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Organizing Committee Conference Call

1pm EST/12pm CST/11am MST/10am PST

Before the call, please:


a) Roll call (5 min)

Roll call: Alicia Garza, Sylvia Orduno, Kiran Nigam, Louis Head, Rose Brewer, Adrienne Maree Brown, Akudo Ejelonu, George Friday, Will Copeland, Sha Grogan-Brown, Walda Katz-Fishman, Jerome Scott, Corina, Cindy Wiesner, Alfredo Lopez, Roberto Tijerina, Oya Amakisi, Michael Leon Guerrero, Jen Cox, Maureen Taylor, Mallory Knodel

b) Check-in/agenda edits (5 min)
-- Reminder: Review OC process, accountability and conf call time management

c) Decision--Poverty Working Group Proposal (Maureen) (10 min)

People sent in suggestions, all of which are friendly amendments. thanks to everyone who took the time to read it and make suggestions.

Have not receieved a message from anyone who objected to the Poverty WG.

This group is going to be tasked with reaching out to other working groups and groups within the NPC

The PWG is a work in progress. there is some overlap between PW and outreach committees; we'll keep working on that.

Sylvia: At the next NPC we will get more info on the specific roles of each working group with the understanding that some of the work overlaps.

Michael: Thanks for the feedback sent out by Louis and Alfredo

PWG accepted by the group

d) Decisions--Registration follow up (30 min)
-- Program & Culture WG: 2 Hour Workshop Proposal Form (Walda/Kiran)--see emailed document
-- Program & Culture WG: 4 Hour Workshop Proposal Form (Walda/Kiran)--see emailed document
-- Program & Culture WG: 2010 call for Proposals v5 (Walda/Kiran)--see emailed document

Updated original forms sent out yesterday to include new language around translation and evaluation process

question: do we want to make it explicit that interpreters may be available dependent upon availability?

--we don't have clarity on that; we know little about where we are with interpretation; this leave the door open for different possibilities
--we would love to be able to link up with language access more and we need to be talking with them. the emails we've sent out haven't yielded responses

question: can we have people's contact info? can we include question about coalitions or sectors they are a part of so that it can help us link people. can we autolink people to the organizations?

--we are getting what organization they are a part of; are you suggesting coalition in addition to coalition they are a part of?
--later on we'll have more discussion about contact information

question: are there any big flags in terms of what ICT can do with the form? is it able to be downloaded?

--yes. (ICT says no problems)

are we okay with approving all three of the forms?

question: have we decided about level of difficulty with the workshops? has that been a part of this conversation?

--different people might define workshops differently; description helps people gather that information for themselves. also we didn't want to add to the length of the form. we also saw the social forum as less of a conference and more of a movement space, so there was less of a conversation around that.

question: is there a space for youth only on the proposal forms?

--space to identify youth facilitators, but not youth only space.

could be helpful to identify that --youth only space, identify that no adults should be in this space.

there is a space to identify special needs.

we should encourage people to say youth participation at the top of the description; so that it's something that people read. either way, it can be done.

there are lots of fields on this form, so it seems like something that can be worked out.

question: are we gonna get a chance to see this as it goes live?

--yes, we are pushing to have it done much earlier than january 15th. however, i've been told not to say anything like that because this part of the process is very complicated. we also have lots of other forms that we need to combine with this. basically, we're trying to protect ourselves so that we don't look like we're slacking. hoping to have it done by the first week of january.

question: in call for proposals, there's pieces around pma and workshops. if you submit a pma, are you unable to submit a workshop?

--no one from pma has responded to requests to talk, so that's still up in the air for us.
--to me the pma has a different character. i would say that people don't lose their shot at doing both. for example, ggj might want to participate in workshops and a pma process. if we have only one choice, it limits the participation.
--that was our thinking , that the workshop would not take you out of the pma process
--we can take it offline, it doesn't have to be here. rose has been liaison, but this is one place we need more conversation. it would be preferred that people could do both. pma doesn't have any new feedback, but not totally sure. for now, let's recommend that people can submit pma and workshops. we need an easy submission process.

question: are we feeling confident that pma, program, culture and outreach can work it out?

