Occupy Chicago General Assembly Constitution - PROPOSAL
The General Assembly of Occupy Chicago is a daily, communal meeting designed to communicate and address the announcements, issues, and developments of the Occupy Chicago movement. It is conducted as a modified-consensus decision making process – that means 9/10ths vote to pass a proposal. We operate on a basis of mutual respect and concern for the cares and opinions of all the individuals present. This is a slow process. Consensus decision making is a democratic method which demands, not only respect, but also the participation of all the individuals who are concerned with any aspect of the Occupation. It’s important to keep in mind that Occupy Chicago is not going anywhere! We have time to make sure everyone’s opinions be voiced or represented. Our commitment to the democratic process is paramount to operating as a united, effective movement.
The General Assembly does not solve problems, it presents them and discusses them. The committees are self-sufficient entities with the power to solve any of the problems which may come up. The best way to get actively involved beyond showing the support we thrive on is to join a committee. Everyone is adamantly invited to join as many committees as they feel comfortable being involved with! The idea is that every individual be empowered to make decisions, take action, and get involved as him or herself, for the good of the group. The Assembly is held in understood solidarity between all these committees.
General Assembly Rules:
- All decisions are made on a modified-consensus-based decision making process. That is, 9/10ths majority for any proposal to pass.
- Respect must be universal and unconditional! Everyone is expected to observe the decisions of the moderator and keep close at heart the interests of the group. Disrespect towards the speaker by anyone in the GA will not be tolerated. In that same fashion, disrespect by the speaker towards the moderator or the assembly will not be tolerated.
- Each General Assembly will have a time-limit of 90 minutes.
- The agenda will be set by the secretarial committee. Proposals will be presented in the order in which they are submitted, unless the secretarial committee feels that there is a certain urgency about a proposal, or that subsequent proposals will be contingent on the outcome of a proposal more recently submitted.
- Side conversations, that is – either with the person next to you or anyone running the General Assembly, should take place before or after the Assembly.
- There should be no sense of urgency. If a proposal has not been discussed in full, it can always be tabled for the next GA. Occupy Chicago will be around long enough to tackle any issue democratically.
- Once the GA starts, the agenda is closed.
General Assembly Order of Events:
- Moderator’s introduction. This includes what OC is; safety, how the GA works (rules and expectations), how to submit a proposal, “Last-time at the GA”, and an overview of the agenda.
- Committee announcements. Role-call: go through each committee. Each committee must at least introduce themselves. Every committee should have a member present who is expected remain the entire time, and stay afterwards to answer questions about the committee and serve as a representative. Limit 3 minutes for each committee.
- Voting on proposals which have already been discussed in full. Proposals will not be voted on the day they are proposed in order to leave adequate time for people to discuss the issues and not feel pressured into making decisions on issues which they do not feel fully informed. Because proposals will not be voted on the day they are proposed, all proposals will be available, in writing, to the people of OC during the day. The proposals will be read and briefly described by the moderator and the votes will be taken immediately.
- New proposals, or proposals which have rolled over from the previous day, will be discussed. Proposals will be discussed for twenty five minutes, at the most. At the end of the allotted time, we will take a vote as to whether or not the proposal will be voted on the next day or, alternatively, the discussion will be continued.
- Open forum (time permitting). This provides an opportunity for anyone in OC to share their opinion or announcement on any subject or topic they choose. Each speaker will have a strict time limit of 2 minutes.
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- Location: Chicago
Once the Chicago guidelines are finalized I would be more than willing to donate my time to layout the brochure.
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