MINUTES 9/1/12

Location: Liberty Square

Time: 7 pm

Full facilitation team was in place, plus livestreamer and minutes taker


Working Group reportbacks

Establishing of Quorum for holding #NYCGA. Tabled.

End the #NYCGA spending freeze.
Three friendly amendments were accepted:

1) The NYCGA cannot hear financial proposals unless a member of Accounting is present and the current balance of the general fund has been presented. The NYCGA will not spend more than 20% of its total balance on any given night.

2) Non-consensus means of obtaining funds will not be honored – funds are accessible through prior consented budgets, the General Assembly, or the Spokes Council, only.

3) These protocols do not affect how the bail fund and general fund interacts (i.e., if the bail fund is emptied, the general fund becomes a backup bail fund – and no consensus is required to make a withdrawal, nor does the 20% restriction apply).

Consensus reached.

Financial & Accounting



fac is facilitator
vib is vibes checker
casp is casper
“someone” could be anyone whose name i couldn’t hear or who didn’t say but “same someone” is always the last “someone” who spoke.

THERE’S an archives proposal
a queering OWS proposal
spending freeze
fac: does anybody mind if we pause for the loud streetsweeping?
grp: no objections
fac: let’s go over the agenda first so my name’s henry i’ll be your facilitator today. vibes check?
vib: i’m vibes
fac: that’d be great to have a timekeeper, anybody?
fac: alright so we use a consensus process where every proposal ratified has to be ratified unanimously or failing that
justin: we go to modified consensus which is 90%
fac: okay so failing that we go to minimum of 90% to pass a proposal. so in order to participate we use hand signs. this hand sign shows approval. this means speak directly at the facilitator, i’m not always going to recognize those. this means point of process, something in the meeting isn’t going incredibly smoothely and we have a proposal about how to observe the process. what am i missing?
justin: and we don’t clap we twinkle when we’re excited because if you don’t clap a lot for one person but you clap a lot for the next person they may feel out of sorts
fac: if you’re standing aside it means you object to the content of something that’s being discussed.
casp: do you think you could reiterate the hand signals
fac: so we’re going to get right into it. the first thing on the agenda is the reportbacks. because the street sweeping is so loud please stand. we’re going to go over working group reportbacks and announcements. proposals are as follows. …and ending the spending freeze[names all the proposals]… is that it for proposals
sean: there’s a 24 hour for new proposals
casp: there’s a 24 hour rule
fac: well there’s always next week
casp: if you like i can sit down with you and help you and that way it won’t happen again. we can work together and i’ll help you put that out.
fac: we have a question?
someone: what is the order of your agenda?
fac: there’s going to be working group reportbacks, there’s going to be proposals, …[something]a spending freeze proposal and a finance proposals. are there any other questions?
same someone: can i put on a proposal?
fac: no sorry there is a 24 hour rule. so any working groups that want to report back?
elina: my name is elina. we had a successful action against mayor bloomberg. we had 8 arrests. [can't hear because of street sweeping]
justin: the disability caucus is going to be doing something on s15
elina: we’re going to have an assembly right here liberty square from 2-4 and then we’re working on our s15. that’s about it.
fac: are there any other workgroups that want to report back
justin: hey i’m justin i’m with the affinity group sleepful protest. we have some good news that the s17 group has maybe found some indoor housing for people that don’t want to sleep outside but we do have [...] for people who want to help out with the sleepful protest
gonzo: hi i’m gonzo i’m one of the occupiers currently taking up space in front of trinity. the group is occupiers also known as hard grounders but we could use some supplies like water, new sleeping bags, just general supplies. water and food are the most needed. so if you could contribute in any way it would be much appreciated. other than ta te cops haven’t been messing with us
casp: so i’m still a part of SIS
justin: what does SIS stand for
casp: storage shipping and inventory so i you could contact me sis_shipping ows_shipping i have both of them on twitter. or look me up at ows_casper and we could help people who need sleeping bags who are doing sleepful protests. these are 50 degree bags so you’re like a hot potato in there so that’s pretty much it. and if you look it up on gmail it’s
fac: so are there any other working group reportbacks. great we’re gonna move on and do the first proposal and that would be by justin
justIN; hey i’m justin i’m from facilitation among other groups. a little back story. depending on participation it’s been an issue about whether this body can hear proposal base on participation so we’ve een talking about a quorum. we’ve set a quorum which seems to work butit’s a double edged sword because you have to meet that quorum. so the proposal is that we should set a quorum based upon the number of active workin groups that we have. right now working groups are based on whether they have a presence on there’s urently 92 of these groups so m proposal is that we set a quorum and the quorum s 90% of the active groups. so we have 91 groups right now so to have a quorum we’d need 82 people right now. but i’m looking for a friendly amndmen because it’s becoming clear that some of those groups aren’t active or aren’t showing that they’re active. so i’ll read the proposal

