Event:2021/01/07 Delegates

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Omni Delegates' Meeting - Thursday, January 7th, 2021 7pm-9pm

1. Joining info:

2. URL of these notes: https://omnicommons.org/notes

3. Please add items to the agenda below and send any proposals to consensus@lists.omnicommons.org prior to the meeting

4. 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
  • Michael CCL he/him
  • Rachel GWS she/her
  • Asaad/AB FYE he/him
  • Jane GWS she/her
  • John GWS he/they
  • Jordana NOMA, she or they
  • Joe FNB he/him
  • MaryAnn CSC she/her
  • Silver FNB/NOMA they/them
  • Robb FNB he/him
  • Vicky NOMA they/them

Access Check In

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

Meeting Roles

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


  • ANV: nobody yet
  • CCL: Michael
  • CSC: MaryAnn
  • FNB:Joe, Silver, Robb
  • FYE: AB
  • GWS: Rachel, Jane John
  • LL: inactive
  • Sudo Room: Yar
  • Sudo Mesh: inactive
  • Quorum: Yes

Brief Announcements

  • yar is going to move this section down for the next meeting

Working Group Report-Backs

Building & permits

  • Meetings: only the kitchen group meets regularly, new times tbd
  • https://omnicommons.org/lists/listinfo/building
  • Insurance company is not renewing our insurance policy, effecting March 21st, 2 years in a row now. Have to have this to be able to refinance our morgage. Need to install new windows.


  • Meetings: 2nd & 4th Mondays at 5:30pm @ https://omnicommons.live/commons
  • Join! * https://omnicommons.org/lists/listinfo/commons
  • in visioning mode regarding what our policies are, how rentals happen
  • jesse palmer our attorney is drafting new contract language
  • he mentioned we can get the person in charge of welfare exemption
  • medical training will happen in a couple weeks for two weekends in the Ballroom.


Finance & Fundraising

  • Meetings: Tuesdays 2:00 - 3:00 pm
  • Join! https://omnicommons.org/lists/listinfo/finance
  • Join! https://omnicommons.org/lists/listinfo/fundraising
  • community vision $25k already in our bank account!
  • maryann and rachel got blown off on a scheduled phone appointment
  • gofundme is still going
  • we're applying for another state grant - robb & maryann intend to get together on that
    • robb: it's just weird since we got a mortgage deferment, our position doesn't actually look that bad on paper
    • maryann: but we're gonna have to start paying again in may. all that money you see is gonna go really fast
  • jane applied for low-interest small business loan, but they haven't gotten back. still hopeful.
  • looking to hire a bookkeeper (as independent contractor). haven't heard back from previous bookkeeper. maryann is calling around to different services that do nonprofit bookkeeping. we need an internal or external audit for the refinance. looking for somebody who can do that audit.
    • vicky's friend smoot will give us bookkeeping workshop. extended her solidarity rates to us if we want to use her
    • we can find out what the rate is tomorrow
  • Sarah Lockhart is a bookkeeper we are looking into also. she helped with the village accounting last year
  • in may our mortgage will be ~$5500/mo but it'll go up when we refi

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 here


  • developing a strategic plan for reopening CCL given the prior covid situation, but now that it's taken on a more ugly turn, gone completely red, obviously not gonna do anything. still talk about planning it regularly, will put together a strategic plan for when it's time.
  • vaccines becoming available, how to make it available at and through Omni for future discussion when the time comes


  • basically focused on fundraising, maryann no longer on executive board, just a member


  • had monthly meeting last night. got a $30k grant to help house FNB volunteers, having trouble fitting that into their nonprofit status. jesse has some ideas. forming a committee, silver is on it. still distributing hand sanitizer, food, tarps, socks. doing okay although they have some internal conflicts.


  • AB: FYE is not too active, actually restructuring the organization. want to relaunch as a bigger more official collective in the spring, with more structure. AB & Shido found housing 2 months ago, so that's been a great plus to keep the collective dynamics alive despite not being able to access omni. still a little bit late on rent, just made a payment 2 days ago, hoping to get on track on that. Doing good, sorting out fundraising.
  • they've been paying out of pocket, times have been hard even for folks to pay their own housing rent. it's coming together.


