NYC Operational Spokes Council 1/13/2012 (Summary)

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Spokes Council Minutes.


Date/Time: 1/13/2012 / 7:00pm

Location: Park West Presbyterian Church

Facilitators: Jason, Zoe



On Saturday the 28th, all environmentally minded groups with get together in one space.  We will limit our presentations to 3 to 5 minutes and have a question answer session afterwards.  It will be at 2:00 or 3:00 pm, location TBA.  An affinity group out of sustainability will be working to build a farm in Bushwick.  Please send an email if you would like to volunteer.  Lastly: The National Lawyers Guild won a profound victory by getting barriers taken down from the park.  Sustainability has decided to have working group meetings on Wednesdays at 5:30 at Zuccotti Park.  We invite you all to think of the first time you came to Zuccotti Park.  We are still standing strong.  We would like you all to consider (and this isn’t a proposal) moving your working group meetings to Zuccotti Park.  If we all had our meetings there, we would be collectively occupying.  The public would be able to reengage with us.  We can’t put up tents, but they can’t take our voices.  I ask you all to consider bringing working group meetings to Zuccotti Park.

* Where Workers are Owners

We are an affinity group committed to helping ows’ers find self-employment.  I myself am a pianist by profession.  I have a lot of experience how to work in a group context and become self-employed.  We have the idea that the 1% doesn’t like this, they don’t like when people get self-employed.  I’m not going to go begging anyone for jobs, I create work.  Specifically this is a report back: we’re getting work for people who know how to design websites, and also for people who know how to give music lessons.  I would like to extend that to any artist.  If you’re able to give lessons in your artistic discipline, there are people who want to study that.  We have work for website designers and musicians and artists.  This is my personal conviction.  We have an office set up legally so we can work on our own.  We want to boycott the 1%.  If you are interested in this, if you are involved in an artistic discipline, contact me.  Or if you know an artist who’s broke and needs help, I’ll do everything I can.   Thank you.  347 399 5305


We’re working on a proposal that has to do with eliminating some GA’s and spokes councils so that we don’t get so burned out as movement.  We aren’t having as many proposals so we need to cut down on the number of meetings.  Anyone who wants to get involved writing the proposal, come join us.  We meet Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4 pm at 60 Wall street.

*Melina/Outreach and Corporate personhood subgroup:

We have two events coming up next Saturday and Friday.  The events center around the citizens united supreme court ruling which will have its two year anniversary soon.  We are going to have a conversation with some well-rounded public figures, as well as high school students.  On Saturday: Occupy the Corporations.  We’re going to have a walking tour and talk about repeat offenders… That’s going to be about 12:30-3:30 on Saturday and we’d love for you all to join in.


Legal could really use some help.  While we aren’t the layers and we aren’t directly involved with labor representation of the movement, there’s a lot we can do.  And we could use more input.  If you want to work on legislation, or do anti-oppression work, please come to 6:30 meetings at 60 Wall st.  As an offshoot of legal, we’re working on an anti-oppression committee.  This would try to combat the political oppression that the occupy movement in a localized manner is facing. We hope to expand this to a national level, and even international.  If you’re interested in that, please come speak to me after Spokes.


We are just getting started on our meetings at West Park Church.  This is an announcement: we are still working on our showers and some other things we need.  We’re still struggling with some things and I’m going to try to approach that with a proposal.  The pastor here and the community around here is really interested in us using the space.  Since somebody is still proposing not using the space for a night off here or there, I’m going to ask the room: if you get a chance to look for some activist speakers who would like to come to the church so we can promote the idea that we get as many people as we can, it seems like we’ve been taking a lot of shots lately.  Some good rallies, good conversations, good times, helping us get rallied up, like a rally, might be a good thing.  We might learn a thing or two as well.  If you want to get online and invite some people to come the space, please do.  We could probably seat 600 or 700 people.  So if we could get a vote passed on that, that’d be great.