a new york eneral assembly must have a full facilitation team, minutes, a live streamer, a member of de-escalation, vibes checker, a facilitator. so what i’m proposing is that it has a full facilitation team. so we’d need a full group like we assembled here. so it needs minutes, livestream, a member of de-scalation and at least 9/10 of the working groups. members of facilitation, minutes, live stream can be included in this final count. park security, animals, food venders, should not be included in this count. it’ll just be “participatns” (laughter) if the full faciliation team has not been put forward he GA should continue but should use consensus to determine the nature of the discussion. all proposals to be put forward at the next NYCGA. so the proposal is to set this 9/10 quorum
fac: i have a question as a facilitator. i would suggest that this is a research job to bring the number back to this group.
someone: no
someone else: point of information we need to follow the process. so now we’d open clarifying questions so stacktaker knows these are not concerns.
fac: we’re accepting clarifyingquestions first and then concerns
someone: this is only for clarifying questions? i like his proposal because when i read it i laughed because it’s very entertaining. he says the quorum requires security officers and uniformed police officers and the people on the street and als animals aren’t counted. so i really admire that entertainment. now the question is this. do you mean as far as animals, dogs, or any other kind? (laughter)
fac: you’re asking what kind of animals?
justin: i’m implying domesticated (laughter)
carl: that proposal will end occupy wall street because we can’t know all the information to have a quorum. the question is how do you propose to get all this information available to the group so they know if there’s a quorum.
justin: what information is that though
carl: all the inform ation to show the legitimacy of the group.
justin: are you asking how we demonstrate we have a quorum
fac: are we going to have direct responses to these questionbs?
justin: yeah usually. it would be that the facilitation team if we got consensus on it the facilitation team would be bound by whether this quorum was met and they’d have to determine that.
someone: how did you decide on 90%
justin: our modified consensus was 90% so it was the only number i thoug-ht of at the time
we’ve been talking about quorums since october of last year
same someone: and how many established groups are there now
justin: that’s why i’m asking for a friendly amendment
the idea was they had to have a meeting where they’ve submitted minutes or they did an action in the last month.
someone: how did you come up with 90% for voting
justin: i don’t think you’re understanding, it’s a base number we’re using
someone: no i mean out here.
justin: that’s an established thing our community has agreed on. modified consensus as defined by this body is 90%.
fac: i’m going to propose we take the rest of the stack list now and close it so if you want to get on stack please raise your hand. anybody else? that’s just going to be the stack for clarifying questions, next concerns
someone from earlier: if you do whatyou did in the past, you’re doomed to the same failures. if you need 90% then THIS group doesn’t have authority to exist.
justin: point of information the modified consensus has been the rule of this body. because true consensus is 100%. the fact that occupy wall street has chosen 90% makes us unusual. i don’t personally agree on 9/10 consensus but it’s what htis body has agreed upon.
nas: this thing with the 9/10 is only used with this body. the question is why are we using this 9/10 now when you’re saying it wasn’t in the past. but you don’t know which groups are working
fac: that’s not actually a clarifying question. your concern can be up next
justin: can i make a clarifying point. this 9/10 figure was just to find a way to take that last total number.
fac: sorry you’re addressing a concern. we have a last clarifying question.
someone: is this for s17 or is this so we can make decisions now.
justin: it’d be permanent until we consentd to do otherwise.
fac: we’re accepting concern comments on the proposal.
fac: shall we do 10 more minutes?
carl: the problem is you never would know if you have a quorum because even now today how many groups qualify so if you’re trying to apply that.
justin: 82
carl: no. you don’t know. because you have a list of qualifications and you don’t know how many groups meet your qualifications
justIn: to be clear…i’m looking for a friendly amendment about that.
fac: i’m going to ask for justin to get on stack to talk to groups of concerns so we don’t have so much cross-talk
someone: we want to make this process come alive again. if you’re going to follow the past failure of 9/10 you have nothing. so this gathering doesn’t have power so don’t even mention the 9/10. so that comes to when we talk about the friendly amendment. my concern also–that’s enough for me
