Omni Delegates' Meeting - May 19 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
- Notetaker/s: yar
- Next meeting's facilitator(s):
- ANV: active, Silver joined briefly
- CCL: active, patrik
- CLP: active, rafiq
- CSC: inactive, nobody here
- FNB: active, joe
- FYE: inactive, nobody here
- GWS: depends, nobody here so inactive
- LL: inactive, nobody here
- MOP: active, jacqi & mike
- Sudo Room: active, jake
- Sudo Mesh: active, nobody here
- Quorum (needs 6 if GWS present, 5 otherwise): YES
For vote: Village of Love's Day Center Patrik, Rafiq, Joe, Jacqui, Jake - APPROVED June, first week Work Party needed to clear BIPOC and Oppressed Gender Safe Space (BOGSS) Proposal
Proposal for warning letter to Mike Tenuto about skylights refund New room construction budget Omni needs a new secretary Money for rat-proofing
Updates: Events Revenue since 4/1: $5,705 Events Calendar: https://omnicommons.org/blog/calendar/ Omni Collectives encouraged to host fundraiser events for Omni on the available dates Events Group mtg: onboarding volunteers, next Wednesday (5/25, 4PM) Construction tasks (Safe Space issue)
BRIEF INTROS MAY INCLUDE: name, pronouns, groups you're in, land you're on, if you're a delegate, unmet access needs, meeting roles you'd like to help with, discussion topics or proposals to add to agenda, announcements/updates/report-backs from your groups, safe space issues or updates
- a young man named jake was banned yesterday for harassment. ask for details.
- silvia clp
- rafiq clp
- jacqi & mike, mop
- joe fnb
- events wg needs to onboard new volunteers
- Events team brought in $5K this month.
- check the calendar! if rooms aren't booked, member collectives can host fundraisers!
- events group trying to onboard more volunteers. Contact Yar for info. Need to compile list of names and reach out to them.
- micha brought on a lot of them. joe will contact micha?
- orientation meeting 4pm next wednesday may 25
- theresa from ccl is interested in helping with events
Village of Love's Day Center
- $1800/mo for existing basement rooms, additional $800 for new room, $400 for space in front of those once all construction has been cleared out - $3K/mo total eventually
- CONSENSUS: YES (patrik/ccl, rafiq/clp, jake/sudo, joe/fnb, jacqi/mop) ABSTAIN (none) BLOCK (none)
- Yar needs help to draft lease. NOT new collective; renting. Would want them to start 1st week of June
- billy interested in helping write lease
- Need work party to clear the space. Invite VOL as well
BIPOC and Oppressed Gender Safe Space (BOGSS) Proposal
- patrik: a bunch of comments sudo made, didn't make it into original document. i was having trouble adding comments to the original document.
- jake needs more time to look. it may not represent any official sudoroom position.
- All the comments in there seem reasonable. I don't think the person who rage-quit left any comments
- rafiq will take time to process
- imma: we'll be iterating. also asking collectives to nominate members to the congress. i don't expect this is a vote yes or no today. just getting everybody aligned.
- rafiq: i also agree i didn't expect it to pass today. need to talk about it.
- yar: thank you for flushing somebody out of sudoroom who wasn't ready to be part of an antiracist community
- rafiq: when boggs carries out an investigation, it's responsible for issuing a report with high standards of accountability. it's accountable to the congress, they can recall committee members and reverse decisions. everything boggs does with disciplinary component shouldbe accompanied with a report. and it's not meant to be a social [...] -- having 5 people is part of ensuring this doesn't happen. society is fundamentally racist. people whose hearts are in the right place are gonna fuck up. i used to harbor messed up views myself, i'm glad someone gave me the chance to make mistakes. maybe we should define egregious violations: assault, sexual harassment. those shouldn't be a question of allowing people to stay in the space, they're a direct safety threat. but in the recent things, people issued apologies, it was ok. onus is on person who's asked to self-critique to identify [...] whether they erred or not. any questions on that specific topic?
