Spokes Council Assembly Proposal
This is to set a protocol and timetable for the completion of the assembly of the Operational Spokes Council.
- To enable a systematic inclusion process to be carried out, each Working Group that presently exists at the time of this meeting (12/30/11) will be warranted consideration to apply to membership at the Operational Spokes Council over the next week. For consideration in the petitioning to join the Operational Spokes Council, and that body only, we propose a temporary moratorium on the acknowledgement of new working groups, using this date (12/30/11) to note which Working Groups are able to petition for inclusion or decline to do so before the Spokes Council is considered fully formed.
- We propose that for inclusion in this 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 Facilitation Working Group by Tuesday, 1/3/12, to be posted on the NYCGA.net website by Wednesday, 1/4/12, and printed by Outreach for distribution as a packet at the 1/4/12 Spokes Council. An announcement of this, including the contact information to send this to, should be made at the 12/31/11 and 1/1/12 General Assemblies, and the 1/2/12 Spokes Council, in addition to being distributed widely electronically via ComHub and the NYCGA website.
- 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.
- 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 later process was intended originally to consolidate overlapping Working Groups and caucuses into aligned clusters, and this assembly of the Spokes Council is intended to judge solely on the validity of the group as an operational working group or its inclusion as a member caucus. Failure to be included in the Operational Spokes Council, or declining to be so included, does not negate a group’s Working Group status; the Spokes Council model 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.
- In addition to the process of petitioning for inclusion at the Monday, Wednesday and Friday Spokes Council sessions, we propose that on Saturday and Sunday, 1/7/12 and 1/8/12, beginning at 11am and taking place at West Presbyterian Church (165 West 86th St.), 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 be given the option to remove themselves from the Operational Spokes Council if they feel they are no longer an Operational Working Group or Caucus with a relevant charter given the current state of the Occupation. Such groups 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 acknowledged as a working group by the 12/30/11 meeting of the Operational Spokes Council.
- Spokes will be used for this assembly 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 these meetings, whether one was serving one’s working group as a spoke at the previous Spokes Council meetings will not be considered a limiting factor, and whether one serves as one’s spoke in the course of these meetings will not be considered a limiting factor for forthcoming Operational Spokes Council meetings.
- Any Working Group which presents three or more members for the duration of the discussion to complete the Operational Spokes Council’s membership will be afforded blocking option for each proposal, so long as this is the consensus of the Working Group. 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 or more 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 each meeting day. This is intended to prevent any 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 to be standing aside for the purposes of consensus. These spokes will not tallied for overcoming blocks via modified consensus.
- There will be a hard meeting end of 6pm, to ensure anyone present at these meetings is able to still attend General Assembly, giving a maximum allotment of seven hours per day to this process. To ease time pressures, we ask that each Working Group attending these meetings 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 assembly process meetings. 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 completing this process.