Proposal for Sunday, 12/18, General Assembly: Occupy Harlem

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OCCUPY HARLEM  MODIFIED PROPOSAL DUE TO IN-KIND SUPPORT FROM OWS AND DONATED COMMUNITY RESOURCES

Occupy Harlem General Assembly (OHGA) submits this funding proposal. OHGA requests the support and facilitation of the working groups listed below in addition to any other Occupy Wall Street working groups recommended. OHGA is anxious to present its proposal to Occupy Wall Street General Assembly and wish to secure a date to do so as soon as possible.

OHGA organized a number of working groups based on issues addressed at its first GA  and subsequent meetings. OHGA continues to develop working group committees.

OHGA primary objective: raise funds for an independent Occupy Harlem Movement not controlled by elected officials (servants of the 1%) or NGOs funded and thus controlled by politicians.

OHGA physical presence in Central Harlem, historically recognized as the epicenter of the world renowned Harlem Renaissance Movement, challenges a political landscape dominated by well oiled machines of patronage, serious obstacles to the survival of authentic grassroots movements without independent resources. Funding from OWS dramatically changes this paradigm.

OHGA last two general assemblies held at Saint Phillip’s Church forced the issue of its future survival without any resources. Attempting to build an organizational infrastructure for sustainable programs and actions simply is not possible without funding.

The problem: St. Philip’s Church like so many other churches in Harlem lives with the reality of dwindling congregants. The church cannot afford to rent space gratis. To meet the expenses for its first GA, Occupy Harlem received a donation of $150 from the United National Anti-War Coalition. Those funds paid for space rental and payment of the custodian. At its second meeting OHGA  turned over $100 in donations to the church. However, this arrangement is clearly not sustainable.

In negotiations with St. Philips OHGA worked out what it believes to be a reasonable financial agreement. For three hours of meeting time Occupy Harlem will pay $125 and $75 for the custodian, a total of $200 per meeting in a venue with heat, an important consideration for the winter months.  And easy access for transportation: 2 or 3 train to 135th or the C to 135th St./St. Nicholas Avenue.

Please bear in mind OHGA base of operation is in Central Harlem or Black Harlem: (1) the target of brutal gentrification assaults that has resulted in forced migration, rising evictions, homelessness, (2) Predatoryan epidemic of Black unemployment, (4) Predatory commercial real estate that has destroyed small Black Businesses in record numbers (4) the deliberate elimination of social service safety networks for the poor and working class intended to accelerate the gentrification push out (5) one of seven neighborhoods in NYC feeding predominately Black youth into New York State’s prison industrial complex.

Summary of Strategic Planning in Occupy Harlem General Assembly Proposal:
(a) Regular bi-monthly meetings
(b) Establish social media networks
(c) Monthly direct actions i.e. rallies, demonstrations, panels at OWS, popular education,
(d) Occupy Harlem conferences in the Spring and Fall of 2011: Projected venue: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The two conferences will correspond with two mass demonstrations.
(e) Regional Conference in Harlem: Assessment and the Future of Occupy movements in communities of Color
(f) a National Conference. The goal: gathering of progressive forces from across the US and hopefully internationally to assess, strategize and build a united front of solidarity against the 1%.
(e) OHGA Open Space Occupation (not discussed in any details in this proposal for security reasons.)

We recognize we are citizens of the world, and have a responsibility to shape this new and challenging global environment. We view Occupy Wall Street as a strategic portal for the liberation of all of the 99% best accomplished with strategic planning and mutual cooperation.

OCCUPY HARLEM GENERAL ASSEMBLY BUDGET
December 1, 2011 -  December 31, 2012:**

*Space Rental for Bi-Monthly Meetings (St. Phillip’s Church, 204 W 134th St): ($400 x 13 months) = $5200

Occupy Harlem Conference: Spring 2012 Schomburg Center: $4500

*Schomburg Conference:Travel and Reception: $1,500
Audio and Videotaping: Community Volunteers

Fall Conference 2012 (Riverside Church/Social Justice Committee): $1,500
Audio and Videotaping: Community Volunteers

Legal (Fine and Bail Contingencies): -$5000* (Partial support requested when and if needed)

Website: -$500 (Technical Support from OWS and community volunteer)

Printing: -$2500 (In-kind contribution from OWS)

Signage: -$2000 (In-kind support from OWS)

Outdoor Demonstrations/Rallies/Direct Actions/13 months:-$650 (Expenditure covered through community fundraisers)+

Video production-archival footage of activities/programs: -$1, 650 (Community donation/volunteers)TOTAL $12,700Budget Summary:
*With respect to the conferences we request OWS to release funds payable directly to the specific institutions upon signing a contract.
* Space rental is the most crucial issue for Occupy Harlem. The fourth GA meeting is on December 21st at St . Philips Church. Occupy Harlem has to paid the church $200. The last payment was paid by a senior on fixed income. Currently we have no other prospects and we want very much to reimburse the senior.

Thank you. On behalf of Occupy Harlem: Nellie Bailey 212-663-5248/646-812-5188 and Sandra Rivers 917-620-2041 oremail:occupyharlemgeneralassembly@gmail.com.

One Response to “Proposal for Sunday, 12/18, General Assembly: Occupy Harlem”

  1. Yoni Miller

    In my opinion, this is one of the BEST proposal’s I’ve seen. I am open to having a guaranteed mechanism of transparency, such that if Harlem GA are not using proposals properly, that we kill the funding for them. I would rather not give it to them as a lump size, but rather, by default, unless concerns are raised, we continuously send them money on a monthly basis. I understand this may concern others who might call this crony funding, but again, it’s just accountability, and unless they explicitly violate any of their conditions, we’d fund them regularly, by default, without calling the GA about it.

    It is VERY important that this gets passed, because it targets one of the most oppressed communities in NYC, and rather than forcing people to come here, they will have a community there, which is tailored to their needs. I would LOVE to see many more local GA’s forming and strengthening there.

    I would additionally like to re-assert, that they can have their respected Church leaders and other community leaders, but the GA should remain democratic and not just become a new source of funding for the same work done by these leaders, even if it’s good work.