1/14/2012: Spending Freeze

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Past Proposals.

**** PLEASE NOTE: The proposer will be available at 60 Wall, on 1/14 from 3:33 until GA to discuss this proposal****

About the proposer:

I, Jason Ahmadi, am one of the original planners and organizers of September 17th
and an occupier of Liberty Square. I have given the majority of my energy to the
Press Team and the Trainings Working Groups, but I have also gifted time and
energy to Media, Medical, Facilitation, Direct Action, Non-Violent Communications
and Mediation, and Sanitation Working Groups. I came to New York City to sit on
the national board of the War Resister’s League.

Proposal:

Freeze all future spending from the OWS general fund till we get another
encampment. This does not include the $99,999.99 fund set aside for bail.

Possible friendly amendmenti8 http://www.nycga.net/2012/01/05/spending-
freeze/ s:

one month freeze period to understand what we want to do with money
spending freeze till we create a comprehensive OWS budget, not just for
projects and working groups

Reasons why I am making this proposal:

The original intention of OWS was to create a public space for open dialog
around the crisis. My and others intention for GA was to have a space where
people could plan unified actions around solving or bringing attention to the
crisis as well as finding unity around messaging and goals for the movement.
My worry is that since the influx of donations, much of the GA’s time is spent
on proposals on how to spend the money.
OWS has never been equipped to deal with homelessness. It is true that
it was naïve to create defended occupied space to talk about economic
exploitation and not deal with the reality of homelessness, but still we were
never able and still are not able to deal with the overwhelming problem. Our
goal was simply to bring light to the situation. I believe we should advocate
for radical self-reliance over the charity model.
In my mind, the majority of the donations came in to support our occupation
of Liberty Square so we could create that space for assembly promised in
our constitution, but non-existent in New York City. As we no longer have
that space, I think it is a mistake to continue spending the funds gifted for the
operations of our camp from hard working people.
Again, from my perspective, people’s movements have never succeeded
based on economic capital. People’s movements rely on social capital
and people capital. We cannot rely on economic capital if we want this
movement to be a real success. We should be able to everything we need
through in-kind donations and through volunteer energy. If we cannot do it,
then maybe we were too quick to call it a movement.

169 Responses to “1/14/2012: Spending Freeze”

  1. Mina

    Wow. Well said. I haven’t been in the movement as long as you have but I certainly care about its livelihood. And I couldn’t agree more with what you said.

  2. Debby Randolph

    The $ freeze is a promising idea that could open new spiritual and practical pathways for Occupy. People hanging around just for the $ would leave. New inner space for planning, now taken up by discussions of how to spend $, would open up. It just feels purer and cleaner not to be caught up dividing $. Thank you for introducing this!

  3. Monica McLaughlin

    I am glad this passed. I was in the park tonight and planned to vote for it, but it was so cold and my feet were frozen so I had to go home.

  4. Marsha

    I don’t think this should have passed with so few people in the park very late into a Ga on such a cold night. That money was donated to ALL of us and the fact that a very few of us determined something so all encompassing and important for SO MANY people is emblematic of what is wrong with the country right now. A very few people making decisions for the many. I don’t know if this can be undone but I will do my best to see that it is!

    • Marsha

      I forgot to add that as of Jan. 20th the new rules for working groups would have solved a lot of spending issues with groups that did not comply and those of us who do comply would still be able to function.

      • Strong Women Rules Working Group: Organizations, Groups and Members

        Since the General Assembly decided to freeze the account/funds, that we personally think the best moved ever, January 20th new rules is voided, no cash no rules… The new working group that call General Assembly Funds Freeze Working Group will have their first meeting tomorrow between 3 P.M.. and 5 PM.. and yes the money is for all of us but splurging was not what those people who gave/ wanted to see with their money that they donate to this movement, and beside if you truly cares about the funds freeze you would have been their like the rest of us who truly care about it during GA and voted for it to passed in the cold-cold night we strongly believe in it we came out and stand for what we believe, so next time if you care about something so strongly stop bn lazy get your a** up and stand for what you believes, you are not that special.

        • Marsha

          I never said I was special, just compliant with the rules. I am down there everyday, my arthritis keeps me from staying out late at night in the cold, I can’t physically do that. It is not fair to have meetings only at night and not during the day when some of us can’t be there at night. I do stand up for what i believe in to the detriment of my health on many days and under threat of arrest because I try to bring a chair into the park.

          • Monica McLaughlin

            I agree with Marsha. I was shocked when I first learned about how the OWS “democratic” system operated. It is so exclusive — permits such a select few to participate — that such a system would never withstand US Supreme Court scrutiny. It would be thrown out as undemocratic. It harkens to an era when only white adults who owned property could vote.

            In this case one must be:
            –Physically capable of withstanding hours of freezing temperatures standing on one’s feet (This lets out most of the handicapped and the elderly and a good portion of everyone else. I am 53 years old and could not tolerate the extreme cold.)
            –Have the time to spend 4 evenings a week from 7 pm untill the wee hours (This let’s out anyone who works second shift, most families and certainly those families with children, anyone who has any other evening obligation like school and so on.)
            –Has the funds to get to the GA (This lets out the poor. For anyone living in NYC who is not withing walking distance — they need $20 a week for subway fare. And for those beyond the subway, it will cost more.)

            So who can vote? For the most part, it would likely be a young healthy person with nothing else they must do at night who has funds and no immediate family to care for.

            Basically, not a single vote by the GA was democratic. Perhaps when the occupation was still on, this method made sense — the weather was good and the Park was the hub. But even then, there was the peer pressure issue — every one could see how you voted.

            Electronic voting along with in-person voting (for those lacking electronics) is the way to go.

        • Lopi

          that’s right nan. they meant for us to spend the money on bras and panties like your group did.

      • BezerBezer

        @madamedefarge I think the minority that were out there that night most likely represent the majority. I don’t think that money will be the deciding factor as to whether or not the Movement will succeed and I get the sense that most people within the Movement agree. Many of us were doing this before ows had any money, and we did a pretty good job without it. Here’s my point: I’ve gotten to know all these people over the last few months and they’re pretty hardcore and totally badass. These people don’t need money. All they need is a voice.

        Likewise, there are a lot of people within ows that need money for their working group to function. They all work as hard as we do. They believe in their work just the same as the rest of us. And that’s why I know we’ll still have them here supporting us one month from now. They’re committed. They’re pretty hardcore and totally badass.

        A spending freeze is just a healthy thing, albeit painful. We’ve got a long way to go before the finish line. Let’s pace ourselves.

    • Sally Marks

      While I agree with major decisions like this should not be the last item on an agenda (cold night or not) it has appeared that spending by the OWS has been like a giant cookie jar on the street. Anyone was welcome to grab a handful. A lot of the grabs were good and just, a lot were personal, some thievery and some just really poorly thought out. Back when money flowed in like a downpour, every request (it seemed) was approved. No one dared question it lest they be thought of as a 1% or against the movement (the agent provocateur).
      Even the $100 WG handouts, while it seems insignificant, really add up when you are talking about 100+ WG. I believe it was originally done to reduce the level of effort in managing funds but common sense needs to be used.
      So a temporary freeze on spending will be good for everyone. It will cause some hardships. But certainly no more than those that existed at the beginning of September. Unfortunately, people get used to things and when they take it away, they scream the loudest. Reminds of a story my dad told me when I was little. Never eat a big meal if you know you will not be eating for a while, you’ll be hungrier. Save a celery stick in your pocket.
      The last thing anyone should want to be faced with is an empty jar when it is really needed.

      • Marsha

        My WG is working very hard on winter related activities. We are the knitters who make stuff to keep people warm while they are in the park (we handed out 8 items on sunday). We have never taken the 100 dollar a day allowance but only got reimbursed for metrocards, yarn and supplies for our crafting. We have been up front and legit for a long time and this really hurts our efforts. I put over 500 dollars into my efforts before we even became a working group and I have not asked for that money back. I have paid my fair share towards this movement and I’m not asking for a handout, I just want to keep going.

          • Marsha

            That really depends on how much the yarn cost and if you are going to sell the hat (like I used to on Etsy) then you have to calculate how long it takes you and how much you think your time is worth. Could be anywhere from 6 to 60 dollars retail, Everything we made while sitting and knitting in the park was donated to either the comfort station or given to people we came to know and where we saw a need,

        • Siobhan Ogilvie

          Marsha, unfortunately this had to be done because many personal agenda’s got involved and is being done to not only to save the small amount of funds we have, but also to weed out those who were exploiting our system. It had nothing to do with devaluing your creative efforts on contributions. In fact it is just the opposite. This is almost like a do-over. A fresh start and a way for us to start thinking outside the norm that has been killing us. While I don’t know if the knitters are still working publicly, when you were, I thought you sitting in that park day after day knitting (if that indeed was your group) was a powerful statement that had more to do with your presence that the actual finished product. Just you physically being there knitting away every single day, rain or shine with your sign was more valuable to the movement then any hat would ever be. That being said I hope you continue a public presence and I hope some creating “supply raising” can be done.

          I think if we get the word out on twitter/facebook and here of the supplies you will need you will be shocked by people’s generosity. My mom was a constant crocheter. She would even crochet in the car if someone else was driving. When she passed we found skeins or yarn and wool – an insane amount in addition to needles, books etc. I don’t recall what we did with it all – I hope donated but maybe trashed but the point is I don’t think this is that unusual. People buy things to start projects never attempted, buy things on sale, or just buy too much in fear of running out. We may even find someone who’s shop went under looking to get rid of saved inventory in lieu of a tax receipt. We can also post it on craig’s list. You never know!

          I have always thought we needed to get more specific on what donations are needed. As evidence of what our SIS used to look like, people like sending materials instead of cash. I know I did – and did weekly at one point. Get on the facebook and make a post today on the OWS page – the knitters are in need of yarn! Can you help us out? Be specific on preference but also say what you won’t say no too (ie: we love lambs and merino wool, but any heavyweight wool or synthetic yarn could be worked with). Think about how this could spark your own creativity – to be shipped a box of surprise supplies and make something beautiful from it.

          Orrrrr Announce this is what we need exactly. If you send us 10 skeins of such and such wool, we will knit you an authentic hand crafted OWS hat! Basically the barter system. You can make this work so easily. I took that 10 skeins off the top of my head – I would adjust it to 3 or 4 times the amount that would be needed to knit one hat.

          Just a thought. I love the barter system and I love giving and receiving items that can be used for good.

