Town Planning Minutes 1.26.12
Members present: Sean, Jeff, Katherine, Daniel, Chris, Esco
Agenda focuses around the fact that the military tents have finally been released from the 103rd Precinct and are presently in SIS.
* Ten each of the 11×11 and 16×16 military-grade tents purchased by Town Planning via approved GA budget proposal have finally been released from evidence storage by the NYPD 103rd Precinct. Unlike the tents seized in the park – which were largely destroyed, in what may even be called a highly systemic fashion, with each and every support beam broken in half – these remain physically intact, though they are not at their cleanest.
* Sean notes that a solution of 50% bleach, 50% water should be sufficient to kill the mildew and remove all odors. “Wear gloves.” Jeff, Katherine, and Chris agree to go over to SIS and work on cleaning, bundling, and then storing the tents to ensure there are no missing pieces, and depending on how far along they get in confirming these are all present and fully operational, begin preparing them for shipment in accordance with the GA obligation requests for tents from other Occupations, as well as Occupy Farms. Inventorying should be done that afternoon, and continue through Friday afternoon as well, at the minimum.
* #J29 is discussed in brief. Daniel wants to bring the People’s Stage to the park for impromptu shows, and whether it will be suitable for use within the Washington Square Park fountain is not presently known. Sean will be reprising his former role as “Security,” as he has been asked by the event planner to be part of the polite, friendly, and proactive security force preventing problems rather than solving them, and is happy to do so on-shift all day. The question of whether a Parks Dept. permit for Washington Square Park was obtained in time is asked but not presently answered, without Max (the organizer) or Robert (from Town Planning, who has the initial contact in the Parks Department that was being relied upon for this information source in the first place) present at the meeting. Without a permit for the afternoon’s event, it makes no sense to bring a military tent to the park, but if a permit is in place for the event Jeff is happy to consider the erection of a tent as part of a Town Planning “demonstration”; otherwise, we have nothing specifically relevent to offer the Occupy Town Square event as a Working Group. There are presently 5 concrete-filled buckets at SIS that could be utilized, if the organizers wanted them, but no interest has been expressed so far (and a car would be needed to transport them, as they are quite heavy).
* Housing options are then discussed following the previous night’s Spokes Council. Daniel notes that he knows someone who would be happy to rent a huge loft to an organized group of 10 Occupiers, at-cost, providing space for ten to sleep at $150/month per person so long as they didn’t mind not having terribly much privacy while carrying on their OWS work. Whether this appeals to anyone is undecided, but the option bears further examination.
* Sean explains an idea he has about trying to “grassroots” an effort to salvage some aspect of the Housing system set into place, by restoring the community in Park Slope church to functional (he attests that it presently is, with Will, Nan, and Michael out of the space) and then asking Working Groups as a body to each sponsor one person within the church community to pay for out of their own private funds with no expectation of recompense. The breakdown is $20 per person per week, which can be divided between working groups further with no major complication so long as they were willing to commit through the space of February. He similarly has an idea for WG members with apartments to couch-surf one person presently in Housing through their own active involvement, and points to a Housing WG forum he has posted this to: http://www.nycga.net/groups/housing/forum/topic/grassroots-housing-initiative/
* Town Planning consenses to the general idea, and nominates two members of Town Planning as the individuals presently receiving housing that they wish to care for: Jeff will be the individual they try to assist with couch-surfing (there should be an easier time of it, than anyone else, as his girlfriend can presumably help share the time load to keep it from being too heavily distributed), and Katherine will be the individual they try to assist with grassroots funding to support at the Park Slope church community past its “end date” regarding Spokes Council funding.