Facilitation notes 1/16/12

In attendance: Cheryl, Holly, Sharokh, Ernie, Zenyatta, Brett, Hex, Fungi, others intermittently


1. Feminist Fridays
2. Retroactive GA Approval Procedure
3. 9/10s consensus procedure

1. Feminist Fridays: Presented by Holly. Friday’s GAs to be Feminist Friday GAs in which:

a. Facilitators (moderator, stack taker, note taker etc) will be females.
b. Progressive stack will be utilized to push marginalized voices to the foreground.
c. Safe Space document will be read at the beginning of GA

All normal GA functions will ensue, with the above minor changes.

Will this allow other groups (pro-marijuana etc) to do the same with other GAs?
No, they have an agenda, this is for people within Occupy for empowerment purposes, the agenda will be set as per usual GA function.

Consensus Check :  Passed

2)      Retroactive GA Approval Endorsement

Discussed necessity of outlining process for Affinity groups to come to GA for retroactive endorsement:
After Occupy Greyhound problem, and others in the past, it’s clear that something must be done about this.
If you want GA Endorsement you have to be open, 100% transparent to the GA, frequently make GA announcements with: when/where meetings are, what you’re planning, what people should do to be included.
Give everybody a fair system for participation
How to deal with complaints? (unaddressed)
Concerns are realistic, lack of transparency is an issue.
Propose donations for specific events go through ASD with earmarks.
Q: How would this happen? Would this mean that there isn’t retroactive endorsement?  A: w/o transparency it wouldn’t. W/transparency it would.
In the example of the Occupy GH the allotment was already done (spots given to individuals) it was decided for us without GA endorsement or announcement that allowed for full participation before some of it transpired.
Distinction must then be made between affinity groups and working groups/committees.
People can raise funds for their own thing
If they’re doing it as an official OSD event/trip they need to follow some procedure.
Existing committees (events, direct action etc) that meet regularly would be excused because they exist for the purpose of planning events and actions, however they must remain transparent and open for participation. Regular announcements of how people can be involved in these kinds of committees need to be made several times a week.
Discussion ended. Proposal drafted through group process.
Proposal:                                         (to be presented by Cheryl)
Facilitation Committee proposes that if a group/individual retroactively wants official GA endorsement for actions or events of any kind the group/individual must be 100% transparent to the GA including:

a. Frequent GA announcements with info about:

i. When and where planning meetings are

ii.What is being planned and updates as warranted

iii.What people should do to be included

b. Donations for official Occupy events need to be 100% transparent. Facilitation committee recommends but does not require handing donations to ASD for management, with funds raised by group/individual to be earmarked for the purpose of the event planned.

c. Without Transparency there will be no retroactive endorsement

d.Clarification: People can still do individual events/actions with Affinity groups, but those will not be recognized as official GA events/actions

e. Clarification: Events and actions can also come through operational OSD working groups/committees such as Direct Action, Events, or any other such working group given that their meeting time/place is open for participation.

Consensus Check:   Consensus

3)        9/10s Procedure                                       (to be presented by Cheryl)

4 options:

a) blocks/body-blocks with abstentions counted as part of the body
b) blocks/body-blocks with abstentions not counted as part of the body
c) blocks/body-blocks with abstentions not counted as part of the body, but with an option for voting to allow a proposal to pass w/o wholehearted agreement
d) in favor of / opposed to proposal where opposed to is not as serious as a block, and opposition may just mean that opponent dislikes proposal

Poor notes from discussion
Discussed how abstentions weigh blocks or agreements one way or another
Discussed necessity of abstentions not taking away from the quorum
Discussed the ideas of 4th option (d) at length.
Agreement that 4th option (d) was best with these notes:
i. It heavily favors blocks, as does our consensus process
ii. It comes from the OWS model, which we’ve adopted, though we’ve veered off a little.
iii. It recognizes that consensus has failed to be met, and is instead a measure of how popular a proposal really is. (eg. when we discussed adopting OWS declaration, if we’d gone to 9/10s with [ in favor of vs. opposed ] it would have been clear that the vast majority of the GA passionately supported the proposal while very few did not.)
iv. It requires a proposal to be viewed very positively by a huge majority in order for it to bypass the consensus process.

