January 26, 2012 in Meeting minutes
Before the meeting commenced, the owner of the Deer Pile and City O’ City set forth the basic principles governing the usage of the space:
1. Doors to the Deer Pile open 15 minutes before beginning time of events, and close 15 minutes after ending time. (This means Occupy Denver has it from 5:15 – 9:15, until at least March 1st. If still on good terms, we can continue to use the space.)
2. Doors cannot be propped open (we are however free to let people in, post a sign with a phone number to call if you need let in, etc), and OD is responsible for the place while using it.
3. Please leave it the way we found it.
4. Please make reasonable efforts to inform others of #’s 1-3.
5. Deer Pile exists in part to supply a need for space for people to use; if said people have other needs, particularly of the food/drink variety, please support the Deer Pile by patronizing City O’ City.
Committees/Working Groups represented:
Declaration of Purpose drafting group
Legislative Working Group
Pamphlet/Communications working group
Drums/Noise/Music working group
Building Working Group
Website Working Group
Veterans Working Group
Question: What’s the difference between 24/7 and the Row?
24/7 committee formed to maintain needs of Occupiers- food, warmth, etc. “The Row” describes the people who sleep there. 24/7 is open to anybody- you don’t have to be an Occupier.
Education: Community Activism: An Allied Resistance series
Sunday, 11:00 pm: Civic Center Park- Facilitation Training
Non-Violence: Now meeting Thursdays, right before this meeting. Also planning on bringing food to Occupiers
Short summary of Occupy Obama visit: for a good eight hours, had 10-25 people there, had tents, signs, etc- people going in and out all day long. A great experience was had by all. The event was livestreamed. OD was mentioned in the Denver Post.
Next Why I Occupy: Johnny 5 from Flobots has agreed to do a show for us. We have two dates in February for the Merc Cafe; if it can’t come together then, we have some dates in March. Should be a good time, and a fundraising opportunity!
Gardening Committee is working on getting resources- if anybody has some, talk to them!
Legislative Working group needs people- has a lot of exciting projects going on, 3:30 PM, Fridays, at the Library
Food Coalition still needs a place to cook food. Does anybody know of any resources- food banks, refrigerated space, etc?
Suggestion: Post this on Needs and Requests part of the website. Just need to produce the text of what you need.
Flyering groups- a couple of them being worked on currently. Need to be in touch.
The Admin Committee, whose job is to help committees communicate with one another, wants to put Committee Digests together to help with this. The digests have a space for what your committee has accomplished, what it’s working on, what it needs help with, etc. However, not everybody completes them. Admin wants to know: What do people think of these? How come some haven’t been returning them?
The subsequent discussion addressed a number of issues that are separate but related from the question of what people think of the digests and why some are more consistent than others in returning them.
It was suggested that Admin send regular “We need your digest!” reminder emails, rather than just sending out the one call for digests and leaving it at that.
It was also suggested that if each committee has its own web page, perhaps that would obviate the need for the digests- and in this spirit, Paul remarked that he’s putting together some software to facilitate inter-committee communication.
The weekly pamphlet, which contains “The Cheese” in the middle, is intended to update folks on committee activity, however it’s currently hard to get updates, because they’re having trouble getting the digests. The question was asked whether or not the committee working on the pamphlet should remain in existence, and this topic was added to the agenda.
It transitioned into a broader issue of Admin’s basic ability to function. Currently, Admin Committee members are elected, however after being elected, many of them do not continue to consistently function in an Admin capacity. There was general agreement that it would be a good idea to restructure Admin so that it’s easier to get on, and to rename it Information Logistics.
After a temperature check, it was decided to table the Pamphlet issue.
Committee meeting times
When do we meet, are we overlapping, and how do we keep each other informed of meetings?
The various committees and working groups present announced when and where they meet:
Outreach: Mondays, 7:00, Back Hall Social Club on 23rd and Clay
Food: Tuesdays, 3:00, City O’ City
Vets: Tuesdays, 5:30, library (second floor)
Education: Mondays, 5:00, meet at Civic Center Park and move to the 4th floor of library. This might be changing.