* Phoebe/OWS works:

As some of you know, there was an anonymous complaint from the city that there was a mini Zuccotti Park forming at the office and that there were tents, which is not true.  There’s a meeting tomorrow night at 1 pm at 60 wall street to discuss this.  If you want to know more, come see me or come to the meeting.  Any of you who were penned in outside of the Obama fundraiser, there’s a class action suit happening.  A couple lawyers who work with NLG are trying to find anybody who was penned in.  We are also doing an occupy town square.  We need a place to come together to speak out about injustice.  We want to have a community together with teach-ins, arts and culture, it was inspired by d17 and we were thinking we’d have it move from place to place.  First one is January the 19th at 6:00 pm at 60 wall street.  Janurary 29th from 11 am to 5 am is the first Town Hall meeting.


We have a printing budget.  If you are printing, just email print @  The only requirement is you have an nycga email address.  Because we were using the office as our drop off pick up point, there are some prints right now that I don’t have access to, but I’m willing to work with people to get them printing they need.

*Patrick/Vision and goals

I’d like to take a couple minutes to read something: the work in progress vision statement.  What follows is the living document that will be revised.   [HE READS VISION STATEMENT]  We meet Wednesdays and Thursdays at 5:30 and Sundays at noon.  At the atrium.  This is a consensed proposal.  We’re going to ask the GA when they feel it is good enough.  We’ve had a lot of arguments about when to end this.



General Assembly en Español proposal, Facilitation Spokes Council budget proposal, Housing Metrocard proposal

*General Assembly en Español proposal:

We’ve been passing a resolution in approving some funds.  We’ve been conducting a radio program for a month and half already.  It runs for two hours every Saturday in Spanish at 89.3 FM.  We’ve been asking the Spanish assembly for funds.  The Spanish assembly approved the money but collecting is another thing.  So far, for the month and half we’ve put the money up ourselves.  I’ve got the minutes of the last resolution of January the 8th.  I just wanted to take a few seconds to let everybody know what the radio programs is all about.  The radio program runs for two hours every Saturday from 7 to 9 pm.  Our mission is to empower our communities, to present laws at the state and federal level, where the communities are involved first.  First we would like to get our council member friends to pass a bill that is submitted to the council to become law to be read over the radio and TV stations live.  This way, our public will know what’s in that bill before it’s approved.  This way the people will know exactly what’s going on and will be taking part in the decision-making.  This way the community will have an impact.  The other thing is that we specifically tell the Spanish assembly that the radio program belongs to OWS en Español and the community, so those are the two bodies the program will respond to, and the OWS movement as a whole.  We want to involve the communities and know what’s going on every day.  The resolution for $750 was approved and I was told to get it at 50 wall street, I went there and they said no, it has to be done at this Spokes Council.  Then the facilitator wrote up a proposal and said come to SC tonight and have this body approve it.  We want to do not only radio, but also incorporate a TV station.  The motion is on the floor.


Gilbert/Where Workers Are Owners:

By your explanation of what’s going, it was unclear, so I’d ask that in the future when you bring proposals, you bring more people to the group to help you clarify.

Response: At the last minute they told me to come to the SC.  I’m not the one who’s doing the Finance so they told me to come here and present the resolution.  I accept that amendment.


We’ve been working for a little while on a system that would allow everyone to do radio shows.  We really like beta testing and giving groups and individuals the chance to do something.  We are on the path to getting there.  My friendly amendment is that when we have such facilities available, you consider using them.

Response: Accepted

Sustainability: My friendly amendment is about sustainability.  What will sustain this moving forward?  Is there a plan for that? If you come again to fill this, we’d like if you have more of an idea to keep this going.  Cause we all want this to keep going.

Response: This afternoon the group met and one thing we talked about is the radio program should become independent, sustainable, and how each member of the legislature group will make a list of all resources.  For example, my father is an electrician, talk to him, etc.  So if you’re an electrician, you put your name on a list and this way each individual of the radio program and the legislative group will have a list of 10-20 people.  Each of the members of the radio program which is about seven, do all the lists of my personal resources.

Sustainability: To restate the amendment: if you come again to the SC asking for funding, and this would be presented if you come back.

