Omni Delegates' Meeting - May 5, 2022 7pm-9pm
- Talk at https://meet.google.com/diw-hszw-msr or 515-428-1108 (PIN: 465814905)
- Type at https://omnicommons.org/notes
- Send proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the meeting
- Facilitator/s: Imma
- Stacktaker: Sylvia
- Timekeeper: Mike
- Notetaker/s: yar
- Next meeting's facilitator(s):
- ANV: active, Silver on standby
- CCL: active, Patrik
- CLP: active, Rafiq + Sylvia
- CSC: inactive, maryann + evette here but neither is a delegate
- FNB: active, Helen
- FYE: inactive, nobody here
- GWS: inactive, Jane here
- LL: inactive, nobody here
- Sudo Room: active, Jake
- Sudo Mesh: active, Camber
- Quorum (2/3 of active groups): Yes!
brief intros, ~2 minutes per person, all prompts optional:
- name, pronoun, affiliation, land you're on, if you're a delegate
- do you have any unmet access needs at this meeting?
- what meeting roles you'd like to help with
- discussion topics or proposals you'd like to put on tonight's agenda
- announcements, updates and report-backs for your collectives, working groups, etc
- updates on any conflict mediation or safe space issues. Rafiq will introduce BOGSS proposal and speak to events from 2 weeks ago.
- Yar, she/her, Sudo Room, all working groups, not delegate, helping notetake
- jake, any, sudoroom delegate, president - trouble navigating consensus list because email subject lines aren't useful. not able to represent sudoroom on MOP
- patrik he/him ccl delegate
- camber he/they, sudo mesh delegate. been with mesh for 4-5 years, this is my first omni meeting. we're writing a grant to build a solar-powered wifi hotspot for a homeless encampment
- evette she/her, chiapas support committee, this is my first omni commons meeting - i've been pretty resistant to joining even though i've been asked to for quite a while. but maryann reached out and mentioned a bipoc space, so that put me on an alert and made me a little bit more open to joining you all. some other members couldn't join tonight. i can provide a report back and see how safe this is to come into.
- maryann, retired member of csc, she/her
- jane she/her GWS delegate
- imma facilitator, treasurer, finance wg, originally introduced to omni through sudoroom
- micha, they/she/he BCC. concert coming up next saturday. events wg.
- joey VOL
- mike MOP
- jacqi MOP
- silvia she/her CLP
- geraldo he/they CLP (with silvia)
- helen FNB, over the phone. inspection tomorrow for walk-in fridge grant!
- rafiq CLP
- Bookkeeper resigning
- Secretary resigning
7:23 - BIPOC & Oppressed Gender Safe Space Committee (BOGSS)
- Proposal: https://omnicommons.org/pipermail/consensus/attachments/20220505/ab900701/attachment-0001.pdf
- Open Question(s):
- Will consensus be required?
- Can a minority make a decision by calling a special meeting?
- If the complaint is against an individual, will that person have the opportunity to defend themselves at the Congress meeting?
- Will the findings of any investigation be made public to the OMNI delegates?
- What will happen if someone claims that the complaint was based on incorrect information?
- What standards of comms can we all agree to?
- 2b: can people nominate themselves? Also need to mention that people who are nominated do actually need to accept that nomination before voting
7:40p - ITEMS UP FOR VOTE (15 min):
NEW Member Collective: Myriad Outreach Project (MOP)
- Proposal: http://omnicommons.org/pipermail/consensus/attachments/20220420/f580c03d/attachment-0001.pdf)
- Open Question(s) | Responses:
- What is the 3 Board structure? Generally how are decisions made?
- MOP is dba Meals on One Wheels with 11 members: https://onewheelmeals.com/squad/; 3-person Board. They meet weekly to address the forward movement of our local and global chapters as a collective group of volunteers with the board of directors being responsible for overseeing its management in regard to significant financial, legal, and tax issues, or any major program-related matter.
- Is MOP a BIPOC-led organization?
- We're trying to understand how the Omni-affecting decisions from your collective would get made. Would these Omni decisions fall to your board or do you have an established structure for how to make decisions that includes your members?
- If those decisions fall to your board rather than your members then the next question would be: How is your board elected?
- An election among the members or something like that?
- New Member Collectives Process: Communications Process is unclear
- Published New Membership Process: https://omnicommons.org/wiki/Join#Become_a_Member_Collective
- We should update the list of questions we'd like new organizations to answer, just so we don't need to keep asking them afterwards...
- What is the 3 Board structure? Generally how are decisions made?
7:55p - Future Voting Items (40-45 min):
- Secretary Election - any nominations?
