Event:2017/11/16 Delegates

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Omni Delegates' Meeting - 16 November 2017 7pm-9pm

Agenda

  • 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)
  • Proposal X: [15 minutes]
  • Proposal Y: [15 minutes]
  • Discussion Z: [10 minutes]

Introductions

Introduce yourself: Name; Preferred Pronoun; Affiliation

  • Laura
  • Phil
  • Almaz
  • Julian
  • Bobby - The Village / Feed the People
  • Needa - The Village / Feed the People
  • Helen - FNB
  • Mary Ann
  • Jenny - Sudo
  • Marcus - ABDC
  • Robb - Sudo

Meeting Roles

  • Facilitator/s: Laura
  • Explanation of hand signals: "deaf applause", "raised hand", "point of process", "direct response"(wildcard), etc.
  • Stacktaker:Almaz
  • Timekeeper: Jenny
  • Notetaker/s: Julian, Robb, Laura, Marcus
  • Vibe Reader: Marcus
  • Next meeting's facilitator(s):Phil

Delegates

  • ABDC: Marcus
  • BAPS: Julian
  • CCL: N/A
  • CSC: Mary Ann
  • FNB: Helen
  • GWS: N/A
  • LL: inactive
  • Sudo: Robb
  • TIL: inactive
  • GCEA: Almaz
  • Quorum: yes (6/8 active collectives)

Announcements

Bans

Working Group Report-Backs

Building & permits

Meetings: 1st & 3rd Mondays @ 6pm

Commons

Meetings: Second and Fourth Thursdays at 6pm

Communications

Meetings: 2nd and 4th Sundays 5pm *

  • Julian: Moved meeting to monday, gonna write an email out to the main email
  • Jenny: so maybe the kitchen fundraising thing is back on so we should check in about that

Finance

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

  • Laura: sent the OOC taxes on time!
  • Jenny: we were in the black by $500 last month. it's historic! the first


Fundraising

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


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?

ABDC

BAPS

CCL

CSC

  • Mary Ann: This weekend is the film - Saturday evening! First Sat in December having Waffles & Zapatismo but in the afternoon instead of the evening. Guests from Mexico will be speaking.
    • Laura: Talk to me if you want simultaneous interpretation
    • Robb: If you get permission, I'll film

FNB

  • Phil: Running out of volunteers. Need more volunteers.

GCEA

  • Almaz: Need more volunteers. Working with East Oakland COllective - Feeding the homeless. Youth fundraiser was not as successful as I'd hoped - issue with the musician.

GWS

  • Robb: Haiti Emergency Benefit event on December 9th - endorsed by KPFA

LL

  • Jenny: National Bird film screening
  • Robb: we'll be webcasting talks by Gerald

Sudo

TIL

  • book release event last week happened

Proposals

Proposal for Fiscal Sponsorsorhip of the Village

The Village was a direct action that became and movement and now is a membership organization. We seek to decriminalize homelessness, assert housing as a human right and secure temporary emergency homes for all until there is permanent homes for all.

We are currently in a precedent setting and historic phase. We have been able to get the city of oakland to FINALLY allow our model of temporary emergency shelters and services to exist in oakland. Not only has the city decided to adopt this model themselves, but they are offering us the temporary use of public land to create our own autonomous, self governed village of homes and services. We are creating a pathway that starts with temporary housing and support towards self-sufficiency and end with permanent housing.

In order for us to receive city owned or managed properties the city of oakland insists that we find fiscal sponsorship from an established non-profit as they will not give us the land - even if we were to become a non-profit ourselves. Down the line once we have the capacity to administer our own non profit as well as be viewed by the city as an “established” entity with the successful management of our first village on public land we most likely will be able to graduate from a fiscal agent and establish our own 501c3 entity.

We have a flexible deadline with the city to get a fiscal sponsor and have all city contracts/agreements signed by said fiscal sponsor by October 26.

What we are seeking from the Omni is a fiscal sponsorship for a minimum of 1 year. That would include: - the use of the EIN number and insurance - the use of the Omni Commons facility to hold meetings - temporary storage or materials and supplies - use of the kitchen for our founder organization Feed The People - use of the Omni bank account to receive any potential funds that come our way - small area to use as office space - a place for a computer and a filing cabinet, up to 3 people at one time.

