Event:2019/02/07 Delegates Meeting

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Omni Delegates' Meeting - February 7 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]
  • 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†

  • Julian (J / Jules, not pronouns) BAPS
  • Phil FNB (he)
  • Frankie (they) offers hugs
  • Robb he/him sudoroom
  • Joe FNB loves the pink basement
  • Julio sudoroom
  • Kiwi she/her GCEA - how to become a delegate
  • Yar sudoroom
  • Brian finance cmte
  • Katrina they commons
  • Maryanne chiapas
  • Laura commons/finance
  • Lynn commons
  • habiba fnb
  • angel, asked to be here, liberated lens & building wg, village
  • almaz gcea

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: julio (progressively?)
  • Timekeeper: lynn
  • Notetaker/s: yar & brian
  • Vibe Reader: joe
  • Next meeting's facilitator(s): Yar


  • BAPS: Julian
  • CCL: active but not here
  • CSC: maryanne
  • FNB: Joe
  • GWS: Rachel (remote) active but not here
  • LL: inactive
  • Sudo: robb
  • GCEA: Almaz, kiwi wants to be but needs to learn more
  • Quorum: 4/6

Brief Announcements

  • katrina: omni is officially in the "alternatives to policing" thing? next workshop 2/17 first congregation
    • laura went to the last one. we got on the list cuz she was there. someone else should go next time
    • coalition has working meeting every second wednesday. ask katrina if interested. 2/13 is the next one
    • frankie: phat beets works w/auntie francis out of omni. they should go. it's dope (max + katrina will be in touch)
  • Joe: Saturday the ninth, the people's part committee is sponsoring a march at people's park at 1PM. To protest the city and police's inaction on an incident that happened Jan 22nd, who freaked out at the march and that the march was holding up his car, he got mad and turned up on the sidewalk, ran over blind tony's feet, felony hit and run. And he still hasn't even been issued a driving ticket. The father came down to the scene of the action to find out who dented his car, more interested in that than tony's feet. And the mayor is nowhere.
    • The March is this saturday at 1PM.
  • Julian: One of the groups that meets here regularly (Tenants & Neighborhoods Council aka TANK) is doing a canvass this saturday at 12:30 meeting here. IF you want more information about that talk to Julian.
  • Almaz: if you're a member of the neighborhood, join our healing circles, workiing on violence prevention with the city of oakland. There are lots of healing processes that are ongoing (ie no specific date, contact almaz)

New Bans

  • Update about previous situations with TRoy: he's not banned, he's back and there hasn't been any further problems.
  • terry and Brian: no conflict right now, it's resolved. they're welcome
  • Add to list of people asked to leave

Working Group Report-Backs

Building & permits

Meetings: Not currently meeting

  • The sewer backed up into the basement last night flooding the side by the entrance hall.
    • Phil, Robb, Mark, Jenny dealt with the flood, put signs on bathrooms
    • Today Laura and Robb bought a power snake and cleared the blockage, and Anka helped them wash the floor with disinfectant.
    • The blockage was caused by paper towels flushed down a toilet. People used paper towels becasue we were out of TP. We were out of TP because someone cleaned out the TP and paper towels twice from the cleaning supply closet. Probably some trash bags as well
    • people keep stealing TP so maybe that's why they flushed paper towels
    • There is now a combo lock on the storage closet. If anyone wants the combination just ask about it, it is being sent around. It was also sent to some of the mailing lists.
    • we can't have anybody living here, not possible, not zoned residential
  • This group needs help; https://omnicommons.org/lists/listinfo/building
  • Rob: Recently patched the roof last week. There are still a few leaks from the windows, but everything leaking from the roof seems to be resolved.
  • Angel: regarding the issue of whether there is a designated individual to stay overnight. This is something that I personally that have found out is that many of the not positive things that happen with this space have to do with things that happen overnight. And yes, we can't have a residential person stay over here at night, but it may be worth looking into having a security person or something like that.

Kiwi: supports looking into this. Julian: This is a good conversation, but maybe we should table this for another meeting.

