Draft Proposal for Fri 10/28 General Assembly: Structure

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OWS Structure Proposal       

(A Living Document) — Submitted by the Structure Working Group

Summary

Since September 17th Occupy Wall Street (OWS) has grown and inspired occupations around the globe. The General Assembly (GA) is at the heart of this movement.  It provides a forum for political discussion and a plurality of ideas. It is, however, struggling to meet the day-to-day operational needs of the Working Groups and Caucuses.

CHALLENGES: (Identified in discussions in the GA, Working Groups, and Caucuses)

  • Access: The GA is a difficult place for new people to find a Working Group or Caucus they want to join
  • Transparency: There is a lack of transparency about the on-going activities of the Working Groups
  • Participation: There is little space within the GA for Working Groups and Caucuses to effectively communicate their needs, either to the broader movement or with each other.  Many of the groups doing the day-to-day work of the occupation no longer regularly attend the GA.
  • Functionality: Decisions take so long to be made in the GA that there is insufficient time to address the many needs of our Working Groups, and the Working Group members are often left feeling unsupported
  • Decision Making: Attendance at the GA fluctuates from night to night, which makes it difficult to make well-informed, consistent, and strategic decisions
  • Accountability: There is no accountability for the spending of finances granted by the GA
  • Marginalization: Some Caucus members do not feel that the GA is an empowering space for marginalized voices
  • Time for Visioning: Broader political and community visions are rarely discussed in the GA because it is consistently bogged-down with logistical and financial decisions
  • Trust and Solidarity: The GA does not currently offer its participants the time to get to know each other and build meaningful relationships

In order to address these problems, while maintaining the non-hierarchical nature of OWS, we propose that, in addition to the General Assembly (GA), we create a directly democratic Spokes Council of Operations Groups and Caucuses.

PROPOSAL:

Definitions

The Structure Working Group recommends the following definitions:

Occupy Wall Street Operations Groups (OGs) are groups that are contributing to the logistical and financial operations of Occupy Wall Street on a consistent basis. They are open and accessible for people to join and can only exclude people for either repeatedly disrupting the group’s process or behaving in such a way that seriously violates the GA’s Principles of Solidarity. Operations Groups must produce a written description of what they do and how people can get involved.  The Occupiers (people living in Liberty Park) are defined as an Operations Group.

Occupy Wall Street Movement Groups (MGs) are groups that are contributing to the Occupy Wall Street movement. They are autonomous and may partner with Operations Groups on a project basis.

Caucuses are self-determining groups of people that share a common experience of being systemically marginalized in society at large.  This marginalization may be based on, but not limited to, their real or perceived race, gender identity, sexuality, age, or ability.

The General Assembly

The GA will continue to have the power to make all decisions about

  • The representation of OWS as a whole (declarations, principles, visions)
  • The relationship between OWS and the Occupy Movement
  • Financial decisions related to the Occupy Movement as a whole
  • Dissolution of the Spokes Council with at least one week notice prior to the proposal. This notice must be given in both the GA and the Spokes Council.

 The Occupy Wall Street Spokes Council

A Spokes Council is structured similar to the spokes of a wheel:  It is designed to combine large group participation (like in the GA) with small group deliberation and consensus process.

  • Each group selects a “spoke” to sit with the other “spokes” in a circle in the middle of the meeting space, with the rest of their group sitting right behind them
  • Spokes have no authority and are not decision-makers. They actively discuss all agenda items with all other members of their group who have joined them for the Spokes Council.
  • Spokes are responsible for communicating any diversity of sentiments that may exist within their group to the rest of the spokes council
  • Spokes rotate at every meeting, and can be recalled by their group at any time
  • During Spokes Councils, individuals in multiple groups are free to sit with any group that they are a part of and to move around at will
  • Movement Groups may partner with Operations Groups and/or Caucuses

Decisions & Decision-Making

  • The four types of decisions that the Spokes Council attend to are:

1)   Decisions related to the logistical operation of Occupy Wall Street

2)   Approval of Occupy Wall Street budgets and expenditures

3)   The addition or subtraction of Operations Groups and Caucuses to the Spokes Council

