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Minutes/Notes of February 19, 2012 General Assembl

Agenda accepted.

1:15-1:30  Welcome and Values

Speaker principles – Balance in time.

SPEAKERS:Use  of “I believe we should do this v. we should do this.”  No piggybacking.

LISTENERS:No crosstalk.   No advice.  Confidentiality.  Amnesty.  No ownership of proposals.


VALUES: Fairness

Social/economic justice


Human Rights


Promote the general welfare


Participatory democracy



Preservation of environment







Openness to ideas



Creating & maintaining



Human Needs

Possible redundancy.  This what we’re going to be held accountable.  Guiding principles.  Clear goals for public victories.  Clarity of mission. Power in focus.

Where are we going to go w/these values?  Governance.

Making a smaller list that encompases.

Define broad categories.

Consistent Progressive  actions & values = progress.


(Human Needs: Promote the general welfare)

I.                   Social & economic justice, human rights/needs





Promote general welfare



Human needs


II.                 Nonviolence


III Effective Communication

(Transparency Openness)


IV Love



V.  Patience


VI.  Accountability


Accepted Value Statement

We create and maintain global, social, economic and environmental justice by promoting fairness, human rights including diversity, humanity, the general welfare, love, equality, openness to ideas, human needs, human longevity, inclusiveness, education, the ending of war, peace, and protection of the living ecosystem, always striving for nonviolence in our thoughts and words and practicing nonviolence in our actions.

We do this with patience, balance and love, cooperation, communication, respect, equality and inclusiveness, transparency, accountability, peace and emphasis on diversity.

We do this through an accountable and transparent participatory democracy, consistent, progressive and effective actions and our values.


Post First Break:

Proposal: A Coordinating Committee/Council.


What is the process?

What will be the duties of members?

How will members be selected?

Is this an enforcement council?

What is the rotation/term?

Dealing with exceptions?  Emergencies?


Does each member have to be tied to a work group?

How reversible are the decisions? Authority?

How do we define work groups?

(Concern about the two block process.)


What are the duties?

Implementation of different work groups.

To facilitate communication between the different work groups.


How is it selected?



Accountable to GA.


All Work Groups


Basic Guidelines for Active Occupy Houston Work Groups

1.       To be considered active, all current Work Groups should:

A.     Provide a public (mission statement) of goals, which does not conflict wth the #OH principles of solidarity.

B.     Publish contact info on the #OH website *working email required

C.     Be based in Houston and have, at least one open group meeting at or near Tranquility Park, every other week.  This meeting is to be listed on the#OH website.  Changes to meeting times must be given at least 48 hours public notice, when possible.

D.    Publish minutes of, at least 1 meeting every other week on the #OH website.  This meeting must demonstrate at least 2 in attendance.  Work group will not be considered defunt until attendance has been less than 2 members for 4 weeks.

2.       All new work groups must be announced of formation in the GA.

Note: If, at any point, the GA consensus to alter or change guidelines, all work groups will be given 30 days before implementation.


Implementation: These guidelines will take effect in 30 days after passing consensus in the GA.


Accepted 1/2/12


Implement the current guidelines and communicate between the work groups.

Structure & strategy work group to coordinate

Information disseminated properly.

Implement the proposal process.






GA meets twice a month and votes on Coordinating Council proposals.  Individuals can address GA at each meeting about their concerns, ideas or suggest a general proposal for consideration,  But GA only votes on proposals that have been made directly by the representatives of the Coordinating council.



Representatives will meet frequently and discuss their workgroup concerns and ideas.  The Coordinating Council drafts proposals and will post them on the website at least one week before presenting them to GA




Each workgroup selects representatives for the Coordinating Committee



THE 99%

Outreach Workgroup

Media Workgroup

Finance Workgroup

Other Workgroups.



Accountability v. flexibility.

Revisit participation with Coordinating Council

Anyone in the GA can propose

Council will operate by conssensus horizontal/rotation of leadership.

Room for spontaneity and exceptions.

Mentorship not enforcement.

Accountability within the structure at all levels.

GA needs to be ultimate authority.

Concern- spread our people too thin.

