Spokes Council Budget Drafting
Working Group: Town Planning
Point of Contact: Sean McKeown (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Proposed Discussion Date: 3/12/12
Occupy works best when we cooperate rather than compete for resources. We cannot have a horizontal movement moving forward purposefully to action if those who do not have access to basic needs operate on a different level than those with easy access to resources. However, we also do not require money to accomplish this on an individual basis.
By focusing on maximizing the impact of our resources and only relying on the crutch of ”money” when it can do something no other resource we have access to can, our Occupation can move forward without having to concern itself over money. Many would like nothing better than to light it on fire, but that’s not what we were given it for. We have been using it as the solution to every problem, but that, too, is not what we were given it for. Meeting somewhere in the middle is thus the appropriate position to take, as is taking our focus off of money and onto the true purpose of Occupy Wall Street: discussing how to change the world, instead of how to budget metrocards. An action-oriented focus on OWS, whether that be the bold actions of Direct Action and today’s corporate shutdowns across the country or the humbler actions of outreach canvassing or simply serving dinner, will allow us to cooperate together in unity once again rather than compete for resources.
Having already discussed the items presently exempted by the spending freeze at the Monday, 3/5 Spokes Council, and those currently frozen at the Wednesday, 3/7 Spokes Council, this would be a formal proposal, rather than discussion, based on the elements presented at these two Spokes Councils and the harvesting of Working Group needs for both physical supply donations and access to financial resources. This will be updated after the 3/7 Spokes Council to address the results of these two prior discussion towards drafting an OWS budget, so that it can be analyzed and critiqued in the interim. This budget, once consented upon by the Spokes Council, will be presented to the General Assembly to end the spending freeze and begin using this budget instead of any prior budgets, frozen or unfrozen.
Two additional pieces of food for thought:
Spokes Council achieved consensus on Monday, 2/13/12, to never use non-consensus discretionary spending (the $100 daily ”per diem” previously accessible by Working Groups without regulation) as part of its budgeting process.
Liberty Square’s occupation is the biggest, most successful direct action we’ve ever implemented. It’s been noted that over the winter, as our actions have gotten less massive, we have received considerably less in outside donations. This also tracks quite directly to ”since we ceased having a physical occupation,” and even if we do not sleep there, the daily occupation of Liberty Square should be considered the topmost priority on a daily basis unless and until a new permanent occupation site is decided upon and implemented. Working Group meetings should move to Liberty Square, and daily attendance at Liberty Square should be maximized as much as possible even if we don’t sleep there.