  • Passed an inspection for plumbing for the pathroom. Replacing toilet, need to do ventilation. We are very close to having the wheelchair bathroom finished.
  • almaz: progress on the kitchen?
    • Yar: We had a meeting last saturday. The next step is taking everything to an architect to discuss floor plans:
    • Rob: We also wanted to meet with Alvaro who wasn't able to be at the last meeting, but knows a lot about this stuff. The next stage is either to make a meeting with Alvaro, or to just move forward. Still figuring that out.


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

  • Strike School and food distribution for strike
  • This group a needs help:
    • https://omnicommons.org/lists/listinfo/commons
    • https://omnicommons.org/lists/listinfo/booking
    • Laura: Oakland Teachers are likely to go on strike soon. We have been approached by groups to be a school support zone. Basically, have the omni be a place where their kids can go for the day. There would be teachers and programming going on for the kids. We are also being asked to be a point of food distribution. Its not fully decided that this is going to happen, but it would be a great thing for the Omni to do. It would have some implications though, if we are going to have a bunch of kids around we will need to make sure that we do a serious cleaning and effort to go into making this place safe for kids.
  • Lynn: And that would start when?
  • Laura: Around the 18th or 19th. IT doesn't have to be this week, but would need to be soon
  • Joe: I have heard that they just want us to be food distribution, not a school sight
  • Laura: No, we are in talks with different groups for both.
  • Julian: There already has been a lot of media attention around this teacher strike. If we wanted to do a public facing event to clean up the Omni it might be a good way to get volunteers into the space.
  • Generally: Lets talk about this later. This isn't finalized yet.


Meetings: Not currently meeting

  • last comment in previous section


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

  • working on massive county property tax welfare exemption forms - hours of work. needs paperwork from every event that's ever been here
    • county should've approved exemption last year but we have to file again


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?


  • nothing new. beat aesthetic classes on saturdays. writing group still happening.


  • No updates, no one here


  • next thing is to start up waffles & zapatismo again. next one saturday 2/23 in office right here (upstairs at omni)


  • Joe: FNB is now safely under the beautrocratic wing of amazon to get whole foods donations. Filling out all sorts of forms together. We have to fill out forms every month.


  • Almaz: We had a meeting on saturday, last saturday, and we are catching up on a lot of GCEA projects. Classes, afterschool programs, women's know your rights, all these different programs we are doing. We are going to have another meeting on February 15th. It's a work in progress.




  • Rob: One of our members Adam has been bringing in organized boxes of usable components and taking out all the trash from sudo room. We're on maybe week four. We've got some tables...Its still in a bit of disaray, we re-did our floorplan, but all of the junk is gone.
    • planning to epoxy floor this summer


Delaying GCEA decision

text sent to mailing list

https://omnicommons.org/pipermail/consensus/2019-February/001480.html Subject: PROPOSAL: Addressing Structural Issues

There have been a number of interpersonal and structural challenges at the Omni in which race played a role. Some of these conflicts have resulted in the exclusion of individuals from the Omni. Moreover, some communities of color as well as anti-racist organizers have been voluntarily avoiding the Omni community. We propose to view the present discussion concerning the GCEA collective as an opportunity to open a dialogue towards healing conflicts and finding procedures that are realistically followed, while also creating an open and diverse community, centering the perspectives and prioritizing the needs of marginalized and oppressed people - as intended by the Omni founding document.

We propose the following concrete steps:

1.) Identify a team of Omni representatives who are willing to engage in a broad dialogue about prior conflicts and present structure of the Omni Commons.

2.) Task Julio and Yar with identifying a team of facilitators by the next delegates meeting. Facilitators should have at most minimal connections to parties involved in prior conflicts at the Omni. Commit to compensating facilitators for their work financially or in other forms (eg. space access), with details to be decided at the next delegates meeting.

3.) Task facilitators with reaching out to parties in prior conflicts within and outside of the Omni, towards developing a mutually agreed upon format of dialogue within a month.

4.) Defer full discussion of the GCEA Proposal on Unpaid Rent, Lease, and Small Classroom Security until the facilitated dialogue has achieved mutual understanding of the needs that Omni and GCEA seek to satisfy in a long term agreement. In the meantime, address urgent matters by temporary measures valid for 3 months:

Fundraising Events: GCEA is invited to organize fundraising events at the Omni. The contracts and point person duties for such events will be the responsibility of a member of the Commons WG that is not affiliated with GCEA.