Response: Accepted

F: We’re going to ask the proposer to restate the proposal.

General Assembly en Español: The resolution is for this body to approve the $750 to cover two Saturdays for 89.3 FM.  The three amendments: we will come more prepared in the future if we need any more money, we will use the OWS radio resources when they are available, and we will have a sustainability pan to prepare leaflets…

Sustainability: No not leaflets, numbers, income sources, stuff like that.

General Assembly en Español: Yes.

F: We would like to ask spokes: are there any stand asides?


F: Are there any blocks?


F: We have reached consensus!

*Facilitation Spokes Council Budget proposal:

We’ve had some SC’s in this space.  These spaces charge us money.  They’re giving us a lot of space for very cheap.  We pay $150/night for this space and $150 a night at Brecht Forum.  We’re already behind six nights.  It’s either 6 including tonight or not including tonight, plus one at Brecht Forum, which makes $1000 cause it’s $900 plus $100.  The second part of the proposal: we’d like to get $450 a week going forward to cover 3 spokes councils a week.  If we find a cheaper place and go under, we’ll give the money back to the general fund.


Translation: We’d like to see a concerted effort from Facilitation to advertise. Let us know the confirmed location at least one day in advance, online, barring any major catastrophe.

Response: Yes that’s a role I’ve taken on and I just did a couple days ago.  I haven’t done a great job but yes, I’m going to work on that.  For anyone who’s no ton the communication hub text blasts, talk to me.

NYCGA Council: Facilitation and housing get together and network on one set amount for the meetings that they hope to hold here and the amount that housing is paying for utilities and expenditures rather than keep these separate.  Get together, have one amount presented.

Response: By the time I started working on this proposal, housing had already gotten money passed.  I am in communication with housing though.

NYCGA Council: Housing has a proposal to be presented to spokes and so it’s raring to go, and there’s no reason why that proposal cannot be made a part of the proposal on the table now.

Facilitation: Could housing confirm what’s happening?

Housing: We had a conversation with the pastor about our residential community and we had talked about coming up with a  communal price.  Housing feels we have been donated this space each night here from 9 am on.  We thought of having a cheaper rent so that people could be here earlier to open up.  I don’t know that there was a timing issue.  Currently housing has a proposal on Monday to ask for an additional 2 weeks in this space.  Our current agreement only goes till tonight.

Facilitation: First off, I’m happy to continue negotiations with the pastor.  Remember $450 is a cap.  I think that the philosophical issues facing housing are different from finding space for SC.  There are a lot of ideas in the community about this.  My impulse is that they should be separate.  I feel like the community should decide whether they should be separate.

PoP: How about we do the reimbursement part first and the $450 would be a separate proposal?

F: That’s not a point of process.


Minutes: Our friendly amendment is to be more concerned with management of these funds and actually pay our rent on time.  Just to be mindful of OWS and our reputation and people already think we’re lazy hippies, so we don’t want them to think we’re lazy hippies who don’t pay our rent on time.

Facilitation: Yes, accepted, that’s why I’d like to get a week ahead rather than come back when we’re behind.

Restricted Diet: my proposal is twofold: one is that there be something in the writing of this proposal that states you have to sit down with housing and the pastor, that you are not allowed any excuse out of that.  The reason why is because SC is supposed to handle the logistical problems of the occupancy.  The people who are living here are the movement.  Just to keep things unified as a community.  The second: if you maintain an imaginary or culturally relevant touchstone of the camp in Zuccotti Park, the GA and the occupation are also unified so that is to say that the GA takes place within occupy wall street.  So allocating money for the comfort of SC without doing so for the comfort of GA is not right.  I don’t care what bureaucratic structures are in place, that is not ok.  We should look into what funds we can allocate for GA to find an ongoing alternate location because that ongoing alternate location is going to need funding just like this one needs funding.

Response: I’m here to get funding for spokes.  I can’t personally agree to take all that on.  If there are people in this room to help take all that on, that’d be great.

Point of information: the SC proposal has to be inside according to the proposal.  There’s nothing that says the GA has to be inside.


