From the ad-hoc Facilitiation task force – created by agreement among those present at the Nov.16 meeting
1. Forming a General Assembly: We propose that the coordinating body for Occupy Amherst (OA) be called a General Assembly (GA) with the following purposes:
- To encourage enthusiasm and support for a diverse array of people wanting to contribute to the 99% Movement;
- To provide a place to cross-pollinate and share ideas; and
- To provide a clear process for how to introduce new ideas and get them acted upon.
2. Working Groups: We further propose that we allow for “Working Groups” to be formed — in order to maintain and develop OA itself, as well as to address the political and economic issues of importance to its participants. Working groups would meet on their own, but make proposals to the GA for any actions that require resources / support / or suggest affiliation with OA. Examples might be:
- Facilitation WG – to continue the work of the task force in proposing how OA can function democratically and effectively. Tasks could include developing agendas for meetings, proposed revisions to the process and structure of the group, training facilitators and developing shared leadership within the group. (This is an example of a WG that supports the OA itself.)
- Anti-foreclosures WG – to do solidarity work with groups in Springfield; research foreclosures in local area; develop ways to support foreclosed homeowners in local area, etc. (This is an example of a WG that is issue-oriented
- Campus Coordination WG - to facilitate and/or coordinate actions among Occupy groups on the various campuses in town.
The number and scope of WGs depends on the interest, energy and creativity of OA participants.
3. Decision-Making Process: We propose that OA use a “consensus-seeking process” for decision-making. A consensus decision would mean most people are in agreement; some may be “neutral”; nobody presents a substantive disagreement. If there is a substantive disagreement, the group will take time to discuss it. If agreement can’t be reached in the time set aside for that discussion, the proposal would then either be withdrawn or “go back to the drawing-board” — to the individual or group that proposed it, so that they can re-think it based on the discussion. If / when the proposal is re-introduced, the group could then pass it with a 90% majority. (There is a minority report from the ad-hoc Facilitation task force, proposing that the margin should be a 2/3 majority).