Event:2019/04/04 Delegates Meeting

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Omni Delegates' Meeting - 4 April 2019 7pm-9pm

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

Agenda

  • Introductions, Meeting Roles, and Delegates Count [10 minutes]
  • Access Check-in [5 minutes]
  • Brief Announcements [5 minutes]
  • Working Group Report-Backs [15 minutes]
  • Member Collective Updates (10 minutes)
  • Ban Report (if any) [5 minutes]
  • Proposal X: [15 minutes]
  • Proposal Y: [15 minutes]
  • Discussion Z: [10 minutes]

Introductions

Introduce yourself: Name; Preferred Pronoun; Affiliation; any brief announcements; say whether you're a delegate; let us know about any access needs you have†

  • marcus
  • Dennis LL he
  • philip FNB
  • ken CCL
  • Rachel GWS
  • Mary Ann CSC she
  • Arnoldo CSC
  • null sudo - wants storage key +1 from jenny RAT DESTROYA! (among other helpfulnesses!)
  • yar sudo
  • julian baps - use name, not pronouns
  • juul sudo <remote> - he/him
  • laura wgs - she
  • jenny - she/her - sudo/wgs (remote)
  • joe FNB
  • kiwi GCEA delegate
  • niki, used to be here before kid was born, original baps member, also sudo & la commune member. been a while, here we are.
  • david keenan: also from cohort that worked hard to secure this space in early days. still work with yar and building/kitchen wg, try to help with permits. observing & supporting fully the process. want to acknowledge all the work everyone's put in through disagreements & conflict
  • their daughter will remain unnamed in the notes

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: Marcus
  • Timekeeper: Yar
  • Notetaker/s: Julian, Yar, Laura
  • Vibe Reader: Marcus
  • Next meeting's facilitator(s): no volunteers

Delegates

  • BAPS: julian
  • CCL: ken
  • CSC: mary anne
  • FNB: phil
  • GWS: rachel
  • LL: dennis
  • Sudo: yar
  • GCEA: kiwi
  • Quorum: yes

Brief Announcements

  • Arnoldo: on Sat 4/13 CSC is showing Viva Zapata a 1954 film starring Marlon Brando. It's the anniversary of the assaination of Emiliano Zapata and there are celebrations across Mexico. This was a radical film for the time it was made. We will have a discussion about the culture of the time and Zapatismo.
  • Rachel - Poor People's Hearing this Saturday in Oakland at Taylor Memorial Church
  • Dennis: Liberated Lens next film is 4/21 Struggles & Steel
  • Jenny: Slingshot's deadline for next issue is this Saturday - seeking any direct action campaigns to put on calendar for summer

Working Group Report-Backs

Building & permits

Meetings: Not currently meeting

Commons

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

Communications

Meetings: Not currently meeting

Finance

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

  • Laura: sudo mesh is now a 501c3 so they're signing a lease to be a tenant instead of fiscally sponsored project
    • time for tenants to renew leases: CSC FNB CCL PB
  • cafe situation: laura's been talking to them. trying to write a new lease. all 4 original parties have to agree on terms for modifying it. this seems very unlikely. so we'll ask for proposals from the smaller parties and choose which to go with. probably the fairest way to go forward.
    • julian: contracting with known wage thieves isn't acceptable by our solidarity statement. is there any situation why there's a good reason to accept a lease from known wage thieves?
    • laura: i agree with the point you're making. at this point it's only the word of one group against the other group. asking for more documentation. that'd obviously be a huge strike against [redacted]

Fundraising

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?

  • nobody volunteers any updates on their collectives

Ban Report (if any)

Proposals

Note on the order of proposal discussion, for the record

  • First, BAPS removed
  • Second, GCEA removed
  • Third, mediation proposal approved
  • Fourth, Jenny hire proposal approved

Revised Mediation Proposal

  • Placed on the pad by Katrina, Yar, Julio many weeks ago (Revisions from last meeting incorporated)
    • Pay up to $1500 to Melissa Merin to facilitate a process to resolve current major conflict at Omni Commons.

Hold sessions on 3 Saturdays in April or May based on responses to the survey. Mediation must begin by May 31, 2019 and end by June 30, 2019.

