Sat 13 Feb 2016 6:06PM

Core organizers meeting minutes 2/9

CKT Chong Kee Tan Public Seen by 255

The minutes is prepared by Desire Johnson-Forte. It documents discussions and decisions made during the meeting.


Chong Kee Tan Sat 13 Feb 2016 6:07PM


• Aaron Lehmer-Chang, Bay Localize & House Kombucha
• Tara Marchant, Emerald Cities Collaborative
• Tom Llewellyn, Shareable
• Rani Croager, Uptima Business Bootcamp
• Chong Kee Tan, Bay Bucks
• Yvette Holts, Cowrie Village & BAOBOB
• Desire Johnson-Forte, BIZ Stoop & Downtown TAY
• Alli Starr, Artivista Consulting

Ensuring transparency and accountability in our organizing. Guiding principles and processes. Sharing all minutes, docs, and voting over Loomio, in subcommittees, and at meetings. Those making greater contributions and participating more will have greater decision-making power.
• TASK: If you haven’t gone on to Loomio yet, please do so everyone can be in the loop on proposals being considered, core documents for our co-organizing efforts, etc.
• This is a multi-organization partnership, so we want this to be a transparent process. Loomio is an archival and decision-making platform that allows us to do this efficiently and transparently. It ADDS TO our use of e-mail, GoogleDocs, etc. rather than replacing them. Loomio now has about 17 folks registered, and an active usage rate of about 12-13 folks.
• We will make sure that decisions or content that are made in meetings (i.e., notes, proposals, or others documents) are uploaded to Loomio. Over the listserv, we’ll announce that: “Decisions are being made on Loomio - if you would like to weigh in, please use the platform.” We’ll be sure to include direct links to relevant documents and proposals.
• APPROVED DECISION: We want a balanced distribution of power between subcommittees, advisors, and the Core Organizing Group. Approved proposal:
o Core Organizers will have a bottom-line voting role on all proposals submitted to Loomio (i.e., ONLY their votes will count toward final approval of proposals). However, all registered Loomio participants may comment and also vote on proposals, but their votes will be advisory only, providing a “sense of the room.”
o Subcommittee members are empowered to make decisions around crafting/designing proposals and content within their designated purview. They must then submit “proposals” for final consideration to the Core Organizing Group, either for review at general meetings or on Loomio so that any concerns or other issues can be ironed out collectively. This process helps ensure that subcommittee work is done in accordance with the spirit and goals of the overall convergence. The Core Group will help set parameters (guidelines) for subcommittee so they feel supported in their decision-making. We’ll develop a “priorities calendar” over time.
• Loomio/listserv guidelines:
o Voting on proposals will be put out through listserv notification, including the timeframe (e.g., respond within 7 days … voting closes on day/date … ).
o Core Organizers and subcommittee chairs should commit to using the Loomio platform to vet proposals for voting and submit meeting notes.
o Use the listserv to get out LNE updates, relevant resources, and to make announcements about proposals needing feedback/voting on Loomio.
• Subcommittees will each have a Core Organizing Group member to serve as liaison.

GO-ROUND ON PREFERRED ROLES: Self-selections by members as either Core Organizing Member (attends all meetings, makes bottom line decisions on program and budgetary matters, supervises organizers), Sponsor (provides financial underwriting), and/or Advisory Member (attends occasional meetings, weighs in on Loomio and over listserv).
• Core Organizing Group: Aaron Lehmer-Chang, Tara Marchant (depending on schedule), Alli Starr (depending on schedule), Tom Llewellyn, Rani Croager, Desire Johnson-Forte, Chong Kee Tan, Yavette Holts, Angela Sevin
• Sponsors: Bay Localize, House Kombucha, BIZ Stoop, Emerald Cities Collaborative, Shareable, Uptima Business Bootcamp (fiscal sponsor and prizes if possible), Cowrie Village (in-kind prizes, membership). Others have also indicated an interest in sponsoring.
• Advisory Group: Desire Johnson-Forte, Chris Tittle, Calgary Brown, Hank Herrera, Niklas Lollo
• TASK: Aaron will send out a notice to the listserv so that those who are not present can self-select which roles they prefer to taken on.

