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FnB’s Last Legal Food Sharing if the Ordinance Passes Monday 3/19

Occupy Houston stands in solidarity with Food Not Bombs.  Food Not Bombs has been sharing free healthy vegetarian food for about 18 years. However, if this amendment to the city’s codes passes on March 21, then March 19 will be our last legal sharing. Home made food will be illegal. Unlicensed organizations will be illegal. Serving in public space that hasn’t been pre-approved will be illegal. So, on our last legal night, we are planning music, media, and of course free healthy vegetarian food.

5 Things You Can Do!
1) Sign the petition: tinyurl.com/freetosharepetition
2) Call the City Secretary at (832) 393 – 1100 on Monday or Tuesday morning, to reserve time to address City Council Tuesday between 2 and 5 pm. When you call, request 1 minute to speak against the anti-sharing ordinance. Then come Tuesday, and leave enough time to park and go through metal detectors.
3) Call all of your city council members on Monday. If they are already against the amendment, thank them. If not, tell them your own reasons, or simply say “The increased government regulation described in a new proposed law would lead to more hungry Houstonians and criminalization of those trying to help the needy. ” Council member numbers: Helena Brown (832) 393-3010, Jerry Davis (832) 393-3009, Ellen Cohen (832) 393-3004, Wanda Adams (832) 393-3001, Mike Sullivan (832) 393-3008, Al Hoang (832) 393-3002, Oliver Pennington (832) 393-3007, Ed Gonzalez (832) 393-3003, James G. Rodriguez (832) 393-3011, Mike Laster (832) 393-3015, Larry Green (832) 393-3016, Stephen C. Costello (832) 393-3014, Andrew C. Burks, Jr. (832) 393-3013, Melissa Noriega (832) 393-3005, C.O. “Brad” Bradford (832) 393-3012, Jack Christie (832) 393-3017
4) Come celebrate what could be the last legal food sharing with Houston Food Not Bombs!

Monday 8 – 9pm at 521 Lamar St.  Downtown Library Courtyard

Bring only vegetarian food, or just bring yourself.
5) Spread this post around!

~Nick Cooper

*

As some may know, Houston City Council is trying to pass an ordinance that would effectively prohibit nonprofit organizations and charities from sharing food with the homeless. It has three disturbing components
* all food must be prepared in a kitchen sanctioned by the Health Inspector (food czar); this means volunteers can not prepare food in their homes anymore
* all people distributing prepared food must be trained like food service employees for paid corporations
* you must have written approval from all points of distribution by the property owner — public, or private.

Food Not Bombs – Houston is a nonprofit pacifist organization that prepares vegetarian meals for the homeless. They do this out of love and passion. They’ll be hosting the last legal food sharing tomorrow at 8 PM. Go and show support for Food Not Bombs and all others that resist big government intrusions on our right to help other less fortunate members of the 99%. RSVP, invite your friends, and share the event bellow.

* https://www.facebook.com/events/346683062037845/

BTW this policy would also effectively kill off any permanent occupation. Occupy Houston ran off of food donations too. Did the City Council create this ordinance to kill off a potential future occupation? Maybe. But, ultimately it’ll be the homeless that bear the burden.

~ Evan Carroll

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Minutes Special Strategy Meeting: March 4, 2012

Minutes Special Strategy Meeting: March 4, 2012

[Editor's Note: publishing these notes as submitted (w/ no edits) on 3/5/12. My apologies for the delay. 3/7/12KR]

Values of Occupy Houston

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.

MISSION (PROCESS) STATEMENT

The role of the Workgroup Coordinators is to facilitate communicate between Workgroups and to rotate in service as responsible individuals who can be held accountable to the General Assembly to bring Workgroup proposals to the GA (although this does not exclude individuals  from independently making proposals at the GA or exclude individuals who would like to make proposals from seeking support from the Coordinates) to ensure that info is disseminated properly to help develop proposal specificity where it is lacking and to link proposals which have been passed to appropriate individuals, seeking out volunteers & acting as mentors as needed & ways for implementation.  The ultimate goal of this process is to enable concrete action steps on the ground to facilitate organization behind implementation while allowing space for spontaneity & exceptions.

 

Review of 2/17/12 Workgroup Coordinators Meeting & 3/2/12 Facilitator Meeting

Groups will be permitted to “Break Out” in the event of other meetings.

