Tweets for Mon, 13 Feb 2012

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Hi fam! We’re starting #OWS Spokescouncil at Riverside Church. Follow here, @LibertySqGA2, @LibertySqGA3, and @LibertySqGA4. #NYCSC

Announcements: Kitchen tells us that they were contacted by someone and asked to hold off on filing their permit request for #Occupalooza.

Kitchen says the person indicated that other ppl (she said they gave the impression they meant “higher-ups”) were planning a similar event.

Kitchen: “I have to say, I found the conversation condescending,” like they would get us involved eventually but wanted to run show. #NYCSC

So, that was upsetting to her. Justin from Info tells us they consensed to split back into InfoHub and Info. #NYCSC #OWS

Town Planning tells us that the 2,3 trains are being shut down at 10pm tonight. “I recommend, for this reason, ths meeting end before then.”

Nick from OWSNYC.TV is going to be doing a teach-in here on Sunday at OTS. “If anyone’s interested, they’re welcome to join.” #NYCSC #OWS

Trish tells us the “General Assembly Working Group” will meet 2/18 at 11am-1pm to “discuss the 1% w/in #OWS.” #NYCSC #OWS

Marisa, too, is “concerned about the 1%” in #OWS. At 16 Beaver on Weds, she’ll host a convo re: sustainability & power, privilege, access.

OK, we’re moving to our first proposal, which is a continuation of Wednesday’s discussion (which did not end in consensus). #NYCSC #OWS

“Given what happened Wednesday, we tried to bring a budget proposal.” Thought spending freeze would end Tues; it won’t. #NYCSC #OWS

“That puts some of the time pressure off, and I know some of the concerns Weds were about letting this come out of concerns in the…” #NYCSC

Cont’d: “…community rather than people pushing it.” “But also, we promised you numbers: what we have, wht we’ve spent, and current wkly #s.”

“First, our $ is in Amalgamated Bank; there’s $182,xxx,” in that account.” Plus pending equals “a grand total of $192,374.69.” #NYCSC #OWS

“The bail fund is about $92k,” which means we have roughly $100k cash-on-hand.” Hopes $ will pick back up, but “I wouldn’t count on it.”

Christine tells us Accounting has just about gotten up to date with online records. “That’s sort of a victory for the movement.” #NYCSC

“Every week, we have 6 reoccurring budgets. The biggest is Kitchen; they’re allocated $10k a week. They do not usually spend $10k/wk.”

Cont’d: “Thank you, Kitchen. They usually spend between $4-6k a week.” Street Medics get $1100/wk, the Medical Clinic gets $1050/wk.” #NYCSC

Cont’d: “We consensed in this body on 4 wks of Metrocards at $4080/wk.” One more after this week, then it expires. #NYCSC #OWS

Cont’d: “There’s a $2k/week Outreach printing budget, & Facilitation roughly gets $450/week for space for SC; they haven’t been using all.”

“So, right now, we’ve got 5 or 6 weeks” of money at current outflow, “and that’s with the spending freeze.” #NYCSC #OWS

Christine: “And a reportback: Accounting is looking into bookkeepers.” “We understand we’re amateurs; we’re looking for professional help.”

Ravi: “The proposal we brought Weds; there were 2 parts. The first was baseline-type things we thought were important to frame discussion.”

Cont’d: “and the second wasn’t a budget itself, but it was something a budget process might look like.” Wanted buy-in for process from us.

Cont’d: “One of the standards we should be measuring is, for instance, the idea that anything we spend $ on must make clear contribution…”

Cont’d: “…to our movement’s actions and goals.” People last week were confused about which WGs fit into that. #NYCSC #OWS

OK, so we’re going to take stack for an open discussion a la this proposal: http://t.co/q4KSSHBg #NYCSC #OWS

In Spokescouncil, working groups confer, and then their spokes express the resulting dialogue or consensus to larger group. #NYCSC #OWS

Info is first up. Notes we have various groups: working groups, affinity groups, movement groups. “Whatever we do about this budget, we…”

Cont’d: “…should be sure we’re clear on what all of the groups are.” #NYCSC #OWS

Someone asks which working groups would be part of the budgeting process. Ravi answers that the InfoHub/TechOps def of WGs mostly covers it.