- Village of Love application ($1,800/month income)
- BIPOC & Oppressed Gender Safe Space Committee (BOGSS)
- Roofer issue - resolution proposal: Should delegates approve the path David defined for resolution: "pursuing any legal means in getting the money back";
- 1) filing a complaint with the county/state for the licensed contractor.
- 2) County/state reviews the situation to deliberate repayment
- Reference line 169 (deadline for refund June 2)
- Coffee Hour - collective rep
8:20p - Other Omni-wide Updates & Collectives Events
- Summary of Events Revenue for April - to gauge our progress towards re-financing to secure Omni
- Onboarding new volunteers: proposed Coffee Hour (orientation times)-
- Building Updates and Questions
- New contact for contractors
- New Women's and Non-binary Night at Sudo Room (tentatively Mondays)
- Common Humanity Collective - Withdrew application to join Omni
- Cam Life to join - issues for accepting $
- Coffee Hour proposal for delegates to bring back to their collectives
- rafiq: CLP is scientific socialist. someone accosted our organizers at open house - called authoritarian/tankie/stalinist. out of left field. we don't have positions on these things. then afterwards, a troubling email exchange speculating about us and concerns about us joining omni. i wrote a lengthy response to that cosigned by CLP members, addressing inherent problems with how this happened - a nonwhite political org being labeled this way, in a space that (like it or not) has had a reputation for being pretty white dominated. i'd like to thank jake & marc for their responses. very appreciated, no bad blood going forward. i had to forcefully respond because of how important the issue was, but i think it's an opportunity to unify. that's what this proposal is. collaborated with many omni members. big picture is we have to think about patriarchy, colonialism, as things endemic to our societies. our ideas, way we communicate, cultural norms, all are affected by settler colonialism. not just in right wing spaces, but left wing spaces as well. in my experience, orgs i've been in that have successfully provided safe space have had an organ for folks to represent themselves. the traditional thing in left spaces is "let's get the brown & black people together, explain to white people what happened, and hope change happens". if we're successful in saving omni, it has the potential to be incredibly powerful for oppressed communities in the bay area. it can be even more of that, by bringing in collectives, establishing the right culture. we need to hold ourselves to a certain standard of conduct, communication, the way we bring concerns to each other. a lot of that is due to communication structures that aren't conducive to solid principled conversations. jake mentioned email threads aren't great for sharing info. so we're entering a new era, trying to revitalize it, turn it into a space the ocmmunity deserves. what principles are we uniting on? we can't sweep those conver
sations under the rug or leave them to be nebulous, because then dominant hierarchies manifest themselves. if we can move forward from this and build the type of organizational discipline necessary to run omni, this is the first step.
- yar: this is putting our statement of solidarity into action. every time i see the laminated poster on the wall i feel like scrawling LIES over it even tho i write the thing. been daunted about how to fix omni, but this feels like a great first step
- mike: thank you for this, appreciate everyone being vulnerable and talking about it
- micha: support! details can be worked out as time goes on. helen's questions are generative, down to continue conversation. i hope at the end of the day there's a body of power for bipoc folks & gender oppressed people. i think it's an important shift in how omni's been confronting whiteness in itself - from something conversational to a power shift.
- rafiq: helen's questions raised updates needed, so i appreciate that
- imma: any concerns about further reviewing the proposal over email? or do we need another meeting to talk about it? hopefully we'll all review it and resolve/clarify remotely, and then come back in 2 weeks?
- patrik: is there an online version we can leave comments on?
- rafiq: i'll make a cryptpad you can do that on
- evette: sorry i'm late to this. you guys meet how often?
- imma: 1st & 3rd thursdays 7-9. next one's on 19th.
- jake: is it normal to have a proposal and then vote on it at the next meeting?
- imma: in my limited experience, yes? if there's any grounds to review further with specific criteria, this is the time to discuss that. do you have any concerns?
- jake: i'm seeing this changes the way things operate, which is good, we need progress/inclusion. i'm just thinking the task of communicating to members of sudoroom, getting people to read it, then if there's feedback so we can get buy-in from everybody.. what's the timescale?
- yar: it depends what collectives (via their delegates) say in 2 weeks?
- rafiq: i think a week should be enough time for groups to give feedback? if there's significant feedback we can hold a special meeting to reconcile
- patrik: i think yar covered it. it'll depend on how many changes there are, that'll affect how we can vote on it next time
- jake: the last line of the proposal is an ultimatum. i don't want to ignore something written in there. i want this proposal to get proper discussion and hearing, but it's just, there's things here the way it's written, needs more clarity and just my example is the last sentence, "the proposal is a precondition..."
- imma: we're asking for feedbakc about what needs to be changed. but the passing of a committee for bipoc representation and safe space is non-negotiable.
- jake: so it's not "you have to approve this as it is"?