Small Classroom Security: During the period of this agreement, the Small Classroom will remain locked, accessible only to BAPS, GCEA, and other events booked through the Commons WG. *


  • Yar: A couple weeks ago there was a proposal from GCEA and BAPS to establish a permanent status for the room, and their back rent. And that caused a lot of disucssion. There is now a proposal to delay decision on the GCEA/BAPS for three months while we do mediation.
  • Julio: Our proposal is merely to delay that decision and not decide it now. I don't think our proposal neccesarily changes or negates the GCEA/BAPS proposal.
  • Julio reads the proposal aloud.
  • Clarifying questions
  • Robb: if GCEA wants to go ahead with their other proposal, isn't #4 moot? procedural problem
    • Almaz: we're holding our proposal while this process happens. we agree with what they're proposing
  • Laura: It says "prior conflicts" - who are those people? whoever is part of that would have to be part of the agreement
    • there's some people Laura would not want to bother with
    • Laura: I think it's not helpful to include past conflicts. there's enough to deal with in the present conflict
    • Yar didn't write that part
    • Katrina: The intention behind that would be for facilitators to have leeway to reach out and evaluate whether folks were willing to have a constructive conversation. The idea was for facilitators to have freedom in that, but only have parties involved that agree with the base values of the Omni, and are willing to have
    • Frankie: I think its anyone who wants to be part of this community. I think Katrina's answer is right on. And we'll need to have agreements, we can't have people coming in here and causing chaos.
    • Yar: the presence of some people would preclude the presence of other people
    • Julio: Every person's involvement will be contingent in knowing exactly what is going on. I think we probably shouldn't do it at the Omni. I just have an example, there was someone who was willing to have a process and a lot of us dropped the ball on completing that process thoroughly. And that is what happens when you don't pay a facilitator to do this. Thats why I am saying lets do this properly. Let's design a process that everyone in that space can opt into, and have conversations with the facilitator.
    • these facilitated meetings shouldn't happen at omni. a lot of people dropped the ball with a previous conflict
  • Maryanne: When you talk about identifying a team of facilitators, are you talking about people who do this professionally? And would they be members of the Omni?
    • Julio: Yes, and No.
  • Lynn: how does this relate in the long run to how the omni runs itself? what i hear sounds like lots of individual conflicts, but the bigger picture is how is this gonna change overall governance so it becomes a different kind of org in the long run? it's about how we run ourselves, whether there's transparency & equity & equal trust for all people.
    • Katrina: conflicts often center on specific rules that are broken, but it always becomes about people who broke the rules for various reasons.
    • if individuals need to make peace with the system, ok. if the system needs to change, ok. need to make a space to constructively have these conversations, instead of repeating similar conflict pattern we've seen
    • Joe: i find this very confusing and an impediment to functioning as an institution. if you're saying things like "whether the rent is paid, you've gotten permits to do things, changed a contract" can be interpreted as a factual or as a racialized thing, i'd be willing to discuss that but it really puts a whole cloud over the way I've... ever seen or experienced making decisions about what to do and what not to do. If people are experiencing that, it'd be great to have that aired out & corrected. It's confused me. I hope we can use it to make progress. There should be some sort of timeline. It'd be a tedious & difficult experiment.
    • Julian: The first thing I'll say is that I want to check to see if we have more clarifying questions, it feels like we are slipping into other conversations. So lets focus on clarifying questions? So the proposal is that within a month, there will be a process with facilitators, and within three motnhs the process will be completed and we can discuss GCEA's proposal. Do we have more clarifying questions?
  • Robb: would this be binding on the delegates?
    • Yar: A proposal to the delegates would be the result. Delegates are not giving the facilitator binding power...
    • Katrina: The first part says identify a team of Omni reps who are willing to engage in this dialogue, not who will be given the power to make decisions. It's somewhat pointless to do that unless the Omni Reps who join it are people who have enough power/understanding of the delegates to bring changes back.
  • Maryanne: What is this geared to resolve. There are interpersonal conflicts, and there is the overall structural conflict. Are they going
  • Yar: We were just talking about this actually. We are going to leave that up to the facilitator that we find, and let them decide what they think is the best path forward.
  • Frankie: Re-imagine the Omni is not some fake fuzzy meeting. WE need to make agreements with each other, and we need to keep them. There are other people outside of the building that want to use this space. Not everyone who has kicked them out of the space wants to be part of this, but for those who want to
  • Kiwi: Do people understand the proposal? Are we also speaking or solving the proposal?
  • Almaz: Following up. WE have to bring people. We need to bring in people who are outside of the Omni. Frankie mentioned that a lot of people have come here to be collectives of the OMni, and are not here anymore. The goal is to reach out to those people.
  • Angel: Theres currently nothing stopping people from being part of the collective and being involved. Until people take those steps, its a very difficult decision to make to involve everyone in the space.
  • rob: We've already had clarifying questions. How much of a discussion can we have without talking to our collectives? It's process to go back to our collectives.
  • JUlian: the way I interpret steps 1-3 they don't require a concensus to occur. Identifying a team of Omni representatives, that doesn't require a concensus based decision. Second, I don't think we need to have a vote in order to faciltiator. We may need a vote in order to pay them, but not to identify them. The third one may require a vote.
  • Kiwi: to angel: you were talking about who is allowed to be part of the community. I lived in this community before the Omni, so you are coming into this community. If your culture is blocking people from coming into the omni, then you need to do something about it.
  • Laura: Who are the people that we are contemplating bringing back to the Omni?
    • Kiwi: I have met these people who do not feel welcome at the Omni. I want to make sure that Omni is dealing with race issues well. As an individual I came here myself, before I became part of GCEA. After I became a member I have talked to individuals who tell me that they don't come to the omni because they don't feel welcome. Its important to reach out into the community to reach out.
  • Yar: There's two categories that are being conflated here. people who left cuz they're uncomfortable, vs left because they were banned
    • Kiwi: I am talking about people who are not comfortable being here.
  • Julio: -reiterating the questions-
  • Laura: Will we have a choice of facilitators. What if there is a feeling that a facilitator is not appropriate? Is there some option?
    • Yar: We are going to be working hard to get buy in from everyone.
    • Frankie: There's a lot of people. It is privilige to say Invited. Everyone is supposed to be invited. Thats what the Omni is about.
  • Maryanne: Kiwi, I have a question for when you said that there are people from this neighborhood who are not comfortable coming here?
  • Kiwi: Thats not what I'm saying. I'm saying that there are members of the Omni community who were part of the community but don't feel comfortable now. What I'm saying that any time you discriminate against a black person, that effects all black people.

