Minutes Working Group Meeting 2/2/2012

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Minutes Working Group meeting
February 2, 2012, 60 Wall Street, 6pm-7pm

Present: Dave, Jeff, Lauren, Anthony, Brett, Christina (1), Corey, Carrie, Hillel, Molly, Negesti, Daniel, Christina (2), Carol

Minutes: Hillel

Reportbacks
Jeff: Was not able to get in touch with Tech about laptop, but did speak to Tim, who will have a laptop for us within the next week. Will followup with Tech about additional laptop. We need a bag to carry all our equipment, and way to hand off equipment. It will be easier to hand off equipment once we have more people involved.
Dave: Occupy Town Square was great. We did some outreach, got a lot of some positive feedback. Spent time talking to people individually about what we do and why Minutes is important.
Lauren: We have two new minutes takers, Crimson and Dan. They will sign up on the calendar when they are available. People who we met at Occupy Town Square have been emailed. People who are interested in transcribing have also been contacted, but we need a way to manage their work.
Christina (1) is interested in volunteering, but does not have laptop. We will have additional laptop soon, but people can also lend her their laptops in the meantime.

Announcements
Christina (1): Facilitation discussed the problem of finding space for Spokes and potentially GA (depending on indoor GA proposal) at their meeting. There will be a subgroup of Facilitation meeting at 2pm @ 60 Wall to talk about this. Would like this to be a collaborative group with Minutes, since we are also stakeholders.

1. Scheduling
People with non Google emails are having difficulty accessing calendars. They need to create a Google account with their email address in order to have access to that calendar.
Scheduling has still been difficult, but our roster of minutes takers is low right now. With new additions we should be able able to be more stable. Momentum is growing.

2. Roles
We need to have someone to be a point person for people who want to do transcription. Molly will do this for the next few weeks, then Hillel will take over. Lauren will email both Molly and Hillel with contact information and current status of transcribers.

Zoe’s proposal
I wanted to identify as an editor. And along with that, I wanted to get a feeling from the group on whether you guys would be willing to empower me to go through already-posted materials and make editing and formatting corrections. I used to do this without saying anything, but I wanted to make sure you guys are ok with it now. I would limit my editing to:
1. Formatting (bolding, putting in or deleting extra spaces, etc)
2. Grammatical (spelling, punctuation, capitalization, etc)
3. Basic website maintenance (ie updating the QuickLinks table when needed, adding tags, categories, etc, to a post if something was forgotten, standardizing the titles of posts, and so on.

I just want the approval of the group to do these things without asking each time first.
Also, I’d like to request the ability to make note (on Google groups or maybe direct to the minutes-taker) of things that seem out of place in the minutes, like personal observations or comments on people’s behavior, etc. I will not remove or change these without the express permission of the author or the group, but I’d like your ok to be able to identify them for discussion.

Result: Consensus

General discussion and brainstorming
Difficult to discuss specialized roles when we are still struggling to have minutes takers for each night
Ideally, would be nice to have two people at any given meeting, one to take minutes and one to deal with recorder.
It would be good to have a workshop/skillshare so that we can share tips among ourselves.

2. Strike proposal
The Problem: There are two major problems that need to be addressed.

The first is respect. As a member of the minutes working group I have repeatedly been made to feel like an employee of Occupy Wall Street rather than an autonomous member pitching in to do the work that needs to be done to move this movement forward. I have repeatedly seen members of facilitation disrespected or treated as less than equals. This has to stop.

The second problem is one of resource allocation. Unfortunately we often tend to think of this in terms of money. We don’t need money. We need people. Our working groups are struggling to get people to these meetings to do the work necessary to have good, productive meetings. We simply don’t have enough people. If the individuals and working groups within Occupy Wall Street want to have meetings they need to pitch in to do the work. Every working group should be providing volunteers to do minutes, facilitate and be part of de-escalation.

In response to these two very real problems I am urging Minutes, Facilitation, and De-escalation to go on strike. Our three working groups go to a GA and a Spokes Council meeting together once we’ve ironed out the language here and present our demands together. Here are a list of demands:

1. If we don’t have a solid facilitation team, volunteers to do de-escalation, and someone from minutes at least 24 hours in advance we don’t have the meeting. Without this basic infrastructure we cannot have a meeting.

2. If the time and location of a meeting is not posted 24 hours in advance, we don’t have that meeting.

3. We ask that all working groups take a moment in their next meeting to discuss the importance of minutes, facilitation and de-escalation and remind everyone that we are not employees of Occupy Wall Street but autonomous individuals who care about this movement. Then at the next available GA or Spokes Council, preferably both, those working groups should report back on what steps they are taking to address the problems of resource allocation and what they will be doing to help provide people to help with these tasks.

C – Christina (1): a strike is a power play, not a way to build community and buy-in/participation.
C – Brett: abuse directed at Minutes comes from a lack of education/information: what does minutes do; what can they do. appreciation comes from understanding.
C – Carrie: we need to work more closely with Facilitation so they know what we are capable of. We also need to do a better job of communicating to proposers that it is their responsibility to know what previous proposals have been on a given topic. Would be great to set up a joint meeting between Facilitation and Minutes. Maybe people from Minutes can come to Facilitation WG meeting on Saturday at 4.
C – Christina (2): offering a skillshare might make other people more interested in helping out.
C – Lauren: we should hold a skillshare/workshop directed at the larger movement on how to take minutes as a way of raising awareness and getting participation.
C – Carrie: Facilitation’s “strike” back in December didn’t really work. Meetings were bad and didn’t make anyone respect Facilitation any more.

No formal temperature check, but given the large number of concerns, proposal was withdrawn in favor of alternate strategies.

Lauren, Jeff, Dave, Carrie will go to Facilitation meeting on Saturday.

Lauren will send around an email about dates for an internal and external skillshare/workshop

3. Language for Minutes reportback to GA and Spokes
Consensus.

4. How can groups post minutes if they don’t have access to a computer?
This is a question for InfoHub (since their proposal resulted in this need)

Agenda for next meeting
Minutes schwag – minutes needs to be more visible

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