Category: Meeting Minutes

General Assembly: February 12, 2012

Facilitator: Thomas
Stack Keeper: Maria
Notes: Tiffany

Announcements & Working Group Report Backs

  • Last Tuesday the City Council approved a resolution to oppose the North Carolina Amendment 1, the Marriage Discrimination Amendment that will be on the ballot May 8th. Those who voted for the resolution totally believe in equal rights. You can go to the Greensboro website and see the entire meeting, or just agenda item #33, which was the item about the amendment. We might consider taking this resolution to the County Commissioners.
  • Saturday, February 25th statewide General Assembly in Raleigh. Have a van that fits 15, and only 8 seats have been taken so far. Passed around sign-up but can also contact Jim at artteacher33@yahoo.com.
  • February 21st is the next City Council meeting. At that meeting an agenda item is about Participatory Budgeting. PB will be addressed as speakers from the floor in the early part of the council meeting. A PB Information Session will be at the bookstore next Sunday at 2pm.
  • The Inside Job, and hour and half documentary. Jane has the movie and is looking for those who are interested in a viewing.
  • Energy Working Group: Canvassing every Sunday 2-4 in the Glenwood neighborhood. Meeting every other Wednesday at 7 pm until 8:30. Next meeting this Wednesday.
  • Art/Media/Communication WG: We are starting a flyering effort. Al is bottomlining the distribution of flyers, so contact him if you have time to put these up and around. We are also revisiting the yard signs idea, possible sign-making party and getting those distributed. Jo is looking into this. Jim is going to be the bottomliner to correspond with other movements.
  • Foreclosure WG: Meets at Spring Garden Bakery at 8:30 in the mornings on Thursdays. Plugging the viewing of the movie at the Carolina Theater on March 14th. Event will give audience education and ways to plug in to fight foreclosure. Please post and repost the trailer and promotional material for the event.
  • Collective Access/Anti-Oppression WG: We had more conversations about safety and the bookstore and the Electricity Fund. Next meeting Friday at 5:30.
  • Transition Greensboro: Piedmont/Triad Sustainability Project. Looking at regional plans and issues about jobs and transportation. They have several working groups that people can get involved in. Contact Kathe at transitiongreensboro@gmail.com.
  • Tuesday 14th at 2 pm, Keystone Pipeline protest. Going to Kay Hagan’s office on Green Valley to oppose her support. Contact Julia for more info juliamkimmel@gmail.com.
  • Die Capital!, Conner Maclean’s performance. Thanks to those who got that to happen here.
  • Thank all the occupiers who marked on HKonJ. Rousing success. New solidarity brewing.

Proposals

  • Proposal for OGSO to support of Bernie Saunders’ Senate Resolution 33, US Amendment to End Corporate Personhood; get government to regulate corporate spending in elections, thereby overturning Citizens’ United. Letters to Sens. Hagan and Burr, Reps. Coble and Miller expressing this support are written and will be sent; amended to include Rep. Watt. CONSENTED
  • Proposal for May Day March and Working Group. The “working group [will] serve as the foundation for building a coalition with local immigrant rights groups, labor unions, and various other community organizations.” Contact Julie at designedbyjs@gmail.com. CONSENTED
  • Proposal for OGSO to accept the “Charlotte Principles” (similar to a “points of unity” statement) developed by the Coalition to Protest the DNC for the purpose of working with the Coalition. TABLED UNTIL TUESDAY (TALK ABOUT DNC)

Discussions These were tabled due to lack of time following the proposal discussions.

  • Chapel Hill Talk Back. TABLED
  • Unity Proposal for coalition via FB for Occupy groups in NC. TABLED
  • Statement of thanks to city council. TABLED
  • Tuesday meeting time. TABLED

Next Meeting (Tuesday @ 6:30pm)
Facilitator: Valerie
Stack Keeper: Donya
Notes: Dave

Sunday Meeting @ 4:00pm
Facilitator: Marnie
Stack Keeper: Andrew
Notes: Kim

General Assembly: February 7, 2012

Paul had the honor of being this evening’s facilitator, and Al had the honor of taking the minutes. Donya was the stack keeper, someone pointing out that stack-keeper was the best experience to become an Occupy General Assembly facilitator. This evening’s was an abbreviated general assembly (G.A.), 6:30—7:30, because Sunday’s G.A. consented to Tuesday’s leaving early to attend the Greensboro City Council meeting, in order to urge the elected officials to vote for a resolution to oppose the Discriminatory Amendment to the N. C. Constitution on May 8, Amendment # 1.

