Event:2017/12/07 Delegates Meeting

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Omni Delegates' Meeting - 7 December 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)
   Proposal X: [15 minutes]
   Proposal Y: [15 minutes]
   Discussion Z: [10 minutes]


Introduce yourself: Name; Preferred Pronoun; Affiliation

  • Marcus, Jenny, Liz, Jane, Leticia, Jose, Abad, Carol (literary agent & publicist, came to see what we're all about ^_^ ), Clive (part of Poet's House, group starting up), Mary Ann, Phil, Rachel, Robb, Laura, Almaz

Meeting Roles

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


  • ABDC: Marcus
  • BAPS: Julian (remote)
  • CCL: Leticia
  • CSC: Mary Ann
  • FNB: Phil
  • GWS: Rachel
  • LL: Liz (active after next meeting)
  • Sudo: Robb
  • TIL: inactive
  • GCEA: Almaz
  • Quorum: Yes - 7/8 active collective


  • Rachel: Haiti Emergency Relief benefit THIS SATURDAY! Bands, dancing, booze, come! https://www.facebook.com/events/531734080500826/
  • Almaz: Documentary screening 5:30-9pm tomorrow -
  • Sunday, 11AM at Driver's Square (61st and Adeline) eviction defense party for Aunti Frances!!! Former Black Panther, disabled elder, awesome community activist, runs a free food program. She was issued a "no-cause" eviction notice
  • Jenny: We"re planning to launch kithen fundraiser on Dec 15th (tentatively), looking for pledges ahead of time. Aiming for 20-25% of our goal beforehand in committed pre-pledges (people who will contribute a set amount when the campaign launches). Total goal is $50,000 to renovate the commercial kitchen in the basement. Also researching bitcoin crowdfunding platforms and targetting the Mission and Silicon Valley
  • Also: yesterday was our 1-year anniversary of purchasing the building! And we still haven' had a party?!


  • Update on mediation w ZRW
    • Next meeting Wednesday - the 13th - meeting directly @ SEEDS with individuals directly involved/harmed by ZRW's actions
  • Add new bans to list of people asked to leave

Working Group Report-Backs

Building & permits

Meetings: 1st & 3rd Mondays @ 6pm

  • This group needs help; https://omnicommons.org/lists/listinfo/building
  • Last met on Monday, it was just Jenny and Robb but they did a bunch of stuff and crossed them off on the chalkboard. Felt feet on pews, rewiring basement lights, dump run, bunch of little things.
    • Almaz: what's the plan with the basement room with the big hoel in the wall? I met a guy who offered to help.
    • Robb: Yar, Joe and myself are coordinating to fix it.
  • Meets 1st and 3rd mondays, 6pm, for ongoing work parties.


Meetings: First Thursdays at 5pm


Meetings: Second and Fourth Sundays at 5pm currently changed to Wednesdays at 6pm

  • Need more folks, first of all
  • At our last meeting on Sunday, decided to converge with the kitchen fundraiser group, so that is now every Wednesday 6pm, leading up to the launch (15th) and then back to 1st and 3rd weds.
  • Working on social media strategy and outreach strategy
  • Want to send out weekly event list to announce list subscribers


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

  • Collectives - please pay your monthly invoices by the 25th of the month so we have funds in the bank to pay our mortgage on the 1st.
  • Had to move back out savings ($2K) to cover early Dec expense, so we don't have any real reserve fund atm :(


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

  • CAST Grant didn't go through :( we should look into applying with EBCF

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?


   Kazoo is back home in the bay! Activity will increase iin the collective.


   this Weds was the start of a new reading group on the communist theory journal endnotes
   also, Julian is inolved in a collective working on distributing (and keeping updated) this oakland tenants rights handbook that was made by an earlier iteration of the collective. i spoke with steve about it and we're planning a class related to tenants organizing and neighborhood assemblies. 
   relatedly, we're going to use BAPS – pending concerns from finance folks - as fiscal agent for collecting donations to fund printing of the handbooks (which are, we believe, aligned with BAPS mission of radical autodidacticism aka self-learning [¯\_(°_o)_/¯])
   we have a primary funding source (Causa Justa :: Just Cause) that doesn't require that but imagine that folks who download the handbook from our website may want to offer a donation. so we'd use the BAPS account for that


   We continue to do the main projects we've been working on (producing insulin, making progress trying different organisms). Vegan Cheese also going really well. Fundraising not very good, just breaking even lately. Havingg meetings about teachingg extra classes on Saturdays to earn more money


   Thinking of taking a break for awhile; been doing well, been a busy 6 months. Next year should be good too.


   Problems with not having enouogh volunteers here at the Omni.


