Event:2019/12/05 Delegates Meeting

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Omni Delegates' Meeting - 5 December 2019 7pm-9pm

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


  • Introductions [15 minutes]
    • Meeting Roles
    • Delegates Count
    • Access Check-in
  • Check-ins, Updates & Report-Backs [30 minutes]
    • Brief Announcements
    • Working Groups
    • Member Collectives
    • Conflicts, Mediation & Safe Space
  • Proposals & Discussions


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

  • WHY DO WE ASK PRONOUNS? To make space for people who are trans, nonbinary, gender noncomforming or otherwise vulnerable to being misgendered. It's not an invitation to make jokes or trivialize the idea of pronouns. If you are fine with the gender and pronouns society generally assigns to you, please just say what they are without fanfare or embellishment. Conversely, please don't pressure anybody to give their pronouns, as that can harm trans people who are closeted or questioning. The point is to prompt and normalize asking, but not to mandate or enforce. Thank you! <3 Yar
  • Mylan - Phat Beets - delegate
  • Shido - FYE - Hostin a ball at the end of the year - 28th in the ballroom - community collab event - fashion gala / dance party, monochromatic theme - delegate
  • Phil - FNB - he/him - short agenda item on basement space needs
  • Roya - Phat Beets
  • Jenny - Sudo -
  • Jane - she/her - GWS - Poor People's Campaign - no access needs atm
  • Rachel - GWS/ Poor People's Campaign
  • Richie - La Segunda Historias - stories/creators, interested in becoming a member collective - how to get access -
  • Dennis - LibLens - he/him - Delegate
  • Wes - he/him - here w/ Richie - here to see what it's all about
  • Joe - he/him - FNB - Phil can be delegate - speak up! - announce: another climate strike tomorrow, people borrowing stuff from FNB - if you see anybody here to get stuff from supply room, please help them get in
    • Saturday - East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Fair - will be all day,
  • Ken - CCL - Delegate

Access Check In

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

Meeting Roles

  • Facilitator/s:
  • Explanation of hand signals: "deaf applause", "raised hand", "point of process", "direct response"(wildcard), etc.
  • Stacktaker:
  • Timekeeper:
  • Notetaker/s:
  • Vibe Reader:
  • Who will out next meeting's agenda beforehand:
  • Next meeting's facilitator(s):


  • CCL: Ken
  • CSC: N/A
  • FNB: Phil
  • FYE: Shido
  • GWS: Jane/Rachel
  • LL: Dennis
  • Phat Beets: Mylan
  • Sudo: Jenny
  • Quorum: 7/8 YES

Brief Announcements

Working Group Report-Backs

Building & permits

  • Meetings: only the kitchen group meets regularly, new times tbd
  • https://omnicommons.org/lists/listinfo/building
  • trying to organize a building wide small task work party -- Roberto -- Wed or Thursday
  • to tackle roof repair and leaks, update the chalk board with small tasks
  • for exterior changes, run by Betsy Morris at the city
  • AB from FYE willing to sew up a new awning


  • Meetings: 2nd & 4th Mondays at 5:30pm
  • https://omnicommons.org/lists/listinfo/booking
  • Joe: Things slowing down. New member Silver and kinda Lukas. More groups getting involved at lower fees. Trying to plan an extended session for one of our regular meetings to discuss idea of sponsorship - in particular relationship of sponsored group applying. Ballroom and Entrance Hall may be rented to for-profits, still determining sponsorship - working on that.
    • Looking into new booking platforms, ongoing
    • New members welcome! Balancing between talking w/ interested groups/events and existing collective endeavors. New age Landlord

Finance & Fundraising

  • Meetings: 1st & 3rd Mondays at 5:30pm
  • https://omnicommons.org/lists/listinfo/finance
  • 2018 taxes submitted, started an operations fund 30k, not yet at capital fund
  • refinance mortgage so everything needs to be prepped
  • end of month coming up with 5 year budget plan/expectations
  • Mylan, can we switch meeting to a different day that isn't Monday
  • Jenny: Finance and fundraising hasn't met for a bit. Jenn'y beens out of town, laura's been out of town. We constitute the group right now. We could use more people. We have an extension, we submitted it on time (literally the last day we could). I sent the 990 and other submitted docs. If you go to omnicommons.org/wiki/Finance you can see a breakdown of our finances and all previous submitted tax documents. We are doing OK. We're definitely doing better than previous years but previous years we were really struggling. We have an operating reserve fund now and are starting to get into the black. What we're attempting to rool up getting money for roof repair, fire prevention system and or sprinkler system with re-financing the mortgage.
  • Jenny: Budgetting is the next major thing. If you're interested, you can join in discussions with the finance working group. We meet first and third Mondays at 5:30 pm (before Omnbi delegates meeting) but you can also join the mailing list.
  • Jenny: Now that the taxes are done I'm hoping to focus on budgetting and the mortgage refinancing. At least getting a packet together for other folks to work on by the end of the month. I want to put out an updated 5 year budget with updated rent roles and other updats. It's becoming urgent because we really need to fix the roof. We could maybe become the People Powered Solar Collective next project but we need to fix the roof for that to happen. If you haven't heard about it let me know and I can link the mailing list thread.
    • Ken: It sounds like the Tesla offer stimulated looking at People Powered solar.
      • Jenny: No we got an unsolicited email from Tesla. I actually didn't read it.

