Event:2020/03/26 Delegates

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Omni Delegates' Meeting - March 26, 2020 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

Access Check In

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

Meeting Roles

  • Facilitator/s: Roberto
  • Explanation of hand signals: "deaf applause", "raised hand", "point of process", "direct response"(wildcard), etc.
  • Stacktaker: try to be respectful - still figuring out jitsi
  • Timekeeper: AB
  • Notetaker/s: Jenny, Robb,
  • Vibe Reader: Mai :)
  • Who will put out next meeting's agenda beforehand: Roberto
  • Next meeting's facilitator(s): Robb


  • CCL: Patrik
  • CSC: Maryann
  • FNB: Helen
  • FYE: AB
  • GWS: Jane
  • LL: Robb
  • Phat Beets:
  • Sudo: Jenny
  • Quorum: yes 7/8


  • Roberto: doing okay, lots of time, not working rn
  • Helen: FNB is carrying on w/ usual program. concerned about cleaning downstairs -
    • jenny: helen - contact for people who want to volunteer?
  • Robb: he/him, LibLens
  • Patrik: healthy but bored, and overworked simultaneously. CCL Board Meeting yesterday - official new delegates for CCL are Patrik, Ramy, and Michael Arent
  • Jenny: not muted, mic not working - am okay - working on bayareamutualaid.org - and omni finance, and sudo mesh stuff. more updates in a few
  • Mai - she/they - world is crazy, trying to deal with it. wanted to say if anyone has any major needs, i have a car and can help out (<3) - trying to work on omni application for sudo mesh but my brain's not working, working on it!
  • AB - FYE - tried to have a FYE meeting but had to switch to next week - am good, working a lot, out a lot but not in social setting, just trying to be outdoors. omni's pretty quiet, i'm here often, it's cool
  • Matt - he/him - Sudo - doing ok, been a lil MIA but this is exciting, how interesting! wondering who else is on the call. no one's access needs are met but everyone's making do, i guess?
  • Mary Ann - she/her - access needs met - Chiapas delegate - no announcements except that on the last virtual call we had all were okay
  • Jane - she/her - access needs met - GWS delegate - liking this slowed-down state

Working Group Report-Backs

Building & permits


  • Meetings: 2nd & 4th Mondays at 5:30pm
  • https://omnicommons.org/lists/listinfo/booking
  • joe, robb & roberto met monday
  • pending and recurring events have been cancelled, renters notified
  • discussed mutual aid activities - sunday event happened, but caught us off-guard
  • centralize it more, or deal within commons wg requests for mutual aid? if they follow the protocol
  • jenny: shared protocols with Village who are seeking to use Omni for distro/mutual aid
    • they started sharing an IG post, sent link to request and put a stop on it - response was "can i still use the office
  • Robb: remove chairs w/ fabric upholestery that will need to be cleaned. work in progress
  • Helen: how did they maintain social distance?
    • Robb: they took steps, all wearing gloves & masks, generally awareness but that should have been enforced. since they had taken measures didn't really want to step in and say much - but generally working elbow-to-elbow - when talking to each other, even when wearing masks were still closer than 6ft. wiping everything down, taking a lot of care but something to stress for next one. had enough supplies and left us a gallon of bleach and some sanitizer.
  • Roberto: hope the Village sends in an event request and we can work it out
    • Robb: yes we'd need a contract
  • Mai: Omni Commons calendar still has a lot of events on it
    • Robb: Commons WG should take care of it but haven't gotten to it yet
      • jenny: suggests Mai can help if she wants - think you have edit access?
    • Mai: kitchen fundraiser front & central - suggest different pitch to reflect current conditions, as we're reliant on event rentals
      • jenny: +++1000, i can work with anyone who wants to change up the website
    • robb: use the crisis as a way to fuel the kitchen fundraiser for use in mutual aid efforts? It would take a lot of time to build up though


  • Meetings: 1st & 3rd Mondays at 5:30pm
  • https://omnicommons.org/lists/listinfo/finance
  • We are doing okay, some donations coming in thank you Food Not Bombs!! +$2K
  • We have $30K in operating reserves
  • Talking with Jesse tomorrow about forbearance on mortgage payments- send any questions - would love to work on donation portal and linking up with other bay area orgs and small biznesses
  • Meetings still 1st and 3rd Mondays, some new links to pro-bono bookkeepers to review


- dudes, mute your microphones!!! -

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?