- imma: no, it's not. we're asking for feedback
- rafiq: imma is correct
- evette: i didn't want to talk too much, wanted to respect the space as a rule of practice. i don't wanna say that i'm a delegate but i'm gonna share honestly what i see tonight. but feel compelled to share that a lot of CSC members have been really resistant to be a part of this group. we're all expressing the same reasons. a huge reason is -- i'm literally the only WOC in CSC believe it or not. i'm the only person that fit the criteria that maryann shared with us. i was like, that's literally me. nevertheless, our board - placing such a high importance on bipoc perspectives has really been a barrier to why we even want to engage in omni commons. sure we love omni, we love the space, what it's about. i haven't read through the entire proposal. i'll have to share it with them for sure. but just the idea of that, based on the years of experience i have at omni, it's just desperately needed. while whatever proposal is presented in its first draft, it really needs to be felt and received and not just immediately rejected on little technicalities. gonna end there. also idk mike & jacqi, but whatever you all are presenting, it sounds kind of amazing. i'd like to intro you to [redacted]
- jake: i'm sure it's fine and i'd love for them to join, but i don't feel like i have enough information because communications have not been working for me
- mike: this is our 3rd meeting. submitted proposal a few weeks ago. want to be part of the family. we do [...] banner drops. operating out of 3rd story apartment. landlord said we need to vacate the premises, so we're looking for a new home. also partner with DAF & BCC. about our structure: we started as SFHOP (hopeless outreach project), now 501c3, we meet [...] there's a board. the board is the volunteers. it's literally us. [sorry, mike talks too fast for me to write everything -yar]
- patrik: marc had some more questions over email. how would decisions get made? do you have an established structure for decisionmaking? how do you deal with turnover on board?
- mike: we've been doing this 10 years and just became a nonprofit. our board is our volunteers, we're one in the same. all of us in the meetings ... we got volunteers to step up as treasurer, president, secretary. we meet every single week.
- patrik: you mentioned you have 11 members in your local chapter?
- mike: all of these are direct action volunteers, nobody's financially compensated, we just all meet. all decisions are made weekly at our meetings.
- imma: that sounds really organic. thanks for your patience in this process with omni, recognizing we don't have a clear cut way to onboard new members and review them. it's not a reflection on your application.
- jake: on april 20th i sent an email with MOP to sudo-discuss and haven't heard anything from anybody on it. it didn't come up at last night's meeting. that's what i have to go on. i don't see any reason why sudoroom wouldn't be in approval of this. that's the position i'm in. sounds like from what mike's saying, they have a pretty healthy meeting culture. i think that's great.
- yar gets clarification: all MOP's decisions are made at their weekly meeting, at which everybody gets an equal voice regardless of whether they're a board member or officer on paper. mike confirms this is true.
- rafiq: CLP is in strong support. think they'll add good energy to omni.
- patrik: we have a little bit of a process for new collectives. wiki page lists questions. i just edited it some.
- CONSENSUS: Yes (patrik/ccl clp/rafiq sudo/jake helen/mesh silver/anv) ABSTAIN (camber/mesh), NO (none)
- NEW MEMBER COLLECTIVE!!!
- yar explains how she sees the role
- imma: nominations can be sent to consensus list
- jane: is anybody still communicating with self help applicaton?
- yar: yes, we met with them a few weeks ago at omni
- maryann: we should reconsider accepting the proposal from camlife. is there any willingness to sit down and work something out with them that'd give us the money to show the bank?
- long conversation about camlife
- Issues with how much control they want, plus concerns about commercial activity being incompatible with our nonprofit status
- jake: my proposal was that the delegates would compel folks to use legal means available to get our money back. i was referring specifically to david filing a contractors complaint which would get money from the state bond. but we could inform mike beforehand that this was his last chance to give us the money or we'd go to that. i didn't personally mention asking our lawyer to draft a letter, idk if that's the right next step
- maryann: i sent a message to the consensus list, maybe people didn't see it, last minute. there's a history to this i'm not sure many people know about. when i was working on finfun with robb, jane, yar & rachel, we got a notice that our insurance was cancelled. the stated reason was the condition of the roof, i think there was one other thing that was kinda silly, the awning was ripped or something. the main thing was the roof. so i contacted my son mike and asked if he'd take a look at the roof with robb, and let me know if he'd be willing to fix it for free labor / at cost of matierals. he and robb looked & talked, mike said yes, he and tasha would do that. after that, mike asked me what do they wanna do about the skylights? i said idk, it's never been discussed, why don't you just give us an estimate to get the ball rolling? he did that, sent estimates. then it got dropped, no action was ever taken. then i left the fundraising committee, didn't hear more about it, until i got an email from david keenan in november, he'd been told my son was a roofer. i wrote back and told him no, he's not a roofer.
