Event:2018/10/18 Delegates Meeting

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Omni Delegates' Meeting - 18 October 2018 7pm-9pm

for instructions on preparing and archiving these notes, please see the bottom


  • Introductions, Meeting Roles, and Delegates Count [10 minutes]
  • Access Check-in [5 minutes]
  • Brief 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; any brief announcements; say whether you're a delegate; let us know about any access needs you have†

  • Mary Ann, CSC, delegate
  • Lynn, Commons, access needs met
  • Rachel, GWS, delegate
  • Phil, FNB, delegates
  • Julian, BAPS, delegate technically
  • Laura
  • robb, sudo/liblens

Access Check In

Is everybody able to participate fully in this meeting? Do people have unmet needs or concerns?

Meeting Roles

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


  • BAPS: Julian
  • CCL: absent
  • CSC: Mary Ann
  • FNB: Philip
  • GWS: Rachel
  • LL: inactive
  • Sudo: Robb
  • GCEA: inactive
  • Quorum: 5/6

Brief Announcements

New Bans

  • Philip - Rumor has it that Running Wolf spray painted the Long Haul.
    • Julian - on what basis is this assumed?
      • Philip - It is assumed to be RW because it makes statements associated
  • Add to list of people asked to leave

Working Group Report-Backs

Building & permits

Meetings: N/A

  • Jenny: Basement Media Lab floor now complete - next steps are to paint the walls and begin moving in the equipment!
    • CCL/Fermentation Station and Phat Beets areas are attracting rats. Suggest everything be stored at least 6" off the ground and fermentation station storage reduced.
  • Robb and Jenny have been power-washing the roof, hoping to clean then patch before the winter rains begin
  • Jenny: Kitchen project can only move forward once we get a list of appliance requirements from all involved collectives: CCL, Phat Beets, FNB, Village, Cafe. Ping / reply to Laura.
    • Laura: I met w FNB and will meet w Bria and Asia tomorrow at the kitchen where Phat Beets Youth do their pickling/cooking for catering. Up10dating the spreadsheet as I go.
  • Jenny in conversation with RE-volv, which finances solar panel installations for nonprofits and community spaces. Will update as convo progresses.
    • Julian - this would be to have these on Omni?
    • Laura - I assume so, yes.
    • Lynn - I have solar contacts too, they are on the non-profit oriented side too.
  • Mary Ann spoke with her son to support Yar regarding the ADA bathroom. he's willing to help on construction things - advice, materials, etc. also gave Yar the info on this, but neither Mary Ann nor son have heard back yet. Mary Ann is connecting with Laura on this so suppor tthe connection happening with Yar
    • jenny: this is awesome! welcome to cc whole building list: building@lists.omnicommons.org
  • This group needs help; https://omnicommons.org/lists/listinfo/building


Meetings: Second and Fourth Mondays at 5pm

  • Laura: TIL, the former MC, is planning to hold a large event here on March 2 - Demasiado: Queer Latinx Excess. They want to use as many spaces as possible in the building and fill them with art installations and performances. I want to check in about any space use concerns.
    • we're cutting them a break $1,000 - the normal spaces are not booked. the WG agreed to $1000
    • is this something that is particularly interesting for CSC, to be done in the space - in the way of installation; eg Mary Ann is on board with this
  • Laura - Sept $5,900, Oct looks like we're on path for $6k
  • This group needs help:


Meetings: N/A

  • Julian was going to meet with Luna today, a person with new interest in the Omni, but did not hear back and did not meet.
    • Mary Ann is in touch with Luna and will support ths connection get made. Luna will definitely join CSC
  • Julian was present for New Volunteer Orientations but no attending current
  • upcoming events


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

  • Jenny: We are on track to have fully repaid all community loans by March 2019!
  • Laura: MC/Tenant Overdue Monthly Payments (Rent or FS Fee)
    • GCEA - May, June, July, September payments due, TOTAL $818. Has had a very hard time raising funds. Expecting a small grant in the next few weeks that will cover the overdue amount.
    • Phat Beets - May TOTAL $850. Has recently paid a lot of back rent that accumulated due to probs with transitioning away from their fiscal sponsor. Asia will pay this soon.
    • GWS has 1 overdue invoice (september) that is prob an error and we are in communication about it.
      • Laura: I have been following up on these and appreciate everyone's helpful responses. And thanks to all the groups that are up to date!
  • Julian - there was this matter of further back rent owed allegedly that Jenny had brought back up some meetings ago
    • Philip - GCEA brings in money through events, we need to think about that
      • gcea does not bring in money to omni from events, and has in fact taken outside renter payments for their own collective before. (20 Jan 2018 baby shower)
    • Laura - member collectives use common space for free,
      • When we talked to Almaz about signing a new lease in 2017 we, as the finance WG, agreed that the back rent wouldn't be collected. We discussed this at the finance WG last week I refreshed Jenny's memory about this and Jenny said she agreed.
    • Julian: all people present agree that this matter is settled. if someone was told the rent is forgiven then that is the end of it.
      • Jenny: no one was told rent was forgiven. GCEA never brought it up with finance/delegates as every other collective forgiven of past debt has. hence it was still on the books, which is the respnsible thing to do rather than flush debts with no backtrace documentation.
  • Robb and Mary Ann agree that it's not in the finance working group's power to make a decision about, e.g., forgiving back rent, but rather should bring these issues to the delegates
    • Philip, Mary Ann - this should mainly be relevant for future situations since all member collectives present
  • Mary Ann - a new lease was signed for GCEA after this past situation. that indicates acknowledging that the rent was being forgiven. that is documentation.
  • Lynn - the agreement was new lease, new beginning?
    • Laura - yes
  • Lynn - if these discussions are brought to the delegates assembly that gives us the space to assure that its a collective and supportive process