- jake: i'm grateful for the work that went into this proposal, i want to see it through and make it happen. i 100% agree with the steps you just said. my personal concern is worrying about if things go wrong. since i haven't been able to fully understand the structural power of the proposal, my main concern so far is to look at ways that, if things go wrong, omni can put things back on track and without .... some things i've seen in the past, groups became divided down the middle and it created a chasm that destroyed everything, that's my concern. so that's the origin of all of my concern about this proposal. the dream is great and what it's intended for is all great, and that's probably what's gonna happen, but ... when people who work in computers they cringe and say "that's dangerous, you're gonna get hacked", that's how i look at community moving pieces like this. i haven't yet been able to ... people concerned if things go wrong it could be problematic.
- rafiq: i understand that concern. we need to recognize that things have already gone wrong in the other directions. white power has already been enshrined at omni, otherwise this wouldn't have been brought up. it might be scary to hand a lot of power to poc in this situation, but i'd rather err on the side of giving poc too much power. the potential hijacking is that poc have too much authority?
- jake: it's not about poc or the group being poc or putting the brakes on fighting white supremacy. it's about recognizing that similar efforts in other collectives have not only failed to achieve their stated goal but also kinda brought the house down with them
- marquise: i'd love to hear about previous attempts to do what we're doing, past attempts like this. are you aware of any of those? do you have access to how that went down? did you read the proposal and read comments about it?
- jake: i have a few different orgs in mind but i don't really want to get into / rehash or analyze things that happened in other collectives or other communities, especially that people aren't part of. just recognize people have concerns. i want you to shrae my reasons for concerns, as someone who's been part of omni from the beginning. i want it to succeed, and i want this proposal to succeed. i want boggs to have power and i want it to work. i've read it but i don't hvae clarity on how it's gonna work. i can't predict how it's gonna work in the future. that's why i need more understanding and trying to allay those concerns. i talked with imma last night about ideas i had for addressing those concerns. she suggested i address my concerns in different ways and volunteered to make more clarity from the proposal that i could look at and engage with.
- yar: seems pretty simple to me. bipoc members of groups form a congress. congress elects a committee. where's the complexity?
- jake: what if no bipoc or non-men sudo members buy in or want to be part of it?
- patrik: nothing we decide here is set in stone. this is all a big social experiment. we can call it a trial period and say that the delegates can review in a year or so and see if it worked
- rafiq: good point Patrik, it's an experiment and we'll iterate scientifically as needed
- joe: should there be minimums of people from groups just to make sure the congress is balanced?
- yar: if a collective wants to be represented in the bogss than it should be more diverse
- joe: my concern is if the congress and committee are the same people
- rafiq: i see. what if the congress is only 6 people and then 5 are in the committee, then there's functionally no oversight. i'll propose something like that. the committee should be no larger than half the congress?
- joe is amenable
- yar concerned about June 1 coming up too fast
- rafiq: we can always adjust the exact date for the congress that's not a big deal
- yar: would the congress be remote?
- rafiq: yes, i was picturing it being remote, maybe with in-person option. let's make a list of people interested in joining the bogss. we as member collectives have to take some responsiblity to make our members get in line. clp won't have problems because our org is almost all bipoc and people doing that work. if you want your org to have more say in bogss, make an effort to empower & hold up the women, nb & bipoc folks in your groups.
Proposal for warning letter to Mike Tenuto about skylights refund
- Propose to ask our Lawyer Jesse to send a letter to Mike requiring hime to refund Omni 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 which are currently lying loose on the roof.
- Yar (by email): I'm not objecting, but I'd like us to put some more thought into the details of how this letter will be delivered to Mike, and what are the avenues for Mike to contact us and talk to us. My experience has been that communication breakdowns were at the heart of this problem from the beginning. Primarily this was his own fault - failure to acknowledge texts and phone calls, promising to meet and then flaking - but it might help the situation if we gave him a specific email address or a specific person's phone number, and told him to engage with that person. Just an idea. (No, I'm not saying it should be me)
- patrik summarizes
- Yar update from MaryAnn: Mike claims he had an agreement to refund half
- Patrik: Need to double check with DK: was that half of the $9800, or half of the total?
