This is an internal hub. Main use of this hub is to store notes, useful links and resources and post a calendar of calls and meetings that everyone working in Occupy Sandy can view and contribute pertinent events to.
Network Meetings

Check the calendar for upcoming meeting locations and times.
Join this mailing list – to help plan the meetings. – If you have feedback for the Network meetings, please fill out this form.

Important Contact Info

Hotlines for locations and essential services
Master Contact Sheet for Occupy Sandy
Occupy Sandy Mailing Lists (listservs)

The Ascension Church, 122 Java (Greenpoint)

Scheduling Calendar
Space Request Form
Hours: TBD

Update and Submission Forms – Use this form to add a new location to the website. – Use this form to make a change to an existing location, or report a general change in NEEDS to an existing location for the website.

Van Requests

View Van Calendar and Request a Van

Volunteers – Use this form to request volunteers! You can also use this form to request specialized volunteers, a van for volunteer transportation or a special event e-blast to our volunteer list-serv.

Social Media

Twitter: Accounts and Hashtags related to Occupy Sandy
Facebook Pages: Occupy Sandy Relief NY | Occupy Sandy Relief NJ | Occupy Sandy Haitian Relief

Registries – Use this form to add an item to the Amazon Registries

Requesting Funds – This page has info on requesting funds from the main Wepay fund


To suggest a Newswire update to the website, please submit this form.
To request a change of content on the website (homepage, one of the community pages, add a resource, add something to this coordinators page) please email

Press – This is a collection of Occupy Sandy in the press. Please add articles and media that you know about.

Useful Resources and Information – This is a collection of resources and information for volunteers and survivors.

Van Request Form

Van Request Calendar |

Submit to Bulletin

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[accordion_panel title=”Updates from Occupy Sandy”]

Posted December 27th, 2012 by Pea • permalink

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Submit to Bulletin

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[accordion_panel title=”Space Meeting (12/30/2012)”]

Posted December 30th, 2012 by Pea • permalink

Space Meeting

Date: 12-30-12
Location: St. Jacobi
Facilitator: Jessica Fuest
Notes: Robin

Space Report Backs

  • Greenpoint space– Will have space between 01/31 and Wednesday
    • Used for volunteer orientation and intake
    • 2nd and 3rd floor will be turned into condos 6 mos out
    • Available about 7am-10pm
    • Engage community members there to volunteer (walk-in)
    • Parking – single space, parking can be on McGuiness Blvd a couple blocks away
    • Accessible to the G and L trains
  • Coney Island
    • Warehouse function – 50,000 square feet
    • Opening Monday for moving in supplies
    • Working on plan for how space operates – right now just warehousing and comms
    • Hopefully in the long-term for building materials and volunteer training, but not now
    • Multi-agency: Respond & Rebuild, city harvest (if we have cold storage), and other groups considering using it
    • 5 min walk from train, easy to drive to
  • Juan Carlos/Jacobi
    • We can have the downstairs space for as long as needed
    • Cannot use offices or upstairs space
    • Evenings need to be scheduled in advance with Juan as to not double book space
    • Do we need this space???
  • 520 clinton
    • Could be closed for many months, will know more when hear back from insurance company in a few weeks
    • May have access to comm space in the meantime
    • Mixed information regarding availability outlook
    • Tomorrow (01/31) things need to be out
  • Kitchen
    • Repair of dishwasher and replacement of boiler
    • Office space can support about 5 comms people
    • Father David will need about a week notice for use of sanctuary for orientations, etc.
  • Cultivating a relationship with Father John would help us, he is down with us, has a lot of authority and connections.
  • One of these spaces should be specifically used for volunteer training  – Greenpoint?
  • It seems like there may still be a need for a centralized facility, but being closer (possibly under a half hour drive) to affected areas is important
  • Greenpoint may not work for a dispatch location
  • We need to fulfill obligations here at Jacobi and communicate to the public ahead of the change of location
    • Signs need to be posted
    • Website needs to be updated
  • UPS has been asked to hold deliveries until Wed, and may ask them to deliver to coney island on Thursday (John has been talking with them)
  • Items are being returned to senders
  • UPS is not accepting any new shipments

Rethinking Volunteer Infrastructure

  • Moving into new spaces means restructuring our work; the old organization and processes may become obsolete.
  • How centralized should volunteer intake, orientations and trainings be?
    • People need a place to go to closer to them
    • Centralized location could keep energy high/going
  • What role does the website play in engaging volunteers:
    • improving website info to direct volunteers, online orientation  ahead of time (?), can help to get volunteers to work more efficiently
    • Orientations including anti-oppression may be better in-person
    • Walk-ins have decreased, we don’t know where to send them
    • Scheduling could help
    • Times and locations needs to be consistently updated – Badger needs to change that
    • Volunteer sign-up should be front and center on page
  • General versus specialized volunteers:
    • We need to think about which spaces can facilitate which kind of volunteers
      • For example: Coney Island could be more specialized and Greenpoint might make sense for sending out large groups of general volunteers
  • Should volunteers be compensated?
  • Event-based model volunteering?
  • Logistics and presentation space needed
  • Stop walk-in volunteers – dispatch them volunteers directly?

Wrap Up

  • We need to get into Greenpoint first to assess situation before we change things here at Jacobi
  • Keep Weekly meetings here?

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[accordion_panel title=”OccupySandy Network Assembly Meeting (12/18/2012)”]

Posted December 21st, 2012 by Pea • permalink

Originally posted here.

  • December 18th, 2012
  • 7:30 PM
  • St. Jacobi Church
  • Facilitation: George and Sam
  • Minutes: Tess and Shawn

George: I’m George.

Sam: I’m Sam.

George: We’re gonna facilitate, if that’s ok with everyone. Last meeting, we were here, it was kinda hectic, people, you know, were kinda rude, things were said. So I just want to remind everybody in this space that we’re all working together, we’re all part of this network because we care. We have to bring that compassion into the spaces we share. One thing I like to say is W.A.I.T., Why Am I Talking? Make sure you aren’t just talking to hear yourself talk. I know I like to hear myself talk, which is why I do things like this. So it’s really good for me, and I think it’s good to bring into community spaces. Today we’re going to sort of hang loose, do some networking. Last week, the decision-making conversation didn’t go so well so we’re not going to do that. Intros from sites…Go around the room and introduce yourself

Sam: Sites, or groups, or whatever. If you wanna be like, “Hey I’m Sam, I’m working on training in the Rockaways, is anyone else doing that? And then

John: I’ve been working mostly in Coney. Claps for Coney.

Dan: I’m also working in Coney and working with Organizational Relationships.

Lopi: I’m here from the Rockaways, doing social media.

Shlomo: I’m doing coordination across sites in the Rockaways.

Dalit: I’m doing legal in the Rockaways.


Susan: I’m behind my computer doing stuff for the incubation team.

Ravi: I’ve been on a break for awhile, plugging back in.

Evan: Same here.

Lev: 520, Coney.

Tammy: Working on a bunch of stuff, coordination in the Rockaways.

Amy: Running around coordinating the Rockaways.

Bethany: I’m an observer.

Freddy: Code name smiley, I’m good at fixing stuff.

George: Nick is livestreaming, is that ok with everyone?

Damien: 520 Orientation, and long term project at Clinton


Kei: Rockaways, Org relationships, tech ops

Brett: Coordinating Rockaways

Easton: Coney Island, Legal

Robert: All over the place, tech

Ryo: I’ve been canvassing in Staten Island and Rockaways, I do videography, and I’m interested in getting youth involved

Daphne: I’ve been working in Staten Island doing off-site comms stuff.

