Meeting Notes 2014-12-17

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sudoroom mtg - Dec 17, 2014 Sudoroom, 7pm, every Weds. Bring yo couch!


Attendees

Facilitator: Jenny Ice-breaker question: How are you staying warm?

  • Jenny (blankets and space heaters),

Sean (fuzzy hats), Ira (layers), Whitney (leave kettle on stove while you're at work all day), Conner (doesn't stay warm), Matt (shivering), Yu (chemical handwarmers), Korl (cat w/ a beer belly who's her little spoon), Jesse (warm clothes/socks/shoes etc;), Noemie (nettle tea and blankets with ducks on them), Adam (hi! i brought this space heater)

  • Ira recommends the garment store in Montclair

New Members

  • Conner
    • Why? Likes the idea of communal skill-share and giving back. Works w/ Naomi Most.
    • What share? Electrical engineer, happy to share hobby electronics
    • What hack? Ensuring this space is up to code (works in Facilities), automated gardening, suitcase robots, y'know
    • Have you ever been banned from another hackerspace? No
    • We like him! Passes initial pondering

Announcements

Sudo or Omni related announcements.

  • NFC - wristbands, hacking, wearables and workshops!
    • We can make apps alive by tapping wristbands to our phones!
    • We can also use these for door access.
    • And way more other things...
    • Based on random sample (20), expecting 30% to work, turned out 30% DIDN'T work, so 70% success that may be extrapolated to the full stock of them (hopefully a representative sample size).
    • Korl is going to spend another 1-2 weeks working with Tasker + Trigger and will update sudo room w/ compendium of knowledge for workshop.
  • Cryptoparty event this sunday 2-5pm at Sudo Room!
    • Learn to encrypt your email, harddrive, other communications
  • LOLspace is also hosting a security event @ 1234 23rd Ave (at International) near Fruitvale on Saturday (12/20) 1:30pm - 5:00pm


  • Next two meetings are open potlucks! Dec. 24th and Dec. 31st :)
  • Chabot Space and Science Center Event!
    • Diane Strand from the CSaSC emailed sudo.info about a robotics event for kids - RobotFest Sumo competition - and invited us to participate.
    • It's February 28th, so we have a ton of time to get a workshop/ display/etc ready.
    • This is a great event for showing our support for kids in tech!! And Robot solidarity, of course.
      • Korl will post to sudo.discuss and sudo.robotics, and get back to Diane Strand asap.
  • ira: Are there public terminals here?
    • Jenny explains public terminal access

Finances

  • $519.68 / week on Gratipay
  • $3,253.87_ in the Internet Credit Union account :( this is bad.
  • $ around 200$_ worth of bitcoin.

We need more money. :-/

Cost-Savings

  • Replacing lights/bulbs in Sudo/CCL?

Noemie hasn't been working on it. Will do. Needs help with it!


Discussion

  • How should we ineract with unwelcome (and potentially abusive/hostile/drunk/etc) guests who are attempting to squat the Omni - (Especially if you are alone!) How can we better communicate that squatting is not ok? How can we improve security? This is brought up by Korl's run-in with a weird guy squatting in the eyeball room at 4 AM. (relocate this agenda item as appropriate)

There have been incidents with people interacting with folks who were obviously seeing the space as a potential resource for living, occupying otherwise existing when they don't have other resources or spaces to go. It's difficult. We want to provide space and resources for people to exist. We want to be open in a way that a public park is for people to just come and be. And not have to be accountable for doing some amazing projects and doing some crazy science experiments. At the same time we want to create a space that is safe for people to be here. How do we maintain a safe space while at the same time creating a space that is a resource for people who don't have the resources to particpate without feeling like they have to pay something or answer qualificatiosn or demands.

It's an open question. I'd rather open it up to those who have had challenging experiences in maintaining the space as a safe space that is nevertheless open.

