Meeting Notes 2014-07-23

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Icebreaker: What makes you happy?

Attendees

  • Phil (twitter.com/emergencykittens), Annie (making up analogies to describe her work), Julio (making bread, fermentation), Jenny (new bike and free beer), Daniel (work, solving problems), Torrie (food), TJ (alcohol!), Hol (sweeping the sidewalk!), remote yar (knowing that others will do shit if i don't do it),AL (getting rid of stuff and donating the usable part to Omni), remote-late-faust base64, David K, Marc, Jeremy

Observation: Ambient noise is high, making speaking/hearing at meetings difficult. Perhaps moving the sudo meeting to a quieter part of the Omni?

  • Problem is I think some people are meeting already downstairs at the same time. BAPS room?

Facilitator: Phil

Scribe: Jenny

Stack: Torrie

Announcements

  • David got a pre-fire inspection done
    • Remedy extension cord snakes (running conduit), find a licensed electrician
      • Noisebridge has one
    • All holes in ceiling/wall need to be filled
    • Couches must be rated for commercial use. pews are probably fine.
      • nooooooo
    • Should schedule a fire inspection in the next 2 weeks
  • Gentrification editathons at the Perlinger Library this week: http://localwiki.net/sf/Gentrification_editathon
    • Omni's library group will be partnering with Perlinger to archive some of their works here
  • Omni working groups and governance: approach will be more autonomy to the working groups
  • Consensus facilitation study group will meet monthly (community of practice)
    • Tip: separate stack taker for long meetings w/ lots of discussion
    • Tip: onboarding new people at meetings regarding how we work
    • Related: Challenging Dominant Culture WG to schedule facilitation trainings w/ AORTA Collective
  • Noisebridge: learn to refinish hardwood floors!
    • Fri/Sat/Sun starting around 10am
  • Fermentation groups in Sudo at 5-7pm Monday
  • Sew What!? Mondays from 6-8pm

Access

  • David: Need to be careful about unaffiliated folks occupying the space over the summer
    • Summer at the Omni is Members Only (and closely supervised guests).
    • New behaviors: Introduce yourself to strangers. "Thank you for your interest" and invite unaffiliated people to return when we're open.
    • Ask what folks are here for when you answer the door; take accountability - if you let someone in, they're your guest
    • sometimes i tell people who i trust they can show up and say they're my guest even when i'm not there - is that bad? how do we onboard prospective members this way?
    • what happened to the idea of each collective having a member list agains whom we can check on phone?
      • selective enforcement
  • Put a sign on the door stating that we're not yet ready to the public
    • Internal signs restricting unaccompanied guests "past this point"
    • Guests must be accompanied until Omni opens this fall
  • Sign in book at front and side doors
    • there's already a guestbook
    • what good does it do if we have a sign in book filled with John Smith and John Doe
  • Noisebridge model: guests are sponsored by a member
    • fair enough but who knows if someone is a member or not?
    • now Noisebridge is closed for the month, for the first time in 6 years
    • focus on enculturating / "indoctrinating" / socialization of new folks for the sake of cultural preservation
  • Add documentation about visitor process to the front door
    • Poster sized
    • Procedures and language to use
    • Numbers to call
  • Great if we could orient/welcome new people to the Omni
    • example is Matt Senate's live tour and Jenny's video tour
  • Hacker Happy Hour
    • Newbie night
  • We shouldn't feel obligated to spend an hour watching over a new person
  • Open hours? Greeters for specific blocks of time
  • Daniel: When giving a tour, walk them around the building then right back to the door, and say, "Thank you!"
  • Articulate membership
    • We've started a membership database
    • Jeremy: Perhaps we should 're-member' for all and everyone
      • AL: wahat does this mean? That everyone should go through the new process for becoming a member.
    • This should be Omni-wide - requiring a definition of active members vs guests
      • Badges?
        • Just recognised: If someone is an active member his swipe access works! or she has an temporary badge.
  • Differences in collectives:
    • BAPS guests leave when the class ends
    • Food Not Bombs doesn't have membership
    • TIL is only two people
  • ACTION: Draft Sudo roles for access. https://sudoroom.org/wiki/Post-Summer_Membership_Approach is a draft proposal, a straw man, for how we could organize membership roles associated with different duties and authority related to Omni access.
  • ACTION: Draft front door poster for summer.
  • Sally: Online rsvp system? checkin for folks who are in the building?
  • Eliot: Proposes all groups clarify membership list. If not a member, guests need to have a member to sponsor them. If no one sponsors them, they need to leave.

Finances

  • how much do we have in the bank?
    • can't login, need to get password for new bank acct from matt. but somewhere in the realm of $10-12K

Consensus Items

Omni Proposal: Should Sudo Room put an extra $2K in to the Omni Collective's standing funds?

  • Should we pay July rent for buffer?
    • yar sez yes
    • Let's call it a contribution to Omni rent contingency fund (vs. paying rent)
    • how would that money be spent?
      • Not for non-rent operating expenses.
      • near-term resilience
    • call for more financial transparency by the Omni Collective
    • yar sees potential legal weirdness - somewhere down the road collectives could claim "oh we were just paying rent early" as an excuse to skip a month. so maybe write up an additional contract for this?
  • No rent for July

Decision: 10 ayes, unanimously passed

Omni Proposal: pay Jesse (omni lawyer)

  • Bill is $816
    • The proposal is to pay this from the Omni Collective's standing funds
    • There is another bill which is much higher.