Tess: I’m not really sure what I do..
Shawn: Red Hook
Ari: Distribution ins Red Hook
Jovan: Red Hook
Nick: my name is Nick, I had to take a little break, but I’m working on housing and social media.
Rachel: I’ve been working on trainings.
George: I’m George I was in Staten Island but have transitioned to Coney.
Jeff: I’ve been out at the Rockaways.
Sam: So they only thing that we have here is reportbacks. But I’m hearing that we want this to be a conversation about resources, and how can be they be equitably shared and people have access to them. Does it help to meet with people from your group, and talk about what you’ve been working on, and what resources we would like to have more access to.
Daniele: problems that we frequently run into, so we can have an idea of what we problems we have.
Sam: If you’re in Coney Island and you need more time talking with the incubation team, there’s a breakout. Or you’re in Red Hook you can ask questions about medical in a breakout…
And that can be a place for discussion and question and answer…
<Response is mixed>
George: Right now, in this room, find the people in this room who you work with, and if you’re hearing things that are some commonalities, we can get a feel for how we can fill those needs and maybe find solutions.
Sam: I just wanted to give people a chance to figure out what their reportbacks should be. Let’s meet for 10 minutes, and then report back. And also a lot has happened this week, so if you want to get a sense of what you want your reportback to look like, what happened this week, what does the group need to know, what problems have you been coming up against, what resources you need access to, what you’ve been using
George: So group in with the people that you wanna do a reportback with, and come back in 10 minutes.
George: Ok, let’s bring it back.
Sam: Ok, coming back together.
George: Can all the people who are reporting back for their group raise their hand.
Dan: Reporting back on Organizational Relationships. What happened this week was… raise your hand if you’re in that group. There are probably other people in the room who are part of… Anyone involved with getting resources or managing relationships with orgs that aren’t Occupy Sandy. We’ve been trying to get reportbacks into the Tuesday meetings about where resources are coming from, and organizational relationships has just become the name. It means interfacing with organizations you’re getting resources from and how they get distributed throughout the network. We’re getting more organized. The kitchen at Jacobi needed to figure out how to communicate… We need to figure out how to connect the FEMA network to Occupy Sandy network. My reportback actually requires more people than just me, and over the next few weeks
Kristian: One thing happened this evening. There’s something called the MDMN. Any org in the country can post resources they want to donate, and they match resources to people who want donations. So I just connected with them. And you can also ask for things, so I just put on 20 dehumidifiers. There are also services – if you want something, goods or services, Daniele and I are creating protocol for a way to ask for things. It’s a national network to ask for stuff.
Lopi: Reporting back for the Rockaways. A shit-ton happened this week. I can’t keep it to two minutes. Friday there was a community meeting with some senators and a lot of community members and said what they thought the 60 billion should be spent on. Then Saturday we had a really beautiful action, community members went and tore up a floor, and found an empty apartment on a second floor, to do a clear out of that apartment to get that family into that apartment. YANA is rebuilding the community center. We’re making progress, we laid down sand, we’re laying concrete tomorrow. Resources that we have access to is that we have a lot of work, people come out and join us – that’s a great resource. We need a warehouse – a 3000 to 6000 sq ft warehouse to store the other thing we need, which is tools. We need skilled construction workers, and trained mental health people to come out and work that can commit to a significant period of time. Everybody’s getting sick and coughing a lot. That’s a persistent problem.
Daniele: We can give a 3 minute reportback now, but we have about 20 minutes worth of stuff that we think the community wants to hear, so we can do that now, or later?
George: So last meeting, the resources group had a 20 minute presentation that they wanted to give. Do people want to hear that after reportbacks? <Agreement> Okay, so we’ll do that after reportbacks.
Lopi: Something we could really use in the Rockaways is advanced notice about the meetings and printed matter about the meeting. And transportation
Legal: Two quick things, first of all for internal legal needs, and external. If there’s an internal need, maybe a tech thnk cthat can  cross over into legal, you can call our hotline, we should be able to find a lawyer with expertise in that area, so we encourage you to use that resource. Also for people in these areas who have specific legal aid needs. Our email is and our phone is 646-297-5671.
Dalit: Can I just add one thing – groups who are canvassing, coordinate with us so we know what to do with the legal needs you get responses on.
Lev: For Coney Island, we had a 3.5 hour meeting talking about our vision for future in Coney Island, what we’re gonna be doing over the next 3 weeks and after. Other areas, if you can tear yourselves away from what you’re doing, and let everyone else help you over the next 3-5 weeks. Our major need is a few more coordinators, we only have about 6 people and we’re starting to burn out, so we could use help. Things are generally looking pretty good, we’re doing a big push to get our mold remediation done, and we’re still looking for more volunteers for people who need their houses torn out and cleaned up. 520 is ramping down very quickly, most of our supplies were delivered to the field, we are no longer using 520 for storage, and so this means that the operation is changing as far as the role of the hub, not sure what it’s going to mean, but when you’re putting in orders, the likelihood that we’re gonna have it is going down. But if you know you need something like blankets, we can coordinate blanket drives or something, also coordinate volunteers. We’re not getting volunteers in big numbers any more. Over the next several weeks connections may break down, so we should try to maintain unity, we’ve also been talking about sending some comms people to help out, too.
Damien: So as we go forward, we still want 520 to be an interface for Occupy Sandy, so if legal or medical want an office to based out of there… We made a proposal to the fathers called the Peoples? We talked about doing a childcare service. Also another part of that is as OS continues, continuing orientations, we still want to remain an interface for OS, it’s a place for people to come and get plugged in. I thought it would be a good place for people, legal, journalists, to come plug in and get directed. Some other things for other people to think about if you wanna get involved, maybe a OWS broad info hub, maybe an outreach hub for people who’ve been displaced. The training group has been talking about trainings for young activists to work in the space, another plan is local direct action and mutual aid, and support for local issues, to facilitate the voices of people in the Bed Stuy area.The fathers there want to make a really nice comm hub in the pews, a people’s kitchen, which would be really about nutritional education, and a people’s garden. Also bringing in the People’s Library if people would be interested in installing that.

Justin Wedes is also working a concert, and a 3 day conference which would include all of us, so talk to Justin if you wanna get plugged into that.
And this Wednesday at 5pm 520 Clinton we are having our next meeting about this, and we want to figure out what kind of body will be operating this.
Sam: So is 520 still a good place to send volunteers?
Damien: Yes, it is still a good place to send people.
Mariya: I’ve been trying to get together everyone working on education, anyone working on the free school, and get people together and start having regular meetings about that. So i got a lot of people’s contacts and will send that out to people.
Rob: This is a report back for Organizational Relationships. There’s a meeting tomorrow at NY Cares, it’s going to involve a lot of orgs, and reps from the Mayors office. It originally started with VOAD. It’s about how to share data, and what kind of data will be shared, and other efforts. The urgency behind this is that it’s going to start getting cold, and we’ve got to get people into temporary housing, and the Mayor’s Office has been basically ignoring this problem. There were things being put in place in NJ that aren’t being put in place in NY, so we’re trying to make that happen here. We have not been coordinating organizational relationships enough, so we’re trying to get people together as a group everyone who’s been working in the network.
This needs to happen with canvassing as well – we really need to coordinate our canvassing efforts a lot better, but let’s make sure that actually begins to happen.
Suzanna: A couple of us have been trying to coordinate large groups, and it’s been hard because most groups want to know a couple days ahead of time. There are groups of 20 to 60 people, and it’s a question of if we have the capacity for them, and doing it in a way that’s more process oriented.
Daniele: Susanna made a really good point before, making sure that they have a place to go that’s meaningful, but also have someone on site to coordinate that group and to help make sure they have a good experience.
Elana: I’m one of the coordinators in Sheepshead Bay. We started developing relationships with some political people
We had a staffer from Marty Goldman’s office, he’s been getting a lot of resources for us. People from NY Cares have been coming out, resources are started to be directed to Sheepshead, it’s two months out, but it’s good that they’re coming… What we really need is more volunteers and more organizers, there are very few people who can bottomline and be there consistently, that would be great. If you are looking to try something new, we can’t even tell you how much we need your help. Low volunteers capacity, and low capability to report data in a consistent way, and we don’t know what to do with this. So if you’re data minded and can be a consistent presence, maybe someone from 520 Clinton? We really just want to be getting some more attention.
Kate: I’m from the Kitchen, I’m speaking on behalf of Leonie and Darius, we’re working with them for the Christmas festivities, Leonie is trying to get concrete details, but for right now, there’s going to be a big thing Christmas Eve – 100-250 B33 in the Rockaways. She’s getting donations from independent toy drives. Expecting 400-500 people coming, not volunteers. The title of it is Presents for Progress, Holiday Days of Volunteer Action. I don’t have Leonie or Darius’s contact info on the top of my head, but I can get that to you if you need.
Kitchen is working with them, we’re hoping to get people to give us hot meals as donations, asking a lot of people to cook.
Funny thing about the kitchen, we kind of ran out of food, so we’re hoping to get more food – tomorrow. – Leonie knows more than I do, and also Darius, so get in touch with them. Kitchen is a little up in the air, but we have a Facebook and Twitter. Need another floor manager, we need more people.
Today’s my last day with Occupy for the most part, I’ll be on call by text, but I’m not going to be in the kitchen anymore. So if someone wants to help with logistics, we need another person.
Rio: I just wanted to add to Leonie’s efforts, for the Christmas Eve activities, perhaps we could get a concrete youth involvement, I suggest the idea of having children write letters to Bloomberg,
Lopi: Can we just acknowledge that Kate just said she was leaving?
Alex: There is a workspace in Manhattan, in Chelsea, it’s available 9am-5pm, if you give me at least a week’s notice, just let me know if you want to use it. But it’s not available til after New Years, so I can’t help with that until then.
Daphne: I work with Staten Island. On Saturday there was a speak out and tour of homes, about 50 people came, and I think a busload of people went out to Bloomberg’s house.
Today Make The Road NY made a white paper, and it’s available online at about immigrant’s rights and access to networks of aid post-Sandy. In the last week, part of our group has had a visioning meeting. One half of the group didn’t want to have a visioning meeting. So there’s a schism going on, one group will be working on 1128, and another group calling itself “SI Unity”, working with other communites, including Boots On The Ground, Yellow Team….
The 1128 hub got their power in the last week. The consequence of that is that the church is moving them out of the space and into the basement of another space, which is a less desirable space, and they also are shutting down the kitchen. So 1128 folks are trying to figure that out
There was also an independent action with occupy carolers at a shelter to be closed down on the 15th of January, and most of the people don’t want to move into apartments, they want to stay in the shelters.
Project in the works are placing trailers onto private property,
Adam from Patient Records is working on that. I’m trying to get a van and box truck.
A couple of us are thinking of doing a volunteer hostel, as you may know if you’ve ever taken the ferry out there, it can take an entire day to get out there, so we’re working on a hostel solution. And many of us are burnt out just from the commute.
People are laying the network by calling independent hubs and calling for independent groups to come out and do the work.
We are also facing fewer and fewer volunteers, as many of you might also be facing.
More people are looking to volunteer but need housing. So that’s why we’re trying to set up the hostel.
We also have a lot of grassroots hubs, trying to network that has been an ongoing challenge, because Staten Island is really hard to get around.
Rachel: I’ve also been doing Education stuff, I’m giving you updates on resources:
I’ve heard a call for a super easy to read document about Climate Change and on disaster capitalism as it relates to Sandy, and building on the very long history of people who have been doing this work before us.
Some of the vision to do that is to do that out of 520. I have ideas about people at Zone A sites who have experience doing training workshops.
And if you have ideas about written resources that would be of value to us, please get in touch with us.
Sam: To piggyback on the training, there’s a group developing an in-depth training program, with films, creative spaces, recreate a lot of bonds that have frayed in the hecticness of the last few weeks.
We’re thinking about that starting in the Rockaways, and doing group dynamics work, and we’ll be talking about that.
Shawn: I’m Shawn from Red Hook. We have been facing a lot of the same problems you all are facing. Lack of capacity, there’s no mistake about what needs to be done but dont have the capacity for it. We have a distro site that gets supplies to people three days out of the week during the day. We have a storage space, we have tools, and remediation supplies and have been looking to get a long term permanent space for distribution and volunteer coordination. I have been working on databasing. I built a relational database out of Filemaker that live updates project files as well as informing the work we’ve been doing with the community. As well as work we’ve doing with folks in public housing. NY Cares has been sending us a lot of volunteers. We give referrals to the Mayors office when rapid repairs doesn’t follow through. We help advocate when people don’t get what they request and need. On the general part, we’ve been feeling like there’s a lot of misunderstanding about Red Hook, and we acknowledge we haven’t been making these meetings, but going forward we want to make a good faith effort to be a part of this network so that we can meet the needs of the community we’re working with.
Freddy: Not only with the holidays, volunteers are slowing down. We have to put it out there that we’re doing work safely. It’s an issue for a lot of volunteers, you see it in the news, why would be put people at risk? It’s out there that we’re working, we’re doing our thing, maybe if we had videos of us doing it safely, anything we can put out to reassure that we’re doing things safely. Practices in the Rockaways are very different from practices in Staten Island.
Tammy: I’m just gonna read a reportback that Justin Wedes wrote to the email list:
< fill in from email >
Also, there’s a wide coalition that some people from Occupy Sandy helped write, demanding transparency about funding and where it’s going to. It’s going to be released in January, and will go out on our website. Folks taking a political angle to put pressure on government.
Also, is there anyone from a “Transportation Committee”?