Korl recaps her experience: I came to Omni at 4am to do dishes - omnis and my own. When I came in the front door, I saw a person in the kitchen. By the time i got close enough to see their face, they had switched off the light and started walking away along the balcony. When I got to the kitchen, I heard a door close and lock behind me. I turned to see the light was on in the tiny-window room, witht the door closed. I walked over, knocked on the door. Me: "Hello?"... Them: "Yes?"... Me: "Can you open the door please?... What are you doing in there?" He responded each time very rudely and annoyed by me, insisting he was allowed to be there, it was none of my business, why did I care, etc. He finally opened the door when I explained, "It's 4 in the morning, I don't know you at all, there's is no reason why you should be locking yourself in this room. When he finaly opened the door, I saw a backpack, plastic bags, clothes, trash, dishes, and a comfy sitting area made up. I asked him again what he was doing in there, he replied rudely with a lot of attitude and 'huffing and puffing' and at one point claimed, "[an omnian] said I could be here" in a way that was very entitled, condescending, annoyed, etc. I told him "That's a unfortunate, because no one is allowed to sleep here. I'm sorry to have to kick you out, but is not a place for that. Whoever told you you could sleep here was mistaken or shouldn't have told you that." He got real even more annoyed and began very slowly collecting his dishes and trash. He was taking his time, and I got tired of standing in the doorway of the little room, so I carefully collected the rest of his things, put them in his open bag and set them outside the door. I grabed the rets of the trash and dishes, closed up the room, walked to the kitchen and began loading the dishwasher. He went and grabbed his bag, stood there for a minute, and started walking down the stairs. I thought that in case he tried to go into another small room, i would follow him out, but also to lock the dead bolts for my own safety. He was going almost rediculously slowly down the stairs. and in trying to walk down behind him, my toe touched the back of his foot. He reacted very dramatically, demanding to know why I was following him. Me: "I'm sorry, it was an accident, I'm just trying to see you out to the door". He continued to trudge painfully slowly I really have a lot do and I want to make sure ?" Of course I was empathetic to his situation, and when we got to the door I asked, "do you have anywhere else to go?" He said that he didn't. I told him "I'm really sorry to hear that. If i knew any shelters nearby, i'd tell you... but for future, this building isn't one. You can come back tomorrow if you want to, but you can't sleep here.' He mumbled some thing, left, i locked the door, and went back upstairs to do the dishes.

In a later conversation with the Omnian I was told that in fact, no, he was never given permission to sleep here. As well, the Omnian did not know him personally. He is howevere known through his girlfriend, who frequently hangs out in the exterior ballroom entryway, with him and her child. The woman knows the Omnian, from interacting with him outside of the Omni (as I recall).

I have seen him maybe once of twice outside since, but because of his rudeness/inappropriate comments toward passersby/ in general, over the last couple months, I had just started completely ignoring him whenever I see him at the ballroom entry steps.

Desc: Between 40 and 50 years old, bald, of african descent. Seems drunk most of the time to multiple people. He's very "not polite" and crass.


Matt: do they have no where to go other than the steps? Korl: i think the mom and child have a shelter to go to, but only because I so rarely see them there at night

Also, someone was taking munchery meals and selling them. Seems to be the same person. I would probably do the same thing if i was broke as shit. We need to make sure that the gifts we're given continue to be gifts.

Connor is willing to be on call if anyone needs help. He lives closeby. We'll have a phone list that will be posted in the space.

Sean's question about the possibility to say sudo room is closing. Policy: if someone is being an asshole, you as a member can say: is someone vouching for you? Unless someone is willing to say this is their guest. If not, you can ask them to leave. If you're the only member besides some non members that you're not comfortable with, you can say: sudo room is closing. Sean: does that extend to the building as a whole? Yes. You should close with a buddy when closing the building. Coming up to people who are just visitors, saying: we'll ask you to leave. For more on this topic, come to the welcoming committee's meeting tomorrow at 6pm! We'll be working on documentation.

Korl: We should understand the difference between open space and a space that has certain boudaries. If someone is here to abuse the people the resources or the tools, they should be given a chance to clarify, but there is no reason why we should tolerate the intentional bullshit of people who come because they see we are open and loving. We should be those things without being doormats.

Matt: if you're uncomfortable by yourself, you can bring people with you and the group won't leave until that person leave. Staying in solidarity with people in your community.

Korl: we should talk about this at the delegate's meeting.