  • All Working Groups and Caucuses will be admitted to the Spokes Council that adhere to the above definitions of an Operations Group or Caucus and that agree to abide by the Principles of Solidarity adopted (as a working draft) by the GA [available at http://www.nycga.net/about/]
  • The only reason a group may be asked to leave the Spokes Council is for either repeatedly disrupting the Spokes Council’s process or for behaving in a way that seriously violates the GA’s Principles of Solidarity

4)   Amendments to the functioning of the Spokes Council that do not alter the power of the GA

  • Similar to the GA, Spokes Council decisions are made by modified consensus.  An attempt will be made to reach consensus and if consensus cannot be reached, a vote will be taken. At least 10% of the group must vote against a proposal in order for it to be rejected.
  • Both proposals and blocks to proposals are brought to the Spokes Council by groups as a whole
  • Caucuses may delay any proposal that they think has potentially negative consequences for their caucus until the next Spokes Council, in order to give them enough time to discuss the proposal with their caucus as a whole

Open Access and Transparency

  • Anyone may attend a Spokes Council
  • Anyone may participate in a Spokes Council by joining any Operations Group or Caucus in the Spokes Council and/or becoming an Occupier (i.e., living in Liberty Square)
  • The Spokes Council will take place in a well-publicized indoor location
  • Amplification and signing will allow everyone to follow the discussion, participate through their Spoke, and ensure that their Spoke correctly communicates the sentiment(s) of their group
  • Each Spokes Council will be broadcast over the Livestream (http://www.livestream.com/occupynyc)
  • Budget details and complete minutes from each Spokes Council will be posted on the NYCGA.net website through open-source technology
  • All decisions made in the Spokes Council are reported back to the GA with space for questions and concerns

The First Spokes Council

During the first Spokes Council, all Operations Groups and Caucuses will present a description of what they do and how people can become involved in their group. The rest of the groups in attendance will welcome them through the modified consensus process.  New groups may continue to propose themselves to the Spokes Council on an on-going basis.

Proposed Schedule

  • The GA will meet at 7pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays
  • The Spokes Council will meet at 7pm Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

BACKGROUND:

Brief History of the Spokes Council

A spokes council is a structure that has been used widely by democratic movements since the Spanish Revolution and draws inspiration from many indigenous struggles, such as the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico. It was used effectively and for many years in the Women’s Movement, the Anti-Nuclear Movement, and the Global Justice Movement in the US.  It was also used effectively for years in China in the movement that grew out of Tiananmen Square.

What Does a Spokes Council Look Like?

 

History of This Proposal

This proposal has undergone many revisions, taking into account a wide range of concerns. It has been work shopped in the Facilitation Working Group; the 4 GA discussions; 2 large public meetings; 5 Structure Working Group meetings; and 4 Spokes Council “teach-in” discussions.

Questions and Concerns

Members of the Structure Working Group have been available from 2-5PM in the Atrium at 60 Wall Street to answer questions and concerns.  This will continue on October 27th and 28th.

We are also available at owsstructure@gmail.com.

24 Responses to “Draft Proposal for Fri 10/28 General Assembly: Structure”

  1. Ricky Ray

    1. Has this model been tested within Structure or across several working groups for efficacy and weaknesses?
    2. Have other models been explored and tested against this one?
    3. How does the consensus reached that proposals need to be made accessible online and on the ground 24 hours before being brought to the GA fit into the SC model?
    4. As has been noted in discussion within the Structure group, the logistics of a WG recalling a Spoke need to be ironed out. Furthermore, the logistics of discussing an agenda item within a WG, coming to consensus, and then discussing and coming to consensus within the SC could be daunting.
    5. I strongly feel that under the Decisions and Decision-Making section, both WGs and Caucuses ought to have the right to delay or table a proposal if they feel they need time to deliberate further for any reason.

  2. Ricky Ray

    Thinking through the logistics of points #3 and 4, perhaps the following might help make the process more efficient:

    1. proposals are announced online and on the ground 24 hours prior to them being brought to the SC (if applicable); then
    2. proposals are presented, as originally stated or in modified format, but are not open for consensing, thereby allowing the WGs the time between SC meetings to digest and deliberate over each proposal; then
    3. proposals presented at the prior SC meeting are opened for consensing, and new proposals are presented for consideration.

