General Assembly Minutes Jan 21st
The GA Minutes for 1/21/12:
13 people present for quorum:
Agenda Item #1: Willie Crowder and the City:
Willie thanks Occupy for showing up to the house. Felt he received good and bad advice. Meanwhile, Willie got a phone call from Gulley (city council member) telling him that the South Side Mission and other organizations are going to stop them from demo the house. . Mission and others didn’t say precisely what they’d do to stop it, but saw his speech at city council. The demo guys told us that once it goes through the court system they couldn’t stop it. But why are they giving Willie a permit for electrical and pluming done they tell him he cannot do it. Willie is confused by the cities actions. Willie says that he was motivated at one point, but now he’s not sure if he wants to continue. Not sure what Gulley is capable of doing and why he’s all of sudden taking interest. There will be witnesses from Occupy Peoria at Tuesday’s City Council meeting when Willie addresses the council.
Agenda Item # 2 Occupy Peoria and Politics:
It was brought up that at the Occupy the Courts event some individuals from SEIU talked about hiring people into paid positions, and a local politician named Matthew Woodmancy was being promoted. This was concerning and the discussions of natural alliances and goals of Occupy started. Democrats and Republicans were talked about. Autonomy should be kept. If we start alienating people we’ll turn people away. Debates started about not shunning everything in the existing framework, but we should not be endorsing or getting behind politicians even if they’re aligned with principles. It was passed that no one can promote politicians and parties at events, facebook or website and Occupy does not promote any politicians or parties at events, facebook or website. A lot of this has already been said in Occupy’s Statement of Autonomy: http://www.nycga.net/resources/statement-of-autonomy/ (http://www NULL.nycga NULL.net/resources/statement-of-autonomy/)
Agenda Item #3-Martha Needing Help In Community:
Martha from the south side tells us a story: There were these cars (three cars with plates) that were in the street, they had to move them off the street to someone’s yard according to the city (not sure why they had to be moved). City and code enforcement, police came down and told her that she had to move them (never stated where), the guy next door had his home torn down and the owner said it was okay to park them in the back of his yard (guy still owned that property). Not sure if the backyard was grass, concrete or dirt). The City sent a towing company (through a contract) and came down and towed two cars (she still has a mobile home that she uses as her garage and the city couldn’t touch it because it was in her yard, on concrete and valid plates), the battery of one car was dead, the other was fine, but the city towed both (not sure why they towed both), but they towed one that had a dead battery but never gave her the chance to take the good battery out of the one car and use it to move the other. She was there (80 year old lady Betsy Smith) during the towing (we know this since she cannot drive. Cars were for nephew to drive. Anybody would have moved them for her, since, everyone’s cool with each other) $500 was the cost. She doesn’t have the money and they took the cars. Towing companies are taking automobiles and keeping them. This happens quiet often. Martha talked about how the police have not been coming down to South Side. Good documentation needs to be taken of crimes. Take good notes about what happened and when you called the police. Legitimate documentation. Suggested a watch group. Alternatives were given for fixing up besides going through the police. People from Occupy will go to the Thursday 6pm Martha Riley House. Do not get cops involved since they are doing nothing. Get more people involved from the South Side. Someone suggested going through city council even though they haven’t done anything helpful so far. Having more of a citizen engagement. Occupy to have a future meeting come up with a way to do documentation. Build a working group. The idea of a Copwatch came up to, but nothing further discussed on that.
Agenda Item #4 Working on Resolutions for City Council (Move to Amend):
Questions were asked about making it clear the difference between a resolution and ballot: Resolution and Ballot are both voted on by city council if they’ll be voted, but Ballot is where everyone votes on. Ballot is stronger. How do we do that in Peoria? It’s listed by collection of signatures, referendum during an election, deadlines, specific things you do to authentic the signatures. Every city is different. First it would be Occupy groups that would hear from Move To Amend (MTA) and MTA would come back to Occupy with wording, discussions would continue during GA and then go from there with city council. Gary Sandburg (city council) told some of us that we would need to introduce it to one person on city council. City council could still vote it down. Find a councilperson that will work with it and sponsor. Work in between City Council Meetings was suggested. But MTA and OP would introduce what we want. Suggestion was made that we do dialogue and if we do not get resolution, then we go to the people and do a referendum item. If it’s a broad base effort the GPPC, PAPN, MTA OP, etc. propose this and city council sees these individuals from these groups that they may take this resolution (symbolic) more seriously. Can we resubmit a resolution? Move to Amend work on this as well. Bring something that would show how it would affect families and their kids. Proposal for a Occupy Peoria working group with Move to Amend to present things to the GA. Two weeks have a meeting and talk with some of the council people in between. Pick two people to follow through this, Bill Spears and Beth were suggested.
Agenda Item #5- Teach-ins:
To have teach-ins with Bradley professors and the question was asked about community organizing and social movements. ALEC was talked about also list given of other ideas:
1) How the Illinois (or US) political system operates and how it doesn’t work for us
2) Knowing your legal rights,
3) Anti-police brutality teach-in,
4) issues on violence against the marginalized in our culture and community,
5)teach-in on how to use art with activism and it’s history in movements,
6) Gentrification and it’s negative impact on the community,
7) Direct Action
Occupy Movement and Student Dept
9) Revolution instead of reform
10) Extreme Poverty: Causes and solutions to help the homeless
11) Local Issues
12) Exploitation of undocumented migrant workers
13)History of police control and protecting the State
14) Teach-in on the Occupy Movement from start to present
15)Dying for the American Empire:20th & 21st on U.S. Foreign Policy. Bradley students will set things up.
Agenda Item #6- Lori recaps on Eyes Wide Open:
refer to link for more information:
Agenda Item #7-F29 Conference Call:
Will reach out to people later (ran out of time and no one was available to do it).