Proposal Package: Opening Omni (DZB) 2014-08-20

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Contents

Proposal WITH Amendments & Discussion towards 2015-01-22 (CURRENT)

REVISED PROPOSAL : PREPARING THE OMNI TO BE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Introduction

The Omni is already a dynamic and exciting space, and will become even more so when it is opened to the public in September. In order for the Omni to be a functional, safe and autonomous social center, it is important that we establish the framework for public use now, before we open the doors. This will head off a number of predictable conflicts and problems, and hopefully save us all some headaches.

This proposal outlines seven areas of a public use framework : hours, public areas, staffing, ground rules, expulsion, bathrooms, and after-hours access. All of these provisions will be publicized through adequate signage.


NOTE: As per 2015-01-15 meeting, each area will be voted on as its own proposal.


Introduction Discussion & Proposed Amendments:

(Discuss in this area)



Hours.

The Omni will open to the public with the regular hours of 12noon to 6pm. These will be our public hours seven days a week going forward. From Wednesday through Sunday, La Commune staff will open the front door at 48th & Shattuck, as well as La Commune and the public areas of the Omni, in the morning, and close the public areas, La Commune, and the 48th Street door at night. Other Omni members will be responsible for opening the space on Mondays and Tuesdays until La Commune opens up daily, within the next few months.

Public hours will be extended as appropriate for special events as long as adequate staffing is available.

Hours Discussion & Proposed Amendments:

(Discuss in this area)

  • (DK): 'Open' Hours and Staffing should be differentiated more as two different items. IMO for safety we need staffing in the evening as much as or more so than during the day, because during weekdays there are more people in and usage of the building after 6pm, than before 6pm.
    • Suggested Amendment: expand hours to 10pm, subject to all collectives' approval.
  • (MS): Rectify this section with Welcoming Committee proposal to hold front door shifts from 10am-2pm, 2pm-6pm, 6pm-10pm: https://ethercalc.com/omni-front-desk Mattsenate (talk) 16:46, 16 January 2015 (PST)

Public Areas.

The public areas of the Omni are defined as La Commune, the basement, the upstairs kitchen and hallway, and the upstairs den and ballroom (if not previously reserved). All other areas of the Omni (Sudo Room, CounterCulture Labs, Rise Above and ground floor hallways) will be considered members-only areas and restricted to active members of the Omni collectives.

Public Areas Discussion & Proposed Amendments:

(Discuss in this area)

  • (DK): Before we define an area as officially 'public' I think we should define what 'Public' actually means, and what the benefit of calling an area 'public' is. (By 'public' I think david means 'Shared' as in 'Shared space' that all collectives.)
    • In addition, the basement for example probably cannot be officially 'public' due to code stuff.
    • Proposed Amendment (DK): No major area that is officially 'unstaffed' or with a core member of Omni present, at any time day or night, is to be 'Public' or 'Open'. IE, La Commune would not be 'Public' when it is closed - it can be traversed by members & their supervised guests only. Similarly, the disco room would not be 'Public' when it is unstaffed or there is no member of Omni present in it.

Staffing.

The Omni will require staffing whenever it is open to the public. The initial open hours of 12noon-6pm, Wednesday through Sunday, will coincide with the shifts of La Commune, so the La Commune staff can be in part responsible for opening and closing the building. This proposal requests that one other person from any of the collectives be present every day the building is open, to act as a greeter, help orient people in the building, answer questions, and deal with any problems that might arise. All member collectives are requested to put out a call to their membership asking for volunteers to staff these shifts. Each collective is expected to be responsible for at least one day a month, regardless of its size. We will be dealing with many challenges in having such a large building open to the general public, including crime and antisocial behavior of various kinds, and staffing is absolutely essential. This volunteering will be coordinated through the Welcoming Committee.

