A Commons in Oakland, California
From Latin, omni: "all, every, the whole, of every kind."
Omni Commons is comprised of several Bay Area collectives with a shared political vision—one that, at its most basic level, privileges a more equitable commoning of resources and meeting of human needs over private interests or corporate profit.
We invite you to join us in establishing a safe productive place to pool resources for the collective use and stewardship of the greater community. A space that fosters an ethic of radical collaboration across disciplines and between individuals, creating a living model for future radical spaces. By collectivizing, we are able to consolidate expenses for the purpose of amplifying one another’s goals. Omni is far greater than the sum of its parts.
Omni Commons is making manifest a different way of being together. This is not a project that aims to realize the impossible. Rather, Omni represents a complete perspectival shift, one that allows us to model a way of living outside of the mandates of private interests and corporate profit. It is a reclamation of the Commons. We are creating a space where resources are mutually cared for, cultivated and shared. For more info: http://www.omnicommons.org/
Delegates (Board) Meetings
Delegates meetings are open for anyone to come and witness.
There are many ways to 'join' Omni Commons:
- Attend a class, meeting, workshop or event - check the calendar for a list of upcoming events.
- Come to a working group meeting and help us support this crazy project!
- Most of our member collectives have open membership, check the calendar for their respective upcoming meetings and open houses.
Become a Member Collective
This is the process if your group is interested in joining Omni Commons as a member collective.
1. Decide if your group meets our basic requirements.
- Being a Member Collective at Omni Commons means that your group wants to engage in our ongoing experiment in commoning. You will join other collectives that manage and steward the resource of the building at 4799 Shattuck Avenue for the purposes set forth by the delegates. Participation in the commons includes sending a delegate to the Omni Commons board of directors; following the agreements made to and with Omni Commons and other member collectives; and contributing labor to do the work required to keep Omni Commons functioning and maintain the building. If this does not interest your organization, or appears to be too much of a burden, then being a member collective is not appropriate for you at this time.
- *Please read about our vision / governing principles to determine if your collective is willing and able to collaborate within the structure and culture we have co-created so far.
- Review our current criteria for becoming and remaining a member collective. These may change over time. If you don’t think you meet the Member Collective criteria, there are other ways your group can participate in the Omni. Talk to the Finance Working Group.
2. Let us know you are interested in joining Omni Commons by talking to a delegate or the finance working group. A process guide will be assigned to you to help you navigate the member collective application process. They will give you the information you need and answer your questions.
3. Write your application using the questions below. Keep it as brief as possible while still answering the questions:
- What do you do that makes a difference in the world?
- Briefly recap your history as an organization.
- What is your incorporation status? (501c3? Unincorporated Association? etc.)
- How do you make decisions?
- State your goals for becoming an Omni member collective. How would your presence in the Omni contribute to its purpose and Statement of Solidarity?
- Explain how you will finance your Omni membership dues/rent.
- Describe what dedicated physical space (if any) you need. What will you do in the dedicated space? What can you do in shared space? Will you need to make any modifications of the building? Include floor plans if that makes your proposal clearer.
4. Application review process:
- Submit your application to the Omni Delegates in writing at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
- Present your application proposal at the next Delegates meeting (First and Third Thursdays at 7pm). Delegates will ask questions and give you preliminary feedback about the proposal. In the 2 weeks following the meeting, delegates will discuss your proposal with their collectives.
- Attend collective meetings if invited to further explain your proposal. Incorporate their feedback into your application proposal.
- Legal and financial review
The Omni Finance Working Group will review your financials (Budget, balance sheet, P & L), size, incorporation status, space needs, and reach an agreement with you about your financial contribution and legal relationship to Omni Commons. If you need to make modifications to the building, Finance may ask you to get preliminary inspections, consult with the Building Working Group, or provide other information to determine if the changes are possible and advisable. If necessary, the Omni legal advisor will advise about your legal relationship to the Omni. Update your proposal with this agreement.
5. Attend a 2nd Delegates meeting to discuss your updated proposal. Ideally this would be the next Delegates meeting, but if the delegates and you agree, it may be scheduled for the 2nd meeting following.
- Delegates will report on and discuss the feedback they received from their collectives, and if there are any blocking or serious concerns that can’t be resolved at the meeting, contact information will be shared so that further discussion can happen between you and the groups or persons with the concern.
- Before the next (3rd) Delegates meeting, attend collective meetings, and/or communicate with Omni members as needed to discuss any remaining issues.
7. Attend the next (3rd) Delegates meeting and present your updated application proposal for a final discussion. You will be asked to leave the building and the delegates will reach a decision. The process guide will notify you of the decision.
8. If approved, finalize your membership!
- Sign a contract with Omni Commons, either a lease or fiscal sponsorship agreement.
- Obtain insurance coverage as described in your contract.
- Read the Member Collective Handbook and sign a document stating that the collective members read the Handbook.
- Select a delegate to the Delegates Assembly (Board of Directors)
- Pay deposit/rent/fiscal sponsorship fee, per agreement
- Move in!
- Suggest to your members that they join an Omni Working Group.
what we're looking for
This section needs expansion
- What kind of groups?
- Offer value to the public for free or sliding scale
- Non-hierarchical with a participatory decision making process
- What core values do groups share?
- Standing in solidarity with all oppressed people
- Cultures of consent, against rape, violence & exploitation
- The survival & thrival of our communities and neighborhoods
- Striving for social, economic & environmental justice
- Maintaining an active, publicly accessible commons
- Fostering radical discourse and education
- Removing barriers to technical innovation and scientific inquiry by providing needed equipment and space for individual and group learning.
- Providing a venue for innovative cultural production