GA Minutes Sun Sep 09 2012

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Details

Location: Community Church of Boston
Time: 4:20 pm - approx 5:35pm
Facilitator: Carolyn
Stack Keeper: Rich
Note taker: Steve

Summary

About 17 people attended this afternoon's GA. We had planned to hold the GA in Copley Square, but had to change locations at the last minute, due to an event being held in the square.

Most of the meeting was spent on announcements and report backs, but we still managed to pass two proposals.

Announcement and Report Backs

S17 (Linda). The S17 transportation and outreach group will meet on Monday Sep 10, 6pm, at City Place. We'll have two buses taking people to NYC. The first bus leaves Fri 9/14 at 6pm. The second bus leaves Sat 9/15 at 9am. These are Fung Wah buses, leaving from South station.

There are two returning buses - one coming back Monday evening (9/17), and one coming back Tuesday morning. We have some money to reimburse bus fare to people who have to leave NYC early, to be at work Monday morning.

We'd also like to reimburse people for two inner-city trips per day.

Housing will be in a warehouse. You'll need your own sleeping bag. The location hasn't been disclosed yet, and may not be disclosed until shortly before the buses arrive.

Go to http://s17.occupyboston.org to sign up for busing.

Rene: We're setting up a facebook group for S17. It's not ready yet. Can we put something on the web site?

Steve: We can put something on the website. You can send me copy, or leave me to my own devices :)

?: On November 17th, we drove to NYC in cars. If people drive down, are there funds to reimburse them for parking?

(We weren't sure if there are funds for parking reimbursement.)

Rich: Those who can afford to chip in $15.00 for transport will be asked to make a contribution.

Linda: No one will be turned away because they can't pay. We think there are real advantages to having people ride down together.

Carolyn: Should we save the rest of this discussion for SAA?

(There's general agreement to continue the discussion at SAA.)


RNC (Bil). I went to the RNC demonstrations. There were lots of marches, most with 200-300 people. There weren't any bad police confrontations. I was the only protester from Boston. There were two medics from Boston.


Occupy Media (Bil). In April, we made several photo and video submissions to the German-American society. Several of the videos and photographs were accepted. The photographs have been published as a book. (Bil passes a copy of the book around for people to look at.) Contact me if you'd like a copy of the book.

See http://www.youtube.com/OccupyBoston for videos.


Storytelling Project (Nabil). I'm working on a project where people will tell stories to illustrate their political positions. The broader purpose is to have a dialog about political positions, done through storytelling. The storytelling will happen at an event in October. Contact me if you're interested.


Bradley Manning Support Rally (Joan). On Sep. 6th we had a support rally for PFC Bradley Manning, outside the Democratic campaign headquarters in Boston. Manning has been imprisoned without trial for over two years. About 70 people came out to the rally. This was a national effort; 34 cities held Bradley Manning support rallies in front of local Democrat campaign headquarters. There was a wonderful turnout from Occupy Boston.


No Room For Wishing (Carolyn). A young man created a play where he acts out the stories of 30 different occupiers. It's called "No Room for Wishing". It's a 90 minute performance, followed by 30 minutes of Q & A.


International Day of Peace (Bob). On Friday Sep 21, there will be an International Day of Peace demonstration at the Boston Common Bandstand, from 4--7pm. There are many sponsoring organizations. I'd love to see a tremendous number of people turn out to speak for peace. There is more than war, hatred, and bigotry.


FAWG (Linda). Greg canceled Occupy Boston's business certificate, and has taken his name off OB's financial accounts. So far, there are two people who've been willing to put their name on OB's accounts. Please contact me if you're interested in sharing this responsibility.

We had to close the old account, and re-deposit the money. We just deposited it in the Cambridge Portuguese Credit Union. The money needs to be in the account for a few days before it's available for withdrawal.

We're preparing proposals to use United for a Fair Economy (UFE) as Occupy Boston's fiscal sponsor. We'll bring these to GA soon.

In preparation, we've been learning about the different forms of fiscal sponsorship.

Kendra: we have four directions for fiscal sponsorship.

  1. Comprehensive Model. The sponsor takes care of all book keeping and check disbursements.
  2. Pre-approved Grant model. The fiscal sponsor will keep the money on their books, and transfer it to OB as grants. OB would have to maintain its own set of books, showing how the money was used.
  3. Don't keep the money in a bank. Keep it in cash, and figure out how to handle the cash.
  4. If we can't find a way to manage the money, we could give the money away. This isn't a complete solutions, since donations still come in.

Noah. I'm happy to hear more about the different options. I'd like to see a way for more people to give input.

Carolyn encourages FAWG to put their proposal on http://voices.occupyboston.org. (note taker: click on "Forums", then "Proposals", then "New Topic")

Bob: Is there anyone among us who's a trained accountant?

Kendra: That would be the purpose of having a fiscal sponsor.

Linda: Brian Miller (UFE's director) is amenable to either of the first two models. UFE charges a 9% commission for the comprehensive model, and 7% for the pre-approved grant model.

Dana: I'm concerned about OB people having to hold money that they don't want to hold. It seems like having a fiscal sponsor could be a good way to address this.

Linda: Once the money is held by a non-profit, it's subject to IRS rules on how non-profits can spend money.

We'll start bringing these proposals to GA on 9/22 (at the earliest).

Carolyn: How are things being paid now?

Linda: Radio hasn't been paid yet, but we should be able to pay it in a few days. We need to look at the other expenses.

Joe: Would this be the first time we've ever paid for a service? It seems like we're crossing a threshold.

Kendra: If you have other ideas or suggestions, please come to a FAWG meeting. We need the input and we need the help.

Dana: Point of information: It's now 5:22 and we're running into SAA time.

Carolyn: We have two proposals. Let's find out what they are. Then, we can decide how to continue.

Proposals

Balloons (Aria). I'd like $300 to make up balloons for S17.

Livestream Equipment (Rene). There's a big allocation in the tactical fund, and we're not planning an occupation right now. The livestream group needs some new equipment, and we'd like to use part of the tactical fund to purchase that equipment.

Noah: I suggest we spend ten more minutes talking about proposals, then transition to SAA.

(note taker: I had to leave at this point. Both proposals passed in the consent bucket, in about seven minutes time. Dana sent me the following details.)

Balloon Proposal

Proposed by Aria.

$300 for printed ballons to be filled with helium for S17 in NYC.

Details: Red balloons with white lettering printed with the following four messages:

  • YOU ARE NOT A LOAN
  • DEBT
  • WHO DO YOU OWE?
  • WHO OWNS YOU?

A means to inflate with helium will be figured out in NYC during S17. After subtracting the cost of helium, the remainder amount will be used to buy as many balloons as possible.

Livestream WG

Proposer: Rene

Using some of the funding previously allocated for the Tactical Proposal (for a new encampment) to replace missing/broken streaming gear in time for S17.

Details:

  • Ballpark estimate amount: $400.
  • Using Tactical allocated funds for 2 hotspots which need to be replaced.
  • Because there will be more streamers than usual, 2 battery packs need to be purchased for S17.
  • 4 LiveStream mounts for streamers also need to be purchased to provide more stabilized, professional video.