Staffing Discussion & Proposed Amendments:

(Discuss in this area)

  • (DK): As above in 'Hours' and 'Public Areas', any discrete major area / room within Omni deemed 'open' or 'public' should be staffed in order for it to be considered 'open' or 'public', or, a member can use it unstaffed, or, a guest of a member an use it as long as the member hosting the guest is physically present with them in that room.
    • Would also suggest that Welcoming Committee working group coordinate staffing resources & times possible with all collectives before deciding on open hours.

Ground Rules.

The Omni must have clear and posted rules about what is not permitted in the space. We need a sign prominently posted at each entrance, in the bathrooms, and in other places as appropriate. These rules include : NO DRUGS; NO SLEEPING; NO STORAGE; NO VIOLENCE; NO HARASSMENT; NO THREATS; NO SHOUTING; NO SOLICITATION; NO UNLEASHED DOGS; NO MATERIAL DONATIONS WITHOUT PRIOR APPROVAL. We can word the signs however we like but these things have to be crystal-clear. Every community space in Oakland and elsewhere has dealt with these issues and the Omni will be no exception. With compassion and love, we have to deal with these things strongly from the beginning.

Ground Rules Discussion & Proposed Amendments:

(Discuss in this area)



Expulsion.

We need to be able to kick people out for violation of our ground rules, or at our discretion. This is sad but totally necessary. Day staff (La Commune staff and the rotating volunteer) are empowered to expel people from the space for violations of the ground rules or according to the good judgment of the day staff. We can form a conflict-resolution group to deal with appeals to expulsions, but we do need to be able to expel people for violent or antisocial behavior, drug use, threats, or as necessary on a case-by-case basis, as soon as we are open to the public.

Expulsion Discussion & Proposed Amendments:

(Discuss in this area)

  • (DK) As Omni members are already empowered to ban people for safe space reasons, if other criteria are to substantiate bans or added agency / criteria given to specific people or staff etc to do so, they should be made explicit here - ie, abrogation of the prohibitions defined in 'Signage' as well as our extant safe space policy.

Bathrooms.

Public bathrooms are always a tricky issue. Organizers of other community spaces have told us many stories about bathrooms being used for drug use or prostitution, or simply of people locking themselves inside and refusing to come out. We also need to deal with the issues of safety and comfort in unisex bathrooms -- that is, the possibility of antisocial behavior in such bathrooms. Bathrooms are part of the commons that we offer, and it's a very important human rights issue to have access to them, but we need to make sure that our bathroom system is functional.

All of our bathrooms need to be refurbished so that Omni staff can enter them with key access if someone has locked the door. The Omni should allot funds to pay for this. The La Commune bathroom and the Sudo/CCL bathroom should be redesignated as single-occupancy unisex bathrooms so that those who would feel more comfortable not using a multiple-occupancy unisex bathroom are able to do so. Urinals in the bathrooms should be covered up so that they are not used by men in bathrooms that are intended to be unisex.

Bathrooms Discussion & Proposed Amendments:

(Discuss in this area)

  • (DK) Propose there be a protocol to allow access to bathrooms - should they be locked all the time and a key or code given out? Or open all the time and routinely checked? Or both? What do people think..?
    • Unfortunately, all the language on unisex and urinals etc should be removed for now because we are under active non-trivial code obligations to provide gendered bathrooms (required by law) in some or all areas of the building at the discretion of the building department and CBC, and this is still being determined. We may not be able to decommission urinals for example without agreeing to build an entire new bathroom somewhere else with those urinals - a determination still must be made by the city, this is an ongoing discussion with them.
    • Suggest liasing with permitting and building groups regarding any bathroom remodelling and this be struck from the proposal. If we can follow the suggestion of this proposal we of course will, but it is not entirely up to us alas.

After-Hours Access.

As per the section on Hours, the Omni will close to the public at 6pm. The Omni will still be available to members of its collectives, including those, like Sudo Room, that require 24-hour access. Members will be furnished either with a key (following a lock-change at the Omni's expense) or a magnetic card or fob (if an appropriate access system can be developed).

