Present: Corey, Paul, McAllen, Cynthia, Marilyn (minutes), Donny, Michelle, Andi, Richard (facilitating), Gatlin, Meg
Chase Ridenour, 2nd meeting, friend of Gatlin's, interested in moving in and sharing a unit, can do maintenance labor, has regular income, neither pets nor pet allergies.
(Donny and Marilyn) Request house approval of shorter than normal lease for Lauren, to have an end date April 30, 2016. Marilyn: she plans to travel. Friendly amendment from Paul: to change this to Lauren and Andy. Answer from Corey: we can't change their contract. Reply: this would give them both the option. Corey: Authorize the MemCo to make the offer to Andy and Lauren to end their leases on April 30 if they want to. Amendment passes. Original motion passes.
(Paul) Change our member admission priority order to:
That is, remove former residents, residents of other CHEA houses, and former associates from the list, and make partner organization prospectives the first priority.
Paul: Wants to simplify the list and might be a way to increase the number of residents from partner organizations. CQ/POI: Is there a specific reason you did not want other CHEA members on the list? Paul: I would like LaRe to be accessible to other people who don't already have a co-op to live in. Concerns/FA: Donny has a concern about removing other CHEA residents from the priority list, as people moving from house to house can strengthen the ties between us. Paul: Does Sasona have a similar policy. Corey: Doesn't think so. He could see keeping CHEA members on the same tier as Associates. Andi: Thinks it is easy for other CHEA members to have access to spots because they know members and coordinators here and know when there is an opening; partner organizations don't have the same access.
Donny, Friendly amendment: include on third tier current members of other CHEA houses in order of their acceptance by CHEA. Accepted by Paul. Michelle: opposed to the amendment because we haven't done enough outreach. Someone of more means has more flexibility and more opportunity to take open places on short notice. Richard: Amendment might create Adverse impact by Fair Housing Law (discrimination based on practical effect rather than intention). Donny: our houses are already isolated and this could put another wedge between them. Paul: He appreciates the concern but doesn't think it drives a wedge between us. POI from Meg: most people leaving Sasona are doing so because they are upset with Sasona. Donny: I didn't think it was likely that a Sasonie could become an Associate and get up here and do labor because of geography. Corey: maybe we could include CHEA members who are in the last month of their contract. Gatlin: In that case maybe MemCo could check the Sasona contract and verify it. Michelle: Would it be within legal boundaries to give prospective members special status for low income? Corey: Yes. Amendment not accepted.
Original proposal: When will this proposal take effect? After current vacancy is filled (contract and deposit check have been written). Original proposal accepted.
(Paul) For special elections, nomination and voting periods may be 3 days each as long as the house is notified. Paul: This is to simplify Labor Czar's job, as currently he has to call a 48 hour meeting to approve a change to the mandatory one week nomination and voting periods. POI: RIchard agrees the current procedure is pointless, as this is how things are operating currently. Proposal is accepted.
(Paul) Remove our rule that yellow-cards trigger membership reviews of people on behavioral contracts. Paul: He proposed this rule to make yellow cards more serious, but it doesn't really add anything to a behavioral contract. We are not using yellow cards enough, and this might either disincentive their use or incentive someone to use one to get rid of a member s/he doesn't like. Corey: another disincentive for their use is that yellow cards come with a $10 fine. Proposal accepted.
(Paul) Remove mediation responsibilities from Steward and Membership Coordinator. Create separate one-hour elected Mediator position, with responsibilities:
This position would not need a special election immediately and can just be added to the next regular election cycle.
POI/CQ: Meg: Mediation has been an issue because it's not exactly anyone's responsible, so sometimes it's not really completed or people aren't happy with the results. Paul: Steward and MemCo are not natural mediators. If another mediator is unavailable or the designated mediator stands down the Steward is the back-up. Marilyn: what is a natural mediator? Paul: Just that being Steward doesn't automatically indicate the capacity to act as a mediator. Donny: speaks in support. Richard: one hour elected position may be another officer position without much time involved. Paul: understands but thinks they should be rewarded; he would be open to negotiation. Corey: he feels safety officer would be a natural fit. This could be structured on a case by case basis. Meg: This seems like a safety officer responsibility, and as far as freebie labors, there are a lot of them already with people signing off on labor they haven't done. Andi: Not sure mediator role is congruent with people who have been Safety Officer in the past. Anyone who has the job should educate themselves on education practices, which should be taken into account in assigning labor hours. Meg: Thereis a lot of information on this on the NASCO site, including videos.
Richard: Friendly amendment to make this zero hours but mediator could claim hours when mediation occurs. Paul accepts.
Marilyn: Friendly amendment to grant four hours for training for the first month and then this would be a zero hour officer position except as needed for mediation.
Richard: withdraws his amendment, Marilyn's remains
Corey: a zero hour position means that fill-in mediators could get bonus hours for mediation, Donny doesn't like the fact that someone might skip their usual assigned hours if they have to mediate. Gatlin: there is a no-show process in place for this. Corey: if someone has no mediation to do while receiving one hour credit, we would need to account for unaccomplished labor in some way. Donny: At Sasona it is a zero hour, they have four elected mediators who are asked to do mediation but neither claim nor receive credit. Amendment is not accepted.
Richard suggests tabling the proposal while more work is done on the labor assignment. Donny thinks one hour of labor is not a lot out of the pool, and it would be someone
Corey: Suggests we fold this into the Safety Officer position, as that position has few duties and gets one hour a week. Andi: Didn't we put this under Steward just because we didn't know where else to put it? Proposal is accepted.
Cynthia: Some people have been offended by what is said at these meetings, we need to watch what we say, not discussing personal problems, we are here to help each other. She wants to discuss racism and prejudice. She and Andi have attended a weekend training on racism. We need to be a community, like say hello to each other. Don't make each other not human. She has done a lot to take care of the co-op, though she is comfortable in her own apartment. She says some people who have been raised as racists have changed. She was ready when this apt. complex became a co-op and has learned a lot at these meetings. She wants others to say hello, it's not just up to her to start conversations. Meg: Reads from NASCO's “Being a Better White Ally.”
Michelle: would like to see the co-op to more inclusive of different educational and economic groups as well as different races. Gatlin: His nephews have noticed that all the white people are on this side of the street. Michelle: co-ops are historically a white upper class thing, but our name and our mission are to make things better, to uplift the disenfranchised. She has heard others say that we can't tell people of color what they want and that co-ops aren't for everyone. But others do need the opportunity for a regular food service. She has brought in people of color and none of them had heard of co-ops. Instead of just telling our friends, we should tell people of color about co-ops. Richard heard that 15 people did not have their contracts renewed so others could move in, but Donny and Cynthia say that all the original residents were offered the opportunity to stay as co-op members but chose not to. Andi: we need to look at outcomes, not just intentions, in order to see the sytemic problems. Michelle: What are the ways to make this community more inclusive of traditional families when people see us as agnostic/atheist, pot-smoking, etc.? Meg: Meetings should be free and open, but we should be conducting business in a more professional manner. Sometimes meetings have included personal gossip, and should not include opinions about someone's life. Maybe we could put up a sign saying what things would violate fair housing law. Corey says he thinks there is such a sign made for Sasona and he will try to get it.
Richard: Tonight he will put up nominations for positions in the new year.