Minutes to Oct 1st organizers' meeting
Living the New Economy Oakland 2016 October Planning Meeting
October 1, 2015, Oakland
Corrine Van Hook (Co-Director, Bay Localize) – excited about the heart and vision of LNE Oakland 2016. Works on community resilience and economic justice.
Aftab Omer (CEO, Meridian University) – aligns well with our work. Hosted event with Charles Eisenstein last year. Nika Quirk was at LNE 2014.
Rana Lehmer-Chang (BOD, Henry George School/Founder, House Kombucha) -
Kit Decker (Co-Director, Community Democracy Project) – excited to see all the groups come together toward a just local economy.
Melissa Schwartz (Meridian University) – tremendous overlap with our work.
Shiva Patel (Movement Strategy Center/Co-Owner, Energy Solidarity Project) – interested in energy justice. Conforms with MSC’s Next Economy, racial justice, and climate resilience work. Lots of great momentum now on these issues.
Tara Marchant (Emerald Cities Collaborative) – excited to be a part of this community of folks on the leading edge of solutions.
Rani Croager (Uptima Business Bootcamp) – part of last year’s convergence planning committee. Wants to highlight biz opps to leverage social change.
Alli Chagi-Starr (Building Resilient Communities Convergence, PowerPAC) - committed to solutions at the intersection of social, economic, eco-justice.
Aaron Lehmer-Chang (COO, House Kombucha/Co-Founder & BOD, Bay Localize)
Angela Sevin (Green Life) – works with reentry folks from San Quentin in urban gardening and green jobs. Co-facilitates course for white folks on showing up for racial justice (“Beyond Separation”).
YaVette Holts (Cowrie Village) – alternative economic engine for the inner city. Bay Area Org of Black-Owned Businesses offers support services and member directory. Excited about coalition of groups organizing around this convergence.
Chong Kee Tan (Bay Bucks) – believes that the “operating system” of our economy needs to be retooled so we can become masters of our own destiny.
Feedback on Shared Vision Draft / Ideas for 2016 Convergence:
DRAFT IN PROGRESS offered by Chong Kee Tan:
The theme of LNE 2014 was "Co-create an economy in service of people and the planet". For 2016, we propose the theme "Radical Inclusion is the heart of a just economy". This theme speaks to #BlackLivesMatter fighting racism that deprives African Americans of their right to life and due process of law. It speaks to #IStandWithAhmed where a boy's education was suppressed because of Islamophobia. And it speaks to the #IdleNoMore struggle of many Indigenous peoples in the US, Canada and Latin America, organizing to save their homelands from giant oil corporations' greed. Economic justice and social justice are inextricably linked, and together, they are the keys to achieving environmental justice. For LNE 2016, we take a deep dive into the insight that we cannot shift the modus operandi of economic, social and environmental exploitation until we shift ourselves by radically including everyone as equal partners.
The entire LNE 2016 process is thus a commitment to walking this talk. The organizing committee comprises as diverse a group of Oakland and Bay Area organizations as can be mustered, and it remains open for anyone to join. The decision-making process is open and transparent. The resources to make it happen come from all the organizers involved. In short, LNE 2016 is itself a microcosm of what we feel is possible in the world. LNE 2016 is not about putting on a great show for economic, social and environmental justice. Rather, it is about being and becoming a new kind of person so that through us, a more just and sustainable world can unfold. It is a process that, when undertaken with enough integrity and humility will unfold from the individual organizers to our organizations, to the programs, to the participants, and out into the world.
Responses and Ideas:
Shiva – Struck by the valuing of interdependent, different alternative economies.
Corrine – Beautiful, but contains a bit too much jargon. Needs to speak to broad spectrum of communities.
Rana – Needs to be a bit shorter. Deviates from original notion around “reparations” for Blacks.
Shiva – Could bring in MG’s “reparations loan fund” for this convergence.
Tara – Liked the language around “not a performance” but a place for action and open dialogue.
Kit – Likes focus on reparations, tied into the development of a new economy for the historically marginalized.
Aftab – Hopes to see that we could use the convergence as a place for inquiry, both in the organizing process and the event itself.
Rana – For the public purpose, would suggest that inquiry part should be more of the internal process.
YaVette – What could make this convergence unique would be to let the format of the event be shaped by the participants. Structure program to give participants a chance to get involved early around what they want to see at the convergence.
Shiva – Would be good to survey other groups like APEN, EBASE about what they would like to get out of the event.
Aftab – Concerned about the focus on reparations as a central theme. Could that reduce the potential of the convergence to have a strategic impact?
Aaron – We could have dedicated day for “Cultivation Sessions” that offer mentoring and opportunities for lifting up social enterprises, movements, and initiatives. Folks can also co-create tracks and interactive sessions. Reparations theme can include a wide range of economic policies and solutions.
Tara – Need to make sure reparations is carefully addressed. Means very different things to very different people. Doesn’t feel as much need as others.
YaVette – What kind of language we use is critical. It dictates how deep we can go and who will show up.
Tara – How do we ensure that at least 25% of those who are “in the midst of the pain, struggling to survive”
Rana - We should crowdfund for advance ticket sales and to solicit ideas, ideas that folks are most interested in.
Kit – We should have it be as participatory as possible.
Rani – We need to be sure to engage folks offline as well, at community centers, churches, etc.
YaVette – State of Black Oakland attracted 300 black folks in West Oakland. Organizers went door-to-door, started event with prayer, had open space, etc.
Rana – Free admission for folks of African descent, with awesome food.
Aftab – Proposed design goals: 1) that issues and opportunities most on participants’ minds got deeply engaged 2.) that people met other people around shared goals and opportunities, and 3.) that projects/initiatives will come out of it providing for participants to continue engagement after the convergence.
Aaron – Seems like “racial justice economics” is a better way of encompassing our
Angela – “Living the Next Economy” or “Emerging Economy” may be a better way of expressing it.
Rana – Likes “New Economy” since there still is a lot that’s new in the way that people are treating one another now as equals.
Aftab – Likes the “Next Economy” phrase since the “New Economy” we’re living in now is very unjust.
Synthesized Theme Ideas:
Racial justice economics & reparations (though carefully, acknowledging the deep disappointment around this idea for Blacks in the USA)
Economic, social, and environmental justice (but not using these words per se)
Structure and Design Ideas:
Participatory / interactive sessions
Include sessions that have presenters AND open spaces for participants to generate
Infuse spiritual, personal healing activities
Provides issues and opportunities for participants to deeply engage on issues of greatest concern to them.
People meet other people around shared goals and opportunities.
Projects/initiatives come out of the convergence providing ways for participants to continue to engage after the convergence.
Messaging / Talking Point Themes:
Having a voice / choice
Subgroups will meet to synthesize ideas and draft proposals for the broader group on:
Content Themes / Distilled Vision Summary
Folks: Aaron*, Chong Kee, Tara, YaVette
Messaging: Outreach / Surveying Communities
Folks: Angela*, Rana, Corrine, Kit
Convergence Structure / Program Design
Folks: Rani*, Kit, Alli, Aftab?