    This would allow the SC to task each WG, between meetings, with coming to a consensus, to fully formulate its questions/concerns, or to develop the case for a unified block–and to have its response ready at the next meeting.

    • Zoë

      I like your timeline, Ricky Ray… I think 48 hours on the whole is a better timeframe, and to have two presentations (one online/on the ground, one at an SC) allows for a lot more discussion, clarifying questions, etc.

      • drew

        In fairness the structure working group has been holding many meetings and teach in’s regarding this issue.

    • Jennifer Warren

      I would suggest a longer timeline. Perhaps 72 hours at least. Lets face it, there are some issues which can get very complex very fast…and will be the subject of very hot debate. Allowing time for people to consider, do a bit of research and come back with an informed opinion might not be such a bad idea.

      There is another issue that occurs to me, tho. Some of us are at home because ill health or other issues prevent us from being there. Still, we send the blankets and supplies and such. Are we to have no voice in this movement? Letting us have time to follow and get back to you via posts or emails would be a nice way of saying thank you.

      Of course, I understand the rush to wish to form a set of demands. Winter is coming fast and the movement will soon be forced indoors. I’m sure that many would like to see some real results prior to that happening. It is because of this that I would suggest you limit demands to those demands which will have the greatest impact in the shortest time. That way, you can come back later with another list…or even a constitutional convention..and the opposition will not be quite so great.

      The demands I would suggest (And their wording) are limited to just five (5) :

      1: End the legal fiction of corporate personhood. Establish expiration dates of no more than ten years for all corporations.
      a) Dissolve all corporate charters where the corporation has been responsible for environmental pollution of any kind or an injury to any person results in a doctors visit being believed advisable by the person or when the person is incapable of being coherent. In all cases such as this, all property and assets of the corporation shall be forfeited to the government.
      b) Dissolve all corporate charters in all instances where the corporation has violated any laws of any kind. In all cases such as this, all property and assets of the corporation shall be forfeited to the government.
      c) In all cases where any executive officer of a corporation has been found guilty of any crime or infraction of any law, the corporate charter shall be immediately dissolved, and the property and assets of the corporation shall be forfeited to the government.
      d) Corporations are permanently banned from owning, investing in or doing business with any lobbyist or lobbying firm. Any any attorney’s or representatives of corporations are also banned.
      e) Under the law of eminent domain, all factories which have been closed by corporations for any reason are to be seized, with payment for the land being equivalent to the current value of land in the surrounding area. Such factories are to be offered for sale to former workers and citizens of towns by the government, with easy payment plans and full assistance for renovation (including modernizing equipment and/or changing the type of product produced).

      2: Stop using the military for corporate profits immediately. Use the military ONLY for defending the borders and safety of citizens against actual threats. Slash Military spending in half.
      3: We demand a viable healthcare program with a public option.
      4: We demand a viable energy program with a clearly defined schedule to move the nation to 100% renewable and 0% polluting energy sources within 10 years. Peru did it in 5, so there is really no excuse.
      5: Effective immediately, the charter of the Federal Reserve is to be dissolved, and the treasury is to set interest rates for the entire country.

      By making these five demands, I think that the bulk of what is desired will happen. Why? Because by ending the fed and transferring full authority to set interest rates to the treasury, we instantly free up money that would otherwise be forced from small business and individuals…saving thousands of dollars simply by reason of only having to pay 1% interest instead of 11% or more (in some cases, up to 50% !)

      By making these demands, we create millions of new jobs in formerly closed factories, provide healthcare for all, slash military spending in half, and make all corporations instantly accountable forever. We don’t seize the assets or property of honest corporations, but if they step out of line, they’re history.

      Most importantly, we force the government to give us an energy policy with a clearly defined goal. Not something 20-30 years down the road, either. The only way to get action is to demand that it be done in a manner where you can SEE the results. Without forcing a timetable, I guarantee you they will stretch it out for 15 years…then start talking about how they “need more time” and they’ll play that same game for the next 100 years.

      Anyway… Just wanted to make these proposals.

      Please let me know what the consensus is.

      Jennifer Warren

      • Robert Segal

        Respectfully:
        Making demands always comes from a position of weakness. Making demands places one’s happiness under the control of another person.

