Here are the minutes from yesterday’s meeting:
1. DEBTORS’ ASSEMBLY AGENDA: Margaret gave a report-back from the last assembly planning meeting. We discussed the proposed assembly agenda, and came up with the following, more-detailed version:
2:00-2:15 People come in; enter contact info on a clipboard; are given a # for later breakout groups
2:15 Introduction—Hannah and Mike (include asking about reporters)
2:35 Presentation on understanding debt system—Claire and Cassie are working on this
3:00 Testimony from several organizers (why we are here)
3:10 Breakout groups to discuss why we are here (Eric facilitates this section); organizer in each group; maybe one person in each group would be willing to share a brief version of their experience
3:15 or 3:20 Report back—testimony from participants
3:30 or 3:45 Second break out group—what can a debt resistance movement look like? One participant to take notes to share with whole group (organizer can do this if no volunteer)
3:55 or 4:00 Report back on ideas, segue into future visions—facilitation by Eric, then Cassie—someone taking notes on an easel
4:00 to 4:30 Next steps: Where do we go from here? How do we get there? What would a bailout look like in your community? What alternative economic models can we imagine as we build a debt-resistance movement? What can we learn from history as we envision another world based on our obligations to our friends, families, and communities rather than to the 1%?
4:30 chance to circulate, network, nibble, get info from tables
4:45 clean up
Thanks so much to the planning committee for getting this together. We’re now down to the planning details. Hannah is going to make a shared Google spreadsheet where we can each claim tasks for the day. (i.e. who will bring the poster board? who will take names and emails at the door? etc.) Please stay tuned for that spreadsheet.
2. FUTURE VISIONS/NEXT STEPS Brainstorm: as we said last week, we came up with a list of future visions that can come up in the Next Steps portion of our assembly, so that people feel they are leaving really plugged in:
- Mike suggested a take-home flyer to distribute that synthesizes some of these ideas, gives all contact info, etc.
- Hannah suggested a nice, printed version of the SD Principles of Solidarity to pass out, also as a take home piece (or maybe we could print these in the program?)
Long-term Future Visions to bring up:
- Organize other debtors’ assemblies (neighborhoods, other parts of bay area)
- Study group on economics
- Debtors’ unions
- Affinity groups for people with similar debt
- Peer to peer loans
- Public banking
- Check cashing without fees
- Loans without interest
- Tax resistance
- Buying our own debt at a discount
- Alternative economy ideas—Bit coin, cooperatives, etc
In terms of concrete next steps, it seems there are two: first, we can invite people interested in becoming organizers to our next organizers meeting. Second, we can plan a follow-up, larger meeting that would be more of a strategy session. In other words, it would be a meeting that picked up at the Next Steps/Future Visions moment, and talked about those possibilities, maybe broke into affinity groups for prioritizing strategies, planning etc.
3. Regular Meeting Time & Place
Cassie and others wanted to discuss a regular meeting time and place. We brainstormed this but didn’t get very far. For most people present, Sunday at 4pm works, though SF Pizza isn’t an ideal location. We talked about The Holdout, but some people felt that site wasn’t reliably open. We talked about the main branch of the Oakland library, but that closes at 5pm on Sundays. People generally felt that our meetings should still be open to the public, so that we shouldn’t hold them at anyone’s home. If anyone can help us with alternative suggestions, that would be great.
4. Pre-Assembly Meetings (Hannah will send reminders to the email list)
- our next meeting will be next Sunday, 1/20, 4pm, SF Pizza
- We will also meet the Sunday after that, 1/27 @ 4pm, and maybe have come up with a better location by then
- **There was also some desire to have a final, “dress-rehearsal” meeting in the few days leading up to the event. We talked about Wednesday 1/30 or Thursday 1/31. We do not have a venue for this, but Hannah will ask ESAA if perhaps we could hold it there, to all see the space, etc.
