Event:2019/01/17 Delegates Meeting

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Omni Delegates' Meeting - 17/01/2019 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]
    • Counter Proposal on Delegate Meeting Schedule
  • Proposal Y: [15 minutes]
    • Fiscal Sponsorship proposal
    • Meeting Schedule Proposal
    • GCEA Proposal
  • Discussion Z: [10 minutes]
    • Locked classroom


  • Laura -
  • Helen - Food Not Bombs - delegate
  • Mary Ann - Chiapas Support delegate
  • Sara - 1st They Came for he Homeless
  • Habiba - Food Not Bombs
  • Joe - FNB
  • Marcia - 1st They Came for the Homeless
  • John - Here/There
  • Robb - Sudo delegate
  • Julian - BAPS delegate
  • Almaz - prefers 1st name - GCEA
  • Lynn remote
  • Ken - CCL
  • Franki - all the pronouns
  • Kiwi - GCEA & outreach

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: Almaz
  • Timekeeper: Joe
  • Notetaker/s: Julian
  • Vibe Reader: Helen
  • Next meeting's facilitator(s): Julian


  • BAPS: Julian
  • CCL: Ken
  • CSC: Mary Ann
  • FNB: Helen
  • GWS: absent
  • LL: inactive
  • Sudo: Robb
  • GCEA: Almaz
  • Quorum:

Brief Announcements

  • None

New Bans

  • Laura - I asked Troy to leave after our last delegates meeting. He did so slowly, cleaned up, left. Hasn't emailed any requests for return.
  • Add to list of people asked to leave

Working Group Report-Backs

Building & permits

Meetings: Not currently meeting

  • Laura - there is an upcoming kitchen meeting, Saturday the 26th.
    • if you're interested in getting emails about the kitchen, sign up
    • Almaz - what are the updates on this?
      • Laura - I made a list of the all the major / minor appliances people wanted, based on talking with constituents & also based on seeking Phat Beet's
      • Joe - what's the money raised? like $80,000
        • we raised $30,000 & then there's the Handshake grant for like $30,000
      • Helen - why hasn't construction begun
        • remote-jenny: no meetings; working group is strapped; lack of experience in said working group; people who would otherwise facilitate progress have increasingly limited volunteer availability (myself, for one)
  • Robb- we need another ceiling party
  • Ken - rat and fruit fly infestations persist
    • fruitfly catching persists with some success
  • Cafe updates
    • they are working on the coffee cart, but currently they're doing pop-ups
    • Franki - I feel that the Omni needs to be fair to everyone, I'm somewhat concerned about the Cafe having multiple cooperatives
      • Julian - this collective has been the only group that has put forward resources to do this
      • Almaz - I agree that we should give them a chance
  • Philip is taking a hiatus from the Omni and FNB.
    • this is a substantial hit to Omni building cleanliness & waste management


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

  • Laura attended the first of a series of workshops held by Alternatives to Policing Coalition
    • Coordinated by folks from 1st Congregational Church of Oakland, JVP, Skyline Ckurch.
    • Attended by 50 mostly white people from a variety of groups, mostly religious, including SURJ.
    • Lynice Pinkard and Nikola Tolbert were main facilitators. Future wkshps will be led by POC groups this coalition has been working with to develop the series.
    • Blurb: "A growing coalition of organizations in the Bay Area is coming together to explore alternatives to calling the police to our campuses and into our neighborhoods. Over the coming year, we will be offering a series of workshops to explore alternatives to calling the police. Some of these workshops will provide deepening analysis and grounding in alternative ways of thinking about safety. Others will provide practical skills. All of them will lift up a transformative justice framework and emphasize the importance of self care...In this spiritually grounded, lively popular education-style workshop, we will explore what it means to say that history is not principally about the past but that it is alive today. We will study how this might be true in our legal system and governmental structures, systems and policies.

And, as we come to understand that, how are we to relate to those structures, systems, and policies and to the human beings who work within them? What does it mean to love and protect each other in this context? This first workshop will provide a grounding in our values and agreements, which are rooted in transformative justice, as well as a deepening understanding of how white supremacy has shaped our social and political structures, including policing."