After-hours Access Discussion & Proposed Amendments:

(Discuss in this area)

  • (DK) Propose that the hour of closing not be reiterated here and be confined to the Hours section. Propose that 'open' and/or 'public' shared areas of the building are defined by whether they are staffed or not, regardless of the hour of day or night.

Signage.

All provisions of this proposal will be articulated in large & legible signage distributed throughout the Omni. The Welcoming Committee will be responsible for writing & producing this signage, which will aim to strike a balance between safety and a welcoming atmosphere.

Signage Discussion & Proposed Amendments:

(Discuss in this area)



Conclusion

Opening to the general public every day of the week is a great fulfillment of the Omni's mission to be a radical social commons. Let us make strong decisions now about how we receive the public, so that this wonderful project can most fully flourish.

Conclusion Discussion & Proposed Amendments:

(Discuss in this area)



Proposal Discussion 2015-01-16 thru 2015-01-22

Delegates complete meeting minutes 2015-01-22 (link)

* Not yet copied up to wiki


Proposal Discussion 2015-01-15 meeting (held over from 2015-01-08)

Delegates complete meeting minutes 2015-01-15 (link)

In-meeting Discussion (pasted from meeting notes):

  • The whole thing as it is hasn't followed the process (it isn't on the consensus list)
  • It's not formatted well as something that the delegates can pass - we already have conflict resolution and safe space policies
  • We need to discuss w/our collectives and come back to vote next week
  • Perhaps we can unburden DB by distributing each section among the relevant working groups.
  • Agree it's not formatted well as something that the groups can vote on, can we agree to have it stand as a working document
  • Most of the issues that this document tries to address are things that we are in dereliction of a framework for
  • Reiterate that this is a great deal of urgency
  • Accept this as a working draft, identify a group to shepard this forward, set deadlines for a revised version
  • Working group should include people who have difficulty / issues with the proposal as it stands
  • Sense of urgency scares me, these things are already happening and the awesome people here are already dealing with them w/in the structures that we have in place
  • Agree that a lot of things are being worked out but it's helpful to have a summary
  • We've already passed a ban reciprocity, all members are already empower to expell someone
  • How to do you imagine this existing as a working document
  • Does this document need to exist? In this form? We could agree that this is purely a working version that will be amended
  • Would like to see a Working Group tasked specifically to draft this w/ a dedicated thread
  • We have a wiki!
  • Proposal will reduce work for everbody
  • Could act as a TL;DR for all of our other policies
  • As a visitor, signage and posted clear value statements is desireable. There's a lot of confusion when one wanders through here
  • We need a clear policy, in one place, that's legible to everyone. More than just a proposal to be open to the public.
  • Worry about the building in the evening, not during the middle of the day. Thanks to David for refocusing us on this.
  • All of our documents are amendable, let's put something in place and then set a deadline for revising it.
  • From a safety perspective, can see how important it is.
  • Let's end with some kind of an action plan. DB should not bear the burden. Can we identify a committee?
  • Every delegate needs to take this back to their collective and work on it. Yes, a committee can shepherd it.
  • This is something that would concern a newly forming group called Ebb and Flow
  • Maybe How We Organize would be a good place to work on this
  • David, Joe and Kwic agree to shepherd the proposal
  • Let's agree to set a date to bring it back - 2 weeks from now?
  • Might need a little bit more time. But let's shoot for 2 weeks.

Revised Proposal 2015-01-8 (Historical)

REVISED PROPOSAL : PREPARING THE OMNI TO BE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC BROUGHT BY LA COMMUNE JANUARY 8, 2015

[REVISED FROM A PROPOSAL BROUGHT BY LA COMMUNE, AUGUST 20, 2014]

The Omni is already a dynamic and exciting space, and will become even more so when it is opened to the public in September. In order for the Omni to be a functional, safe and autonomous social center, it is important that we establish the framework for public use now, before we open the doors. This will head off a number of predictable conflicts and problems, and hopefully save us all some headaches.