- maryann: you're talking about taking punative action against my son, you need to hear the whole story. i talked to him, 3 things happened. 1) he made a proposal, david stated it at the last meeting. 2) i asked him about the leaks over sudoroom, and he said that was never his responsibility, the leaks are coming from the windows, the windows are under contract with a different contractor. i don't know whether that's correct, only repeating what he told me. 3) the other thing that happened is my son will no longer speak to me, he's so upset i got involved in tihs. but my husband and other 3 sons are urging me not to be involved. [...] in my experience with contracts, when one part of a large contract goes bad for one reason or another, both parties are really expected to negotiate some way of resolving it, and i think what you need to consider is that my son did make an offer to david. it may not be what you wanted, but i think it might be appropriate to come back at him with something and tell him what it is, what kind of windows you'd want, or something like that. i think there needs to be more communication and more effort to resolve it, rather than try to get the full amount back. there's an intervening situation that's come up which has kind of thrown mike for a loop - he's been told he;'s going to have to move or be evicted from his space. long story short, i don't wanna deal with this anymore
- patrik: thanks maryann for trying to intervene, that must be a really difficult situation to be in. afaik the agreement mike & david had was that he'd refund the money for the skylights. that's what i heard from david. i believe that's 9800 and we've been waiting a couple months.
- yar tells short version of her story with mike
- long conversations about diverging narratives
- yar: long story short, we can't work it out unless he's willing to talk to us. he avoids texts, calls and emails. get him to respond to me and maybe we can talk!
Proposal for warning letter to Mike Tenuto about skylights refund
- Propose to ask our Lawyer Jesse to send a letter to Mike requiring for Omni to be refunded the money we prepaid for the skylights ($9800) by the next delegates meeting June 2nd. If funds have not been received by then, Omni will file a bond claim against Mike's contractor surety bond to recuperate our money that way. Mike is also invited to arrange a time with Omni to come reclaim the windows he brought in that are currently lying loose on the roof.
- yar missed lots of convos while on phone with joey
- micha: we proposed having a coffee hour for new volunteers to orient them
- imma: do any delegates support bringing this news back to their collectives that events wg is proposing a coffee hour by which new volunteers can be introduced to all the different groups at omni.
- yar: 5 alarms. omni needs help!
- evette: if you don't know anything about zapatistas, we're not a group that's gonna ask you to be on board. we're very open of course, we wanna support omni, this collective space. but also, our org specifically for CSC, it's very tailor made. we're asking people to know things about zapatistas from mexico, a very specific part of another country. idk about the coffee hour that we're gonna welcome everybody. of course we want to meet everybody and be a part of more support. we're not against that. it's just, i can't say that a lot of people know about zapatistas. that's not the norm. i don't wanna be anti. it's just a very specific niche / knowledge space
- micha: my understanding of what we'd just talked about in events group was a coffee hour specifically for working groups. at the open house we had info on how people could join or reach out for more info. that'd be enough. it's just a way for people to join. wouldn't automatically add people to your collective, just get them more information.
- village of love proposal to occupy omni basement https://omnicommons.org/pipermail/consensus/attachments/20220505/d539bbca/attachment-0001.pdf
- joey having internet issues
- joey: we want a day center in the enclosed space downstairs. proposing to pay $1800/mo for that space starting june 1. also operate a day center m-f, 10a-3p. services as described in pdf to list.
- yar confirms, once the new basement room is built, they'd hope to pay $800/mo for that, plus $400 for the open space outside of that once construction is done, pending completion and inspection by all parties. also briefly operate the drop in center in the entrance hall for the first few months to build relationships, let folks get comfortable.
- micha: we're still waiting on a more official proposal?
- yar: the PDF i just forwarded, plus the details we just talked about which i'll add to that email thread, i believe makes it a complete proposal
- micha: they're getting fat
- patrik: definitely an issue. this is the 2nd group that's withdrawn because of them.
- marquise: i didn't know where to leave off, i thought david would have ideas, but i'll make sure i get to that. will follow up with vector control folks.
- need to reboot building wg!
- micha: we have a signal chat
- Yar: work party this Sunday 11-4! Focus on Disco room, but plenty other tasks available.
- Next big construction items are the two extra rooms we've approved
End of Meeting
- please archive these meeting notes by copying the entire pad contents onto the omni wiki at https://omnicommons.org/wiki
- then please erase the contents of this pad
- then please cut & paste a blank template from here: https://omnicommons.org/mediawiki/index.php?title=Delegates_Meeting_Notes_Template&action=edit
- previous notes are archived here: https://omnicommons.org/wiki/Meetings