--culture submission forms went through the working group. just need to work with ICT.
--same criteria with culture; submitting cultural programming wouldn't conflict with submitting workshop and pma.
--clarification: organization's sponsoring workshops, individuals can submit cultural work. workshops need to be submitted by organizations and come through workshop process.

sounds like y'all have covered it. appreciating all the work, let's move forward.

are we okay to approve all three forms? YES.

e) Decisions--International participant rates (Cindy/Jen)
  • Proposal: (Individual) welfare/unemployed/international $20 (no late fee)
  • Proposal: (Group) grassroots groups/international groups $40 (early), $60 (late)

we wanted international people to pay something to support the process, but also wanted to respect financial needs, especially travelling internationally. the proposal we came up with (see above). in the case that organizations had more to contribute, we wouldn't turn that down.


nope, CONSENSUS. (yay)

f) Decisions--Data collection (Sha)
  • Proposal: see emailed document

ongoing converstation with folks in ICT, Outreach, and Resource mobilization. There is a proposal that the forms offer the option to share contact info.

In email to ICT, Jamie believes that this would effect participation of those with less computer skills, every piece of info comes at a price: asking people for more info than they have time, lack of tech support, class issue / access, less trust of the USSF, if info is seized by someone else it will become an issue. Believes we lost people on the consulta form when we asked for contact info.

Maureen: Other than contact info (name, address, contact number/email, special needs)

Cindy: and organizational affiliation

Sha: Main points of the proposal

  • provide optional fields for name and contact info (the consulta is used as a model)
  • it is important for fundraising and outreach
  • used for donation and registration page
  • identify how sectors are participating (evaluating our strengths and weaknesses)
  • connecting groups by affiliations (outside of tech making that happen)

Michael: I think the information is critical for us to have. Knowing where people are coming from for outreach. Then there is cost on the other end of not having it. It makes it easier for us to evaluate. We can follow up with people for a variety of reasons. It is interesting that we are asking about privacy. All of the listserve archives, e-mail conversations of all of the working groups are available online. What should be up online, what should be made available. We should talk about this at the NPC in NM.

Sylvia: The issue about data policy needs to be evaluated. ICT has an issue with data accumulation. Mayfirst holds our servers. What if the information was seized? Jamie and others in ICT seem to come from a politically principled perspective.

Should we move forward?

Maureen: Some basic info needs to be secured. If in fact there is an issue, we have a way to contact people. One of two sentences about intrusion of privacy with the notice that we may need a way to contact them. In a conference call with ATL there were discussion about issues with logistics and special needs. This info will help with that issue.

Jen: She agrees with Maureen and Michael. In other social forums contact info is collected. There is no precedent to NOT have this info from other organizations. This is the same process used in large events all over the world.

Mallory: Worked with world social forum ICT. The Brazilian govt. collected all the databases. The Brazilian Govt wrote the software for registration and they kept the info, while the organizers were denied access.

Sylvia: It is saying that we are going beyond registration.  ???

Cindy: Our purpose is to help build a database. I get the issue about privacy, but I trust that . We have learned from what happened in ATL. I support the proposal. There has been a lot of work done by B and Sha (and others).

The issue of privacy should be discussed at the next face to face NPC meeting.

This is our main outreach mechanism and acquiring data analysis.

Sylvia--Do we have consensus? yes

Maureen: Name, address, phone contact, email

When you use the phrase phone contact it means that you can use a number at another place. Leave an option for people to check if they do not want people to use their info.

set of sectors for people to choose from in order to make the information the most useful

g) Decisions--Website testing and edits (Sylvia) (5 min)

The site is up now. Please test. There are people in DLOC and WGs who need access to the site to make changes. What we need is for WGs to review the site and identify the things that need to be changed before it is launched. We want to do something more targeted.

Cindy: Thanks the people on ICT for the work on the site

Sylvia: ICT does not want to do updates on the site. They want to train others.