This proposal outlines seven areas of a public use framework : hours, public areas, staffing, ground rules, expulsion, bathrooms, and after-hours access. All of these provisions will be publicized through adequate signage.

Hours. The Omni will open to the public with the regular hours of 12noon to 6pm. These will be our public hours seven days a week going forward. From Wednesday through Sunday, La Commune staff will open the front door at 48th & Shattuck, as well as La Commune and the public areas of the Omni, in the morning, and close the public areas, La Commune, and the 48th Street door at night. Other Omni members will be responsible for opening the space on Mondays and Tuesdays until La Commune opens up daily, within the next few months.

Public hours will be extended as appropriate for special events as long as adequate staffing is available.

Public Areas. The public areas of the Omni are defined as La Commune, the basement, the upstairs kitchen and hallway, and the upstairs den and ballroom (if not previously reserved). All other areas of the Omni (Sudo Room, CounterCulture Labs, Rise Above and ground floor hallways) will be considered members-only areas and restricted to active members of the Omni collectives.

Staffing. The Omni will require staffing whenever it is open to the public. The initial open hours of 12noon-6pm, Wednesday through Sunday, will coincide with the shifts of La Commune, so the La Commune staff can be in part responsible for opening and closing the building. This proposal requests that one other person from any of the collectives be present every day the building is open, to act as a greeter, help orient people in the building, answer questions, and deal with any problems that might arise. All member collectives are requested to put out a call to their membership asking for volunteers to staff these shifts. Each collective is expected to be responsible for at least one day a month, regardless of its size. We will be dealing with many challenges in having such a large building open to the general public, including crime and antisocial behavior of various kinds, and staffing is absolutely essential. This volunteering will be coordinated through the Welcoming Committee.


Ground Rules. The Omni must have clear and posted rules about what is not permitted in the space. We need a sign prominently posted at each entrance, in the bathrooms, and in other places as appropriate. These rules include : NO DRUGS; NO SLEEPING; NO STORAGE; NO VIOLENCE; NO HARASSMENT; NO THREATS; NO SHOUTING; NO SOLICITATION; NO UNLEASHED DOGS; NO MATERIAL DONATIONS WITHOUT PRIOR APPROVAL. We can word the signs however we like but these things have to be crystal-clear. Every community space in Oakland and elsewhere has dealt with these issues and the Omni will be no exception. With compassion and love, we have to deal with these things strongly from the beginning.

Expulsion. We need to be able to kick people out for violation of our ground rules, or at our discretion. This is sad but totally necessary. Day staff (La Commune staff and the rotating volunteer) are empowered to expel people from the space for violations of the ground rules or according to the good judgment of the day staff. We can form a conflict-resolution group to deal with appeals to expulsions, but we do need to be able to expel people for violent or antisocial behavior, drug use, threats, or as necessary on a case-by-case basis, as soon as we are open to the public.

Bathrooms. Public bathrooms are always a tricky issue. Organizers of other community spaces have told us many stories about bathrooms being used for drug use or prostitution, or simply of people locking themselves inside and refusing to come out. We also need to deal with the issues of safety and comfort in unisex bathrooms -- that is, the possibility of antisocial behavior in such bathrooms. Bathrooms are part of the commons that we offer, and it's a very important human rights issue to have access to them, but we need to make sure that our bathroom system is functional.

All of our bathrooms need to be refurbished so that Omni staff can enter them with key access if someone has locked the door. The Omni should allot funds to pay for this. The La Commune bathroom and the Sudo/CCL bathroom should be redesignated as single-occupancy unisex bathrooms so that those who would feel more comfortable not using a multiple-occupancy unisex bathroom are able to do so. Urinals in the bathrooms should be covered up so that they are not used by men in bathrooms that are intended to be unisex.

After-Hours Access. As per the section on Hours, the Omni will close to the public at 6pm. The Omni will still be available to members of its collectives, including those, like Sudo Room, that require 24-hour access. Members will be furnished either with a key (following a lock-change at the Omni's expense) or a magnetic card or fob (if an appropriate access system can be developed).

