2015 Year in Review

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Please expand!

We kicked off the year halfway into our 60-day, $80K IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign, and reached our goal on January 28th.

The $80K raised in February went directly to a capitol fund for building upgrades. Thanks to your contributions, we:

  • Built a soundproof layer over the south wall of the ballroom;
  • Upgraded the bathroom off the entrance hall to a wheelchair-accessible bathroom;
  • Replaced the front door to be ADA compliant;
  • Passed 4 fire and building inspections toward our final review!

Over the course of 2015:

  • Over 25 groups utilized the space for regular meetings, such as the Community Democracy Project, Occupy the Farm and Oakland Jericho;
  • Nearly 30 different groups and individuals held regular somatic classes and rehearsals, ranging from free yoga to martial arts and dance;
  • The Bay Area Public School hosted 78 recurring public school classes and reading groups on topics such as revolutionary feminism, the Black radical tradition, and language exchange - as well as regular poetry readings and author presentations;
  • Counter Culture Labs held nearly 400 meetups including weekly workshops on fermentation, weekly biohacker socials, and meetings of the Real Vegan Cheese project, the Open Source Insulin Project, and the Bay Area Applied Mycology group;
  • Sudo Room hosted roughly 300 meetups and workshops on programming, hardware hacking, Linux, and electronic music production, including regular meetings of the Sudo Mesh wifi network project, the Oakland Privacy Working Group, and the Cyberwizard Institute for free hacking 'anti-bootcamps';
  • Liberated Lens (formerly Optik Allusions) held weekly film production workshops, over a dozen film screenings, and a people's film festival;
  • Material Print Machine held weekly workshops on printmaking, open to the public.

Our community grew by 5 awesome new member collectives:

  • Birdhouse - bringing art and artists to the Omni Commons.
  • Buried Seeds - dedicated to the production & accessibility of Earth-based medicine.
  • Chiapas Support Committee - supporting autonomous health care and education in Zapatista communities.
  • Global Women's Strike - an international network working toward the return of military spending to the community starting with women, the main caregivers everywhere.
  • Phat Beets - a food justice group building farmers markets and gardens in North Oakland.

2016 will be a very important year for the Omni Commons. We have a good chance of being able to buy our building in the early part of the year and preserve it as a commons for Oakland. Our monthly expenses will be reduced and we will be able to operate more freely. At the same time, we still have upgrades to the building we need to do to be fully operational and self-sustaining.