Minutes from 12/27 Facilitation meeting

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12.27.2011

Facilitator: Negesti
Stack: _ from Detroit, then Alejnadro
Minutes: Aaron
Time: Aaron

Agenda
---------
	Facilitators for Tuesday, Wednesday
		Today: 		Negesti, Nathan from Asheville, Anthony, Aaron
		Wednesday:	_
		Friday: 		Bottom-lined by Anthony	

	Last nights GA
		Anthony: comhub announcement went out canceling Spokes.  No announcement of GA went out via Comhub, one did go out via Twitter
		Negesti/Aaron: Q: Who @ comhub made the announcement?
		JustinSD: A group was in 60 Wall, trying to gather for an assembly in the park, when they heard via Comhub and Twitter that there was no Facilitation planned
		Purple Hat: from Spaces didn't know we didn't have 56 Walker, was asked by someone from Facilitation to say that Spokes was cancelled
		
		Negesti sum up: Understanding is that Facilitation / Comhub / Spaces communication needs to improve

	Restructuring - Days of meetings
		Atrium closing Weds, Thurs, Sun
		Q: How is non-daily meetings working for everyone?
		Anthony: Since we're at lower strength before New Years, we should try to do as much planning ahead as possible
		JustinSD: We're trying too hard to be all-inclusive, last night there were 300 people here who could have had an assembly.  We're here to serve the community of the Occupiers.
				We need a regular process script, it seems like we're reinventing the wheel
				Aaron PoP: This comment is off-topic for this agenda item
				JustinSD wraps up by suggesting that we should have coordinators for each week
		Sully: PoI: There is a Script, and I've written a new one, would like help from anyone who wants to participate
			Feels that we've moved away from a more freewheeling meeting to a bureaucracy, suggests a middle ground where this is one person who is signed up to bottom-line the team for each day
			3/wk working group meetings should be for major structural decisions, but daily meetings should persist for setting agenda, making team, taking feedback from last night's meeting
			PoI: We need a new Intro to Direct Democracy person for this week
		PurpleHat: Concern that we are pushing too hard to have GA or SC every single day.  All SC is really doing is providing a forum for revealing internal dissension
				   SC is actually damaging our movement, but both are shitshows, and would prefer that we stop doing it half-assed
				   Once a week workshop on race/class/gender, separate of GA/SC
		JustinSD: There is still a need for a daily soapbox, feels that SC reflects a more operational rather than organizational role, and the operational role is less necessary
		Negesti: Failure of SC is overloading GA, we need daily assemblies to get through the agenda
		Jason(Fawkes): Would like daily assemblies for the same reason; feels Facilitation needs a daily meeting to coordinate
					  Concords for the forum idea suggested by PurpleHat, suggests Friday night

		Someone from out of town complains that the online information about when/where meetings are is not up to date
		JustinSD: PoI, nycga.net is an intranet, not external-facing.  Tech Ops is working on an external-facing site
		Nathan from Asheville: we have a once a week Facilitation meeting where everything is decided for the week, is very helpful to Facilitators and rest of community

		Anthony: Spanish model for GA, Education, Reflection, Decision -- three meetings Tues/Thurs/Sat, would take some pressure off
				Similar for SpokesCouncil

		David: General Assembly was a beautiful thing in September and October, but there is something very different now, which happened after the end of the park
			    Today very few people come regularly because they remember what was before, most just come for their proposal, some just come to be political
			    Thinks that every day is perhaps too much
			    No WG meetings during GA time (Jason(Fawkes)'s proposal)

		Someone from out of town says that infiltrators would be very ineffective if they are naysayers, we should find a way to neutralize naysayers

		JustinSD: We are missing tourists from our GAs, and that affects how
		Nick: Jason's proposal was blocked because it was an individual initiative

		MetsHat: Are we going to make structural decisions _every day?_  If so, we might be excluding people who aren't there
		Zack: Not a fan of the restructuring.  There was a time when this meeting was getting disrupted on a regular basis, which is part of why we restructured, but perhaps it's not the most pressing problem
					Don't feel we have a quorum to make this decision, but thinks we should go back to meeting every day
		Daryl: There are many ways to skin a cat, let's just pick a way to do it and stick to it.  It's not rocket science.
			   Also, we should have a process for facilitating that everyone signs off on, a script that you read that is this is how we do it