    • No one who is banned from Omni will be invited or allowed to participate.
    • Participants will be decided based on who has completed the survey in advance.
    • Participants in the mediation will be expected to speak about their own personal experiences, rather than speaking on behalf of others.
    • The scope of the mediation should be defined in advance such that it is reasonable to accomplish in the 3 proposed sessions. The proposed purpose of the mediation will be:
      • 1. To restore trust between GCEA and OC and their members;
      • 2. If trust is restored, to negotiate a new agreement for GCEA (removed "to become a member collective");
      • 3. If there is time, identify the policies and practices that have the most negative impact on participation of people of color at Omni and, since there is not likely enough time to deal with them fully, to at least reach an agreement on next steps to do so.

discussion

  • Yar: The only collective who was blocking last time was BAPS. BAPS is no longer a collective. Reads proposal.
  • Mary Anne: i didn't hear clearly what you said about who could participate. proposal laura submitted said anyone who's a member of omni or working group
  • yar: we ask for your trust in using our judgement based on responses to survey
  • julian: seems redundant since you've removed baps. already made decision.
  • laura: mary anne, we talked about that. the issues are represented here, the concern about random people showing up and leaving have already been answered.
  • Kiwi - The depth of miscommunication regarding the paperwork is majorly significant. Any time a racist act is committed, if you look away, you're equally racist.
  • David - can you restate the scope of the mediation? (Yar reads)
  • Consenso: In favor - ken CCL, dennis LL, phil FNB, maryanne CSC, yar sudo
    • Abstain: GWS
    • block: none
  • Yar - PLEASE come to me with dates you are available for the mediation

GCEA Lease Termination

  • This proposal was developed with input from Chiapas Solidarity Committee and Global Women’s Strike, and represents GWS consensus. Laura and Jenny also contributed.
  • OC will send a 3 day notice (prepared by OC's attorney Jesse Palmer) to GCEA and to Oakland Public Education Fund advising them that they have 3 days to remedy the unauthorized signature on the lease, any other breaches of the lease, and pay all back rent - or vacate the Omni. This step is necessary for several reasons:
    • -The pattern of misrepresentation of GCEA’s legal status and finances, and failure to pay its agreed-upon rent, undermines the spirit of trust and cooperation that is necessary for collective sustainability.
    • -To protect OC from a situation in which the lack of a legal agreement with a resident unincorporated organization leads to inadequate insurance coverage, or threatens OC’s 501c3 status (via Jesse: “Omni has an obligation to use its assets exclusively for charitable purposes and if parties are using space but not paying rent, that may be conferring a benefit on private persons unless they are using the space exclusively for charitable purposes. This is one of the required provisions in Omni's articles of incorporation, which read (in relevant part): ‘The property of this corporation is irrevocably dedicated to charitable purposes and no part of the net income or assets of the organization shall ever inure to the benefit ... any private person.’” ). Given GCEA’s false claim of being a 501c3, lack of transparent accounting, and Almaz’s possible use of GCEA funds for personal expenses, this is a real issue.
    • -To clarify that GCEA has no right under our policies and bylaws to delegate a representative to the OC board as it has no legal contract with OC.
    • -To reduce conflict during the day to day operation of OC until the proposed mediation has concluded.

Until a new lease is negotiated, GCEA may have events and classes at OC by reserving space through the normal event request and scheduling process. Almaz and other members of GCEA are welcome to participate in Omni activities as individuals.