  • Patrik: Board meeting last night. Decided that Patrik/Michael/Ramy will be current CCL delegates. Interested in setting reqs for skeleton crew at CCL/Omni - eg, those at Omni should spend some amount of time patrolling the building, wiping down surfaces etc. Check sheet? eg noting when areas have been cleaned, roster of who has gone around and wiped door handles, etc. We may allow in the future some folks working on covid-related projects w/ full safety precautions (no patients, patient samples, or live virus). will let you know if that happens & what our precautions are


  • Mary Ann: Our events are of course cancelled. Talked about doing some of them online - discussing them at next meeting ~ April 5th


  • Helen: Trying to maintain our program with some younger new volunteers taking the frontlines and us older folks stepping back a bit
    • jenny: <3 <3 <3


  • AB: <didn't understand this - jenny> been organizing media lab a lot lately, looking pretty good. in terms of skeleton crew, before getting a protocol for how to maintain omni, first need protocol on how to secure omni - hugely important, because speaking from the inside, way more people coming into omni than you think. any efforts to sanitize undermined by current flow of people coming into omni. access issues are priority wrt any other efforts. lot of random people still coming through
    • jenny: ty for this update.
    • mai: who are they?
      • ab: can just be ppl coming in from outside to use the bathroom, or random collective members
  • roberto: one of the ways is to delegate people/wg to take this on
    • jenny: was not, received pushback. marc had offered but is super overloaded right now with biotech stuff. so is jake, with hardware stuff. will ask yar - yes, keycard reset. AB can submit requests to omnicommons.org/keys for access also made sign but car is not working right now - robb can you print, laminate & post on door?
      • jnny: we need to deactivate all but essential keycards. no, fye guests *can not come to or rent the space* rn - obvi
        • sorry, i have the sign for the door messagng but cant find it rn - looking - jenny

commons messaging:

As of March 2020, Omni Commons has cancelled all pending events and requests [including casual meetups] in adherence to the current Shelter-in-Place edict issued by Alameda County, and out of care for the health and well-being of our community.

Please get in touch if you had an event contract and would like a refund or would like to postpone your event - we will do our best to reach out to all renters as quickly as possible.

When faced with the threat of covid-19 and capitalism, Omni Commons remains committed to be a place to organize, to collaborate, to learn, to celebrate and to develop networks of mutual aid. We must however take caution and act responsibly to protect our community. We ask that organizers interested in using the Omni as a space for mutual aid activities review and implement the following guidelines.

If you are a grassroots or non-profit organization looking to organize a mutual aid event providing essential services to the community, please fill out the request form below:

Thank you for your support and the work you continue to do for our communities.

Love and Solidarity, Commons Working Group


  • Jane: Rachel and I are planning our next GWS meeting. I would be willing to come in once a week to clean door knobs and spagces and generally check out areas


  • Robb: trying to figure out a way forward. looking into doing online classes. still kinda stunned, trying to figure out how to move forward, pay rent, etc - have money, but don't know how to accrue money rn
    • jenny: huge potential in helping with online classes, video tutorials, etc
    • patrik: helping people out w/ youtube videos, etc, potentially monetizeable
      • jenny: can help connect w/ groups that are looking for support. see also:

Phat Beets

  • N/A


  • jenny: sorry! yes, lots of support efforts right now:
   ** bayareamutualaid.org - wiki and open site
   ** peoplesopen.net
   ** open hardware respirator projects - jake
   ** covid19 testing lab - marc working on hard & software for lab propping up in richmond

Conflicts, Mediation & Safe Space

  • Updates for any ongoing issues
  • Has anybody been asked to leave? asked to leave


Proposal: Bank Accounts for all Fiscal-Sponsorships

Submitted by Juul, Sudo Room/CCL, Feb 2020: Approved

What is the status of FYE and The Village?