        Those dealing from a position of strength never make demands. They, instead, state what they plan to do in the circumstances they find themselves and then, remaining impeccable with their word, they do it. They control their happiness at all times because they control their own words and actions. They never give others that control and thus do they remain strong.

        • A. Fleming

          I would like to “twinkle” this, but there’s not that option. Well put.

        • Dan Chilton

          The GA approved This : ” We welcome all, who, in good faith, petition for a redress of grievances through non-violence.”
          So inasmuch as asking an authority to fix or make reparations for a grievance, makes us ‘weak’, well thats exactly what we are.

          IMO it makes sense to ask for what you want, then demand it if necessary, and then take it if thats the only remaining and just option.
          Starting with a soft touch doesnt mean you don’t have power in reserve.
          This is true in love, in war, and in politics.
          And respectfully, Always leading with power shows a kind of weakness.

  3. Nabeela

    I am really looking forward to this proposal passing. I think all of the issues and concerns are valid especially considering the potency of what we are trying to do. Right now I feel like the GA is becoming almost fetishized. We want to be firm on principals not adhering to a process so much that it becomes damaging. Participants will gravitate to a process that is working for them. Whatever that process it. However as the GA stands right now, it is feeling less inclusive every time I go (which is often)
    I will be there to vote for this proposal. I believe there will be many many blocks and I hope that we are able to eventually come to consensus.

  4. A. Fleming

    Sorry, this is kind of long:

    I feel that “unable to” implies that the GA is inherently lacking. I feel this is inaccurate. The issue has less to do with an inability than limitations due to the bedrock importance of extensive, time consuming dialogue.

    This ties in to the point about Less Informed Decision Making. While it is certainly a problem, I do not think it is fair to lay blame at the GAs doorstep. The fact is that most of the proposals brought before the GA are inadequately prepared in that that lack necessary specifics. The initial proposal filed under the 24 hour proposal preview guidelines. SIS delivered a clear, detailed proposal that achieved consensus rapidly. Essentially they had already been thoroughly work-shopped; most of the usual questions and concerns anticipated.

    Participation is definitely a problem. I want to know to what extent we have worked within the existing framework to resolve this. I think it has much less to do with a lack of participation than streamlining communication between working grounds and finding ways to get those who are new involved. I think it would be easier for autonomous workgroups to work together to address this than to institute an entirely new “system”. (I have proposed something along these lines as a potential focus for the Part Time Caucus working group.)

    Isn’t the purpose of the Accountability and Transparency group to address this exact lack of accountability? And if one of the reasons for adopting the SC model is to increase Accountability, then doesn’t that make the purpose of the Working Group redundant?

    It seems to me that the GA is not unlike a spoke in the SC model. Only it is the only spoke. Behind it are various Working Groups and individuals who are not yet associated with working groups. This way everyone has a say. And at times several groups will cluster autonomously in order to pursue a common goal—I am thinking here of the cooperation between Pulse, Community Relations and De-escalation. Although still contentious, this clustering certainly aided this proposal in achieving consensus.

    The way the SC model is proposed makes it seem as if a smaller version of the GA are going to be established consisting of clusters of complimentary Working Groups behind a spoke. Only unlike the GA where the individuals, working groups and occasional working group coalitions are responsible to themselves, the SC model creates—to my understanding—a model where factions relate to a single individual and these select individuals relate to each other but are still beholden to their constituency. Either I am misunderstanding or this is both representational and hierarchical. Granted not as blatantly other modern forms of governance…

    How does the SC function? The spokes talk while their constituency carries on parallel and simultaneous conversations behind them? That sounds more than a little bit distracting. How will this look. I am less concerned with pictograms and explanation—we need an extremly concrete demonstration of how this is going to proceed.

    Marginalization: could this please be substantiated with specific examples, i.e. how do marginalized voices feel that they are not being empowered by GA; how does the spokes council model address/ alleviate this?

    Isn’t visioning one of the purposes of the Visions and Goals Working Group?

    Overall, this proposal has made great strides since it was last proposed. I still have some fairly serious concerns. Good facilitation, several rounds of astute clarifying questions and friendly amendments in a GA might clarify enough where I could, in good conscience, vote with a do not like or an I’m on the fence. As it stands, I am inclined to block this proposal if it is presented without extensively substantive clarification.

