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General Assembly Minutes 1/5/12 pm

Moderator- Jenny

Facilitator- Mary

Stacker- Darin

Scribe- Scott

Timer- Chris

started with a small quorum of about 15, ended up with about 28 in attendance

Pending Proposals

Delbert- #OH stand along with #OWS and stand in solidarity with Occupy the Dream. -passed-

Brandon- Propose a link on #OH.org to the Occupy Kingwood fb page and post info on our event calendar. This event to happen on Saturday. (I would hope to update this soon, but I need more info since it is not in the minutes. There were more details in the GA, they just weren’t written down. JS) -passed-

Work Group Report Backs

Political Action- Delbert- Meeting at City Hall today. Keith Wade (mayor’s advisor) 713-398-8969 and Press Secretary Jessica Michan- 832-393-0804 both in attendance, meeting included going over where we stand from the cities point of view and from ours. City wanted to impress that they really wanted to find out the end game. It was said that we have no timeline for the end game b/c we are seeking a better society and this requires long term goals. City wanted to know whether or not we intended to continue the overnights in the park and they suggested considering another location. One not so symbolic. But also stated that we could use the park for meetings and if GA extended past the dawn to dusk rules, they’d allow that. The city also suggested we get involved with more city based volunteer groups. They want to re-meet sooner rather than later.

Work Group Work Group- Jenny- January 7, Work Group Day. Schedule posted on web and fb.

Sustainability- Trae- did survey today for guerilla gardening, discussed getting more involved with local churches and organizing points of contact.

Outreach- Jamin- Today we met with HPD and City Hall and talked about working on projects that have money allocated to them, just lack the manpower to facilitate.

Announcements

Don- Green Party- Tuesday was the deadline to submit candidates, Green Party now has over 50 submissions, across the state, which is a great thing to secure a place on the ballot, there are also several Occupiers on the ballot

Don- MLK Day Parade, 2 parades to go on in downtown, will be getting a trailer for the parade so that Occupiers can also participate with the Green Party and have a presence within parade, One of these are being held by the Black Heritage Society which is endorsed by the family of Martin Luther King Jr, starting white washing of signs tomorrow.

Chris- As of tomorrow, Occupy Houston will be the longest running non-evicted Occupation, we hit the 3 month mark, If they kick us out of Tranquility, then we’ll go to City Hall, still trying to find the Herman will so we can back up the use of the park.

Jamin- Today, Jamin, Jocelyn, and Capital spoke on Connect the Dots with Robert Mohammed from the Nation of Islam Southwest Region. It went well and they were asked to come back. Wednesday 3:30

Proposals

Jonathan-

Jenny- Propose to let Mouse RSVP the invite for help from the Global Revolution group, which is the media team for Occupy Wall Street. -passed but pending-

Mary- Propose to answer the Mayor, about the end game, with “We will leave the park when there are no more homeless in Houston.”  FA (friendly amendment) -and when all people are making a living wage. POI(point of info) leary of responding to their stimulus, How can we operate from outside the culture? Question-Do we treat the Mayor more favorably then any other person? Question-Can we answer with just our mission statement or the Declaration of the Occupation? POI-We never end it. FA- suggest the mayor come visit and talk with the GA. -proposal tabled-

Jamin- In an effort to find workability, we invite and welcome any entity that will support Occupy Houston with good intent. -passed but pending-

Jenny- We invite the Mayor to the General Assembly. -withdrawn awaiting more info-

Darin- Propose that we assign and address to Occupy Houston. That address to be 420 Walker. Mailbox will be provided. (this is the number of the parking spot by the crosswalk from Tranquility to City Hall.) -passed but pending-

Erick- Make a press release about inviting the Mayor to GA. -withdrawn awaiting more info-

Ben- Form a workgroup to designate rotating delegates to speak to the Mayors Office. -withdrawn awaiting more info-

Alex- Reinstate the gold and silver standard currency. -blocked-

David- Reprint copies of the Declaration of the Occupation. POI- Contact Outreach. -tabled-

Opinion

???-First Amendment rights to life and freedom of speech are not a game and Occupy Houston has no end in sight, and if any member of city hall disagrees, they are welcome to come to a GA.

