Minutes 3-1-2012

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Minutes for V&G meeting on 3/1/12

Attendees: Sati, Jean, Bill, Lisa, Itzhak, Tony, Quince, Michael, Jack, Alex, Al, Ying

Meeting begins at 5:45. Facilitator: Lisa, Minutes: Ying, Stack: Michael, Timekeeper: Quince

Three agenda items:

  1. Who will be the financial point person?

  2. Restating feelings about the necessity of the V&G working group

  3. Best way to share and work on the Visions agreement together, different possibilities:

  • a living document on NYCGA (Itzhak and Sati’s idea)

  • Occupy.net (Lisa’s idea)

Vote is taken on which order agenda items are taken up.

The first agenda item was basically already decided upon when brought up.

Michael will pick up the metro cards. Half way in the meeting he states that Sumumba has them.

Item 2: Restating feelings about the necessity of the V&G working group

Bill felt that after all the consternation it would be a good idea to confirm our feelings about the importance of the V&G working group.

Everyone takes turns.

Ithzak: The most important thing we need is to make a general statement about where we want to go and we need this group for that.

Jack: Goal and vision are the same word. We need to think about the fiats of an OWS song to bring us together.

Quince: This group is important, because its working on an image that can be communicated to the outside. I do think we should make the group more diverse, bring people of different working groups together, so that everyone will feel represented.

Ying: You need to know what you stand for. It’s important to stay critical and this group allows a vision not to turn into a static statement.

Tony: The vision statement should be a general statement. The goals should on the other hand be precise. That is the real struggle.

Michael: We need a longterm vision.

Lisa: Dialogue is important. What do human beings need? The vision statement is part of a process.

Bill: We need an agreement on the mission. There is a lach of consensus on ideology. We need more specificity of goals. A focus on what is feasible and how to get to a better society.

Jean: We need a vision to get there, people need a vision for the longterm to keep believing in what they want to accomplish.

Dorje: The movement is about political change. We need to know what we want to change. We need to think about what’s the most ideal goal for society.

Sati: Refers to the slogan of the 1% marginalizing the 99%, one that in the end not everyone agrees with. We need to find a common denominator. Different people should do different things. Splitting up in different groups might be a solution, for example in the diversity of tactics discussion.

Item 3: Best way to share and work on the Visions agreement together.

After a little discussion it’s decided that Lisa explains her method first.

She proposes a tool where you put up the document and everyone can work on it. When something is added people can vote on whether they agree on what is being written. After consensus is reached, you can proceed writing.

Sati and Ithzak propose a similar tool, but want to put it up on NYCGA. They want it to be a collaborative document, where everyone can keep adding to it.

How can the GA comment on the document, so that it will be approved?

Jack: it’s important that the document is a secular expression

Ithzak: How far are we willing to go in revising the agreement? I’m not going back to rewriting.

Lisa: We need to make sure that the agreement is as inclusive as possible. We need to get people to talk to each other. People clinging on to their own ideas only brings more repression. We should take what’s there and then turn the negative into positive.

Itzhak feels it’s important that everyone should be able to add to the document and not that the ‘best’ version written by some one is picked.

Quince: There is a consensus in this group about what should be in it. But we need to think about other people, because obviously they don’t feel represented by it.

Dorje: We need to get a sense of the vision of OWS as a whole.

He proposes to do some workshops.

Itzhak: The majority of people will agree with an imperfect statement. I’m done with it. We did our job. Let’s make a proposal today.

Dorje disagrees: Don’t say we’re done, we need to keep working until it’s ideal.

Two proposals on how to present in the GA:

  • Bring it to the GA, consider the separate paragraphs and get a consensus on each paragraph to see which one are good and which one should be changed.
  • Game: Go in break out groups and ask them what their perfect world would look like. Pretend to take a time machine and describe what you have or don’t have in that world. We need to take a break, think of a more inspiring way of thinking about ‘what kind of world do you imagine?’.

We vote and Lisa’s idea about the game is taken on. There is some discussion about the size of the breakout groups, we decide on 5 people in each group.

Saturday is a meeting, but there isn’t a facilitator yet.

Meeting adjourns at 7:05PM

3 Responses to “Minutes 3-1-2012”

  1. Aleksandar Sarovic

    I have a simple proposal that would fix problems with capitalism. Let’s reduce the work hours proportionally to the unemployment rate. If employers would not like to hire then, after some time, let’s reduce the work hours again proportionally to the employment rate. Sooner or later employers would have to hire. They would even have to raise wages to get workers. Sure there would be problems but finally workers would earn more for shorter work hours and that would help society and economy a lot. That is only the first step to ideal society I have developed in my book Humanism.

  2. Monica McLaughlin

    @aleksandar, that is called underemployement. It refers to working part-time or it can refer to working at a job far below one’s skill level.

    Underemployement stinks. If everyone was working 20 hours a week, why would emplyers have to raise wages to get employees? Why not just hire another underemployed person? Most people would scramble to have 2 part-time jobs so they could feed their kids and pay their bills. All this part-time work would come without benefits, since part timers rarely get benefits.

  3. Aleksandar Sarovic

    I am talking about enforcing by law reduced work hours to all the people. Today’s 10% unemployment rate would need a reduction of work hours to a maximum of 7 hours per day for each worker unless unemployment no longer exists. Employed people would work 10% less and receive 10% less income. It should automatically mean that there would be 10% more jobs on the market. Unemployed people would take them and earn the money.
    An unemployment rate of 5% is today considered normal. Why? Because it provides cheap work for employers. Workers need to feed their families and have to accept whatever is offered. This is the nest for exploitation. By eliminating unemployment, employers would need to fight to get employees and that would be achieved by raising wages and benefits.
    Is it easy to achieve? No, but it is worth fighting for because it is a simple measure that brings great results.