Spokes Council Assembly and Temporary Authorization Proposal
While the Spokes Council as an assembled body is authorized by the General Assembly very specifically to make financial decisions of an operational nature, until the process of assembly is completed the authorization of the General Assembly is necessary for the Spokes Council to make any financial decisions. This proposal is to request that authorization on a temporary basis for the 12/5, 12/7, and 12/9 Spokes Councils, as well as set a protocol and timetable for the completion of the assembly of the Operational Spokes Council.
- For this week’s Spokes Councils, and this week’s only, we ask the General Assembly to empower the Spokes Council in its current intermediary form to make up to $5,000 in financial decisions each day, strictly for operational costs pertinent to the emergency state of the Occupy movement and the needs of its Occupiers, such as housing, food supply, transportation and similar needs that are presently being underserviced.
- We propose that on Sunday, 12/11, beginning at 11am and taking place at Liberty Plaza, each and every working group that wishes to participate in the Operational Spokes Council be present to participate in an all-day discussion specifically to continue and complete the assembly of the Operational Spokes Council. Any group previously ratified will of course be accepted still, unless they themselves feel they are no longer a Working Group with a relevant charter given the current state of the Occupation, in which case they will be given the opportunity to be folded into another Working Group whose charter might presently encompass theirs. Any group previously turned down will have the opportunity to petition again for inclusion at this time, as will any group previously not on the list. In case of inclement weather, we would ask for Facilitation to be authorized to secure a space very near toLibertyPlaza, in case weather forecasts anticipate rain or a very cold day.
- We propose that for inclusion in Sunday’s discussion, all Working Groups that wish to be considered for membership in the Operational Spokes Council provide their group’s charter, an email address point of contact, and the forum they most frequently use (be it the NYCGA.net forums, or another method, such as Google Group or Facebook group) for information-sharing purposes. This information should be tendered to the Tech Working Group by Wednesday, 12/7, to be posted on the NYCGA.net website by Thursday, 12/8, and printed for distribution as a packet at both the 12/8 and 12/10 General Assembly, and the 12/9 Spokes Council.
- At this time, overlap of charter or function is not being considered. A group’s inclusion as either an operational working group or valid caucus shall be on the merits of their charter alone, even if this charter seems identical in function and purpose to another group’s charter; a second process will follow this process to consolidate overlapping Working Groups and caucuses into aligned clusters. For example, the Safety Cluster is currently composed of the Mediation / Nonviolent Communication Working Group, the Community Alliance Working Group, the Safer Spaces Working Group, the Medical Working Group, and others. They have self-selected this clustered working status due to overlap in charter, and upon consolidation of the Spokes Council into aligned clusters would be consolidated into the same cluster and any with a similarly overlapping charter would be invited to join that cluster as well. This does not negate a group’s Working Group status; it is only intended to streamline the processes each group uses, better direct their functions by building intergroup communications, and allow for better direct democracy consensus-building by enabling these groups to work together more fully.
- Spokes will be used for this process, just as it was for the beginning of the formation of the Operational Spokes Council, but due to the expected long nature of the meeting the spoke will in many cases be presumed to rotate several times throughout the meeting, and in fact this behavior is encouraged. For the purposes of this meeting, whether one was serving one’s working group as a spoke at the previous Spokes Council meeting will not be considered a limiting factor, and whether one serves as one’s spoke in the course of this meeting will not be considered a limiting factor for the 12/12 Operational Spokes Council Meeting.
- Any Working Group which presents three or more members for the duration of the Sunday discussion to complete the Operational Spokes Council’s membership will be afforded blocking option for each proposal, so long this is the statement of all members of the Working Group with consensus. For a group with ten or more members, modified consensus will be accepted. For a group with two or fewer members, including a group which previously had three members but presently has only two at the time of wishing to issue a block, these blocks will be tracked by the group as a whole and no more than five such blocks can be issued by each such Working Group. This is intended to prevent their personal opinions from evading the consensus process which challenges all of our personal opinions and strengthens them with the thoughts of the group, and tempers them with the will of the many, not just the voice of the one. Any group not able to achieve consensus among their members, either for or against the inclusion of a working group or caucus, will be considered neutral for the purposes of consensus. These spokes will not tallied for overcoming blocks via modified consensus.
- At this time, all working groups will be invited to join the Operational Spokes Council, even those not previously invited due to not being operational in nature. However, as we are forming the Operational Spokes Council, Working Groups that had previously been not petitioned for inclusion due to being movement groups instead of operational groups may be asked to join as members of a caucus, just as any other non-operational working group is being asked to be involved.
- This meeting to assemble the Operational Spokes Council will, if it overruns, spill over into the time for the 12/11 General Assembly. Due to the pressing need to achieve a completed Operational Spokes Council, we ask that this process be allowed to replace the General Assembly if such occurs. We hope that this will not be necessary, but the Occupy Wall Street movement presently requires both a General Assembly and a functional Operational Spokes Council to serve the needs of the movement and especially the daily needs of the Occupiers, and we ask that the importance of such be recognized.
- To assist in accomplishing this process in the allotted eight hours instead of overflowing into the General Assembly, and because we all want a General Assembly on that day, we ask that each Working Group attending this meeting have a discussion within the group after the submission of the group charters and their publication, to go over each and every group asking for ratification into the Operational Spokes Council. Clarifying questions and concerns should be voiced to the group as a whole for discussion, and the group should reach consensus upon a question or concern before being asked as such by a spoke during the 12/11 assembly process. In many cases, questions and concerns can be asked within the group and an answer reached, and this will streamline the process and assist in allowing for General Assembly on 12/11.
- At the conclusion of the Spokes Council Assembly meeting, if there is still time before the General Assembly, we ask that each working group write down a list of the clusters they believe may be part of the Operational Spokes Council, and that these lists be collected and compiled for discussion and to begin the process of aligning working groups into clusters within the Spokes Council on the 12/16 Spokes Council meeting. For example, “Safety” as an Operational cluster, or “Movement groups” as a caucus. Otherwise, this agenda item will be pushed off to the 12/12 Spokes Council meeting.