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

  • Donor acknowledgement letters are in progress

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?


  • Julian - our classes continue



  • Mary Ann - we're having Waffles and Zapatismo. our major current work is preparation for an end of year fundraisers. we have new members with energy!


  • Philip - Ecumenical Peace Institute dinner, comming up



  • Rachel - we had the Haiti Action event a couple weeks ago. It was rather hard to hear the real conditions. we were xpecting about 20 people and over 60 attended. a mixed, multiracial crowd
  • we're trying to assemble a Bay Area committee of the Poor People's campaign



  • Robb - not much new at Sudo, but we got a cleanup coming soon


**Criteria to become and remain an Omni Commons Member Collective**

Have a minimum of 5 active members. Active members are those who participate in the organization’s decisions by participating in meetings, responding to email or other online decision-related discussions, performing administrative work, and leading programmatic activities. People who only attend events are not counted as active members. Be a collective: a non-hierarchical group with a participatory decision making process. Fulfill requirement to delegate a board member, **and participate in the delegates/board meeting regularly.** Endorse the Omni Commons statement of solidarity, statement of purpose, and safer space policy, and demonstrate how the activities of the collective contribute to them. Also, this song. Be or become either a tenant or a fiscally sponsored project of Omni Commons. Contribute materially to the Commons via rent, fiscal sponsorship fee, or other resources.

    • (Note 1: If an existing member collective fails to meet agreements made in the lease or fiscal sponsorship agreement, OC may take actions described in these documents or allowed by law. If an MC fails to meet internal OC agreements [eg. participating in delegates meetings or operating as a collective] they will be considered “inactive” and will not be included in the consensus count at delegates meetings until the requirement is met or another agreement is reached.)**

(Note 2: Groups using space at Omni Commons can also be just tenants or fiscally sponsored projects without having the additional benefits and responsibilities of being a member collective. However, since it benefits OC to have as many groups as possible contributing to the work and decision-making, **the maximum ratio of non-member resident (tenant) groups to member collectives is set at 1:4, at the time a group applies to be a non member tenant)**

Application Process for New Member Collectives

(What follows is more or less what would appear on the wiki and in the handbook as instructions to new potential MCs. It would be presented in a more graphically clear format.)

  • Decide if your group meets our basic requirements.
    • Being a Member Collective at Omni Commons means that your group wants to engage in our ongoing experiment in commoning. You will join other collectives that manage and steward the resource of the building at 4799 Shattuck Avenue for the purposes set forth by the delegates. Participation in the commons includes sending a delegate to the Omni Commons board of directors; following the agreements made to and with Omni Commons and other member collectives; and contributing labor to do the work required to keep Omni Commons functioning and maintain the building. If this does not interest your organization, or appears to be too much of a burden, then being a member collective is not appropriate for you at this time.**

Please read about our vision / governing principles, to determine if your collective is willing and able to collaborate within the structure and culture we have co-created so far. Review our **current** criteria for becoming and remaining a member collective. **These may change over time.** If you don’t think you meet the Member Collective criteria, there are other ways your group can participate in the Omni. Talk to the Finance Working Group. ----->

  • Let us know you are interested in joining Omni Commons by talking to a delegate or the finance working group.

A process guide will be assigned to you to help you navigate the member collective application process. They will give you the information you need and answer your questions.

  • Write your application using the questions below. Keep it as brief as possible while still answering the questions:

What do you do that makes a difference in the world? Briefly recap your history as an organization. What is your incorporation status? (501c3? Unincorporated Association? etc.) How do you make decisions? State your goals for becoming an Omni member collective. How would your presence in the Omni contribute to its purpose and Statement of Solidarity? Explain how you will finance your Omni membership dues/rent. Describe what dedicated physical space (if any) you need. What will you do in the dedicated space? What can you do in shared space? Will you need to make any modifications of the building? Include floor plans if that makes your proposal clearer.