   Doing OK, same issues of fundraising of course, but trying to address it. We have a new project called African Health Impact Table, bringing people in right now and then we will look for grants. If anyone knows of grants that pertain to immigrant rights or afterschool programs, please help. 


   Saturday! Invite your people! https://www.facebook.com/events/531734080500826/


   Starting to work on a grant for one of our film projects from BAVC. Dennis went to a film festival in North Carolina and participated in a Works In Progress program, might pull in more funding for another project, Seeds of Struggle


   Things are moving along as susual, same meetups, waiting to hear back from Mozilla and NSF about a prize award ($40,000) to build two projects: the mesh network, and disaster radio.



To sign on to a letter to stop Aunti Frances’s eviction


  • This was proposed by Julian and passed by unanimous written consent since the previous meeting
  • Dear Commoners, I write because North Oakland/South Berkeley friend, neighbor, and community leader Aunti Frances, of the Self-help Hunger Program, is facing a no-fault eviction. With the Omni’s support we may be able to persuade Aunti Frances’s landlord, owner-resident Natalia Morphy, to stop the eviction. Natalia is known to identify with principles of social and ecological justice but is participating in exploiting an eviction loophole with her parents and co-landowners, Alexandra and James Morphy, and the notorious eviction law firm Bornstein and Bornstein.

I ask all Omni delegates contact their collectives to seek an emergency consensus process regarding the following. I’ve already heard a yes from Phat Beets. By the end of Friday, Dec 1st, I’m hoping we can get approval to add the Omni’s (and our individual collective’s) signature to this community letter. The consensus ask is simply to lend our name(s) to a cause that is perfectly in line with our statement of solidarity.

Additionally, I have two asks I don’t think require consensus—first that folx confirm it would be okay to send additional updates to the discuss list about how we can support fighting Aunti Frances’s eviction. Second, that you confidentially ask those involved in your collectives to save noon Sunday December 10th for a details-to-be-announced public event in support of Aunti Frances, to be held at Drivers Plaza in Oakland.

Proposal to Build and Run Cooperative Cafe Sin Fronteras in the Entrance Hall


  • This was first put on the pad before the previous meeting.