Breaks: 2:15; 3:35; 4:45.         5:50 Evaluation.          6:00 Adjourn

 

Agenda

Finish Address Workgroup Coordinators

Structure

Actions

Reboot Occupy Houston

 

Is this meeting a GA?

Fishbowl

Yes:  Trust Issue.  Last mtg, was decided GA.  Glitches in minutes.  Minutes at end of mtg. or new GA.

Facebook Invite specified not a GA.

 

Option 1.  A StrategyMeeting?

 

Option 2.  Treat Meeting?

 

VOTE – THIS IS A GA.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Ginelle Rojas  April 14th Occupy ICE.

Discussion Diner Palistine

5 Puppies up for adoption.

Delbert Jobs for Greater Houston

Green Party running for office.

Ted – Presentation on Solar Energy from the Moon.

KPFT Board & change management of station.

9:00 Rally at El Paso gas.  On Gulf Freeway

All Workgroups on web.

OCCUPY HOUSTON WORKGROUPS

Facilitation*

Internet

Finance

Outreach*

Anti-Foreclosure

Structure & Strategy

Newspaper

People of Color

Freedman’s Project

Logistics*

Direct Action*

Diversity*

Legal*

*Inactive Workgroup.

 

PROPOSAL

Membership as a Coordinating Committee Member is a two month term unless there is a lack of willing participation and then the GA can approve a consecutive term.

 

A Strategy GA Meeting at Tranquility Park on Sunday 3/11 at 1:00.

A Facilitation  Meeting Friday 3/9 at 2990 Richmond at 7:00.

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OH stands with Food Not Bombs

Houston Occupiers! Represent!! Emergency GA will be held tonight 7:00 PM.

We’ll join the FnB sharing at 521 Lamar St., 77002 (The Houston Downtown Public Library Courtyard) at 8pm. Bring vegan food to share or just bring yourself!

Come to City Council Tuesday March 6th at 2:00 PM to speak to City Council about this and stand in solidarity with Food Not Bombs.

CALL 832.393.1100 up until 1:30PM on Tuesday to have your name added, ask for 1 minute to speak (do not ask for 3 minutes)

 

E-Mail: citysecretary@houstontx.gov

Address: 900 Bagby, Public Level, Houston, TX 77002

Staff: Anna Russell, City Secretary • Wanda Bluhm, Patricia Jefferson, Troy Lemon, Administrative Assistants

Current Agenda: www.houstontx.gov/citysec/agenda.html

**To appear before Council, please phone or email the office.

Houston Food Not Bombs Under Immediate Threat

By , March 4, 2012

Houston Food Not Bombs has been sharing healthy vegetarian food with hundreds of hungry people, several nights a week, for over 18 years and is a 2011 Recipient of a Peacemaker Award from the Houston Peace and Justice Center.

Well funded Houston homeless service organizations, developers, and city officials are promoting new regulations for dozens of groups like ours that provide food for the homeless in Houston every week.

Wednesday March 7, at the 9am session, Houston City Council will consider amending chapter 20 of the code of ordinances, imposing five new regulatory and licensing requirements for those who feed hungry people in Houston.  These regulations would bring the work of non-professionals who do homeless service work under city and police purview.  This law fits squarely in the context of criminalization of sharing of food across the country.  Food Not Bombs participants in U.S. Cities have ended up in jail when restrictive new laws came into effect.

We need your help!  Here are some talking points:
- volunteer groups provide absolutely essential services to hungry people- imposing new laws will cause volunteers to be fined and arrested
- small community and religious organizations do not have the same resources or grants to do their work, they are not full time paid employees who have the resources to jump through regulatory hurdles
- homelessness is not a crime, nor is helping the homeless

1) Circulate this [post by email or twitter]: We need religious groups, and others doing important work to make their calls to the City Council members Monday and Tuesday.

2) Come to City Council Tuesday March 6th to speak to City Council about this.  Call Monday to register with the City Secretary: (832) 393 1100 and ask for 1 minute to speak (do not ask for 3 minutes).