  5. Robert Segal

    One’s word choices reveal how one views oneself. They are important to the audience as well. (Most people have fully capable bullshit detectors.) So, when one chooses clear words, one is perceived as having clear insight and direction. Consider these words:

    1) “The relationship between OWS and the Occupy Movement”

    We had best define both “OWS” and “the Occupy Movement” if we wish to avoid trouble arising from future (mis)interpretations.

    2) “Spokes rotate at every meeting [...]“

    I don’t have the slightest idea what that is supposed to mean. Admittedly, it may be specialised jargon with which I may not be acquainted. Even so, it may yet benefit from a rewrite.

    3) “Occupy Wall Street Operations Groups (OGs) are groups that are contributing to the logistical and financial operations of Occupy Wall Street on a consistent basis. They are open and accessible for people to join and can only exclude people for either repeatedly disrupting the group’s process or behaving in such a way that seriously violates the GA’s Principles of Solidarity. Operations Groups must produce a written description of what they do and how people can get involved. The Occupiers (people living in Liberty Park) are defined as an Operations Group.

    “Occupy Wall Street Movement Groups (MGs) are groups that are contributing to the Occupy Wall Street movement. They are autonomous and may partner with Operations Groups on a project basis.

    Caucuses are self-determining groups of people that share a common experience of being systemically marginalized [...]“

    In the first paragraph, Operations Groups are defined as those that move stuff or shuffle money… and that’s it. Perhaps intentionally, perhaps not, this leaves out Media, Legal, Medical, Internet, Design, Town Planning, Library, and likely other camp support functions. Further, “consistent basis” appears to be trying to say, “ongoing basis”… unless inconsistency really is the intended bar to inclusion. Beyond that, what would constitute a frivolous “violation of the GA’s Principles of Solidarity”?

    The first sentence of that second paragraph communicates exactly zero meaning. We are left as ignorant of what constitutes a Movement Group at the conclusion of that unfortunate sentence as we were at its beginning.

    Murky enough words but the apparent interpretation of these three paragraphs, taken together and viewed against the backdrop of recent presentations to the General Assembly, is that the terms “Working Group” and “Thematic Group” have been shuffled and muddled to squelch gripes about perceived (not actual) status differences dividing them. The new terms are so vague and so disconnected from any source in our current speech as to be worse than useless. They not only smear and obscure meaning but also pile on confusion to no honorable end. In particular, the zero-sum replacement of “Working Group” with “Operations Group” appears to be a solution looking for a problem.

    Further, I concur with Lisa (clear-headed facilitation trainer par excellence) at this Wednesday’s 5:30 session held at 60 Wall Street: Thematic Groups (or, whatever they are being renamed today to appease a misperception they somehow don’t rate with other types) are best left out of the Spokes Council. The running of the camp may, indeed, benefit from a new process and a S/C may work well to run the camp. Thematic Groups and Caucuses (and there’s no need, in all common sense, to construct artificial differentiation between the two: it’s a distinction without a difference) need not be involved in S/C operations.

    The muddier word choice becomes, the more dangerous it grows. Beware even those innocents who mangle words. Moreover, process is sacred. It must not be built on mud.

    (This from someone who, please note, supports this proposal.)

  6. Daniel De Paola

    I am very happy to see the evolution of this proposal! It really is great, and I know a lot of time has gone into this and many people are getting upset and get angry at those who question and concern and block, but in the end, I feel the proposal is getting much clearer and more accurate, and direct. I am sorry this is coming so late. I don’t expect these suggestions to affect the proposal presented tomorrow, but in the event that it does not pass, they are here for your consideration. Here are some concerns that I have regarding clarity, function, and principles:

    1) It is important that the distinction between Proposal and Background Information is made clear. The GA needs to know what exactly what text it is deciding as being actionable and if it is endorsing any other text. Also, some of the concerns voiced against the GA under “Challenges” are i.) not covered by the GA’s purpose and cannot be held against it, ii.) logistical problems that no one has attempted to resolve, or iii.) issues that would be left unresolved by the Spokes Council.

    2) I agree that altering the names of Working Group and Thematic Group lacks any substance and confuses and attempts to conceal the fact that these groups still exist and their relative functions will continue to be affected in the same manner.

