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January 12, 2014

Present: Azzurra, Donny, Gatlin, Jess, Jesse, Jessica, Leslie, Mary, McAllen, Meghan, Mike, Molly, Nolan, Rebecca, Travis, Virgess

Meet and greet

Rebecca accepted for membership.

Meeting policies, quorum, etc. A quick discussion.

Travis: Andy has been trying to get an official policy for quorum and voting procedures. A couple weeks ago we posted on the forum to see what people would think about it. Quorum of eight people. Voting requirement of 75%. What we were trying to go for was that two votes could stop something.

Nolan: I like the idea of quorum in spirit. At Sasona, if we were one shy of quorum, people would yell and scream at people to draw them out. I don't know if an uninformed vote is better than a non-vote.

Jess: Are we counting associates?

Travis: We are also counting associates.

Molly: Not everyone who shows up to a meeting is necessarily informed either. I'm not sure if the people we knock out of their rooms are necessarily less informed than people at a meeting.

Donny: The number required at the quorum has come down in the forum, from 12 to 10 to 8. I like the idae of a low quorum so that we don't have to do what Nolan was talking about. At most of the meetings I've been at, we've had that many, and it hasn't been a problem.

McAllen: It's every coop member's responsibility to read the agenda and inform themselves. If you don't vote, you shouldn't complain.

Virgess: If someone has to work Sunday night, can they have an absentee vote?

Travis: The cooperative in Australia rotated the meeting.

Nolan: A couple years ago at Occupy, we had fights about quorum. We had a quorum of 30. Sometimes we'd have 30 people showing up at meetings, but eventually we didn't. We tried to lower the quorum but needed a quorum to lower the quorum. I thought that we'd get to a point where people weren't showing up. A friend pointed out that, if people don't show up and we have a quorum, then effectively the people who doon't show up are holding the group hostage. We got rid of quorum entirely. If people make a bad decision, there's nothing stopping people from coming next week and undoing it.

Azzurra: To me, a quorum is distrustful. Implies that members would make decisions that you find abominable if an insufficient number were to be there. I feel that this means that there are people we don't trust. I don't see the necessity for a quorum unless there is a fear that a faction of the house would have a coup, and adding a quorum wouldn't solve the problem and add a level of beaurocracy. If the coop makes a decision that's relaly horrible, we can always come back next week and undo it.

Molly: Is there a specific need for consensus votes on things like membership evictions?

Travis: Some discucssion on the forum. Don't think anything was nailed down. We have open membership. Right now I trust everyone here, but may not be the case tomorrow.

Jess: When not many people are at a meeting, people who are here don't want to vote but feel pressured to vote because it's on the agenda. Would take the pressure off small groups of people, and hasn't happened in a long time, since we've had more than eight people at a meeting.

Nolan: We can decide to empty our bank account, but doesn't compel Ryan to write a check. I've never seen an organization fail because two people make a stupid decision and everyone else follows it.

Ryan: You don't want to make important decisions of any variety with just a few people. 3-5 people might be enough.

Officer elections

Travis: Victor only accepted maintenance because no one else wanted to do it.

Meghan: Victor spoke to me about splitting the job. He's overwhelmed, already done two terms, going to get burnt out. Wanted to split it into three different people.

Membership coordinator

Hannah: I want to continue to be membership coordinator. Working to make orientation an easy process. I understand HACA. Look forward to working with Caritas and more social services soon. Working to improve our ad copy, keep things organized. I've committeeized and working on diversifying our advertising.


Eric: I love the kitchen because food has always been a way to win someone's heart. Also going for outreach because it's what coop means to me, to reach out and help those who need it. Hoping that whoever is chosen for outreach is someone filled with love and courage and has the support of the whole coop.

Jess: Eric came to me, and we spent a while talking about the job. He has my endorsement. He approached me and learned a lot about the job.


Travis: I'm running again because I feel it's a very important position, to make sure things don't fall through the cracks. I'd love to do it more. I like being a resource for people.

Azzurra: What's your platform for dealing with the cockroach situation?

Travis: It's a maintenance responsibility. On their plate as far as I know.

Donny: It's on the trello. Things seem to be happening this week.

Azzurra: I think that we should all be stewards of the community. We've been talking about cockroaches for months. I'm not happy to hear it punted back and forth. If we're all stewards, we can all make sure these things occur. I want us to think about the hierarchy.

Peter: If you don't assign responsibility, then it's nobody's.

Molly: Important to have someone responsible for mediation and resolving conflict. Travis, I think you've been doing a good job with that.

