Meeting Minutes – General Meeting 11/6/11

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Alternative Economy

General Meeting



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Rob: People are sick, from being outside working so hard yesterday!


Dea: I moved my money!


Michael: I moved my money!


?: Over the last 6 weeks, 4.5 billion transferred out!  Via


Cheyenna: elizabeth said they want first Saturday of every month as a possible monthly move your money day.


ethan: the whole process took 3 hours just to get out, so money is under mattress.  Having multiple first saturdays is good for this reason, because it takes time to move your money, for a variety of reasons.  there are certain restrictions that slow down process.  i’m join park slope food coop and experiencing similar issues.


?: does  anyone know the difference between Credit Unions and Community Development  Banks?


Cheyenna: credit union people are helping out, but CDBs are good as well.


Michael: is saturday idea coming from MYM?  maybe not a great idea, if it’s just at the park.  need to get out there into the communities themselves.


?: it’s a great idea, concentration of resources.  you’ll reach a broader group, and encourage more people through focus, build momentum.


Michael: idea is good, but shouldn’t just be at the park.


dea:  it should be more “occupy your block” rather than just zucotti park.


?: that’s the type of thing I was thinking about.  division between occupy as just a radical fringe and the broader community of frustrated working people.  its something they could do without being too far to the left.  theres a lot of people who just have a problem with how banks are conducting themselves.


dea: should we vote?


cheyenna: let’s just move on, this can be worked out within the MYM group.




Ethan: It’s happening, we have one small humble, coop that is in the process of opening.  it’s basically just making photocopies for OWS.  we are starting with a client that is spending an enormous amount of money at big companies.  just got two copy machines.   they weren’t moved yet but we have them.  making announcement at GA tomorrow.  we have a space for it in Brooklyn commons on atlantic avenue.  its more for large scale copies coming from OWS each day.  still a lot of unresolved questions.  we are trying to get away from “god prospect”  to be THE OWS worker coop.  they want to just get something small off the ground.  people are gifting their time, taking revenue for 6-8 weeks to funnel into another cooperative in early 2012.  also, we are trying to find ways to connect with the broader solidarity economy.  trying to build structures that outlast OWS.  OWS client relationship/dependency is both good and bad.  i would be the right person to contact about this right now.


Sergio – I’m with coop group.  went to organizing meeting.  occupy your block is going through our outreach, this will be a big burst in printing.  huge week leading up to Nov 17 day of action.  we have both printers, just need to bring them into the space.


Michael – i’m glad to be here, i have experience running printing presses.  In the meantime, I’ve got a lead on a women’s printing press in Brooklyn.


Sergio – meeting is Tuesday.


ethan: tuesday at 5:30, at Brooklyn commons space.


Michael: visiting women’s press tomorrow morning, i will follow up, they teach people how to do printing.


ethan: we are interested in it, but it takes a lot of money and technical abilities that we don’t have.    we wanted to get something off the ground in this moment:


?: finding points of synergy.  theres a group called GANAS group, a collective, there might be a lot we can learn from them.  the model is based on BF Skinner.  Was introduced to anarchist attorney there.  there could be a lot shared.  diversity and connectivity.  they had their own industry, self supporting with lumber mill and tofu production.  a lot of interesting structure that could be learned.  stores go under the name of ‘everything goes’,


Sergio: important to note that this is small, because we want to be the first coop out from which lots of others can branch out.  this is first coop that would come out of it, first thing should be small in case there are issues in GA or spokes council.


sarah: can you post info on website when you get up and running?


Michael: what’s the metro stop?


ethan: atlantic avenue stop.  hoyt/schemerhorn stop


cheyenna: in the last couple of days i’ve met with two different groups that want to form coops.  one is kitchen, looking at space at 33 flatbush.  might be something for SC meeting.  screen printing guild, wants to start coop, finance issues, might make sense to restructure group along co-op lines, since there are so many co-ops that are forming.


Michael: group that is supplying kitchens in DUMBO might want to start a collective catering company.


dea: time to move on?


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Rob: Is this a good time?


Group: Yes!  Though of course, this is a biased selection haha!


Sarah: was this posted on the nycga website?


Rob: yes, that’s how folks found out who are here.




Rob: Thinking of setting up Riseup listservs for subcommittees.


Ron: internet is working on sub groups at NYCGA


Sergio: that could help, funding for subcommittees is key.


Ethan: Since there are so many people interested in starting worker co-ops, perhaps having it’s own group makes sense?


cheyenna: screen printing already has a spoke on the spokes council.


Michael: movement group has less access than function groups?