Find agreeable titles

Emphasis on workgroup function not structure.

Balance & accountability.

Action over process


Specific Duties

WG facilitates communication between Work Groups

Information is disseminated properly.

One of the tasks of the WGC is to bring proposals from WG’s & individuals to the GA, and from GA to workgroups (flow goes both ways). This does not suspend the right of individuals to make proposals at GA.

Recruit volunteers for tasks.




Will have Strategy Meeting March 4th 1:00 – 6:00 P.M.


Wednesday GA will be heavily action oriented.  Library Plaza 7:00 P.M.


Facilitation Concerns

Clarity on how/when to speak during discussion

Clarity of process for equal participation

Separate Stack Coordinator

Power of the model

Addres of redundancy.



Minuets of General Assembly of 1/23/2012

For the General Assembly of 1/23/2012, we were one vote shy of obtaining Quorum. Therefore, no new proposals were made. However we did make some general workgroup report backs followed by a discussion of our concerns over the future direction of OccupyHouston as regular, reoccuring members of the prescence at Tranquility Park, alongside the Freedman’s Town Project House and Roccupy.

Joe Roche reports Harris County Comissioners meeting is at 10:00am this Monday followed by City Council open forum at 2:00pm
Pointdexter volunteers to join Peacekeepers
Pointdexter also  reports maybe joining TX/RX [A systems analyst/hacker/tinkerer nonprofit collective] on behalf of Occupy with motive to maybe leverage any resources as needed.
There is consensus that Park conditions are abysmal and is a recognized problem requiring a solution.
Jennie and Sherie disavow membership from Roccupy and are trying to get stuff back to Tranquility Park, and to “reset” things as according to the originol logistics of the Tranquility Park. Some furthur discussion proceeded that rather than returning back on exactly the same part of the park, we rotate around and begin efforts fixing the other side of the park.
	Logistics wants back:
		2 tables
		2 chairs
		Possibly surplus blankets
		Clothes maybe
		Lots of stationary (inside)
		Folding Chairs (inside)
Maria points out it may be possible to obtain items we may need that have been recycled through
Trae Facebook Groups reflecting the various workgroups and roles of Occupy should “just happen” in the interest of increased transparency.

Afterwards, some general concerns were raised by some present that OccupyHouston has broken up into a series of secretive groups. Although Occupy is “leaderless” it is also “leaderful” in that the people who decide to take responsibility of something should, ideally, step aside after adding their nuance so that others can add theirs, in effect returning back to the “source” of the movement. People who have formed their own groups in the name of Occupy, but then not returned that back to the General Assembly, have, in esscence, broken faith with Occupy, threatening its integrity as a whole entity.

On the other hand, it was also argued, that a Gestalt perspective is a good way to interpret OccupyHouston. That OccupyHouston is made up of separate groups that are large, or small, depending on frame of reference, and may not seem to make a coherent picture when taken exactly as it is laid out, but when patched together keeping in mind negative and positive space [in this sense this is being used in the sense of black and white shades of a picture,] in its own context, makes an actual interpretable picture. Literally, this is what you see when you look at the World Wildlife Fund Panda Logo, or our own We Are The 99% logo with the head of a girl. These logos have been left behind to help people understand and will be placed in the library.

Before disolving for the night, we had a last round robin approach to air what we felt, and we talked about:
1 ) Cleanup of Tranquility
2 ) Physical occupation in public space is still important, versus private space
3 ) We hope for better cooperation among workgroups
4 ) Forgiveness among workgroups
5 ) No secrecy
6 ) Survival over the next final three months of winter
7 ) Some mediation and exchange, that FTPH (Freedmen’s Town Project House) and Roccupy would be together and communicating
8 ) For evreyone to know what groups we have; and for these groups to be accessible
9 ) Maybe “official” communication should be in a particular format (email?) so there is always a single point of reference for the conversation between groups as a whole rather than vieing for evreyones attention across different mediums
10 ) We are still a young movement with many questions
11 ) Can we get portapotties?
12 ) Meet  back at Tranquility at 1:30pm for protest action followed by City Council Forum