Event:2019/01/03 Delegates Meeting

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Omni Commons Delegates Meeting, January 3, 2019

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†

Access Check In

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

Meeting Roles

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


  • BAPS: Julian
  • CCL: Ken
  • CSC: Mary Ann
  • FNB: Philjoe remote
  • GWS: Rachel
  • LL: Inactive
  • Sudo: Robb
  • GCEA:
  • Quorum: Yes

Brief Announcements

  • Robb: the ballroom stage now has black curatins on 3 sides
    • thx Intersection for the Arts!

New Bans

  • Robb: Troy appears to sleep in the mezzanine. He has been seen sleeping here.
    • Laura: I'll talk to him after the meeting.
    • Philip: so he has been banned, ie, isn't allowed to enter the building.
      • Laura: His key card has been taken away.
    • Julian: do we know his housing situation?
      • Philip: He has an offer to get set up at First They Came for the Homeless.
      • Julian: if he is being banned, has he been properly informed of the mediation process? can we support him finding housing?
        • Robb: he just needs to contact the mediation email address to start the process
      • Laura
  • Add to list of people asked to leave

Working Group Report-Backs

Building & permits

Meetings: Not currently meeting

  • Ken: we've been catching rats but they still come in
    • Philip: how are we doing with preventative measures?
    • Ken: the back door near Phat Beats is almost always open. it shouldn't be open this often and rats are coming in that way, I've seen it
    • Laura: I'll remind them via email...
    • Robb: they're doing major renovation...
  • Laura: when is the next kitchen meeting? I finished the work I was doing.
    • Robb: let's try to have one next week
    • I can make a late afternoon meeting but no Wed or Thurs eve.joe-
  • This group needs help; https://omnicommons.org/lists/listinfo/building


Meetings: Currently ad-hoc; join the 'Commons' list


Meetings: Not currently meeting


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

  • There was a Finance annual reprot given at the last meeting
  • Laura: the Cafe folks are working on getting the cafe permitted as a mobile foodcart. similar to the coffee cart at court house. they'll do a couple pop-up coffe services. cleaning up the area between now and the 12th.
    • Mary Ann: removing the Bar is a big structural change...
      • Laura: it's allowed by the existing lease, which allows them to remodel.
    • Mary Ann- will there be tables?
      • Laura: yes?
    • Philip: the pop up events, are those online yet?
    • Rachel: will they serve coffee when there are events?
      • Laura: we can request this.


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?


  • Classes ongoing


  • Ken: quasi off for holodays but activities still happening


  • Mary Ann : still recovering from the Holidays. Been in an intense fundraising drive—-Received a $25k project req from Zapatistas. Big fundraiser event, online solictation, and we're doing very well. Raised $50k so far.


  • Philip: discussing "how do we get more volunteers?" I've raised that we should have someone take on the "volunteer coordinator" role. The Sunday meal especially has the problem of mainly volunteers are elders, which, with ability compatiability issues (eg hearing) makes a problem for communicating with other volunteers. about 7 meals a week, ideally 30 volunteer shifts a meal
    • Julian: finding a volunteer coordinator would definitely be good. Try Self-Help Hunger Progrram to connect with youth?



  • Rachel: the local Poor People's Campaign has faced challenges to organizing in the region. GWS has been key in forming the local steeering committee. we meet in the Omni. there are comms issues, bc there is a state-wide coordinator.
    • Robb: the ticketbooth room is now open and is wheelchair accessible.
    • Rachel: 15 people attending.
  • with the Rad Mission Neighbors self-organizing group, combatting the sex worker harassment by police and gentrification more broadly. with GWS they did a demo outside the Mission Police Station. took over the whole area in front of the station. the cops locked themselves inside. the media showed up.



  • Robb: planning new years cleanup


Delegate meeting schedule

  • Name of person, and/or, collective. and/or working group making this proposal; Date the proposal was sent to the consensus email list
  • Text of proposal

I would like to refurbish my proposal from last spring - about having delegate's meetings once a month during the summer since so many folks are on vacation - to broaden the scope for delegate's meetings at once a month, year round, and with skipping December as a meeting month altogether.

I'm on the board for several nonprofits and member of many more and only one meets during the holidays month of Dec only because it is in the rainy season and that is an active mushroom month for mushrooms and they sponsor many season related events that need discussing/planning. Two other mushroom societies, and the rest of the orgs, also don't meet at all in Dec for board or member meetings as the meetings are never well attended that time of year, or it is just reduced to a holiday party with no business to distract from celebrations of the orgs' yearly accomplishments.