The G. A. began with the Ground Rules, after a brief Check-In.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: [And please remember that this record is merely the reflection of one member and in no way a perfect or “official” recording.]

  • The NAACP is providing a bus to the Raleigh March February 11, “Jobs for Justice.”
  • Ed’s Saturday Morning Teach-in, on Co-operatives, has been postpond (because of the afore-mentioned march);
  • There will be a Winston-Salem Public Forum on the recent N. C. Legislature’s toxic behavior, this Thursday Night, 7 o’clock, 1st Baptist Church;
  • Terl can’t to Finance fund-raising anymore.
  • Duke Energy has been paid $448.21, the entire amount due, of S.’s electricity bill, an obligation undertaken by OGSO when we were at the “Y” tenting grounds in October!
  • The City Council Event (see above) was reviewed.

DISCUSSION: There being no “proposals,” the G. A. went into “Discussion,” and there was only one discussion in this shortened meeting. Dave introduced a full report on the altercation at Glenwood Coffee & Books continued on the parking lot outside with a neighbor. This neighbor was inebriated and extremely hostile and threatening, Dave reported, his testimony backed up by the other witness and victim of this behavior, Maureen. The neighbor’s behavior was grounds for a charge of “criminal assault.” All participated in the discussion, which was also referred to the Collective Process/Anti-Oppression and other groups for further debriefing and deliberation. Al declared that, by request and after due consideration, he was going to tell this neighbor that he was no longer welcome in the coffee/bookshop, in addition to changing the locks; there was no lack of consensus or disagreement with this otherwise unilateral declaration, unilateral because those affected were a paid employee of the shop and its most serious volunteer, in addition to being Occupy G. A. members, and they were engaged in bookshop business when the assault took place, it being Al’s responsibility to provide a safe space.

Respectfully submitted,
AL

General Assembly: February 5, 2012

Facilitator: John K.
Stackkeeper: Bobbie
Board notetaker: Trish
Notetaker: Audrey

Announcements/Working Group Reports
Reminder that Sunday is designated day for working groups to report back to G.A.

  • Left Forum WG: proposal accepted by New York organizers, March 12. We have until Feb. 10th to make changes to program so if interested in giving feedback to facilitator on Occupy Greensboro panel, Cindy, do so soon. No panel like Occupy GSO, specific report from a Southern city. See Cindy or Michael for more information.
  • Glenwood Coffee & Books: Please put all chairs and tables back where they were after OGSO meetings. Die Capital! performances next Friday at 7:30 pm, and Saturday at 8 pm, $7. Well received so far, very funny, written by Connor.
  • Conference call report back: Today in conference call with other Occupiers around US concerning non-violence and diversity of tactics & want info about where we thought Occupy movement should go as a whole.