Anthony- We have the right to stand up, the right to be heard.

Jamin- Stay focused

Miguel- MLK jr tribute 1/17

Joe- Was at townhall with Congressman Gene Green(?). It is important to reach out to our elected officials.

Jenny- The compost bin stinks. It is rude to walk away in big groups in the middle of a GA. You had your time to speak and people listened, give the same respect to others. I love you.

Trae- Reach out to your contacts, focus on your strengths

Anthony- hesitant to call officials our allies, we need to stay strong and build

 

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Work Group Meet & Greet: Sat Jan 7th at 2PM

 

Wanna get more involved with Occupy Houston but you just don’t know how? Come out to Tranquility Park, on January 7, for a Work Group Meet and Greet and Focus Sessions. Stay for GA at 5:30PM.

Learn how you can share your skills and talents to help with our mission of Ending the Corporate Corruption of our Democracy. We have many work groups to choose from. From Outreach (printing fliers, speaking within our local communities) to Sustainability (focusing on Green Energy, gardening, recycling), Direct Action (organizing marches to letter writing) to Facilitation (learning and working out the process of General Assembly).

We have a niche for you. Open Work Group Fair starts at 2:00pm.

General Assembly (Work Group Edition!) to begin at 5:30.

Hope to see you there!

 

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General Assembly Minutes 1/2/12 pm

Moderator- Tyler

Facilitator- Vee

Stacker- Jenny

Scribe- Miguel

Timer- Ben

*meeting is also recorded and was livestreamed

Work Group Report Back

Roccupy- CK- 1401 Andrews, sign in sheet to track progress

Political Action- Joe- 9:00 am tomorrow (Jan 3) City Council Inauguration @ Hobby Center, Harris County Commissioner, 9:00 am every other Tuesday, Sunday 1/15 Chevron marathon, 1/16 MLK day Parade, 1/16 Ray Hill protest @ 5 pm   Feel free to call Joe- 281-928-5999

Occupy the Courts- Ben- Trying to make a banner, we have an occupier who can get free banners made, will follow up on this

Work Group Meeting WG- Jenny- Work Group Meet and Greet/Re-Organization Day, Jan 7, 2:00, Needs feedback from work groups

Announcement

Ben- The park has been cleaned. Needs help to load the stuff up to take and be washed.

Proposal

Jenny- Basic Guidelines for Active Occupy Houston Work Groups

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

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

B. Publish contact info onto 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 time 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 defunct until attendance has been less than 2 members for 4 weeks.

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

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

Implementation: These guidelines will take effect in 30 days, after passing consensus in the General Assembly.  -pending 2nd approval-

Ben- Jan 21st: Create symbolic and potentially non-symbolic tents and place them all over the park. We will specifically ask that people who choose to risk arrest not have warrants or be out on bond
-pending 2nd approval-

Opinion

Ben- Protesters need to be at the park @ 8:30 am for the inauguration event, wants to make a tent action

Jonathan- wants lift on the 24 hour notice requirement. (this is giving 24 hour notice of proposal tomorrow)

Erick- For purpose of increasing GA attendance, there should be no 24 hour notice for facilitation proposals (this is 24 hour notice of proposal to be brought up tomorrow)

Moved to open discussion of facilitation changes

adjourned

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Work Group Meet&Greet/ Work Group Re-Organization Day- Jan 7th

Come join Occupy Houston on January 7, 2012 for a Work Group Meet & Greet/Work Group Re-Organization Day. Let’s start the New Year off right. We have many new faces here at Occupy Houston and many faces that have been busy for the holidays. January 7th will be a day to re-commit our focus to the movement. Wanna help out, but you just don’t know how? Come out and see where your skills might be best utilized. Don’t know how to plan a protest march, but you know how to cook; join the Food Work Group. Don’t know how to cook, but you can make some fliers; Outreach might be a good choice for you. Participation is a necessity for the Occupy Movement to move forward. Be the change you want to see in the world. Get involved. Hope to see you there. Tranquility Park, January 7th, 2:00.