Alfredo: It is not that we don't want to make edits...there is a good political reason for us not to do so. The site is the property of the movement, and the people updating the site should be the people doing the organizing of the USSF. It is not a technologists task, it is an organizers task that we want to support in the social forum.

AMB: We can build a space for training to happen. It is good for the WGs to make sure that the info is up to date. Encouraging people to get involved in the process.

If there is anything wrong let Adrienne know and she will correct it for now.

h) Decisions/Feedback--Agenda facilitation team's OC & NPC drafts (Adrienne) (10 min)

OC agenda is not fleshed out. We just want to get feedback about things that need more work.

Less of the how is this going to happen, more so, is everything that needs to be on the agenda on there in some way.

Corina: wanted to make sure that there is a space for the youth working group to present itself? would be great to be recognized and have time for breakout space for youth

--there is a space for all of the working groups to break out and have meetings on Friday; 30 min presentation space for youth working group.

Maureen: the NPC face to face meetings are the most intensive meetings i've been in in a long time. there's nothing on this agenda that explains to people that you should go straight to bed because you need to rest to be fresh. is there enough break time built in so that people can stretch, etc? that is a continuing concern--so many things, so high level, so intense, we need opportunities to take a break.

--the more we talk about it, the more we find there's so much to add. at least right now we don't have another NPC meeting until may, and a OC meeting in march. we may need to add more things.
--Louis: i agree with maureen. we need to put some breaks in, continue to keep this on our radar.
--Adrienne: my orientation is that groups tell you when they need a break. i can write in a few 20 minute breaks.
--Sylvia: we want to be intentional about the needs of the OC. things specific to the organizing work of this group here. if there are things you think need discussion in the thursday meeting, please let us know.
--Adrienne: we need to let people know what pieces of the agenda they are responsible for.

Facilitation: Oya, Sara, Louis. Have shown to the staff and the C-Team and now the OC.

--Michael: can we re-send the agenda?
--yes attached to large packet sylvia sent out last night.
--there is some time for program and culture. now that the site is live, and people can submit program and culture, it would be helpful to understand what the limits are. deadlines, information that other organizations that aren't necessarily involved in the planning that may want to be involved in the forum. can we get a summary of that information?
--Kirin: i can email that information to adrienne and sylvia to disperse to the oc.
--is there a component on the agenda about language access?

Maureen/Louis: i believe so. haven't seen the most recent iteration, but i believe it is there. we'll make double sure. Sylvia: at minimum, we'll make sure that as we move into the NPC, we have our bases covered. Steph: who should we submit additions to?

--Sylvia and Adrienne.

Language access is on sunday morning at 9:45am

i) Updates--OC-NPC Albuquerque meeting
logistics, attendance, budget (Louis/Sylvia) (5 min)

Louis: right now i'm counting 27-28 registration forms representing people who are coming in. there are a lot of people who haven't sent them in yet. i want to encourage people to do that. if you want solidarity housing, get your name in because it's on a first come, first served basis. i want to mention that we have a lot of people sending in forms, saying they're excited to be in a warm place. ALB is cold right now. chances are it's more like 30 maxing out at 40 and it can get a lot colder than that.

Jerome: i just want people to know that in january i have launched snowballs.

Sylvia: i haven't gotten many requests for travel stipends. we'd like to keep the budget small. get your forms in ahead of time, don't assume you can just turn in receipts.

Oya: what about solidarity housing?

Sylvia: right now we're offering $300 in travel stipend. hopefully that can cover your airfare and housing.

Cindy: i wanted to know if we can offer any mileage reimbursement or support for folks coming from within the region. we requested a budget line item so we can know what we're working with. also, if people are always really late, re-sending out the form would be good. third issue is around detroit--we've made a stated commitment that if folks from detroit were coming we wanted to make sure they had travel covered and housing. do want to make sure that people are covered.

