Proposal for Saturday 12/24 General Assembly: Volunteer Services

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Past Proposals.


Contact: Alex Borders (201) 494-9405

E-Mail:                  General Assembly Proposal

Request: $1100.00 One Time Budget

Request: $400.00 Monthly Reacquiring Expense

As we are at the final stage in completion of the Harlem location, Volunteer Services is requesting an $1100.00 one time Budget & a $400.00 working monthly budget as outlined below.

  1. $400 for used phone systems (phone lines are donated)
  2. $700 earmarked for office supplies & electricity to Landlord

****There is an additional request of $400 to cover all related expenses on an ongoing basis at the Harlem location such as electricity, office supplies, toner, and related expenses at minimal****

I anticipate having four FT Volunteers working out of this location, and feel that expenses will be very minimal for the Harlem location, we again are in the last final stages of implementing technology, desk’s & chairs, and the final necessary requirements to have a successful launch.





25 Responses to “Proposal for Saturday 12/24 General Assembly: Volunteer Services”

  1. Ravi Ahmad

    This proposal was not discussed with the volunteer services working group. The proposer has not attended the last two meetings of the group and has not shared this proposal on our group page or google group. I have informed the other members of our group and asked for their input on this issue.

  2. A. Fleming

    I am with @raviahmad on this. I have heard nothing about this proposal until I saw it online. Further, what I find disconcerting is that the Volunteer Services working group has had a conversation about submitting proposals to group for feedback prior to submitting them to Facilitation to be added to the GA agenda. (See the minutes from Dec. 4th.)

    This does not fit the OWS model of transparency, accountability and consensus building.

    I don’t dispute that VS needs this funding– they do. However, at present two of the core members of the WG had no idea that our group was bringing a proposal until we saw it on NYCGA.

    I suggest this item be tabled until the members of VS are able to review this proposal and consent to it as a working group.

  3. Justin Stone-Diaz

    I’m just confused why we are building in Harlem when our community is based around Liberty Square.
    What are the plans to become self sustaining?

    • Yoni Miller

      I personally think expanding in Harlem, and assisting them is vital to growth of OWS, especially in NYC, because reaching out to them and getting them here…is difficult.

  4. Dallas

    Where is our budget to cover FiDi real estate for more offices, Justin? You make a great point, but that point comes with a significant change in initial funding and operating costs.

    Besides which, if we aren’t getting more people to come downtown from Harlem and the outer boroughs, we may as well have an outreach network in those areas, and perhaps even work in conjunction with the local GAs.

  5. soothsayer

    any other details about this space? and can anybody else use this office?

  6. Yoni Miller

    Would the original proposer be willing to table this, until further consensus is reached? For most part I like what I hear…

    • Sam Redman

      Why not do a friendly amendment to do such “volunteer” staffed (all OWS is volunteer isn’t it?) offices simultaneously in all five boroughs? Lots of landlords would like to get in on gathering some rent on vacant non-residential spaces.

      • Sally Marks

        I would think space needed would be insignificant. A staff at a satellite location is not needed, a place to store materials should be all that is needed, a corner of an apartment, some room in a basement storage area. You have to be out to do something, not squirreled away inside.

  7. Ravi Ahmad

    Hi guys,

    A little information. Volunteer Services- which is a crappy name since we try to connect all kinds of occupiers with things that need doing- has approached by an activist in Harlem about this space. Its small but would provide a work space for OWS and allow the movement to grow beyond down town though nothing can replace Liberty as the core of our movement.

    Many members of VS, once they found out about this proposal have had many MANY questions about what happened to the money we’ve already been given. As you can see from this document, based on the actual discussions we’ve had, there should have been money left over from the first amount we got from GA.

    Hopefully, the proposer will step back and allow for discussion within our working group.

    In solidarity,


  8. odd ah

    I was there the night this passed, and i thought $2000 was more than enough to complete project and get the space running. To read that the presenter never consulted the working group is disconcerting.
    I hope it all works out!

    >>>>Many members of VS, once they found out about this proposal have had many MANY questions about what happened to the money we’ve already been given. As you can see from this document, based on the actual discussions we’ve had, there should have been money left over from the first amount we got from GA.

  9. Voter March

    @justinstoned agreed that our community has been based around Liberty Square, and that is the genesis of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. However, I would also agree with @yoni2b of the importance of expanding in Harlem.

    In fact, I would be in favor of getting permanent indoor space in Harlem that could be used for various group meetings, including General Assembly and Spokes Council meetings. Harlem is undergoing a significant revitalization program:

    East Harlem Officials Look at Retooling Park Avenue For More Housing and Jobs
    Read more:

    125th Street Revitalization

    If OWS gets permanent space in Harlem, OWS is making a statement that we support the revitalization of Harlem and that we are inclusive by operating in a neighborhood with People of Color. OWS can operate in Harlem and protest in Wall Street. Also, commercial rents in Harlem are a lot more affordable than the Financial District of Manhattan.

  10. Sally Marks

    Wasn’t the original reason to be at Zuccotti because of the closeness to the 1%, to make the greatest impact on them? Wouldn’t being across the street from the Plaza, on the open spaces outside the Javits center or at Rockefeller center (daily TV coverage!!!) be more effective? OWS is not so much about helping the distressed as it is about stopping the inequity. That can only happen when there is no longer a 1%. The individual help OWS provides is for the activists to do the work, not to provide housing for those not on the ‘front lines’.