      • Strong Women Rules Working Group: Organizations, Groups and Members

        Sally Mark thanks you truly earn strong Women Rules Working Group respect, you indeed a very logic person and we thank you for such statement.

      • Strong Women Rules Working Group: Organizations, Groups and Members

        Sally Marks thanks you truly earn strong Women Rules Working Group respect, you indeed a very logic person and we thank you for such statement.

    • Monica McLaughlin

      Good point, Marsha. I was in the Park until 9 pm and the vote was still a few items away. I was driven out by the bitter cold. Someone in the Park commented that they were against the freeze because it would only be a freeze on GA spending and not a freeze by the Finance / OWS leaders . They will be able to continue spending unfettered.

      • A. Turring

        The fact that you left before the vote does not mean it was not on the agenda or that you were kept from voting. As for the assertion that the money was “donated to ALL of us” is wrong. It was donated to the NYCGA, and not to any individuals. You and your group are not entitled to the money simply because you share affinity with other people who have attended meetings. There is a process for allocating funds. The governing group, operating under the rules of the NYCGA passed a proposal. I happen to think it is a very wise proposal. This organization received over $500,000 in donations, which is larger than the operating budget of some of the most effective community organizations and political groups in the City. And yet, the movement has said little and done little since the end of October. It is wise for the organization to figure out exactly what it’s saying before it blows the rest of its money. Donations have trickled away because donors don’t know what will be done with their money. I for one, while appreciating your industry in knitting for economic justice, would not donate a dime to that effort, nor would 99% of the 99%. That’s not what inspired me or most people about this movement. I’m sure every working group thinks it is doing something mission critical. But to the rest of the world, the occupation and the NYCGA were merely tactics in part of a movement that preexisted September 17th and which has been co-opted by the Democratic Party. Nobody sees it as a tactic that demands resources right now. So until the NYCGA establishes a good clear reason for donating money (beyond knitting), it should not spend money.

        • Monica McLaughlin

          @paradigmshift, It was on the agenda. I went to the GA specifically, because it was on the agenda. I did not vote, because the burdon on democracy became too high for me to bear. I was freezing, and I simply could not stand outside in the freezing weather. Hypothermia was too dear a price to pay for the privilege of voting.

          The money was not donated to the NYCGA. Your average donor would have no idea what the NYCGA was. The money was donated to OWS — to the furtherance of the movement. Yes it is wise to spend wisely in furtherance of the movement.

          Donations died when the media attention died — all when the occupation died. No one talks about OWS anymore.

          While I love the knitters and have hopes of joining them in the park when the weather gets nicer, I must concur, that donors likely did not envision their donations going towards materials for hand knitters. Hats can be purchased for $2 at Walmart. Now when we had the park — the knitters and Marsha in particular were a big media draw. Numerous articles were done. People in Peoria were able to relate to OWS. They sent in donations.

      • Strong Women Rules Working Group: Organizations, Groups and Members

        This will be address by the General Assembly Funds Freeze Working Group that will have they first meeting tomorrow between 3 pm and 5 pm

      • Dallas

        To the older brothers and sisters who continually grumble about being disenfranchised by the outdoor GAs and cold weather: didn’t anyone know winter was coming in October or November? How many of you even tried to bring a proposal about moving GA indoors instead of just griping on a message board?

        I understand that being outside in freezing temps isn’t easy or even possible for everyone, but I do wish you’d empower yourself and bring a proposal, instead of the daily passive-aggressive stuff about not having any control over the fact that currently we have 3 hour meetings outside in January.

        People at other Occupys 1000s of miles from NYC have brought proposals to the GA by having someone on the ground in NYC read it for them and patch them in by phone as needed to handle the consensus process. If anyone really wants to do something about 3 hour meetings in the cold, quorum, etc. instead of complaining that they are being shut out and have no power, I will *personally* stand before the GA and patch you in via speakerphone for the process.

        • Siobhan Ogilvie

          touché, I can’t argue with that but that has less to do with passive aggression and more to do with my deep fear of public speaking. There is also a fear of people with no respect of process humiliating me – which by all means, I know it is not me, it is them but regardless, you have to be able to stand up to bullying at GA and that is something I have yet to learn how to do – even at my “older” age of 46. The funny thing is to all the people who are yelling that GA is not a safe space, it is those people causing it to feel unsafe to me.

        • NYCGA Council

          Proposals are posted on this site before General Assembly takes place.

          If there is a proposal that you support or do not support, it’s up to you as a participate in this movement to participate.

          It’s up to you to find a way to do what needs to be done, say what needs to be said, and advocate for the community and it needs, injustices and abuse of its resources.

          We can start being honest with yourselves if not with others.

          Millions of dollars have been donated to this movement, from people all over the world. Millions, don’t forget that, because to attempt to lead us to believe anything else is to confirmed that all of our fiscal resources have not been accountable.

          Accountability/Finance, we are not stupid and for you to act as if we have no vested interest in the movement’s resources is to imply that they are your’s and you allies alone.

          NOT COOL…

          You will not insult us all as you attempted to insult Jeff (Housing WG) at your last (open) 10 minute meeting @ 60 Wall Street. Or, the nasty tone and name calling you take with the Transparency& Accountabilty WG.

          I think the General Assembly will veto any attempt your group tries at giving our bank accounts to a law firm. to cover your asses (not the movement).

          YOU ALL SHOULD BE ASHAMED, BUT THEN THERE APPEARS TO BE NO SHAME.

          The General Assembly will not go away, it will not be dissolved, it will not fade away, it will not become null and void (a soap box!).

          The Primary Decision Making Body of the OWS Movement, is the General Assembly and it will take it’s obligations, striving to be exactly the opposite of what your group has shown itself to be.

          It’s About Accountbility.

          • The Jokes Council

            Except, um, the NYCGA Council Working Group wants to be the Working Group that decides whether a proposal should ever make it to GA at all, and thus will be empowered to censor things it doesn’t like in the first place.

            Accountability hurts.

            Joke’s on you!

    • NYCGA Council

      Marsha,

      Thanks for your response.

      $290.000 minus the $100.000 for legal, presumedly in the bank as of the last

      Acct./Finance meeting, reported by Haywood.

      and, the fact that Finance holds closed meetings to make decisions regarding OWS finances!

      Also, the FYI shared at that meeting that they are looking at bringing in a law firm to handle the bank acct.(s) and eyeing something similar to a political party handling of their finances…..

      It’s enough….Someone should have seen further than the end of their nose.

      This proposal should have had more input from the movement before it was presented to a a couple of dozen of occupiers attending a 20 degree freezing General Assembly.

      • Sean McKeown

        See, your fallacious belief here is that Accounting makes any decisions about OWS finances. They don’t – we have an instrument that does that, two in fact, and they are named the NYC General Assembly, and its creation, the Spokes Council.

        They balance the books and track the receipts, and tell us how much money we have. They don’t present proposals, they don’t vote or block in proposals as a general rule (that has been broken VERY occasionally, but for good reasons). And they have closed meetings so that only people who have had their background checked to ensure they are not a police officer or an operative of the police or any political party or corporation is getting access to our books, which includes details on where our money comes from and donor information.

        It is “closed” in that it has this requirement, but is otherwise open. If I wanted to attend the meeting, all I’d have to do is give them my ID and let them run a background check. I’d advise you to do the same, so you too can see the transparency that is involved in their Working Group instead of complain about non-transparency that is a basic requirement of our design in order to shield our donors from those who might use their identities as OWS donors against them, or worse yet try to subvert the Movement by taking our donor list and falsely claiming to represent us.

        • Monica McLaughlin

          @nycgacouncil

          @smckeown, there is an upper eschelon of Finance (Accounting) called Friends of Liberty Park GA. The members of this organization are the ones who have legal access to the OWS funds in Amalgamated Bank. They have their names on the trademark application. These people (Pete Dutro and Victoria Sobel) are accountable to no one. They do not attend GAs, they do not put in proposals, they do not respond to any questions. These are the people who provide the checks and actual cash for disbursement by the second level of Finance (Accounting).

          If anything I said is incorrect, please correct me. Are you in contact with Pete Dutro and Victoria Sobel? I would like to meet with them. Can you arrange this for me? Can you explain their role in OWS with regard to their organization Friends of Liberty Park GA? Thank you very much.

          • Jackrabbit

            Monica, you are misrepresenting and misstating. The reason the people who have legal access to the funds can not be at GA is because GA is the body that determines where funds are disbursed. There are legal and ethical repercussions to the individuals who write the checks being involved in how the money is spent. It is also misleading to say they are accountable to no one; they are accountable to the GA.

            Monica, I appreciate your moxie and your enthusiasm, but this movement is based almost entirely on trust and trust is much easier to break down than it is to build up. Your constant accusations of malfeasance are inspiring a culture of mistrust than can have no benefit to the movement. If you have a well-founded evidence-based argument against the people you slander then please speak up, but these constant attacks are simply detrimental to everyone in earshot.

        • Monica McLaughlin

          @jackrabbit
          Do you know Victoria Sobel and Pete Dutro? Can you tell them I would like to meet with them? I accuse no one of anything. I ask questions. I would like to meet Victoria and Pete and aske them why they do not participate on this forum, why they do not attend GAs, why they do not comment on proposals and so on. Victorial and Pete are on the bank accounts, they make contracts and they applied for trademark rights for the OWS name and imagry.

          Now Jackrabbit, you may lack curiousity about why the same two people would be the sole legal representatives of the OWS movement and not be part of the fray, and that is fine. But please do not accuse me of accusing anyone of malfeasance based on your lack of curiousity!

          .

          • Sally Marks

            @jackrabbit – If the finance folks are accountable to the GA and at the same time, can not be at the GA, how it is possible? Is there some ‘leader’ of the GA that finance meets with?
            Finance has a fiduciary responsibility to confirm they are disbursing funds and managing them in accordance with the GA and GAAP. This is not the sort of thing that anyone can simply ‘take someones word for it that everything is good”. That is exactly what big business and the government do. They tell us to trust them all the time. All we are asking for is transparency.
            Requesting this is not accusatory. Claiming someone is slandering or causing malfeasance with out any substantiating information is an ad hominem attack and noted as such.
            Questions Monica and others (myself included) over the last few months have been met with utter silence. Haywood has made a few comments but not answered any of the questions. Some finance information has been posted but grossly insufficient to confirm the books ‘balance’ and all expenditures accounted for.

          • Jackrabbit

            @monjon22 Monica, I adore you, but you are incredibly accusatory.