3) Call and email your city council members:

Helena Brown,  832.393.3010, districta@houstontx.gov
Jerry Davis, 832.393.3009, districtb@houstontx.gov
Ellen Cohen, 832.393.3004, districtc@houstontx.gov
Wanda Adams, 832.393.3001, districtd@houstontx.gov
Mike Sullivan, 832.393.3008, districte@houstontx.gov
Al Hoang, 832.393.3002, districtf@houstontx.gov
Oliver Pennington, 832.393.3007, districtg@houstontx.gov
Ed Gonzalez, 832.393.3003, districth@houstontx.gov
James G. Rodriguez, 832.393.3011, districti@houstontx.govMike Laster
Mike Laster, 832.393.3015, districtj@houstontx.gov
Larry Green, 832.393.3016, districtk@houstontx.gov
Stephen C. Costello, 832.393.3014, atlarge1@houstontx.gov
Andrew C. Burks, Jr., 832.393.3013, atlarge2@houstontx.gov
Melissa Noriega, 832.393.3005, atlarge3@houstontx.gov
C.O. “Brad” Bradford, 832.393.3012, atlarge4@houstontx.gov
Jack Christie, 832.393.3017, atlarge5@houstontx.gov

3) Come out to a sharing at 521 Lamar St., 77002 (The Houston Downtown Public Library Courtyard) on Mon., Wed., & Fri. at 8pm, and Sunday at 7pm. Bring vegan food to share or just bring yourself!

read about the criminalization of sharing free food:

http://www.foodnotbombs.net/food_is_a_right.html

read the Houston City Council agenda here:

http://www.houstontx.gov/citysec/agenda.html

read the Houston Chronicle Commentary here:

http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/Commentary-Rules-needed-to-protect-homeless-3378112.php#src=fb

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Sunday Strategy Session March 4 Agenda

On we go, continuing what we started on 2/19.  Here’s the plan for Sunday:

1:00 meeting opens (explanation of process, introduce facilitation, etc.)
1:15 approve agenda and get to work
2:15 BREAK
2:25 Report on Work Groups
2:35 resume
3:35 BREAK
3:45 resume
4:45 BREAK
4:55 resume
5:50 evaluation, plan next strategy meeting (if any)
6:00 ADJOURN

Our primary focus of this meeting is to finish creating the Work Group Coordinators. What we have decided (by consensus!) so far:

The role of the workgroup coordinators is to facilitate communication between workgroups and to rotate in service as responsible individuals who can be held accountable to the General Assembly, to bring workgroup proposals to the GA agenda (although this does not exclude individuals from independently making proposals at the GA or exclude individuals who would like to make proposals from seeking support from the coordinators), to ensure that information is disseminated properly, to help to develop proposal specificity where it is lacking, and to link proposals which have been passed to appropriate individuals (including seeking out volunteers and acting as mentors as needed) and workgroups for implementation. The ultimate goal of this process is to enable concrete action steps on the ground, to facilitate organization behind implementation while allowing space for spontaneity and exceptions.

 

Other topics to be addressed include rotation of service, roles, selection process, number of members, exact composition of the group.

If time permits, we will then address the following topics:

  • The GA. How often? Where? Could it be an even better version of itself and if so, how?
  • Defining Occupy Houston and spelling out our structure: is there work left to do?
  • Goals: putting our values into action. Will we participate in the upcoming solidarity actions of Occupy 2.0, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and Occupy NOW, and if so, what will we do? How might we envision a Reboot of Occupy Houston?

 

~AP/kr

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March 1st, 2012: National Day of Action For Education

March 1st, 2012: National Day of Action For Education
Occupy Houston is joining the call for all students, teachers, workers, and parents from all levels of education —pre-K-12 through higher education in public and private institutions— and all Occupy assemblies, labor unions, and organizations of oppressed communities, to mobilize on March 1st, 2012 across the country to tell those in power: The resources exist for high-quality education for all.
“Knowledge is power, but education is expensive,” said Occupy Houston organizer Carl Gibson. “Students from UH, Rice, TSU to HCC all realize that. We’re mobilizing by collectively deciding to create alternatives to the education structure and spreading awareness of the deteriorating state of the educational system.”
“We refuse to pay for the crisis created by the 1%. We refuse to accept the dismantling of our schools and universities, while the banks and corporations make record profits,” said March 1 Organizer Jamin Stocker. ”We refuse to accept educational re-segregation, massive tuition increases, high book fees, outrageous student debt, cuts to teachers wages, unfair testing standards, extortionate bureaucracy and increasing privatization.”
“Banks got bailed out and we got sold out,” said March 1 Organizer Steven Johnson. ”But through nationally coordinated mass action we can and will turn back the tide of austerity.”
This is a call to work together, by organizing campus strikes and walkouts followed the discussion being dubbed The Education Question: What can we do now and when?, and “Say No to Business as Usual.”
Jamin Stocker, Occupy Houston
Carl Gibson, Occupy Houston
Steven Johnson, Occupy Houston
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#F28 Flyer to share