?: I am one of the people who doesn't feel comfortable

    • Rachel we have had quite a number of meetings with people of color groups and work closefy with Haiti Action and other groups who are glad to meet at the Omni and have the space to meet
  • Habiba: I get questioned at the door. I'm one of those people
  • Yar: It seems like when you asked your question, Laura, it seemed like you were asking about the people who had been banned, not the group of people who feel uncomfortable in the space.
  • Lynn: My question is about the facilitator as well. In my ideal world there is someone who sees the interpersonal conflicts and sees them as part of a bigger organizational issue. That can say "how do we fix the organization". I am super interested in the organization becoming more healthy.
  • Almaz: Agreed. This is about fixing the strucutre, not about changing individuals. This is about fixing the omni and going to the roots. It's about fixing the strucutre, not individual issues.
  • Rob: I want to make sure that this is based on factual bases. There was an incident years ago with the wheelchair lift having boxes in front. The incident wasn't with an Omni person, but the Omni got a bunch of flack for problems.
    • Yar: This process is going to involve I statements, once we get everyone sitting in the room.
  • Julio: I agree with factual statement, but I find that its also important to focus on perspectives. Focusing on facts is important, when its about things that happened, but allowing for everyone's voice to be heard.
    • Rob: I have felt that we are not able to hold people accountable to factual statements here. I feel like we have been bad at that.
      • KAtrina: Yes, agreed. That is exactly what a mediation would seek to do. Sometimes people cannot get to the facts until their feelings have been addressed.
  • Robb: when the classroom was locked without any delegate approval - that has never been consented on - that's a violation of our process, if we adhere to our own process
    • Almaz: irrelevant. you should not bring this.
    • Katrina:

Example Discussion Item

Last Meeting Notes


End of Meeting