2023-10-23 General Meeting

2023-10-23 General Meeting

Attendance

Campaign Coordinator: @chima
Membership Coordinator: @HipGnosis
Treasurer: @Turcotte
Secretary: @Robert_H - absent
Other members: @Joanna and @aleiva01; @collectivestruggle - absent during roll call but joined later in the meeting

Meeting Notes

Opening

  • @chima served as Meeting Leader
  • Roll call taken, quorum present

Approval of Minutes

  • Minutes for the October 12, 2023 General Meeting and the October 16, 2023 Steering Committee Meeting were accepted as posted on the Discourse forum

Reports of Members Sick or in Distress

  • No reports

Reports of Officers and Committees

  • Secretary (presented by @chima on behalf of @Robert_H): We got an EWOC email, but no one else has really contacted us outside of that.
  • Membership Coordinator: @HipGnosis got a text from the EWOC Coordination Committee specifically asking him if he was able to take on a case in Sacramento. @HipGnosis responded that we haven’t really got our organizational structure together quite yet, so they let someone else take the case. After the EWOC meeting on October 25, 2023, @HipGnosis expects we’ll be able to respond to those kinds of things better.
  • Campaign Coordinator: No report.
  • Treasurer: No report.

Meeting Notes

  • @chima brought up an Airtable alternative.
  • @HipGnosis thinks the organization may want to find another way for Working Class Unity membership to more easily access Steering Committee members outside of WhatsApp.
  • There is an EWOC October Active Organizer Meeting on October 25th from 5pm-6pm on Zoom. Interested parties can contact @chima, @HipGnosis or Lucas about attending.
  • We have a new system that allows us to text and phone bank.
  • @HipGnosis and @Turcotte were tasked, by Wednesday, to create a list of potential venues to host a meeting with tenants. They will try to call those locations by Friday.

Palestine/Israel as a “Side-Quest” or Focus Campaign

  • There was an overview on the differences between side-quests and focus campaigns.
  • @HipGnosis: Maybe we could do it as a focus campaign for a limited time until EWOC becomes a priority, but it seems more like a side-quest.
  • @Turcotte: As previously mentioned at a Steering Committee Meeting, action will most likely take place, at the federal level, before November 17th–the deadline to avoid a government shutdown; could see the action (side quest or focus campaign) lasting until then; @HipGnosis thinks November 17th would give us a nice time frame.
  • @Turcotte: a lot of people would come out for a local action; 15-20 people coming out would be a big thing; one action might embolden people to do other stuff
  • @aleiva01: thinks Stockton Stands would love to partner up and add to the number of bodies for an action
  • @chima: We wouldn’t have to do all the work. As long as we can get the word out, people will come out. We actually need to use it to do something more than just showing up and protesting.
  • @joanna: Ideally wants our representative in Congress to sign onto the ceasefire; realistically find out who are our local supporters for Palestine
  • @HipGnosis: would be valuable to get a sense of what the level of support is locally
  • @chima: We shouldn’t do something performative like asking a city council to pass a resolution; aim should be for our congressman to sign onto Cori Bush’s resolution along with demands for no more military aid; important not to let humanitarian aid become the primary talking point; put out community education; targeted sanctions on the PM
  • @HipGnosis: Are we asking for something that we think we can realistically achieve or are we asking for the thing we would actually like to see in the real world (if we could get our wish basically)? We have to make a distinction between-- like what kind of ask are we asking for? Is it something we think we can really get? Or something we know we’re not gonna get but it would be amazing if we did get?
  • @chima: I think in our rhetoric we need to be pointing to where we want it to go (Example: one-state solution).
  • @chima: Goal #1 Stop the genocide Goal #2 Find the network of local support; get to know one another Goal #3 Peel people away from the Democratic Party and build working class power
  • @aleiva01: One of the organizers did a similar campaign for Palestine when J.H. was in Stanislaus.
  • @chima motioned for a side-quest (Skip to 38:26 for the exact language of the motion). @aleiva01 seconded. Motion carried 5-0-1, with the one abstention coming from @collectivestruggle.

Bylaw Modification - Article IV: GOVERNANCE, SECTION 5: ORDER OF BUSINESS

  • @collectivestruggle asked, “Is there a section for additional comments in this?”
  • @chima motioned to approve the first reading with the understanding that, if not included in Robert’s Rules of Order, we’ll specifically put in a space after New Business for member-submitted agenda items. @collectivestruggle seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Bylaw Modification - ARTICLE IX: PUBLICATIONS, SECTION 1: OFFICIAL PUBLICATIONS

  • @chima: important to differentiate between official statements/publications and stuff made by one or more members OR outsiders
  • @Turcotte: I mean, this is how we were doing things before the forum. So, I feel like it was working pretty well; @chima: Yeah, this just, like, solidifies it instead of us, like, bringing it up at a meeting and going, “This is how we’re gonna do it.”
  • @HipGnosis: Personally, I like it cause it just-- it gives us the ability to do things between General Meetings which considering they’re like every other week, there are plenty of things that we’re gonna need to move way more-- way faster than that on. And this gives us the ability to do that. It’s not perfect, but it-- given the size of the organization, is better than-- good enough.
  • @chima: Bylaws should be revisited as membership grows.
  • @collectivestruggle: So, is it required that we have to do a first pass through Steering? Or can members have the option of just bringing it to a General Membership Meeting; @chima: Uh, no, it goes through Steering. And then if Steering declines-- I think if Steering ever declines, we should say at a General Meeting, “We’ve declined this . . .”
  • @chima: . . . and then it’s up to Steering to, like, have a final-ish draft to post on the forum and present to the membership–if we, like, agree with it.
  • @chima: We shouldn’t draft by, like, entire membership because a hundred people writing all at once is a mess. But I think with the editing of the-- like there’s no other real way to do it. It’s, like, if we form a little subcommittee for writing, they’re not elected. At least, we are democratically elected for-- and so writing the first draft is hopefully okay.
  • @chima: . . . final approval is still majority membership at the end of the day.
  • @chima: I mean, I think really the filter of, like, the Steering Committee, the way it’s set up is, like, if we’re a large org and we have like, you know, five cranks out of a hundred who are constantly, like, we want to put dumb stuff on the agenda, that we can be like, “No.” And it’s still like listed for the membership. So, they still see it during a meeting–like we rejected these items. And, if someone sees something and they’re like, you know, “They unfairly rejected this,” or something, and the General Membership then decides at a meeting, actually, we want to talk about this, then you go ahead and talk about it. So, there’s really no ability for Steering to ever block anything.
  • Voices of the Working Class will not be considered an official publication, so it will have different standards.
  • @chima: And, yeah, at the end of the day, if Steering is getting out of hand, and they’re just not doing anything on the agenda, they can be out at the next General Meeting. So, I think at a certain point, it’s, like, you have to trust Steering to be Steering. And if you don’t, it’s a very quick kick to the curb. So, I think we have enough safeguards from tyranny.
  • @chima moved to approve the first reading. Seconded by @aleiva01. Motion carried 5-1, with one NO vote coming from @collectivestruggle.
  • @chima moved to adjourn the meeting. @collectivestruggle seconded. Motion passed unanimously.