Please feel free to download, copy and share… see you there!

 

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#F28 Mass Action: Stop the Suppression of the Occupy Movement

Stop the Suppression of the Occupy Movement

Tuesday, February 28 Hermann Square Park

No Rubber Bullets, No Beatings, No Tear Gas, No Mass Arrests, Don’t Suppress OWS!

by priceman

 

On Tuesday, February 28th, Occupy Houston will be standing in National Solidarity to give voice to our concerns over the suppression and to show that no matter what, WE WILL STAND TOGETHER. Even though the Occupy Movement has faced police brutality and harassment, mass evictions, excessive criminal charges, infiltration, and even been labeled as domestic terrorists, we are not going away. We will strengthen our bonds within our communities and with each other. We will push forward in our struggle against the corporate corruption of our democracy. On Feb 28, we stand together in solidarity and prove You Cannot Evict An Idea Whose Time Has Come.

 

 

Schedule of Events

2:00 Houston City Council Public Comment- Sign up, before 1:30 pm on Tuesday, to get on stack and voice your objection to the suppression of the Occupy Movement. The number is: 832-393-1100.

We object to…

  1.  The City’s alterations of the Hermann Square Park scheduled hours targeting & limiting Occupiers’ rights to free speech & assembly
  2.  Police Harassment of Occupiers
  3.  The City’s excessive charges that are deliberate attempts to intimidate into silence the peaceful protestors of Occupy
  4.  The lack of cooperation from the City with #OH’s right to use public space to peaceably assemble, day or night
  5.  Ask the city to not be involved in this National effort to suppress the Occupy Movement

 

4:00-5:30 Gather

Gather at Hermann Square Park in front of City Hall.

Don’t forget your signs.

 

6:00 Rally

Get on stack and use this time to show what Occupy means to you.

Focus Topics;

What lit the spark for you to become involved with Occupy?

  • I Occupy because…
  • I support Occupy because…
  • I am the 99% because….

 

“Movements grow, and can only grow, by answering repression with even greater and more powerful mobilization.”

For more information visit; dontsuppressows.org

F28…. Stand With Occupy.

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Internet/Web WG Meeting Minutes 2/5/12

Internet/Web WG Meeting Minutes 2/5/12

ONLINE mtg, duration several days Feb 4 – 8.

Facilitator: Karen

Attendance: Linda L, Kevin L, JohnS, Jen, Ryan, RemoGamble, Diane S
NOTE: Benjamin & Mary both had notified us in advance they’d be out of town and unable to attend;

NOTE: AmyP (FB Admin and CAL Admin requested to be added to webteam g-group and wished to attend, request incomplete, pending KevinL action)

Discussion per agenda

 WG Guidelines compliance:
ACCEPTED ::  WG Charter … final draft approved by all in attendance, also Mary & Ben previously.
DONE *** We need someone to forward or share that doc to Jenny Sanders by Feb 7.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/16z1jdnBb4UO2KI_1iAD72eIVdVx7CDnnffpZWXo_zwI/edit

ACCEPTED ::  two points of contact emails:
UPDATE [KR] #2 email addy: before he hit the road, mouse passed the baton to Atilla: Gmail User Name: ohtranquilitypark@gmail.com

INCOMPLETE::  establish regular Meeting day/times for twice a month open to public WG meetings? NOT DONE

FB Admin issues
Karen:
Working on finalizing OH FB Admin Guidelines.  Once final and agreed, we can publish to the website & FB  > transparency. People need to understand the role of FB Admin, it’s a responsibility & service to all of Occupy not just a way to post about your own pet issues or activities.