Rebecca: As you’re experiencing in Sheepshead, if you have council members joining your meetings – it’s happened in Red Hook since the first week, and some of the split in Red Hook has come from that. Some of us were hired by a foundation grant through Christine Quinn’s office. It seems like there’s a need to have a conversation about that. Obviously every site is different, and sorting it out differently, but I want to make a request to the group about how to handle these dynamics, because it was unfortunate that the split happened in Red Hook. Some kind of help from the community would be helpful in guiding us through this process
George: We still have a couple breakout groups that are gonna meet, but first we’re gonna hear the presentation from the Resources Group.
Sam: We’re going to do the 20 min presentation on resources, and I’ve also written down breakout groups that I heard were needed
Daniele: so this is actually a presentation from the Incubation Team, and we’re just part of the resources. The VOAD, the donation registry – all resources.
So we took the WePay money, and the checks that came in, we’re at roughly at $700,000 –
We split the money into three different compartments:
Emergency Funds that have been funding needs that come up that are immediate we got kerosene heaters, it’s been funding gas for regular volunteers. The next chunk is project funding money,which we’re gonna talk about in a minute, and the biggest chunk is money we want to give to communities for participatory budgeting, just so that they can do what they want with it and we can help facilitate that.
So Emergency Funds, there are point people at each of the sites, if you think you need one but don’t have one, come talk to us
Ronnie is the point person for point people.
I wanna talk more about the Projects: We’re seeding the projects in a number of different ways, one of the ways is indeed financial. If you go to, you will see a lot of info about the way money has been spent – it takes a little while to process receipts, etc. If you want to apply for funding for a project, there is a form there, and within 24 hours you will see that your project has been shared, and within a week you will hear back from us.
The usual answer is, we think your project is great, however: we have this list of resources, and all of these ways that we can get you stuff. For example; We got a project last night for undocumented folks who couldn’t access resources. One of the things they asked for was furniture, and we said, we think we can get this in-kind.
We have a team that’s working to source in-kind donations, and lo and behold, a whole bunch of furniture showed up at 520 Clinton.
It’s about making the money last as long as it can and get as many things in-kind as possible.
We have some guideline, but i’d rather talk about them in a breakout group, but some of them are no alcohol or cigarettes, we’re not giving out more than $10,000 at a time. For transparency’s sake, we’ve given more than that to Respond & Rebuild, but they’ve given us receipts and stuff.
You have to be in the Occupy Sandy network, so it has to be an organization or project that we have actually been working with, or merely self-identify as Occupy Sandy. If you haven’t worked with us before, we might send you to other resources.
Leah: So all of those guidelines are up online, other stuff we’re trying to get up online is a specific breakdown of the projects that have applied, and how much has been granted.
We really want feedback on this process, and suggestions for guidelines, on-boarding people on the team.
Daniele: There have been some questions of “should we fund this or not?” and i want to kick those back to the breakout groups so there are more heads in that conversation. So if you’re interested in trying to search for in-kind resources, let us know.

Leah: We’re trying to shift away from being the only source of project support. We’re getting a lot of project proposals, and we’re seeing the need to get linked up with existing resources. In the next few days, this page will go live at
It’s a project directory, where people can apply to have their projects listed.
Devin: We’re transitioning from a form where you’re requesting funds to a public form which will give us info for your project page, and then we’ll list your page at
And in that form it’ll ask you what services you would like to be contacted about. Many groups in here don’t just manage hubs, but do support services, like Legal. Legal is a good example of a service we don’t have on the form yet, but we should get you on there. Some examples would be, Do you want someone from the grant team to look at your project and try to find you a grant? Do you want an invitation to a resource gathering? People want to organize project showcases where people can come explain their OS related projects, maybe we can get non profits there, so they can explain that project, get people interested, and make those social connections.
We also have a grass roots kind of Amazon registry, where you go to a local business, you ask them if you can put their products on a registry, and we can put them on the registry and people will buy them, and we pick up the product from the local business and get it to the projects.  It localizes the economic activity, and people really like it. We need people to help with this. So if people are going to be filling out forms for projects, if people can access you as a project, let us know that.
Leah: It’s not necessarily that you’re opting into a system that we’re building here, it’s about connecting them to the right resources in their community. What we want is for people to identify the kind of resources they’re bringing to the table, and how to connect what kinds of projects they need to be connected to. And the resource gathering would be the in-person version of the projects page.
So projects that submit a form online could be directed to identify things like “we want to be taking all of the tech requests”
In person, people can come to resource gatherings, and people who have or want resources or projects can connect to one another. This is a huge project, and if people want to help create the resource gatherings, work on the project teams, we really are trying to build these teams.
Devin: And it’s basically fitting people into a bigger workflow, and then working it through the channels .
So if you feel like you’re a service provider now, and want to offer a service, you should email us
and all of this is available at
Leah: There’s a forking happening. This is not all the incubation team – these are teams that we’re trying to build so more people are engaging with this work.
Daniele: And one important part that we might have skipped, is that instead of us deciding who gets money, we’re trying to take out the middle man. Each project will have a donate button.

Leah: The last thing that money has been earmarked for is this Participatory Budgeting.
The decisions around the money collected should be made by the community. This hasn’t been fleshed out fully. We really need to build a team around this. For people who think this sounds like an interesting project, who have been connected to the hubs and who have a sense of what that participatory budgeting process might look like. We want to create a model, so that other groups who have raised money might follow suit.

Devin: So Leah, if you want to break out in to Participatory Budgeting, and Daniele and I will break out in to Project Funding?
Daniele: My breakout will be about Projects.
Susan: There are different ways that people give. People go online and give money to the WePay. Also people send emails, and say we’re throwing a holiday party. And it’s gonna be in Hollywood. They set up iPads, and we were the only people they were having donations to. They asked for materials, but we’re a grassroots org, and don’t have any. I sent twelve pictures, I sent videos. You put out the needs, and their met. You could sit in your house and make the connection between people who want to raise money for Occupy and getting it to OS. How much do we get? Sometimes nothing, sometimes 20,000 dollars. You never know. You have to be nice. It’s hard to be nice on a consistent basis, but please let’s be nice, come out and help do benefits.

Daniele: We have one more team that we started that we’d like to introduce:
Shlomo: We can’t keep renting cars, so we applied for a proposal to buy a number of vehicles at auction – we’re aiming for 15 seater vans whose seats can be removed. Working on details of insurance. Details are still being worked out, and we haven’t bought anything yet, so don’t start calling me just yet. There are already people working on car dispatch, and that team will be fleshed out

Q: At this point is there a way to communicate between you guys and people who may need a ride for example to bring people to this meeting?
A: Talk to Krisitan from 520:
Kristian: If you want a van, call driver dispatch at  Occupy Sandy hotline – 347 770 4520. There are three vans, one box truck. And those get dispatched by site coordinators.

Shlomo: Do not call the day of. There’s no chance in hell.

Kristian: We’re trying to do pre-planning, pick ups at the FEMA warehouse.
Lev: One van goes to Staten Island at 9am. The other van goes to Coney between 10 and 11. The third van usually gets used by Respond & Rebuild. We’re trying to work out a better shuttle system.
Rebecca: I don’t understand the process right now. Are we going into process?
Sam: So we’re going to go into reportbacks after the presentation from Incubation. So maybe we can all just stretch for a minute? And then break out into breakout groups?
Tammy brought up the fact that the next Tuesdays are Xmas and New Years, so let’s figure out our next meeting

We’re getting a bike share – we have 50 bikes and trailers.
Rebecca: Is the breakout going to be in four individual pieces about the resources? Because if it is my question is basically — you guys are obviously doing great work, but I’m unclear on how decisions about that work are being made. How do we get involved with the making of those decisions?
Susan asks something about people getting paid money.
Sam: There are obviously questions about how decisions get made.
Daniele: If the group wants one breakout we can do one breakout, but we wanted to breakout into different teams because we’re working on different things.
Sam: If the question is how to join that group is there an easy answer to that?
Leah: We’re forking into different teams. There will be a breakout group for the projects, we don’t necessarily know what to do, but we want the wisdom of the group to help develop a process for onboarding new people.
Sam: Breakout groups are not set, we are going to cogenerate them.
Let’s all stand up.
<We do a thing>
Sam: Last thing we’re gonna do as a big group. When do we want to set up the next big public meeting? We could have it Christmas day but that will probably be a conflict for a lot of people.
Tammy: How about Thursday for the next two weeks?
Sam: Do people feel ok about Thursday for the next two weeks? Ok. Who wants a break? Who wants to break out into groups right now? Let’s do a quick break, and come back in 10 minutes at 9:27 for breakout groups.
Sam: It’s 9:40, i just want to make sure that the conversations people wanted to have are happening. The breakout groups I identified:

  • training and education
  • resources, how they’re coming in
  • housing and institutional relationships
  • core values, how we make core value decisions as a group

James; I came here because I want people to get involved with my project. Climate Change and Global Warming and tying it to Sandy…. A resolution with the New York City Council
Sam: If anybody else has a breakout group that they urgently want, raise their hand
Anne: I want to talk about wellness, trauma counseling.
George: In these breakouts, think about the fact that all these issues are happening in all of these sites. And i’d like to think about how we connect these sites, connect these communities who are all in this same struggle. If you’re having a conversation right now, tell people what that conversation is about, let people know so they can join that conversation.
George: Ok, lets bring it back to the circle really quickly.
Sam: It’s George’s birthday tomorrow!
<we all sing happy birthday and sound really bad doing it.>
George: Ok, quick 30 second report back on what you talked about and any next steps, also contact info.
Dan: Org Relationships is gonna get some info from the larger OS list serve and find where all these people are, and get people together before next Thursday’s meeting. Starting a list serve:
Devin: A number of people discussed how to support projects with others in the networks, about helping with volunteer management, helping with participatory budgeting stuff, and resource-gathering events and showcase that to the broader community.
All of these things will be advancing, and information exists
Tammy: Frank and I had a preliminary convo about worker coops in some of these regions. For instance, if there are unemployed people who have construction experience, getting them together so they can get money, so that the money for reconstruction goes to the workers and not the companies.
You should talk to Frank if you’re interested, not me.
Alex: Amy & I had a great conversation about volunteer outreach and coordination.
Volunteer recruitment, retention and scheduling for everyone’s benefit. Email Amy:
Mariya: Trying to get a meeting together of anyone who is interested in doing some Education related stuff in Occupy Sandy so email me.
George: No more reportbacks?
Nick: There was a gentleman here who was interested in pressuring city council about climate change.
George: Really quickly before we leave this space, we’d like to do a check-out, to talk about this space, how this meeting went, how we should use it going forward.
Daphne: I’d love to hear about structural organization within the hubs within Occupy.
George: Use the space to talk about how we are organizing the hubs.
Rachel: I felt a lot of confusion about the word breakout, personally what I thought what actually happened was that people got to talk to the people they wanted to talk about,and building expectations about the meeting, especially the open-space model
Shawn: I would like to see this space be a decision making spokes council. [Tess twinkles]
George: I also really enjoy the open space model, it’s an awesome way to develop accountability through our networking – I know a lot of sites are starting to break off, and thats great, but I dont want us to get siloed in our sites, but I don’t want us to disconnect from each other, and how we connect our efforts.
Ronnie: I’d like to know who is coming from what organization.
I think it’s important not to get caught up in either/or decentralization or centralization, the answer is both – What are the benefits of both, and being able to transcend the binary of centralization/decentralization.
So I think that that’s important in framing the conversation we can have.
Freddy: This may be a silly question, but do we have a mission statement?
George: Getting that together might be difficult, but if people want to take a crack at that…

