NYC Operational Spokes Council 2/8/2012 (Minutes)

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NYC OPERATIONAL SPOKES COUNCIL DAY 445

Spokes Sign-In Sheet

Audio Recording

Facilitation: Sage, Jeff.

Stack: Frankie

Minutes: David Buccola, and Chepe

Working Group Report Backs: Archives, SIS, Direct Action (9:00), Housing, Class War, Joseph.

Proposal: Budget Proposal from Accounting and three other working groups failed to pass modified consensus with 19 yays and 3 nays.

Lulu from Media WG Dave and Chiara  filming

#OccupyWallStreet Archives- Maybe we can make a collection of books to send to Ellis in Rikers. They have to be paperback and no more than four at a time.

Class War Camp- We’re going to do an action in solidarity for our comrades in Europe. A Class War Camp chjapter might begin in the Bay Area.

Joseph- I was in a similar situation in court. Basically, they’re saying that they’re going to review whether they’re going to extradite him-

This is not an announcement. It might be details of his case.

Four groups collaborating on the finance proposal. This is a budget proposal in two parts. Now we’re going to try to pass the less controversial parts. And we will begin discussing the parts that where we formally plan the budget. We propose that all of the groups that are considered functioning according to the comshub proposal are parts of the Spokescouncil. We propose that the Spokes be the space to discuss and decide on WG spending. We’d like the Spokes to consense that these groups function through budgets rather than thru petty cash, and that petty cash be eliminated for all groups. [See proposal on nycga.net] We will continue having this discussion at 60 Wall St with various WGs. On Monday we will come back with more input and charts. We think we should have collective decision making about what we need money for and what we should stop spending money on.

[2 minutes to confer with Spokes]

Facilitation- What is the reason behind abolishing petty cash?

Accounting- On avg, when we had petty cash, we were spending $3k to 5k, most of it was going to personal food and transit. But people spent it on food and transit even though we spend money for movement food thru kitchen. We’re low on funds. We have significantly less than $200k in the bank, and we cannot keep spending money as we were. Many groups think we need to start budgeting for ourselves. Having discretionary funding is fine, but looking at what this money was spent on in the nycga accounting section of the website, it was not good. Also, as May Day rolls around, we’ll need money.

ARAllies- What is the point of the second part? To check what we are spending money on? And if we cant use petty cash, will there be a reevaluation of the transit cards?

Yes and yes, because all budgets will be re evaluated.

Town Planning- Was petty cash a ga decision?

Accounting- No, it was an accounting decision that was never consensed upon in the ga.

Minutes- Did this come out of the financial assemblies or is this a separate group?

Accounting Ravi- Partly, because the financial assemblies were poorly attended. It was inspired by some of the ideas.

WOWS caucus- What are the four groups sponsoring this proposal?

Accounting, Info, Works, Sustainability. Other groups participated in the discussion.

Tech Info- What was going to happen to the medic budget?

The job of Spokes is to discuss what groups are getting funding for and whether this makes sense. So when , for example, people ask why kitchen is getting all this money, Kitchen can come back and explain their budget to the entire body, rather than just to accounting.

Outreach- What about for travel of Housing? How do we get money that is owed to us?

Accounting Ravi- Yes, it just means you have to bring it to Spokes. Email accounting@nycga.net if you have receipts or money that is needed back, especially now that we dont have an office.

Sustainability- passes

Farms- What is empowering Spokes to use GA money without accountability to the GA?

Accounting- The Spokes was created of the GA, and it was supposed to be a place where boring decisions were made. We have a problem with GA funds being spent by a non-democratic, private body-

Can we hold this until concerns?

Class War Camp- The spokescouncil and the GA are made up of much of the same people and are both part of this movement. Also, Fuck Monsanto!

Crowd responds- Fuck Monsanto!

[Check with Spokes] [Timecheck: 8:35]

Bless- Oy!

Minutes- We think that some of this needs to be clarified. I am confused why it doesnt say operational WGs.

Accounting- [reiteration, with jab at Minutes] We want all kinds of groups to get budgets, but operational budgets are the only ones that get recurring budgets. But all groups have right to question the recurring budget in the operational budget.

Sage- You know that I know that eating is important, but a quick announcement. No eating on this floor inside or outside of this room. Also, this is considered a holy space, and so we have been requested to reduce our profane language.

Crowd- Forget Monsanto!

WOWS- Our concern probably goes with part 4, so we can wait until Monday.

Think Tank- 2 concerns: One is the ratification process? So, does GA have to ratify these budgets? The other concern is is it the best use of time for Spokes to decide each budget?

Accounting- Our understanding meant that a financial assembly would be creating a budget in order to end the spending freeze as per the original spending freeze proposal. And that that budget would have to be brought to the GA. Since any WG can come here, we think the Spokes is a good space to decide each budget.

Think Tank- Another thing is how about line-item vetoes?

Accounting- That can be discussed on Monday.

Facilitator Sage- We can continue the discussions, but please keep them concise.

Class War Camp- We feel that if we dont take this first step at planning, then the spending freeze would be a waste because then everything would just go back to normal.

Facilitation- We have a straightforward concern about getting the word out about this.

Accounting- It’s online, and I’ll announce it at Town Square, GA and other venues.

Tech- We are not comfortable with the Spokes being the sole venue to discuss recurring budgets.

Accounting- This has already been how things worked. There will need to be a separate discussion to bring up in the GA. But we feel that only operational WGs that get recurring budgets. When the spending freeze lifts, this will have laid the groundwork for how we spend money.

Sustainability- Its our understanding that groups that are not operational can petition to become operational, and we say that as an operational working group.

Accounting- Part of the proposal is to restart that process of figuring out which ones are operational.

Jeff- I just wanted to get back on stack. blah blah blah blah I want to know if what you’re discussing with the second line is part of what we’d be deciding on tonight?

Accounting- We want to know if we want to agree to put an amendment in that officially creates a reporting structure [in Spokescouncil]. We’d like to remind people in Minutes that that is part of the second line.

[Break out group about second line] [Time Check 9:08pm]

Return [Time Check: 9:24]

Sage: It’s snowing outside. [twinkles]

Sage: If you can hear me clap once. [one clap] Okay, that’s enough. [people clap twice]

Accounting- There are two directions we could go. One big concern in this breakout was about this second line. “One of the purposes of SC is to be the sole venue to decide… recurring budgets.” We could leave this and then have the conversation for a half hour and see if we can consense. We are considering changing that line to “One of the purposes of SC is as a body in which the recurring budgets of Working Groups are formed, checked and then reported back to the community.” [temp check of spokes unanimously positive]

Tech- Our concern was answered.

One stand aside from FunHub- We don’t care about the budget

WOWS Blocks

WOWS- We believe that breaking this into two different discussions is the wrong thing to do. We dont think rules should be generated and then we should discuss it. We dont think there is any urgency and that we should wait until Monday. We think that we’re putting the cart before the horse. We think we need discussion than decision, and this feels like decision and then discussion.

Accounting- We would hate to see this go to modified, but we feel that these three things should be done first because sometimes groundwork needs to be laid so we frame the conversation rather than having a muddy discussion later on. So if we didnt separate it, theres virtually no chance this would pass right now. I see your concern, but I feel like it’s a tactical difference. The financial assembly was sposed to be 4 hours every saturday, but nobody showed up.

[Break out] [Ends at 9:44pm]

WOWS- Block still stands. Our position is that the discussion should happen before the decision, and we should wait until Monday.

3 Nays and 19 Yays Defeated in Modified Consensus

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