Event:2021/04/15 Delegates

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Omni Delegates' Meeting - April 15, 2021 7pm-9pm

Meeting Roles

  • Facilitator/s: arnoldo
  • Stacktaker:
  • Timekeeper:
  • Notetaker/s: yar, john
  • Next meeting's facilitator(s):


  • Name, pronoun, affiliation, if you're a delegate, agenda items, access needs
  • arnoldo trying a new way to hold space
    • SPEAKING ORDER: Yar, John, Arnoldo, Helen, Robb, Michael, Asaad., MaryAnn, Rachel, juul
  • arnoldo he/him csc delegate & facilitator
  • michael he/him ccl delegate (alternates w/patrick)
  • asaad/A.B. he/him fye delegate
  • maryann csc (not delegate) fin/fun she/her
  • rachel gws delegate she/her
  • marc we can't hear you
  • yar she/her sudoroom taking notes
  • john he/him gws (not delegate), trying to support w/ notes
  • helen she/her fnb delegate


  • ANV: inactive, nobody here
  • CCL: michael
  • CSC: arnoldo
  • FNB: helen
  • FYE: Asaad
  • GWS: Rachel delegate (John prseent)
  • LL: inactive, nobody here
  • Sudo Room: yar
  • Sudo Mesh: juul
  • Quorum (2/3 of active groups): Yes

Working Group Report-Backs

Building & permits

  • no regular meetings right now
  • https://omnicommons.org/lists/listinfo/building
  • Yar getting kitchen quotes
  • john: are we connected with oakland builders collective? bunch of folks who made shields with artwork to hold back OPD attacks.
  • Michael, are there digital as well as paper plans
  • Mary Ann should get more than one estimate



  • Meetings: Tuesdays 6pm
  • https://omnicommons.org/lists/listinfo/comms
  • Yar, working on survey model for future intake use too, to match resources with needs, get a sense of space use looking to get to a data-deiven approach to who uses this building, Roberto is still working on newsletter.
  • If anyone wants to be a collaborator on the survey, let us know. comms@omnicommons.org

Finance & Fundraising

  • Meetings: Tuesdays 12:00 - 1:00 pm
  • https://omnicommons.org/lists/listinfo/finance
  • https://omnicommons.org/lists/listinfo/fundraising
  • We didn't get the loan application mailed in or hand-delivered whichever it's gonna be because there was kinda a holdup. On tuesday we're putting the whole thing together and going voer it and hopefully it will be finished by then
  • Gofundme is over $10k but we will let it keep going since the goal is $20k
  • There are a couple of grants we went over. There are two. Sarah the book keeper is going to be working on both of them. She will have to partner with someone on finance/fundraising because our policy is that at least two people have to work on a grant. That's for various reasons, training, continuity in what we say about the omni and what we're saking for and making sure we're doing it the right way. THere's a lot of stuff happening. We got Jesse involved and the issue with the tax assessor and the $.25 million dollars we're being asked to pay. ... We're getting kitchen estimates because we plan to use that specific grant to try to remodel the kitchen. I will be in touch with Joe and Helen about that.
  • Robb: it just came clear that sudo room is about 9 months behind in their rent. was a miscommunication, sudoroom people didn't know who was doing it, robb didn't know how to read quickbooks. we are going to pay it back asap tho.
  • yar: we're about to pay back half of it immediately and then the rest of it soon
  • yar: we got a $5k donation from a former collective member. about to send them a thank you note
  • john: oakland privacy which has been active since before we were in this building is seeking fiscal sponsorship for a $30k grant. hopefully someone from the committee will be there later when we reach the discussion point
  • rachel, becoming clear on what remains on the Self-Help Refinance loan

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?


  • a week ago we opened our lab back up for activity. during covid we did have some activity in the lab with open insulin group with one person in the lab at the time. it was limited to four people who operated at different times. now since alameda county has reached a certain level of covid goodness, things are much better, so we opened up the lab up but still with a lot of rules that have to be followed in order to work in the lab. the most number of people who can work in the lab at the same time is six. we have a sign in and sign out sheet. we have a wall-mounted thermometer in place so you're required to take your temp and record it in the log as well as we mounted hand sanitizer (touchless) basically right next to the wall mounted thermometer. we have rules like keeping six foot distance. you're not allowed in the lab if you're showing any signs of covid symptoms. maintaining six foot distancing, etc. SO we've got more stuff going on in the lab. One m,ajor pris called griffithsin. Both projects have teams spread across the united states and europe.


  • still working out our plans for the year. have some events coming up this year liek ? which is some annual thing. the zapatistas are going to europe on a tour that they've been invited by orgs down there and we're figuring out how we support that from afar from over here. we're doing ok, we're doing good. i'm a co-delegate with Roberto Martinez


  • peoples park 52nd anniversary
  • distributing food in takeout boxes for covid safety
  • one of our trucks just died


  • AB: Not many updates just overcoming some internal adversitites. We've been really restructuring internally. It's taken longer than planned. Had hoped to be fully up and running but not the case. Updates coming very soon. We're looking to ease into doing some events. Many may know of pro-arts. Achilles Simba(sp?) is a member of FYE and has been a member of pro arts as curators (?rest of title) pro-arts is having a soft re-opening. Not really opening until May but will have courtyard activities. You can see it from the street even when it's closed, both my work and Achilles work. We potentially have an opportunity to work with this non-profit that wants to help us get a storefront on university ave next to the UC theatre showcasing local artists and craftspeople. Gearing toward relaunch with events coming up soon.