  • Collective Access/Anti-Oppression group: Friday meeting, 5:30 pm: Coalition work with Foreclosure group. Research to gather, organizing toward showing of film.
  • Foreclosure Working Group: Short film premiere scheduled for March 14th at 7 pm at the Carolina Theatre. Draft program passed around. Meetings are Thursday morning at 8:30 at Spring Garden Bakery. We need more help to make this event have hundreds of people show up. Need someone to bottom line a “Story Corps”-like project, which will collect people’s stories about foreclosures.See Todd, Marnie, Dave or Mo for more information.
  • City Council item announcement: At Tuesdays City Council meeting two things of interest will be up for discussion and vote. Council will vote on a resolution to oppose Amendment 1 (which seeks to more narrowly define marriage and legally recognized relationships in the state). It iss item 33 of 35. Also, authorization of a task force around Trash Policy will be discussed as item 35.
  • Anyone interested in organizing around opposition to potential war with Iran, contact Jo at perpelone@gmail.com.
  • Art/Media/Communication Working Group: Group met before G.A. and made progress on web-site restructuring authorized at last week’s G.A. We hope to launch the redesigned site by February 14. More info in next few days/weeks. Also Occupy Greensboro’s General Assembly Facebook group will be renamed Occupy Greensboro Open Forum. We will have a separate Facebook page titled “Occupy Greensboro” to better mirror the websites content and event announcements.
  • Civil Liberties Working Group: Group met on Thursday with just 2 people. We need people to show up. Next meeting: Thursday 5:30pm.
  • Energy Working Group 7% Duke rate increase passed. Can be repealed by NC Supreme Court. It has been appealed, doing research about this. Another 2-3:30 pm meet every other week, bi-monthly Feb. 15, 7 pm next meeting
  • Employment Working Group: 8 members on Sat, 9:30 am, next Sat. same time. 1) Idea of co-op idea, “Greensboro Technology Cooperative”, discussed, explored new ways of looking at employment. 2) Questionable behavior of city when it comes to economic development. Preparing a presentation to city council; hard to get info; seems only 1 person is responsible for economic development funds. 3) Interested in getting support of City Council for work cooperatives. We will have a workshop presentation on cooperative business development next week.
  • Occupy UNCG: Statewide protest on February 10 at 8am in Chapel Hill over UNC system tuition hike. Important vote taking place to increase tuition in NC system universities. Carpools being organized. In 2006 NC legislature passed a law, can only raise tuition 6.5%. This vote is to override that. See Juan or Thomas for more information.
  • Heath Neighborhood Association meets on 3rd Thursday of every month.
  • Enrichment and Education Working Group: Info packet available soon to help create teach-in events. Creating contact list dealing with subject matter on which the teach-in is focused. Putting together survey for Occupy members – what would you like to learn, and what are you able to teach? And handing surveys to different folks from different organizations. See Isabell or Christian for more information.
  • Anyone interested in working on May Day related actions focused on building coalition with other immigrant right and worker’s groups, come to meeting next Sunday. See Julie or Juan for more information.
  • Anyone interested in organizing a creative fun action related to Valentine’s Day, see Mo for more information. There may be something already in the works around Amendment #1.
  • Historic Thousands on J (HKonJ) is in Raleigh, Feb. 11. People meeting up at 9 am for carpool. See Maria for more information.
  • Emergency Power Fund issue: $450 has been raised for an individual’s electric bill. Al will get money to Duke Energy on behalf of family, electricity for first time in five months.
  • Reading Group: Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow is available at Glenwood Coffee & Books. There is a lending program for those who can’t purchase. Meeting is February 23 at 3:30pm. See Trish for more details.

Proposals

  • OGSO should endorse the “We Are” Campaign opposing Amendment #1. CONSENTED
  • OGSO should be represented at Tuesday’s City Council Meeting. This GA will be one hour long (from 6:30-7:30pm) to allow folks to go to the City Council meeting. Carpool will happen at 7:30 from Glenwood Coffee & Books. CONSENTED

Discussions

  • Direction of the national OWS movement
  • Outreach (tabled)

Next Sunday’s GA
Stack: Maria
Facilitator: Tom
Notetaker: Tiffany

Employment/Unemployment Working Group: February 4, 2012

The Employment/Unemployment Working Group met at Glenwood Coffee & Books Saturday morning, 9:30–11:30 a.m., February 4th, Paul facilitating. Attending, in addition to Paul, were Ed, Lynn, Dave, Larry, Michael, and Keith.

The meeting contained two discussions, each lasting an hour. The first, led by Keith, included a new idea of his of creating a Greensboro Technological Cooperative (GTC), “radically re-conceptualizing what we mean by employment.” Incorporating models already being developed by members of our WG, Keith made some original and potentially exciting proposals. His idea is based on understanding the new paradigms of economic life in today’s world of globalization. One example he gave was the redundant concept of “outsourcing.” Business People today, multinational, have no “out” or “in.” All is “Made In The World.” So, for example, when looking for a job, I am competing not only with talented individuals in my own locale, no, I am competing with everyone in the world. Does not Greensboro’s Volvo Truck not use “illegal” employee/nationals from countries elsewhere?