            My understanding is that the accounting group is an open group with regular meetings. I’m not sure I understand why you don’t go to one with your concerns.

          • Shazz

            I think this whole thread is very interesting and reflects our crazy, intelligence and unique culture we’ve created. We’re not always civil, myself first and foremost sometimes. But we gathered together, online and at Zuccotti, out of shared values. And in the end, our communications should be based on an assumption that we still share those values, or why keep being involved in this organization?

            This is the idea of solidarity and good faith, what’s supposed to be the basis of our interactions in our assemblies and with each other. No one’s forcing you to attend that GA, or keep this thread going. Yet we are.

            With this in mind, I don’t think anyone here is being purposefully malicious, even the silly comments. There are important concerns being raised. I think this thread covers all of the concerns I’ve personally had with finance and spending in general, as well as the other side’s positions.

            But the questions still remain. And there are a couple key facts about financing, not questions but facts about how they manage themselves as a working group, that make answering these questions difficult. Monica, Sally and others are not the only ones who don’t feel comfortable with how much we know about OWS financing. I would say the temperature check across the movement is one of suspicion and distrust. You can either blame these people for feeling that way, or look at how the working group formally known as finance has failed in their responsibility to engender trust in this movement.

            One small example: is there an open finance working group meeting today? If you go to their working group page on nycga it states every friday at 5:30pm. But by not listing it as an event, they aren’t listed on the events roll call. Personally this is how I got involved and aware of what was going on in OWS, it’s important to list your group there. We do in Occupy Farms and benefit from a constant stream of new people with fresh ideas who are just deciding to get involved.

            Another example is the comment that finance doesn’t control how the money is spent. In my experience dealing with them on behalf of Farms, a direct quote from Christine was that what I was requesting was “according to the letter of the rules but not the spirit.” And then I’ve been accused by them as being manipulative as well. And then there’s the little stuff, like giving someone $5 to take me down the street to Pret A Mange to have our discussion outside the office, or joking with money by hiding a $100 to make sure I count it correctly. Or sleeping in the Occupied Office. Or acting belligerently towards people. Or just not giving their names.

            These are little things that vary from the unprofessional to overreaching their mission statement. But one thing is simple: their working group DOES create a culture regarding how they manage the money, and they DO influence how the money is allocated, including not only applying the rules themselves but then interpreting those rules.

            Add to this that there has been a core group of people in this working group from the beginning, that there have been serious mismanagement issues regarding book-keeping from the beginning (only paper receipts up until the raid, which are now unaccounted for), and there is a small group of empowered people still making closed decisions, two of which are in a personal relationship (Haywood and Christine).

            Things just need to be more open. I think any objective observer would be at the very least curious about this whole situation, bordering on suspicion.

          • Monica McLaughlin

            @jackrabbit, I attended a Finance meeting. I also met with Keven of Finance in the Park. These low level clerks know nothing. And if they do know something, they have been instructed by their superiors to share nothing.

            I do not want to be admitted into a secret inner circle. What I want is for the inner circle to not exist at all here at OWS. What I want is a financial audit — something many are calling for. The Finance group has no intention of providing an audit. That this does not anger some, is just plain weird. It must be nice knowing that your superiors have your back. Well, you can pity me then — I don’t even have any superiors. The only one who has my back is myself. I want an audit. I want Pete Dutro, Victoria Sobel and Bre Lembitz to step forward and tell OWS why it is they are so scared of an independent audit.

  5. Chris O'Donnell

    These services which are called in this proposal “charity” are movement supporting actions. Giving money to working groups is a good thing. We are spending money we were given to spend. We’re not just giving it away, we’re USING it for the movement. People in this movement work hard for nothing, they keep occupy alive during the winter, they deserve access to the resources we have which can help them do that.

    • vets74

      Between January 16th and March 17th there is little to nothing happening in New York that is critical to the OWS mission.

      Meanwhile, donations are down for the winter. The dozens of other Occupy sites have stepped up their appeals for funds, so protecting the OWS NYC war chest is a big deal.

      • Zoe Alif

        Yes, there are lots of things happening in NYC. Winter is for planning, Spring is for action. Maybe no one told you what the hell is going on because they don’t trust you vets74.

        • Chris O'Donnell

          Furthermore, what is “critical”?
          I don’t necessarily disagree with setting money aside for the future, so long as there is at least some vague idea of what it’s going to be set aside for.
          Not to mention the fact that with Operations WGs (kitchen, media, housing, etc.) still receiving their budgets, which was tagged on as a friendly amendment to this proposal, we’re still going to run out of money. The only thing the budget freeze will do is not allow us to fund actions or new projects.

          • vets74

            OWS has formed up as the main clearing house for anti-corporatist, pro-democracy protests in New York. Efforts are spread cooperatively across multiple groups of people, where previously they would have been separated.

            Housing and feeding the homeless is not a viable long-term role for OWS. Going for a couple months at Zuccotti Park was barely feasible. You couldn’t light a fire. You’re not going to do winter out there, certainly not with diabetics and other chronic illness people in the mix.

            New York City is planning on having over 200 shelters by next summer. This is one $%^*&^ of an expensive program compared to the tiny scale of OWS funding.

            The one church is down now. An OWS guest stealing the rectory laptop computer mighta played a part in that. Bad behavior surely.

            Maybe if we had the money somebody’s paying Monica McLaughlin to piss on OWS, we could support a dozen homeless for the winter ??? Then maybe she’d be homeless ? Them out of work lawyers be one helluva breed o’ cats.

            Btw: setting money aside for the future. WTF else ?

    • Monica McLaughlin

      Some of the spending is reallly awful though — like $3000 given to a scam artist posing as a victim of predatory lending. WGs formed for the sole purpose of getting the $100 a day stipend. There is simply no accountability. One could argue that something had to be done while there were still funds left.

      • Marsha

        Meanwhile, having a total freeze will alienate some of your tried and true occupiers. Our working group will be extremely hampered by the freeze

        • Monica McLaughlin

          @madamedefarge, one group that most certainly will be devastated are the tea drinkers. From October these 2 groups have managed to spend $5,713 on tea and herbs. Now that’s a lot of herb.

          $3200 Tea & Herbal
          $2,513 Herbalists
          __________
          $5,713

      • Yoni Miller

        Was that because of Alternative Currency working group? The person was the one who proposed a new WG for Park Slope, wanted to spend 700 dollars a week (he said this to me) for his group, and was telling me about how oppressive socialist state would be.. O.o and then he was talking about the guy who got scammed from predatory lending, and he helped him…and should have gotten a share from that donation….

        • Monica McLaughlin

          @yoni2b, I don’t know where the proposal came from. Noah Fisher posted on the Legal WG that Occupy 477 was looking for pro bono attorneys to fight a predatory lending case. He never responded to any of my posts. (I put his @ name on them.)

          I heard (from someone hanging at 60 Wall) that the lady whose apartment the homeless occupiers were staying with (the alleged predatory lending victime) threw them all out. I imagine that once she obtained all the OWS funds she was going to get, she had no use for a bunch of people hangin out in her living room.

    • Strong Women Rules Working Group: Organizations, Groups and Members

      What are you smoking, seriously are you serious with this thing you just wrote. The people donate the money to the movement yes but not to splurge like a crazy fool nor an idiots…. I personally am happy for such a freeze and to tell you the truth that was my idea to want freeze, freeze it all, account, funds, spokes we do not need it… lets get our acts straight before we touch another penny of those people who donate their money to this movement. The money was donate to the movement not to working groups/ or stupidity splurges.

  6. vets74

    Yes, indeed.

    1. “OWS has never been equipped to deal with homelessness.”
    2. Equally, OWS has never been equipped to deal with joblessness.

    For Occupiers who want to sleep in church basements and/or friends’ sofas, there is still a need to generate living expenses. We have experience with a company that has an office in the Wall Street area that does a good job for temporary and part-time jobs:

    Start at manpowerjobs.com

    Their Wall Street office is at 20 Pine Street. Between Cedar and Wall.

    The work is real. The checks cash. This is the routine, honest work that goes with normal financial services.

    • Monica McLaughlin

      @vets74, These temp places send out the best that apply. In a tough economy, there are more applicants than there are jobs. Identification, telephones and home addresses are required of those applying. Background checks are done on applicants. (I work as a temp through various legal agencies and so go through the process many times over and over again.)

      Unfortunately, many homeless have mental and dependency issues that preclude them from working. Some have records. So they can sign up, but they will never get sent out.

      –Which isn’t to say that the OWS movement should be obligated to support them. I am just pointing out that simple solutions like pop into a temp job agency isn’t a solution for many if not most homeless.

      • vets74

        OWS does not have the skills and should never under any circumstance set up projects that attempt to replace professionally operated programs for “many homeless (who) have mental and dependency issues.”

        We hired people from Manpower. Never had a problem. Converted a few, including a tech writer/editor. They are exactly what they seem to be.

        “Identification, telephones and home addresses” — that’s at most a two-day problem for folks who come in for a month or two of protests. You don’t have to have your own telephone.

        Temp work with office positions is not usually the solution for drug-disabled/problem-situation long-term homeless. For out-of-town visitors wanting to spread out their money and help with the protests, yessirree !

        Good luck with your job hunting, Monica. How’s about Alaska ???

        • Monica McLaughlin

          @vets74, I am getting very tired of your name calling and nasty remarks. I am going to take it to a higher level if you do not stop harassing me. Please stop the personal attacks and stick to the subject at hand.

          • Lillian Hellman

            Monica I have been reading a few other forums you commented on and find it incredibly interesting that you are “getting very tired of your name calling and nasty remarks” when someone else does it to you; but seem to relish it when you do it to other people.

          • Monica McLaughlin

            @lilly, please point to any post where I have name called. I am not above apologizing where it is due. I have never personally attacked anyone to my knowledge. I stick to the issues. Accountability and transparance by those with responsible for OWS is NOT name calling. It is common sense and the very same thing OWS is asking of the US Government.

  7. Zoe Alif

    Well, there is always Florida!!! At least their occupies are organized and they don’t have to deal with this corporate financial bullshit.

  8. Shazz

    you know who else instituted spending freezes? Hitler instituted spending freezes.

    ’nuff said.

    you tell him Zoe

    • Sally Marks

      My parents issued spending freezes too when I spent recklessly. Both my brother and sister also were affected even though my sister was very frugal. We had to account for every penny we spent for three months so we could see where it all went. It was quite the eye opener.
      I see a freeze on expenditures like a runaway stagecoach. It is running apparently out of control. Slowing it down often does little. You must stop it and calm the horses down, find out what spooked them, catch your breath and regain your composure. It does not mean never again, will a penny be spent. It just means we need to calm down, take a good look at what we are doing. Then go forward.