		Negesti: The problem with selecting Facilitators too far ahead of time is that people don't necessarily show up when they say they will
			sum-up: We should have Facilitators picked every single day, at least until after the New Year
			proposal: In park at 3pm (or 4pm or 5pm) every day to select Facilitators for that day, but only make structural decisions at Tues/Thurs/Sat

		PurpleHat: Solomonic approach: Pick a coordinator for the week, and *also* ask people to show up at daily meeting to make sure that there are backups

		Daryl: We need a repercussions for people who don't show up
		Zack: Daily 4pm meeting, we should require the night's facilitators to show up at that meeting
		Nick: We should stick with coordination team, because that's how it was decided
		Anthony: Pick daily bottom-lines and have them pick a team at each day's coordination meeting.  I'll bottom-line Friday, and will pick the team then.
		David: The coordinator thing is not working
		Negesti: And this lead to me facilitating three times in one week, which lead to me being attacked for facilitating too often

		Sully: A consensus proposal: Daily 4pm coordination meeting.  Coordinators select a single person to bottom-line for each day, those daily bottom-liners pick a team when they want to
		Negesti:	Tues/Thurs/Sat remain as structural meetings for the Facilitation WG
		CONSENSUS ACHIEVED ON THIS!!

		We need an intro DD coordinator for today and this week
		Zack: Just pick a DD coordinator for each day at the daily 4pm meeting
		CONSENSUS ACHIEVED ON THIS!!		

	How do Facilitators deal with personal attacks?
		Negesti was attacked, needs to talk about how we address this

		Matt: A few things are useful for good facilitation: 
			1. A sincere attitude towards power dynamics, any dismissiveness will be amplified.  
			2. Be firm. The most productive SC's he's seen have been when Facilitators haven't been afraid to be more firm.

		Anthony: The facilitators at the SC where PoC convened was damaged by a rushed approach to Facilitation
				We need more clarity about the process around convening

		PurpleHat: Suggests that we bring the mandate from the GA to every SC meeting
				   The purpose of the convening is not necessarily to stop all business.  But what happens isn't spelled out.

		JustinSD: Let's avoid naming names.  There have been many times he has been asked not to Facilitate.  You Facilitate when you have consensus.  
				So, when people don't want him not to Facilitate, he has to move to a secondary role.  Though one time he used embarrassment to call out that person
		MetsHat: We need to take temperature at beginning of every meeting regarding facilitators
				Anthony: We do
				The idea of "uncaucusing" is very threatening, we shouldn't even really discuss it

		Zack: Don't think one person should be able to derail consensus on facilitators
			  Doesn't think SC is Facilitatable, we need to address disrupters
			JustinSD: PoI: Meghan from coordination meetings is working on a disrupter policy

		Sully: Modified consensus process should work fine on facilitators; importantly, it gives people a platform for airing their grievances and seeing if the crowd agrees
			We need more facilitators
			We need to educate people about the demand for Facilitation, and how often people have to Facilitate if there aren't more Facilitators

		Alejandro: As Facilitators, we need to have some detachment from what's happening in the space: "If you look at the face of everyone in the room, you will crumble."
				  It's alright to call people out by name as examples, but it's dangerous to design policies around particular individuals

		Daryl: Our time is important, and we need to focus on disruptions as a way of valuing everyone's time.  We have to be able to ask for the ability to censure people.
		Nan: Felt it was ethically wrong what Facilitation posted online, and is waiting for an apology.  We have zero respect for you guys, because you are marginalizing us.
			 Is going to bring a proposal to dissolve the Facilitation WG

		David: Clear boundaries makes it safe for everyone.  In addition to being firm, we have great resources within our community for mediation and vibe-checking.
		  	   What made early GAs special was they had a huge space for listening
			   Spoke to someone from meditation about having a 5-minute meditation at the beginning of every GA/Spokes, to get us into that state where we can really hear one another