Now that Omni has Jenny's electronic method of communications, any urgent topics can be discussed and voted on by that means so, except for extraordinary situations, it wouldn't even be necessary to call a special delegate's meeting beyond once a month. Since most of the nitty gritty of Omni operations are delegated to the finance and commons committees, the delegates really don't need to do much supervisory management

  • Mary Ann - there are pros and cons.
    • pros - there might be better attendance.
    • cons - twice monthly meetings facilitates cooperation
  • Julian - from the last meeting's notes
    • Mary Ann raised the concern that this raises the question about the role of the board and would continue monthly meetings with 1 in August and December.
    • Helen wonders if there are issues that come up often enough for 2 meetings/month.
    • Brian Meetings seem pretty hectic.
    • Rachel thinks one meeting a month might have more attendance and urgent things can be done over email
    • Mary Ann - every group has this issue. CCS has found that email messages are not as clear often
    • Helen, especially if the issue is something people get angry about or concerned.
    • Rachel special meetings could be called when something comes up that has to be discussed more thoroughly
    • Mary Ann, Brian feel like special meetings sound like a good idea but may not work in practice
    • Helen - has not found that less frequent meetings are more likely to bring people together
    • Brian - consistence of meetings tends to keep people coming
    • Mary ann - if the board had more decisions to make, people might show up more
  • Philip - con: twice monthly moves business faster. this is especially important when problems arise
  • Mary Ann - proposals currently require two meetings. this might slow down decision making substantially. I was embarassed by how slow the cafe proposal moved.
    • Robb: we could do something online
    • Ken: Jenny set up Loomio. what's the status of that?
      • Laura: I would be more down for fewer meetings if all delegates were on board with doing online stuff. I could be on board for reducing frequency over holidays
  • Rachel - if we did have some communicating system. I'm part of an international organization and we make decisions online using email only. we have to be all committed to actually do it. we don't often have urgent things, I find. I think it could work. or we could try it.
  • Mary Ann - I tend to agree with Laura. I'm concerned with it creating more distance between us. we've substantially dwindled down. if we meet less, that could create more distances from the project. I don't think we can make decisions that involved people meeting remotely.
    • Robb: agreed, some things are best in person
  • Julian: how much of a problem is this? an issue more
  • Rahcel: we do stuff on zoom in place of face-to-face, but I can see the face to face
  • Robb: what if we had a remote meeting?
  • Julian: what if we made it more accessible to do remote participation?
  • Mary Ann: I am reluctant to create more distance between people. There were complaints that we talked about in Feedback Loop, that there was an implicit hierarchy here. the more distance we create between people, the more room for this riks
  • Laura: counter proposal - we do regular twice monthly meetings, but in advance of summer (by May) and in advance of winter we make an alternate schedule taking into account who will be around and current issues. We will use a group decision making app and/or a remote meeting if we need to discuss something or make a decision in between meetings. In the meantime, let's practice doing Zoom and Loomio, or other tools, to be ready to use them in the summer.
    • Robb: what's the benefit to using Loomio?
      • Laura: it's more focused than having a full remote meeting.
    • Robb: I think it needs to be unanimous to implement these digital solutions.
      • Ken: yes
  • Laura: can people take this counter proposal to their collectives?
    • Rachel: does Omni have a zoom account?
    • Ken: we could use something like facebook, google
    • Mary Ann: there's also free conference call.
  • Laura: we don't need to decide which free conference tool.
  • delegates present will take the just discussed counter-proposal back to their collectives

Fiscal Sponsorship proposal

First They Came for the Homeless requests that the Omni Commons acts as our fiscal agent for the production of an art show scheduled to take place from March 9 through May 24, 2019 at Berkeley’s Expressions Gallery. Mike Zint, Sarah Menefee, Marcia Poole and John Paulin will be the contact people for First They Came for the Homeless and Rinna Flohr will be the contact person for Expressions Gallery. We are asking the Omni Commons to act in this capacity because we value the high integrity that characterizes your organization and its mission. We propose that 10% of all donations collected for the show be given to the Omni Commons as payment from us for your services.

