1. Cash Disbursements
2. Legal Funds
3. Food Funds
Issues Relating to Cash Disbursements
Brad (legal) and B (food) reported a few things that are hindering working group access to cash <$100. It's not just that folks don't have cash needs, its also that our process is not as transparent or easy to navigate. Below are three problems and solutions agreed to by me, Rita, B, and Brendan.
1. People don't know where to find the Cash Disbursement Policy and Form. SOLUTION: email all instructions and forms to all WGs and make paper copies available in the Library, Logistics, and Information tents.
2. Need for comparison shopping. At a meeting last week we already agree that this was not actually necessary; the point is that people should try to find things at a good price. SOLUTION: eliminate comparison shopping language to be replaced with a simple statement that WGs should make an effort to buy items at a reasonable price.
3. The process of waiting for Logistics to obtain an-inkind donation. SOLUTION: if Logistics does not already have the item on hand or cannot provide a high level of certainty that the item will arrive within one day (i.e. because they know that the item requested is almost always donated on a daily basis), then they can put in a cash request right away. Since this involves only small amounts of weekly money, it seems burdensome to wait for a donations through logistics before moving foward with their cash request.
4. We still don't have daily FAWG coverage to disburse funds. We last agreed to set up a calendar on google calendar (did anyone do this), and we also discussed maybe not doing this 7 days a week. we need to wrap up this piece of business. response to Greg's phone call and notes from last night's FAWG meeting on legal funds:
Legal Credit Union Account and Cash Needs
1. Because larger sums of money might need to be available at night when the CU is closed, we agreed that prior to a potential event that could result in mass arrests and the need for bail money, Legal would withdraw funds to be stored in a safe at NLG or some other secure location. Bail can be paid with cash only, and given the withdrawal limits at an ATM, it is therefore necessary to plan in advance and have a lot of cash on hand at critical moments.
2. For more ordinary situations, there are commonly a few arrests per week and it is therefore necessary for Legal to have up approximately $1,000 in cash available at any given time for bail and related legal costs. An interesting detail is that when you pay bail, which is always in cash, they do not provide any form of receipt -- our jails run on undocumented cash transactions, go figure. From an accounting standpoint, therefore, we will never see a bail receipt.
3. We agreed that FAWG would open up a CU account to manage the Legal funds on behalf of Legal. It is up to FAWG to decide if that will be a second account directly connected to its primary account (which would be particularly useful if we expect funds to move between the two accounts) or if it is a separate, free-standing, account just for the Legal funds. Either way, Legal will rely on FAWG to open and maintain this account and to handle all deposits and withdrawals.
B gave Bruce a large wad of receipts for food purchases and a handwritten ledger, sort of a balance sheet. Going forward he will turn over receipts to FAWG at least once per week.
Food has been storing their cash, currently over $3K at secure off-site locations. I suggested this is not safe or good practice and that the credit union is a better location. B agreed and said that Food would open an account within a week. Food will manage this account, not FAWG. FAWG will just handle the accounting based on income and expense records provided by FAWG. We wil provide our Financial Accountability Screen Form to Food so their account signers can be screened. I think B said that he is currently the only person handling the funds. He will need to identify a second person for the Credit Union Account.
Finally, B and Brad also agreed that if funds contributed for their specific uses -- food and legal -- were not needed for those purposes but there were other OB financial needs, that those funds should be made available for other uses. Clearly we are not in that situation right now, but in the future that is useful to know.
Rita gave a report on a mediation session held earlier in the day. Only Sydney came from the other side, not Paul or their attorney. The mediator gave PC and SS one week to enforce their claim that FAWG violated the Agreement by filing an injunction to regain the DBA document. If that is not done within one week, the mediator will turn the document over to FAWG as stipulated in the Agreement.
Rita also gave a brief report about OWS financial management