  • rachel: glad to win georgia. we had all these bills that were stuck in congress. exciting to push forward on that. about getting unwaged work paid for by the govt to address poverty.
  • dec 17 webinar on zoom was quite amazing. speakers, slideshow, music. pulled it off well. intl day to end violence against sex workers. US Prostitutes Collective is part of GWS. coalition included black folks in LA fighting serial killer, MMIW missing and murdered indigenous women, CCWP california coalition of women prisoners against sterilization
  • poor peoples campaign - a right wing christian man decided to have a mass religious event in LA right next to the homeless encampment in skid row, and brought in thousands of unmasked people. PPC has worked hard to stop it, only got it moved. city worried about being sued.
  • meeting regularly in Bay Area and CA statewide
  • john: key GWS slogan is: money for care, not war


  • nobody here

Sudo Room

  • nothing new

Sudo Mesh

  • nobody here

Conflicts, Mediation & Safe Space

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

Proposals & Discussions

New Officers

  • Omni Oakland Commons officers are: Phil as President, Maria Tostado as Secretary, Jose Placencia resigned as treasurer but Natasha Salgado is willing to take his place
  • Omni Commons officers are: John Torok as President, Robb as treasurer, Mai Sutton was secretary but needs to be replaced. Both Jane and Silver have volunteered for this.
    • Silver: give it to Jane! I only volunteered in the case of nobody else wanting to do it. happy to withdraw / step aside.
  • concerns about filing taxes for OOC 2016. needs statement of information. jenny needs to do something? on quickbooks? laura was working on it.
  • Jane: bylaws haven't been revised since 2016. Jane, Maryann and John will look at that.
  • CONSENSUS on replacing Mai with Jane Welford as secretary: YES (michael/ccl, AB/FYE, GWS, CSC) abstain (sudo), Food Not Bombs delegates got disconnected but we'll wait for them