      • Monica McLaughlin

        Account for every penny spent? That is not something I have seen at OWS.

      • Strong Women Rules Working Group: Organizations, Groups and Members

        Now its the time to start fresh be accountable for every penny freeze.

    • Steve Scher

      “Shazz said on January 15, 2012: you know who else instituted spending freezes? Hitler instituted spending freezes.”

      I thought it was fdr in 1937 who put in the freeze?
      ******************************************************************************
      i scanned some of the posts on this page, and the dichotomy between logic based civil discourse and other types of postings is very interesting.

      the bottom line is truely the bottom line.

      running OWS like a business does seems counter-intuitive…..
      emotionally i like the feel good concept of throwing caution to the wind and demonstrating our disdain for money….. like Abbie Hoffman throwing bills to the wind…or the floor of the nyse

      Source:Wikipedia
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbie_Hoffman

      are we in a position to act with such a cavelier attitude?
      of course mr hoffman only threw away…ahem…. i mean “invested” between 30-300$$$$ in this endeavor….

      one can point out the vote to freeze was conducted legally, by the book, and during freezing tempertures and try to cast doubt on our own rules, the abililty for anyone to attend, the lack of numbers to block the freeze…..and while doing so make a point that we should not follow our own rules, don’t go by the book, and even bring poor mr adolph hitler into the mix, who i would add is dead and in no postition to defend himself….

      but essentially that point is not only moot…its imho….. dangerous….

      • Steve Scher

        *** Abbie Hoffman referance above : August 24, 1967, when he led members of the movement to the gallery of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The protesters threw fistfuls of real and fake dollars down to the traders below, some of whom booed, while others began to scramble frantically to grab the money as fast as they could…..

      • Sally Marks

        There have been several proposals in that very vein.
        Split the money up to every person at the GA.
        Donate it.
        Return it to the donors.
        Burn it.

        Keep in mind, the choices we have are somewhat limited due to the ALJ, the group that gathers the donations under a non-profit blanket to enable the donors to write off the donation. Sort of interesting, OWS donors playing the IRS tax game, but I digress.

        I think you will agree, the above proposals are a bit extreme. A breather is not an entirely bad thing though my heart does go out to Marsha and others unduly pained. But as you pointed out “some of whom booed, while others began to scramble frantically to grab the money as fast as they could”. The OWS needs to be neither.

    • Lillian Hellman

      Shazz you always know who to bring class and intelligences to every conversation your in.

  9. Dan Chilton

    Hitler breathed air too. (Nuff said.) ;)

    OWS is primarily a social/political movement and most effective as such.
    How much time money and effort should be spent helping people failed by the system, and how much toward fixing the system?

    • Sally Marks

      “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” (Yes, I had to Google it)

      • Marsha

        We gave knitting lessons while in the park, One lady came down everyday during her lunch hour to learn from us. I had one young lady from Brazil crochet with us for 2 days while she was in town and an elderly man from Texas helped knit a scarf for 3 hours one afternoon. I consider our group as much of an outreach/direct action group as anything else.

      • Shazz

        Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime. Lease that
        man a fishing pole, sell him the bait, secure the property rights, demand an equity position –
        man what man but what an enterprise!

      • Strong Women Rules Working Group: Organizations, Groups and Members

        True on that.

  10. Monica McLaughlin

    @drchill
    99% should go to fixing the system. Once the money started rolling in, I believe many began to think that OWS as a movement had reached its goal, that OWS was now a big benevolent player like American Red Cross or the ASPCA. Others, tired of protesting, wanted to settle in to being beaurocrats.

    • Monica McLaughlin

      @baysidefriend, I think OWS already does — we keep our money in Amalgamated Bank — a dyed in the wool 1% er big bank. Oddly, OWS funds are being used by people (the owners of the bank) who make billions bottom feeding on mortgage foreclosures.

      • Sally Marks

        Take a read of this:
        http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20110926/FINANCE/110929911
        A sound bite (lol-inside joke)
        “…………..
        Magic Johnson Enterprises is among the firms investing $100 million into the labor-backed bank, Crain’s has learned. The New York Times reported Sunday that Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos. and Wilbur Ross’s WL Ross & Co. would each invest $50 million in the bank. Magic Johnson Enterprises, started by the NBA Hall of Famer to invest in urban areas, is partnering with Yucaipa, said Amalgamated CEO Edward Grebow.

        Yucaipa and WL Ross will each hold 20% stakes in the bank, pending approval of the deal by shareholders and regulators. It is expected to close during the fourth quarter. The garment workers union Workers United will continue to control the bank, Mr. Grebow said, and union leaders would maintain their majority on its board………….”

        The upsetting part, (on top of the 1%ers) is the fact is the bank is considered cash strapped. How can a group run by labor, end up on the short end of the stick? Not rhetorical but just makes you question/wonder why OWS supports them, still after all this time.

        The bank sold off 40% of its’ heart.

        • Monica McLaughlin

          @sallyarks, Interesting. Well perhaps OWS can help the bank. According to Bloomberg Businessweek association with OWS is helping out the bankers.
          http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/wilbur-ross-the-bank-eater-01052012_page_5.html

          “Then there are the benefits of being associated with the Occupy Wall Street protests that began in September. Grebow produces a chart showing that 131 new depositors signed up online in October, up from 13 the previous month. The influx of new customers was roughly the same in November. “That’s with no marketing,” he says. Ross listens, quiet as ever. He says he has no problem with Amalgamated Bank’s connection to Occupy Wall Street. It’s clearly good for the bank’s bottom line and therefore his investment. “The bank by its nature is a so-called progressive, liberal bank,” Ross says. “Ed Grebow even marched in one of its demonstrations.”

          You won’t see the 74-year-old billionaire accompanying him anytime soon, however. Says Ross, “I myself wouldn’t have anything to do with Occupy Wall Street.” Nevertheless, he’s thinking about putting more money into Amalgamated Bank. Ross may not cotton to protesters who want to share his wealth, but his investments are strictly nonpartisan.”

  11. Steve Scher

    And I thought amalgamated was a union owned bank….
    About Us

    We invite you to explore our site to learn more about Amalgamated Bank, our services, and how we can help you with your banking and financial needs.
    Established in 1923 by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, Amalgamated Bank continues the progressive traditions of its founders as the only 100 percent union-owned bank in the United States. Chartered by New York State, Amalgamated Bank is an FDIC insured commercial bank with $4.5 billion in assets. The Bank’s corporate divisions also include Commercial Banking and Real Estate Finance. Through its Institutional Asset Management and Custody Division, the Bank is also one of the leading providers of investment and trust services to Taft-Hartley plans in the United States.
    In addition, Amalgamated Bank has 25 retail branches including 20 in New York City as well as branches in: Las Vegas, Nevada; Lyndhurst, New Jersey; Pasadena, California and Washington, D.C.

    • Roberta J

      After I read all the posts here I thought to myself that this sounds just like the US Congress….. one side of the aisle is for spending…….the other side wants to stop. The difference is that if Congress keeps spending the Treasury just keeps printing money. OWS does not have that ability.

      As a donor to the movement I have to honestly say that I am alarmed at some of the things that the GAs have approved funds for. When I first donated it was to keep the occupation going… once the occupation of Zuccotti Park was stopped I donated to keep the movement going. But I didn’t expect my donations to go to things such as costuming for Occupation performances in Times Square. There are some things OWS spends money on that are just not necessary to grow the movement.

      But at any rate the question you have to ask yourself… if OWS continues to spend at the rate it has been, and with donations at a low water mark, how long will you be able to even stay afloat at all? Isn’t it more important to safeguard for the spring when OWS can be more effective and hopefully donations will go up again.

      And shouldn’t “we” rely on ourselves when times are tough and tighten belts.

      • Monica McLaughlin

        @bjeanthejellybean, I agree with you. Some in the movement don’t realize that we have not yet arrived — OWS is an infant. The influx of cash went to some people’s heads. Along with the money came the end of the occupation and the onset of winter. So many set about spending and shopping — very American.

    • Monica McLaughlin

      @baysidefriend, Amalgamated was bought out or bought in by billionaires who bottom feed in distressed mortgages and who have strong ties to the Clintons — Hillary & Bill. Yes, OWS funds are being used to snap up forclosed mortgages.

      • Steve Scher

        Horrible….
        Is there a name to this thing that bought amalgamated?
        I’ll try to google it…..
        That was my first checking account….1967 I think….

        • Steve Scher

          20% as you pointed out…
          80% union….
          Wikipedia : source : if you believe not at wiki describes, please advise:

          This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.
          It needs additional citations for verification. Tagged since June 2010.
          It relies on references to primary sources or sources affiliated with the subject, rather than references from independent authors and third-party publications. Tagged since October 2011.
          Amalgamated Bank
          Type Credit union
          Industry Banking
          Founded 1923
          Headquarters 275 Seventh Avenue, New York, New York, USA
          Key people Edward Grebow, President/CEO
          Employees 501-1000 employees[1]
          Website http://www.amalgamatedbank.com
          Amalgamated Bank is a national bank owned by the Workers United/SEIU labor union. It was founded by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America in 1923.[2] It is headquartered in New York City.[3]
          Until September 2011 Amalgamated Bank was the only bank in the United States wholly owned by a labor union. That September, WL Ross & Company and Yucaipa Companies, two private equity firms each invested a 20 percent stake in the company.[4] The move was sparked by Amalgamated’s low liquidity levels, which had been flagged by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the New York State Banking Department.[5]
          Amalgamated Bank is chiefly located in New York City, but with branches in California, the District of Columbia, Nevada, and New Jersey.
          The Amalgamated Bank of New York was founded in 1923 by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (which later became the Amalgamated Textile and Clothing Workers Union, and, still later, the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees-UNITE). Amalgamated Bank was originally located on East 14th Street in Manhattan but took a lease in 1925 on the five-story Tiffany Building adjoining Union Square. Still in Manhattan, but in a different neighborhood, the bank’s headquarters now sits at 275 7th Avenue in Chelsea.
          Amalgamated Bank of New York was one of 36 union-backed banks founded in the United States during the 1920s (22 in the first four years of the decade alone).
          [edit]See also

          UNITE HERE, an American and Canadian union
          Workers United, an American and Canadian union
          [edit]External links

          Official website
          [edit]References

          ^ “Amalgamated Bank’s Linkedin Profile”. Retrieved 2011-12-28.
          ^ “Amalgamated Bank Website – Amalgamated History at a Glance”. Retrieved 2010-05-29.
          ^ “Amalgamated Bank Website – Locations”. Retrieved 2010-05-29.
          ^ “Amalgamated Bank Blog – Amalgamated Bank Announces Equity Investments Totaling about $100 Million from WL Ross & Co. LLC and The Yucaipa Companies”. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
          ^ “The New York Times/Dealbook – Union-Owned Bank Finds Help in Ross and Burkle”. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
          This United States bank-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.”

