Event:2017/10/05 Delegates

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Omni Delegates' Meeting - 05 October 2017 7pm-9pm


  • Introductions, Meeting Roles, and Delegates Count [10 minutes]
  • Announcements [5 minutes]
  • Bans [5 minutes]
  • Working Group Report-Backs [15 minutes]
  • Member Collective Updates (10 minutes)
  • Discussion: Sin Fronteras Cafe [20 minutes]
  • Discussion: Thomas re Running Wolf


Introduce yourself: Name; Preferred Pronoun; Affiliation

  • Robb
  • Phil
  • Matt
  • Jose P
  • Laura
  • Ken
  • Rachel
  • Rocio
  • Jose
  • Abad
  • Rachel
  • Joe
  • Michelle Gutierrez

Meeting Roles

  • Facilitator/s: Phil
  • Explanation of hand signals: "deaf applause", "raised hand", "point of process", "direct response"(wildcard), etc.
  • Stacktaker: Jose P
  • Timekeeper: Rachel
  • Notetaker/s: Laura, Matt & robb
  • Vibe Reader:
  • Next meeting's facilitator(s):


  • ABDC: [inactive after this meeting if no delegate]
  • BAPS: Julian (remote)
  • CCL: Ken
  • CSC: Jose P
  • FNB: Phil or Joe
  • GWS: inactive - Rachel (active after next meeting)
  • LL: inactive
  • Sudo: robb
  • TIL: inactive
  • GCEA: almaz
  • Quorum: 6/6 active collectives (yes)


  • The Village in negotiation w/Oakland to obtain some land for housing/camping
    • Potentially interested in finding a fiscal sponsor -- if they're interested in omni commons membership, this could provide some solutions.
    • Let Matt know if you'd like to be kept in the loop or offer support for fiscal sponsorship, tax-exempt application, etc.


Working Group Report-Backs

Building & permits

Meetings: 1st & 3rd Mondays @ 6pm

  • Jenny: Next Kitchen Working Group meeting is next Wednesday, October 11th @ 6pm in the basement! Last meeting notes here: https://omnicommons.org/wiki/Event:2017/09/25_Basement_Kitchen_Meeting - props to Anka, Toan, Joe, Habiba, Gerald & Robb for putting a rad video together! <3
  • Jenny ordered ~$500 of pest-proofing supplies - electronic rat traps, plastic rat traps, wooden rat traps, and infinity roach traps. bulk of the cost was rechargeable D batteries for the electronic traps. building could use more trap stewards especially in the basement! rodents@lists.omnicommons.org
  • Joe - Mark A took home the siding for the South wall. Has anyone heard from him?
  • Robb has contacted him and he said he hasn't cut it yet. Suggests we just buy more if he doesn't come through soon.
  • Gerald and Robb temporarily installed and played around with a vacancy sensor light. They also replaced a bad dimmer in the ballroom
  • This group needs help; https://omnicommons.org/lists/listinfo/building


Meetings: Second and Fourth Thursdays at 6pm


Meetings: Second and Fourth Sundays at 5pm

  • Article published from SF Station (jenny did an interview): https://www.sfstation.com/2017/10/02/oaklands-omni-commons-connecting-culture-collectives-community-in-a-big-way/
  • Julian: at our last meeting we talked about how bringing back orientations would be nice, and that that could be something comms folx (Grant & I were present) were into. Given that folx often come to delegates meeting looking for that sort of thing, we thought perhaps they could happen before every delegates assembly. Also talked about how having signage naming the Omni from the outside (eg above the TIL window), & giving info about us outside (much like the wonderful stuff in the entrance) could help makes us more visible and welcoming to the neighborhood. Last, I've been working on the newsletter, but been behind because conflicting deadlines. It should be ready for sending out in the next week. Regarding paper copies, we discussed that circulating a flyer annoucing the new newletters & w/ a link could be more resources efficient than a full paper copy, at least at first.
    • There's a duplex printer in the omni office -- could do 2-up or 4-up printouts to save paper. Can be handy to get info / stories around for those who actually walk into the omni (who may not actually bother to go to a computer to read the newsletter).
  • Laura: We need a new awning and can put the name on it. I am getting estimates.
  • Ken: IF there was a sign above the corner entrance we might be able to get grandfathered in & avoid permits
    • Jenny: on the contrary, as a historic building we'd have to get approval from the city's historic preservation dept. probably don't need a permit tho.


Meetings: Currently conjoined with Fundraising, 2nd & 4th Mondays at 6pm


Meetings: Currently conjoined with Finance, 2nd & 4th Mondays at 6pm

  • Jenny: Will hear back from our CAST grant application for $40K for tenant improvements sometime in Nov-Dec
  • Jenny: Ongoing basement kitchen meetings toward launching a crowdfund campaign in November. Write or join kitchen@lists.omnicommons.org - could especially use help with getting quotes, tightening up the budget, launch party & outreach for the campaign itself. Anka and Toan are finishing the video in the next few weeks.
  • Still writing grant applications as fast as possible -- need support

Member Collective Updates

What is going on with your collective? What are you working on? What have you accomplished? Any events coming up? Any difficulties you are encountering that you need help with?