GA Procedures: Kind of started meeting Wednesdays, 7:00 pm, scattered locations.
Legislative: Fridays, 3:30, 2nd or 4th floor of library
Tactics: Mondays, 5:30, Civic Center Park to library (same time/place as Events)
Peace/Non-Violence: Thursdays, 5:30, Deer Pile (informal)
Garden/Growing: Sundays, 1:00 pm, Civic Center Park
Legal: Doesn’t meet regularly- but we’re going to discuss that shortly.
Security: Most people live on the row. Meet whenever they’re all together.
24/7: Looking to get a regular weekly meeting time- it’s contingent on getting new people involved.
Finance: No regular meeting
Pamphlet Communications: Hang out on Saturdays to get the pamphlet printed by Sunday.
Healing/Health: Doesn’t have a solid meeting time.
Press/Communications: No regular meeting times, no interest/need- sometimes there’s a meeting for a specific reason, as needed.
Admin: No regular time, that’s part of the problem.
Foreclosures: A working group that’s a coalition with CPC, meeting bi-weekly, Saturdays, 4:00 pm, 1029 Santa Fe; various subcommittees meet weekly.
After the announcements, it was noted that Events, Tactics, and Education overlap. It was determined that this isn’t much of a problem- whether or not Events/Tactics overlap in function, Events is nevertheless in the process of dividing into smaller groups. Also, if it is a problem, one could just go to whichever meeting they go to and ask to change the meeting time. There is also some unavoidably in overlap, since Tuesday is a GA night, Thursday is the inter-committee meeting night, and Saturdays have a GA and usually an event.
However, it was also agreed that meeting time should be posted publically. Web is going to put a calendar up on the website.
Committee Specific pages on website:
Web expressed a willingness to do whatever OD as a group wanted to do. If multiple committees can edit their own sites, this reduces the burden on Web. The only issue is, it’s more difficult to stay on message with more people.
There was general agreement that it would be a good idea for Committees to be responsible for their own pages, although it would also be a good idea to have a couple safety mechanisms in place to prevent highly objectionable content- so, we could establish some standards by which Web could remove content if necessary, and also Word Press already has multiple levels of permission.
It’s going to be important to distinguish between individual committee pages, and the main page, for which content must pass through GA. At a minimum, pages should have basic information on what the committee is, contact info, meeting times, etc.
Web suggested that, for accountability purposes, one committee could appoint somebody to be in charge of the web page. Web also agreed that there should be a template so that the format is somewhat consistent. When asked if the committees were willing to do this, there were many twinkles.
This could also minimize the need for Information Logistics and the Pamphlet.
Web decided to set up a special meeting to facilitate this.
Financing/allocating specific funds for committees and procedures thereof
Finance: Finance is in shambles- there is almost nobody left, including people who have access to our accounts. What about earmarking money for specific committees? Immediately allocating it? That’s a lot of financial responsibility on specific committees, meaning that we should have a specific financial point person on each committee.
In the case that certain people want to donate to specific things (bonds, food, etc), they have a right to know that their donation is going to the right place. One way to do this is to have a centralized account from which specific expenditures could be earmarked.
This led to the issue of proper accounting practices- as an organization inevitably becomes more complex, there is an inevitable need for a separation of finances. This is how non-profits do it. Unfortunately, nobody with concrete accounting experience was present, although Legislative did agree to do some research on what Finance could legally do.
Further, as we dwindle in resources, perhaps we should be merging some of these committees, and even put out an add in Craig’s list- we need volunteers!
There are going to be efforts to make Security a more viable part of OD.
Occupy DU just had second GA- pretty good footing. If you want to come to DU, you should- meetings are Monday at noon, Thursday at 4:30 between Sturm/ Sturm College of Law.
Tabled for next week:
5) Dialogue about how committees are going to communicate with each other