          • Steve Scher

            The Yucaipa Companies

            Type Private
            Industry Private equity
            Founded 1986
            Founder(s) Ronald Burkle
            Headquarters Los Angeles, California, United States
            Products Leveraged buyout
            Website yucaipaco.com
            The Yucaipa Companies, LLC is a Los Angeles-based holding company, focusing on private equity investments. The firm was founded in 1986 by its billionaire chairman, Ronald Burkle.
            Yucaipa has a history of highly successful leveraged buyout investments in supermarket and grocery chains beginning with Jurgensen’s Markets in 1986. After several standalone investments in the late 1980s, Yucaipa went on to lead the consolidation of West Coast retail that occurred during the 1990s.
            Most recently, Yucaipa acquired stakes in Colorado-based Wild Oats Markets, New Jersey-based Pathmark Stores, and Minnesota-based Supervalu, among others. Former US President Bill Clinton, a close friend of Burkle, was an advisor to the Yucaipa. From 2003 to 2006, Bill and Hillary Clintons’ tax returns show total Yucaipa partnership income of $12.5 million. The 2007 summary provided by Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign lists $2.75 million in partnership income.[1]
            Contents  [hide] 
            1 Investment History
            1.1 Aloha Airlines purchase
            2 Relationship with organized labor
            3 References
            4 External links
            [edit]Investment History

            1987: Food 4 Less grocery franchise of Kansas City acquired for $35 million
            1989: Boys Markets acquired for $375 million
            1991: Alpha Beta California supermarket chain acquired for $271 million
            1994: Smitty’s Phoenix-based supermarket operator acquired for $138 million
            1994: Ralphs Grocery Co. Southern California supermarket chain acquired for $1.5 billion
            1997: Ralphs/Food 4 Less merged with Fred Meyer
            1998: Fred Meyer sold to Kroger for $8 billion
            1995: Dominick’s Chicago grocery store chain acquired for $750 million
            1998: Dominick’s sold for $1.85 billion to Safeway
            1999: invests $3 million in GameSpy, and $25 million in Cyrk, Inc.
            2004: TDS Logistics purchased by Yucaipa (according to TDS Logistics site [1])
            2005: Yucaipa becomes the majority shareholder in Aloha Airlines in a $100 million bid to purchase the airline.
            2009: Yucaipa doubles its stake in Barnes and Noble to 16.8% during e-reader War with Amazon.
            2011: Stake acquired in The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company
            [edit]Aloha Airlines purchase
            In February 2006, Aloha Airlines was taken into private ownership by Yucaipa Companies. After 61 years in business, passenger operations were suddenly shut down on March 31, 2008. Rising fuel prices, new competition for interisland travel, a tightening credit market, and dwindling interest by investors in the airline industry, were all cited as contributing factors.
            In January 2011 Yucaipa won federal Bankruptcy Court approval to buy the Aloha name and other intellectual property for $1.5 million with a stipulation that it not resell the name to Mesa Air Group, the parent of go! Mokulele. It is unknown at this time what the furture plans are for the Aloha name.
            [edit]Relationship with organized labor

            Yucaipa has also shown a commitment to labor relations in many of its investments. Worker friendly practices and a willingness to engage with unions have proven to be effective tools in Yucaipa’s investment strategy. Yucaipa has recently branched out into Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP), with the creation of the American Working Capital group.[2]
            [edit]References

            ^ Jim Kuhnhenn and Devlin Barret (04-05-2008). “Clintons Made $109 Million Since 2000″. Associated Press.
            ^ American Working Capital
            The Yucaipa Companies, LLC (Business Week Profile)
            The Yucaipa Companies LLC (Yahoo! Profile)
            [edit]External links

            The Yucaipa Companies (company website)
            The Yucaipa Companies (Crunchbase Company Profile)
            [hide] v d e
            Private equity and venture capital investment firms
            Investment strategy
            Venture · Growth · Mezzanine · Secondaries · Leveraged buyout

            History
            History of private equity and venture capital · Early history of private equity · Private equity in the 1980s · Private equity in the 1990s · Private equity in the 2000s
            Investors
            Corporations · Institutional Investors · Pension funds · Insurance companies · Endowments · Investment Banks · Merchant banks · Fund of funds · High net worth individuals · Angel investors · Family offices · Sovereign wealth funds
            Private equity firms · Venture capital firms · Portfolio companies

            This article about a private equity or venture capital firm based in the United States is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.

  12. Steve Scher

    @Shabazz : Is that a proposal?
    Lease , sell the bait (hey let’s make it a vertical operation we can grow our own bait )…
    Can we do that ?
    I know some fish who’d jump at the opportunity .
    So I supposed we’re done discussing the proposal that passed, right?
    :)

  13. Shazz

    let’s start talking about an OWS credit union, like the Lower East Side Credit Union or other activist financial orgs that concentrate on local needs.

    the reality of this occupy movement is that it’s geography-based, OCCUPATION-based. this is an important factor in attaching pragmatic solutions to pie-in-the-sky hippie bullshit. Some would argue (as Jason did in his proposal, from only good intentions I’m sure because Jason’s one of the most sincere people I’ve met here) that the homeless situation is not our problem.

    but we have to humble ourselves to a movement that is bigger than ourselves or our original intentions. like Marcos said about the Zapatistas, they first went into the jungles of southern Mexico to politicize indians. what they found was that they were made indians instead. wisdom does not have bias, people do. we all have to challenge the assumptions we came into this thing with and listen, learn, with our hearts first.

    the world has a bunch of rational, efficient systems, it doesn’t need another, no matter our good intentions. the world needs compassion, intuition, spirituality, creativity, all of those other human qualities that share space with reason as components of our decision making process.

    so yes, it’s reasonable to put a month long freeze on the money. but this still does not make it the right thing to do. and if people suffer from this decision, on the streets of NYC because they justified or not were looking towards our movement to provide them with a modicum of security that the outside society has been negligent in providing, then in my opinion it is the wrong decision.

    the reality that i’ve seen is that this proposal, and ones similar to it, have been in majority supported by the privileged in OWS. and i’m really not trying to be divisive or turn class description into a pejorative. it’s just that some of the people who’ve taken on the brunt of organization responsibility, a responsibility that in many cases is self-imposed, will not be affected by this decision as much as those living in the shelters. or as Marsha the knitter mentioned above, those who would still like to be able to participate part time without over extending themselves.

    before we passed this proposal, we should have definitely had a wider discussion. I should know, i’m the king of unpopular proposals. just look up BIBO, Buy Out Buy In, dividing the money up among all the occupiers. But I suggested that we pass the idea one night, and then create an open transparent group later to discuss it. And I’ve given up proposing it on nights that there aren’t enough people at GA.

    does this proposal discuss how we’d eventual create that OWS budget? who would be involved in it’s creation? it was poorly discussed, poorly passed, and will hurt people who stood shoulder to shoulder with me as we were beaten by the NYPD Nov 15th and in major actions before and since. 3 strikes in my book.

    but this is an organic movement. actions like these, if indeed unjustified, will unwind themselves. if not, perhaps it’s not as big a deal. time will tell.

    you know who else was obsessed with time? mussolini was obsessed with time…’nuff said. (thanks steve)

        • Shazz

          i don’t think i was upset, i’m just trying to voice my thoughts. this is a good discussion going and i want to contribute.

          now christine, you’re upset cause i stopped laying down that pipe game ;)
          burn!

  14. Roberta J

    After I read all the posts here I thought to myself that this sounds just like the US Congress….. one side of the aisle is for spending…….the other side wants to stop. The difference is that if Congress keeps spending the Treasury just keeps printing money. OWS does not have that ability.

    As a donor to the movement I have to honestly say that I am alarmed at some of the things that the GAs have approved funds for. When I first donated it was to keep the occupation going… once the occupation of Zuccotti Park was stopped I donated to keep the movement going. But I didn’t expect my donations to go to things such as costuming for Occupation performances in Times Square. There are some things OWS spends money on that are just not necessary to grow the movement.

    But at any rate the question you have to ask yourself… if OWS continues to spend at the rate it has been, and with donations at a low water mark, how long will you be able to even stay afloat at all? Isn’t it more important to safeguard for the spring when OWS can be more effective and hopefully donations will go up again.

    And shouldn’t “we” rely on ourselves when times are tough and tighten belts.

  15. Shazz

    honestly i don’t think anyone knows for sure Roberta. this is a gift economy, so hoarding money doesn’t really make sense either. it’s interesting that you gave, because you have personal insight as to what would make a donor more likely to give in the future. but i’m pretty sure you appreciate OWS getting in the news and making the media pay attention to things they would otherwise be ignoring. i’m guessing you gave to OWS to help affect some positive change in the world. how they do that is up to them, whether it seems crazy or brilliant, as long as progress is made.

    for example, we have a march on tuesday involving glitter. not really my idea of a brilliant organizing technique, but if the people come out then it works. so results matter more than your or my own personal opinion, even if you and many others footed the bill only to be left scratching your head.

    the idea about this movement is momentum, not economics. there will always be more roberta j’s out there who hear about us for the first time, or who finally decide to shell out a couple bucks. just like buying the new iphone, there’s your early adopters, people who wait until after the rush, and people who wait for the price drop. sitting on our hands and hoarding the cash doesn’t get people off the fence and opening up their wallets.

    perhaps this is cynical to measure our support in dollars. but purchasing or donating money is a transfer of capital and therefor a political act. a populist movement should see people transferring more and more money, ie power ie confidence into a movement that they want to see succeed.

    our shrinking funds doesn’t mean we need to “rely on ourselves” or tighten our belt. it means we need to get back to work because we’re becoming irrelevant. this requires us to 1) refocus and 2) spend money in productive ways.

    tough times are an illusion, the world is plentiful. this is a fact. austerity is the propaganda they feed us to sell their economic religions based on artificial scarcity. it’s a slippery slope to walk down that path…

    • Roberta J

      I do understand what you are saying …. the only thing is that it sounds very idealistic. Reality can sometimes bring idealism to a screaming halt.