  • Additional information and argument for this proposal from Laura, 4 April 2019
    • The issues related to GCEA and Almaz's status at OC, and the lack of acceptance of the GCEA new lease proposal, come down to the fact that most people at OC no longer trust Almaz or GCEA to keep their agreements, interact honestly and openly with other individuals and groups, or treat everyone with respect. This lack of trust is based in actual patterns of behavior that must be addressed. Keeping agreements is the basis of working collecitvely and not being accountable to those agreements threatens the existence of the collective. For this reason alone, GCEA should no longer remain a member collective. Some of the major breaches of trust that have occurred:
      • GCEA misrepresented their financial situation when they signed their fiscal sponsorship agreement with OPEF. OPEF only sponsors orgs with at least $50,000 annual revenue. GCEA is nowhere near that level and so must have stated that they were. The contract made GCEA a part of OPEF and provided GCEA with services in exchange for a percentage of their fundraising and some oversight. GCEA neither utilized the services, nor followed administrative requirements, such as submitting their lease with OC to be approved and signed by OPEF authorized signers. This makes the OC lease with OPEF void. It appears as if GCEA signed this fiscal sponsorship agreement without intending to comply with it and only because OC required it be fiscally sponsored to become a member collective.
      • GCEA let its required insurance lapse on 4/11/18 and did not get another policy until Laura asked for it before the meeting with her and Yar on 3/20/19. The new policy was with a different agent anad effective the day before the meeting.
      • GCEA has already had back rent forgiven and a new lease signed with a reduction in rent and expenses. GCEA held several events in the fall of 2018 that Almaz called fundraisers and said would enable GCEA to pay rent. Rent was not paid. For most people, this makes GCEA's proposal made earlier this year that they will have fundraisers in the future to pay back rent unconvincing. Almaz has repeatedly expressed resentment that FNB pays a symbolic rental amount but has never made a proposal to change this or raised it as a discussion in any meeting, although she has been advised on multiple occasions that this is how she should go about changing things she disagrees with at OC. This suggests that Almaz actually wants to pay no rent like FNB.
      • As along time member of the Commons Working Group, Almaz is very familiar with the policies and procedures for booking and running events. However, GCEA has repeatedly held public events in the ballroom at which alcohol was served without proper permits, putting OC at risk of being fined and shut down. Ballroom events for which Almaz was the point person have received noise complaints on several occasions. The event point-personed by Almaz on December 7 received a noise complaint even though Almaz was advised by Omni members in the building after 11 that the sound was too loud. A recent GCEA fundraiser on Friday March 29th also received a noise complaint at 12:27am from the same person who complained at the previous event.
      • Almaz attempted to claim event rental money paid to OC by an outside organization as a donation to GCEA. She made this claim without discussing it in advance with the Commons Working group and by secretly and retroactively changing documents, including the event request submitted by the renter.
      • GCEA has continuued to misrepresent its incorporation status. falsely claimed to be a 501c3 on their website. When confronted about this initially Almaz has a variety of excuses, but didn't take down the claim until her meeting with Laura and Yar, at which she said she didn't even know it was there becasue the website creator had written it. SHe had also claimed that GCEA has submitted its 1023 and is just waiting for its approval letter. She has still not produced even the first page, or a redacted version, of the application, saying she is concerned about privacy of board members. SHe has also claimed to be incorporated in California but has not produced any documentation.
      • Almaz has repeatedly resorted to calling individuals, and OC as an organization, racist in situations where people have disagreed with her or when she hasn't gotten what she wanted. The first time this occured was when the members of Agua Viva weren't willing to take her on as a worker-owner because she had only recently gotten involved at OC (maybe 6 weeks earlier), and 1 worker-owner had never met her before the meeting at which she made her request. THey offered to pay her for her time until they got to know her. She was furious after this and even after I listened to her perspective and explained Agua Viva's for a couple of hours, she has never waivered from this accusation. I and Brian, our secretary, have spent many hours listening to Almaz's concerns and complaints of racism. Early on, I spoke to one person about their tone and manner of speaking to Almaz. Since then, her accusation have been non-specific and in response to situations described above. This pattern makes it almost impossible to identify and address any actual racist behavior or policies she or GCEA may have experienced, and contributes significantly to the distrust many people have toward her.
    • The refusal by Julian and Steve to admit that there is anything troubling about this pattern of dishonesty and agreement violation, or to hold Almaz and GCEA accountable to their agreements, is based in an insidious and pernicious racism that believes black and other oppressed people are incapable of controlling their behavior, and are too incompetant to be expected to do what they say, and should therefore be exempt from community standards, rules, agreements, and accountability. This goes way beyond taking people's life situations into account, making new agreements, and cutting people slack to the point where adults are infantalized and treated as less than adult human beings. This is the worst form of racism that exists at Omni and we should openly recognize this and refuse to capitulate to it any longer.
    • Regarding the contoversy over the requirement to be a tenant or fiscally sponsored project of Omni in order to be a member collective:
      • I presented a proposal on 7/19/18 called "Criteria to become and remain an Omni Commons Member Collective". Being a tenant or fiscally sponsored project of Omni was one of the criteria.
        • Julian's response to the criteria at thie meeting was:

Julian - two questions here. criteria, and how to recruit. the criteria mainly seem good tho the member #s is a bit high

      • The proposal was discussed at 5 meetings and there were objections raised to some of the specific requirements and their application to existing rather than new collectives. However, no one ever raised an objection to the tenancy or project requirement.
      • I presented another proposal on 9/17/18 called "New Member Collective Application Process" that specifically requires new collective to sign a lease or fiscal sponsorshiip agreement. This proposal was relatively uncontroversial and was eventually passed. It was discussed at multiple meetings and no objection to this requirement was raised.
        • Every member collective in the history of Omni, and especially since we bought the building, has had either a lease or a fiscal sponsorship. When this proposal was discussed, everyone appeared to believe that this requirement is reasonable.
      • Just becasue some people retrospectively don't like this proposal we passed, doesn't give them the right to prevent its implementation. Make a different proposalif you don't like it.

