Meeting Minutes: General Meeting – 10/16/11

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General Alt Econ Working Group 10/16

Robert, Cheyenna, Ethan, Liz, Sergio, Dale, Jen, Maliha, Brendan, Jose, Robin, Charles, Annie, Dan, Lawrence, Rick, Jules, Kenneth

Loudfeed page: website for all working groups to register with webforums, messaging, etc. We are not up on there yet—Kenneth is going to explain how to use it. If it isn’t adequate we might opt to use a riseup list serv but right now we’re waiting for both of these things, so we need to continue to use the informal list. Hoping to work out the communication this week. The loudfeed page doesn’t seem to have a lot of people in the groups. Robert will keep everyone posted about how things move with Kenneth, Dale, and Jose.

-Robert will talk to internet to figure it out

Announcement: GA is focused on maintaining the occupation so it is more difficult to announce our working group. We have to let them know a couple hours beforehand about making an announcement.

-Jose will talk to them today.
-Dale will make the actual announcement.

Tabling: Town planning said there’s a free area by arts and culture space. We can discuss if that makes sense. Set aside space in the Northeast of the park.  You should get there early on in the day. Robert can only be there on weekends.  Dale, Sergio, Chey, Ethan, Brendan willing to be there some weeknights.

-Robert will get schedule for everyone

Journalists: Candlewood wants to film us, has filmed a few other people, these folks sound legit. Robert will ask to others to make sure it is legit. Cheyenna says he listed a bunch of people in the New Economy Network who are well-known, so it’s probably ok. She also thinks we should do a media meeting with him where he doesn’t come into a meeting and interrupt our time.  Mahlia says he could come and film us tabling.

Robert will forward that suggestion.

New people: Charles put together an open forum on credit unions, Robin has been doing some education on economics, both are members of Alternative Banks group with Carne Ross

Pamphlet about alternatives being created. Workshop about the solidarity economy for next Sunday, potentially at 16 Beaver. Hope is to pull together a team of people who can give these workshops

Elizabeth says the Federation is going to start doing a series of credit union teach-ins. They would like to work with the group to make it strong, maybe branch into solidarity economy stuff.

-Elizabeth, Mahlia, Cheyenna will meet with Cliff to talk about this in more detail

Charles says Alternative Finance group might be doing some work on credit unions…the Alternative Banking community is international so it’s a larger effort.  We may need a group here.

-Cheyenna will send the thread from Carne Ross’ group to the Alt Econ group so people understand what they’re about. Says they really are about alternative banking, NOT credit unions, it’s really a separate issue.

-Brendan will make sure the alternative finance information gets included in the education materials

Charles says a Nobel prize winning economist spoke maybe we can get more speakers. Dan says the New Economics Institute is doing a lecture in NYC that includes OWS, maybe we should be the ones on that panel.

-Dan will talk to Sarah Stranahan about that

Calendar: We need one. Maybe we could use the GA’s but also do a different calendar that includes information outside of OWS. Can we get contacts in other groups down to help with these sort of things, resources that exist, events being planned.  We have overlapping groups, let’s make sure we’re sharing resources.

-Brendan will create a space for us to put together an online space with calendar, etc.

Sergio really likes the idea of spreading outside the park, moving people to other spaces. We should go to them instead of having them come to the park.  Mahlia says wouldn’t transportation be a problem? Sergio says we’ll have the table there but this is good because people can’t always come here. Annie says we need to use the NYCGA website and we need to become official so we can use it.

-Robert will look into this

New people show up: they want monetary reform/alternative currency. Lawrence and Ben are the alternative currency working group. Jules is working on reform of American monetary system through legislation.

Dan suggests using credit unions for teach-ins.

Organizing: Cheyenna says she thought Kenneth was the point person for this, and then was asked about it, so is now confused about who is doing what. Kenneth thought it was Cheyenna. Robert thought the committee was focusing on outreach and organizing. Brendan wasn’t sure what education was doing. Robert says the group had talked about creating a video of people moving their money and find ways to link participatory budgeting to the solidarity economy. Mahlia says maybe this about mutualism and belongs in that committee, the ways the occupation is linked to practitioners. Robert says yeah we had agreed to plug people into each other. Liz says education and organizing are intimately related, and hasn’t talked to anyone about the direct action bank transfer stuff, so we should set short term goals on that. Dan says to me doing a video is education and there is no reason to do both groups, and that the organizing will actually happen at the event…when there is a moment that the organizing needs to be separate that will be apparent. Robert says we’re only 3 weeks away from the Bank Transfer Day, since we’re moving towards that and all of our materials should be geared towards it. Brendan says we’re doing something broader. Charles says we should do something super concrete. Liz it sounds like the conversations are incredible and we need some goals. Charles says he worries we move away from emphasis on finance, and occupy everything is great if its understood it is solidarity with occupy wall street.

Mutualism: Dan took the lead and the coordination between working groups is haphazard, they’re trying to connect to food. Robert is trying to get in touch with coordination working group. Mutualism needs Robert and Dan to make some contacts. Tomorrow at 6 is the coordination at 16 Beaver St.

-Cheyenna will go to the coordination working group meeting
-Robert will send out updates about what’s happening there

Lawrence says if people do the runs on the banks then we will plunge into a depression.  Jules wants to know how this is related to move your money campaign? Robert is trying to reach the direct action committee. Cheyenna says people need to look into the systemwide issues, not just looking at credit unions or personal finance, looking at institutional money getting moved to, but building beyond just that, also credit union conversation taking all this time and we need other updates.

-Credit union meeting after this meeting

Mapping subcommittee: This is getting set up.

Robert was going to send people to alternative currency group. Does that group want this? Ben says the permabank is a barter network, internally organized haves/needs. Robert will tell the permabank people what mutualism is doing and ask the permabank people what they’d like.  Ben says that alternative currency group is looking to create currency for the occupation, what purposes it would serve and how it would work. That’s an operational tool he sees developing. Brendan says they seem like big and discrete projects but talking with them makes sense, maybe we could include them in our educational materials. Ben says natl monetary reform is looking at how the system works and what kind of changes are needed, so when we’re in a position to make changes having a debate about what we want. Robin says she has a series of cheat sheets, etc.

-Robert will write a draft mission statement and people can edit

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