    • It would be worthwhile for other Omninoms to attend in the future. Let me know if you want to be kept in the loop.
  • Franki - I'm interested
  • Julian - is there a way to bring the take-aways home to the Omni
  • Robb - are they recorded?
  • Franki - I'm down to do detailed notes & maybe


Meetings: Not currently meeting


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

  • none


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

  • none

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 COntinue. Poets' House


  • Cranking up for the new season after the holidays


  • COsponsoring film night with Liberated Lens with update on what is going on in Chiapas on 1/27


  • Anxiety over the future of people's park
  • Almsot got a new vehicle but it fell through. Looking for small used pickup
    • Jenny: Village has been parking their pickup in my driveway for 1+ months. have funds to fix it, but engine may be f*cked.. also have contact for mechanic. maybe with conjoined resources we could get it back in action and useable by both groups... pm me (also i think needa's upstairs)


  • Almaz - on MLK day we're particiting in a Feed the People w/ East Oakland Collective and others
  • Afterschool program
  • Violence Prevention Summit upcoming, as well as other event
  • we do outreach to women experiencing domestic violence
  • Kiwi is available for connecting with Omni when folks have GCEA related questions, she lives in the neighborhood.




  • big cleanup last wed & this past wed


Counter Proposal on Delegate Meeting Schedule from 1/3/19 made by Laura, to be discussed by collectives

  • Proposal: We do regular twice monthly meetings, but in advance of summer (by May) and in advance of winter we look ahead and plan the schedule according to what is going on and delegates' availability. Before then we will learn to use online decision-making tools (like Loomio) and remote meeting tools (like Zoom, Free Conference Call, etc) so we can use them when we are unable to meet.


  • Helen - we didn't discuss it with FNB, but really it only concerns the delegates, so both Joe & I are hear right now.
  • Robb - basically same
  • Almaz - I haven't read the proposal previous to now, but I think we basically support it
  • Mary Ann - CSC talked about this
  • Helen - do we actually need decide on the precise tool right now?
    • does this proposal mean that once we pick a tool, can we can use it to make decisions
  • Julian - I think we've basically consented in the past to making remote-decisions, what's under discussion is preparing ourslves to learn to use these remote tools
  • Franki - how could I access this in the future?


  • In Favor - FNB, GCEA, BAPS, CCL,
  • Opposed -
  • Abstained - Sudo

Fiscal Sponsorship for First They Came for the Homeless Art Show

    • 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

Previous Discussion

  • 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


  • Joe - what is the period of requested fiscal sponsorship?
    • Laura - before and shortly after the period of the actual event?
  • Sara - I'm also curious about !st They Came for the Homeless using the building for a poetry reading tied into the gallery event
    • Laura - the Working Group of relevance is the Commons Working group, and you can contact me regarding the
  • Robb - to be clear, this is a grant-based, not project-based physical sponsorship
    • Marcia - we aren't taking money from the city, because we want Berkeley City money to be used for Homeless Services. the purpose of the sponsorship is to be able to receive money as related to the artshow. note: most of the homeless artists are craftspeople because of the need for the works to be movable.
  • Habiba - I'm unclear on the purpose of the artshow as fundraiser? isn't it the case that most homeless want services?
    • Marcia - we agree, but our purpose is also to change the general perspective of who homeless folks are.
      • John - there is a great deal of homeless artists


  • In favor - CSC, CCL, FNB, SUDO, CSC
  • Opposed - None
  • Abstained - BAPS, GCEA
  • the proposal passes

GCEA Proposal on Unpaid Rent, Lease, and Small Classroom Security

  • Hello Omni Delegates,

This is a GCEA draft proposal, which could be amended, based on feedback from the delegates at this meeting. Thank you for taking the time to discuss this proposal.

GCEA as an organization is working to establish itself on firm economic grounding. Unfortunately this has meant that GCEA hasn't been able to pay its rent for 5 months of 2018, as well as currently in 2019. GCEA feels that there is strong value for both parties in the relationship between GCEA and the Omni, and hopes that the Omni collectives feel the same way. To this end, we are making this proposal to change the status of GCEA's rent payment.

As an Omni collective organization, GCEA members appreciate the other Omni collectives’ willingness to work with us as we solidify our financial situation.