  • Application review process:
    • Submit your application to the Omni Delegates in writing at consensus@omnicommons.org and discuss@omnicommons.org
      • Present your application proposal at the next Delegates meeting (First and Third Thursdays at 7pm). Delegates will ask questions and give you preliminary feedback about the proposal. In the 2 weeks following the meeting, delegates will discuss your proposal with their collectives.
    • Attend collective meetings if invited to further explain your proposal. Incorporate feedback into your application proposal.
    • Legal and financial review
      • The Omni Finance Working Group will review your financials (Budget, balance sheet, P & L), size, incorporation status, space needs, and reach an agreement with you about your financial contribution and legal relationship to Omni Commons.
      • If you need to make modifications to the building, Finance may ask you to get preliminary inspections, consult with the Building Working Group, or provide other information to determine if the changes are possible and advisable.
      • If necessary, the Omni legal advisor will advise about your legal relationship to the Omni.
      • Update your proposal with this agreement.
    • Attend a 2nd Delegates meeting to discuss your updated proposal. Ideally this would be the next Delegates meeting, but if the delegates and you agree, it may be scheduled for the 2nd meeting following. Delegates will report on and discuss the feedback they received from their collectives, and if there are any blocking or serious concerns that can’t be resolved at the meeting, contact information will be shared so that further discussion can happen between you and the groups or persons with the concern.
    • (Note for existing MCs: If an MC's meeting schedule doesn't fit into this application review time frame, it MUST have a special meeting to deal with the application, out of respect for the new applicant group. If it is unable to meet (whether in person or virtually) to discuss the application, it will forfeit its participation in the consensus process on this issue))**
    • Before the next Delegates meeting, attend collective meetings, and/or communicate with Omni members as needed to discuss any remaining issues.
    • Attend the next (3rd) Delegates meeting and present your updated application proposal for a final discussion. You will be asked to leave the building and the delegates will reach a decision. The process guide will notify you of the decision.
  • If approved, finalize your membership
    • Sign a contract with Omni Commons, either a lease or fiscal sponsorship agreement.
    • Obtain insurance coverage as described in your contract
    • Read Member Collective Handbook and sign document stating that the collective members read the Handbook.
    • Select a delegate to the Delegates Assembly (Board of Directors)
    • Pay deposit/rent/fiscal sponsorship fee, per agreement
    • Move in!
    • **Suggest to your members that they join** an Omni Working Group.

Internal Considerations for Deciding upon New Resident Organizations

Does the group meet the member collective requirements? Groups consisting of affected people doing liberatory organizing should be recruited and given priority. The ratio of Member Collectives to non-member collective resident organizations should stay above 4:1. Does the group understand the way OC works, especially the concept of the commons, space sharing, limitations on locked space, and consensus process? A new collective is more likely to succeed at Omni if they have previously existed, are well established, have experience with consensus/participatory decision making, have spent time at OC (eg by holding events or meetings), and/or the members have worked together previously. Consider if a new tenant or member collective should have a trial period and get settled before doing any construction.


  • Laura reviews the bolded items with us.
  • Rachel & Mary Ann - Yar and folks should be sending out discuss/consensus a meeting about
  • Mary Ann - we have not had chance to discuss discuss this new version.
  • Laura - at this point can you participate in groups indicating support
    • many collectives say we're okay on this, but not Sudo Room or BAPS
      • Sudo Room previously had no objections to the 2nd proposal though. Sudo Room probably doesn't care about the process for new member collectives, the greater concern was more about
      • Rachel - so should we vote then
  • we return to discussing proposal 1
    • Julian - I thought these were going to be guidelines
    • a number of others share that they were concerned about the number of member collectives, or that they thought this proposal on criteria had been taken off the table
    • it this better if it becomes "guidelines" rather than criteria
      • Mary Ann - CSC will ask, what happens when a group crosses the member collective criteria
        • Mary Ann - my inclination is to leave it as for now but
        • Rachel - the way its written to define members through invlvement works for us bc we have volunteers even though we don't have official member groups
        • Mary Ann - we developed the concept of an "activist member" than being on the CSC board.
  • Robb - what's the enforcement?
    • Julian - someone would need to point this out at a delegates assembly in order to make a member collective "inactive" on this criteria
  • getting more participation
  • Julian - I'm not availalbe to attend the next week meeting about working groups
    • Rachel - If people cant be there, I don't want to do this meeting
      • Julian - what if at the next delegates assembly, we'll invite people from each working group to focus their report backs on the question of boosting involvement

decision on the second (Application Process) proposal

  • Yeses - CSC, GWS, FNB, Sudo
  • Abstain - BAPS
  • Blocks - none

Last Meeting Notes


End of Meeting