  • Trying to clean up. BAAM is ramping up for fall mushroom season


  • Next Waffles and Zapatismo third week of October 21. Has helped to build the size of the group and begin exploring some new ideas like targeting companies that work in Chiapas and are causing displacement. Thisiwll be the last one in the series. We will do another seris in the spring. It has been a good experience.
  • Film November 18, also panel of women who will comment on the film




  • As you know, Lori Nairne died suddenly and it has been a huge shock for our org globally. We have to deal with all her stuff. It's been really hard. We are regrouping and figuring out how to carry on organizing. It's a huge loss. We are planning a big Haiti fundraiser in December with bands.



  • We are continuing cleaning and organizing the space. Making room for new capabilities. Usual events are happening. We may be planning a fundraiser party.


Discussion: Sin Fronteras Cafe (20 mins)

  • Laura is introducing:
    • Jenny and I met with Abad and Jose a week and a half ago, introduced by CSC Jose.
    • Right now Jose and Rocio serve hot coffee shop, plus breakfast and pastries. They've been there for five years.
    • Thinking about starting a worker-owned cafe with friends and comrades, so the four of them are consider by Jose P's suggestion, what a cafe could look like at the omni .
    • This is an opportunity to discuss options and get feedback before getting a specific proposal.
  • Abad: We (the four collective members) have been in the community as part of many groups together -- Danzantes Mexicas -- part of a sweat lodge group in Temescal/Oakland. We do a lot of stuff in the community -- Ayotzinapa anniversary in Fruitvale. We're looking to do some kind of community-beneficial business. We're talking about folks from Mexico and South America -- people who are undocumented and very creative as well. We have friends who are looking for space to showcase their talents, their art. We have freinds who are cooks, who want to share their foods, their pastires. When we toured before through the building, we were having a lot of awareness of community members who are in need of a space lik this.
    • We envision a collective, we share the idea to grow in a horizontal kind of way, we want to create a network of autonomous businesses. We want to use the cafe with Zapatista coffee (with free trade), to train people in our community to do business, to grow with them and to expand in all of this.
    • That's what we want to do, but with the rest of the space, the time we're living in right now, it requires a lot of healing of us. We see doing drum circles and other circles for our community that is relevant to our ancestral traditions.
    • It's a coincidence that the men are talking -- we're not always talking all the time!
  • Michelle - thank you for opening the space for us. Just walking around, I'm excited to be here, it's very inspiring here. I was born in SF mission district. Community is very important to me. My family is from Colombia, and I'm a therapist in the fruitvale district. We're looking to create more workshops, more healing spaces, the zapatista mtgs and conversations. We need space to facilitate these things, it's so important. Thank you.
  • Jose: We're here with a bunch of ideas and energy for what we are doing in the community. And also for how we are able to make a livving and share that capacity with others in a horizontal way. The most humble way to put this proposal together is like this, in a circle. We want to use the space down there for a cafe and we're excited beccause stuff is already happening here, but we're also about making the cafe function. We have a connection to Zapaista communties. We import and roast their coffee.
  • Almaz: Will the coffee be free?
    • Jose: It will be for sale. The idea would be to create sustainable incomes for the people working in the cafe. We will contribute to the space through paying rent and other ways.
      • Almaz: thought the Omni Cafe would raise money for Omni
        • Phil: This is a worker owned cafe and collective so that is how they will fit into the Omni.
          • Almaz: I will review the proposal. I like the idea of having a circle and the idea of bringing the community together for healing.
  • Jose: When folks come together with volunteer time for bulding and working without compensation that's beautiful. But if there are also certain contribuions that people can make to have sustainable incomes, that is why we started our cafe. That's how we hope to continue and grow other autonomous coffee spaces where people can make a living. We put the idea of profit to the side a bit when we think of sustainable incomes. The living wage in Oakland is $15/hr. WHen we do it in a way that is good for the community we set an example of ways that people can have flexibility and autonomy and time to do other thins like take care of their kids or volunteer in other ways.
  • Joe: I have alot of questions. Ever since I came to the omni I've advocated for speaking openly about things. I have to ask Almaz about the resentment she seems to have. Did you make a proposal?
    • Almaz: No, There was discussion about a coffee shop there. When we suggested paying someone we were told that we couldn't pay anyone.
    • Matt:
      • Joe are you familiar with what's required to build out space? What kind of collective?
        • Jose: we have info about what the city would require. We would have limited service cafe. Exploring beer & wine sales. Maybe common space could be used too. We would bring the required equipment. Collective would be member owned type of collective. Members might be invite only but haven't fully decided. We would only used the front area of the entrance hall.