  • Chris Bee: One of the members of the sudo room has been using the space for sleeping. members of the omni have tried to confront this person along this use of space and have become really uncomfortable.

After some time, I found him sleeping in the space again. He was banned, and came back and slept in the space again. I have no more patience; i htink we should revoke his membership and his access to the building. That involves him giving back the key or changing the lock. Liz: the reason the first time it was revoked I offered to do conflict resolution. I did some documentation. I also feel like my attempts at resolutions failed. Because Chris has no solutions for himself and we have no options for him and he feels bad. I don't know how to help him and no one here knows how to help him if he can't help himself. I told him he should be here. I took issue the first time of the fact that he was adivised at the last minute. This time he was told in advance and he's not showing up. i'd like to announce that Amanda (blond girl dressed like a traveler kid. She's squatting a building and would like to invite Chris to come with her. If anyone finds him could they let him know? that she's trying to get in touch with him?

Jenny: our housemate jake knows Chris for years and knows him to have been in this pattern for many years. He has a pretty established history and ability to find places that will accomodate him. The scenario we're in with him is that hte omi is especially nice and easy to be in and takes the role off him to look for a place; revoking that priviledge is a way to push him to address the matter of his housing situation. By saying you're not allowed to be here, it will push him to lean back on the many friends and resources that he actually has available to him. Many of us are friends with Chris Bee, provided alternatives that he has refused. The reason he's able to refuse these opportunities is becase we continue to allow him. If we take a stance and say no you can't, he's goig to continue to push until he gets a hard pushback. Tis has been a pattern for over a decade now. It's hard for all of us, because many of us are good friends with him. No one wants to put him in the streets but there needs to be aknowledgment of the fact that he has resources. He is pretending that he doesn't in order to gain him more time to elongate his stay here. For me, it sucks. I come here to work, but half the time i have people coming to me with a crisis, and half the time the crisis is Chris. I was trying to have a fundraising meeting. The minute i come in the door, David Brazil comes to me and tells me that Chris B is snoring in the balcony right above us.

He was acting all confused. It's pressure on people who do awesome things having to deal with him disrispecting the space. They should be able to have their class and not feel weirded out by chris snoring over the person doing the class.

Matt: I'm proposing that we revoke his access because he's not respecting our values. He should give us his key back and if he wants access to the building he should apply for membership again.

Korl: Liz and I tried to find solutions. In my experience he doesn't seem capable of deciding let along enacting something. I think the word ban is harsh i think revoking his membership is fair. Matt: i would like to ask him to stay away from the building.

Proposal:

1. Chris B's access to Omni Commons is revoked (we expect any keys to be returned). 2. Chris B's membership to the Sudo Room is revoked. 3. Chris B is not welcome in the Omni Commons at any time. 4. Negotiation to restore these privileges to access resources of the Omni Commons and Sudo Room communities can only begin (merely start) after Chris B has demonstrated he has solid, persistent, long-term housing outside of the Omni Commons, to ensure Chris B does not repeat current behavior. 5. The only way Chris B can restore these privileges is to re-apply for membership to the sudo room.

Vote: 9 aye - 0 blok - 2 abst

Conflict Resolution Follow-up

  • Pigeon asked us to ban an individual accused of rape. We placed a provisional ban, Liz and Korl updated.
    • Both narratives from either side are inconsistent (one group is lying)
    • We can't tell the difference.
    • Challenging Dominant Cultures was discussing Zach Houston, seeing this discussion as relevant.
      • Bringing issues up that happen outside of the space, we should side with not bringing it into the building.
    • Some people have spoken up on the side of the accused.
    • It has been harder to be in touch with the survivor and the survivor's network.
    • Liz's conclusion:
      • No reason to necessarily ban this person, the situation happened years ago, erring on not bringing in issues from outside into Omni.
      • We should investigate them, we should not ban in blind solidarity.













Proposals

  • Back Door Security
    • Proposal by Sean to secure the back door on 48th with a card reader, or whatever works.
    • We grant Sean power to improve that door!


Action Items

  • Jenny will ping omni folks about lights revolution --> noemie


Sudo ToDo

Delegate's Agenda Items

oooooOOOOOoooo, all clean :)