Jess: At 21st St, the main role of the steward is a catch-all person. It can be daunting for a new member of the coop, and people may not know where to go.

Tech coordinator

Nolan: The last six months have been rough for me, but the next six months will be really busy for me. I'm helping to start a new coop. I want to focus on getting the wireless situation sorted once and for all. I want to set up a committee. I can't do it all. My moto will be “be the change that you want to see.” I get asked to edit the wiki a lot, and I“m done editing the wiki as my role as tech person. We've talked about creating training materials, but I can't do that because I can't make things look pretty. I don't want to be perpetually responsible for simple clerical things. I want to set up a committee, get a bunch of people involved, have people start doing tech work. If I had five hours of labor to give out, then I coiuld give people labor for developing materials and app development.

Meghan: I signed up to run for an office, went to look to see what I was running for, and it seemed reallyh outdated.

Nolan: We have content in two different places. We created a house manual, and we have all of this stuff in the manual, and there are two officer description pages. We have a whole bunch of stuff in the manual, and it creates a situation where we need to make a change in eight million places. I don't feel like it's a tech job. Maybe an advertising or a marketing committee can work on the wiki.

Travis: At the new member orientation, I talk about teams.

Mary: Could orientation help with people who aren't computer-savvy?

Travis: I think that signing people up should be part of the orientation. We could have an orientation-type event where we show people how to do all of these things.


Ryan: Andy made a lot of improvements to the spreadsheet. Working on fundraising, want to put things on the wiki. Want to get treasury resources online.


Virgess: I've talked to William about it. Said that he would be happy to stay with the job that no one else wants. He's asleep right now; may be getting the flu.


Azzurra: Andy has been really interested in using Excel to make it easier to track reimbursements for the food program. Everything he's talked about doing seems really awesome. I'd like to endorse him.

Ryan: I think it would be good to let him have a full term doing it. He's done a lot of spreadsheet magic that makes my job a lot easier. I think training Peter would be really quick, but don't want to have to train a third person in 3-4 months.

Food buyer

Azzurra: I'd like to keep doing Keep Austin Fed but would like to hand over the remaining responsibility of food buyer. I could still, say, help with a Costco run sometimes.

Meghan: I'd like to get more organized. I'd like a stationary check list of perishables, bulkkk, spices, things we have consistently. If you use the last of something, check it off. I'll have a few lines on the bottom if you want something that's not on the list. Want to see a lot more organization, itemization, getting perishables eaten first. Want to work with recovery cooks, cooks, DCUs, have everyone on the same page so that old food isn't pushed back. Recovery cooks grabbing the last of last week's food out of the fridge before new food comes in. Want to make sure people who are paying are getting what they pay for.

Azzurra: I've tried to do as best as I could as food buyer. It was initially suggested to split Keep Austin Fed off from the food buyer. I feel like Meghan will do a better job than I have. I want to keep doing the Keep Austin Fed coordinating. It's been really, really fun.

Meghan; I think you've done an excellent job.

Grounds coordinator

Jessica: It's what I'll do anyways, even if I don't have labor. I'll be making sure I hear from you guys. Jesse has got a lot of credentials.

Jesse: Running with Jessica for grounds coordinator. Cooperation is a greater asset than competition. I have two design certificates in permaculture. Was Grounds Coordinator at Pearl Street. Looking forward to reducing our ecological footprint, establishing a lush courtyard.

Travis: Jesse has the experience. Jessica I saw yesterday morning diving into seed catalogues. Has the passion.

Food coordinator

Azzurra: Victor said at one point that the kitchen manager should have a hand in outreach since we could bring food across the street. The positions would dovetail better than we might expect.


Azzurra: I think that having two people as labor czar is working pretty well. Ensures that one or both of us are here at any given time. Gatlin and I have a different style, and working together should work well. Once elections are done, we can start talking about moving labor around. I wanted us to have a Thursday dinner, which I think is possible when Marilyn and Virgess are fully incorporated.

Molly: Do we have a system for super-shows yet? If someone does way more labor than we expected.

New business

Ryan: Neighborhood Association meeting tomorrow.

William: Victor talked about the idea of splitting up his job.

Travis: Leslie and I had screens made for our windows. The one for the kitchen is too big but fits in the windows in other apartments. If you need a screen, give me $20.

Jessica: Need money for things for the garden. i might do a collection or ask the house.

Nolan: You could use one of the two fund-raising sites that we've set up.

Leslie: Molly and I were talking about a lecture series. If anyone else is interested, come talk to us.

meetings/2014-01-12.txt · Last modified: 2017/06/28 18:06 (external edit)