Minutes from 12/24 Facilitation Meeting

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Minutes taken by Aaron, thank you Aaron!

 

Facilitation 12.24.2011
Facilitator: Alexis
Stacktacker: Eileen, then Negesti
Time: Shawn
Minutes: Aaron
Announcements
    DA needs facilitators for mobile occupation - occupybus@gmail.com
    ThinkTank would like facilitators for in-park and outreach operations - owsthinktank@gmail.com
     Facilitation outreach team  - facilitation.outreach@nycga.net
Reportbacks
    Spokes
          - Negesti did not have clarity on how to de-escalate with Ashley, feels this might impair her ability to facilitate in the future if there is no mediation w or process for dealing with disruption / personal attacks on facilitator
          - Jodi would like clarification on the process that occurs when WGs convene during Spokes
          - We were kicked out of 56 Walker; will we be allowed back?
          - We did not have a facilitation team scheduled
Agenda
       - Should we have GA on Christmas? Would require emergency proposal at GA tonight
- Not placed on agenda after straw poll showed against discussion
       1. Spokes issues
              - Are we allowed back?
Max: We're probably not going to be allowed back.  Besides last night's disruption, we haven't paid them for several nights of rent
              - Convening process
Jodi -  PoC felt unfairly singled out for "freezing" the meeting; they had reached out to other WGs and Caucuses to attempt to have a broader discussion
           During the caucus convening, stack-tacker continued taking stack, which PoC felt excluded them; felt that SC should not necessarily go on with "business as usual", but should have some sense of what should happen.  Breakout groups?
           Unclear what the convening process is, or if the convening process is even specified in SpokesCouncil document
       Jason(Tall) expresses concern that we are so wedded to process that we have lost our ability to reason as individuals and make judgement calls
"We are getting so process heavy that we are not using common sense"
Max and Shawn respond that they would like to investigate organizational memory about this issue now
Shawn is worried about caucuses having different types of powers than working groups; concern is that the caucus model can be subverted too easily
Jason(Fawkes) expresses concern that there are many discussions at GA and Spokes that do not pertain to the business of the movement, suggests that we have an area outside of GA and Spokes to may serve as a forum for these kinds of discussion
Jodi clarifies that she wanted to figure out the caucus process in a narrow sense with regards to how spokes can be selected when caucuses are comprised largely of people who are/have/will soon also spoke for another WG
- Feels major concern with Wednesday was that Facilitation was not empowered to address the issue on the spot; decided to get back to Process.  Alejandro was placed on stack and was never reached, thus the issue was never actually discussed
Negesti did not feel empowered to handle the situation on Wednesday; she tried to put her personal feelings aside, and focus on maintaining Process
- Did not have a clear sense of what PoC wanted to happen at that time
Jodi felt responsibility should not be on PoC to address what should be done, that all she wants is clarity about what that process is at the time
Jason(Tall) wants for us to rely on our collective wisdom and trust to be able to handle outlandish situations, provides several ad absurdium examples.
- We cannot handle these situations because our group trust is broken
- Suggests that if people cannot feel responsibility (can't handle emotions) to handle these situations when they arise [Aaron - I paraphrased], then "they should not be in that space"
- Suggests that group that feels concern can step outside of the group if they feel like the other agenda items are not priorities to them, if they want to address the agenda items, then they should postpone their discussion about the situation
- "we act like children.  It's time to grow up."
At this point, Time notifies us that we are 29 minutes.  Consensus is taken that stack should be closed, and we should hear the six persons on stack
Jodi - Concern that Jason's suggestion that individuals who can't handle emotions is a form of discriminating against those who may have different cognitive or emotional faculties
Shawn - Transparency: We should stop referring to people by abstract terms (e.g. Facilitation, Accounting) when we are talking about specific people doing specific things wrong
      Accountability: We need to hold individuals accountable, talk honestly about when facilitators don't do a good job and call them out for not doing a good job
    - Specifically, he is not comfortable with the people who facilitated on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday
                                    - Does not want them to be "ejected", but rather that we embark on a process to improve facilitators, we need to help them as a team, rather than try to operate through making policies
Alexis - Several people felt that what the PoC did was important, and more than a few were happy to wait for PoC to finish
   - This has happened before, when women's caucus spoke was reading and microphone removed, this resulted in the collapse of another SC meeting earlier
   - "What's hard about facilitating is that when you don't know what to do the only thing you can do is fall back to process"; so if we want facilitation to do a better job, then we should develop some "best practices" for how to handle unforeseen situations
Trish - Was not present but was told by people that they were shocked and disappointed that Facilitation did not address the issue on the spot but just rather went on with business as usual
          - Feels "this would not have happened anywhere else in this city," only at a Spokescouncil
  - Thinks this is a sign of need for sensitivity and anti-oppression training
  - Bristles at the suggestion that people who are offended by situations like Wednesday should have to leave the space
  - "We are turning hypocrites with money"
Anthony  - NYCGA principles of solidarity do not give us accountability or process in these situations
- Working on changes to GA process, for instance a "code of conduct"
- Feels we should have addressed the issue on the spot
- "This might be tedious" but we have to address the conduct code and point to it at these moments
Time notes we are at 49 minutes
Frank - What if the majority of the meeting shows up in KKK outfits? "In America, this could happen"
          - Agrees with Jason(Tall) and Shawn that facilitators should be called out for subpar facilitation
  - Is concerned that people with disabilities that might affect their ability to Facilitate (he counts himself among that number) then it is not necessarily the case that they should be facilitating
- "We should not allow blind people to direct air traffic" [Aaron - I paraphrased]
Time notes it is time for Direct Democracy training now
Suggestion that we open a new stack focused entirely on solutions 7 yay 3 nay
Jason(Fawkes) - "If we're going to be a group then we should have group conversations openly"
   - If we can't find the original wording, we should create a policy now
Shawn - Propose that we write out a charter for Facilitation WG that covers accountability, what it means to be a facilitator, how do we choose team, trainings required (NVC, anti-oppression), etc
Jason(Tall) - We can't come to consensus on this proposal with such a small group
JustinSD - In favor of opening the discussion about a charter, thinks we should involve the many "stakeholders"
At this point agenda item closed due to Time restriction
      - Facilitation WG structure (daily meetings, process for selecting teams)
Shawn - Daily meetings were abandoned to allow subgroups to meet; however these subgroups are not meeting
   - Should move back to selecting facilitators at the meeting right before GA
   - Finds the current process to be non-transparent and difficult and not working
Jason(Fawkes) - Recommends that we table this proposal until we have more people in the meeting
JustinSD - Original structure for facilitation was daily, open-source; concords with Shawn
Alexis - We should select a coordinator for the next week
Negesti - Proposes that we select facilitators for Sunday and Monday right now
- Volunteers for Sunday: Frank volunteers if he gets training tonight, Negesti will be present but is not entirely interested
- Volunteers for Monday: Anthony and Shawn(the one in nightmareBeforeChristmas sweatshirt)
ShawnC - We need to keep people on roles (stack, greeter, etc)
We close with a unity clap
Non-covered agenda items
- Proposals passed on Monday
- Letter from an Occupier

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