, healing events. We have a lot of members that teach many different things. They teach at different times and couldn't come today. We have a lot of people supporting us. Metal arts, graphic design, landscaping, entrpreneurship, health and wellness. Also directed toward communities, like Eritrean community that lacks information on healthy eating.
  • Kent - Im a member of the Zeitgeist Movement. This is what I thoght of whrn I saw you all come together.

QUESTIONS

Steve; I'm overjoyed that you're here. Reminds me of earlier years when people woudl be studying history in back rooms and that was a an important support for movements. I'm seeing this a s a similar support for the upsurge in movements we're seeing now.

  • Troy - tell us more about the youth development program. HOw does it function, like how you get peope to teaach?
  • Kent: I for example have a space set up where I can have peoplke come through on a weekly basis if this is what they want to learn. I'll be introducing them to CAD too. FOr the musicians we like to do videos and shows. It would be great to do some fundrasing around the artisitc work we do, selling jewelry we create.
  • Joe: What it would need, would it would look like - you've asked for Blue Classroom stewardship - as your home base, and as your classroom. Does your work happen individually, or as a classroom setup?
    • Almaz: Sometimes 4 kids, sometimes 3, 2, 1.. Blue room used to teach kids, have meetings with family members, etc... dance events, training etc; either here or in the Disco Room.
      • Joe: What would you need for your office?
        • Almaz: Desks, computer, books, file cabinet
        • Akanke: The whole room set up as a classroom... I'm a healer, some classes here, but lots of outings, outdoors
          • Melvin: Will have to see what the limitations are... can work with 5, 30, 100 students... depends on the limitations / parameters given by the space... having it as a home base of operations is the most important
  • Betsy: Curious about your governance structure, how you make decisions?
    • Almaz: We have meetings 1-2x a month... meet with 4-5 people... financially poor, doing fundraisers and applying for grants.
  • How often using the ballroom?
    • Dance training class here,
    • Mostly focused on classes and workshops
    • Likely 3-4x per month
      • Need to rely on the ballroom for Omni income. Collectives do get free use of the common spaces, just concerned about the Omni's ability to pay its bills - would like to ave the ballroom booked every weekend
  • Almaz: WOuld definitely like to advertise it more, share income with the Omni
  • Rachel: Need to bring it back to collective
  • Joe: Clarification on $$
    • $100+utilities for first 3 months, then $200/month+utilities
      • Clarification on utilities: some small, eg $7/mo for internet - other bills contingent on size of collective
        • Kent: Figured the bill would be around $250 with utilities
  • Ken: Didn't answer Patrik's questions re: utilities
  • Betsy: What I'm hearing is that one of the collectives would like an answer to financial inquiries / concerns in writing
  • Joe: Satisfied with your explanation, on behalf of FNB. Also curious about other groups still using the Blue Classroom and on what sort of time basis?
    • Almaz: Yes, would be stewarding it. Want to organize it as we want it to be - comfortable with children and youth
  • Mary Ann: Are you a new org?
    • Almaz: Been working as volunteers in our community for 3-4 years, started working with youth since 2015. Working with our community voluntarily. Just now getting it together, bylaws, nonprofit app, grant apps, etc; Spoke with members yesterday, who are willing to contribute toward the rent
      • Kenneth: Savvy with sheetrock and drywall
        • Almaz: Been volunteering with Commons for the past 3 months, helping with painting the wall,



Update to Art Bison Membership Proposal

Marcus

  • $200 for first 2 months + $50/utils, then $400/month after that
  • Membership - will take 16 people to pay all the bills, 8 already committed to joining
  • 3 pieces of furniture - storage rack on wheels / movable, 4x8'; arm press for printing, and desk. Also a darkroom, may put in the corner of the front hall so it doesn't impede on ballroom flow.
  • Can get it started now and have it done in a month
  • Rachel: So when $400?
    • Marcus: In two months. yes, plus itilities.
  • Joe: Box office usable by other groups?
    • Marcus: Yes, everything on casters so it can be shifted around as need be
  • Darkroom?
    • 4x5'... permanent install?
      • Needs to be enclosed, doesn't need to be permanently attached to any space, just walls put up to enclose it.

Consensus:

  • FNB, GWS, CSC, BAPS, LibLens

Abstain:

  • Sudo, CCL

Proposal for Recording Studio in the Basement

  • to start a working group to manage booking & setup of recording & rehearsal space in the middle & right rooms adjacent to liberated lens.

omni will keep $ from rentals, however, members of the working group will contract w/musicians for time spent stewarding the space.

musicians may pay or volunteer with commons or studio working group for access to the space.

the delegates may terminate the arrangement w/a month's notice.

Discussion: How do we communicate with our neighbors?

  • Julio: Scuttlebutt mailing list: How is it used? Okay to delay discussion to next meeting if run out of time and others don't want to discuss.

Discussion: How to get the Communications Working Group Working

Example Discussion Item

End of Meeting