Signage. All provisions of this proposal will be articulated in large & legible signage distributed throughout the Omni. The Welcoming Committee will be responsible for writing & producing this signage, which will aim to strike a balance between safety and a welcoming atmosphere.

Opening to the general public every day of the week is a great fulfillment of the Omni's mission to be a radical social commons. Let us make strong decisions now about how we receive the public, so that this wonderful project can most fully flourish.


Proposal discussion:2015-01-08 thru 2015-01-15

Delegates meeting minutes 2015-01-08 (link)

  • In-meeting discussion: Proposal was not discussed at 2015-01-08 meeting.


Addendum brought 2014-09-2: Locking La Commune

La Commune is committed to working with the Omni to provide maximum access to our space. As a retail business, however, our insurance, consignment arrangements, and vendor relationships will require us to close and lock the bookstore / cafe. This proposal outlines a plan that will balance La Commune's needs with those of the Omni as a whole.

Once we are officially open for business, La Commune will be open for regular hours, presently envisioned as 10am to 6pm, seven days a week. Outside of these hours the cafe will be locked. Access to the other areas of the Omni will be available through the ballroom doors on Shattuck Avenue and the side door on 48th Street.

In order to meet egress requirements for the Omni fire permit, La Commune will install panic bars on four doors: the front double doors at 48th & Shattuck, the double doors from the ballroom, the doors from the basement, and the doorway to the back hallway (we will also install a door here). As appropriate, we will also add a panic bar to the doorways to the upstairs. These bars will sound an alarm if anyone opens the door. With this equipment, the cafe space can be rendered secure while still providing egress in case of emergency.

La Commune is excited to be the front door of the Omni, and we are committed to working with other collectives and with the Omni as a whole towards solutions that meet all of our needs. We need to be able to lock up our business, but we want to work with everyone else to make sure that we can do this in the best possible way.


Original Proposal 2014-08-20 (Historical): Preparing To Be Open

Proposed by: DZ Brazil


BROUGHT BY LA COMMUNE, AUGUST 20, 2014

PROPOSAL : PREPARING THE OMNI TO BE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

The Omni is already a dynamic and exciting space, and will become even more so when it is opened to the public in September. In order for the Omni to be a functional, safe and autonomous social center, it is important that we establish the framework for public use now, before we open the doors. This will head off a number of predictable conflicts and problems, and hopefully save us all some headaches down the road.

This proposal outlines seven areas of a public use framework : hours, public areas, staffing, ground rules, expulsion, bathrooms, andafter-hours access.

Hours

The Omni will open to the public on September 13 with the regular hours of 10am to 6pm. These will be our public hours seven days a week going forward. La Commune staff will open the front door at 48th & Shattuck, as well as La Commune and the public areas of the Omni, in the morning, and close the public areas, La Commune, and the 48th Street door at night. (La Commune will be locked up for the night at this time.) After three months, we can check in about the prospect of expanding those hours if it seems advisable.

Public Areas

The public areas of the Omni will be La Commune, the basement, and the ballroom (if not previously reserved). All other areas of the Omni (Sudo Room, CounterCulture Labs, and the ground floor kitchen and hallways) will be considered members-only areas and restricted to active members of the Omni collectives. This definition may be revised when we open the second floor to the Omni collectives.

Staffing

The Omni will require staffing whenever it is open to the public. The initial open hours of 10am-6pm, seven days a week, will coincide with the shifts of La Commune, so the La Commune staff can be in part responsible for opening and closing the building. This proposal requests that one other person from any of the collectives be present every day the building is open, to act as a greeter, help orient people in the building, answer questions, and deal with any problems that might arise. All member collectives are requested to put out a call to their membership asking for volunteers to staff these shifts. Each collective is expected to be responsible for at least one day a month, regardless of its size. We will be dealing with many challenges in having such a large building open to the general public, including crime and antisocial behavior of various kinds, and staffing is absolutely essential.