someone: i believe this gentleman’s concern was that the requirement would apply to each working group wherea smy understanding is that it would apply to the general assembly only
justin: just nycga
nas: when you say 9/10 of the working groups you don’t have any information
justin: 9/10 of the current number of
nas: how can you say 9/10 when you don’t have the information about they exist
justin: if you go on nycga..
nas: there’s supposed to be information about each group.
someone: my concern is basically if you have 24 hours to put together a proposal and the people from the working groups don’t come to this meeting they don’t care about the proposal so it’s going to delay the process indefinitely so i’d like to undertand more about how you came up with this proposal. why do we need a proposal 24 hours beforehand to come to the GA. why can’t we do that three months from now when we have better understandings of the working groups?
someone: i think requiring 9/10 for any consensus is madness.
justin: point of information that’s not what we’re talking about
same someone: [something]
someone: point of process, this is more of a proposal, if we could have a direct response to have more understanding.
fac: we’re not going to change the wheels on this moving bus right now. but if we could have a stacktaker close stack.
someone: we’re on concerns
someone: all right i’m coming from california and what we had there is commitees and subcommittees and i haven’t heard mention of any committees involved in these groups. i feel there’s a missing entity that needs to be put into practice such as committees and sub-committees. if you have committees in these groups then you’ll be able to rely on these to find out if they exist or not. that’s my view i wanted to share
someone: i see not everyone is here and i see seven women. i would propose part of quorum needs to be a balance of gender mixed in or else we’re going to be run by men and i think that’s very dangerous. i think one reason you don’t see a lot of women here is that. one concern is we don’t have enough of the movement here to be doing that and we need to be building slowly in order to do that so i think quorum is a good idea and i think we should have a quroum for gender balance.
someone: last week we were supposed to talk about whether to freeze or unfreeze and that proposal was not considered it was tabled. it seems we’ve got 40 people.
fac: we’re not talking about the budget
same someone
justin: modified consensus is the defining quality of our GA. the other big concern i’m hearing is the misunderstanding about active groups. right now active groups are defined as they have a presence on the website. i’m asking for a friendly amendment about how we could check those 92 people. i think the gender balance is a great idea but there’s a stickler issue about that too. there’s not two genders. so if we set a quorum we need to do something that addresses that. if that wasn’t addressed i’d have to block. so if we were to do that it would need to take into account non-traditional gender. but the idea is that we need to qualify these groups.
stack is closed
who closed it
the facilitator
fac: so one more person left on stack. time’s up i’m feeling we’re not that close to consensus on this issue anyway. we can evaluate a straw poll in a second but i’ll ask people who are for this proposal to move for consensus now or for justin to come back with a thoroughly amended proposal.
justin: no the next step in our process is for me to accept friendly amendments.
fac: i think there’s a provision to have a straw poll and if that isn’t happening then to ask you to withdraw.
someone: i think what you can do at this point is ask if the group wants to give more time. so it’s not a straw poll to vote one way or the other
justion: point of information i was saying 10 minutes for concerns not for the whole proposal
fac: who would like there to be more time. who would like to finish now. looks like more time. 10 more minutes
justin: might i suggest something. maybe we can go into break-out groups and talk for a second. we don’t yell at each other guys
fac: we are going to start taking friendly amendments.
someone: no this is open ended stack for friendly amendments
fac: no we closed stack, i announced the closing of the stack.
justin: we’re going to friendly amendments.
fac: so friendly amendments moving forward.
justin: i just wnat to introduce a tactic we use at occupy wall street. step up and step back you can interpret that how you
gonzo: hi how’s it going. as of

[update after i plugged my laptop back in: ran out of batteries at this point in the GA, used andy's computer for the rest of the minutes until that ran out too]

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