  • Needa: note that the urgency is already here, the flexibility is passed, because the rain is here and winter is ocoming
    • provisional for a number of reasons, that include current insufficient consensus process although the expectation is that folx will consense on this based on previous conversations up to this point
  • we may decide to become a full nonprofit; we may also be interested in becoming a member collective - the organization hasn't yet fully consensed on the proposal
  • have lots of proposed donations / offers of building materials, but nowhere to put them
  • clarifying questions/comments?
    • Almaz: I'm a supporter of the project. How much storage space do you actually need?
      • Bobby: It would not be building materials so much as hygene, food, provisions, supplies
      • Needa: its a mix. We're getting constant offers of donations of all kinds. Maybe the way to think about the ask is, roughly "however much storage space you have, please let us know, we can fill it."
    • Phil: we don't technically use the kitchen here, we coook on the sidewalk.
      • Needa: so we could use fridges some?
      • Helen: the fridges tend to be overloaded as it is, there isn't really an empty storage.
      • Bobby: could we set up a fridge?
        • Helen: there are legal (permitting) consierations that make that an issue, so unfortunately no.
    • Helen: how much space could be workable?
      • Jenny: the basement is constantly filling and emptying
      • Phil: as far as storage, it's a different case if it's moving in and out continually.
      • Jenny: one thing we discussed was an input-output station, e.g. in the entrance hall
        • Needa: we accept donations Tuesdays & Wednesdays
    • Helen: a question about the project- what will happen on the land?
      • Needa: on the plot given to us, which is already packed with 50-60 homes. we would build firesafe temporary homes there, as a bridge to permanent housing. The city says, re "shelter crisis ordinance" that this is allowed while they seek to get. we're now pressuring the city to get the city to pay for insurance. City is copying their model, calling it Safe Havens. they are spending $1mill to house people in toolsheds. they are wasting money to get permanent housing. the intent of the ordinance was to kick down the doors to let folx do what they can, but now the city is standing in the doorway gatekeeping. also currently looking at private land.
      • Needa: is there any office space? a place for a computer or laptop and a place for files. a bare minimum.
        • Almaz: Omni office?
        • Robb: the media center in the basement? we could probably find a computer & set it up down there?
      • Robb: how many simultaneous folks working?
        • Needa: 3. that's separate for a meeting space of like 20-30.
  • What's exciting to people about this?
    • Helen: it's a great precedent politically in the city
    • Almaz: I work with East Oakland Collective, and work a lot with homeless folks, some of whom are working with the Village. excited about the project for housing homeless folks.
      • Needa: there is a shared/division of space between in Oakland between the Village and the East Oakland Collective
    • Robb: homeless folx are vulnerable in our society, so this is cool that its happening
  • Challenges about the proposal?
    • Marcus: speaking for myself, not for my collective - the storage space component concerns me, because of how often the space gets filled up, and the amount of work it takes to reorganize things. I also know ome of the plans for the basement particularly, so I'm a little scared about that. i want to know what this will practically look like. often thre is a gap between proposal and implementation. roughly, paraphrased: "if you give a mouse a corner of the basement, the mouse wants to use more and more of the basement"
      • Bobby: I understand the concern about storage space usage growing over time. I would say if a friend asks me for a ride to DMV but
      • Almaz: I think we have unused space downstairs. If someone could do space construction and fix it up, then maybe they can use it for now.
        • Laura: which room?
          • Almaz: the piano room
        • Helen: one reason that it's a mess is because it is unused. if it were used, that could be an improvement.
        • Needa: with our provisions they come in and go out. the building stuff is for sure temporary, because once we build it. once we have the spaces, we'll have distributions centers at the sites
          • we still will want the centralized office space.
        • Laura: think we should set aside the storage question for the moment - we can work that out when we work out a contract - what space, who's going to be there to coordinate dropoffs and distribution
      • Bobby: I want to reiterate the legitimacy of this concern. we will be particular careful about sorting and not overusing space.
    • Jenny: collaborating with Village folks on the basement remodel would be great. we have a fair number of project ideas, but could use more hands. working together would be great. we also can share the Omni office once we can move more of the stuff in there to the basement.
  • Laura: summaraizing the proposal
    • a grant fiscal sponsorship model has cleared with the finance WG. can't do insurance b/c our insurance says so.
      • Needa: question about that. we're gathering insurance quotes to petition the city to pay for. what if we can't get the city to pay?
      • There are two models of fiscal sponsorship - grant-making and project-based. In the first, you're a separate legal entity, and charitable donations are passed through Omni to you as grants (and we do the accounting/taxes). In the latter, you're technically considered a project of Omni and share the same entity status.
      • Since our insurance won't cover your activities, it would have to be a grant-based model. You can form any kind of entity to obtain insurance, including just "Doing Business As" or unincorporated association
      • Robb: we have Omni Oakland Commons - y'all could connect with DIY Safety, similar/related projects, what if you wante to take that over?
        • Needa: don't even want to be doing the level of bureaucracy currently mandated by the city - just want to be building homes
    • Laura: temporary storage and office space will be a separate proposal, bank out
      • various finance related mumbo jumbo that presumably will be recorded by Finance WG in their meeting notes so not going to be
  • Laura: there are two meeting type needs. 1) MOU discussion; 2) space proposal. I'm not around 19th-23rd.
    • Jenny: I would meet with Needa on Monday
  • Robb & Jenny: we need someone to do the plan design for the basement kitchen
    • Bobby: we may have a Berkeley connection to architecture students, I'll get you folks
    • Jenny: I'll give you the land database

