Event:2018/11/01 Delegates Meeting

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Omni Delegates' Meeting - 1 November 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: Criteria to become and remain an Omni Commons Member Collective (15 mins)
  • Proposal: Grant 'creepy closet' space in the basement to The Village [5 minutes]
  • Discussion: Boosting Working Group involvement [20 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†

Access Check In

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

Meeting Roles

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


  • BAPS: Julian
  • CCL:
  • CSC: Mary Ann
  • FNB: Phil
  • GWS: Rachel
  • LL: robb (inactive til next meeting)
  • Sudo: Jenny
  • GCEA: inactive
  • Quorum: 5/6 active - yes

Brief Announcements

  • Rachel - GWS meeting next Week - "Mission Neighbors: Stand Up for Sex Workers' Right & Safety" https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2018/10/25/18818486.php
  • Robb - LL is having a film fest on Nov 10th and filmmakers meetup after the event in the basement - the meetup is private event
  • Jenny - Media Lab - it a working group, could be a reportback
    • Village:
      • needs: water, volunteers, large tents, brown and black folks to help with community neighborhood outreach
      • neighbors 60/40 into it // not into it
      • City Hall rally on Monday in support of folks who had their vehicles towed recently
      • police did not shut down Lake Merritt encampment due to solidarity turn out, its an elders camp

New Bans

Working Group Report-Backs

Building & permits

Meetings: Currently not meeting / conjoined with Kitchen

  • Jenny - Media lab will send out and email/doodle for a work party, because things can now be moved into that back corner
    • Kitchenwise - getting the list of appliance requirements, need that in order to finish the planset to get the permits
  • Robb - behind the ballroom bar, the sink faucet was leaking and the freezer was leaking; both fixed
    • roof also 80% cleaned off, now there will be a work party for patching roof holes soon. badly needed for this winter, badly needed.
  • Philip - lighting.
    • Jenny - David K knows someone who does lighting, and is gonna arrange that. Safer DIY
  • This group needs help; https://omnicommons.org/lists/listinfo/building


Meetings: Second and Fourth Mondays at 5pm

  • Robb - approximately 6k in Sept, 6.5K in August
  • currently working on a proposal. clear out the list of people who can publish events; have an extra layer of events
    • you can't publish your own event. if you send in a request for an event. that way, another part would be there to make sure it's pending.
  • Jenny - still looking for building a better booking system to prevent conflicts.
  • Robb - there is an event that wants to go past 12am and until 2am
    • Jenny - we may just want to call those neighbors
  • Julian - if we are considering it for this event, why wouldn't we consider it for others?
    • Robb - we have a year+ long relationship that has show they're in-audible. the music is mostly background to the dance as focus of their event.
  • Mary Ann - at the last meeting Laura mentioned TIL wanting to rent the whole building, including the CSC office. No one appears to care form CSC.
    • GWS is okay with it too, as long as they clean it up
  • This group needs help:


Meetings: Currently not meeting


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

  • Jenny - still waiting on property tax exemption
    • still paying off community loans, but we will by Feb 2019, which will loosen up $2k/mo, allowing us to build up reserves.
    • Mary Ann - do we currently have reserves
      • Jenny - goal is $30k by year end
  • Rachel - GWS, we got a triple bill
    • Jenny - a number of collectives were accidentally multiply billed due to quickbooks issues
  • Mary Ann - did Omni ever get a check from CSC for the art festival we did? we got a small grant for that.
    • Jenny - unsure, will check.


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?











Proposal: Criteria to become and remain an Omni Commons Member Collective (15 mins)

via Laura 9/17:

  • 1. 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.
  • 2. Be a collective: a non-hierarchical group with a participatory decision making process.
  • 3. Fulfill requirement to delegate a board member, **and participate in the delegates/board meeting regularly.**
  • 4. 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.
  • 5. Be or become either a tenant or a fiscally sponsored project of Omni Commons.
  • 6. 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)**