Ravi notes that “action and event oriented expenditures” shld go to GA. “Those can be one-offs.” Spokes’d be for reoccurring budgets. #NYCSC

Melanie, Facilitation: “Will there come a time when we’ll decide what’s “operational” and what’s not?” #NYCSC #OWS

A: “It’s a question.” [Originally, SC was for "operational" groups; distinction burred post-eviction. -Ed.] They didn’t bring original…

Cont’d: …proposal because they felt like this was one of the questions that needed conversation first. #NYCSC #OWS

Ravi suggests they wanted to affirm that *all* working groups can participate in SC (consense/not consense on budgets)…. #NYCSC #OWS

Cont’d: …but only operational groups, as defined in Spokescouncil proposal, could propose budgets. #NYCSC #OWS

Ravi also notes that currently, nobody can bring budget requests b/c of spending freeze. “Getting a budget together is the only way…” #NYCSC

Cont’d: “…to end the spending freeze.” Notes that unless GA changes rules, it retains power over “one-off movement expenses” #NYCSC #OWS

Media: “In Media, as in other groups, there are also affinity groups raising their own funds.” Wants to get better handle on that before…

Cont’d: …forming budgets. “I suggest bringing affinity groups into the conversation.” #NYCSC #OWS

Ravi agrees, says James is working on a project mapping our allies and groups. “The more info that plugs into that project, the better…”

Cont’d: “…we’ll be able to map all that out. There’s a Google form, there’s a paper form,” please consider registering your AG w/ Info.

Robert: “The third thing you brought to #SC [the ending of petty cash. -Ed] — can we put that forward for group consensus tonight?” #NYCSC

Ravi and Christine weren’t planning to, but “if people agree with that” and it wouldn’t be a lengthy discussion…. #NYCSC #OWS

Ravi notes that they feel like the conversation seemed to need more discussion when proposed on Wednesday. #NYCSC #OWS

It looks like we’re all into the “ending petty cash” proposal, so Stairs suggests we move to that proposal after this stack ends. Agreed.

Last on stack is Trish, who claims to be from the NYCGA Working Group (we’ve never seen anyone else rep that group). #NYCSC #OWS

Trish asks 1st if she can get the Accounting report in writing. (She can.) Second, “approx amnt of $ in wire transfers do we do a month?”

Trish cont’d: “And third, does the General Assembly approve these transfers?” #NYCSC #OWS

A: “First, I’m more than happy to give the information here to any working group that wants it, and it’ll be in the minutes, I imagine.”

Cont’d: “Secondly, the only wire transfers we’ve ever done have been consensed on by GA,” i.e. giving money to Occupy Oakland. #NYCSC #OWS

And that’s all on the Spreadsheet, Christine says. #NYCSC #OWS

OK, proposal: “Petty cash is awful; it’s rife with opportunities for corruption and we should never use it again. Never ever.” #NYCSC #OWS

@Alg0rhYthM [totally objective - if it's true, why wouldn't it be? we want readers to understand there is no "GA working group". -Ed.]

Trish: “What’s petty cash?” A: “It’s a random process that never really got consensed on by the GA where it was agreed that…” #NYCSC

Cont’d: “…GA didn’t need to hear proposals under $100, which somehow turned into WGs getting $100/day.” #NYCSC #OWS

CQ: “Did the GA approve of petty cash ever?” Christine will explain where it came from. “Way back in the park, it’s like, ok, emergencies..”

Cont’d: “…came up, and we handed out cash in emergencies. That got a little bit out of control, so the GA said, we need to consense on..”

Cont’d: “…anything over $100.” So ppl then extrapolated and said anything *under* $100 was discretionary. #NYCSC #OWS

Cont’d: “That was fine for awhile, and many groups used it responsibly. But once we got so many working groups, it ended up being b/w…”

Cont’d: “…$2k and $5k a day.” Hence, spending freeze; we weren’t budgeting. “Instead of relying on discretionary funds, let’s budget.”#NYCSC

“If you need discretionary cash, that’s fine, but” put it in your budget. #NYCSC #OWS

Someone: “Occupy Houston are being evicted!” Someone Point of Processes. Christine: “proposers are officially in #solidarity w/ Houston.”

OK, working groups have conferred and we’re moving onto Concerns. Trish only one on stack: “The Concern is this; when groups have…” #NYCSC

Cont’d: “…expenditures, OK, and say they had to buy some cassette tapes for a recorder — just an example — and that $ is paid…” #NYCSC

Cont’d: “…out before a receipt is brought to Finance, is that going to be refunded? It’s in minutes of the group that it was consensed on.”

A: “If it wasn’t petty cash, it wouldn’t automatically be returned, but if you spent it before budget was passed, you can say you’d…” #NYCSC

Cont’d: “…like to bring your budget for $1k/month,” but also include some money for past expenditures. #NYCSC #OWS

Trish: “Are we speaking about operating groups submitting to Spokescouncil a standing budget?” Christine answers, Trish asks her to slow.