Sylvia: we've had several meetings now where people say they are planning to go but don't get their information in. if you know you're going, say something. don't want to coddle people. hard on the people who are organizing it. we prioritized regional folks and detroiters. is there a budget for the outreach component?

Cindy: no, we were waiting for this call. we need monies for mileage reimbursement and some for housing.

Louis: we're looking at the smaller end of support, but we want to make sure people are there and we get the most bang for our buck. gas, and mixed back in terms of housing.

There are about a half dozen people who have reached out from Detroit.

Sylvia: We est. that we will spend $12,000 for this meeting. Solidarity housing has helped tremendoulsy with the costs. We are operating on limited funds. It effects how we can pay some bills in the next several months.

Steph: Can we put a number on how much will be provided for gas. Maybe $500 for gas for local and regional folks. Is that too much.

Louis: It may be more than that

Cindy: I was thinking more like a $1,000, but we want to stay within the $500 range. We are assuming that people will have someone to stay with.

yes, consensus on funding

Maureen: The meetings will be at the Hyatt?

j) Feedback--Working group feedback needed NOW? (concise lists, not reports--see wiki) (15 min)

Corina: Youth Working Group had a call last night. We would like a young person in Detroit to be a co-chair. I am interim co-chair and Derek Rankins from New Orleans. It would be nice to get feedback form people in Detroit. That is the biggest assistance. I have been talking with Will and Oya. I was told to contact Maureen.

Sylvia: It is great that the Youth are getting involved.

Corina: The OC youth rep may switch over the next few calls.

Maureen: I know that there has been an effort to bring on an Venezuela contingent. I have already sent letters off to the consulate. Louis I did see that but I have not had a chance to get back with you.

Louis: Maureen can we talk about this later

k) Feedback--Int'l Solidarity (Jen), Personnel (Steph) feedback needed NOW? (concise lists, not reports--see wiki) (5 min)

l) Future--Role and outcomes of OC-NPC meetings, process to prepare for self-evaluation (Adrienne) (5 min)

AMB wanted to get feedback from the OC to fill out their evaluation of the WG, DLOC, Staff, etc. through the survey money. Are the groups functioning well? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the group before the face to face meeting.

There have been some challenges from getting feedback from people in Communications, Indigenous, and Logistics. Is there anyone who is willing to address getting these WGs to function.

Will: I volunteer to work with the National Coordinators and others to help these groups.

Akudo: Sign me up

Cindy: I feel that the staff can give feedback and outline to the OC and the NPC oriented towards a solution. AMB and Sylvia, Will and Maureen giving feedback around DLOC. I think it well be helpful to have it

Sylvia: we still have a lot of people who are not represented on this body. we need some accountability here and we are getting it up and running, but its slow. we're looking for a collective response to address these challenges.

Adrienne: i don't feel too worried about indigenous working group; IEN folks been in copenhagen for the last month holding it down. communications in dire straits. language access, roberto is on board. is the oc working as well as it needs to? is the c-team working as well as it needs to? i might still set up stuff for people to give optional feedback and observations about how things are going. anything we can get that will help us and ground us before the npc meeting will be really helpful.

Alfredo: Is the issue that we have non functioning working groups

AMB: We want to make sure that the reps are participating from the different WGs, but some people have not been participating.

Corina: for youth if this is a regular meeting time it will make it harder for youth to participate, because they are in school or working.l

AMB and Sylvia: No this will not be the regular time.

Sylvia: There are some groups who have work plans and we need to evaluate if the WGs are functioning at their highest levels.

Maureen: Fravia and other Venezuelans are coming to NM.

Alfredo: To stress that the WG functionality is not the work of the WG, but of the USSF as a whole. We may have to attend to giving assignments, make adjustments, etc. There are some groups if they don't start working by January or February, it can cause some real problems for the Social Forum. It is all of our responsibilities.

Maureen: Southwest Airlines says we cannot give you free seats, but we can give you group rates. I am going to have to get some national muscle to answer some of these questions. I am going to need my colleagues to help us identify a number of seats to book for Southwest Airlines. Our goal is to secure seats for $100.