Sergio: yes.  we don’t have a spoke, somehow we have to piggyback on a group that does.


ethan: maybe chey’s idea about linking cooperatives together is better


Sergio: i concur


Michael: what is listerv?


Rob: basically just an email list.




Sergio: tomorrow is spokes council.  what is foundation/functions and what is movement will be figured out there.  they have  ability to make decisions for finance/park matters.  if we piggy back onto another group.  we could sit in with them.  and anytime we want to spoke, we can switch when relevant proposals come up.


Ron: any resources we can look to see better structures?


cheyenna: they’ve done mock proposals.


Sergio: the question is what is function/movement.  they are still making lists and its still happening like a tutorial.  spokes council happens outside of the park.


mike: I’m in SIS.  small group but will have a spoke.  I can bend the ear of whoever is in the group.  I can be a further liason.


Sergio:  theres no blocks in the spokes, but if a majority of groups stand aside, no decision can be made.


mike: wondering what the best group is to piggy back on.


Sergio: outreach does printing, that’s why print coop is logical outgrowth.


dea: outreach mentioned printing coop at the luncheon.


ethan: have to better define relationship.  coop is not outgrowth of outreach.  outreach is a client, we will eventually want to expand beyond outreach.


cheyenna: are we voting on something


Sergio: spoke has to rotate every meeting


cheyenna: anyone going?


Sergio: i will be attending.  SC meeting replaces the GA.


Sarah:  if one agenda is printing, should spoke be printing co-op people


Sergio: might make sense to spin off?


sarah: for now, maybe can you represent us?


ethan: makes sense, since only immediate thing happening of relevance is worker coop that we need the SC resources for.


cheyenna: to be clear, we are not represented.


Sergio:  there is a circle council, we are presently on outside body.


?: should we consense this?


?: there has to be a represented body?


Sergio: spoke has no decision making power, must deliberate with group.  There must be multiple people there.


sarah: more important is, what is the request?


Rob: can we get consensus on delegating such responsibilities to the worker co-op subcommittee, since they are the only ones who need to go through spokes anyway for now


CONSENSUS ACHIEVED: Temporarily delegate particular responsibilities of spokes meeting to worker co-op group


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Scott: are there still people looking around for materials.


Cheyenna: its cold, and there’s no space, it might make sense to just focus on on marches and big events rather than randomly tabling.


Ron: internet group is setting up subdomains within, as a sort of landing page for materials for each sub group.


cheyenna: can we upload PDFs?


ron: yup, trying to give more autonomy to each group.  teach in tonight at 9


sarah: so we have stuff printed out, we can put it there


ron: yup.


Michael: occupy Brooklyn, saturday, might be a good place to get out materials. It’s somewhere downtown  check occupy brooklyn site about location. by metrotech I think?


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Cheyenna: ford foundation meeting – people are finally willing to cooperate across industries.  a lot of grandstanding by politicians unfortunately.  2012 is international year of the cooperatives.  perhaps a business association of cooperatives will emerge.  there will be a lot of space to partner with cooperatives in coming years.


Sarah: have you identified any revenue stream for such cooperatives?


cheyenna: there are revolving loan sources, a la working world.


Sarah: maybe ford PRI?


Cheyenna: would like to avoid that.


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Cheyenna: November 12 there is a screening: 2-4 brooklyn commons, 388 atlantic, suggested donation 10 dollars.  No one will be turned away.




dea: zeitgeist movement would like to work with OWS, maybe we will do an event.


Mike: we’re trying to get some money for flyers.


Gloria: zeitgeist movement meets here (the atrium)at 7, fridays



Ron: peter from, all inclusive economy online, you can purchase it.  It’s a combination of timebank, barter, gift economy.  There is a screenshare 5 tuesday at charlottes place.




cheyenna: in same way that OWS declared whats wrong.  we should declare a vision of solidarity economy.  maybe we should should write up something to present to the world/OWS.  maybe we should form another subcommittee for this?  before thanksgiving would be nice.


Gloria: can you explain more about solidarity economy?


cheyenna: it’s one that supports social justice, democracy, solidarity, sustainability.  what we call it is not so important, its more that we find a paletteable vision to present to interested people.


sarah: would be great if each group writes up a  statement about what they’re working towards.  something we need to start.  each should write up a set of visions.  what is the power of the vision that they are working towards.  easier to do online.


sarah: Cheyenna do you want to take a first step?


Cheyenna: yeah, sure.




Sergio: can we get consensus about dale representing us one time this week at spokes meeting, in particular to ask about the 40 dollars we need for print co-op?


CONSENSUS ACHIEVED: Dale will do so.



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