Vote

  • Laura: New proposal: grant-model fiscal sponsorship, bank account, holding meetings here
  • Yay: Marcus (ABDC), Mary Ann (CSC), Almaz (GCEA), Julian (BAPS)
  • Abstain: Helen (FNB) & Robb (Sudo)
  • Block: N/A

Proposal passes (6/8 active collectives)


Proposal to Build and Run a Cafe in the Entrance Hall

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1v2-MAjgzcb0QrEW0EsfrK_Bx3rLXxsKeeiJobUoyAX0/edit?usp=sharing

Discussion

  • Julian: let's just email that out
  • Laura: Please bring it to your collectives asap
  • Jenny: we're going to invite the Cafe collective to attend other groups meetings.
    • Robb: this is particularly important

Report back on and discussion of first mediation session with ZRW

  • Laura: when is the next mediation scheduled with Running Wolf?
  • Marcus: the meeting wasn't as effective and smooth as one would have liked. started late, so not full meeting time. a lot of not-directly related conversation occured. not until the last 3rd of the meeting was Marcus able to state Omni's specific Omni issues - RW having left his stuff here for storage, not participating in concrete/constructive ways, sleeping here. RW didn't speak about that directly, but more about how he felt that the Omni is an authoritarian place. RW says he's working to, and interested in, addressing it's authoritarian vibe and nature to it. RW feels he's been oppressed by the Omni. RW stated near the conclusion that he would like to use the Omni for internet access to do his work and have a co-mutualy beneficial relationship with the Omni, in terms of protecting the Omni from the police and protect the Omni from the police. he wants to be here during the night. RW wants to be the nightwatchman.
    • Robb: he's expressed that interest in the past, and some people have been supportive of that idea. particularly during certain security risk periods.
    • Marcus: in conclusion, a decision was made to set up a second mediation. most primarily, with hopes that people who have stated issues with RW. that people who have identified complaints with RW. mediation did not specifically discuss that b/c no one was present to represent the specific reasons/threats that had been made.
  • Almaz: in my opinion, the meeting was excellent. I don't know RW personnally, I'd seen him using the computer. at the meeting he responded to all the issues, and stated he had, as an indigenous person and an elder he had been discrimianted against.
    • He addressed some of the issues - asked him specifically if he'd read the allegations from the Omni. He denied it all - said it was all fabricated - with the exception of him leaving his stuff here. Asked if he could use the computer during the day and leave at night - he replied "I'm too old to tell the difference between day and night" - that he prefers working at night
      • said that those alleging his threatening / violent behavior need to be there in a mediation session. is willing to do that, sit down with those directly affected.
      • marcus didn't get a chance to go over omni's policies - but he (RW) wouldn't read them. would be nice to have more folks participate at the next meeting. he felt very disrespected, that he's doing a lot of work as an activist and should be supported. "why can't omni deal with me? what did i do wrong? why can't they support me."
    • Laura: Central issue is he was here, was told about our rules, asked to comply with them and he refused and threatened the omni / individuals related to omni. Demanding an exception be made for him and is mad that we won't make an exception for him to stay overnight and sleep here. Shouldn't need more than one omni representative to be there - his threats to others are somewhat side issues (or parallel) but a different mediation if joe or ken want to do so
      • phil: fnb established at a meeting that he's not a member of fnb - which was the precedent for this conflict. just clarifying that.
  • helen: problem is he sleeps in the omni in a chair at his computer. not working. sleeping.
    • robb: that's been witnessed by many on many occasions
  • marcus: his perspective was "i just happened to accidentally fall asleep in front of the computer and that's what they're using to ban me?"
  • helen: don't think he'd make a great nightwatchman - though he can be assertive
    • robb: have seen him be protectice of the space when needed
  • almaz: so what do people want to do? i don't see him as violent, he wants to work here. from my perspective, we should give him space to do his work
    • robb: would you accept him as a member of gcea?
      • almaz: not about membership
        • julian: policy clarification - not clear if people can be banned solely for rule violations?
          • jenny: they have been. it's a matter of delegate consensus.
  • Almaz: what's the point of mediation if we're not considering him returning as a possibility?
    • Jenny:
  • almaz: denied that he ever threatened joe, said "joe's my friend. i respect him as a fellow elder. never threatened him."