Trish: “I can’t comprehend that fast. Are we speaking about cash or a standing budget that will be consensed on in SC for #OWS WGs?” #NYCSC

A: “Right now, we’re only speaking about ending petty cash.” Trish goes to interrupt. A: “Let me finish — you asked me a question.” #NYCSC

Trish: “OK, so we’re speaking of petty cash, which was known as $100/day for working groups.” A: “Yes.” #NYCSC #OWS

Next concern suggests we may need a special committee to approve budgets. Ravi suggests that’s exactly what #SC was made for. #NYCSC #OWS

Marisa’s amendment: “That you ask all groups to bring a projected budget, and then we’ll pass an actual budget from that.” #NYCSC #OWS

Ravi/Christine love her idea, but want to keep the proposal simple. “I think if we did that, it’d open up a whole new group of concerns.”

Anthony interrupts a back and forth: “Is it yay, or nay?” Ravi: “Nay. I mean, <3s, but nay” on that friendly amendment. #NYCSC #OWS

OK, that’s it for stack. Stairs: “Can we take a temperature check for going forward and getting consensus on this thing? “#NYCSC #OWS

Stairs: “Do we have any standasides?” One. “I don’t like the fact that you’re making working groups bring forward a budget,” spend our time.

Trish is also stand aside. “We feel WGs should have stipends, allowance, petty cash at their disposal. There are too many things…” #NYCSC

Cont’d: “…going on in the occupation right now.” “If we have to start writing and waiting it could” bog down WGs. #NYCSC #OWS

Stairs: “Any blocks?” Trish lks sound of tht better, will block. [This frm someone who's frequently loud abt financial accountability. -Ed.]

Marisa points out that Trish has spent 38 minutes speaking so far this meeting, “which has kept others from speaking.” #NYCSC #OWS

Trish: “38 minutes? No, we’ve been in Spokes for 38 mins.” Marisa: “39 minutes. Furthermore, she comes to every SC and knows process.”#NYCSC

Folks are trying to get Trish to stick with a standaside. She won’t; she’ll speak to her block. “It’s a moral, ethical, and safety…” #NYCSC

Cont’d: “…concern; these groups are out accomplishing their mission statements, they can’t be bogged down.” “Shortest distance…” #NYCSC

Cont’d: “…between 2 points is a straight line, not all this bureaucracy.” “Working groups should have fiscal autonomy.” #NYCSC #OWS

Ravi: “We feel petty cash is a serious problem; if groups feel they need help w/ budgeting” including petty cash, they’ll help. #NYCSC #OWS

Someone points out an issue seems to be that we’re removing petty cash w/o a new system. Christine: “The new system is budgets.” #NYCSC

Christine lets the guy know – it’s his first time here – that we have a spending freeze, so new system won’t kick in til budgeting anyway.

Trish removes her block, ostensibly in response to the response from proposers. “We have consensus!” And petty cash bites the dust. #NYCSC

Next proposer is Robert from Town Planning: “Spokescouncil will start at 7pm. If it doesn’t, ppl present can round up facilitators & start.”

Robert, cont’d: “And under no circumstances will Metrocards ever be distributed in the same room as Spokescouncil is in session.” #NYCSC

Robert: “And the third part, the SC will not adjourn, even momentarily, for food or for Metrocards.” [Yikes! -Ed.] #NYCSC #OWS

OK, CQs. CQ: “Are you aware a proposal about starting Spokes at 7pm” was passed before and promptly ignored? #NYCSC #OWS

A: “I am aware, and part of this is to empower the group to pull facilitators from group and start on time.” #NYCSC #OWS

CQ: “Is there a minimum # of ppl? What if there were only 2 ppl?” A: “They could start, but only b/c there’s no quorum. This does not…”

Cont’d: “…preclude having a quorum.” Now conferring on FAs and concerns. #NYCSC #OWS

OK, we’re stacking up Concerns and Friendly Amendments. Think Tank: “In order to start a meeting on time, we need at least a quorum.” #NYCSC

Think Tank proposes a quorum of 7 Spokes as a friendly amendment. Robert accepts, clarifies “it’s in absence of Facilitation team.” #NYCSC

Cont’d: “If the Facilitation team shows up, it starts then.” TT: “You’re making an amendment to my amendment?” Hahah. Nvm, Robert says.

Robert accepts that without his modifications. “Let’s see where this goes.” #NYCSC #OWS

Robert wants to know how we define present. “Signed in on the list? OK. When 7 spokes are signed in, the meeting can start.” #NYCSC #OWS

Next FA was also a quorum amendment. Third was, too. Alternative Kitchen’s is the same… “the issue of quorum is a hot topic, but any…”

Cont’d: “…structure we build without quorum will be taken advantage of” by people who would abuse low attendance of a meeting. #NYCSC #OWS

Someone asks if there is any type of quorum now. “No.” FA: “So you’re making a quorum?” A: “That is correct.” #NYCSC #OWS

“So, in other words, you have to have 7 people to hear any proposals.” A: “In order to have a meeting, you need 7 ppl. Correct.”