  • Rachel: The women of color in global women's strike put out a call to action to protect Mumia Abu-Jamal who is in the hospital. There's a call to action so they don't shackle him during the surgery and allowing him to see his wife. If people are interested we can share it with you. A lot of people have been calling to put pressure on the prisons. The other piece our international group worked on. There's a really good lawyer called Charles Hector who was defending in court 8 villages in malaysia who are protesting a logging company who are coming in and cutting down the forest where they get their water and terrorising the village. They went after him for contempt of court trying to take his license away. Our international group put out a call for support and got a bunch of orgs to sign it. It was a bit of a victory: They withdrew their charges.

Sudo Room

  • yar: Not a whole lot that we need to report yet. We're just trying our best to pay our debt right now. Making very hesitant plans for what the rest of the year will look like. We're gonna have to do a bunch of clean-up. We're starting to get emails like "hey, i need a laser cutter are you open". Soon. That's all.

Sudo Mesh

  • Marc: applying for funding for projects to get internet to burma & india where internet's getting shutdown

Conflicts, Mediation & Safe Space

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

Other Brief Announcements

  • thursday 10-12 earth day street cleanup at lake merritt. meeting either at pillars or ampitheater. most likely south side.

NOTE: Clean-up party Sat. April 17 4-7pm to get ready for insurance inspection.

Proposals & Discussions

white supremacy

Arnoldo: Being able to have a discussion about our values. Developing a shared vocabulary and then analysis and then create an accountability process.

NOMA and free store

yar: Today I helped some of the NOMA folks walk through the building to look for alternative spaces to keep stuff. It can't be in the ballroom. The place where all the spaz junk is in the basement would work as a temporary spot. They were also looking at the "west end" of the basement. Where the village was. It kinda shares a wall with counter culture labs. You walk down the basement and look to the right. Everything behind those posts. The posts would be the boundary. The primary thing about NOMA is to build relationships between housed and unhoused neighbors. A lot of that is about mutual aid. You need something, I have something. They're kinda resisting the charity model. Trying to discourage this dynamic where people are coming over with a box of food trying to hand it off, they're trying to direct those folks directly to the people who need it. They take stuff in and they distribute stuff. Having in near the stairs would be good. Sometimes they get several boxes of things and they like to collate those things into kits. Like they get 100 tampons, 100 boxes of gloves, hand sanitizer, etc. That involves spreading it out onto tables for an hour or two. It would be easier to do in that part of the basement.

AB: I'm totally down to help and it does make sense, in lighjt of reopening, clear up the ballroom also for other reasons. From my perspective as an active steward of the basement ever since we've been at the omni and the fact that we use the basement a lot. My only concern. We had put those couches there as a little worklounge. We're not really attached to it, it can be moved. It's more about there being space in the basement that is not used and not activated. You did mention that space where the spaz stuff is and the phat beets stuff is. From a space activation perspective it makes a lot more sense to activate those spaces first instead of having them be stockpiles that are not really in use. Last time we granted space to a group based on convenience and access was the village and no offense to the village but it really was not maintained well. I put a lot of time into maintaining the basement. I'm not gonna advocate convenience. I'd much rather that they use the other spaces. I wouldn't immediately hop on the space (by the stairs) as the space for them. I wouldn't want to see Noma's stuff sprawled out all the time across the whole basement. No offense to Noma just .... also for events to have space for events. yar: we have an insurance inspection in 8.5 days and everyhthing needs to be spic and span for that. we're lighting a fire under the spaz folks and the phat beets frolks (max kaji). We would love for any collectives who have anything that looks hazardous or unkempt in their area. Now is the time to bring stuff the the entrance hall. Saturday we try to just build up the piles: E-waste, garbage. Early next week we will take it to the transfer station.

AB: The only space we're occupying outside our office right now is immediately outside of our office. We don't have the clothing rakcs by liberated lens any more. We also took down a bunch of art. Also to give omni the perspective of what it's like without art on the walls. We can take art down, we can put it up. It's never to dominate it's just to beautify. As we restructure we can definitely put up some more stuff. We can put art up around the whole of omni. We have this large canvasses that are collobartions of 70-80 people. We have a bunch of them and honestly they're masterpieces. We have all those canvasses stacked up against the mural against our office and we'd love to put some up in the near future. Maybe we can talk more about that on saturday.