The GTC would highlight local talent and resources. Keith gave an example of a model industry based on “Open Source” operating systems, which he felt illustrated his new idea, this based on the idea that local homeowners could not easily figure out the Linux O.S. So, there are alternatives to proprietary software.

Keith bases most of his contribution on the fact that EDUCATION is the largest economic component in Greensboro: Engineering & Technology. Health Care would be an aim of GTC as well.

Larry continued the good work of our last Saturday’s meeting, covered by the minutes Keith took and posted from that meeting (which see). Larry recommends doing a lot more research before we approach the City Council, which we have been thinking of doing early in March. Recall that the current qualifiers for Development Grants are 35 jobs and a capatalization of $9,000,000. The big question is, “How to get the City Council to make a major shift in its thinking/policy?”

Our goal is to make alloted monies more productive. But, first, we have to propose a vision, perhaps cooperatives? As yet there is only an embryonic understanding of “co-ops.”

Larry explained the importance of city staff in our approach. Little of our approach is written in concrete at this time, mostly jello in fact, and we will certainly have this near the top of the Agenda at our next meeting (along with further discussion of Keith’s ideas, too). Larry urged more outreach, before we appear before the council.

As a context for all our work, it was proposed that this is a People’s Movement: “Our fundamental over-riding objective must be to move the wealth of the city from the hands of the Power Brokers and return it into the hands of the people.”

Because Ed is leaving town for a while, he will do a workshop for us on co-ops at our next meeting, next Saturday morning, 9:30, at the bookshop.

Respectfully submitted,
AL

Energy Working Group: February 1, 2012

Wednesday evening, 7:00 until 8:30, seven (7) members of The Energy Working Group (EWG) met at Glenwood Coffee & Books. Present were Julie, Emiley, Valerie, Kristen, Al, and two new and welcome people, Tira, and Teresa. John, Kate, Barry,Julia, and Mark were absent. (A new Guilford intern, Nick Greco, will be joining us soon.)

Emilie passed out a typed Agenda, and she also facilitated the hour and a half meeting. Announcements were first and, of course, we began with the sorrowful news that the horrible North Carolina Utility Commission (NCUC) had approved a 7.2 % rate increase for (ugh) Duke Energy. Valerie believes Duke is already asking for more, indeed an automatic and annual increase without even having to appear before the (ugh) NCUC or even apply for it! On a happier note, we did learn the new rate increase can be appealed to the N. C. Supreme Court. Emilie announced a series of six “Energy Classes” (four of them having already been given) being conducted at various branches of Greensboro’s public libraries; the two remaining are 2/18 and 2/20, the 2/20 right here in Glenwood, the theme of which is “to save money and to save the earth.”

Several lively discussions took place. Our newcomers, Tira and Teresa, came up with some original and splendid ideas, for example, Tira pointing out that the inferior construction materials of recent years has produced unnecessary energy usage and Teresa wondering why there isn’t more competition among energy providers. Tira also reminded us of the “Chinese Drywall Scandal,” and we discussed solar panels and their practicality. Naturally, we discussed the door-to-door survey we are conducting (already three weeks old).

Although energy other than electricity never got discussed (Gas, for example, was on the agenda), we did have a terrific discussion around how to expose the cynicism and impropriety of NCUC, whose chairman worked for the Duke Energy’s law firm! Finally, we each volunteered to undertake assignments before the next meeting: Teresa for example will look into the coming merger between Progress & Duke and examine her concern question why Duke is allowed to remain a monopoly; she wants to know how other states which have multiple suppliers went about getting that; Tira will look into dependence on energy. Al wants to find out who the past members of the dreadful NCUC were and what law firms they represented and now represent, assuming conflict-of-interest. Can we not assume present NCUC commissioners will soon leave the NCUC for lucrative posts in the energy industry and their representatives? Emilie was to look into a “teach-in,” Val into whether any of the professional energy watchers were planning a supreme court appeal of the rate hike; every one of us accepted at least one task, but the meeting was almost over, it was late, and I got too tired to remember details of these “assignments.”

We’re going to attempt fewer meetings, maybe every other week, and the next one is Wed. 2/15, 7–8:30 p.m. Meanwhile, our door-to-door Canvassing continues every Sunday, 2–3:30.

Respectfully submitted,
AL

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