  • julian: function of mediation is not abjudication of rules, but interpersonal
  • laura: because he had threatened to break omni's windows. warned dante to stay away from the window.
    • helen: ...and we agreed that if a window was broken, he would be banned. and then a window was broken.
      • julian: it does matter, <sorry julian finding it hard to type and recollect and follow) - breaking a window is not obviously a safer space violation. the function of safer space policy is anti-opressive. it may be a rule violation
  • Marcus: the function of policing is to enfore so-called safety, but they are participating in oppression.
    • there was a speculative rule – if the window is broken,
    • marcus: may be an agreement that if this window is broken then this person is banned - that's an oppressive rule. this person who may be innocent is now separated and subjugated just because we simply decided that
      • mary ann: somewhat agree with you - but see the issue as something that happened before the window was broken - and that was threats of violence. not sure any of us is comfortable with threats of violence - whether it be the buildig or individuals. if he's going to make threats, that's unacceptable to me. making the threats that creates the uncomfortable atmosphere to live in
      • Julian: our Safer Space policy reads "omni prioritizes marginalized peoples safety over privileged peoples' comfort." have to consider the social relations and context... not necessarily an unacceptable behavior.
  • Laura: individulas stated Running Wolf made threats.
    • Julian: so they should go to mediation with him
  • mary ann - i don't have a problem with RW, but we need to focus on repair of those relationships that have been
  • Robb: the issue of comfort is not inclusive of actual threats of violence. I've had Running Wolf raise his fist to me. It's beyond repair in some respects; he is historically unaccountable. his property damage creates fear in people. if he could become a productive member of some collective, then we should welcome him
  • Almaz: we should at least give him another chance
  • Jenny: I want to make the point that there are people who do not come to the Omni b/c Running Wolf often because of threatening and abusive behavior. I don't know of any proven incidents except observing the near fight with Robb. I was warned when he first started coming around that he might have issues. the rules were definitely clearly outlined to him. I know personally from a friend that was badly injured in a wheelchair. Running Wolf is alleged to have slashed the tires previously. there are many people who don't come here because of Running wolf, some of whom are also intersectionally oppressed.
    • Laura: can you Phil report something RW did once?
      • Phil: RW believes he if he is so over the top no one will believe him. "if you accuse me of breaking one window, i'll break all the windows."
  • Helen: I'd like to think what Julian said. how do we deal with rule violations? we think we should confront people with their violation of the rules. our expectation is that that covers it, at least through repetition. there is at least one occasion where someone was storing stuff, and they just took it an moved it. Rule Violations are different from Safer Space violations. but what's happening here with the rule violation - Running Wolf responds to us by saying we're being authoritarians. what do you do in the situation.
  • julian: think we should spend time on - rule violations and safer space components and how they're tied to the mediation process. not what he did or didn't do, we have a mediation process to do that. think we should wrap up because i don't know what else we have to say.
  • almaz: waste of my time too - what'd the use of mediation if he's not going to be allowed to come back?
  • laura: when someone's harmed someone else, they need to take accountability for them and make agreements to not cause that harm in the future. but he denied making threats, and demanded he be allowed to stay there overnight under the guise of night watchman
    • almaz: you can't speak for running wolf - he did take responsibility for sleeping there before
  • marcus: can we vote now on whether we have the second mediation or not?
  • robb: point of process - don't need consensus from the delegates on every given step along the mediation process
  • almaz: this is bs if he's not going to be allowed to come back anyway
  • mary ann: present him with the policies, and ask him if he'll agree to follow the rules
  • laura: unless he's going to agree to follow the rules, no collective is going to have him as a member
  • marcus: we did go over the rules but he didn't actually commit to following them
  • robb: two things: 1) has to agree to follow the rules, and 2) has to be a member of a collective

Last Meeting Notes

https://omnicommons.org/wiki/Event:2017/MM/DD_Delegates_Meeting

End of Meeting