Also, there are several FB Admins who are no longer active, we need to contact them and let them know we will be removing them so they have an opportunity to let us know if they want to stay, and why. (Already did this with Gessner Soto, done.)
RE: Karen & Jen volunteered to follow up :: KR: can someone volunteer to contact those folks? Cody, Allison…

NO DISCUSSION / INCOMPLETE :: KR: we need to finalize those FB Guidelines, draft is in the FB Admin FB Group

Livestream Updates (Announcement no discussion needed~KR)
KR: mouse is on the move, local OH Tranquility Park LS Channel passed on to Attila
KR: Tq Park LS link now linked on OH dot org (sidebar) by Mary

Functionality Issues

Karen:   (1) Mary (dreamingkat) now has ftp Admin privvies on OH.org. That gives us technically THREE people? who have BOTH access AND skills, i.e. Cassie, Kevin & Mary. Cassie however has been inactive since mid-December, so functionally that’s only TWO… that I know of.

Kevin: I’ll take volunteers for others who want direct filesystem access, but IMO we shouldn’t have over three people. The potential for breakage is quite severe, and anyone with this access should be able to demonstrate competence with WordPress management, site hosting, and working on UNIX based systems.
Karen:  (2) Tech issues: ? Theme and organization of GA Minutes vs WG Minutes etc giving some of us fits. Kevin has been looking at that.

Kevin: Ideally we wouldn’t have a WG minutes category. I recall nuking that back when I did a category refresh a few months ago. The theme works now with it, but to prevent category creep I’d rather put those posts in the minutes category and tag them “general assembly” or with the name of their workgroup.
Karen: (3) whats the status of creating the OH wiki? > Kevin, Mary, Evan?

Kevin:  None, as far as I know. I haven’t had time to work on that. Those with wikipedia or mediawiki experience are welcome to contribute though. :)

Karen: My  thots (Karen): The Section on the dot org for GENERAL ASSEMBLY should contain *exclusively* GA intro, Guide, with Sub-Sections for GA Minutes, and GA Accepted Props (all that is there now). Adding the WG Minutes under the GA Minutes Section (and they all just go in there chronologically) is very confusing and jumbled. And then theres more WG Minutes over under the WorkGroup Section, all lumped and not sorted by WG. This isnt much better.  Seriously, its a mess.
SOLUTION I would like to see:
*keep the GA Section strictly GA;
* make the Work Group Section mostly descriptive and how to join or contact each WG
AND ADD
*  embedded links for each Work Group that send the reader to the Wiki page (WG section on the OH wiki), and also the Minutes go on the wiki, filed under each WG by WG, and in chrono, newest at the top.

like OccBoise has theirs, (see also Parent up HERE) or some variation of that. Im sure theres other Occ’s with similar formats, I just happened upon that one, and I liked it.

What about the wiki that Evan Carrol created a few months ago? (most recent edit there by Evan is Dec 17 2011)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupy_Houston
Can that be used for this, or modified to serve this purpose?
MY SUGGESTION: Can we create our own little “Wiki Task Force” to get the ball rolling on this? I believe both Evan and Mary have the skills and interest and others of us could help.

Jen:  I LOVE THE WIKI PAGES. If you go poke around to the other occupations,
the websites that have the wiki style are amazing. I think we are at
the point we NEED to be dividing up the work group minutes. I just
added 2 months of finance minutes. After awhile, it just jumbles up
everything the way we have it now. Each workgroup needs to have it’s
own space on the website. Accessibility to the workgroups has been the
biggest complaint I’ve heard. Let’s fix the problem so people can get
involved. Just my opinion.

RenoGamble: Yes, I back the wiki idea.  Very good idea.

::::::::::::::::

Ryan: i know im late to this and havent been saying much lately but wanted to mention that this is AWESOME AND I LOVE YOU ALL! it ain’t over, thats for sure. I’ll come back sooner than later, ill let you guys know.

DianeS:  Sorry for the late appearance, I’ve been a bit out of it.  I wholly approve the final draft of the charter.  Since there was a request that the regular meetings not me on Sunday’s I request that they be on Saturdays OR around 2 o’clock.  I also think the wiki is an invaluable tool that we should employ.

::::::::::::::::

NEXT MEETING:  Thursday March 1 online in the google group

 

 

 

 

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