Lev: I sent out a draft to a few people, that might exist on the internet somewhere.
I’d like to see this space be a coming together as a central body, but also reflecting the work being done at different sites.
Leslie: And also for us to communicate those things to each other so we learn from each other, and address conflicts that come up, and build trust. If we can work together to build that trust, we can get to a really good place.
Daniele: My favorite part has been reportbacks, because it’s hard to know what’s going on in various places. I actually feel like decision-making is happening in the hubs, and we can decide if we want to have it here or not.I liked this space being a shared space about whats going on within the network
Devin: I thought the facilitation was great, it allowed the group to decide how to use the space.
if that becomes creating mission statements, and using the OWS model of making proposals, and that’s cool it should progress, we can go back to things that have worked in the past, if we think that it works.

Tess: Before when we all introduced ourselves, I said I wasn’t really sure what we are all doing, but i can say that one thing I’ve been doing is trying to establish communications between all of the different places where we’re doing what we’re doing, It’s important to acknowledge that there are ties that bind us, and there are decisions about resources that we should all have access to that we should all be talking about. so that was always my motivation in establishing this space and decision-making doesn’t have to mean on behalf of Occupy Sandy, but it can reflect the people who were here in this room and this day.

Tammy: I want to make sure that there is a network wide space that has a positive vibe. I want a space to have important conversations. What does it mean to relate to govt agencies, what does it mean to have diversity in our network?
IB: I think the meeting should exist as an inward and outwardly facing body that represents Occupy Sandy that’s involved in logistical and process-related decisions for the group.
Freddy: Will we always be able to meet here?
Tess: One thought that has been thrown around that I really like is maybe holding the meetings weekly at different recovery sites, or zones so that we do it one week in the Rockaways, one week in Coney Island, one week in Staten Island.
Daniele: My concern is that people from other places won’t be able to get here.
Sam: Let’s not get into a back and forth. is there someone to make sure that the next meeting time will be communicated and announced. Who’s gonna do it?
Tess: I’ll whip.
Sam: So it seems that conversations about moving this meeting can take place in that space.
Shawn: Short announcement. When I gave the reportback from Red hook. We had a meeting with Fema, an all project meeting, a NYCHA meeting. We had a conversation with FEMA about data sharing, and they actually want to give us more data than they want to take from us. We talked about water and dirt testing. They also agreed to give me a report by the zip code of Red Hook on all of the money FEMA has spent. And I asked if they would do that for everyone in Occupy Sandy, and they said they’d talk about it. Also, there will be important meeting December 28 of a nameless group of grassroots groups who have been doing relief efforts, and they were like, Occupy Sandy should totally take that over! All of the people in different sites should get together and share resources and knowledge. So thats something maybe we should go to.
2017 Beverly Rd in Ditmas Park 10am
Sam: In the spirit of us all coming together from different places, and being a corny facilitator, there was a thing farmers used to do during the united farmworkers strikes, and they would have their meetings in the fields across many different languages and different issues, and even though they didn’t speak the same language, they would do a unity clap, and end with one big clap and say Itsang Batsak, which means “One down, one fall”.
So we did that! Meeting adjourned.

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[accordion_panel title=”OccupySandy Network Assembly Meeting (12/11/2012)”]

Posted December 21st, 2012 by Pea • permalink

Originally posted here.

  • December 11th, 2012
  • 7:30 PM
  • St. Jacobi Church
  • Facilitation: Tess and Robert
  • Minutes: Dicey

[Everyone is coming in and setting up! Should start soon.]

Tess: “What’s up everybody?”

Robert: “Hi guys!”

Tess: “I’m Tess, he’s Robert; we’re going to facilitate tonight. Is that cool with everybody? Twinkle if it’s cool; if it’s not cool, go like this?” Looks good. “So, this is now the fourth Occupy Sandy community meeting we’ve now had. Last week we talked a lot about our collective voice, and we’re going to continue that conversation today. Before we do that, we’re going to go through some of our meeting agreements.

“So, the first one is WAIT – Why Am I Talking? If you find yourself talking a lot, and maybe saying something that someone already said, or that not everyone needs to hear — check that; be aware that we have limited time and capacity for hearing what everybody has to say.

“Another one is, Step up / Step back. If you are a person from a historically marginalized community who doesn’t get the opportunity to speak as much — a person of color, a woman perhaps — you should step up and feel like you have the right to be heard. Similarly, if you talk a lot for whatever reason, step back and allow other voices to be heard.

“We’ve got some hand-signals — most people are probably familiar by now, but uptwinkles means I like it, downtwinles means I don’t like it, midtwinkles means I feel okay about it; finger up to the ceiling means speak up.

“And if there are any videographers in the room, ID yourself?”

Filmmakers from the country of Georgia, filming short films in black and white and trying to find “a story that is interesting to cover.” They’re “talking to as many people as possible… we’d like to film a little bit at the meeting, so if there’s somebody who wouldn’t like to be in the frame, please let me know.”

Tess: “Anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable?” OK.

Rio: “I’ve been taking video minutes of the last three meetings, also doing it for this one.”
Tess: “Cool. So… that’s about it. Respect each other, listen to each other, active listening is important; value each others’ voices. Good stuff. OK, we’re going to get started with report-backs. What we’ve been doing so far is we’ve assigned people spaces based on the categories that we’ve identified — be it location-based or sort of role-based — but we’re not going to do that this time. Instead, what we’re going to do is we’re going to ask for a show of hands from people if you feel like you have a report-back that you need to give — information that is pertinent to the community, something that’s changed in the last week, whatever — can I get a show of hands if you feel like you have a report-back?”

5 report-backs.

Dora: “I’m Dora, with OccupySandy legal. To remind everyone: we have a new hotline, for the community, not just for Occupy Sandy — 646 397 5671 We also have a gmail account, We’re continuing to do outreach in SI, the Rockaways and Coney Island. Please reach out to us if you see needs.

“If you see other nonprofits or lawyers or clinics doing outreach, if you could contact us — email us with that info — it’s good for us to have a sense of what’s going on.”

Tess: “Cool. I feel like I saw a hand somewhere over here.”

Kate: “I’m Kate; I do logistics/communications for the Kitchen. Short-term need — late last week, we had to scale back on meals, because we don’t have the people — we have the capacity. Two email blasts didn’t get a lot of response. So not only do we need helpers on a day-to-day basis, we just lost a lot of great institutional support this week. I’d love one person who could be a floor manager; Marcus can’t be here all the time. And having another head chef to be there once or twice a week would be great. We have a logistics team; we don’t know the scheduling on that yet, but it would be great to have one or two more people who are good with logistics.

“Kay, Tim and I went out to the Rockaways to visit some of our hubs that we cook for, and we’re trying to plan long-term how we can help these people facilitate, you know, cooking for themselves and feeding themselves. I also had a chef on sunday with this amazing idea for how he can get cooking supplies to people, mainly in the Rockaways, so that people can cook for themselves — families, not just the hubs. She has a 4-page plan; I’d love for people who want to help her out; she’s looking for us to back her up in some way.

“So, please let us know if you can help us out — this weekend especially; we have no one on Saturday except maybe cooking.”

Gelsey: “Hi, I’m with Sheepshead Bay. Two things — we made a great contact with the head of the department of … he’s awesome; and if anyone wants to get in touch with him and have him come out and do any type of mold information session, let me know, and we can pass on that info. He was able to talk to a couple of folks from Respond and Rebuild, but if anyone else wants to talk to him, he’s a great dude and he knows how to talk to people.

“We’re also putting out a general call for anyone with construction connections and mold remediation connections.

“We have a gmail; And we also have a hotline number. We’ll write it up. Thank you!”

Sofia: “A clarifying question — re: construction connections, do you mean, workers, volunteers — ?”

Gelsey: “We mostly need hands to put up sheetrock and treat mold and all that.”

Lev: “So, Susana, Lily and I have been working on volunteer group outreach, and there’s a decent resource coming to the website that we haven’t been tapping properly. So we’re going to urge sites to start generating event info so we can” pipe people into then. “I already got 60 volunteers for Coney on monday; we can start doing these things quite well.” Start thinking of your needs a week out and we can “maybe be more strategic about all this. So if you can try to think that way about your needs, that will help.”

Susana: “We have a gmail: occupysandy.volunteers@gmail.”

: “A week out right now is great; a month out is really great — I know we’re not thinking about that right now, but moving towards that — Spring Break kind of thing — big projects, we can link people up sooner than later. And also a point person to give us an idea of what the work is at each area — who has the capacity to check in and receive groups also.”

Kristian: “We now have access to FEMA’s warehouse to get supplies –”

Tess: “What are you reporting back from?”

Kristian: “I’m reporting back from this situation. Is that not a reportback?”

Someone: “520 Clinton.”

Kristian: “I just wanted to make sure everyone was aware of it, that anyone who wants to put things on the shopping list gets a chance.”

Lev: “Just to clarify for him, there’s a specific list of things that they have that we can order form. So he’ll give that to you, and you can see what they have.”