    • Sally Marks

      I think you are ‘right on the money’ (pun intended) Shazz.

      You have to make do. Prior to Sept. there was no money, yet the Occupation was alive. Money does not make it happen, it only greases the skids.
      We need to grease more effectively.

    • Sarah Ashley Baxendell

      shazz, i dont mean to be rude, but its well known that your personally took $1600 of occupation $’s to purchase yourself a laptop & then had to return it because you never refunded people for all the $ you owed them for trips to the farm.

      should you really be contributing to this conversation when it is well known you are part of the problem?

      mike check! look in the mirror before you advise others.

      • Sage

        Is it so well known that you can’t provide proof? Yes, No?

        Second query, to cure my ignorence.

        Can we afford to live in a community being killed by the million paper cuts of accusation?

        Oh wait. I can’t. And I don’t care if you can live in a dead community.

        Accusation is an authority on this planet but it isn’t the highest authority that exists.

        Whatever little complication led to a misunderstanding about a laptop I can handle, since, as you say the money was returned.

        But to be so bold as to spit venom (baseless accusation) just shows how little community actually exists. Since a real community wouldn’t tolerate accusation like I have read in the above post.

        Defending the guilty? No. Just calling for a higher standard.

        I can see the future. And in it there is the branch where you respond to this post with another accusation at me. And it branches again where you are not temp-banned for it. And a further branch where I am banned for asking for a higher standard.

        This is a very wide branch and many people find themselves climbing it.

        Few people choose to play a part in an actual community and strive for life. And even fewer get it.

        • Dallas

          Thank you Sage!!!

          As much flak as you get (sometimes even from me :) ) for jumping stack, I appreciate that you are usually trying to say something constructive. Carry on bro!

          • stephan geras

            ditto for me Sage. Except I’d replace “usually trying to say something constructive” with “always saying something mind-expanding.” However, I say to you smashing down walls requires something much more subtle than swinging a sledgehammer… at times.

        • Shazz

          yo sage, yeah i did use the occupy farms money to buy a $545 laptop. i was doing org stuff for the group, including trying to cash in receipts for finance to get our books straight. i had the receipt and planned on returning it to J&R when i was done, they have a 100% money back guarentee within 2 weeks.

          but the people in the working group freaked, so i returned it early and agreed to step down as financial point person. i have a receipt for the return.

          i don’t think it’s wrong to empower people to make decisions in this movement. i took it upon myself to buy that laptop. but you have to agree to the will of your group, and so i reversed that decision.

          and now i’m coming to terms with how to work with people with whom i might not agree on their philosophy of money management. i feel that money just sitting there is unused capital going to waste. it’s a very good learning example and maybe can shed light on our situation in OWS as a whole, there’s truth on both sides.

          regarding Christine, stop flaming my every move in this org. we fucked, it’s over, go on with your life. love you girl but you’ve got to bury those axes somewhere other than in the backs of your ex’s.

          hooray for radical transparency!

      • Dallas

        Docs or it didn’t happen. This should really be applied to all of the accusations thrown around on this site and at GA, as well as receipts and other documentation of approved proposals achieving the proposed and consented objectives.

        Side note: Just because we don’t have hierarchy, there’s nothing prohibiting us from having more well-defined workflows and active project management around here.

      • Christine

        Right on Sarah!! is this true? did shazz really use OWS money for his personal gain? does accounting know about this?

        • Shazz

          in my defense, cocaine and hookers benefit the movement, not me personally.

          i just make sure it’s quality cocaine and clean hookers ;)

  16. bopper

    If this passed, why are there still future proposal’s for spending?

    • Siobhan Ogilvie

      @bopper some have been tabled from before passage which imho isn’t really fair since they were open before the freeze, only postponed for further clarification or pushed back since emergency proposals (which weren’t always emergencies) took precident. I personally think those tabled or scheduled before the freeze deserve to be heard and if people want to block due to the freeze, then it will have to reach modified consensus to pass. At least give those scheduled prior to freeze a chance to be heard – but just my opinion.

  17. Sally Marks

    A financial freeze or any discussion made in the GA may be overturned at the next GA. So there is nothing wrong with anyone making new proposals provided they realize any funding may well be a moot point.
    Making a proposal encourages discussion and thought. Many a proposal has been made and then analyzed at a later point, either making the proposal more solid and better informed or finding massive holes resulting in it be withdrawn prior to GA submission.
    If people stop making proposals simply because of the freeze, that leads me to believe all they wanted was money, thereby making the freeze a good thing.

    • bopper

      This makes no sense. So a “spending freeze” (which by the way I don’t agree with) means “you must freeze spending until someone comes along and asks for spending”.

      Also, it apparently means “go to spokes for spending”.
      and also it apparently means – freeze spending and then go ahead and ignore the fact that we froze it and just
      go about your business.

      huh.

      • Dallas

        The point is to freeze until somoene else can get consent to unfreeze. If one has to first get the freeze repealed in order to fund “project ABC”, thus having to get previous consent to even have funding considered at all, one hopes it’d be significantly more challenging to use malicious social engineering to get “Occupy my weekend trip to Bermuda” passed. On the other hand, if one of us comes up with cold fusion and needs a couple of grand to build the working demo, we should *always* have the option to say that any other proposal is important enough to consent to a repeal AND fund a proposal that has clear value (and defined streams for ROI where applicable)

  18. Chris O'Donnell

    Quick POI:
    GA has one power over SC. This is to abolish SC, giving one week notice. It cannot tell SC how to spend money, or whether they can spend money. Essentially what I’m saying is that this budget freeze affects only the GA, not the SC.

    • drew

      I was always under the impression that the SC took it’s orders from the GA. Anything in the GA would automatically pass down to the SC. Perhaps that isn’t clear or isn’t the case…

      • Shazz

        naw,. from what i’ve been hearing spokes and GA are separate entities. so yes to Chris, all Ga can do re: spokes is try to abolish it with one week’s notice.

        I just got a call from one of the churches that houses occupiers. apparently someone stole a high value item last night and as of now this church isn’t going to let peoples stay there tonight. if true, this will affect 100 occupiers. and now they might not have the funds available to secure another location in such short time.

        i’m not sure the exact details, just that people need to hit the phones or do what they can to help find alternative housing options. this is part of what i was worried about re: the proposal. i’m staying with a friend right now, and the people who passed the proposal i’m pretty sure aren’t staying in the churches.

        but now real people who were depending on OWS for staying off the streets of OWS might be out of luck tonight :(

        if you have any housing leads for a large number of occupiers, message me or get in contact with the housing working group. maybe the church will still change it’s mind, it would be a bad day to turn people out on the street. but i wasn’t there last night and don’t know the gravity of the situation. money or no money, we should all be trying to help each other make it through the winter. i can’t put 100 people up where i’m staying right now, but i have a phone and internet and am going to try and do some outreach right now…

        • Siobhan Ogilvie

          I don’t know if it will help, but Newark really wants OWS to come stay at their occupy. Maybe this would be the time to check it out. Due to the cold, I’m sure the number of heated tents aren’t enough for 100, but it probably wouldn’t hurt to reach out and see what they can do. They actually want OWSNYC people to come and stay. Here is the site http://www.occupynewark.org/

          I’m sorry to hear that happened. An example how it just takes one person to blow it up for all :(

          • sumumba

            or a GROUP of folks…i REALLY hate to see what’s happening…i just left the HOMELESS SHELTER to stay with folks from OCCUPY BROOKLYN who im now helping with ACTIONS for j20-j21…..it’s IMPORTANT that we the HOMELESS not only be the BEST of ‘neighbors’ but we also CONTRIBUTE to this movement if we wish to use it’s resources!

            This is a MOVEMENT not a HOMELESS SHELTER or program or Social Service Agency! If we need housing we oughta at least abide by our GOOD NEIGHBOR POLICY when its offered and STOP using the ‘im marginalized’ or a ‘real’ Occupier status to justify NOT being one….

            as someone who’s actually STILL homeless and a person of color…i feel im within my right to speak this TRUTH ijs

          • Monica McLaughlin

            @sio99, We just gave them $10,000 to buy tents. There should be no tent shortage except to the extent that they have not yet been purchased.

          • Siobhan Ogilvie

            I think that was what I read – they haven’t purchased all of what is needed. I just didn’t want those thrown out of the shelter through no fault of their own to be without shelter tonight and would love to see Newark grow too! As we know, a crowd attracts a crowd! And it wouldn’t kill me to see their governor to get all hot and nervous too!

    • Sean McKeown

      Which is why, hopefully, the first thing on the Spokes Council agenda tonight will be ratifying this spending freeze proposal in whole, the second thing will be the Housing budget that was promised would still be allowed during friendly amendments of this proposal in the park on Saturday, and the third thing will be the line-item look at OWS spending at present to begin the work of figuring out what’s spending we can get behind and what is not.

      I understand Facilitation is nervous about both sides of this issue, but there really is only one valid step forward… at least only one valid step forward that does not immediately find itself followed by a call to dissolve the Spokes Council. Note, if you will, the individual who seemed to be most in favor of this proposal… despite the fact that her Working Group would undoubtedly be affected and almost certainly dissolved under the 1/20 WG restructuring. Said individual has been rallying for the dissolution of the Spokes Council for even longer than the Spokes Council has existed, and may be using this as yet another tactic to force division and thus dissolution.

      This was approved by the people present, which was still 50 or so at that late hour because a LOT of people stubbornly waited through the cold for this as the most important agenda item of the night, because it was important that the rush to the bottom of the trough be interrupted and a way to cooperatively, rather than competitively, allocate resources to worthwhile projects that benefit and grow the Movement seemed the best way to move forward with a blank slate. People from all sorts of Working Groups were in favor of this, even Sage who knew that voting in favor of this effectively dissolved his Working Group, because it was the right thing to do for the movement as a whole, even if it made access to funds for some perfectly legitimate and under-served working groups like Arts and Culture or even the Knitting folks even harder than it already was.

      Instead of arguing over whether it was legitimate, had a quorum, or silenced voices, why not argue over whether it was a good idea and why? And what to do next?