		Negesti: PoI people felt uncomfortable with it last time it was tried, felt that it was religious and infringed on their space
		Nan: PoI I was one of those people who felt uncomfortable
		Marco: There are a small number of people who don't follow process, those who do follow process get increasingly frustrated.  
			    Those who get frustrated begin to try to facilitate themselves, and start a shouting match.  This is the point at which it breaks down.
 		            So our task is both to discourage disruption but also to keep ourselves calm when it occurs
			    Separate point: We need to project ourselves as a movement.  There are some people who don't act in accordance with the principles of solidarity, and if we need to 
			    marginalize some people who don't subscribe to those principles of solidarity, then we should do that.
		Nick: Ashley had a good point, though perhaps she was not genuine about her expression of it.  We need to accept that we are going to be attacked, sometimes, when we step out to Facilitate.  
			  We need to understand that if we facilitate too often, we need to step back, and if someone complains we should take that as authentic.
		Nathan from Asheville: Asking anyone to gather volunteers outside of a time where people are gathered seems silly
							In a perfect world, non-facilitators from the Facilitation WG should be at all GAs, so that there are backups available
		Jean: Outside of this circle, it's a mystery what we do.  And the larger community finds that alienating.  Conferring in whispers when process breaks down only reinforces that alienation
			So Facilitation's job is to be more decisive
			We have to assess what is a genuine block
		Negesti PoI: We do not have a process for validating blocks
		Yoni PoI: Is working on a proposal for validating blocks
		Jason(Fawkes): As far as people attacking facilitators, we need to rely on consensus to empower those facilitators, and concords with the desire for backup facilitators
		Negesti: concern that one person being able to veto a facilitator will just let the disrupters take over and permanently exclude someone, modified consensus is useful here


	Location for the WG meeting
		@ Park later in the week

	Process analysis
		Jason(Fawkes): We need a written process
		Sully: There is an existing GA script.  It's somewhat out of date. We should have a breakout session to update it.
		Nick: Thinks Facilitators should be trained on how to open up discussion, and make sure that people are sticking with process
		JustinSD: Would like to be part of the conversation about people who keep history and follow up after the GA
		Sully PoI: There is a past proposals link on NYCGA, we need to update that more regularly.
		Jason(Fawkes): Wants to avoid having a breakout group.  Wants as much input as possible right now.
		Alejandro: Wants to focus on this being a "Template", to avoid people being intransigent about the process, too rigid, which makes them flail when process is violated
		Sully: Whoever has these breakouts should be constantly bringing the conversation back to the group
			   Any template we develop should be clear about the ways in which it is malleable

		Jason(Fawkes): Asking for temperature check on whether the Facilitation WG can make adjustments to the Facilitation process.
		PurpleHat: We can put together proposals, but wary of making decisions
		Sully: Some things can be decided by WG, but many will need proposals
		Jason(Fawkes): We should move to a breakout group.  Sully, Jason(Fawkes), and PurpleHat volunteer, will announce via listserv

	Jason(Tall) announcement
		56 Walker is gone
		There is another space, which has constrained dates available, for GA/SC.  It is, however, on West 86th St.  A church.  Wants temperature check.
		Cost is the same as Walker, minus the cost of security.

		Temperature check is mixed

		PurpleHat: Concern is that we need a consistent space, and an indoor space, this church seems the best option right now

		Jason(Tall): The neighborhood around this church wants to attend SC and GA.  
		Alejandro: Concerned about bringing our family drama to the Church
			Jason(Tall): The church _welcomes_ our fighting.  They think it's healthy.
		JustinSD: We need to bring a proposal about this, but this proposal needs to be _discussed_ ahead of time
		Matt: Concern that moving indoors is going to be seen as another attempt to make the meeting secret
		PurpleHat: A nondecision is a decision in this case.  We don't have a space for Weds or Fri.  There are some possibilities, e.g. Brooklyn Friends meeting hall, Beaver Street, Brecht forum
					Would love for there to be clarity here, but needs to hand this off right now

		Sully: PROPOSAL: We should decide to have SC at the church on Weds/Fri, and then ask how people feel going forward
			   We need a Spaces and scheduling WG, does anyone want to help
		Marco: A proposal was up about GA about moving indoors, did not pass?  Sully PoI no it did not come forward, we need to propose it on Thursday
		Alejandro: We should be doing outreach about space and location, in general, to make sure that people are engaged about this proposal.  Volunteers.  Jason(Tall) will help.
			Jason(Tall): PoI: This church will be inhabited by Occupiers, and is also down the street from SPSA

		CONSENSUS achieved on Sully's proposal: SC at West Park Presbyterian Church, 65 W. 86th St @ Amsterdam on Weds/Fri.  And we have a conversation on Friday at SC about how to continue.
	
	Purple Hat:
		PROPOSAL: We need to figure out how to pay for the spaces we've already used, wants to use Facilitation petty cash
		Pay high school and Walker Space, $3000 total.  Will also ask other WGs
		Tabled, Brian is coming back to make an actual proposal

Not covered:
	Addressing lack of facilitators (recruitment)

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