1) GCEA would like to pay its existing back rent to the Omni and is planning to conduct fundraising event to that effect. We propose that GCEA be able to pay the back rent at its normal rate, and propose that the Omni waive the late fees on rent payment. We believe this to be consistent behavior with many Omni collectives.

1a) GCEA organized a fundraising event, Out The Blue, on December 7th, 2018 in partnership with several University alumnae orgs and groups. We expected a portion of the funds ($1,100) to go towards GCEA's rent/youth trip to Africa. This portion would have covered our back rent from 2018 completely. We have been informed, after the fact, that the rules of the Commons Group prevent the funds from this event from going towards GCEA's rent. We believe this is a miscommunication and intend to have a conversation with the Common's Group in hope that our portion of the funds be allocated towards GCEA's rent. We will be appreciative if that happens, but if not GCEA intends to hold another fundraising event in order to pay for its back rent.

2) GCEA would like to propose that the rent be reduced to one dollar, for the ongoing period. We hope to be able to return to a larger rental rate in the future, but are having difficulty meeting this need right now. We understand that there is some precident in Omni history for an organization to have one dollar rent. 2a) We understand that there are organizations that exist at the Omni who make payments largely through paying a percentage of their donations directly to the Omni, rather than a monthly rent. GCEA would like to propose that it continue to support the Omni financially by giving a portion of its income from fundraisings and donations to the Omni. We would like to discuss that level with the Omni. Internally we have discussed numbers around 30-50% of GCEA donations, but are happy to discuss the appropriate level for this with the Omni Delegates.

3) GCEA has limited funds at the moment, but wants to continue contributing to the Omni Commons as much as it is able. To this end GCEA would like to propose that it take on a distinct project for the Omni. We have brainstormed an project: to take responsibility for a renovation of the Disco Room. This would involve organizing and taking responsibility for creating a working group to hold the meetings, organizing fundraising efforts (which should be easier as an Omni project, than direct GCEA fundraising), managing volunteer contractors, seeking input from the Omni Community, and ensuring that all legal regulations are followed.

4) The delegates have previously approved that GCEA and BAPS have priority use for the Small Classroom. Recently, some delegates requested that the lock be removed from the Classroom door. GCEA, in conversation with BAPS, propose to convert the small classroom from fully common space to semi-common. We propose to keep the door locked, in order to establish accountable common access to the room, and to keep it secure and clean. However, we seek to make the room available to any group that makes a reasonable request, except when GCEA or BAPS is already using the space. Please note additionally that we encourage that the Ticketbooth room be made more accessible to fully common use as soon as possible.

Thank you delegates for taking the time to consider this proposal. We welcome your thoughts and questions, and hope to be able to return at the next delegates meeting with a m ore formalized and informed proposal.

Well see you soon.