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General Assembly Minutes 12/29/2011 pm

Evan- Moderator

Scott- Facilitator

Jenny- Facilitator/Stack

Jamin- Scribe

Chris- Timer

30 in attendance

Work Group Report Back

Work Group Meet & Greet – Jenny- On January 7th there will be a Work Group Meet & Greet/Work Group Re-Organization Day. Imagine Job Fair, but a Work Group Fair. Starts at 2. Participation looks to be promising.

Tranquility Park- Joe- Trying to get Port-o-Potties.

Roccupy- Scott- Roccupy House is being converted into office space. Tents are allowed. Place to go to get out of the rain. Rules; No one allowed in house without a keyholder present. Attempt to follow TABC guidelines for kitchen safety. Possible shoes off policy. No writing on walls. Also, help will be needed to clear out the lot across the street.

Announcement

Jamin- Audience with chief of police requires a written letter. Read first draft of letter. Letter to be posted on website.

Remington- Occupy the Airwaves is no longer on FM radio. Moved to HD radio. Call KPFT- 713-526-4000 to show support. Speak to Ernesto.

Trae- Discussed gaining access to dump trucks and construction tools for the lot across from the Roccupy House.

Jenny- Occupy Labor Ready hopefully coming soon.

Joe- New Years Eve free metrorail.

Proposal

Evan- Proposed to have an Occupy Houston Blood Drive on a Saturday coming up. 25 persons needed to get the blood drive truck out there. Debb to be the first recipient due to her cancer treatment.  -passed-

Chris- Proposed to make the announcement section of GA’s 3 minutes long due to always running out of time on announcements. -tabled-

Opinion

Jason- spoke of money orders being stolen. Trying to find a way to deal with that.

Scott- Doesn’t think GA’s are good for resolving personal conflicts.

Tyler- Be responsible for your own things.

Diane- Shunning is a way to deal with a thief.

Trae- Likes Diane’s idea.

Jenny- Ex-communication can also be a great tool.

Tyler- Wants dialogue about issues of theft.

Miguel- Spoke of protecting the freedom of speech on sidewalks.

Consensus to adjourn

 

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General Assembly Minutes 12/26/2011 pm

Moderator- Scott

Facilitation- Jamin & Kristen

Stack- Miguel

Scribe- Jenny

28+ people in attendance

Work Group Report Back

Media- Jenny- Mouse is doing an excellent job with the livestream. Yesterday we had at least 95 viewers from around the globe. Livestream is up and running daily.

Roccupy- Capital- 1201 Andrews is a new location for Roccupy Work Group. Working towards making a youth center possible.

Work Group Reorganization- Jenny- January 7, work group meet and greet/work group reorganization day, get the new faces involved, meet up with the people who are already involved but haven’t made it out in awhile, Find out who still wants to be involved.

Research- Scott- get ahold of Scott if you want to be a part of the Research Work Group, email him; scottrgregory@gmail.com   He will then send the link to the reddit discussion.

Announcements

Trae- HPD took our fire. Bbq pit is gone. Need to research the burn ban.

Capital- If you want to be involved in the 1201 Andrews project, get ahold of him.

Proposal

Jenny- Occupy Houston has been invited to participate in the Global Round Table worldwide Occupy conference chat. Proposal to go ahead and rsvp that we will be there and let Mouse continue to do his thing representing Occupy Houston. -passed-

Jenny- Make January 7, 2012 a Work Group Re-Organization/Meet and Greet day. -passed-

Opinion

Anthony- Merry Christmas to all. Glad to see everyone out here.

Jenny- Occupy Labor Ready coming soon.

Trae- Happy Holidays, Christmas GA was great and productive, discussed a lot of issues and came up with solutions.

Scott- Met some people invoved with Friends of Cherryhurst, this is a group trying to get community involvement to keep the community center open. This could be a great #OH project.

Shariff- Visiting from Egypt, means a lot to see us Occupying, wasn’t going to speak but very greatful and felt the need to, keep occupying, stay strong, Solidarity from Egypt.

Veronica- Visiting from Occupy Las Vegas, they stay at a place called Area 99, we need to continue to work together, not let our petty arguments divide us, do not allow the divide and conquer attitude, fb name; Veronica Robeledo, Solidarity from Las Vegas

Trae- urban farming on Sundays at Last Organic Outpost

Matt- do not be afraid to go to jail, there are protests in jail as well, cannot live in fear

Trae- It’s OK to be Radical.