  • AB - we haven't been able to meet with finance wg to open bank account
    • jenny: take some initiative and ask for a time to meet [at bank, with signers who have IDs listing correct addresses or IDs + home mail utility bills or the like) - i already attempted this twice and y'all have not made any effort. srsly.
  • AB - unprofessional call-out, not factual. we are willing to complete this requirement as per the proposal we voted for, by the time the bank is accessible. Anytime after April 7th (Shelter in Place), which falls before the deadline prompted (April 14th(. We would like to complete this process with anyone that can professionally (& can lovingly assist us :)

What's the plan ya'll?

  • Matt is willing to call Unify Financial Credit Union and see if they are willing to be more flexible given the circumstances.
    • Others are welcome to call too! More people asking, more likely they'll do something anyways lol
  • AB can coordinate a date after the 7th pending the lifting of the shelter-in-place order.
  • jenny: in the interim, rent was due well before the shelter in place order (jan 25), and i hear your parties were quite lucrative. our paypal email is accounts@omnicommons.org
  • AB: we do not throw parties, but artistic showcases as per our mission statement. Our events don't go deep in the night often and neither are they 'quite lucrative'. we have documentation if needed - no accusations or rhetoric needed. Thank you.
    • mai: can we please not call each other out in meetings like this, though clearly there are issues we need to address here.
      • jenny: will start an email thread about the challenges here


  • Have found and approved signers, pursuing incorporation and/or partnership w/ EBPREC
    • jenny: working with Katrina, formerly on the Commons WG and has volunteered to steward village finance stuff. very grateful! hoping to open an account with Community Bank of the Bay imminently (which allows for Unincorporated Associations to open an account - though I've been trying to guide them through the process of incorporating a nonprofit as they seek to buy parcels available from Alameda County Property Tax Auction)
    • Village also just got a $15K anonymous donation, so that's a nice boost for Omni also - about $1K - we may not go negative this month with the combo of support from village + fnb!

Election of Officers

Process Doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QKCzL1jCDZWoY8VYrB6tc3kHaASICSqVK41lyIoeNgQ/edit Duties Doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/18qTUgFjRM_76C0oi3x_3QTU4tjtXyY8jEmVh-3GIqks/edit

  • Timeline
    • Deadline to get list of confirmed candidates: April 9th, 2020
    • Deadline to vote: April 26th, 2020
  • Matt: Someone needs to act as something like an interim secretary for purposes of holding the officers election until the vote so we make sure that this happens within this timeline (1 month).
    • MaryAnn is interim secretary *only* for the purposes of this election. Matt and Patrik will be supporting


  • President: John Torok, AB(?), ?
    • jenny: john has been in convo with me & laura for many months about this and a) is an excellent organizer, b) would take it very seriously. was on last week's call but need to check in with him - he works for the unemployment office :(
  • Treasurer: Jenny Ryan, Helen F(?), ?
    • jenny: down, no change, no problem, and continue to be open to training new folks - is Helen offering?! that would be amazing!!! +1 from me
  • Secretary: Mai Sutton, robb benson?
    • jenny: mai is amazing and this would be entirely in her alley while becoming more familiar w/ the omni community
    • jenny: would also totes support robb in any of these roles

Proposal: Omni as Emergency Distro

submitted by Jenny, 3/19:

Protocol: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1v0-R8RO8bGVEXtmXBnki1Ef0JpR2QNwqY_DrZT0k3_E/edit

I'm sorry I don't have a proposal verbiage in place, this should probably just be a discussion but we also need to make decisions quickly. Temp working group that includes reps from FNB, CCL, at least?

