These minutes were written by Lani Sherlock.
KITTY REPORT- There is $ 101.00 in the kitty pool. We will collect more money when the kitty goes down to $50.00. Some money was given to Bob (he rented a van to go to Springfield). He does not want any more money. OA has decided that the payment towards the Van will be dropped
Roger: Proposes that OA endorses “Move to Amend”- this will we be put on agenda for next meeting.
Beth: Are we going to do a song? If we are going to do a song then it should be done before 7.
Stan: Proposes that OA does a voice out-
THE PURPOSE OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY (GA)-
Amy produced an outline or “map” of how she saw the operations and actions of the GA (3) ideas around that: OA: try to by support for the national level. 2. Support pre-existing social justice programs. 3. Acting locally based on the needs of the community.
Amy- the above mentioned three are not necessarily exclusive. Thinks it important to be conscious about what really defines us and be able to articulate that.
DISCUSSION ON THE PURPOSE OF THE GA
- We are- all three, and can do all three.
-Not all of us are long time activists. I got involved with this movement because of the national call for justice for the 99%. Amherst is a privileged community.
- We shouldn’t be in rush to lock down an identity whatever we have energy for- we should do it.
- we should have some type of mission we need to do more- maybe meeting outside like Stan said. We should repeat what we did on that cold winter- when we outside together.. more marching.
- Struggle for identity and structure is normal and there is staying power in these meetings and discussions. If we respond to national and local calls of actions and gather and connect with other Occupy groups then we will be able to develop an identity through solidarity.
- Although Amherst is privileged, we should not negate the vast cultural and socio-economic differences that exist within this community. I have a lot of energy to act. I do not have energy to waste on forming the structure of this organization.. Look- we did outreach and developed an identity when we met 25 new people at the school.. I am of favor of local action
- The direction of where or who this group is can be found through direct action and Networking with other like-minded people outside of this group. We can take this idea into our own lives- like the idea of reaching into our work places and people that we interact with normally. Don’t overlook local issues. If there is a national call- then this is locally helping–It is Easy to connect these local issues to national issues: We are dealing with an international system.
-Keep the big picture in mind. This group has done work which is all related to the driving force which is trying to restore the balance between the 1% and the 99%- We’ve done the West. MA. GA, Marched in solidarity in Springfield, and with shutting down Vermont Yankee, courthouse……(lists other actions)
- I see this as a natural spiral that goes our connected to your system and different social groups- this is an ongoing process:
- I am grateful to Amy for creating this assessment of OA.. It is a useful map. I will use it as a map.. and not to define or change what we are already doing.
GA STRUCTURE PROPOSAL-
This proposal will be decided on the next meeting- and put on the agenda.
- Continue to do what we are doing- Do not change anything.
- Meet 4 times a month. Have a mini gen. assembly meeting and then break into working or huddle groups 3 times a month. Have One Big meeting 1 time a month.
-We will go around the room and everyone will say which of the two above mentioned options they like and why
1. I would like to try Deborah’s proposal
2. I would like to do Deborah’s proposal on a trial basis
3. Stay the same
4. Stay the same- we don’t even have enough time to get through what we have on the agendas as it is..
5. I would like to try Deborah’s proposal on a trial basis.. but maybe we could alternate every other week so that we would have “huddle” groups 2x’s a month and big GA meetings 2x’s a month.
6. Stay the same
7. Stay the same
8. Stay the same
9. Deborah’s proposal on a trial basis.
10. Deborah’s proposal on a trial basis.- There is an assumption that working groups are already established and functional.. It might be hard for newcomers who are just joining the group and might need the stability of this larger group. But I think we would try the new proposal.
11. Change to new proposal
12. Change to new proposal–but we could try the every other week thing mentioned so we could have huddle meetings 2x’s a week and a bigger full GA 2x’s a week.
13. We should go outside..
14. I am afraid of losing connection with people. I want to stay the same.
15. Yes I want to try Deborah’s new proposal–Maybe we should try the every other week thing.
16. I am worried about splintering this group.. Stay the same.. but we should go outside.
17. Yes we should change for a trial period.
SUMMARY: 10 people would like to change and try Deborah’s proposal > 6 people would like to stay the same> 1 person seems to be undecided
There were 3 people of the 10 who suggested trying to have 2 mini GA’s and then break into huddles & 2 Large GA meetings, which would alternate every other week throughout the month.
WE WILL HAVE A FINAL DISCUSSION AND DECITION ON GA STRUTURE ON APRIL 18TH
There were 11 people from OA at the Meeting on April 10th Middle School Meeting. Plus various administrators and staff including Superintendent, Principal, Ombudsman, Professional Development people, and Student Achievement and Equity coordinator- Marta
Pros- Overall people were positive and OA was received with “open arms and open ears”.. Cheri feels that the principal finally took her particular incident seriously and is confident that he will take the appropriate steps to create justice for Duke. They seem willing to create some type of education that will seriously address the problems of Racism, Sexism, Classism, Homophobia and other forms of oppression. Marta would like to continue meeting so we can start planning and acting.
Cons and Concerns- The Principal did not take the three weeks prior to the meeting to look into Dukes experience.. There was no further investigation, until we showed up on the tenth.. – We hope that this is not an indication of the Principals commitment to rectifying racism within the school.
The school is scheduled to go through a PBIS training, which does not address the root causes of violence and oppression within the school. OA- Does not agree that the PBIS program will be effective in addressing forms of oppression, as it does not take institutionalized oppression into account- Rather it is a program- that focuses on the individual and essentially has a Psychological approach-in teaching students how to “behave in socially appropriate ways”.. This is a concern because there are people like possibly Marta, and defiantly the Superintendent who thinks that this program will be effective.. She said “sometimes we will have to agree to disagree”… So we must stay alert and focused in future meetings.
Beth did flyers and publicity Lani and Susan T. will facilitate. Amy will bring refreshments. We have told people from the school about the meeting.
Police are against secure communities because it is too costly. People are afraid to call the police because they fear being deported. For example- a woman who was undocumented called the police for a domestic violence issue. The man was arrested for domestic and she was sent to ICE for deportation.
We heard the Select board is on “board” with passing Article 29- Which essentially says that local Amherst Police will not report arrests and police incidents to ICE- The select board has influence on the outcome of this decision.
This Article will not interrupt State Police..
We should still act to pass this Article as it will be a Record that Amherst Says No to S-Comm
Governor Patrick will resist reporting if mandatory and Will Not report if it becomes volunteer
INCLUSIVITY- There are many things we can do- but not alone.
I would help if I were not too shy.
I do not have energy for this group- However I have found that we are able to include people in OA.. by being active in the community and making connections with people through that work and common cause.
Maybe we should combine outreach and inclusivity…
Beth would like to be a part.
COORPERATE RULE- Move to Amend! We are getting cooperation’s out of politics.
I would like OA to endorse the Move to Amend. Also Other things that we are interested in is creating a study group and looking at the ways the “democracy schools” work. We would like to bring Democracy to a local level.
I would like to emphasize the importance of passing the amendment Monday April 23rd.
- We will vote on whether OA is going to endorse the move to amend on April 18th
Jean and Susan will facilitate Next week on the 18th.