Consesus to adjourn, passed.

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December 22, 2011 General Assembly PM

Jonathan- moderator

Mike- Facilitator

Jenny- Scribe/Stacker

Rico- Timer

Work Group Report Back

Capital- Project Houses- Trying to get in contact with Austin and also trying to secure a location on Andrews.  Rockupy Music and Art Fest to be held tomorrow at noon.

Jacob- Occupy the Airwaves- Call KPFT (713-526-4000) and let them know we want to keep Occupy the Airwaves going. There is only one more show scheduled. Thursday @ 6 pm. Tonight’s show was about the NDAA. It’s been going great and we’d like to continue.

Ben- Bonding Work Group- Matt should be being bonded out right now. He’s still in Harris County from the D12 action. Trying to get a schedule with Remi so that someone is always available should the need for bonds arise.

Covert Ops- street art

Ben- Diversity- Trying to gather for a Diversity Meeting. Contact him on fb for more details.

Jenny- Work Groups- Hoping to have a huge work group meeting the first week of the new year to regroup and reorganize the work groups.

Announcements

Vas- Start a collective work group to make money for #OH by installing solar panels. #OH would not be purchasing the solar panels, only installing them.

Trae- resource request list

Remington- Check out Occupy the Airwaves on KPFT, Thursdays at 6pm. Remington is also accepting collect calls to help update people in jail on how their cases are going. His number; 281-323-0535.

Delbert- Kwanzaa celebrations are beginning. Delbert would like us to have an Occupy presence at the different locations around town. Ex. Shape Community Centers on Almeda and on Live Oak, 5th and 3rd Ward Multipurpose Complex.

Delbert- January 16 (MLK Day) begins the Occupy the Dream campaign. There is a coalition of African American leaders working together with #OWS. This event will lead us into April 4th where we will congregate in D.C. for a huge march.

Remington- involvement with partisan politics such as the Green Party, would like to set up a debate with them to find pros and cons of getting involved.

Proposals

Ben-  If you are arrested committing non-violent civil-disobedience during an Occupy Houston action or otherwise arrested as part of your being there during that action, Occupy Houston expresses our support for you and we will attempt to bail you out and otherwise get you free to the best of our ability.

Jonathan- With the understanding that democracy is simply–though a contradiction in terms–controlled anarchy, limited only by rules agreed upon by the group as a whole, and that these constraints to freedom are always subject to any group that adopts any form of democratic process, not the reverse, we, by will alone, adopt rules and guides to help foster a consensus process. Furthermore, that, in a true democracy, within said forum, any rule, constraint, or guideline, can be lifted or removed entirely– to the extent of all procedural guidelines– at any time, through whatever method that group so chooses. This can be done temporarily, that is within a single assembly, or permanently, with or without redressing them.

With that said, I propose that we adopt, by consensus–there will be no vote–these guidelines for the general assembly. I am not attempting to impose these upon you, simply asking you to agree with me.

First and foremost, that we abolish all previous alterations to the very simple understanding of the hand signals and the stack, to be identified now;

The stack; a simple list of people to be heard in the current general assembly–first come, first served basis. Stacking begins thirty minutes prior to the GA. The only informationna stacker should recieve is a person’s first name (or chosen identifier). Obviously those working groups who have a large nymber of members will have a louder voice in that they will be able to field more speakers; however, reitterating the same information over and over should be discouraged by the GA. When it is the speakers turn on stack, it is up to the speaker to identify his or her speech as a proposal, before giving the speech. All speeches in which the speaker fails to begin it as a proposal will be considered informational, and the speaker will have to reiterate it in the form of a proposal at teh next general assembly If someone wants to gauge their response in determining whether to propose or not, a short introduction is permissible. If over one third of the active participating GA has left or gone to working groups etc. then the stack should be closed to any more proposals at that GA.