Jackie: “From Labor; we had a good meeting on Friday with people from the Labor Movement and people from Occupy Sandy; we had nurses and transit workers and some of us. And the main interest there is on the rebuilding, and fighting against disaster capitalism, and we set up a bunch of working committees — one is going to research what the 1%’s plans are if we can find out; another on housing, unions, jobs, and then one is figuring out — from labor, and from us — our own perspective on what kind of rebuilding we’d like to see, and infrastructure. So we’re going to be doing a lot of work at that; we have a meeting Jan 4 at the Murphy Institute, and then after that there’ll probably be an all-day conference. We’ve also talked about getting some labor leaders together to find out what they know about the subways and inside and what needs to be done.”

Andy: Bloomberg hired Mark Ricks from Goldman Sachs to head up the Sandy Recovery Plan.

Jackie: “And someone from Empire Development Corp, which is a group that works with private sector to give them goodies — tax write-offs — and I was told they were hte only group out in CI as early as us.”

Andy: “Hi, I’m Andy; I work with a group called Respond and Rebuild; it basically is part of Occupy Sandy; we do the house cleanups in the Rockaways. We also do trainings throughout the city on mold, demolition, safety, stuff like this. We’re located at 73rd and Beach Channel. We’ve been getting our structures a little more sound; we now have two open meetings and one closed meeting a week. The two open meetings, one is Wednesday at 7pm on 64th Street between 4th and 3rd — very close to here; you can stop by that at 7pm on Wednesday. Also, if you’re in the Rockaways on Friday night, you can come to our meeting at 5pm. And at those meetings you can figure out how to join the group and go to the closed meeting if you want — we have really clear barriers to entry, but we do have that structure set.

“Our website, Respond and Rebuild, is a really good resource for safety, mold information, stuff like that. We’re coming out with a long, exhaustive report about best practices for mold remediation; it should come out tomorrow; it’s endorsed by a bunch of people. It’s a good resource.

“We’re trying to — if you need help with those specific types of skills, we’d like to help you.”

Dan: “To report back a little bit more about what’s going on in Coney Island this week, we’re going through a good transition, stepping into some canvassing efforts, looking for mold and where it can be addressed. We’re also getting a lot of help from people in other parts of the effort city-wide, which is actually a really great way for us to get some fresh views on things, and streamlining things — Lev, Don, Easton have all come out. If you can get these things going on in other sites too, it adds fresh perspective.

“We’re also working on helping community councils come together in Coney Island, and that’s in conjunction with another council that’ll be kind of interactive… connecting the community where it’s not.”

Tess: “OK. I want 5 more minutes of reportbacks, and then let’s move on.”

Tammy: “Just so everyone knows, there’s an action this Saturday; I can speak to 2 of the 3 actions — at noon, there’s something at the Staten Island hub on Olympia, and in the Rockaways there’s a march starting at 21st and Mott, through a community we’ve been working with — mostly run by community members from there — and ending at a house we’re doing construction on there. And at 5pm, there’s an action at Bloomberg’s house in the Upper East Side to reflect in the city what’s happening out in these communities. So this is sort of our first attempt at moving towards action, and expressing the anger that many folks feel. It would be great if you came out.”

“Saturday, December 15th. And I promise you you can Google it.”

Someone asks if it’s conceivable to be able to go to both; some debate about it. Robert: “If you guys have more questions, please talk to Tammy afterwards.”

Miles: “So, I went to Gerritsen Beach today — I don’t know if anyone else has been down there, but there’s a group there that have created their own station, and they have some tools — they’re doing a gutting operation. We’re not working with them so far, maybe we can send them support — they’re great people; they’ve set up a couple of tents and storage containers. Would like to find a way to get them more support.”

Devin: “Just quickly, I want to remind folks here that on the schedule after the community voice conversation is a series of resource reportacks — fundraising, allocation, participatory budgeting, et cetera.”

Miles: “Also, the Fire Department I work with offered to send us more support.”

Robert: “Cool. So, as Devin was just saying, we have an agenda for the rest of the meeting. What we’re going into next is a discussion about collective voice, and what that looks like; we want to hear from as many people as possible. After that, we’ll have a break to talk with each other, and then we’ll have report-backs on major resources that are developing or that we already have, and want to make sure that the ways to access them are clear. You can ask questions then, but we’ll continue the discussion next week.”

“If you’re wondering where the agenda comes from; we meet weekly — it’s an open group, anyone is welcome to join. The email address is”

Robert: “Also, if you go to, you can find a list of all of our mailing lists and join any you want to — just click on the subscribe link. If you want to help us plan these meetings, that’s the best way to do it.”

OK, collective voice.

Tess: “So, who was at the meeting last week? Show of hands.” Lots. “So, if you remember, we had a long conversation about what it means to have a collective voice. We asked three questions: what do you think people and groups should decide autonomously; what do you think merits consent from the OS community, and what should be the space for decisions on these items? First, we crowdsourced some general decisions we might need to make together as a group, and then we narrowed it down to talking about voice, in reference to statements and press, actions, educational material, the website, and social media.

“The Meeting Meeting group — first we made this really pretty flyer. It’s pretty; we’re very proud of it — that we had distributed to all of the… well, as many of the hubs as we could, because obviously this group does not constitute the entire network, and we want to make sure that there’s access to these sorts of decisions from all of the people who have a stake in it.

“But we did sort of manage to synthesize based on what this meeting came up with some points of solidarity that we all felt like were consistent with how we felt about… how we should use our collective voice.”

Dicey is proposing

Press and public statements was first to speak on this issue last week, suggested a basic blueprint that other groups echoed. Let’s temp check how everyone feels about the three point:

Individuals should always feel free to speak for themselves

Groups in the network should use whatever process they’ve agreed to to decide how to use their voice as a group

Statements which come from OS as a whole should be agreed to at an in-person meeting with the collective network

Encourages people to act autonomously, but also gives guidelines on how to act without speaking for each other and be accountable

Want to determine questions, concerns, etc.

This group has to acknowledge that we have weak ties since we’re so distributed, might me more productive for this room to agree together and propose it to other groups

Not trying to definitively say the rules of OS

Tess: “Any questions?” “Let’s take them point by point — we can talk about each individual statement, as we go through them. I just want any questions on how this process is supposed too work.”

Robert: “There are a lot of questions; that’s why want talk now. But we want to explain this process for how we’re doing this — figuring out if people at this meeting agree, and then to suggest it to the rest of the network.”

Tess: “The way we’re going to do this — we have a room, right? And for each point, we’re going to have people who really, really, really agree with a point stand on one side; if you disagree, stand on the other side; and then if you are in the middle, stand in the middle?”

Robert: “So, instead of getting a binary of yes, no, maybe, we’ll get a sense of what we… may need further discussion on.”

Tess: “So, if, for example, the second point, you’re sort of in the middle about it, and you have some questions, that would be manifest.”

Spectrum first, then talking in breakout groups afterwards.

Daniele’s question: “Were you asking us if you have questions about the standing process, or about the process of this room making decisions and the subsequent dissemination to the network?”

Tess: “The second. So, we have three statements that are derived from the last meeting. They’re written up there. We are going to try to consent to these statements, reformulate them where they might need to be reformulated, and then try to have them be disseminated by this group as proposals to individuals and groups in the network, who can choose to adopt and use them in any way they want to.”

Marisa: “I just wanted to help a little bit — about the process itself. So, this is just a spectrum, to get a sense of where people are at — how we’re feeling about each point. Then, we’re going to break out into smaller groups and address questions, concerns, go through an actual consensus process. This is just to get a feeling about where we are — so don’t get hung up on it; we’re going to play this game, and see where we’re at.”

Austin wants to point out “I cannot effectively do this spectrogram until a series of clarifying questions are addressed, which I’m hearing that people have no idea how this would work in practice… so my question is, I don’t know how to do it. And I’m hearing, that’s fine, because you’ll get to ask question later?”

Facilitators getting measure of the room — folks don’t want to do the spectrum. “Bre’s very sad about that.” Tess: “I’m sorry, Bre.”
Tammy: “So, I think here’s the thing. We’re trying to make the first decision as the Occupy Sandy Network in this space. It’s hard; we haven’t done that. What I’m asking for is a little bit of patience; it might feel uncomfortable or clunky, but if we can do this, and make this decision and propose it out to the network, it will be a big step forward in helping us work together.”

Question: “After we’ve come to some kind of consensus or agreement tonight, this will be put out to the broader network, and what is the objective to putting it out to the broader network? A particular point to clarify is — I heard you say they could do with it whatever they wanted. Is that the case?”

Tess: “Yes. We’re going to send out more flyers like this, get them distributed to the various locations, and it’ll provide guidelines and a sort of idea of structure, and an idea of principles, that we as a group are using, and if they as a group feel like aligning themselves with them, they can do that, or they can amend them to suit their needs.”

: “Well, it feels like that kind of proposal is, we’re going to come up with some common statement about Occupy Sandy, and then we’re going to put it out to all these groups acting as it and tell them we can do with it…?”

Robert: “This is like a pirate code of conduct.”

Tess: “We are not saying that we are Occupy Sandy. This is an assembly of a network of people connected with Occupy Sandy; we are affiliated with it.”

Robert: “10s of thousands of people have organized as Occupy Sandy; this is a process of building towards consensus. If we don’t agree on this, at least we understand we don’t agree on these three points, and we can move forward from there.”

Someone: “I have a question about on what premise these three items rest on… if the premise is this group, then I would like to better understand on what premise this group rests.”

Robert: “It’s not fair that only the people who can physically make this meeting could make decisions for everybody; we’re trying to figure out how everyone here feels, and then communicate that to ask people people as possible so they can continue this process.”

Shlomo: “Right now, there’s a process that was built out of the meeting meeting to slowly loosen up, get some ideas flowing. Nothing will be forced upon anyone. The only way we’re going to get ourselves out of this hellish quagmire we’ve found ourselves in, is to take the first step and go through this process they’ve put effort into putting into the meeting.”

Robert: “Who wants to move onto the next step?”

Looks good. Someone is not respecting the process so facilitators are talking her down before we can move on.

Tess: “We’re going to break out into small groups of 5 to talk about — to discuss concerns, and questions, with regards to these three points. We’re going to break out for 15 minutes in groups of 5 — OK, we’re going to count off in groups of 6.”

[Currently discussing in 5 breakout groups.]

Tess: “OK, everybody. We’re going to try to bring it back.”

Coming back together.

Tess: “OK. So, that took a little bit longer than we expected it to. Are we all ready to be in meeting mode again? Cool. There was a lot to talk about. What we’re going to do is we’re going to go group-by-group, item-by-item, and one person from each group is going to report back with questions, concerns, suggestions, friendly amendments, and we’ll take it from there. OK? The way we planned this meeting was that there was — this was supposed to be done by now, and then we’d have a great, and then we were going to talk about resources. We’re going to have to see how things stand — it’s important for us to get through this process and carry it through. And the resources conversation, if we have to, we can push it to next week. We’ll talk about it at the end of the meeting. Where is group 1?”