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?



  • jenny: They are having a fundraiser next week I believe.
  • Event relating to Bay area community land trust December 11th or 12th event, not sure yet.
    • Action & Anti-Fascism Across Borders: Mapping Women & GNC Led Resistance Against Rising Repression (working title) - Dec 12th


  • Joe: We're cruising along, cooking and feeding six days a week and doing distributions three days a week. We're getting offers for a lot of vehicles. The old needle exchange van. Another older van and I'm telling everybody after they test drive them if they can't afford to insure them to let Phat Beets know. We also have an offer for Stop Waste to buy a new truck. And that's it. We generally and this year even more so the churches just bring out the chickens and ham on christmas and thanksgiving and we're vegan and vegetarians so we don't really operate on those days. Greg does serve a vegetarian meal on christmas at people's park at 3 o'clock


  • Shido: We're having a ball. We've been optimizing the space in the bsaement for the media collective. We just got a rotating screen press so trying to make space for that. Next year we plan to host a monthly workshop and community event session in collaboration with another person we know.
    • Joe: It looks really good down there.
    • Shido: With the lab I know you've got a lot of stuff down there. Just working with them on things being claimed and situated in the most optimal way.
      • Ken: CCL is aware and working diligently but it's holidays so... We're going to go through all of it and make keep and sell lists.
      • Shido: No rush, we're working with you.


  • Rachel: There's a mass multi-org event this Wednesday with lots of organizations coming together. Poverty, Racism, Environmental degradation, Military, distorted moral narritive. 7 pm at ? church after a short march. A national coming together. We're planning to all go to D.C. next year on June 20th.
  • Short march starting at 7pm in SF at Civic Center
    • Goal is to get 1000 people to show
  • Finally decorated our room upstairs!


  • Dennis: No report about recent events - planning for next year. Need to meet to discuss possibilities of livestreaming production here at Omni. Had some recent workshops on how to do it elsewhere, want to discuss setting this up at Omni
  • Bunker to come request exhibiting his work Dec 19th

Phat Beets

  • Mylan: Our updates
    • Reached our fundraising goal for vehicle! getting another hopeful truck, looks like we'll have $12K to put down on the vehicle - feeling good about that. Excited to welcome Roya.
    • We do close for two weeks between Xmas and New Years - will be doing a workday in our office to fill holes in the walls, as fairly certain mice come through tiny holes near the electrical straight to the outside.
    • Don't have leaks, just the other problem
    • Marc: Spray-in insulation you can use
      • Jenny & Ken: We have supplies in Secure Storage & CCL


  • Every Tuesday is the standard hack night @ 7:30pm
  • Sudo Mesh -- solar powered 4G access points, probably going to deploy this weekend

Conflicts, Mediation & Safe Space

  • Updates for any ongoing issues
    • Village Storage:
      • Mylan has (thank goddess) volunteered to send statement to Village/Needa
  • There's stuff right next to the freezers used by FnB in the basement. It needs to moved by Sunday.
  • Jenny: They weren't told to leave stuff there, only the Village storage area and small stuff in the Omni office. I can take care of that tonight.
  • Mylan: There was water in the basement near the water heater.
  • Jenny: That's right under the bathrooms and shaft.
    • Might need to put a cap on the roof vent?


Omni Event Sponsorship

We get a lot of event requests from groups that are totally aligned with Omni values and aren't 501c3s. The proposal was a protocol by which members collectives of Omni or Omni itself could sponsor events congruent with Omni's values and mission. We ran it by our Lawyer Jessie. The board of Omni which is the delegates council can delegates certain responsibilities to committees. That's what we do with Finance for example. Creating in essential a fast-turnaround process for Commons Working group to have Omni sponsor events. Partly inspired by conversations in person at the property tax exemption office. If we have even one event that's not provable exampt (not fiscally sponsored and not themselves a 501c3) in a room, then we have to pay property taxes for that room for the entire year. As an example we were recently asked if we could host a memorial event. If we were trying to get property tax exemption. This is in essence a proposal to fast-track 501c3 sponsorship for events by empowering the Commons Working group to approve these sponsorships.