  • what is our institutional accountability process? right now i don't think we have


  • yar: One of the questions NOMA asked is if we have a process/structure for addressing issues of white supremacy and I don't know if we do. We have a harassment policy.
  • yar: Another question was: Do we really have to pay $1k a month to have a section of the basement when people are paying $300 to have a room with a door.
  • maryann: I just wanna piggyback on what yar said about those issues being connected. I believe it was your idea yar last meeting that we really needed a group that looks at how we wanna use the lobby area. There were several meetings where group of women from the neighborhood came in and talked to us. One of the complaints have to do with how people of color who range the doorbell to get in were looked at and responded to. Welcome or lack of welcome. There was an issue with how people percevied they were received at the door and that has to do with how the entrance hall is used. Some said that for people to have a cooperative that they make money off the front hall then that would be wrong. It should be for the benefit of all of the omni. I think it would be a good idea to form a group that looks at how we use the lobby. E.g. do we want a welcome desk with training on how to welcome people to make sure that some of the things that make people unwelcome do not continue to happen. I'm pretty much seconding what yar said at the last meeting: I think we should really take a look at that before deciding to move a bunch of stuff into the omni.
  • AB: I was really surprised. I guess I missed the part. I've been kind of following the NOMA proposal but I guess I missed out on the part where they were asked to pay $1k or proposed to pay $1k. I think that's a little bit high as a monthly rate to charge. We pay $300 per month. Food not bombs doesn't pay anything other than utilities.
  • rachel: I'm part of the finance working group and what I understood is what they proposed. It does seem high.
    • robb: The $1k was what they offered back when we had kind of a finance meeting between north oakland restorative justice working group and omni finance working group. They said "oh we can pay $1k" and then they sent us $1k. And we were always like "we have no need to charge you until we open up". And that was always kinda the agreement that they wouldn't pay until we opened up and then they would pay us $1k after we opened up and they paid us $1k and they had $15k in reserve and were actively fundraising and it was reasonable for them to make a contrui
    • https://omnicommons.org/pipermail/consensus/2021-March/002427.html
  • yar: I just asked their finance person how much they have in the bank, they said they have $300 in the bank. They had a bunch of money in the bank but that was spent on operations. That offer for $1k was coming from someone from ? who was their previous fiscal sponsor. They were saying their lowball is $250 and the highest was $500. I honestly think $300 makes the most sense and they're not gonna have a privaet space, they're not gonna have a door. Both phat beets and spaz have kept their stuff for free there for ages. Nothing's gonna sit there for more than a few weeks. I really want NOMA to be part of Omni and I don't see why they should be paying $1k that they don't really have. I think it's a win-win without the $1k.
  • yar: notes fell off the cliff and a lot of stuff didn't get written down. to my memory we talked about getting more black & brown folks to participate in meetings, having a more intentional welcoming space in the entrance hall, and being equitable in everything we do. conversation will continue.
  • arnoldo proposes we pay sogorea te tax

oakland privacy

  • Oakland Privacy fiscal sponsorship request
  • john: I'd hoped to have someone. Either JP or Tracy join. Oakland Privacy WOrking Group is one of the projects that came out of Occupy Oakland in response to the DAC (Domain Awareness Center - Jean Quan's administration installing cameras around the city)
  • started out as a "going in en-masse and yelling at the city council". The city council decided to do it for the entire city (vs just the airport) and that made people, let's say concerned. The group did a lot of work to push back on the efforts to make it a broad surveillance and data collection project. Ultimately the city council agreed to make a Privacy Group. We got 6 of the 9 positions. The idea was to make a privacy and data retention policy specifically for the port of oakland part of the project. There was a shift from "yelling at the city council" to "

The scope of the project was pushed back to just the port. So that was a success. I was involved for a couple of years and then stepped back to do other things but the group has continued and approached us. The policies that oakland privacy has developed has been adoped by other counties and cities in the u.s.

  • The grant that they're seeking is for $30k for the rose foundation. They're asking for fiscal sponsorship as a sorta usual deal where some of the money goes to omni for admin. It's not going to be used for any lobbying. It will be used to hire interns for something like $20 to help out. I think it's a strong proposal and project.
  • So, JP is one of the leading participants in Oakland Privacy, now and since the beginning.
  • JP: We've been meeting at Omni forever. We started meeting at sudo room. We worked with Omni people before. ... Everything we do is completely volunteer.
  • confusion about whether omni also wanted to apply for this grant. omni has not applied to anything yet, and it would be a different grant program within rose foundation.
  • maryann: the real question is to agree on an amount to pay omni. what's the usual friendly percentage? i propose we approve a grant-based fiscal sponsorship with a 7% fiscal sponsorship fee.
    • john: friendly amendment, the initial offer was 10%. if that's still ok with OP i'd say we could do it
    • yar: we just got $900 cool
      • juul: huh, wasn't is $30k grant? maybe i missed something
      • yar: the difference between 7% and 10% is $900 :)
      • juul: ah!
  • rachel: does that cover the cost of the paperwork?
    • $3k is more than enough
  • robb: is there a bank account set up to transfer money to?
    • no, OP thought we would cut checks to the interns/contractors
    • yar: sounds more like a project than a grant then
    • maryann says check with lawyer
    • robb: currently our grant contract says we're turning over the money to you. that was the problem with village, not having a bank account
  • new proposal: we approve a fiscal sponsorship with a 10% fiscal sponsorship fee. details to be determined by finance wg.
    • any objections? No. Consented.

Previous Meetings

End of Meeting