    • Robb: It is a grand idea...had conversations with Max from NORJC (North Oakland Restorative Justice Council).
  • Has food not bombs been involved?
  • Robb: Has talked to Robb and other but things are in flux but it makes sense to work together.
  • Helen: There are a lot of groups out there that are doing stuff
  • Robb: We have a lot to offer. We can scale it and suppprt local groups as distribution.
    • Robb: can reach out to the different parties interested and get the convesation started.
    • jenny: can reach out to Village, Critical Resistance, East Bay Mutual Aid, others via

Proposal: Access at Omni during Coronavirus

  • Roberto: What is our current access protocol?
    • robb: Only essential services only
    • AB: Since Shelter in Place is in effect, unhoused people are granted/given access to Omni still in exchange for contribution of maintenance and security (A.B. - I believe that was agreed upon)
    • Patrik: This was brought up at last week but I don't now if we have consensus on this
  • Robb: Do we board up the building? Change our key cards? But there are still activities going on at Omni
  • Matt: We need to have protocols for day-to-day activities. Matt is willing to call Reed Bros and change the locks and door control system. We should have a Covid-19 WG for Omni. I want to ask if it's okay to spend money on doing that. People coming and going right now is a problem that needs to be dealt with.
    • jenny +++ will help. need to stop needless pass-through access of omni outside of established protocols
  • Robb: Let's talk to Yar about having people that each collective approves as people who can come and go into the building
  • Roberto: +1 with Matt having a Covid-19 WG. We've come with a bottleneck here in the delegates assembly. It's impossible to have all of these decisions made in these full delegates meeting. Even having a meeting a week is inefficient. Let's create a security committee and work on this. It's a pressing issue.
  • Robb: This isn't the time to be shunning people, we need to be compassionate. Balance that with the safety of the community.
  • Matt: This morning the total of # people who are sick in the world is 490,000, then in a few hrs later it was over 500K. We're past the inflection point. Omni shutting down is in some ways a public service to stop the spread of the virus
    • jenny ++ we are not even close to the peak rn
  • Robb: There's also a need for people to use Omni. People who need resources should be able to get resources, there needs to be a balance.
  • Helen: Distribution proposal would have possibly 100's of people in the building. Is the number of people using the bathroom small?
    • Robb: It's not a big issue currently. We put out an extension cord for people to charge their phones. Mostly it's members, elusive friends of members who sort of use it as a social club are who's showing up.
  • AB: +1 on following up regarding efforts to maintaining the space such as sanitizing it, will be undermined unless we have a formal process of having people in to the building. Jenny made a suggestion of printing out signs/sign-in for people, we need to do something soon.
  • Roberto: Should we as collective members be at Omni?
    • Others: No, we shouldn't
      • Roberto: Is FYE concerned about letting people in?
      • AB: No we assumed that people were not welcome to be at Omni so we have not been meeting
      • Robb: We're all under order to shelter in place
      • AB: I want to know what Omni's policy is
  • Patrik: CCL's policy is that no one should be there. So especially when it comes to friends, they shouldn't be there or have a very limited list of people who can be there
  • Robb: Let's talk to Yar about getting in touch with collectives about who is allowed to be at Omni for essential needs. Give member collectives a deadline.
    • jenny ++ this proposal - needs to also include village (essential service fo sho right now)
  • Roberto: Security committee should have a task list of what needs to be done and who is designated as point people as security for the building
  • AB: Is being part of the skeleton crew a pre-requisite for being able to access the building? Is this happening on a volunteer basis? There are a lot more people who are coming through the building.
