GA Minutes 11/7/11

Please post all general assembly meeting minutes here. Arrange them by Year, Month and Day (e.g., Minutes GA 10/20/2011).

GA Minutes 11/7/11

Postby breathedeep » Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:22 pm

Facilitator: Chris & ?
Minute Taker: Louisa

Intro/Agenda Review
Committee Reports
Safety Guidelines
Spokes Council
Community Space

*Proposals for next GA

Poem for Morale

Whiteaker canvassing planning meeting to take place at CALC (5th and Blair) Tuesday, November 8th at 7pm. Meeting will discuss a plan to canvass the Whiteaker and make introduction between OE and its neighbors.

Daphne of the Elders Committee was in a car accident recently and broke both legs. No additional information at this time.

Whiteaker Community Council (Neighborhood Association) meeting Wednesday, November 9th at the Whiteaker Community Center (Clark and Jackson). All of OE is invited. Refreshments from 6-7pm. They also have an Occupy Whiteaker Facebook page.

Why Occupy? 2 part event: On Wednesday, November 9th at 7pm in Harris Hall (8th and Oak) We the People of Eugene is sponsoring a public teach-in forum on Occupy Eugene. The discussion will include several Occupy Eugene organizers, UO professors and local community organizers. On Thursday, November 10th at 6pm on UO campus (Willamette Hall Rm. 100) two UO sociology professors, Michael Dreiling and Val Burris, will facilitate a discussion about the broader social and historical context of the occupation movement.

Committee Reports:
Finance- Don’t forget to fill out request for money. The forms are online and at info booth. People can still make cash donations in the box at Info booth. Two additional Porta-Potties are coming tomorrow from Bucks. However, in order to continue servicing these bathrooms every other day, it will cost the camp $830/month. Finance is going to focus efforts on fundraising, but this is a necessary expense and the Finance Committee will make an official proposal soon.

Facilitation- Still looking for folks interested in taking on the roles of facilitator and minute writers at GA. Please let them know if you are interested. We will try an experiment at the end of the meeting to document agenda proposals for the next GA. A facilitator will note the proposed agenda items. They can still be submitted at the Info Booth 24 hours in advance. Weekly Facilitator meetings are moving to Saturdays at 2pm (effective immediately) with the option of a second weekly meeting on Wednesdays at noon.

Medical- Still accepting donations for warm items such as hats, gloves, and scarves. They also need the following items: bottled water, cough drops, cough syrup, cold & flu medicine. As soon as power is there it will be fully staffed and they are looking into getting a MASH tent. The current medical tent hours are 8am-7pm and they are still looking for volunteers. Next meeting is Thursday, November 10th at 6pm.

Systemic Change Working Group- Next meeting Wednesday, November 9th at 2pm at the Community Dome onsite. They are looking for input from people on what would be wanted in a new constitutional design. This committee wants to see individuals involved in OE take responsibility and accountability for daily interactions with one another and continue to practice democracy on a daily basis.

Education Alliance- See announcement about Why Occupy? event.

Info Booth- There is a new donations area off to the side of the Info Booth. Reminder to post times and locations for committee meetings on a consistent basis so information is available to all. There will be wi-fi and electricity soon. There is a lost & found in the Info Booth. There is also a questionnaire available designed by a university student, about experiences and opinions on the occupation. Please complete and return.

Engineering- Tomorrow, Tuesday November 8th there will be a work party beginning onsite at 10 am. Volunteers will tackle issues of emergency vehicle assess in the camp per the Fire Marshall, including reworking paths which will necessitate some tents moving. Please try to have a representative of your tent available. Will be working to ensure palettes or other hard surfaces are under all tents to provide mud control. Will also set up flooring under the dome. There will soon be a caged bike storage area and perhaps a dog run. Need donations of fencing, batteries (battery bank system), and working knowledge of electrical issues. Obie needs a ride to Grants Pass to pick up a Yurt and a half and Yurt building workshops will follow. If you had a vehicle on the donation list, please update it or add it again. We have a donation of propane tanks, tables and lumber waiting. We just need someone with a truck to pick it up. Some engineering items are available for camp use at the bus under the off ramp—help yourself. Other items are secured, contact an Engineering member for assistance. Engineering is in the process of organizing affinity groups that will be working on different tasks including structure, electricity, roads, heating and clerical. FYI, the police have cleared us to use the space on Jefferson between 6th and 7th as an unloading area for vehicles.

Heartflow- Next meeting will be next Tuesday, November 15th on site.

Sanitation- Please make every effort to clean up beer cans before the police officer arrives to walk through the camp each morning (typically between 8-9 am)

Kitchen- There will be many palettes arriving soon. Please don’t help yourself without talking to Big John first, as many are going to be used to construct a floor and walls for the kitchen, including a serving window. It is essential that food storage be taken care of to avoid problems with wetness, rats, etc. We currently have massive amounts of food donations and we want to preserve that food. We will be serving Egyptian food onsite Saturday in support of an event at the Saturday Market in solidarity with Egypt. Big John wants to have a chili cook-off—come to him with recipes if you are interested in being involved!

Safety Guidelines Open Discussion:
The set of community agreements were read aloud and a discussion followed. The primary focus of the discussion was problematic and vague wording surrounding drug and alcohol usage at camp.

“Recreational” drug use implies that people are using these drugs because they want to, not because they have addiction issues. By continuing to use that language we are reinforcing a false dichotomy.

Also referring to a safe space for those folks that are “card carrying” medical marijuana users is classist and carries implications of power and privilege. In order to have a card folks must have access to many resources including money and healthcare.

“Communal areas” is vague. We need clarification. Maybe public areas?

Someone suggested that community agreements be enforced at the kitchen since that is a major point of traffic. Maybe people should be required to have a discussion about the agreements and carry a laminated card with the agreements on it; in order to be served food the card must be produced.

Folks called for clarification on what happens if one does not follow the agreements.

All agreed that these agreements need to be move visible—posted around the camp, at least by the kitchen.

Spokes Council:
Alley discussed her opinion that the GAs are often ineffective and it could be beneficial to introduce another system, the Spokes Council Model (aka the Folkmote System) to “get shit done.” She also communicated that for people who are very involved in OE, having a GA every day is taxing. In short the Spokes Council Model utilizes representatives from committees and opens up communication among them. These organizer meetings would occur in place of GAs on Tuesdays and Thursdays and optionally on Sundays. Organizer meetings would not make decisions that would change the movement, but could problem-solve as needed. A Grand Assembly meeting would take place on Saturdays from 4pm-6pm and a possible morale night on Sundays with regular GAs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This proposal intends to streamline the process and prevent committee member burn-out.

A discussion followed which included clarification that the organizer meetings would be transparent and open to anyone who self-identifies as an organizer. It is not intended to be exclusive, but rather inclusive. Also it is intended to assist committees in communicating more effectively with one another. Following organizer meetings the Spokes Council would report back to the GA on the following evening. We could review this process in a few months to determine efficacy.

There was confusion and considerable discussion with many proposals and friendly amendments. Many seemed concerned about not having a hardcopy of the model to refer to.

Some folks suggested a mock Spokes Council meeting so people would be able to better understand the process. Alternately, an info meeting, to better explain the process, was also suggested.

The group consensed to do a two week trial run of this model beginning on Thursday, November 10th, wherein a Spokes Council meeting will replace the GA. All are invited to attend.

Community Space:
We need a Dome Steward to ensure that the Dome is clean and available for scheduled meetings on a daily basis. The Dome has been found filled with trash and belongings. We have a volunteer for tonight, but perhaps a committee will need to be formed in the future.
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