Hand signals as follows;

I want to be stacked, hand raised, open palm forward, straight up, not slanted

I have a question(about what you are talking about); closed fist raised

I have a point of information(pursuant to what you are talking about); index finger raised. points of information should be authoritative in nature, not opinion

Move along; roll arms, fists closed

Guaging Consenus;

Spirit/jazz fingers;  raised, I am in favor   horizontal, I am nuetral,   lowered, I am not in favor

Block (arms crossed fists closed)- I am not in favor and if this discussion continues, I will leave or seriously consider leaving, either this GA, this group, or this movement entirely

Time Limits as Follows; every single speaker is limited to five minutes–no exceptions. All points of information and/or questions recognized do not add to, but detract from the speakers time–it is up to the speaker to hear them or not. Points of information are limited to thirty seconds. Questions are only limited by the speakers time, though a moderator and/or timekeeper may choose to make them aware of the time they have taken as well as the total time left Wuestions should be less debate oriented(if you want to speak in direct opposition to what any given speaker has said, simply get stacked) Extensions to a person’s time will be three minutes–there are no limits on the amount of time the GA is willing to hear any given speaker, nor are there any limits on how long any given GA might last.

While it is the job of those facilitating and moderating, to enforce these rules, that does not meant that they ever operate as an “enforcement” group The GA polices itself. The facilitation team are just as confined by the procedural guidelines as anyone else–perhaps moreso. At no time should a facilitatot and or moderator express a personal opinion on any given topic through hand signals or verbal communication. This does not bar them from being stacked in a ga in which they are moderating or facilitating– one would hope they would have a backup to fill their role while they are speaking

In all matters of group attention, the speaker holds the floor, and it is up to them to recongnize any given point of information or question; any given facilitator and/or moderator can only make the speaker aware of them, preferably in a non-disruptive manner. (I like this personally)

As far as I know, the consensus process is not a debate, and too much back and forth between any given question, etc. can easily degrade it.

Lively debates should occur, and in my opinion are necessary, but they belong in working groupd meetings, or perhaps in an open, and ongoing, punlic forum, to be created.

Furthermore, that, effective immediatly, all proposals take effect at the end of the GA in which they were proposed. Also, that we have GA’s every day, contingent on the presence of a willing quorum of at least 13 people at Tranquility Park. –tabled–

Jenny- Update the #OH website needed items list to Trae’s list. -passed-

Vas- Looking to practice civil disobedience and get volunteers regarding the nativity scene. -passed-

Mike- Asking OH to stand in solidarity with a family in Pasadena whose son was murdered. They are having a hard time with legal recourse due to DA’s family connection to murder suspect. Also wanting to post the petition on website and fb page. -passed-

Opinion

Remington- start a dialogue with conservative parties, we have a lot more in common than we have in differences

Trae-Thank you Remington, reiterate list of items

Jenny- sensitivity to labels

Jason- concept of the 99%

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General Assembly Minutes 12/25/2011 pm

This General Assembly was started as an open discussion group. It was moderated first by Trae, then by Evan. There were 18+ attendees. When we started, we went around in the circle and everyone had a chance to speak whatever Occupy related ideas/issues they felt were important. Issues discussed;

Peacekeeping- How to deal with younger or angry members coming in to the movement. How to handle those issues. Pros and Cons. In the end we decided that we are all family and we need to treat it as such. We don’t exclude, we welcome with open arms and show empathy and respect to all. Try to teach a better way.

D12 Actions- We discussed pros and cons of the event. Had a vent session on how we all felt about how the day turned out. Amongst ourselves and the police involvement. Talked about showing support for those arrested. We will not live in fear.

Finance- Spoke about accepting the offer from Houston Peace and Justice for help regarding the 501c3. Pros and cons discussed. We also discussed alternatives to this, but decided to go ahead and accept the offer until we could come up with another solution.

Foreclosure Actions- Discussed legality issues, discussed the different types of foreclosures, ex. tax liens, bank foreclosure, deed break-ups, etc… We also spoke on different forms of direct action we’d like to take. This will be worked on at a later date.

This was not an atypical GA, but it was very productive. We weren’t sure, in the beginning, how many people would end up attending so that is why we went for the open discussion format. This is also why proper minutes weren’t taken. But true to form, Occupy Houston stays strong and active, even on Christmas Day.

Proposal

Nick- Propose to accept the offer from Houston Peace and Justice for help with the 501c3. -Passed- 

 

Edited to move posting date to the day the event happened so minutes will appear in order on the site

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