      • sumumba

        I think the spending freeze in general was a GREAT idea..but as a OUTREACH person our ability to make copies is now affected….im also interested in this time of ‘spending freeze’ what is the effort to RAISE funds for OWS and I have no issue with different groups raising funds for their own projects…im hoping that was in the spirit of this ‘freeze’

        • Siobhan Ogilvie

          Sumumba – I have access to a gorgeous copier on Wednesdays if I can help. Let me know and I would be happy to do some on Wednesdays for outreach

        • Sean McKeown

          I have access to a copier at work as well – it’s not ideal, but I can make a hundred or two hundred copies every few days without it being questioned.

      • bopper

        line item look by who? by you?

        like I said before, this is just crazy

        “A “spending freeze” (which by the way I don’t agree with) means “you must freeze spending until someone comes along and asks for spending”.

        Also, it apparently means “go to spokes for spending”.

        and also it apparently means – freeze spending and then go ahead and ignore the fact that we froze it and just go about your business.”

        • Sean McKeown

          Presumably by the Spokes Council as a whole, with Accounting bringing the books. And also at other meetings, preferably indoors, at 60 Wall Street – all sorts of people should be involved, in Working Groups and out of them, so the more we discuss where we are at and where we’re going, the better off we’ll all be.

          I have taken a four-month course in accounting, and know “GAAP” stands for Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, but was happy to stuff down the memory-hole any further recollection of what these incredibly boring “principles” were when I graduated college. I’m about the last person who should be balancing the books, which is why I’m not part of Accounting and make no pretensions about wanting to be.

          I don’t think we should be going to Spokes for spending, and in fact intend to make sure that it’s on tonight’s agenda for the Spokes to ratify the spending freeze in full with all friendly amendments from the GA on Saturday as a matter of principle, rather than trip on its own feet by drawing a divide between Spokes and GA simply because someone might find it expedient. The freeze that was called for was called for the next two weeks only, and we’ll all survive because no one will be thrown out to live in the cold in the meantime, and all the events we’ve been organizing have either already found their budget and been approved, have enough time to seek an outside budget besides GA funds, or require no budget at all.

          No one thinks this will be business as usual; business as usual was pulling all funds out of the general pool, and spending frivolously on things we don’t really need without us sitting to really evaluate what we *do* need.

      • Dallas

        Just a PoI because this comes up a lot since the temps have dropped below ~40F at night: The reason we don’t have quorum requirements is because no proposal has been written in a way that allowed the GA to reach consensus. The first one as some of you may recall, was Trish’s proposal to set quorum at 100…. and she absolutely would not budge from 100 despite all attempts to explain that her number was fresh off the top of her head (to use the family-friendly term ;) ) and probably a rather high requirement for outdoor GA’s in the winter months..

        Propose it again with some basis in the number of people currently participating in GA, and you will probably get it passed. JMHO. IIRC Austin and Boston didn’t have much difficulty getting quorum set at 30… seems reasonable to me.

      • Strong Women Rules Working Group: Organizations, Groups and Members

        Sean you hypocrite 2face, I stand by the freeze because it was the right things to do for the movement if we want to last till summer. Strong Women Rules Working Group new we would be affects but we put all selfishness aside for the great good/great caused….This movement is not about you nor any working group, this movement is about the people the 99% remember that next time before you make any statement about Strong Women Rules Working Group.

        • Dallas

          Just FYI Nan, know that Sean isn’t speaking or acting out of selfishness at all, he just was willing to take point on some ideas to keep our GAs effective and focused and our funds going to activities and groups that are fully transparent WRT to spending and membership.

          IOW, he was the one willing to be publicly verbally abused repeatedly….you aren’t really helping your own case here. I appreciate that you do mean well for the most part, but if you find people repeatedly trying to set limits in direct reaction to your conduct, I hope you’ll also ask yourself what is best for the OWS and the Occupy movement in that case.

        • Sean McKeown

          Nan,

          I wasn’t discussing Strong Women Rules Working Group, I was discussing you. I was polite enough not to name names, because that would be rude, but the fact that you both stridently supported this AND most likely fully expected Facilitation to consider bringing financial proposals to Spokes now that spending was frozen at GA is what I am calling attention to. What I am saying should be taken as a compliment – I for one most certainly don’t underestimate your intelligence, or your connectedness within the system, or your ability to understand the system.

          Calling me a hypocrite seems to be your default, no matter what I’ve said, so I won’t bother responding; last Wednesday you called me a hypocrite when what I was actually guilty of was not hypocrisy but poor facilitation, and this time you’re calling me a hypocrite when nonetheless you appear to mean something else entirely, but I’ve not yet quite figured out what.

          We all want this movement to survive, and we all want to put selfishness aside. That latter part especially I consider important, because the effectiveness of the group as a whole and the accomplishments of the group as a whole are far more important than the effectiveness of an individual or an individual’s accomplishments, and we are designed to work within a cooperative rather than competitive framework. However, you as an individual do not seem to be terribly good at cooperating rather than competing, and I would consider it hypocritical not to call it as I see it, especially as it is so readily apparent that you have gained infamy within the Occupy Wall Street movement and the General Assembly you profess to love because you refuse to cooperate for the resources of “attention,” “recognition,” and “air time,” seeking to insert your voice before others despite process requiring others, throwing temper tantrums whenever you don’t get your way, and working to subvert every rule passed through intermediaries such as your ‘zombie blockers’ that you take as Spokes to Spokes Council for your working groups and/or caucuses.

          How’s this for comparison: last Monday, you tried to get someone to block the MLK proposal for #J15, when it seemed that failure to acquire funds *that evening* regardless of whether it was a proposal appropriate for Spokes Council or only for GA would mean losing Riverside Church for the event. Additionally, I most certainly heard your voice doing “mic checks” when the first one was officially recognized, trying to add your voice to the #J15 event despite having done none of the work to organize it. Last Monday, I made sure Spokes Council voided the funding proposal for exactly the same reasons that you blocked it – then wrote a check for $6,000 as a loan to the organizers to make sure they didn’t lose Riverside Church, and when anyone tried to tell me last night that I “made this all happen” or “that I did this,” I corrected them and explained that I didn’t do anything at all besides march in the event from Zuccotti Park to 112th and then for the vigil as well, and was content that I was not mentioned by name, brought up to be involved, or anything else. And I certainly didn’t mic check the assembly to get my voice heard, even though some felt mine should have been included for the risk I took with dollars on the line.

          Yeah, you’re right, I must be a fucking hypocrite.

        • Steve Scher

          What is the point of using words like hypocrite or two face?
          If the person it’s directed at is a hypocrite or two faced, then calling them that would have no negative effect.
          If they are not hypocrites or two faced than their feelings may be hurt, and if they feel the pain because they’re not hypocrites or two faced,then why call them something they are not.
          So using words if nt true makes no sense if not true,and using words if true has no effect on them because it is true.

          Violence comes in many forms.
          A word that sets the tone like a thrown rock striking the head can hurt.

          Words can be used like weapons employing violence in style.

          Words can be used as remedies providing comfort of soloutions.

          Nan: when you wrote Sean you hypocrite two face it is throwing a rock which distracts from the content of what you’re saying, and shifts the focus to how you are communicating your message.

          To be blunt: if you truly wish to sway people to agree with a position you believe in, distracting from your core message,and throwing words around like rocks is a recipe for failure.

          Do you or do you not wish to win your argument?
          I find it hard to believe you just get angry and blow off steam.

          • Dallas

            I want to make sure we’re all getting your last point @baysidefriend : You seem to be implying that for reasons currently known only to her, Nan is doing the rhetorical equivalent of ‘taking a dive’? Or were you getting at something different?

          • Steve Scher

            @Dallas ” Taking a dive ” if I remember earth idiom correctly can be described as being in a competition, and losing the competition on purpose.
            It is a term that can involve the exchange of money or other things of value for that act.
            If that is what you are asking me if that’s what I’m say:
            Interesting.
            I hadn’t thought of it that way.
            I suppose it’s possible, I really don’t know.

            People do self destructive or failure producing things for many reasons.

            One reason can be an unwillingness to put aside immediate emotional satisfaction to allow achieving the prize our eye may be on.

            The why of Nan’s behavior is unknown to me.

            I’ve read posts about her, and posts she’s made..
            I briefly sat next to Nan at 60 Wall street….
            I can say without hesitation or any thought of disagreement from anyone, that i do not know her.

            I’ve ever talked with her other than a brief “hello” as I asked if she would mind my sitting next to her.

            So do I think Nan is purposely doing things to purposely lose an argument?

            I have no idea.

            Is that what you mean?

        • Shazz

          i love you steve, the movement needs more philosophers.

          and i love how this spending freeze page has become a lively discussion group. how did spokes go tonight?

          and am i the only one who hears Nan’s voice in his head when reading her writing? love you too nan , <3

          ecstasy is a hell of a drug :)

          • Dallas

            Heh, totally re: Nan’s voice in my head. Even the r’s turn into w’s a la Baba Wawa.

          • Steve Scher

            @Shazz I don’t think of myself as a movement philosopher, and I don’t think the movement needs any.
            I appreciate your post you love me, and do I’d like to take advantage of that by attempting to employ a very overt form of manipulation.

            I’d appreciate it if you could take a moment to simply stop.
            That’s it.
            Now take a series of slow deep breaths…inhale……exhale…..slowly….it may help burn off any adrenalin which I suspect is in your system at times in abundance.
            Slow….slow……

            Ok….now let’s start with one point.

            Everyone is upset.
            It’s just part if existence…..
            Sure for some period of time we can be distracted…or unaware of that unde current always present to one degree or another…..

            I noticed you wrote”i don’t think i was upset, i’m just trying to voice my thoughts. this is a good discussion going and i want to contribute…..”

            Forgive my bluntness, but I don’t believe that.
            I believe you when you say it, I’m sure you believe you not upset when you write that…..but I think since most people are always upset to one degree or another….it seems unlikely you are not upset.

            Some folks like to share themselves, and mean no harm when it’s their upset part of themselves they’re sharing.

            Unfortuntely it’s like ripples on a pond.
            The water is disturbed and others respond…more ripples….l

            Soon it is hard to see who cast the first stone or even what that stone consisted of.

            So many ripples and waves…..

            Did these words cause discomfort?
            Did the words undo any serenity you might have initially felt if you did the breathing exercise ?

            Consider your words.
            While you may have a goal to bring out facts, or even feelings….what goal does it actually reach?

            It’s very easy to create mistrust , as one of our members wrote so eloquently above, but to create trust.

            To nurture as one would nurture their own family.

            I wish to cause you to stop a moment.

            Consider if the ninja in a state of restful mindfulness is better able to defend that which needs defending.

            Can you accomplish what you seek?