5. Groups with tables @ Assembly may include:
EBCLC Debt Clinic
Foreclosure Defense OO
Campus strike debt
Public Banking project
6. Outreach, Outreach, Outreach
Let’s keep going with outreach for the assembly! There is a google doc that is tracking all of our outreach efforts. Please email me off list if you’d like to be added to it. Also, Sandy has made a beautiful color version of the poster. I can’t attach it to this email because the file size is too big for Rise Up. Please let me know if you’d like a copy. Let’s upload this to facebook and tumblr when we can, and also get some printed if we can!
- Sandy has been in touch with Long Haul about fiscal sponsorship, and will hear back sometime this week
- Cassie & Hannah have been in touch with Roxie people and have a meeting tentatively scheduled for Wednesday
- JP has been in touch with Ed re: projector, and that’s a go.
- Hannah/Cassie to follow up on possibility of getting more DROMs shipped. Hannah has about 40+ at home.
- 1/21 is a Strike Debt national visioning day. We spoke briefly about some of us getting together and participating in this. Please see previous email for details.
As always, please add to this if I’ve left anything off. AND, please also participate in the Google docs for assembly planning (which I’m about to make) and assembly outreach, which is already up. If you’re having trouble accessing them, please just let me know.12/20 Meeting
1. Next Meetings:
- 1/3 meeting at SF Pizza for Assembly Subcommittee - 7pm.Contact Cassie (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- 1/6 full group meeting post GA - 4pm (subcommittee will present proposed Assembly format to the group for feedback)
2. Debtors Assembly to be held at Eastside Arts Alliance, Saturday February 2nd, 2-5pm.
- I asked for the 3 hour window, and they were fine with that. They’re going to request to their collective a $25/hour rate, which I said was fine with us. They’ll be able to confirm everything after their next coop meeting, 1/7.
3. Debtors Assembly - Questions of Outreach & Messaging
- Outreach targets: faith-based communities (historical resonance of Jubilee); flier at East Bay Community Law Clinic & ACCE; Occupy Oakland foreclosure defense; SF Occupy; farmer’s markets; KPFA; students in local higher education;
- The Flier: Sandy of Occupy Oakland will make the flier. Hannah will communicate to him the new copy we discussed, including adding language about “Are you outraged by the debt system?” “Join the conversation…” and “Resources and Resistance”
4. Debtors Assembly Content
- New Subcommittee formed to focus on content of assembly.
- Overall people seemed interested in a participatory, collective format. “Starting a conversation about building a political movement to resist various forms of predatory debt”
- We need to strike a balance between providing forms of immediate relief & beginning to work toward more systemic critique and resistance (“Resources & Resistance”)
- So far we’ve envisioned:
- Segment with personal testimonials where we know at least 3 people in advance who are going to get up and speak, to encourage others to do the same
- Breakout smaller groups to talk more personally about debt in all its manifestations, and more systemic links between debt & predatory capitalism
- Segment about immediate resources: East Bay Community Law Center & Debt Collection Defense Clinic; ACCE presentation
- Guerrilla Theater
- An imagining session - “I can imagine a world where cashing paychecks would be free” ; “I can imagine a world of community credit without interest” ; “I can imagine a world in which we don’t have to go into debt for education, housing, medical care, or food…” etc
- Final section on Next Steps - how to keep people involved etc.
- Footage of a Debtors Assembly in Philly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJCml7Cjo5Y
- There is a shared document on RiseUp where we can all start putting our ideas. Please email Hannah if you have trouble finding or accessing it.
- Cassie has started http://strike-debt-bay-area.tumblr.com/. Please email her if you would like to help contribute content.
- We also have a Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/BayAreaStrikeDebt. Hannah will check with Casey about his involvement and if he wants to maintain this page or pass it on.
- If you scroll down on rollingjubilee.org, there is an incredible amount of resources - videos, articles, etc. It would be great to have some of that content on our site as well.