NOMA app

  • pdf proposal here: https://omnicommons.org/pipermail/consensus/attachments/20210105/66567e7c/attachment-0001.pdf
  • john: can you speak to what noma is, how long it's existed and why you want to be part of OC?
  • vicky: NOMA is an effort that began as a rapid response effort initiated by NORJC in collaboration with a bunch of other nonprofit & grassroots orgs like "essential food & medicine" ... people who were cleaning up street areas, and after the pandemic hit they started asking housed neighbors to share food & goods to help unhoused neighbors. began as monthly distribution, omni offered space at the time. we were hosting 2 weekends of receiving donations per month. that went on for ~6mo. everything we didn't distribute ended up in a pile - clothes etc. started making those accessible with monthly free store the weekend after distribution weekend.
    • interested in being an omni collective. love sharing space with you all, so much overlap. found such a home here, specifically our neighborhood we all live in, part of it for us is taking on the empowered responsibility to co-steward the space since we've been using it so much. contributing dues to you all every month, we'd have a better idea how to work together maintaining the physical space with you.
  • robb: NOMA is a partnership between a couple different orgs that are working that out. who's this proposal representing? is this a leadership group for NOMA? is NORJC part of this? it's currently a partnership. will all the operations then change? it's an ongoing project that omni's a part of, and i'm wondering what this proposal is getting at
    • silver: maybe it makes sense in the spectrum of empowering the collective to be a part of omni and part of the decisions, but basically ... maybe we want to help work on the roof because we have the manpower etc. there's a distance between all these volunteers and omni
    • vicky: NOMA is a pretty open and transparent group but we are developing transparent infrastructure within ourselves. we realize we need to welcome new energyinto the group to keep it going, make clear transparent roles people can plug into. part of developing our collective idenitty is having partnerships like with NORJC to psonsor us in nonprofit umbrella, but we have our own identity.
  • john: is NOMA a "start-up" collective?
    • yeah, we're formalizing our collective functions as we speak
  • maryann: i have the same question as robb - omni is one part of NOMA because it's a collaboration of many different orgs. i don't see how that entire group of orgs can possibly become a collective. so who does this application represent?
    • vicky: NOMA is not encapsulating all those groups. it was just begun as a side project by a bunch of people from different groups. originally it was a loose network but now it's becoming a more formalized group of people who are separate from those groups.
    • maryann: i thought we were entering a memorandum of understanding....
    • robb: i got that impression from eugenia and sophia, they seemed to be the main people speaking from NORJC who were the other financial contributor (along with omni). that's what i thought they thought were gonna happen.
  • jordana: sounds like you're not stoked about having NOMA become a collective and that might be because our organizational leadership is not where the funding comes from? i'm new to this group and i don't understand exactly what the requirements are. does the collective need to be where the funding is coming from?
    • maryann: generally, we have either someone who's already a nonprofit (501c3 and organized that way) or are a fiscally sponsored project by omni (preferred) or another 501c3 (which hasn't worked out in the past). that's generally how groups apply - they have their own source of funding and pay rent to omni.
    • vicky: at the end of today's meeting with oakland communities united for equity and justice (OCUEJ) of which is the umbrella organization of North Oakland Restorative Council... [yar missed the rest]
    • silver: that's what i understood
    • maryann: but who does this include?
    • vicky: on paper it would just include NOMA
    • robb: that contradicts today's discussion. OCUEJ thought NOMA was a partnership and not their project, not claimed solely by them as a fiscally sponsored project. today we talked about defining what the responsibilities are within those groups.
  • yar: who are members of NOMA now?
    • vicky: looking at our slack channel...
    • silver: core folks who meet weekly, are about 20 people who help build structure. i can see the misunderstanding. people who are financially supporting NOMA - omni & OCUEJ/NORJC ... folks are building the structure
    • they're all volunteers
  • maryann: are you all volunteers with NORJC?
    • vicky: no. there's a little bit of overlap but most of us are focused on NOMA
    • maryann: the woman who conducted the meeting today said you were a volunteer for NORJC
    • vicky: we didn't understand it that way
    • maryann: you're using the name of what's actually a collaboration that's moving towards a partnership. i think you need to pick another name.
    • jordana: i think what maybe is getting lost in translation is, the project started as a collaboration, and has evolved. it now has a dedicated coordinating team that's almost completely independent except for the necessary financial & logistical connections that we have to make & keep with orgs like OCUEJ & omni. for the time i've been on the project the only collaboration with omni has been our use of space, which we're grateful for, and looking forward to contributing financially. and omni has had some control over dispersing the funds that .... maybe that part was .... i may never understand (?) we're here today as a separate distinct group of people taking the name NOMA, and we want to be part of omni commons as a collective, so we can be an equal part of this org
  • yar:
    • maryann: a lot of omni collectives considered ourselves part of NOMA, in that we supplied space and donated infrastructure - shelving, rodent-proof packaging, etc. we honestly believe we were part of NOMA, we thought we were in a collaboration. our only question is, how do you use that name, which includes other orgs? but using it as your own? i also want to say - about the grant - someone (idk who, not blaming) gave serious misinformation about that grant. jane and rachel and i wrote that grand and jenny submitted it to the SFF, and it had nothing to do with NOMA. was written before NOMA came up. i'm a little concerned that there might be different perceptions for the relationship. i thought we'd clarified that today, but apparently not.
    • vicky: would it feel better to have a more explicit understanding of the relationship between omni and the organizing body of NOMA? part of wanting to formalize... we also think this is a huge collaboration through our entire community, so many efforts to provide relief. i don't speak for anyone, but i don't think anyone's trying to leave anyone out by applying to be a collective at omni. <3
  • rachel: i find the whole thing a bit confusing. i wasn't at the meeting today, just hearing now, but i'm hearing so many different orgs thrown out there. usually an application is just one group. needs to be spelled out clearly - "we are this, our relationship to all these groups is this"
  • jordana: NOMA is fiscally sponsored by OCUEJ
    • robb: they represented today that it was not their project, it was a partnership. i asked, "are you considering this as a project of OCUEJ?" and they said "no, this is a partnership"
      • jenny (popping in for a sec but working rn): if funds are passing through OCUEJ to NOMA, and the governing body of NOMA id distinct from OCUEJ membership, then it's indeed a fiscally-sponsored project whether they are familiar with the legal entity term or not. plenty of omni collectives have arisen as collaborations among various members of different collectives, the point is to grant these new forms both decision-making/fiscal autonomy as well as a stakeholdership (really more responsibility than privilege) in the larger Omni 'collective of collective'/delegates
  • maryann: it'd be helpful to see their bylaws
    • jenny: fiscally-sponsored projects don't technically have to have bylaws; they're considered a project of Omni Commons (which as a 501c3, does) - of course a governance doc of some kind is ideal
  • yar proposes we table this for a couple weeks
  • jordana: is that a standard procedure?
    • FYE has bylaws
      • no record of that in Omni's docs, please forward to finance@?
    • maryann: that's something laura handled until she left. that's why i'm saying that. there hsa to be a structure. because we're a 501c3 and we can only accept for membership people who are either a 501c3 or fiscally sponsored, and i believe a requirement is bylaws
      • oh, I see - i believe this proposal is for becoming a fiscally-sponsored member collective of Omni - mentioned need to clarify legal entity status in an email to Vicki, but that was just the other day and they do truly operate collectively :)
    • since a project-based fiscally-sponsored project is not a separate legal entity, it's considered governed by the bylaws of the sponsoring org unless otherwise articulated in the sponsorship agreement
    • robb: we required bylaws from ANV
    • CCL didn't present bylaws but we do have them and are a 501c3


What are the problems? Silver will call and include Yar on the call.

  • we went through the rigamorole, is there any way they can make a clarifying statement? robb mentioned it's an old building
  • work party 10am - 4pm sunday january 17th
  • shop around for other insurers? redondo beach insures GWS @ omni Nationwide Insurance Company
  • Rachel and Yar will contact the guy in Redondo
  • Silver will contact a couple insurers for quotes

free store proposal

  • they can operate on a temporary basis for the next month

= covid plans = tabled

  • opening plans?
  • vaccines?

Last Meeting Notes


End of Meeting