First They Came for the Homeless and the Expressions Gallery are proud to present a show that deals with multiple aspects of homelessness within our communities on March 9, 2019. The main focus of the art will be on the efforts of homeless people to survive within urban environments and, especially, on the benefits created by the communities that develop within and around homeless encampments and shelters, as well as among people sleeping in the rough. The exhibition will explore the differing ways utilized by individuals in these communities to insure safety, solidarity, camaraderie, and other positive aspects of the communal experience. The show will also address the problems faced by the homeless on a daily basis.

The participating artists, homeless and housed, will be drawn from members of our community who have either experienced homelessness directly or have been touched by the plight of the homeless. This event will be the first opportunity for some of the participating homeless artists to display and sell their work in a professional gallery and will incorporate art in many different media, including painting, photography, printmaking, digital art, installation art, videos, sculpture, crafts, jewelry, clothing, and ceramics.

The participation of homeless artists will be facilitated through their collaboration with First They Came for the Homeless (which will provide access to materials as well as assistance in the presentation and submission of their work) and Expressions Gallery. Funds and materials for the effort will be secured through donations. In 2014 Expressions Gallery presented one of the very first art shows to deal with Homelessness in the San Francisco Bay Area. The work of homeless and housed artists was exhibited without differentiation by housing status. The event was very informative, and many who attended the show stated they were moved to become more active in matters of social justice. The show was covered favorably by a number of local print, television, and radio media.

The Creativity Unhoused exhibit will run from March 9 th , 2019 – May 24 th , 2019 at Expressions Gallery, located at 2035 Ashby Ave., Berkeley, CA. Phone # The gallery, one block from the Ashby BART station, is open Wednesdays through Saturdays, Noon - 5 PM and Sundays from Noon - 3 PM. The Opening Reception will be held at Expressions Gallery on Saturday evening, March 9 th , from 6-8 PM and will feature local participating artists, musicians, and refreshments. The reception is free to the public.

Contact: Mike Zint or Marcia Poole,


  • Laura and Mary Ann: it may actually not be worth it for them because of recent tax reforms.
    • Mary Ann: let's ask them why they think they need it. I'm not sure you can solicit without some legal agency?
    • Robb: it's first ammendment protected to ask for money
    • Laura: I'll give them a call.
    • Robb and others: there may be other benefits to them being fiscally sponsored, including perception of legitimacy and access to liquor license for events
  • Laura: it seems that we're generally in favor


Small Classroom Doorlock

  • Robb: there was added a lock on the Small Classroom by GCEA
  • Julian: how much of an issue is this?
    • Robb: during events
  • Ken: would a locked cabinet resolve this issue?
  • Julian: the room has been used in ways that Almaz considered inappropriate to children
  • Robb: in one instance, this was an unusual.
  • Julian: I don't think we should just rationalize away that the room has been used inappropriately or not.
  • Laura: there have been a number of the
  • Rachel: if the argeement is that it's its a common space, then it should be a common space.
  • Laura: what's an appropriate response?
  • Rachel: well the locked cabinet.
  • Ken: let's invite GCEA to write a proposals justifying why the room needs to be locked. in the mean time the lock should be removed by her.
    • Laura: my understanding is that GCEA also intends to revise the lease.
  • Robb: I think we should autonomusly remove the lock.
  • Laura: I think we should ask her to take off the lock.
  • to summarize: Almaz has already been asked to write a proposal to renegotiate the lease. that should include a proposal to lock the small classroom. GCEA would be encouraged to bring a locked cabinet into the room. We will give her until next Thursday to take the lock off.
  • Julian: on what basis are we deciding to issue an ultimatum?
  • Mary Ann: my perspective is that when that space was first made available to GCEA we needed it to be a common room. I see this as defying the board.
  • Julian: I don't think we need to be making an personal attacks.
  • Mary Ann: the board needs to be capable of collectively navigating how to respond to a problem.
  • Attendees generally agree that GCEA should be asked to present a proposal on a new rent agreement and include what to do about the security of the room. IN the mean time the lock must be removed by next Thursday or we will remove it. We will encourage her to bring in a locakable cabinet. Laura will communicate this to Almaz, and Brian who is helping her write the proposal.
  • joe Why do they feel they need exclusive-locked-access to that space? I agree about the original agreement and since GCEA did not ask about installing the lock it has no place being there.I do t see what you consider aimed at a person not at a process.OK maybe defying seems to personal but it is another way of stting a failure to follow process.. . not presenting the lock to us, or anyone first.

Last Meeting Notes


End of Meeting