Drafted proposal


Facilitation committee proposes that after failing to reach consensus about a proposal after 3 days, the proposal goes to a vote to be counted as : In favor of the proposal vs. Opposed to the proposal; wherein abstentions aren’t counted at all but do count for quorum. Because we have failed to reach consensus, the measure is to see how much passion there is for a proposal. In this instance being opposed to a proposal is not as strong as a block, it could just mean that you don’t like the proposal. When calculating 9/10s, if there’s a percentage that’s not a whole #, fractions of votes will be rounded to the next whole number.

Consensus Check: Consensus

Next meeting:  Monday @ 5:30 PM @ FP

Apologies for messy notes, I don’t usually press words.




January 9, 2012

Attending:  Melissa, Cheryl, John C., Brit Will (Quorum Established) – others in and out.


  1. How to moderate website, who gets passwords, process to remove an admin if needed.
  2. Changing the way the moderator opens GA and moving the facilitators to the bottom step.
  3. Proposal for GA regarding the laptop we recovered.
  4. Feminist Friday GAs: Making it an official female-moderated GA.
  1. How to moderate website, who gets passwords, process to remove admin.
    1. Set up google doc to log when you’re in and what you’re working on.
      1. Had some work lost yesterday because of an ill-timed autosave from another admin. Luckily it didn’t take hours to redo.
    2. Proposal: All admins must be consensed upon by the group. [Consensus: Unanimous]
      1. Proposal: Melissa, Michael, Cheryl will continue to hold all facilitation passwords. [Consensus: Unanimous]
    3. To remove an admin:
      1. Proposal: During emergency circumstances, such as suspected sabotage, admins may change passwords given they immediately contact all other admins (saving the suspected saboteur) and consense to the action.
        1. The removal will be temporary until the next regularly scheduled Facilitation meeting, at which time the committee will vote on permanent removal.
          1. Neither the removee nor the remover will be allowed to vote.
        2. Due to the brevity of this decision, only members of OSD who have attended 3 or more meetings in the preceding 2 months will be counted in the vote. [Consensus: Unanimous]
  2. Changing the way the moderator opens GA and moving the facilitators to the bottom step.
    1. Using template available in Facilitation Library with modifications for our process
    2. Have facilitators introduce themselves instead of having the moderator introduce them.
    3. Teach-ins for progressive stack.
      1. Consider adding stack-greeters as Spring and numbers get closer.
    4. Everyone has homework to read the proposed template and start a google doc for us to work on our version.
    5. Michael’s working on flow chart for how proposals work in our process
    6. Ponzler brought up an idea for organizing breakout groups by area of concern.
      1. Allows people with specific concerns and those with answers to find each other before addressing the whole group.
        1. Example: Financial concerns in group 1, PR concerns in group 2, does it fit our message concerns in group 3, etc.
      2. Going to need more training for stack takers to effectively do this.
        1. Need more training in every aspect of facilitation.
    7. Proposal: That moderators speak from lower ground when available. When lower ground is not available, that the moderator speak from equal ground. The moderator should never speak to the group from elevated ground. [Consensus: Unanimous – Needs to go to GA]
  3. Proposal for GA regarding the laptop we strategically recovered. (Member of Resources joined the meeting)
    1. Facilitation is in possession of a donated laptop that was strategically recovered.
      1. The laptop was originally donated for Orientation, which no longer exists and whose responsibilities are now a part of Facilitation.
    2. Proposal: That Facilitation maintain possession of the strategically recovered laptop for website upkeep and other facilitation uses.
      1. Use of the laptop will be available to Occupiers on site whenever on-site, battery willing.
      2. Friendly Amendment from Resources: That it be returned, inventoried, and officially checked out once Resources is completely up and running.
        1. Resources will have access to update/maintain secondary, digital records of inventory/resources. [Accepted: Unanimous]
      3. In order for a facilitator to hold the laptop, the committee must consense. [Consensus: Unanimous – Needs to go to GA]
        1. In the interim, Melissa is in possession of the laptop.
  4. Feminist Friday GAs: Making it officially a female-moderated GA. [Tabled due to time]

Next meeting is Monday, 5:30pm. These proposals will be put on the agenda for the Thursday GA. Melissa will present.

**An issue arose during/after GA regarding how we calculate 90% consensus on the 3rd day. We need to address this and set a procedure for how we calculate 90% consensus. Possibly add a meeting after GA on Wednesday to address this for Thursday’s GA.**



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