  • Participation: They plan to become a member collective - more than operating the cafe, contributing to the space in general, building community within the structure of the other collectives & the activities going on here.
  • Space: Use the current layout that's there now - remodeling the counter, fixing up the counter area. No major changes to the space as it is now - namely remodelling the counter
  • Abad: We're Mexicans. In California, you really have to make an effort to not have a Mexican around. Huge community full of talent in need of a space like this, expression, remembering that which we left behind when we crossed the border. Very active in our communities - and that's essential to our business plan. Really horrible to own people's lives - want to give this entrance to all of those brown people and talent that they need to be part of this as well. We need these kinds of spaces. We're not living in nice times. We're not used to these kind of spaces - the first time I came here - it's amazing. We have a large community and want to bring that into contribute here. Gonna be Mexican-y... coffee from Chiapas. The struggle is horrible... hard for the kids. they're looking to connect with people like us, need support. Just a coffeeplace for most people, but a big thing for us.
  • Timeline: Dec/Jan/Feb not good months to open a business. Use that time to promote the space, put it on peoples radar. Don't know how set in stone is 6-8 months. We want to be successful, we just don't want to be stressed. Want to build momentum - now is a good time to begin that process.
  • Robb: during this 6 - 8 mo build out time if you're going to be hosting events are you going to be paying the event rental fees.
    • Abad: we can contribute by hosting cafe days during your events
    • Julian: I feel like given that the whole Omni benefits from having the entrance given more energy if we are going to charge for that, it should be minimal if anything (in that unprofitable period)
      • robb was referring more to weekend ballroom events, which are valuable for omni to make necessary income
        • makes sense; that wasn't clear to me in the notes
  • Laura: we have some concerns related to the 4 year lease, that's longer than any other group here has, are you willing to shorten that? CCL proposed a 2 year lease with option to renew.
    • Abad: Sure, we did that because we were thinking of dealing with other businesses, but we honestly don't have a problem with signing a shorter lease.
  • Almaz: I haven't had the chance to speak with my collective, would you guys be willing to work with other communities like the African community? Would we be part owners of the cafe? African community is strong here, but being displaced and they have no place of their own. Teenagers need a place to be.
    • Jose: Absolutely open to working with the African community. Want to build a safe space for all traditionally excluded - people of color, women, trans* folks. Recognize the challenges of North Oakland and willing to work alongside with the existing communities here.
  • Abad: Currently open by invitation only. We would like for Agua Viva to become a reality and success as well.
    • Almaz: Not so much about Agua Viva, but when i first came into the building wanted to open a cafe for the East African community here - interest in building a more diverse community here.
  • Marcus: Can you elaborate more on the invitation process?
    • Jose: Might be that it doesn't go beyond 4 people - small space, lots of competition in the area. Our project is 1) building community with the community that's here, and 2) getting the cafe operated and having the collectives & community use it, as a safe space. And I think that's okay - that if it's just 4 coop members, that's okay - if it doesn't become a thing with a bunch of folks working it.Why? If you have 4 coop members running a cafe and making a sustainable income - I think that's a great thing, without having to work another job somewhere else. But if all the coop members have to work another job, then it just becomes a small side project. Idea is to build it as sustainable for those involved. Want to avoid that and not make any promises of employing many people. Concerns re: space and lease, we're flexible. But re: plans for our coop business, that's for us to figure out, and continue to figure out. Will leave that out of the proposal and just keep it to the issues re: space, lease, signage etc;
    • Rachel: Not sure you should have to put that in the proposal - other collectives aren't grilled as to how they open to other people. Don't think you have to explain how you already have a whole plan to integrate other people into your collective - I don't think you're there yet.
      • Almaz: DOn't think that's true - FNB, GCEA, Sudo etc all are volunteer-based and anyone can join. Open, welcoming, community service-based. But to your point thta you just want to serve diverse community etc - it attracts a diverse community if you have someone in your collective who represents that community. More diversity will make that endeavor more sustainable. If you're trying to bring diverse community here, diverse representation in your collective is important.
  • Leticia: DOn't know if CCL discussed this, but have a few questions. Awhile ago we were trying to make a piece of equipment to chemically analyze soils downstairs - shut down b/c equipment uses gas. Shut down w/ very good reason - that people around us are worried about us - neighbors - and that they're constantly trying to shut us down, and that if somebody raises the issue of us having a tank of gas it's dangerous. (??)
    • Another occasion where CCL for ex; wants to teach people but b/c it's grassroots organization can only teach adults, not children. And because we want to offer to free. Cannot teach because liability concerns about children coming into the building. Rules and regulations - don't know how you can stop people underage from coming in if there's a cafe
      • jenny: re: access for minors & safety issues w/ sudo & ccl - one outstanding building task is to rehang the door entering sudo/ccl and install swipe-card access for members
        • leticia; not all groups can be totally open access and nonprofit - business involves profit. just things to think about.
      • laura: just want to point out that jose in particular has run a successful coffeeshop and is familiar with a lot of these safety & legal issues - hence why the proposal was existing - that they've done this before.
        • Julian: I have a question about what would be done with the profits generated by the collective? and what was (or would have been done) with those profits generated by the previous workers-coop cafe in Omni? if the omni is about a "radical commoning of resources"...we need to be talking about that?
          • jenny: ??? what profits are you talking about? Agua Viva lost money. paid rent for several months with no income.
            • Julian: exactly so what would have been done?
              • LAura: The current cafe goal is to pay the worker-owners a living wage.
                • jenny: oh, i see. we were going to do a quarterly financial assessment with the delegates. that was incorporated in the first draft of agua viva's proposal.
        • Julian: dope so into it
        • Julian: if the goal of the profits comes to be something that would be intended to generate capital....
  • also an issue re law enforcement - biohacker community has some ties?obligation? to respoond - this is an issue with the omni which doesn't want any involvement with the police. a cafe will have to welcome police
    • laura: doesn't have to welcome police. only if they have a warrent.
      • Julian: twinkle fingers
      • robb: even if the door is open and it's a public cafe?
        • Julian: right to refuse service. i actually think this should be built into the proposal: that the cafe must refuse to serve law enfrocement.
  • robb: but space - what are the plans for the rest of the space?
    • jose: includes the seating area. agreements about maintaining the area, cleaning, trash etc. buildout would be that seating area, not planning on extending beyond that.

straw poll

yes: 5 + 1 no: 0 abstain: 3

Apply for Disabled Parking Blue Zone Spot

  • Sent to consensus list 11/21 by Jenny
  • A friend of mine who attended and spoke at the National Bird film screening on Sunday and is interested in joining Sudo Room just requested that we petition the city for a disabled parking spot so that she can park.

I just looked it up and it looks like a pretty simple application process: http://www2.oaklandnet.com/oak/groups/ceda/documents/form/oak067250.pdf


  • Jenny: Would petition for a blue curb spot on Shattuck right in front of the mailbox
  • Mary Ann: The parking has gotten a *lot* worse since the condo opened - and I can't walk two blocks anymore. Also there are a few long red lines in this neighborhood that were not put there by the city - they were put there by the developers


  • Yay: GWS, GCEA, CCL, CSC
  • Nay: 0
  • Abstain: FNB (has to be discussed), Sudo (has to be discussed, but probably yes), BAPS (has to be discussed, but probably yes)

Proposal passes ^_^

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