Tess: “So, group 1, for the statement, “All individuals can speak for themselves…”

Group 1 had consensus.
Group 2 agreed — “we specifically said that an individual can say that they are part of Occupy Sandy, but they should make a point to say it’s their personal opinion, not OS’. And since groups are often doing things other than FEMA and RC, invoking the collective is useful to do in the field. It would be easier to do #1 if we had a statement of principles.

Tess: “So, interacting with institutions or community members…”

Austin: “We’ve been invoking things like people-helping-people, which is not controversial, but not consented to. So we would like it to be consented to.”

Group 3 had consensus. “We didn’t spend much time discussing this.”

Group 4 was “largely mixed about number one; some folks felt some merits and that it was a loose-cannon issue… it’s tough without a mission statement — but there was no consensus on that. The fear of the loose cannon being manipulated was the concern. We felt mixed, that was what we agreed on saying.”

Group 5: “We agree.”

Group 6: “We agree. Consensus.”

Tess: “OK, so… we’ve got four groups that pretty much uncontroversially say, “cool,” about the statement “individuals can always speak for themselves.” The questions or concerns that arose from two groups sounded like they were around…

Austin: “What does Occupy Sandy mean?”

Tess: “Yes. I think if you’re an individual speaking for themselves, you’re not necessarily invoking OS…”

Someone: “But at a door, you have to invoke OS to say why you’re there. And then you are speaking on behalf of yourself. Concrete example that exists in the field.”

Tess: “So, do we want to rephrase this statement right now?”

Someone: “We felt like in statement 3 we could address this problem with statement 1.”

Tess: “OK. Number two…. “

GRoup 1: “We largely agreed with this statement as well, but we thought it was very, very important that when someone is speaking for their group that they are from X area and perhaps provide contact information from said area. So to make clear, especially in print, that it is from one area.”

Group 2: “Very much the same — you speak on behalf of whatever group it is with subheader OS, so it’s clear that it’s that group, not OS.”

Andy: “As an example, if you’re a smaller group coming out of the Rockaways, you coul put out a statement, as long as you identify that you’re a smaller group coming out of the Rockaways putting out the statement. Also there were some concerns about what the definition of a group is, though we realized specifying could be difficult.”

Austin: “Example from the field that we would like guidance on — Far Rockaway is organizing a march to a house to fix up the house. We made flyers, and we put Occupy Sandy on the flyer, because we are OS. We thought the correct approach would be to call ourselves “Occupy Sandy Far Rockaways” or an entirely different name. And thus, as long as we decided amongst ourselves what the flyer said, we wouldn’t have to bring it back to the full group. I just want to ask if that’s correct.”

Tess: “I think that’s what this means. I think.”

Group 3: “We had three friendly amendments to this; I can write them out after, they’re kind of long. The idea was basically to add on text: “Smaller groups making statements should consider the diversity of the movement and avoid making statements that impact other groups.” And that “groups can form if they’re following the same goal of supporting people affected by Occupy Sandy,” and “a recommendation that we issue a small statement, that OS is “people helping people rebuild better after Hurricane Sandy.”

Tess: “So, you want some sort of slogan.”

Elana: “Yeah, some kind of mission statement, so that people can speak to that.”

Group 4: “We felt mixed about it; no amendment, just a statement of feelings that were mixed. We don’t have amendments as they did.”

Tess: “Do you want to speak to the….”

Group 4: “Nope.” Laughter.

Group 5: “We said we liked it and moved on to Question 3.”

Daniele: “But we agreed to the no-trashing amendment…”

Tim: “Yes, we agreed about not trashing others’ work, and principles in general. But we’ll come to that in statement 3.”

Group 6: “We first said yes, as long as smaller groups don’t identify as Occupy Sandy, identify as a group — OS Rockaways, SI, — but if the group says pretty much the statement that the group agrees with OS, and we started talking about whether we have a clear set of principles, that would be OK. But it got a little long-winded. So, yes, if they identify themselves as a splinter group. But if we have principles, we can decide autonomously.”

Part 3. Tess: “I’m going to move to 3. I feel like 3 is going to be a beast.”

Group 1: “Oh man, all right. Question 3. So… being that this — the scale of this question was so large, we decided to make it a bit more manageable, and perhaps look at it through social media. So let’s say you have the OS facebook page. We kind of noticed that there was basically three types of posts: needs, facts, and political statements. And that led to a discussion: what does it mean when you’re managing the Facebook — is there a code of responsibility that these admins have? What is this code? Has it been developed? Doesn’t look like it has been, and what does it look like when you’re posting political messaging? Because out in the field, you’ll have different relationships you’ll develop — some hubs may have great relationship to the city, and some may have negative — so what does it mean when the OS facebook page posts something positive or negative about the mayor?”

“Also, we talked about accountability — at each hub, there’s always someone in charge of social media, and we’re wondering if anyone is checking what is being posted to Facebook, and what is being sent via private messages.”

“And one last thing we talked about is the idae — not people’s names, but even a hashtag or initials so we know who is posting what if there’s an error or a controversy. And to highlight that it is individuals posting throughout the day, not just one voice.”

Tess: “Cool. Group 2?”

Group 2: “We came up with three different things that may or may not have to be written — a statement of values, a statement of principles, a mission statement — we may not need all, but we need at least one; a unifying thing under which OS is. We think that there should be some group of writers who are not necessarily the idea people, but specific with their language, to write these, such that whatever they come up with can come back to whatever entities make the decision to agree with them, and with a limited abiity to edit, and only the ability to block if it’s completely ridiculous.” Noted that it was discussed, not consented to.

Andy: “That was one of the ideas; there was two really interesting examples that came up that we’d like to query the group on: the first is, if a community-led action from the deep grassroots comes up and claims the OS mantle and puts out a statement — a really brave statement, like say from the Bungalows int he Rockaways — wehat would we do? Most of us would think it was great and awesome. So how do we contend with this idea, if statements come from outside of this meeting? And the converse, what if the same hypothetical group decides to say OS works with Goldman Sachs rebuilding the Bugalows – what do we do with that? So it’s a real question of accountability for groups as to their staements to the whole.”

Tess: “Well, the answer to that may be in number 2, where it’s — if Occupy Sandy the Bugalows decides to align themselves with Goldman Sachs…”

: “Anything put out here, like a group statement, mission statement, there is a suggestion that there should be a time period of agreement where we can get feedback from other groups, get sense of what they might be uncomfortable wih, bring it back here, and make sure that we are not acting as a privileged, elitist group, that is therefore speaking on behalf of the people that we are working with.”

Group 3:

Elena: “we were cool with this in general; some related things: an ask to smaller groups to make community agreements and share them with the larger group, in hopes they’d be similar; a bottom-up approach. And we have the general opinion that we won’t have any control over what people say anyway, and we shouldn’t take too much time writing any of these statements.”

Group 4: “We felt mixed about it.” Laughter. “For a lot of the same reasons: who is Occupy Sandy? How would you bring a statement to the entirety of that network? And things of that nature.”

Group 5: “There were parts of that statement we thought were problematic — the in-person meeting, for example. Considering the timeliness with which some statements need to be made, and constraints of the network, we don’t think that’s the best way. We think there should be guidelines about principles and how we present ourselves that the larger community can agree on, and the methods of communication that our press team uses should be spread to larger network, so that everyone has access within reason — so that everyone feels there’s a way for the voice to be heard, and tehy can speak on behalf of Occupy Sandy if they’re speaking to the principles of OS.”

Daniele: “One concern I had that I felt didn’t fit into framing of the question was a concern about our functioning press team, and a desire that our press team be people engaging in the work, in our communities, and not people outside of that.”

Group 6: “So, our main question was, why this meeting should have a bigger importance than meetings in the sites? There might be a strong group at Yana, or on SI, why should this meeting be more important, because those people may not be able to come here. Just a general question. And we had a suggestion for how this could work, that there could be different meetings at different sites — as opposed to saying that this was written on behalf of the whole network assembly, we could say where it was agreed and when, so we’d know where they were coming from. Then we got into a bigger discussion about whether we need a fixed set of principles; do we have a way for the stronger voice to be able to agree or disagree with each other? Pretty much. So, many questions.”

Tim: “One other thing I wanted to add from Group 5; we would like to propose we have a discussion about our principles as Occupy Sandy in the near future. I’m sure we’ll get a lot of discussion about this…”

Tess: “One thing made very clear is that we want to somehow form some set of principles, guidelines, community agreements… a mission statement. I think there’s some question as to how we do that. This meeting, right is — we were just taking on a small thing — collective voice — to see if, as a cross-section of this network, we could make any decisions in this room, in this space. The question of how we decide on what our overall principles are is an even bigger question, and how we loop stakeholders into that question is one that I don’t know the answer to.”

I’m not sure that we’re ready to rush towards an outcome
This group is going to have a hard time because of logistical constraints legitimately claiming that we speak for OS as a whole
This group is not more important than other groups, we’re an intersection of other groups

We can start a loop between this intersection and the other groups of people organizing

We can make a flyer, like this one, which may be the results of this conversation, and share it with the network at all of the hubs

I was hopeful that we could agree on these three things or some evolution of them
others can report back on what their groups decide based on the proposal

Trying to build a consensus generation mechanism

We can use that same type of process for other types of decisions

We should see where we can get, share it and let it evolve.