Subcommittee Reportbacks / Next Steps:
• Communications & Outreach: Aaron reportback: Nika has been trying hard to organize folks, but it has been hard for the group to find a time. They’re charged with thinking through marketing messages and indentifying communities who should be at the conference. Aaron will support this group (original members: Angela, Corrine, Rana, Nika, and Kit), and YaVette will be joining the committee, as she is now shifting from/recusing herself from the Hiring Committee because she is applying for the organizer position.
• Budget & Hiring: assess revised budget + organizer applicants so far + call for Hiring Committee members + clarify how to treat seed funding from people/orgs: no return of funds but generous sponsorship package, or return of funds with less generous package, or other option (create menu so each org can find a level they're comfortable with).
o Committee has come up with a revised budget to reflect an 8-month period (March - October), costing $24,000 for 1-2 organizers. The committee has received 8 applications. The deadline is Friday, Feb. 12. Tara will join the Hiring Committee.
o TASK: Chong Kee will send Tara all of the current resumes and add her to the Hiring Committee listserv.
o TASK: Committee will evaluate resumes and set up interviews by phone/in-person over the next 2-3 weeks. Will bring recommendations to Core Organizing Group.
o Sponsorships, partnerships and seed funding for future events discussion:
• Aaron - sponsorship is $$ given to the event - without expecting to get it back
• Chong Kee – there could be a sponsor type where someone could provide seed funding for the event to get it moving and by the time it’s over, this type of sponsor could get their money back, unless the budget went negative
• Alli - distinguish between a sponsor and investor because they are different
• Aaron - create different tiers of org partnerships, and members of the Core Organizing Group can also be reflected online to acknowledge their work
• Rani - a cooperative economics model could support the venture in that any profits made can be: 1) held on to for next year or 2) distributed to members
• Tara - suggests that we have to look at who are we marketing to
• Rani - We could have 2 types of sponsors: Corporate Sponsors (levels) and Investor/Seed Funders (core organizers and others that loan $$ to cover upfront costs – but expect the money back). If we adopt an overall cooperative structure, we could distribute any surplus however the group decides after we’ve paid back the any money owed to initial investors
• Yvette - we should present this as something that is starting a legacy!
• Rani - if we took a % off all proceeds to retain in the “LNE Fund” (like 20%) then we would have a pot of funds for the future. If we were working as a chartered coop, only 15% of the seed funding can go back to the investors, and then the remaining funds are redistributed to the “organizing team.”
• Tom - it could also be that a sponsoring org covers the up-front investment
• Aaron – prefers to keep the Sponsors category as those who are underwriting (donating) to LNE without expecting any return, eliminating any “lending aspect” to the budget. Makes it cleaner and simpler. Those organizations or individuals that are investing of their time (as Core Organizing Members) should get prominent billing and recognition as Partners.
• Rani and Chong Kee - there are several small businesses and orgs that are putting in labor and capital on multiple levels, and their contributions will need to be acknowledged to be sure we’re operating sustainably
• TASK: Budget Committee to revise budget to include generating $5,000 in surplus for the “LNE Fund” for future use. Other budget considerations: what would it cost for security, event insurance, and shuttle costs (see below). Also, since we’ll only have $2,500 or so from initial sponsorships by March and since ticket sales/sponsorships take awhile to pick up, we’ll most likely need to start the organizer(s) at fewer hours initially, and ramp them up over time as we approach the convergence. Alternatively, we could find an early investor that would loan us money at zero or low-interest to allow us to pay organizers more fully sooner. Committee to post revised budget for approval.
• TASK: Aaron to check with Henry George School of SF to see if they’d be willing to advance some cash from their reserves to pay organizer(s).
• TASK: Budget Committee to develop tiered Sponsorship levels with proposed comps, ad space, etc. at varying levels. Post proposal for approval.
• Program Committee:
o Members: Rani, Aaron, Desire, Susan
o We need a “Call for Proposals/Workshops/Engagement Sessions” that can be posted online and broadcast to the broader community. The organizers we hire would then be equipped with one of the key tools they’ll need to hit the ground running.
o The last LNE was a very top-down approach in which the structure was already set. However, this year there is a shift to creating a structure that allows community groups, social enterprises, organizers, public entities, etc. to submit program proposals for inclusion at the convergence. Program Committee would solicit proposals, vet them, and submit for final approval by the Core Organizing Group.
o TASK: Program Committee to craft “application” framework (i.e., session/track parameters, criteria, etc.) for soliciting proposals. Post on Loomio for approval.

Finalize venue decision re: Mills vs. alternate venue(s)
• Mills College reservation - Alli has tentatively reserved FREE OF CHARGE the Graduate Student Building (GSB), Music Hall, and other spaces, which would accommodate 400-500 participants, Oct. 21-23, 2016. There may be catering or other facility use requirements. She had a conversation with the Dean, who is very much on board. Feels that Mills is now too remote from the community and is down to have Oakland folk in the space. Professor Darcelle Larh, MDA/MPP program is supportive. We just need to make a decision on it.
• Desire - Mills is a great location, Music Hall could be used for opening and closing events, and the GSB is great for break outs, workshops, and lunch

• Aaron – if we were to try to go for a Laney as an alternative, it would cost about $600/day for the Forum (250 cap.), the secondary lecture hall (125 cap), and several classrooms
• Rani – Has found Mills to be difficult to get to. What about organizers’ late-nite rides home?
• Aaron, others – Would rather use the free, beautiful space at Mills that can accommodate twice as many people than pay a couple thousand to Laney. Let us think about the transportation needs as an intentional organizing challenge that we can allocate $$ for.
• Desire - Maybe we could get a shuttle that goes from Fruitvale-Coliseum BART to Mills. There are 4 bus lines that go to Mills’ entrance. GSB is equidistant from the campus transit stops, regardless of which entrance folks enter from (MacArthur or Seminary).
• APPROVED DECISION: Unanimous vote to host LNE Oakland 2016 at Mills College.
• TASK: Alli to check with Mills on 1.) what additional costs may be incurred for facility services, and 2.) whether we could switch our reservation to the prior week (Oct. 14-16), just in case conflicts with other local economy events (like SoCAP) justify moving the event. (Alternatively, we could explore partnering with SoCAP to encourage dual participation.)
• TASK: Desire to look into cost of Mills shuttle services and other shuttle service options.
• TASK: Budget Committee to revise budget to include cost of transportation service to Mills.

Ticket costs, comps (especially for those of African American descent)
• Proposed ticket ranges:
o Early Bird = $100 for full 3-day experience (by certain deadline)
o Regular = $150
o Day Pass = $65 per day
• Would need to sell about 300 tickets to cover costs, assuming 100+ comps
• We should have a category of people who would get in for “free” (100) targeting Oakland residents of African American descent and perhaps other communities to ensure diversity

Website & Social Media - update on WordPress site + online ticketing drive + artwork
• Chong Kee has registered a basic WordPress site for us to begin building out.
• TASK: Aaron to begin fleshing out main content pages using basic organizational theme. Will use approved documents we’ve already come up with to post our vision statement, program structure for the convergence, info on organizational partners, ticketing page, etc.
• Favianna Rodriguez has agreed to let LNE Oakland use one of her art pieces for the convergence that captures the theme of local living economies. View it here:
• TASK: Need to find someone to update our Facebook page, begin posting on social media.