  • Robb - a verbal agreement was made last meeting that BAPS would be grandfathered as exempt.
  • Philip - I posted emails to the FNB listserv about this. as far as I'm concerned, I don't see anything negative come back formally why it wouldn't be approve
  • Mary Ann - my understanding was the question as to whether they were rules or they were guidelines. there was discussion as to whether we're grandfathering BAPS in - that's my recollectin
  • Julian - I can consense on it as guidelines but not as rules. if it were rules, we don't have a clear mechanism.
    • Robb - it could be a proposal, based on these as guidelines.
      • Mary Ann - as its written these seem rules and not guidelines.
      • Robb - we would need to change the term to "guidelines"
  • Julian - t
  • Jenny - one collective (Oakland Nights Live) was once removed when we first moved into the space based on not matching with Omni values and not fulfilling their financial commitments
  • Mary Ann - I would have some concern about removing groups at this point in time wrt its impact on the left, especially if they were rules
  • Robb - don't think it's an issue at this point in time
    • mary ann - think it should be mandatory wrt accepting new collectives... mandatory in order for them to come in. want to make sure we're distinguishing between imposing on current groups and taking in new groups
      • robb: eg the collective of two women, might not be successful, wouldn't meet these criteria
  • julian: would think that our existing consensus process already enables these discussions to happen and these guidelines to be discussed
    • rachel: would worry about the distinction re: having differing criteria for collectives already here and collectives coming in
      • mary ann: criteria should be points for discussion with new groups interested in coming in... having guidelines for people when they're talking to new collectives interested in joining. agree with laura's point last meeting, that there are certain attributes of a group that is successful
        • julian: so a new collective could join under these criteria but not be removed according to these criteria?
          • you'd become inactive essentially, thus not able to block someone's proposal to remove you -
        • mary ann: should be some way to support groups in need of support
          • phil: so can you help us get fnb some volunteers?
  • Jenny - it is in our practices that a proposal to remove a group exclude that group from the consensus process.
  • robb: think we should just bring this to a vote and just kill it now
  • mary ann: we already have a policy, it just hasn't been enforced. so why not just leave it at the existing policy?
  • Rachel - we want to have a reason to have a collective leave, eg,
    • if they haven't paid the rent, that's different - they have no legal protection
  • mary ann : what if we bring in another collective and they don't maintain 5 members, are we just going to remove them even though we keep baps on board?
    • If we approved what Laura has written, we'd be kicking BAPS out via definition of "active members"
  • Rachel - we don't have a membership, we have a network - which is comparatively looser
  • Robb - does any collective need to check with their collective on this?
    • Mary Ann: put it out to people and they didn't understand it, and when i explained it I got no response
  • Rachel - attendance of delegates assembly is a valid and important contribution to Omni
  • Robb: it doesn't address a problem that we currently have
  • Jenny: on the one hand, the smaller the collective the more engagement with omni they may have, whereas larger more amorphous groups (eg sudo, fnb), a lot of that admin/bureaucratic work tends to fall onto the same few people with no one else in the collective feeling responsibility to care
  • Mary Ann - dwindling collectives do become an issue in terms of ability to materially contribute toward rent
  • Robb - there is no will here to make a rule to begin an eviction process


  • Seems the general consensus is not to pass this proposal, but find ways to better support collectives that may need help or are struggling
  • opposed: FNB, LL, GWS, CSC, BAPS
  • abstained: Sudo

Proposal: Grant 'creepy closet' space in the basement to The Village (5 mins)

via Jenny / The Village 11/1:

Homes Not Jails recently moved out of the 'creepy closet,' the small lockable closet that can be found in the basement between Phat Beets' storage there. This is a proposal to allocate that closet as temporary secure storage for The Village, who this past weekend in partnership with East Oakland Collective began building a new village and resource center in deep east Oak.

Over the past two weeks, village volunteers have hella thrown down on organizing their current corner with shelving and labelled bins. Their area has also been reduced some due to issues with the plumbing in that corner (which they also assisted in cleaning and giving space for a fan and any followup work that may need to be done. They have a few tools as well as t-shirts and some other more sensitive storage needs that can fit perfectly in that closet.

Proposal is to allot them use of that closet pending upcoming kitchen renovations in that area.


  • No questions or concerns at this time.


Discussion: Boosting Working Group Involvement (20 mins)

We'll invite people from each working group to focus their report backs on the question of boosting involvement

  • Rachel - this is a serious discussion, we need to put this more in advance
    • Mary Ann - kind of break down what's really specifically needed in each working group; there is someone in our group whose actually interested; specifically what would be expected
      • Robb - so we need a volunteer job description
      • Mary Ann - we in CSC need to know what's expected to decide if we want to join Commons
        • skills needed, time expectations,
          • more thinking through the way we support people through that process, including on the basis of ability
        • Rachel - I want to assure that it's considered - I'm visibility impaired, so we need to have ways people with disabilities can support and participate in working group activities
          • I could even participate from home
  • Mary Ann - working groups: please let us know how we can help; Roberto is very interested. if there was something specific, groups might step up for activities
    • Rachel - is Commons the kind of thing where someone could receive on-the-job training.
      • Robb - I don't know if the meetings are the thing, I think a dedicated one-on-one session.
        • Jenny - maybe we should do more role division in these working groups?
          • Maybe we need a buddy system?
            • Mary Ann and Rachel - that would be good for them
    • Julian: Help at the Orientations would be awesome, and pretty low-key - just coming by at 6pm before Delegates meetings to talk to new people - and I'd appreciate the support!

Action Items

Last Meeting Notes


End of Meeting