- Yar update from MaryAnn: Mike claims he had an agreement to refund half
- micha proposes we just vote on this with the caveat that david might tell us a different number
- Jake: doesn't matter what David says, we can just vote on it right now
- jake: maybe he's already withdrawn his bond to get that money back
- Vote to write the letter, amount TBD
- consensus: YES (patrik/ccl, rafiq/clp joe/fnb, jacqi/mop, jake/sudo), ABSTAIN (none), BLOCK (none)
- Vote to make the leter about $9800, or whatever amount DK had originally agreed on with Mike
- jake & joe want to ask for the full amount
- rafiq: I think going for the full amount means going for the bond money?
- yar: according to his mother, he is able to pay $4500 but not the full amount
- micha: lets go for the bond yall, no channel of communication, we can't even guarantee a 4500 payment
- yar: agreed, with a heavy heart, but we've got too much other work to do
- rafiq: I agree with Micha and Yar. is there a legal reason to write the letter anyway? I think that should be done for documentation. agree with full amount
- jacqi: Yeah that makes sense to me
- lots of conversation, wasn't able to write it all
- yar: the skylight amount in question is $8,945.21. my understanding is that we agreed to write the warning letter, and whatever happens in the next 2 weeks we'll have to make another decision then about how to act next
- jake: let's check if the money's still there
New rooms construction
Yar: Update: looks like our estimates for doing this work were too low. Matt has quoted us $6558.08 to build the new 20x16' basement room [Earlier estimate was $4K]. This estimate does not include a mezzanine room.
What do we want to do? I think we should just go ahead and focus on this basement room for now. The job is relatively clearly defined, and VOL has already expressed interest in paying for this room as soon as it's done. Matt is ready to start work. Can we make a final decision tomorrow night? Thanks!
Meanwhile, the mezzanine space still has questions we need to figure out:
- If we are going to protect the CSC/GWS office from noise, we have two options: 1) either build an entirely new wall next to the existing mirror-and-plywood situation, or 2) demolish the existing stuff and build a new wall in its place. I think #2 makes more sense in the long
term, but it is obviously more complicated in the short term. #2 may also be cheaper - building around the rafters means buying less wood. Another option is to accept the noise issue for now, and just plan to improve that wall later.
- How big will the room be? Again, a few options: 1) the entire space in one large room 2) divide the space into two small rooms of various configurations 3) build one small room now, leaving space for another future small room. I favor #3 - wall off the north half, with a door
in the southeast corner. This would also make soundproofing the CSC/GWS easier, as only a fraction of that whole surface would need to be replaced.
- micha things this is a more reasonable amount. seemed like an underestimate. makes more sense than mezzanine anyway, because money is already expected to come in.
- rafiq: clp is interested in having a room at omni
- Yar proposes we approve using the $7K we approved earlier on the basement room.
- no objections to spending the whole budget on basement room for now
- joe: i'd like an estimate on the price minus drywall. i could get a drywall crew.
- consensus: okay (patrik/ccl rafiq/clp jake/sudo jacqi/mop joe/fnb)
PROPOSAL: up to $2k for rat-proofing materials
I would like to spend the next month doing some serious rat proofing. There are many areas of the building which are obvious rat vectors, which I've been wanting to tackle for years. Depending on how things go, this money may be spent on:
- vacuum filters & accessories
- personal protective equipment
- steel & copper wool
- hardware cloth
- pestblock foam
- glue & fasteners
- concrete & mixing supplies (buckets, etc)
- cleaning chemicals (bleach, borax, DSV, diatomaceous earth, etc)
- whatever else we may need
I hope we will not end up needing even close to the full $2k, but asking to budget that much for flexibility. Do folks think this needs to wait for delegate approval at a meeting? Or can we use naive consensus to approve this money sooner?
- consensus YES (mop ccl fnb clp), disappeared (sudo)
- ccl may be willing to help contribute some money for some things, especially rodent proofing and roof repairs. their budget is balanced again.
Building/ construction tasks
- Need better mechanism to get rid of Stuff. What is this thing, who cares about it, what steps do we need to take before we can get rid of it?
- Rafiq: Have dedicated space in building for gear on the way out
- Patrik other spaces use two areas marked out in tape: items in orange area are on notice, items in red area will be disposed off at the earliest opportunity
- Where should such a space be? Yar: long-term, don't want entrance space be a junk yard. Propose to use consensus list to post items for now.
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