Kitchen notes that sometimes they can’t get here until 7:30 b/c they’re distributing food. “If we have announcements, will Spokes step…”

Cont’d: “..back and let us be heard.” Robert hmms, suggests they need to choose attending to other business or attending the meeting. #NYCSC

Robert does throw a Point of Affection to Kitchen, tho. Trish’s concern: “Is this a consensus process because you have 7 Spokes? Who…”#NYCSC

Cont’d: “…are they going to confer with to get a consensus and turn back around and consense on whatever the issue is?” #NYCSC #OWS

Cont’d: “This is not the way the process is done. At 7:00, if there are 5 ppl in the room,” they can’t make a decision “b/c that’s..” #NYCSC

Cont’d: “…not a consensus.” Suggests there must be someone from Facilitation and Minutes here to have a #SC. #OWS

Robert: “You got it. We’re not waiting for the latecomers.” #NYCSC #OWS

Ravi’s POI: “My understanding is that Spokes are Spokes–” not 7 ppl, but Spokes. “So if there’s 5 ppl from Think Tank, and 3 from…”

Cont’d: “…Facilitation, that’s 2 spokes.” Wouldn’t be 7 ppl in the room, but 7 spokes. “Proposal refers to Spokes and not people.” #NYCSC

Media: “I just wanted to say, in addition to that, Facilitation has to be present, Minutes has to be present, & Livestream has to be here.”

Media cont’d: “If Livestream is here, then we know how many people are at the meeting.” Robert suggests those here can organize those roles.

Robert goes to speak to Sean, who’s facilitating. Facilitation PoPs: “You’re facilitating; you can’t be on the proposal team.” #NYCSC #OWS

Anthony: “Due to the fact that…” Sean: “He keeps asking me questions.” Anthony: “…Sean will be stepping down” from facilitating. #NYCSC #OWS

Ravi’s POI: “At Saturday’s GA, there was no livestream, and it went on just fine.” Someone corrects, says it was Spokescouncil. #NYCSC #OWS

Robert actually accepts the Livestream component. But Minutes and Facilitation “will be pulled from whoever’s present.” #NYCSC #OWS

Facilitation is next: “Our concerns are that the Metrocards should be allowed to be given our here, b/c these are voices that get…” #NYCSC

Cont’d: “…marginalized, and we’d like to have those voices here.” Same for food. “RE: 7pm, we propose a friendly amendment that we have…”

Cont’d: “…at least 10 spokes and 25 people,” and that should not include the facilitation team. #NYCSC #OWS

Cont’d: “And that it should be 7:15, giving 15 minutes leeway to ppl who get stuck on the train.” #NYCSC #OWS

Trish interrupts. Melanie confirms for Facilitation: “That’s 10 legitimate spokes, 25 ppl, plus facilitators.” #NYCSC #OWS

Robert: “This proposal is to keep Metrocard distribution outside of the room; if we’d held that line Weds at Quaker Meeting House…” #NYCSC

Cont’d :”…we might have gotten through that proposal.” It can happen outside the room, he says. Declines that amendment. #NYCSC #OWS

Melanie: “The group that’s present should consent”, re: banning stopping meeting for food or Metrocards. So, cut that part out. #NYCSC

A: “Not accepted.” Robert also declines their amendments to make it 7:15. “It can be anytime. Let’s make it 7.” Oh snap. #NYCSC #OWS

Sage has a POI, suggesting that the Metrocard line is not what slowed down Wednesday’s spokes meeting. Robert: “I’ll stick to my story.”

Robert offers Facilitation “a 6:45 starting time, with delay until 7pm” max. He also declines the 10 spokes/20 ppl: “We’ve only actually…”

Cont’d: “..told the group that we’d start at a specific time once,” and “everybody magically showed up.” “This proposal is to eliminate…”

Cont’d: “…that lax meeting policy” and hold us to 7pm starting time. #NYCSC #OWS

Next Concern questions whether 7 spokes is a high enough percentage to constitute quorum. “Usually orgs need 50% present for quorum.” #NYCSC

Cont’d: “So, what’s the number of possible working groups?” Ravi says there are about 100. So, FA is to make it 25. #NYCSC #OWS

Robert: “We don’t have 25 now.” Speaker suggests that we should ask why that number is so awry. #NYCSC #OWS

DA’s concerns: “My primary concern with this proposal is that we could have spent this time talking about the grievance council…” #NYCSC

Cont’d: “…like Safer Spaces suggested, and instead we’ve spent over 30 minutes catering to wants and needs of this guy here.” #NYCSC #OWS

Cont’d: “Also, the point of friendly amendments is to prevent blocking, so as you keep denying, ppl are going to block.” #NYCSC #OWS

Cont’d: “Also, the way that you are responding to ppl in this room is condescending,” “playing to patriarchal roles” he’s adopting. #NYCSC

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