After hearing the proposal from group three about doing the inverse, I think that would be far simpler
Start by going back to all of the sites, bringing this conversation there, getting the statement of principles from each site, bring them back here and consolidate them

Obviously principles inform our collective voice and how we use it. We’re specifically trying to take on the question of how we use our collective voice

The flyers were distributed imperfectly, but it wa an attempt to get feedback from communities

suggestion was to get

This meeting seems to be moving towards becoming a body, want to give space to consent to that process…facilitation, please take a temp check on that conversion process

? (disruptive lady)
I’m going to give my time to my fellow volunteer…I have a lot to say, but I’m going to give her my time
(Changed her mind)
I’m sensing that there’s a certain level of…maybe I’m not explaining myself in a way that reaches folks in a welcoming way…I’m sensing that…am I wrong or am I right?
I agree that we should bring it from the out in
Second, we can create the principles and mission, and premise at the same time that we are providing a service
The response to (couldn’t hear)
If we want to create a premise, we need to bring the consumers to this marketplace
There are great organizers in the communities, it’s their communities and not our communities
We must accept that we are vendors and visitors

I have a concern about what we’re doing…I’ve been confused the whole time
The only thing that’s gotten excitement is Imani’s suggestion. We don’t have an agreement on a decision-making anything. All of a sudden, the two of you, who are doing the best you can…I can’t facilitate because I start screaming at people
Tess: I can start throwing things!
Susan: I didn’t hear that this was the understanding going into this.
I’m going to ask for a temp-check right now…uptwinkle if you’re comfortable with the transition of this meeting space to a decision-making body
[result is mixed]
Dicey: the reason we wanted to have this conversation is because people have asked us to make decision, people have asked us for a mission statement. Right now we’re working out of different places in this network. We want to work in solidarity with each other. I don’t see this as a transformation, I see it as an evolution…
[three points of process]
Marissa: there is a shift, and the conversation was about what this space will be
People seem really psyched about starting this network, I’d like to go over the proposal so we have an action coming out of this

OK. Tess: “I’m going to start a stack. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.”

Next: “It’s clear this isn’t Zuccotti PArk; there are people in hubs with different needs all over the place. That doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be time for people to meet up and exchange notes, but we need to be clear… but it’s 10:15, and resources have not been talked about. So we’re either going to have a masturbatory discussion about a mission statement, or talk about getting people what they need.”

Lopi: “We’re trying to centralize something that is really decentralized, and talking about a mission statement is something that an organization does. And we are a network. A lot of people have been coming to a consensus about that. But this is, as I said, futile; I think it’s unnecessary; I think if autonomous groups in the community want to form mission statements, it’s on them, not on us. We’re not centralized, we’re not controlling the entire network, there’s no way we could. And so this is futile.”

Tess: “And let’s try to keep it to a minute each.”

: “I’m going to ask the person who made a proposal a clarifying question — my understanding of this proposal was not that this body was going to make decisions about what the principles of Occupy Sandy are, but that we’re going to ask all the hubs to send in what their principles are, and see what the consensus is across the hubs. And the other thing I’m hearing from people who are calling this a decision-making process that somehow it’s against our principles here that we even find out if we agree on any principles.”

Tim: “I think considering the voice discussion that we were trying to have, where we’re standing right now, we can’t continue it yet. I ‘d like to second Imani’s proposal that we reach out to the hubs, invite them to agree on principles amongst themselves, and report back to this space, so we as a group can hear what those principles are and figure out…

Tess: “I’d like to clarify that there’s a distinction between our principles and consenting on a set of principles or guidelines and the — and consenting on how we use our collective voice. They are obviously linked, and maybe the place to start was with principles. But we were sort of taking it — trying to use this as a small chunk that we could maybe bite off and see how well we could chew it. So I just want to make it clear — that these are two separate things — to get feedback on the community on what their principles are, versus how they want to use their voice.”

Tim: “What we’ve seen in this room makes it clear that we might have picked the wrong chunk, and if we get feedback on principles that we could make principles easier to discuss.”

Daniele: “I always think of facilitation as an experiment, especially in the form that we’ve become now, that we’re not in clear Occupy consensus process, and I think that’s how we have to see this process. I think it makes sense to, in the coming week, crowdsource principles and guidelines, and come back together. And it also makes sense to make space in this conversation for what this group is and what we want it to be, because it’s clear we want to make…”

Bre: “I understand how hard it is to facilitate; my request is that the people who facilitate the proposal and who make the proposal not be the same people. It makes it hard to hear the group because you have a vested interest in the proposal.”

Rob: “This is really, really hard work. It seems like there’s very strong support for Imani’s suggestion, and I would like to take on forming a group of people that will invest in getting input from all these hubs, and we’ll work really hard to ask hubs if they have any statement of principles and collective agreement, and we’ll feed it back to the group and figure out what we want to do from there. We’ll also do our best to synthesize what was discussed here; if we can make progress on number 3, we can make progress on 1 and 2.”

Rob asks if folks want to continue to the resources conversation.

Imani suggests it should be simpler; we can just have people go from here out to the sites.

Lopi: “I saw Leah do a temperature check, and I saw a mixed result, and I feel like we sort of blew it off.”

Shlomo: “People are going to take autonomous action based on something someone said in their presence. Do we need to talk about that anymore?”

Daniele: “I feel like the vibe in this room is really contentious and negative; people are tired. We have a very physical, fundamental goal that we’re all trying to accomplish together, and we need to remember that and get a little bit out of our shit and chill out, because we’re all in this together. I want to propose a 2-minute break, and then there are certain resources that people want to figure out how to access them… can we get a temperature check about waiting for next week for that? I want people to know how to apply for money, so people don’t feel like they’re withholding that.”

Evan: “I think that if decisions over principles and everything are coming up from the bottom to begin with, decisions about resources should happen exactly the same way. But shouldn’t the body be empowered — “

Tess: “We’re not making decisions. This is information-sharing.”

Devin asks for a temperature check on having the resources reportbacks now…

Austin: “I just want to observe that Tammy’s had her hand up to speak for the last five minutes and no one has called on her.”

Point of Process: “I don’t mind hearing 5 minutes at the end of the meeting, but I feel like, as a matter of process, we’ve spent 30-45 minutes talking about reaching out to the hubs — I think we should finish what we started, and then, if anything, 5 minutes at the end of the meeting.”

Tammy: “I guess I just have a question — I’m cool with this body not being about making decisions; from the moment we walked in here today… my sense is that people want to make decisions and have accountability about resources. My question to the group is, how are we to make decisions about resources if this body isn’t a body to make decisions? And I’m fine with that, but I wanted to ask that question, because I feel like conflicting messages at folks who’ve been trying to make space to deal with these things for a long time.

“The other thing I Want to say is that the more I’ve been a part of OS, the more it feels like InterOcc — at first, we would make a proposal, and then share the idea to other groups. That’s what we’re trying to do tonight, but this body isn’t any of those bodies. So maybe what we need to do is have Clinton make a proposal and send it out to the network, because that’s an actual body.”

Leah: “That to me calls the attention what the problem is with this; we’re having meta conversations when there are needs on the ground to talk about.”

Dan: “One thing that may be helpful before we break is to give you a sense of how that resources discussion was going to break… in the meeting meeting the other night, this came up. We have somehow perhaps forgotten that in the first 6 weeks, we made decisions on the ground all the time, and the reason for the resources discussion is that there will be continuing needs that are needed to be addressed, and we now have access to a whole bunch of resources. That’s what that discussion is about — we know we have these things, and where are these resources now? Can we give an overview of what that discussion is going to be? Because it will be moving forward.”

Daniele points out that people are really angry in here in general and are really frustrated and tired, “and maybe it makes more sense to do more of just a — these are the resources that we are looking at, dealing with, finding ways to access, a quick sort of presentation with the understanding it will carry forward into a conversation.”

Bre: “I just wanted to remind everyone that as frustrated as we are now, it could be worse — we could have had Nan or Trish here.”

Tess: “My only concern is that there are 20 people in the room…”

Daniele: “We’ll have to do it again.”

Robert: “We’re going to go over this now real quick, and then it’ll be in the notes. We’ll even have a discussion next week so people can have input. Let’s just get started on this.”

Dan: “OK, so everyone take a deep breath… in, and let it out. And do another one; take a deep breath in…. through your mouth, through your nose… and let it out. We’re all doing really great work, guys. Keep that in mind. And all of this is important.

“So, the overview of the resources is basically to give everyone a sense — there are a number of organizational relationships that have been established over the past couple of weeks. The overview of this is that in any given day, we were anywhere from the first, second, third, and fourth-largest response effort between the Rockaways and NJ. And that’s noticed, and that’s become a big discussion from FEMA to the city level and all the volunteer organizations we’re working with already on a day-to-day-basis — city harvest, things like that.”

“So what the group was talking about for an agenda to this was: what are those relationships, who are involved, and to try to make working groups to discuss and decide about those relationships. And we have three main points: We’re still in triage and disaster relief in many areas of the city, we’re moving to rebuilding efforts in some parts, and we have participatory planning processes that are going to get started. And all of that ties into the identity discussion that was here earlier.”

“So, what’s been worked out of a framework is that there are needs assessments being done across the city, from LI to Philadelphia, to see where these resources can be tapped in — food, supplies, transportation, reconstruction efforts — tied into all these organizational relationships across the city. Those groups are already working, making ground, and we’re connected to those.”

“So the discussion was, can we break into working groups to talk about wher we’re at now, and how we can move forward.”

“This will definitely continue next week, and…”

Devin: “How do we reach you or the group? How do we reach this external resource pool that we’re talking about?”

Dan: “It’s That seems like a good place to do this, and then branch from there, if we need to set up other topics.”

Devin: “Hi folks! I’m just going to go through it — I’m Devin; I’m on the Incubation Team. I want to go into how the Incubation Team is developing; we’re expanding into many teams — many open teams. One of them is project support — there will be project pages — and a form with checkboxes like, “Do you want help with grants?”, “Do you want to apply for OS support funds?”, “Do you want to present at a resource gathering?” Those will be areas where people with skills and resources will meet people with projects. So you can present to a community people who want to support OS-style initiatives, to do grantwriting, and if you want to apply to the various OS funds, including the WePay funds that have been raised… that’s one of the funds. But we also want to support many funds going. And we want to help people connect with fiscal sponsor, so we can create campaigns from our funds, and help projects be non-profit.

“This will take place over the next week. Also, right now in NY, there are 8 city council districts that have successfully applied participatory budget programs… we’ve had one conversation with that community… these are things that have been taking place. And we have four groups that we want to start helping facilitate… project support, fundraising/grants, participatory budgeting, and resource gathering.”

Daniele: “So, we’re shifting to a model where instead of donating to a WePay, the projects will have pages, and people can give directly to projects. So it’s a shift away from a centralized decision-making body to projects being able to fund for themselves. But if you want seed money, you can get some of that right now. Projects that are part of the Occupy Sandy network can apply for funds; if you go to, it says “Apply for Funds.” You can apply for funds; in fact, we encourage you to. Please give us an itemized budgets; one of the things we’d like to do is give you…

Leah: “We’re also building a team for people who’d like us to source in-kind donations — people who want to donate goods and services — “

Devin: “And that’s why itemized budgets are so important. We can find many things needed in our network, so… we’re going to put this all into a report; it’s kind of done; we’re going to produce a nice document. That’s going to outline kind of the various efforts that are involved in resource organizing that’s taking place, and we’ll hope to facilitate autonomous groups…”

Daniele: “We’re just kind of trying to power through main points right now.”