Concerns:

  • Jesse's work was represented to all of us at the very beginning as pro-bono. yar is a bit confused. it created a social pressure against asking him to do things. if we'd known we were paying him a small fortune....
    • i (hol) remember at omni lease discussion hearing it was $120/hr

Proposal: Empower the Omni Oakland Collective to pay the $816 bill out of the standing funds, and table the second bill and distribute it to the collectives for examination. Also table discussion of second invoice until we've seen it, next week. Decision: 10 ayes, unanimously passed

Omni Proposal : New Voting Model

"All votes called by the Delegate Council are subject to two rounds of voting. The first round passes by full consensus. If after friendly amendments and conversation full consensus cannot be achieved, the vote moves to a second round which passes by 2/3 majority. If this second vote fails to pass, the vote does not carry. This amendment to our full consensus voting procedures is proposed in light of advice from radical comrades and colleagues who have seen groups and projects torn apart by bad-faith exploitation of full consensus voting. Our group's aim and aspiration will always be full consensus, and we will always work to make sure all voices are heard. In all of our work and decisionmaking together, let us always be guided by fairness, kindness, and justice."

  • David: We already have a 2/3 vote written into our bylaws; if ten collectives can't come to consensus after two weeks, we need some backup mechanism.
  • Marc: Blocks this proposal, stating that anyone could block and turn it into a 2/3 vote.
  • Jenny: Sudo room delineates different voting procedures for different situations. Eg; a conflict calling for a membership termination or suspension relies on a 2/3 vote, while amendments to our Articles of Assocation calls for a consensus.
  • David: My chief concern is adopting bans imposed by other collectives that don't have a fair process in place
  • Jenny: One of the things we discussed at the governance meeting last night was requiring each member-group to either adopt a process or provisionally adopt Sudo's.
  • Jenny: Also important to keep in mind that the Omni Collective is designed to be as thin as possible. We should ideally be making the bulk of our decisions in our individual collectives and in working groups.

See also responses from the mailing list: https://pad.riseup.net/p/omnivoting Decision: This proposal is not acceptable in its current form.

Proposal: Ban Reciprocity

Proposal: "If the Omni Oakland Collective or any of its member collectives bans a person from its space for reasons of safety, that person is immediately and automatically banned from Sudoroom."

  • What about conflicts between groups? Say, between CCL and Sudo Room, and CCL bans the sudo member?
  • What about bans that are only relevant to a particular space? Say, a CCL member is banned because they can't be trusted around laboratory equipment, should that be enforced building-wide
  • Unban appeal process is already written into the way we operate

10 yes (8 members, 2 provisional), 0 no, 0 abstain

New Members

  • Whitney: Civil engineer, working on a public art piece, working with electronics, want to learn, contribute, share tools; working on a property access gate and wants to learn more about hardware and wiring. Daniel says Whitney has shown his interest in Sudo.
  • Torrie Fischer: Ohioan, started Synhack hackerspace. Came to Bay Area and was inspired by Noisebridge to start Synhack. C, python, linux, machinist, construction; helping w/ noisebridge reboot; wants to participate in a variety of communities. Torrie helped a member with soldering.
  • TJ Mosely: Electrical engineer, nuclear engineering. Interested in power systems, embedded systems. Based in Oak / San Leandro, etc; wants to build a doggie treadmill. TJ volunteered today for hours on Omni construction.
  • Liz finally voted in after 2 weeks without quorum! hooray!!

New members voted in. Extended pondering on the list. If no objections raised after one week, Whitney, Torrie, TJ and Liz become members.

Conflict Resolution

  • Accusation that Phil is complicit with state surveillance (a snitch)
    • Oakland Privacy Working Group didn't have the bandwidth at the time (months ago) to properly address the issue.
      • Phil: resolution happened f2f, off-list
    • Variety of accusations, including splitting the privacy group by taking extreme positions
  • This is not necessarily a two-party situation, as Daniel is speaking for the safety and livelihood of others. Call for solidarity.
  • Conflict Steward: Whitney
  • Mediator: Hol

Action Items

Feel free to take these on! We were all too exhausted by the end of this meeting to concretize.

  • Outward-facing sign declaring we're not yet open to the public
  • Inward-facing document of practices for letting in visitors and how to check if they are members if they claim so. +
  • Create a one-pager describing values and how to be a member.

Tabled for Next Week

Message from Whitnet on 501c(3) status

Soliciting donations for SudoRoom will be greatly assisted with a federal 501c(3) status. Without this classification federal tax incentives are not available to those wishing to donate or to those paying members looking to write off dues, and soliciting of donations w/o this classification is legally questionable. Additionally there is the potential for tax exemption of purchases however this will require (in addition to filing and gaining approval) an internally developed mechanism for members to benefit when making SudoRoom related purchases.

Costs of operating a 501c(3) depend on the amount of revenue. I assume SudoRoom is below the $2million threshold of revenues so audits will not be required. There are miscellaneous fees associated with filing yearly paperwork (all totaled less than $100/yr).

Below are helpful links on the subject and find attached a screen capture of the current Attorney General Status (note that SudoMesh is identical) in addition to the published guide for charities, specifically the section beginning on page 46 "A Summary of Important...".