    • jenny: all those people are in violation of the order and risking lives of our many at-risk members
    • Robb: Being able to control who is coming in or out will be very hard
    • Matt: So that's why we need to have the locks changed
    • Helen: FNB and Phat Beets need access all the time
  • Robb: So we just need a list of who's able to come in to the building, and give them access once the locks on the doors are changed.
    • jenny: fnb & pb are essential service providers. no other member collectives are at current (sudo mesh may become so, we [Omni] could become so if we can establish proper protocols)
  • Roberto: Can we designae this task to the security committee? Who is taking lead on this?
    • AB: I'm here often so I'm down for that
    • Robb: I can take lead on that. I'd like to make a signal group and informally communicate.
    • Roberto: We need to have follow through on documents, to turn in the list of members who have access, to keep the work going
    • Patrik: I'm not there regularly now but I'd be happy to join
    • AB: i'd like to nominate people who are here the most often to join the committee. Myself, Ken, Robb, Anka, FNB folks, etc.
  • Patrik: One of the things we decided at the CCL board meeting is that just two members are allowed to use the space for Wi-Fi but aren't allowed to be there at the same time and can only be there for 2 hours
    • Ken: Willing to volunteer to be on the skeleton committee.
    • Robb: I'd like have some direction on possibly recruiting those who have been using the space, those who are homeless. This is a way to recruiting them to help with the space, possibly to help sanitize the space multiple times a day.
    • Ken: Being able to access Omni makes it much easier to have a more stable situation. I'm willing to do whatever needs to be done to keep the space safe
  • Roberto: is a great opportunity to get more people involved in Omni - if convos can happen in security assembly and report back next week?
  • Security Committee:
    • Ken
    • Robb
    • AB?
    • Marc?
    • Patrik
    • Yar??
  • Robb: will reach out do & coordinate w/ potential committe & coordinate tasks and labor distro
  • Roberto: Robb you're also taking the lead on the mutual aid work. Maybe someone else can take the lead on this so you don't get overwhelmed?
    • jenny - can take lead on outreach to other mutual aid groups
  • AB: I've been involved and am here, cleaning the basement mostly. People are still coming through and have been cleaning up after them. If there's a list of what needs to be done then that would be helpful.
    • Robb: You seem to be the main person who cares about the access issues at Omni currently, besides me. I'll just direct people on this to you AB?
    • AB: Sure but I don't want to take the lead.
    • Roberto: Not saying that they would be lead, just to get them together.
  • Jenny: Could the dudes dominating this conversation please step back a bit and let others contribute? We are not at Omni because _we don't live there_ and are being safe and protecting our communities
  • AB: Robb, Ken and I are speaking a lot because we're here so often. We're the best to give reportbacks about what's going on.
  • Mai: Next step is to create a way for people to discuss this further? Who is in that group?
  • Robb: suggest a signal group
    • jenny - there is one already - text me to be added - 315.292.4656 - yes, it's an urgent omni signal group that was created 3 years ago. christ, don't hang me. also my audio cut out again.
  • Roberto: We should make an email list to central this conversation. Let's reach out to Yar to create this.
    • sysadmins@omnicommons.org or keys@omnicommons.org will reach everyone with door/keycard access (namely yar, jake and marc)
    • all lists: https://omnicommons.org/lists
    • Email the address above and say it's urgent so we made a covid-19 email list
      • also made mutualaid@lists.omnicommons.org last week
    • Robb: I will email sysadmins@omnicommons.org to make the email
      • jenny: is this for security? for mutual aid? for groups wanting to host things? i'm lost. we have plenty of lists and working groups.