  • Jenny: Let's discuss liquor license logistics with David - complexities surrounding Conditional User Permit that was lost by the city in the late 80's that is extremely permissible (liquor, all ages, until 2am 5 days/wk).
  • Matt: misunderstandings have happened but we (Omni) continue working together. Misses having a cafe.
  • Phil: I've been halping a lot with the clean up. With food being served and people sitting out here, the cleaning would have to be ramped up. We have had complaints about our bathrooms and working on improving that. That is something you should consider.
  • Rachel: I like the idea of having a cafe. People like it. Likes how it sounds like more than a business & can integrate into our environment. Would it be open in the day & at night?
  • Abad: Right now we would say it would be open in the day and if there are events at night we could be open then as well.
  • Jose: let's say there is an event in the evening an we can't be there, we are flexible about how we can serve by leaving out a pot of coffee with a donation jar, for example.
    • Jenny: Most activity *in* the building is between 6-10pm on weekdays, fyi, though plenty of foot traffic in the AM & early afternoon (mainly on Telegraph tho)
  • Ken: I have questions about the practical and logistical aspects of the space. How you will manage this cafe and the other one. Supplementel clean up. Would you need to fix up the downstairs (no). How you would build out the space according to health department requirements. What's your timeline for all of this to happen?
    • Jose: anywhere between 6 & 9 months
      • Jenny: We've shared Agua Viva's preliminary health inspection report & other buildout docs/sketches with Sin Fronteras. Buildout for counter area (plumbing, electrical, counter rebuild etc) is in the realm of ~$8K max.
  • May become a collective. Would be investing in the build out and so would want a long term lease of perhaps 5 years after build out investment
  • Abad: may have proposal by next delegates meeting
    • Ken suggests including a floor plan with the proposal.
  • Jose: What ideas and doubts do you have about the space?
  • Phil: ONe of the important things about it is that its filling a big gap to enable the doors to be open and people can come come in, learn about what is going on in the space.
  • Jose P: I want to echo what Matt said about the missing energy from when the Cafe was open before and the energy it brought to the space. Also I want to suggest people visit their cafe in East Lake to get an idea of what they have done - 1603 2nd Ave.
  • Jose: We have a little video about the cafe that Abad made I can show.
  • Joe: You're going to spand a lot of money. Im comforted that you have a running business. I want to say that when you draw up the proposal - it was hard to get people to come in. We have these new condos. Give some thought about how you will bring people in besides the morning. It has to be something special and complete so it has a new feeling and attraction.
  • Abad: we were thinking about doing a "coming soon" event on Dia de los Muertos with an altar and danzantes. At our other cafe in Fruitvale at 26th and International there are a lot of people who get section 8. We are thinking that we will give them discount cards.
    • Joe: so you are opening a 3rd cafe? I think you should consider that you should be here when there are people here.
      • Jose: we are thinking about the people in the space, the people in the community, and the people who come to the space for events.
  • Almaz: What do you think about the events and meetings in the entrance hall?
    • Jose: they would contribute to it.
  • Matt: My experience from the previous cafe experiences, and lessons from teh worker owned cafe have to do with distribution of labor and childcare. It's difficult to balance life-work, time committments. Do you have to be here mornings AND evenings. There was a power dynamic in the first cafe between owners who were getting paid and owners who were essentially donating their time. It's a deceptively simple thing. Why isn't it already there? It's deceptive. In the past not enought time and money had been set aside for the construction. There is the issue of closing the space and the process to make sure that people leave who need to leave when it's time for the cafe to close.
  • Ken: I dont want you to get too cynical. Just take all of this into consideration. Maybe a committee can be formed to work with. My other concern was that - our exterior isnt enticing people to come in. Im thinking that part of your goal should be to make it pretty and inviting.
  • Almaz: SO in a way you are helping people to create another cafe. Will you give them training?
  • Matt and joe suggest getting in touch with NOBAWC
  • -- Multi-media presentation --
    • link? -- was local on laptop . Jose will send the link

Discussion: ZRW Mediation Process (10 min) =

  • Thomas did not stay for the discussion.
  • Laura: When he arrived tonight I told him that we had a large item on the agenda and that we wouldn't have much time to discuss ZRW tonight. I asked him to give us notice ahead of time whne he wanted to discuss something at a meeting rather than just showing up.
  • Almaz is the new conflict steward. Moving forward to ask Steve to mediate, Ken still willing to represent the Omni in the mediation. otherwise. Will offer to ZRW to use SEEDS CRC in Berkeley for mediation.
    • jenny: +1 on SEEDS, this is complicated and third party experienced mediators are preferable when multiple community members & intersecting oppressions come into play.

Last Meeting Notes


End of Meeting