FWG Mtg Minutes – 1/7/12, 4pm @ 60 Wall St.

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Facilitator: Dali

Stack: Stefan

Minutes: Alejandro


Spokes report back

Zach: Spokes went smoothly but not as smoothly as Monday and Wednesday. Saw problem with too much emotions. Also saw a gender division, with the male housing-proposal presenters and the WOW group, which contributed to the tension in the room.

Questions around what stand-asides are for and how they work.

Jason: explained stand-asides and felt that they were used correctly last night. Sees ambiguity around the blocking and re-blocking at last night’s proposal.

Brian: should make consensus process an agenda item today. Also wanted to know what criteria were used to activate a group at Spokes. Zack explained that anyone

Dan: We don’t have a quorum on stand asides and that’s a problem. We should

Alejandro: felt that last night was a success because it looked more like deliberative consensus not decision making consensus, which we devote too much time to.

Zach: agreed that last night was successful.

Melanie: Housing re-negged on amendments, which contributed to WOW’s block and re-block process. Melanie felt that it also resulted from the blatant misogyny in the room and in this movement. Melanie explained the chronology of last night’s proposal.

Zach agreed with most all of it, and felt that the process was not clear last night.


6pm meeting for facilitation team to prepare with proposers

Jason: As per Sully: We haven’t been doing this, so should we keep it up or drop it?

Zack: We should just step it up and be there.

Confusion about whether this is happening.

Nick: it is happening.

Jason and Zack: 6pm mtg serves dual purpose of helping proposers and preparing facilitation team before spokes/GA.


Timeout: Funeral procession for the Bill of Rights came through the Atrium.


Brian: proposals should be worked on far longer than the few minutes before the GA and Spokes.

Max: a separate working group—proposal support…

Nick: There is no need for a proposal point person (PPP) on meeting nights because the FWG is already meeting.

Alejandro: PPP must still be at FWG.

It’s clear that PPP is not same as 6pm mtg. We got slightly off topic.

Temp check on continuing convo on 6pm proposal meeting: negative.

Melanie: can we nominate a couple of ppl to bottom-line this.

Jason: facilitation team are the bottom liners for this meeting w/ proposers.


24-hour proposal waiting period for Spokes/what to do with tabled proposals.

Alejandro: are we talking about proposals tabled because the proposer withdraws it or because the meeting runs out of time?

Zach: proposes that we have a 24-hour review period for proposals to spokes.

Max and Nathan: this is already a requirement.

Zack: let’s empower folks to go through minutes and get to the bottom of it.

Alejandro: proposes a week period between proposal and consensus.

Jason: why don’t we ever know answers? Let’s review minutes!

Melanie: we’re only 4 months old; we don’t always have to know everything. I like Alejandro’s proposal, but what do we do with emergency proposals?

Alejandro: POI: treat them as emergencies.

Brian: afraid that a one-week waiting period would unintentionally slow down business that does not need deliberation.

Melanie: POI: spokes is a business meeting.

Nan: 7-day waiting period would marginalize further ppl who are disliked bc folks would work hard to destroy the proposal.

Max: This should be done in a breakout group. Roll-out period is necessary too.

Nathan: three-meeting amendment

Zack: this 7-day proposal is too radical: should be posted one spokes council before; that would be a less-radical step.

Paula: a middle option might be more helpful.

Dan: nothing requires anticipation of a proposal. There has been precedent of a prior meeting’s notice, but it’s not a requirement.

Sully: Structure brought the proposal to Spokes but it was not discussed nor did it reach consensus.

Alejandro: the week-long waiting period proposal is for the group. Anyone can contribute. The intention is to increase the deliberative portion of the consensus process.

Group decided to empower a breakout group to work on this proposal. Alejandro, Nick and Nan will definitely work on this and will try to have something for the group by Tuesday. They will also share the proposal on the google group too.


Making teams for GA/Spokes of this week

Monday: Max and Nysheva-Starr

Tuesday: Stefan and Jason W.

Wednesday: will decide on Tuesday; if we don’t find someone Sully will step in.

Thursday: Zack and

Friday: Jason W. and

Saturday: Billy L. and Nathan


Nan suggested that we post the above list of facilitators on the web somewhere. Response was negative.


Stand-asides and Blocks

Billy: there’s confusion about what a block is. You can be opposed to anything without blocking it.

Melanie: POI: this convo is about the differences between blocks and stand-asides.

Zack: there were nine stand-asides last night with a total of 32 spokes.

There was confusion about whether it was 8 or 9.

Dan: stand-asides are serious, not to be taken lightly. It doesn’t mean that you don’t care. It means that you care deeply but that you can’t bring yourself to block the proposal.

Sully: in some groups there’s a stand-aside threshold, whereby too many stand-asides tables a proposal.

Nan: I love blocks. But I don’t trust what the true intentions are of a proposal. I consider how proposals affect everyone present and not present. I don’t like stand-asides because I feel like it silences me.

Melanie: we must take into account how many stand asides are in the room. We should put it out to the community. Caucuses are different from WGs. When caucuses block or stand-aside it should carry more weight.

Nathan: If majority of groups don’t feel comfortable passing a proposal then we should address that. When new information comes up during the consensus process it may trigger new questions and concerns, which warrants stating and re-stating blocks.

Jason: We really suck at talking. People should ask the right questions and state their concerns during the appropriate periods. Poorly prepared proposers who accept and then reject amendments leads to a new situation, which we don’t

Alejandro: Glad this convo happened, used to think that stand-aside meant ambivalence.

Nan: What is a stand aside? I’m confused.

Sully: Stand aside means: that you would not support the proposal if were up to you—e.g., you don’t like it—but for the sake of a community that supports the proposal, you will stand aside.

Zach: Summarized points and felt that we could use a bit of all of them.


Meeting end: 6:35pm.

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