discussion

  • kiwi: we never discussed gcea's proposal from jan. this is destructive
  • laura: you're mistaken. we did discuss it. i sent almaz emails explaining problems. you haven't made counter proposal
  • kiwi: i think we should discuss it and vote on it. then we can move into mediation.
  • everybody seems to understand the proposal, we don't need to read it
  • Kiwi - I wouldn't think that the majority of Omni members generally believe the allegations against GCEA. I think it's a few people with loud mouths.
    • Yar: I've been trying to mediate this conflict for the past year. The more I try to defend GCEA the more i've found myself standing alone. My experience is that there are very few people at the Omni who oppose the proposal at this point.
    • kiwi: that's disheartening
  • laura: every person here reps a collective, we've all discussed this proposal. reps agreement of their orgs. me & others don't have confidence in gcea
  • phil: my criticism is that this is sliding into hostile takeover. continuous confrontation
  • rachel: can laura read some points?
    • laura reads "additional information and argument" above
    • yar: they chose not to be fiscally sponsored by omni because we're not audited, which is a requirement for some grants. not a sinister reason
      • jenny: didn't ever mention that or ask if we were...
    • joe" makes sense to me. by crying "racist" every time almaz doesn't agree with something - it happened to me twice, i couldn't understand it all, simple things like asking for a floor plan of basement computers - i thought about it a long time, maybe she's been so harassed or mistreated that any question triggers memories. i learnt a lot from that but it goes far beyond that. using the race card so often for things like not paying rent, misrepreenting agreements, lying, having alchol without permit, putting omni in almost constant jeapordy. makes it impossible to know what's really going on. amazing that baps can discard allthese violations of agmts. i'm afriad it's because steve (not you julian) likes to throw in others faces that we're not as radical as he is. he's gonna show us all how to be good antiracists and we don't know anything. really pathetic.
    • julian: seems unfair that you haven't fully read the criticism of baps ... you don't call us unreasonable, you call us insidiously racist
    • laura: i said that in previous proposal
    • mary anne: proposal to terminate existing lease?
      • laura: i believe lease is void/null but jesse suggested we send 3 day notice to be clear
    • mary anne: there's no choice afiac but it's not being performed. what gcea said is they couldn't pay rent in lease and want a different lease. you can't negotiate a different lease if one still exists and hasn't been terminated. we don't have muchof a choice. if we don't back rent will accrue.
    • kiwi: look at proposal. (one from january) vote on it. read the detail of it.
    • rachel: that's not on topic
    • kiwi: we can work something out
    • laura: significant objections from many people ab january proposal. we could take a straw poll. who'd be in favor of jan proposal?
      • by straw poll, all currently active collectives excepting GCEA / BAPS are opposed to GCEA's proposal
      • yar: it's too late. you all had so many chances.
      • Kiwi - I feel that there wasn't sufficient discussion of GCEA's proposal, and there wasn't sufficent time to work out something on that basis.
  • ken: i remember this proposal. thought it needed improvement but wasn't responsive to changes. this isn't end of the world. right now we're talking about a procedure to still have gcea here. a process we're eliminating current lease, doing new lease.
  • maryanne: i can tell you exactly why I would never approve the gcea proposal for new lease from january. it's because they proposed that the money from out of the blue event go to pay back rent. based on docs laura presented, my understanding is the money was supposed to go to omni and then as laura described earlier.
    • Yar - first of all, I have the January proposal in front of me. It makes a request around the use of the Out f the Blue funds. it expresses a willingness to work and improve on that proposal. The point of all of this is that we do need mediation. We need to acknowledge GCEA has failed to uphold the current lease, end this current lease, then meet in mediation. I think it will be better for mediation if we've parted ways first. That's
    • Kiwi - the picture that people have painted of Almaz is not fair. Now I can see why POC scream racism. Racism is when an individual commits a racist act. To put this in a big scale of the Omni organization, that's very problematic. As far as the Out of the Blue event - my understanding is that was all a big misunderstanding. Seeing this all gives me a sense of this being filthy racism. Today us, tomorrow our supporters. filthy filthy racism
    • Yar - I very much hope you'll participate in mediation, Kiwi.
  • Consenso: In favor - CCL, FNB, LL, GWS, CSC, Sudo
    • Abstain - 0
    • Blocks: Julian for BAPS
  • julian: consensus is clear. no point in being absurd. i'm blocking but there's no point. It would be simple and straightforward for a proposal that removes both BAPS and GCEA to be putforward and that would be not effectively be a new proposal, because all collectives excepting BAPS and GCEA have already agreed to that.
  • yar: my understanding is that as of now neither baps or gcea is a member collective. anyone disagree?
    • joe: i'm confused. on principle, i'd be more comfortable with having jesse issue 3 day notice - detainer? do something on a more solid basis. clear that even back in jan they didn't really deserve status as collective. almaz signed things and agreed with people or lied to them who extended sponsorship to her. that'd be my preference
    • laura: that was the proposal
  • rachel: it's clear to me we should do that. get lawyer to send notice.
  • kiwi: majority can be tyrant, filthy racist. but minority always when they stick together the future is better. might have a voice. all picture you painted is false.
  • NOTE: Julian/BAPS conceded that the two termination proposals could be combined into one and be passed that way and so agreed that BAPS' and GCEA's memebr cllective status have been terminated.