Ground Rules

The Omni must have clear and posted rules about what is not permitted in the space. We need a sign prominently posted at each entrance, in the bathrooms, and in other places as appropriate. These rules include : NO DRUGS; NO SLEEPING; NO STORAGE; NO VIOLENCE; NO HARASSMENT; NO THREATS; NO SHOUTING; NO SOLICITATION. We can word the signs however we like but these things have to be crystal-clear. Every community space in Oakland and elsewhere has dealt with these issues and the Omni will be no exception. With compassion and love, we have to deal with these things strongly from the beginning.

Expulsion

We need to be able to kick people out for violation of our ground rules, or at our discretion. This is sad but totally necessary. Day staff (La Commune staff and the rotating volunteer) are empowered to expel people from the space for violations of the ground rules or according to the good judgment of the day staff. We can form a conflict-resolution group to deal with appeals to expulsions, but we do need to be able to expel people for violent or antisocial behavior, drug use, threats, or as necessary on a case-by-case basis, as soon as we are open to the public.

Bathrooms

Public bathrooms are always a tricky issue. Organizers of other community spaces have told us many stories about bathrooms being used for drug use or prostitution, or simply of people locking themselves inside and refusing to come out. We also need to deal with the issues of safety and comfort in unisex bathrooms -- that is, the possibility of antisocial behavior in such bathrooms. Bathrooms are part of the commons that we offer, and it's a very important human rights issue to have access to them, but we need to make sure that our bathroom system is functional.

All of our bathrooms need to be refurbished so that Omni staff can enter them with key access if someone has locked the door. The Omni should allot funds to pay for this. The La Commune bathroom and the Sudo / CCL bathroom should be redesignated as single-occupancy unisex bathrooms so that those who would feel more comfortable not using a multiple-occupancy unisex bathroom are able to do so. Urinals in the bathrooms should be covered up so that they are not used by men in bathrooms that are intended to be unisex.

After-Hours Access

As per the section on Hours, the Omni will close to the public at 6pm. La Commune will also be closed at that time, which means that the 48th & Shattuck door will not be usable. The Omni will still be available to members of its collectives, including those, like Sudo Room, that require 24-hour access, through the side door on 48th Street. This door will be the after-hours access. Members will be furnished either with a key (following a lock-change at the Omni's expense) or a magnetic card or fob (if an appropriate access system can be developed). We will ensure that the fire codes are followed and particularly that fire egress is possible after-hours. Those members present after-hours are requested not to use closed spaces.

Opening to the general public every day of the week is a great fulfillment of the Omni's mission to be a radical social commons. Let us make strong decisions now about how we receive the public, so that this wonderful project can most fully flourish.


Original Proposal - discussion

Link to 2014-08-21 meeting minutes (proposal discussion reiterated below)

  • Many Omni working group meetings, Public School classes and Sudo Room meetups take place between 6-10pm.
  • Sudo Room is open to the public 24/7 so long as a member is present.
  • It might be easier to actually propose a live-in building manager once the owners move out.
    • Re: live-in mgr; building is not legally zoned for residential barring a special CUP we would have to apply for, fire is far more strict for residential too, might change building use, needs to be researched
  • Consider adopting Sudo Room's language for all Omni Collective members: https://sudoroom.org/wiki/Articles_of_Association#Article_5._Empowerment_of_members
  • Again, most groups' events, classes, workshops happen after 6pm. I think it would be confusing to put out the message that 'The Omni' closes at 6pm simply because La Commune intends to close its doors then.
  • Note: Among other complications, closing off access to the only currently-planned ADA-upgraded bathroom in the building (in the bar-room) may pose a problem for official daily 'public' access to anywhere else in the building during times the cafe may be closed or locked up, unless/until other bathrooms are also upgraded to ADA. May also be fire code complications (blocking means of egress from other rooms in the building). See logistics list for more infos on this.