    3) The Definition for Operations Groups states:

    ” Occupy Wall Street Operations Groups (OGs) are groups that are contributing to the logistical and financial operations of Occupy Wall Street on a consistent basis. … Operations Groups must produce a written description of what they do and how people can get involved. The Occupiers (people living in Liberty Park) are defined as an Operations Group. ”

    Occupiers are not a Working Group and should not be misrepresented as such. The proposal should include that the Spokes Council consists of Working Groups, Caucuses, and Occupiers.

    4) The definition given for Caucuses states:

    ” Caucuses are self-determining groups of people that share a common experience of being systemically marginalized in society at large. This marginalization may be based on, but not limited to, their real or perceived race, gender identity, sexuality, age, or ability. ”

    The definition should be, and is, clear enough on it’s face that it should not feel the need to provide examples. Providing examples creates a bias toward caucuses of those classes and will re-enforce limitations on other forms of marginalization.

    5) The General Assembly, The GA will continue to have the power to make all decisions about, Bullet 4)

    ” ▪ Dissolution of the Spokes Council with at least one week notice prior to the proposal. This notice must be given in both the GA and the Spokes Council. ”

    Until it is otherwise made clear, I think it is important to state that in addition to the GA having the ability to dissolve the Spokes Council, it also be stated that the GA has the ability to amend the Spokes Council. This way if the GA wishes to make an alteration without dissolving it can. Otherwise it might be forced to dissolve in order to correct issues within the Spokes Council.

    6) Decisions & Decision-Making, Bullet 3) The addition or subtraction of Operations Groups and Caucuses to the Spokes Council:

    ” ▪ All Working Groups and Caucuses will be admitted to the Spokes Council that adhere to the above definitions of an Operations Group or Caucus and that agree to abide by the Principles of Solidarity adopted (as a working draft) by the GA “, and

    ” ▪ The only reason a group may be asked to leave the Spokes Council is for either repeatedly disrupting the Spokes Council’s process or for behaving in a way that seriously violates the GA’s Principles of Solidarity ”

    As a failsafe, any Operations Groups or Caucuses denied entrance to the Spokes Council or removed from the Spokes Council should be allowed to appeal to the GA for final consideration.

    7) On Consensus and Blocks:

    ” ▪ Both proposals and blocks to proposals are brought to the Spokes Council by groups as a whole ”

    There still exists some issues with the clarity of the consensus procedure and how blocks are counted/accounted for.

    8) On Tabling Agenda Items:

    ” ▪ Caucuses may delay any proposal that they think has potentially negative consequences for their caucus until the next Spokes Council, in order to give them enough time to discuss the proposal with their caucus as a whole ”

    This ability is essentially giving Caucuses the power to table any item at any time. Any group should be able to ask that an item be tabled for the purpose of conferring further with the group. The Spokes Council should be able to override such a request with a greater than 9/10 vote in order to stop a potential filibuster.

    9) As far as publicizing, indoor location, amplification, translation, and livestream; what actions will be taken if any of these elements are unavailable for a Spokes Council? Will the meeting adjourn? Avoid promises that will have a tendency to be broken without any framework for ensuring their realization. In theory, if the GA passes this as such, the Spokes Council would be forced to adjourn if any of these becomes impractical at any time.

    • Daniel De Paola

      You’re f@cking kidding! Right? You can’t write 8) without it coming out looking like 8) ! How do I label the 8) th point in a list of points?!

      • Robert Segal

        Type, instead
        8.
        - OR -
        8
        -OR-
        Eight)
        -OR-
        8 )
        -OR-
        “The whole number item between 7) and 9)”
        -OR-
        perhaps outline your points as
        :)
        :(
        8)
        ;)
        … et cetera.

        • Daniel De Paola

          I did realize that they do make rather eye catching bullet points

  7. A. Fleming

    The newest edit is once again improved. I still have difficulty with it.

    The actual function of the SC remains nebulous. How can Spokes communicate with other spokes and their clusters simultaneously? This seems like it will lead to a chaotic environment where no one can hear and no one is heard. Can you please explain substantively.