Proposal to Terminate BAPS Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement and Member Collective Status

  • Placed on the pad at the previous meeting by Laura, modifications have been made based on feedback
  • Bay Area Public School was fiscally sponsored by OC to:

● enlarge movement and collective understanding of the structures we face; ● place our present activities in their relevant history; ● understand the forces of evolution acting on our actions and organizations; ● study the extant literature addressing political forms and structures, varieties of party and organization forms, the archive of movement politics and principles, and strategies of organizing; ● organize classes, seminars, workshops and educational events on the above topics; ● coordinate space for these activities in the Omni and elsewhere; ● develop syllabi, outlines, focus topics, lists of references, etc.

  • Since January 2018, BAPS has only held the following 4 classes:

Marx was Right Reading Group - 2-6/2018 Poets’ House - Intermittent events 2-11/2018 The East: Solo Performance Laboratory - 5-10/2018 Writing with World Stuff - 10/2018 to the present.

  • BAPS has made little to no effort to recruit new classes, research what kind of classes would be of interest and benefit to OC or the neighborhood community, or otherwise use OC fiscal sponsorship to develop the activities for which it was sponsored.
  • BAPS has had only between 1-5 active members for at least 2 years. Only 2 people have consistently attended BAPS meetings. With usually only 2 members from similar backgrounds discussing and deciding upon any proposal or issue, they only hear a very limited range of opinions. Most collectives have to reach some level of agreement between many more people from more diverse perspectives.
  • Currently, BAPS and its delegate are blocking the proposal to hire Jenny Ryan as bookkeeper on a temporary contract. This proposal is urgent and supported by everyone else in the organization. This block shows that BAPS does not take seriously the main duty of a Delegate to support sound, ethical, and legal governance and financial management of Omni Commons as an organization.
  • The principle members of BAPS have continuously exhibited the belief that black and other oppressed people are incapable of controlling their behavior, and are too incompetant to be expected to do what they say, and should therefore be exempt from community standards, rules, agreements, and accountability. In addition to being ethically unsound and offensive, this insidious form of racism currently threatens the existence of Omni Commons both culturally and administratively.
  • Given BAPS minimal activities at OC, it’s lack of any unified organizing effort, it’s failure to fulfill its responsibility to support the continued healthy functioning of the organization, and the racism exhibited by its principle members, BAPS’ fiscal sponsorship agreement should be discontinued. Per the agreement:
    • 8. The board retains the right to terminate collection of funds for the Project at any time upon giving written notice to the Committee.
  • Taking into account the large workload of the Treasurer, bookkeeper, and Finance Working Group over the next several months, and the length of time the proposal to hire Jenny has been stalled, this decision should be made and enacted immediately.
  • Since member collectives are required to be either fiscally sponsored projects of OC or tenants of OC, termination of the fiscal sponsorship contract also ends BAPS status as a member collective.
  • Current or future classes that members of BAPS would like to hold can be scheduled at OC through event contracts via the Commons working group.
  • Should an actual collective come together to undertake similar activities to BAPS in the future, it is welcome to apply to be a member collective or for fiscal sponsorship.
  • NOTE: Julian/BAPS conceded that the two termination proposals could be combined into one and be passed that way and so agreed that BAPS' and GCEA's memebr cllective status have been terminated.