Joe: This will include a lot of new procedures. E.g. if we do this then we'll have to be at the door for events that we're sponsoring. As someone in the Commons Working Group I'm worried about the extra work this could entail. Also worried about leaving people out. I think we should have a meeting in the Commons Working Group to figure out exactly what are procedures will be

Full text: "Any Omni member collective may sponsor events upon approval by the Commons Working Group.

Sponsored events must meet the following criteria:

  • Congruent with Omni’s mission, values, and charitable activities, eg:
    • Furthering free education and co-learning;
    • Supporting educational and political endeavors;
    • Supporting creative and artistic projects;
    • Align with Omni’s Mission and Values.
  • Grassroots organizations or put on by individuals - no explicit political candidate support;
  • NOTAFLOF (No One Turned Away For Lack Of Funds) / sliding scale admission.

All sponsored events must follow the following procedure:

  • Submit an event request at https://omnicommons.org/occupy listing the sponsoring member collective;
  • Receive approval by the Commons Working Group;
  • Sign a fiscal sponsorship agreement (to be drafted by Jesse);
  • Either a representative of the sponsoring collective or a Commons WG member must collect any funds raised or admission fees collected at the door from the event host, after which point funds would be dispersed back to the event host according to the terms of the fiscal sponsorship agreement.

Fiscal Sponsorship - Two Options:

  • 1. PROJECT - as a project of Omni, so that a group or would suggest an event, and Omni would on paper operate the event as an Omni event run by the group or person sponsoring the event. Ideal for events with less complex income sources such as donations from participants or door fees and less complex expenses. The event sponsor would collect funds which would be Omni funds. The agreement could provide for payment / use of some portion of the funds directly for particular charitable uses. (There could also be expense reimbursement or even reasonable payment for services, but if there are payments for services things get more complex.)
  • 2. RE-GRANT - the agreement could provide that the event group or sponsor would put on the event, money would be donated (or paid*?) to Omni, and then Omni would provide a grant (less agreed expenses) to the group or individual sponsor for particular charitable purposes. The event sponsor would need to document that they used the grant funds correctly and Omni would need to keep track of it either with a short grant report or receipts, etc. Typically a re-grant agreement permits the sponsor to ask for the funds back if documentation is not provided.
    • Regarding the source of income being a payment, if the payment is for renting the entire room from a single source vs. a donation or donations or door fees from participants, the situation is confusing. The income is rent and having the fiscal sponsorship paperwork may not change that dynamic -- I want to think about this more with specific examples. For instance, if the anarchist book fair or a zine fest pays rent for the room that they have collected from tables and the zine fest isn't tax exempt, you would need paperwork to clarify the situation."


  • Do birthday parties / memorials count? - juul
  • Joe - means we are at the door, new bookkeeping parameters, additional complexities. This is why I want to wait for after our special meeting so Commons WG can discuss the complexities. Going to take a long time and disciplined discussion to figure this out.
  • From Omni's bylaws:
    • The public and charitable purposes of this corporation are:
      • (a) To educate the public on subjects useful to the individual and beneficial to the community including in particular history, current events, economics, sociology, political science, anthropology, education, psychology, philosophy, science, social theory and the arts by presenting public discussion groups, forums, panels, lectures, exhibits, audio and video presentations, distributing of printed and on-line materials, and other similar programs.
      • (b) To carry on scientific research in the public interest by conducting research directed towards benefiting the public and distributing the results of said research to all members of the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.
      • (c) To provide relief to the poor, distressed and underprivileged, to combat community deterioration and to defend human and civil rights secured by law.
      • (d) To lease, manage, own and operate property to promote the purposes stated in (a)-(c), above.
  • Mylan: Lots of things contribute to A
  • Juul: if NOTAFLOF or low-cost, also largely fits in (c)
  • Next Commons WG meeting will be devoted to this: Monday the 9th, 5:30pm in the Entrance Hall
  • T-rex tail is wet as hell. Yar said owner is coming to dismantle it today but it's still here. Needs to be out by Sat morning.


Basement Discussion

  • Ken: parameters of what's allowed from City rodent person to wander through and look...?
    • not sure who it is, friend of CCL member.
  • Mylan - seeds coming out of the wall
    • found rat and mouse droppings on the desk
  • Ken: Been prosletyzing having some kitty cats in the building for ages, only one person ever objected on grounds of allergies
    • Joe: They gotta be real killers. can't feed em too much or rats will become playmates
      • ken: willing to be their trainer, very experienced.
    • Marc: Norwegian Forest Cat - less allergenic and larger than most cats

Omni Membership

  • Richie (of La Segunda Historias): Storytelling/content creation / marketing - ability to storyboard / create content / marketing / brand identity
    • AB: Great person to collaborate with, think Omni could use lots more contentc;
      • Richie: Doing work with FB, think people should know more about this stuff. Come from a social work background. Stories essential to brand identity and etc;

Last Meeting Notes


End of Meeting