Point of information: Spokes Council cannot pass a proposal to take GA inside.  GA must decide that.

Visions and goals: If we could ask the pastor at this location that if they need some reconstruction, maybe we could have volunteers do some services in lieu of some of the money.

Response: Housing is already doing that.

Point of information/Housing: Being part of the west park working group, we can’t go to the pastor and ask to form a team doing some of the work instead of paying the money.  I wouldn’t put spokes or OWS in the position of forming a team at this point.

NYCGA Council: I’m glad to hear that facilitation is still interested in GA building.  I had a subgroup in facilitation to try to do this and not one person in facilitation was at these meetings.  We are already in the hold as far as payment to past locals, am I right?  And you want to advance of $450 for upcoming meetings?  My FA is that we authorize whatever we’re in the hold for, and for future meeting budgets, you sit down with housing and come to one sum amount, one check, one understanding.  After all, working groups are supposed to work together.  Why have two different understandings?

Point of information: Facilitation did send an email.  Housing would still request a sit down if we got the $450 a week.

Sustainability: My friendly amendment is that we pay for the reimbursement and then it be a budget week by week, with the first week approved with the commitment that housing and you work out a plan that works out these costs.  This conversation deserves more space to be able to worked out.  I’d say come back next week with next week’s budget and a report back with what has been figure out.

My concept was to have a budget cap, but if this works better, I’d be ok with that.


Facilitation: Ok so I’ve conferred with my group.  Some people want us to merge with housing, others do not.  So what I’m proposing is the $1450 to pay for what we already owe, and then someone will come back next week and confer with housing.  In a week’s time, I don’t know what will happen, but there will be another proposal.

Facilitation: Please email me at if you have any ideas about where to have SC.  I’m going to try to find outside sources so hopefully I won’t even need to come back.

F: Could you restate your proposal with friendly amendments?

Facilitation: The proposal is for $1000 to pay for back payments, and $450 for tonight, Monday and Wednesday.  And facilitation will be open to any ideas about spaces for less money.  And we’ll look for outside funding.

F: Are there any stand asides?


F: Are there any blocks?


NYCGA Council: We feel that facilitation should network with housing on that $450 to forward.  Not make that $450 a part of this proposal.

Facilitaiton: So right now we owe them $900.  I don’t want to drop back into debt, I want to be on the level and paying them.  If this passes now, by the time we cut the check on Monday, we’ll need to pay more and we’ll be behind again.  I’m just doing this amount so that by the time we have a new proposal together and I have talked to housing, and make sure we’ve done our homework on this, we won’t be behind on payments.

NYCGA Council: Housing is also behind on payments so we could be behind together.

Facilitation: I’ve already dropped one piece of the proposal to make this work.  I was going to ask for every week, but I dropped that.  $450 for one week, plus the money we owe.  That’s what I’m asking for.


Facilitation: I’m going to ask for the $450/week cause I’m getting the block anyway.


F: Will the proposer restate the proposal?

Facilitation: $1000 plus $450 a week going forward.

F: Are there any stand asides to this new amended proposal?

F: Are there any blocks?


F: The proposers has voiced that he’d like to move to modified consensus.

PoP: A block is intended to state an ethical, moral or safety concern about this movement.  If that block goes through, it’d be a safety concern because we might lose this space.  So I think that block is a safety concern.


F: We have a restatement real quick and then mod consensus.

Facilitation: If you don’t like what’s happening in the room, the worst you can do is start making noise.  I’m still planning to talk to housing and negotiate in concert with housing with the pastor.  So if I can get a better price, I will.  I’m still committed to all that stuff.

F: If you are against this proposal, please raise your sign.

F: I count one.

F: if you are for this proposal, please raise your sign.

F: I count 22.  This proposal passes.


F: We have one last proposal and that’s from housing.

*Housing Metrocard proposal:

[NOTE FROM MINUTES GROUP: The outcome of this final proposal is in dispute, so we are holding off on posting the minutes from this discussion until the issue is resolved.]

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