Much Love & Unity for all,


  • Almaz - the proposal has just been sent out as a draft
  • Julian summaraizes the key points for the benefit of the delegates.
  • Laura - I'd like to start this next part of the agenda by only asking clarifying questions
    • Robb - I thought Out of the Blue came into the commons working group and Joe came into the event.
      • Almaz - I plan on discussing this matter in detail with the Commons Working Group to clarify point 1a) from the proposal. It's up to Commons to decide?
      • Laura - we'll talk about the details of this.
      • Jenny: Joe was the initial point person and almaz took it over. in general this was a risky event with amplified sound and underage attendees in the hundreds. marc reported amplified music and no point person at 11:10pm. We got another neighbor complaint about noise that night.
    • Joe - I think this would be a much better proposal if there were numbers in it? Please add numbers wherever the amounts are discussed.
      • I don't know what the monthly rent has been
        • $200
    • Helen - you wanted to change the status of the room from common to semi-common
      • Kiwi - my understanding is that the lock makes it semi
      • Helen - would that then go through Commons working group.
        • who would be the decisionmaker of this
        • Almaz - we have been had the room priority use & to maintain. collectives, groups, etc could be free to use it.
          • the Children's room would be fully open still, and GCEA will help keep it
      • Robb - so event requests would be submitted to you?
      • Laura - can you desribe the process in the updated proposal proposal
    • Ken - two clarifying.
      • on the labor exchange rate. what would the labor rate be computable as?
        • Almaz - it's not labor exchange for the back-rent. the back-rent is covered by either fundraising event past or future. the future contributions would be covered
      • Ken - regarding the disco room. are you saying we have our own plan or we'll take on the existing Omni renovation plan?
        • Almaz - sorta both. we have our own vision to some degree, but also it would be
      • Ken - back on the labor - was there a calculation for labor quantified as money?
        • my understanding is that CCL & other collectives may be interested in this in the future.
        • Almaz - it's not a labor exchange precisely. it's a form of contribution, but not quantifiable per se. some groups do events, some groups do money; taking on an Omni-needed project is also a form of contribution.
    • Kiwi - please read the proposal first!
    • Franki - what I thought I heard was that - some of the calculations would be done by GCEA re the renovation project?
      • Almaz - the idea is that we'd take the lead in bottomlining the discoroom renovation
  • suggestions for the proposal
    • Helen - I generally think it's a good proposal, but I propose you think about using the Commons Working Group because they do that generally
      • Habiba - what Almaz is saying is that GCEA should be able to have decision making power
    • Franki - I use that space, I like that it stays clean. if people want to use it, they should sign something so that people remain accountable
    • Kiwi - having other people use the space makes it vulnerable to irresponsible use at times, so having an accountability process
    • Joe - I ask that groups draw up some sort of representative/predictable scheduling -
    • Robb - I want to offer the idea of putting anything needed to be locked into one of the offices upstairs. we have plenty of office spaces in the building that are already barely used.
    • Kiwi - there seem to be spaces being used specifically by other collectives, why can't GCEA use a space particularly.
      • Laura- historically prior to GCEA, the Small Classroom was used by a bunch of collectives and groups. it was open and heavily used in that way. when GCEA came in, we wanted GCEA to
        • Franki - there is a lot of secured spaces being used by predominantly administrative white people, we want children and POC to be able to use that space
          • jnny: this proposal specifically makes childcare for the POC-run event on Saturday exceedingly more difficult as the room next to the Kids Room will be locked. Which was also never approved by delegates and was discussed at length with GCEA. Can we please ask that groups abide by their own contractual agreeements? or at least a limiter on how long one can just shirk said agreements with no consequences? I no longer feel comfortable as treasurer of this nonprofit.
            • furthermore "a lot of secured spaces" - could you please define this? & please find needabee upstairs in the Omni Office right now and ask her thoughts on this position.
          • Habiba - I don't think GCEA is asking too much, and I think people are putting too much of a trouble about this.
        • Helen - as far as I know, no one has suggested that people put a lock on the door. what you seem to be asking is that the room? i don't think the locking is at issue.
        • Habiba & Robb - there does seem to
      • Julian - remeber - everyone, we can use the direct reply rather than cutting each other off. second, julian read jenny's notes. third - we have the ticketbooth room, which could meet the same needs as the small classroom and we aren't even making use of it, yet everyone wants to make trouble about this use of space.
        • jnny: it's adjacent to the Kids Room.
      • Joe - I'm guessing Jenny brought up Needabee. I'm concerned that this is turning into pointing fingers black-against-white. the Omnni has tried for 3 years to make the space blacker & browner.
        • jnny: just pointing out that it's currently being used by people who need it... whereas a lock code for small classroom is both unauthorized and unnecessary. Room hasn't been used by GCEA in months.
      • Kiwi - intention matters to me. when we are here speaking, we don't need to be interrupted. Almaz doing work here. there are various
      • Franki - Julian's point about the upset about the use of the Small Classroom vs the Ticketbooth room seems indicative that there is a conflict over privilege going on here. are we having practical approaches to insiduiousness?
        • jnny: ...what? ABDC moved out, were supposed to move out, but haven't completely. Room would be useful for events, but small classroom being adjacent to Kids Room is basically the point...
    • Lynn: Why can't the room be scheduled like other commons spaces? GCEA can schedule their activities and other times would be available thru the commons booking . That way more groups could use it as well as GCEA. The proposal should have time frames as well - what is meant by the ongoing period.?
      • jnny: makes the most sense and is still 100% in line with original agreement - minus the lock. that should be it's own proposal.
    • Laura - remember that collectives should communicate directly with GCEA about concerns
    • Robb - I would like formal mediation between Almaz & I.

Last Meeting Notes


End of Meeting