Working Groups: Hey, Who’s Still Around?
Proposal Sponsored by Info/ComHub, Passed by the GA 20 December, 2011
There are currently over 130 groups on the NYCGA web site, and new groups request recognition every day. The Occupy Wall Street movement should always strive to remain inclusive, but the current lack of clarity regarding what a working group is, how it can be formed, and how many we have has caused many practical problems for our movement. These concerns include the following:
- Unclear and Inaccessible Groups: Many working groups which are currently listed on the NYCGA.net website have not made public basic information about what they do or how to contact them and participate in their work. We are not sure whether these groups are still active or even if they still exist post raid. Our primary goal is to figure out which groups are here and active.
- Confusing Group Creation Process: The lack of a single process for creating working groups allows some groups and individuals who do not stand in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement to gain access to resources that were intended to support OWS.
- Lack of Communication: Communication between groups has been disorganized and ineffective because of a lack of transparency, which could be provided by the simple measures of publishing contact info and minutes. This has lead to duplication of work, and competition
Basic Guidelines for Active OWS Working Groups
I. To be considered active, all CURRENT working groups should:
- Provide a public mission statement which does not conflict with the NYCGA principals of solidarity
- Publish contact info on the NYCGA website. A working email or phone number will be required, and both should be provided if possible.
- Be based in NYC, and hold at least one open meeting per week within the New York metro area. The time and location of this meeting must be listed on the NYCGA website.
- Publish minutes from at least one meeting per week on the NYCGA website that demonstrate at least five members in attendance. (Groups will not be considered out of compliance with this guideline until attendance has been less than five members for three consecutive weeks)
II. All NEW working groups should agree to uphold the above guidelines, and also be consensed upon by the GA
NOTE: If, at any point, the GA consenses to alter or change the guidelines all working groups will be given 30 days to come again to compliance.
- There will be a 30-day grace period for current groups to meet the above requirements
- Support will be provided by Info/ComHub to allow groups to comply: provisions will be made to ensure internet access to all groups so that they can provide necessary information on nycga.net. Contact info, mission statements, and hand written meeting minutes can also be given to Info/ComHub for publication on nycga.net.
- If, 30 days after the passage of this proposal, a working group has not fulfilled the above guidelines it will no longer be provided access to the resources and privileges intended for working groups, including:
- Eligibility for funding through instruments of the GA
- A public listing on the nycga.net website and use of an @nycga.net email account
- Access to supplies in SIS
- Any group which loses its eligibility can become active again at any point in the future by fulfilling the basic requirements outlined above.
- The GA body is the only body which can determine that a working group can be disbanded due to violating the principles of solidarity.
- ComHub/Info is committed to supporting groups through this process. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (917) 524-8732
- Charlotte’s Place, 109 Greenwich Street, Open Monday to Friday noon to 6pm. Computers open to the public.
- Tech Ops Group. Meet Wednesday and Sunday, every week 6pm at 60 Wall Street or email them at email@example.com. Help setting up email addresses, google voice phone numbers and NYCGA group web pages and group blogs.
- New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, Open Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10am to 6pm, Tuesday and Wednesday 10am to 8pm and Sunday 10am to 5pm. Computer open to the public, one day passes available.