            And now for the sound of one hand clapping……

            :)

  19. Chris

    Metro cards should only be given to people who are verifiably in regular working groups. Working groups that post minutes on NYCGA. If we all can;t see they are legit, then they get cut off. We need a fair policy. Some people are honestly freeloading while a lot of other people are working. We need to deal with that because it fucks things up for everyone else. We are not a homeless shelter, not are we able to deal with dozens of homeless people. People donating to OWS are donating to the cause, not to renting churches for homeless people and giving them free food and free metro cards.
    Cards should not be given out to anyone unless they are doing verifiable work at OWS. Nobody deserves anything, we should earn these things through working, even if it is ows work. I have tried to obtain a metro card for three weeks now and am active in several groups. I have been spending my own money since September and so should I, as a active, working member of several groups, have to beg 25 people over three weeks just for a metro card? No, I should not. This system doesn’t work if a handful of people are gaming the system, figuring out how to consume the resources while many, many of us working are getting none. If we want to move forward as a movement we will need to confront issues like these because there is a lot of mistrust being built up around the issue of who deserves what. The only solution is to make fair policies and stick to them.

  20. Sally Marks

    I think there has to be pride in NOT TAKING. I know it is easy for me to say because I am in a warm place all the time and not everyone has their needs taken care of. I remember my first place to live on my own. It was a real crappy place but I paid the rent with money I earned, my sweat. That first night is one I’ll never forget. I was bursting with pride.
    OWS does not owe anyone anything, we owe it for the opportunity to fix things. We need to look for ways not to spend, not how to justify. Read this:
    http://www.nycga.net/2012/01/14/1142012-spending-freeze/comment-page-1/#comment-27341
    Siobhan Ogilvie hit the nail on the head as I see it. A lot of money has already been spent, lets dust off those resources and make use of them instead of taking the lazy way and just buying new.

    • Dallas

      I might add in a less judgmental vein (not saying anyone is slacking, freeloading, or being otherwise intentionally shysty), IMHO a lot of the problem with expenditures is exactly what is in this proposal… people have decent or even AWESOME one-off ideas and get consent for their budget… but there has been inadequate focus on long-term planning including a timeline/milestones/deliverables and if possible a way that this DIRECTLY inspires people to continue giving their time, effort, and money to the Occupy movement and OWS. It’s asked all the time whether proposers have looked for outside funding – maybe we should start asking where appropriate whether the proposer(s) can articulate ways in which their proposal would attract new blood and repeat donations.

  21. HoaxCouncil

    I HEARD SOME HOOKER SPENT $300 ON BATH PRODUCTS FOR HER BOYFRIEND.
    SCANDAL.

    • The Jokes Council

      You again, my ancient enemy! We must fight to the death!

      FIGHT ME RIGHT NOW!

      • HoaxCouncil

        THE HOAX COUNCIL IS THE TRUE HOAX COUNCIL.
        THE JOKES COUNCIL IS A HOAX HOAX COUNCIL.

        • The Jokes Council

          No, the hoax council is merely a hoax, sans council.
          The Jokes Council is a hoax council council, not a hoax hoax council, and thus controls your Working Group.

          I demand your $100 per diem!

          • HoaxCouncil

            I REFERRED THIS MATTER TO SPOCKS COUNCIL AND THEY SAID IT WAS HIGHLY ILLOGICAL.

          • Jackrabbit

            Despite my best attempts to remain stoic this sub-thread made me laugh. Well played my friends…well played.

  22. mouse

    There certainly are many organizations, donors, business owners, and such that might be willing to advise OWS on how to handle spending, conflicts, planing, etc.

  23. Tara

    I want to know what working groups get 100Dollars a DAY. Can anyone give me that information?
    I bust my ass for OWS on a Grassroots level, trying to fill in the little cracks that need filling. I wait for people
    to come out of jail with coffee and bagels. I bring warm clothes and blankets weekly to Charlotte’s Place.
    I house needy occupiers. I feed needy occupiers. I listen to those less fortunate. There are dozens and dozens of people like me who do this because we love the cause and the people. But when I hear about stolen laptops and defacing the church that gives our people housing, I am baffled and sickened. Housing is a WG but aside from the volunteers, what are they doing for OWS besides going to Housing meetings? Sure, there are a Occupiers who do their part, loyal as hell even to a fault, but largely they are fighting hard just to survive, and they are not equipped to take on responsibilities. I heard there is now a two week exit strategy. Does that mean they are on their own after 2 weeks or only if they screw up again? What about Mediation/Ethics? Can they get involved to lay this on the table and make sense of it all? Much Love to all of you who are thinking, praying, fighting for, debating, and having this dialogue.

    • Monica McLaughlin

      @entarage

      http://accounting.nycga.net/expenditures/
      to see expenditires for October to December — Finance (Accounting) WG stopped posting them in December.

      Here are some highligts of spending (not only daily) and please excuse errors — for some of these it is only a single month but for most it is from October to December
      2160 Accounting / Finance
      $450 Alt Currency (December only)
      $600 Archive
      $840 Arts & Culture
      $1260 Class War Camp
      Lots for Comfort
      $1130 ComHub (December only)
      $1150 Community Alliance (November only)
      $900 Deescalation (December only)
      Lots for GA
      $2,513 Herbalists !!!!!!
      Lots for Housing
      $1900 Info
      $4030 Library !!!!!
      $6,640 Medical !!!!
      $3200 Tea & Herbal !!!!!
      $3000 Town Planning
      $5800 Volunteer Services

      • Tom Gillis

        Taking costs out of context like this is really disingenuous.

        Said this in the other thread but I’ll repeat here:
        $3200 sounds totally reasonable for tea + herbs. People love their hot beverages and there were probably thousands of cups served each month, at a cost per cup way lower than buying it from Starbucks.

        Same for medical – painkillers, bandages, antiseptics, etc. Hundreds of campers, plus people getting banged up by the police routinely. For a month.

        • Dallas

          I don’t know that it’s a matter of disingenuous. Tom, you and I and many of the techies are used to seeing budgets with numbers like that. Lots of Occupiers just aren’t used to seeing zeroes everywhere and genuinely have trouble putting these numbers in context.

          • Monica McLaughlin

            @direkconek, I am comparing the $5700 spent on tea and herbs to other items and am finding the tea expenditures high. Of course, I am a coffee drinker!

            I also seriously doubt that any donor envisioned that their donation would go towards buying tea.

        • Monica McLaughlin

          @torn, the context would be the back up data — what the money was used for, who specifically it benefitted. The 2 tea and herbal WGs — have no meeting minutes posted, nothing on their forum. Accountabiltiy and transparency is the creation of context. It is a good thing.

          I personally am shocked that one of the biggest expenditures is tea and herbs. I certainly would like to hear more.

  24. Monica McLaughlin

    @entarage
    http://accounting.nycga.net/expenditures/
    to see expenditires for October to December — Finance (Accounting) WG stopped posting them in December.

    Here are some highligts of spending (not only daily) and please excuse errors — for some of these it is only a single month but for most it is from October to December
    2160 Accounting / Finance
    $450 Alt Currency (December only)
    $600 Archive
    $840 Arts & Culture
    $1260 Class War Camp
    Lots for Comfort
    $1130 ComHub (December only)
    $1150 Community Alliance (November only)
    $900 Deescalation (December only)
    Lots for GA
    $2,513 Herbalists !!!!!!
    Lots for Housing
    $1900 Info
    $4030 Library !!!!!
    $6,640 Medical !!!!
    $3200 Tea & Herbal !!!!!
    $3000 Town Planning
    $5800 Volunteer Services

  25. Sally Marks

    Monica, those amounts do not include the $100 per day allotment to each WG. I have no idea how many WG actually take the daily amount. I suspect some do not take any and on the other extreme, some WG double dip. That daily fund is for the group, not the individual. A problem has been that some WG had one person, others, 50 people.
    I have no idea if the ‘daily dole’ is still being done, I suppose it is. I know that it should decrease once the 5 person minimum WG rule is firmly established and the list finance has reflects it. I assume finance does use one list a day and checks off when a WG gets their allotment (signed for by the ‘doler’ and the ‘dolee’.

  26. Monica McLaughlin

    @sallyarks, in some cases it likely does include the $100 daily allowance. It is difficult to tell, because sometimes a WG would get $500, and since we cannot see the back up data, and since there is no GA proposal passed for that amount for that WG, I assume that they brought in 5 days worth of receipts for 5 days allowance.

  27. vets74

    As matters stand, OWS is going into semi-hibernation for the winter. What is referred to as “the homeless problem” had gone so far beyond the skills and resources of OWS that we and these homeless occupiers are both better off parting ways.

    That’s not a fight OWS can do. Same for farms and housing as long-term projects. OWS has to know its limits.

    Mental health and drug use issues are obvious in church basement environments. Meanwhile, out and around, we still have people trying to attach themselves to OWS in management roles. Several of these characters have presented repetitive behavior patterns, but in fact they have contributed little useful. Here is a typical posting from Monica McLaughlin:

    “Do you know Victoria Sobel and Pete Dutro? Can you tell them I would like to meet with them?”

    How many months does it take this person to understand that the legally responsible OWS people don’t want anything to do with her ?

    That her stream of complaints serve the interests of political enemies of the Occupy movement ?

    It’s a new complaint from her nearly every day. A pretense to providing “volunteer” accounting controls, where such controls have been carried out professionally from the first week.

    That the folks actually responsible for the OWS moneys have no interest in hiring her or having her do “volunteer work” related to money.

    That no one who presents as a perpetual complainer earns trust. It doesn’t work that way.

    The most obvious worry with a repetitive complainer is that this is planned low-level sabotage. We have seen two out-of-work lawyers show up doing the same things. Monica would have to be damn stupid not to know she’s doing damage.

    OWS has political enemies, several very very well funded.

    This is not rocket science.

    The OWS team manages the project and works well enough with the GA group. They have moved mountain, so far. Our nifty little OWS team will move ‘em again come spring.

    Now, for Monica, how’s about a souvenir tat ? Chinese characters ???

  28. Steve Scher

    what’s amazing is this proposal was passed days ago….
    yes?

  29. Shazz

    hey you guys, I just posted a forum topic on dissolving finance working group, creating a working group collective to manage their responsibilities, changing all transactions to bank deposit only to avoid handling cash and simplify things, and looking into starting a credit union in lower manhattan.

    here’s the link in case you’re interested. It’s on the finance working group page as a new forum. feedback appreciated!

    http://www.nycga.net/groups/finance/forum/topic/finance-collective-credit-union/