  11. Yoni Miller

    I’m at Zuccotti Park 3 days a week, and I know it’s really tough and cold to be there. I see more people inside 52 Broadway and 60 Wall Street. I wish the people who voted on these “Only zucotti park” were the ones who actually stayed in Zucotti Park (I’m not saying you Sally don’t stick around the park, but there are plenty who bark, but don’t bite when it comes to following their own words).

    As long as we’re freezing, without shelter, you cannot really say Zucotti Park is a great place to function, Our presence is important, and I’d love to hold all public meetings there, however expanding and following a more inclusive neighborhood model also doesn’t hurt.

    Are all the other occupations invalid because they’re not in Wall Street? Clearly not.

    • Sally Marks

      Hi Yoni, No, I do not think Zucotti is the only place people should be. I think there should be people all over the city, outside where they can be seen and heard. Believe me, I can fully understand the desire to be in a warm and cozy place with a hot cocoa. But out of sight, out of mind. Same reason a tree falling in the woods is rarely heard.
      Having meetings in a comfortable place is important. You must be able to focus on the matters at hand and not be thinking about frozen toes. At the same time, these meeting places are only needed long enough for a meeting and should not be a place to ‘hang at’ all day and night.
      This proposal is not for a lot of money however, if memory serves, there was another one (or two) that covers rents and it is a significant amount of recurring expense. I think the space, if reasonable and truly needed should be settled on before chairs are procured. I think working out of a persons apt. for starters makes sense and if the need grows, expand. I know this is how a lot of the other groups do/did it. What about reclaiming a foreclosed upon property?

  12. Justin Stone-Diaz

    Folks, we are all glad you’ve joined us at #OccupyWallStreet, but #PointOfInformation:

    The space we occupy which was called Z. Park was renamed
    via consensus to Liberty Park or Liberty Square.
    Semantics is the first line of the physical expression of the
    #occupy model & each time someone uses the Z word,
    It is very telling about about their participation with the physical occupation.

    For many they just do not know about the #OWS renaming of the space but I feel it is important.
    Each time you use the Z word it’s as if we
    never took over the space & choose to reclaim it for the people.

    While the Macro (outside of the park) is important it feels dishonest for us to
    neglect the Micro so whole heartily for personal comfort.

    I thought being in the park, in all weather WAS the movement of #OWS & all else comes from that.

  13. Sally Marks

    Seriously Justin?
    It makes no difference to me. A name means nothing, it is where and what it represents. I call it Zucotti because most of the world recognizes it as such. As someone to find it on a map of NYC, then can. You ask them to locate Liberty Park, they are likely to think of the area surrounding the Statue of Liberty.
    I am a firm believer in that the movement is way bigger than occupying a park. Occupation of Zucotti/Liberty (now I have to do both for the confused) was symbolic of the oppression. Our lives are occupied by the 1% and that is what must be taken back. If all the movement is is Zucotti/Liberty Park, then all funds should of been used to purchase the park and then the movement would be over. I suspect everyone in all the other Occupies would have issue with that train of thought.
    Exposure of us to the world and our exposure of the corruption are what the movements needs to be. We need to fight for change.

  14. jarret wolfman

    seriously, @sallyarks? do you think so little of our movement and the consensus process to belittle one of the first proposals the nycga consented to on that first day back in september? what is the point of direct democracy if the proposals we consent to are so easily forgotten, tossed aside or ignored? and @justinstoned, actually, we changed it back to liberty plaza, not park or square. just saying. :)

  15. Sally Marks

    If OWS was just about Zucotti/Liberty, then yes, I would be way off base. Since the eviction from there, other occupations have taken place in the city. All have significance. Personally, I thought the Trinity Place effort on 12/17 to really said something, when a group (the Church) who states “We are with you” and in the next breath “…But not in OUR backyard”. But they are/should be just a scratch on the surface.
    Yes, Zucotti/Liberty symbolically is very important. It is the tap root of the movement. But is certainly not the ‘end all’. Re-Read the various declarations. This movement is way bigger than a little piece of real estate in lower Manhattan. A tree started to grow in lower NYC. Its’ roots have spread, the branches are now country wide.
    So yes, seriously. So no, I far from belittle and minimize the movement. I know it is more than ‘just a park/plaza/square/space’.

  16. Justin Stone-Diaz

    You folks need to understand where YOU fit in the #Occupy Model:
    Micro or Macro.

    Please know that both are equally important but please support those who Occupy the side of the model you do not.

    #OWS is a Riddle: It’s ABOUT the park & It’s NOT about the park.

    Don’t get it twisted & marginalize us New Yorkers who choose to Occupy Liberty Plaza NYC daily.

    If you don’t care, step back & let us who do be in the park, supported.

    Maybe Join us in the Park soon!

  17. Sally Marks

    I just hope there is more to the NYCGA OWS than the occupation of the park.

    OWS is at the beginning of a journey, the first step of many on a path to freedom.
    In “Declaration of the Occupation of New York City” posted here:
    there is mention of the park, as the birth place. There is mention of NYC and a list (partial) of what our demands are.
    If people want to spend their time and efforts hanging in Liberty, then that will be as far in life as they get. That is perfectly fine. My point is there is a lot more to the world than an acre and Brookfield Property Management.

    OWS has the park. Now lets’ get the city and fulfill the list.