discussion

  • laura summarizes differences in this new version: she removed the part about "not making contributions", and added new points starting with "the principle..."
  • laura also clarifies history of us passing language that member collectives have to be tenants or projects. nobody at the meetings raised objections to that part in conversations. we did specifically pass requirements for new collectives. no objections were raised. people seemed to assume it'd be the case, since it's been true at least since we bought the building
  • rachel: so much animosity & nastiness from baps. it's shocking, how can we continue together with this division going on? sometimes it's necessary to split. splits are hard on orgs but they happen. i've been there because people can't get along, don't see things the same way. i think that's happening here. we're not compatible anymore given the fury and anger and steve and unpleasantness. why do you want to be part of omni? doesn't make any sense. it's been so ugly. we're a collective here, want to be able to work collectively and it's not seeming possible, so i don't see any way out except a split with baps.
  • ken: at ccl mtg last week, we voted unanimously to support jenny, and 8 of 5 to eliminate baps (abstensions not downvotes). stuff about making donations smacks of pay to play. rather capitalistic to start rating how people pay. i don't think that's in the spirit of what the collectives are about. people said baps hasn't been a collective for years - 2 people run it, don't check with anyone except each other. that's been clear in discussions. nobody in ccl has any qualms about removing baps. we don't think of it as baps anymore, only about 2 [?] who've taken over a group and using that to force their way over a collective group. we don't support that. at some point we talked about inviting someone from FBI, and steve threatened to kick out patrick & others at ccl, interrupted our collective process. running wolf situation dragged on for months. a bully verbally, physically intimidating everyone, esp smaller people, in omni, to the point he didn't represent any indigenous community, just one person. after he was kicked out they made him a member of baps. further shows the folks representing baps are incompetent. try to coerce us by his bullying, can't produce a real collective of other members to contribute.
  • Yar: We has a long sudo room meeting last night. I orignally said if
    • blocks: kiwi from GCEA
  • joe: i want to hear their reason for blockingBAPS would support hiring Jenny, I would block this proposal. HOwever, in the past 2 weeks it seems they are abusing the consensus process to continue blocking the hiring Jenny proposal. I have reservations but I am not going to stand against everyone else in my collecitve.
  • Julian: I assume a number of people have read the email i wrote. i dont' have much to say wrt the proposal. procedurally it seems like you're gonna have to do a proposal that simultaneously removes GCEA and BAPS. otherwise one or other of us can block.
  • IN favor: CCL, GWS, FNB, CSC, FNB, sudo
    • abstains: none
    • Kiwi: Its very important for Omni to have diverse poc and point of views. I see an elite that dictates.
    • Yar: what was the collective process for GCEA to come to that decision?
    • kiwi: baps being hanged like a black man. white man can be hanged too when they support poc. collective becoming an elite.
    • Yar: WHo was involved with the process? How many people were involved in the discussion?
    • kiwi: about 7
    • Yar: I agree with the principles you have raised. And I have been trying to keep both groups in the Omni, but the actions of people in both groups have made that impossible.

Hire Jenny as the Bookkeeper

  • Jenny with support of Finance Working Group, has been is discussion for many weeks
  • I am now incapable of continuing to engage on this level with Omni’s bookkeeping and operations on a volunteer basis. I enjoy this work, and have been studying nonprofit bookkeeping and law generally over the past three years, obtained Quickbooks certifications, attended webinars and workshops, and have already begun doing nonprofit bookkeeping as a paid position for other clients. However, I have bills to pay and will soon need to find full-time paid employment or the equivalent - which means I won't have time to work on Omni. This work adds up to minimally 20 hours/month and is reliant on skilled labor that has been consistently out of reach for Omni Commons since its inception. Starting March 1st, all of our community loans - totalling over $100K with monthly average repayments to the tune of $3,200 - will have been repaid! We are now in a position, financially, to afford professional bookkeeping and administrative services (see Feasibility). Paying for skilled labor is not unprecedented: since our beginnings, we have readily paid the hourly or project-based rate for legal assistance, city permitting and inspection fees, and building and maintenance work (including electrical, plumbing, fire safety, and roof repair) - as well as supporting paid A/V for events. Traditionally, those we hire have been people aligned and familiar with Omni’s vision and structure, or recommended by comrades within our community. Summary/Proposal: It seems to me that Omni has the following options: Hire an accountant and train them in the structure and history of Omni and its collectives (probably expensive); Hire another Omni volunteer and train them in bookkeeping, taxes, etc; (who will do the training?); Attempt to find someone else to do this work for free; Pay me to continue doing the work I've been doing for free over the past 3+ years.
  • Consenso: In favor - ccl, fnb, gws, csc, sudo, ll
  • Abstain: none
  • Blocking: none
  • Passes

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