    My other overarching concern is something I can only articulate with an analogy–and I have no medical training whatsoever, so this may not be entirely accurate but it’s the principle that is important: Say the current struggles the GA is having are analogous to a hospitalized patient with a very serious but entirely mysterious ailment. If you want to determine what is wrong with her/him, you treat the symptoms systemically, i.e. you say it might be ailment X and then treat for ailment X and monitor the symptoms. If the patient reacts poorly, then perhaps it is not ailment X. So you move on to ailment Y and so on. Whereas treating for ailment X, Y and Z simultaneously provides you no ability to discern what effect, if any, the treatments are having on the patient because there are too many variables.

    I was not at last night’s GA, unfortunately; so I cannot speak if the new 24 hour preview period continued to speed the processs. It seems as if it might have based on when people started posting on here again. I think it is wisest for us to see the effect this treatment has on the GAs illness, how it addresses the specific concerns of Working Groups who feel ignored and if it streamlines the process at all.before we implement any other complicated treatments.

    Also, and this bears special emphasis: UNTIL THERE IS FINANCIAL TRANSPARENCY NOTHING IS GOING TO BE AS PRODUCTIVE AS IT COULD BE.

    Finally, The updated proposal still fails to specifically explain how marginalized voices feel the current GA process minimizes their voice and how the SC model will remedy this. Please substantiate this– otherwise it reads like an underhanded attempt to grease the skips for the proposal to pass based a notion that it is somehow more egalitarian without any demonstration of that.

  8. Ricky Ray

    Can someone from Structure who is supporting this bill please address the questions and concerns of the nycga.net members?

    Since the GA requires proposals to be posted here 24 hours before being presented for consensus, this seems like the appropriate forum for members of the community to voice their concerns and suggestions, and for members of the working group supporting the proposal to respond to those concerns, and to consider those suggestions as friendly amendments, within that 24 hour time-frame.

    I understand that the members supporting the proposal have put a lot of work and effort into it, and I applaud them and am very thankful for their efforts. I also understand that they have have made themselves available recently from 2-5PM in the Atrium at 60 Wall Street, but this does not allow the vast majority of nycga.net members to participate in the formulation of the proposal, and if this site is truly to function as the official virtual presence of the NYC GA and OWS, then I think it’s time our voices and valuable contributions be honored too.

    The proposal represents a major shift in the governance structure of our movement, a governance structure which stands to be significantly strengthened by our input, and all of us stand to reap the benefits of that.

      • Daniel De Paola

        I have compiled a list of all the questions, concerns and amendments in here. Since no one is addressing these issues, I will read them before the GA so that they are all brought before the assembly.

  9. Dan Chilton

    I’d like to see Work Groups defined too.
    Considering the status of 99D, I think it would be a good time to define that as well.
    I find this confusing:
    “■Spokes have no authority and are not decision-makers. They actively discuss all agenda items with all other members of their group who have joined them for the Spokes Council.
    ■Spokes are responsible for communicating any diversity of sentiments that may exist within their group to the rest of the spokes council
    ■Spokes rotate at every meeting, and can be recalled by their group at any time
    ■During Spokes Councils, individuals in multiple groups are free to sit with any group that they are a part of and to move around at will
    ■Movement Groups may partner with Operations Groups and/or Caucuses Decisions & Decision-Making
    ■The four types of decisions that the Spokes Council attend to are:
    1) Decisions related to the logistical operation of Occupy Wall Street
    2) Approval of Occupy Wall Street budgets and expenditures
    3) The addition or subtraction of Operations Groups and Caucuses to the Spokes Council
    ■All Working Groups and Caucuses will be admitted to the Spokes Council that adhere to the above definitions of an Operations Group or Caucus and that agree to abide by the Principles of Solidarity adopted (as a working draft) by the GA [available at http://www.nycga.net/about/
    ■The only reason a group may be asked to leave the Spokes Council is for either repeatedly disrupting the Spokes Council’s process or for behaving in a way that seriously violates the GA’s Principles of Solidarity”

    Attend a ‘decision’? ?
    Group asked to leave ?

    If I understand the intent of Spokes, then would delegates from 99D be acting as spokes?
    Shouldn’t proposals involving groups go to the groups through spokes before going to the GA for a vote?
    Thanks.