Jenny: I'd like to ask for more participation on the general discuss list, and less focus on these delegates meetings rn other than to make critical decisions. we need to be pivoting quickly and consensually, and audio-based conference setups where the same 2-4 men (who have all managed to get away with basically living @ omni) dominate the conversation are not, for me at least, conducive to hearing many perspectives from our amazing community (who represent many voices themselves) and coming up with radical & compassionate solutions.

Proposal: Sign onto Support for Bill to Fund Community-Based, Non-Police Emergency Response

Deadline for support letters extended until next Thursday, April 2.

  • Helen: Can we respond to this over email?
    • Roberto: Wording is on the pad here.
  • Mary Ann: Is this for California?
  • Robb: Can we have a proposal, that lets collectives approve/disapprove, just by collecting objections. Then if it doesn't get any objections it passes.
  • Helen: Does the template need tweaking?
  • Roberto: Just sent it to the consensus list. It was sent to the commons WG


ROBERTO: *support of Stop Urban Shield organization members on a current assembly bill that aims to fund grassroots organizations that provide community-driven, non-police alternatives to 911.

  • Jenny: it already is in concordance with our own internal policies on policing and alternatives to calling 911. this is about prepping for militaristic response and being in solidarity w/ other aligned orgs <3

we could just start a collaborative letter here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/154C_O0AgqocKKyutgE-gdQZX7IOpEZa8GeYibVx_BSA/edit?usp=sharing

we should also consider consenting on proposals via loomio. we have a loomio account. join here:

jenny: THANK YOU ROBERTO & ERRYBODY!!! +1000 to you Roberto and fully support Mai as a stellar faciliatator <3 sorry will get my mic working by next time!

-- Submitted by Katrina, 3/25:

Comrades, This came through the Alternatives to Policing Coalition in which I'm the liaison to Omni. Please consider adding Omni to the list of signatories! In a time where the Alameda sheriff is trying to boost police, it seems crucial to develop alternatives such as these. Solidarity! Katrina

Dear members of the alternatives to policing coalition, See below, and please consider writing and submitting a letter on behalf of your organization if you support this legislation! This would create a program to move funding to community-based alternatives to policing and militarization! and very importantly, create an advisory board/governance made up of community orgs that have a history of work in that space, from and accountable to communities most harmed by policing violence. This is an exciting opportunity, and several of the orgs the coalition has learned from, supported, and followed the leadership of are involved.

Notice: The deadline for support letters for this important legislation has been extended until next Thursday, April 2. So your organization has time to write one!

From: John Lindsay-Poland <JLindsay-Poland@afsc.org> Date: Tue, Mar 24, 2020 at 4:01 PM Subject: [Stop Urban Shield organizers] Requesting Support for Bill to Fund Community-Based, Non-Police Emergency Response To: Susorganizers <susorganizers@googlegroups.com> Cc: Peyton Michelle Provenzano BA <peytonprov@berkeley.edu>

Dear Stop Urban Shield organizers ,

I hope this message finds you in good spirits. My name is Peyton and I am reaching out as a representative of Oakland Power Projects to request the support of Stop Urban Shield organization members on a current assembly bill that aims to fund grassroots organizations that provide community-driven, non-police alternatives to 911. Oakland Power Projects is one of 12 co-sponsors of this legislation – AB 2054 (Kamlager), theCommunity Response Initiative to Support Emergency Services (CRISES) Act – along with: Justice Teams Network, Anti Police-Terror Project, ACLU Center for Advocacy & Policy, Public Health Advocates, Berkeley Free Clinic, UDW/AFSCME - Local 3930, PolicyLink, Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, East Bay Community Law Center, STOP Coalition, Youth Justice Coalition. There is a factsheet attached, andhere is a link to the text of the bill on the CA legislature website.

We are in the process of gathering letters of support for this bill, and it would be awesome if your organization could participate. There is a template letter of support (attached) that can be filled out with your organizations name and letterhead or logo. Signed letters of support need to be submitted to the online portal athttps://calegislation.lc.ca.gov/Advocates/faces/index.xhtml and a copy should also be emailed to Howard.Quan@asm.ca.gov and Kalyn@policylink.org

Please let me know if you have questions. Importantly, the turn-around time on this is short (even with disruption of legislative activities from COVID-19) –

In solidarity, Peyton Provenzano Jurisprudence and Social Policy, Berkeley Law, University of California, Berkeley Huichin Ohlone Land

Security Committee

  • Meet outside of the delegate's council
  • Report back to the delegates and therefore the

Transitional Governance Proposal

Last Meeting Notes


End of Meeting