Devin would field questions right now, but “I recognize that this type of information needs to get our regularly and often so we can try to market these types of endeavors to folks and build more support for the projects and the endeavors that this community is taking on.”

Daniele: “All of the expenditures…”

three questions.

Lopi: “I have a suggestion and concern directly related to the communities that we’re serving. How — you’re presenting it to us, but are you going to go out and present this in these communities? Because this needs to come from them more than us… one suggestion is to have print-outs of the application, and then put them out on the hubs. Because this is really supposed to be for the communities, correct? And I believe that we all want it. But it’s problematic in this current state, that it’s all online.”

Bre: “We were supposed to, for this meeting, but we had printing issues, have a pamphlet with info on each team, how you get to those teams, and then all the data on everything we’ve done so far. That was supposed to be here that we could hand out to everyone; due to printing issues, we didn’t get it done, but we can hand it out next time because it’s online.”

Daniele agrees that we should go around to the communities.

Lopi: “In order to do that, can I just clarify — this is not for individuals. They have to form a group, right? I want to know what I’m telling people in the communities.”

Daniele: “It’s not for that. If people want to create a house-fixing project that would create a lot of other projects… it’s for community spaces and community projects within the network we’re working with.”

Lopi: “Are there emergency funds for individuals?”

Daniele: “Currently not, but that’s something in the community that we need to figure out.”

Freddie: “I’m not sure if this makes sense, but I think we should figure out who would sponsor us before we actively say these funds are available. There’s still organizing being done with people who would be willing to sponsor us… architects, a bunch of — who knows? There’s even… maybe if — I don’t know if anyone’s reached out to Lowe’s or different organizations — it doesn’t sound like they’ve been reached out to, but if we …”

Daniele: “We always pretty much require/strongly encourage projects to reach out to in-kind or dedicated resources before we sponsor projects. Within 24 hours of replying, you’ll hear that we got it, and then within a week, you’ll hear if you got it — because in that week we look for free resources for you.”

Bre: “And I’d like to add an addendum to that- – we have not been very good about getting back to projects immediately; now we have people bottomline projects and be responsible for responding. Hopefully this system will fix it if you haven’t been responded to.”

Daniele: “Also, we’ll be around after the meeting.”

: “I get the sense that the way the money works is an informal word-of-mouth process and things constantly change; do you think next Tuesday you could spend an hour and a half walking through the process? And this could be a basis for how this could be done?”

Bre: “I’d disagree that it’s a word-of-mouth process… it’s all online — “

Daniele: “We’ve been saying since last week that all this information is available online; we didn’t have a chance to go through the cohesive longer presentation in this meeting; we just wanted to make sure that we hit the points to make sure people could do it functionally in the next week before we can do the longer presentation.”

Devin: “The emergency funds, on-site, especially the beginning, worked through a network of trust — there were people who went through a process to be able to get cash from the ATM and give it to people they trusted. But since the beginning… we’ve had applications on how to apply for funds. Our team is not the web team; we relate a lot to it, but this is funding information — things aren’t that cohesive; it’s hard to get the word out on some of these issues. But we’re getting the word out, and the whole projects section will help with some of these issues. And hopefully these mechanisms will begin to turn.”

Dan notes that energy is low.

Freddie: “Are there any timelines or schedules? That’s the one thing — any individuals or individual groups considering timelines, but if we could marry these timelines as OS as a whole?”

Daniele: “Disaster work goes through phases; I think that’s a full conversation and not necessarily one that we should be deciding on.”

Evan: “I heard one clear criteria for decision-making — no individuals. Just as one example of one criteria over which decisions are made. Are there any other criteria, and are those clearly — did I not see it on the website? — for this interim incubation period… and I’m assuming that no requests have been denied as of yet.”

Leah: “Requests have been denied. But some of the criteria — and it’s not totally up-to-date. But the criteria is on the form… other criteria: No alcohol or cigarettes, no salaries, no individuals, and soon, you have to be actively engaged with or self-identify as the Occupy Sandy network. And that’s because we are not… that’s until we move into the participatory budgeting phase. Because we’re not a foundation, and that puts us into a different category when we’re suddenly doing charity work — we’re not spending a lot of money now; we’re just making sure the money flows until we have a process where communities can actively determine where the money goes.”

Daniele: “We’ll be here, if you want to talk to us.”

Tess: “So, thank you guys for your hard work.”

OK, we’re done.

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[accordion_panel title=”OccupySandy Network Assembly Meeting (12/4/2012)”]

Posted December 20th, 2012 by Pea • permalink

Originally posted here.

  • December 4th, 2012
  • 7:30 PM
  • Jacobi Church

Tammy: “We’re going to get started in just a few minutes. There are chairs arranged in a circle by group; please find the group you have affinity with and sit with them.”

Tammy: “Mic check!”

Everyone: “Mic check!”

Tammy: “Please sit down now! We’re going to get started, so — you don’t have to repeat me anymore. So if everyone can sit down and stop talking, that’d be awesome. Cool.

OK, so I’m going to let Tim take it.”

Tim: “Hi everyone; I’m Tim! I don’t know if you have all met me. I’ve been working here in St. Jacobi, and also in the Bay Ridge Kitchen. So, part of the purpose of this meeting is to talk about the purpose of this meeting. I know, it’s very meta. We’ve been trying to operate as a large organization, and there are a lot of parts of it, and we haven’t necessarily been harnessing our collective power. And so this meeting, as one community, is here to help us amplify our collective voice and to build that power and that interconnection so we can fight against the injustices that we’re seeing out in the field and in the political arena, and to highlight some of the problems that we’re all seeing everywhere, that we can work together with. We’re moving from a place of just triage and direct relief into some long-term rebuilding processes — a lot of people are talking about, what’s the next step?

“So we need to use this space to start talking about those next steps and how we can move forward, make decisions as a group. It’s not going to be perfect at first, but we’re hoping to use this meeting to talk about how we move forward, work together, empower each other, and empower each other to talk with and for Occupy Sandy.”

“We’ve got to do a lot with this meeting, so we’ll have to be strict with time. So if we don’t finish something in the allotted time we will have to cut it off a bit, but we’ll be moving some things to the end of the agenda, and stuff that we don’t hit we’ll make sure gets highlighted soon.”

Tammy: “So, at the last few meetings, we introduced some hand signals, but we realized we never talked about what consensus is. And the Occupy network is a network that is a consensus-based network. So, we’re going to talk about what that means before we move on.

George: “OK, so really quickly, consensus as I understand it. A consensus decision-making process is a process where everyone in a group comes together with common stakeholdership and try to find collective solutions. It’s not a process in which you bring an already-made proposal and present it and the group votes, but instead a process where a half-baked proposal shows up, and everyone gives their opinion and it gets shaped and changed and maybe looks entirely different. But in the end, what goes through is something that everyone can live with.

“In the consensus process we use, we also try to amplify voices that are generally marginalized in society at large, and instead of trying to push our voices, we come with open ears and open minds, and come and try to use deep listening — which is listening with the intent of having your own perspective changed.”

“So this is my understanding of the consensus process.

Tammy asks for anyone else to share what consensus means to them. “Anyone?”

Jonathan: “I haven’t been much involved with Occupy Wall Street or Sandy, so first of all I want to give props to you guys — thank you for that, because you actually do this. The consensus — I actually like how there is no proper consensus, because it’s just like different organizations and groups coming together with a general idea and purpose, and there is no one group or one person to see as a figurehead. So in that respect, I like it, but I think our general consensus of non-consensus should be a bit more general, if I may.”

Tammy will take one or two more comments.

Evan: “I’ll tell you what it doesn’t mean — it’s not agreement. It’s — even if you don’t agree, you allow the decision to go forward. Just like unity is not solidarity. So consensus is not a unified decision, it’s a decision in solidarity.”

Tammy: “All right, and anyone else?”

Bre: “I just wanted to add to that, it’s something you can consent upon happening, but not necessarily what you agree with.”

Someone: “I’m a Quaker, and we call it ‘a sense of the meeting.’”

Tammy: “Great. We’ll stop here, and continue to talk about this. The way the room is laid out, we tried to come up with — and this has been evolving over the last few weeks — some of the different groups of folks working on things, so we can come to the meeting and physically see what groups… if folks on the outside came in late, do try to find your chair and sit behind it. And I do want to ask, before we move on, if anyone feels like we’re missing a group.”

Someone: “Volunteer outreach.”

Tammy: “Anything else people feel is missing?”
Someone says they need one for 520.

Tammy: “OK, so there’s a question for how we break out distro hub. I don’t want to get into that now, but there’s a question of how we break out in the future. And I just want to say that some of these places, we know there are lots of different places in the Rockaways; if folks want to separate, that’s cool, we can talk about that.”

Someone asks if NJ is represented here; it is.

Tim: “Great. So we’re then going to move on, if there’s nothing else on this front. Of the chairs you see around you here, some of them are more represented than others. So I want to be conscious of who has a chair but is not going to be here in force tonight. So, organizational relationships? Raise your hand if you’re here with that… Press? Finance and Incubation? Training? Construction? Canvassing? Red Hook? Staten Island? Rockaways? Sheepshead Bay? Coney Island? Bay Ridge Kitchen? Online and Comms? Legal? New Jersey? Medical? Distro hubs? Actions? Storyline and media? And unaffiliated folks,” by request.

Tammy asks that we encourage underrepresented groups to come, and to remember that there is no one from Red Hook represented. “That’s important to remember.”

Tim: “I want to talk about what these meetings are and how they have come to be. There’s a group of folks that have been planning these meetings; we call ourselves the Meetings Meeting, to give a little sense of levity. They’ve kind of been last-minute, but we want to plan ahead so we can have more structure to these meetings. The next meeting is Sunday at 5 at the Stable House in Williamsburg, and we have a listserv,, or if you want to submit feedback you can go to So even if you can’t participate in that meeting, we’d love to get your feedback.”

“Our next session is going to be kind of a brainstorm. We don’t need to make a final decision, but we want to get the feedback started so there’s more for the Meetings Meeting meeting to meet about.”


Bill Dobbs asks the facilitators to ask the press to identify themselves.

Iya: “I’m a reporter with the Brooklyn Ink and also a student at the Graduate School of Journalism at Colombia.” Working on a video story on Occupy Sandy and to take photos for a project. Tammy asks if anyone here doesn’t want to be in a picture.”

Someone else “has been in contact with the Daily Beast, and they may be interested in an Occupy Beast column. Catchy, right?”

Tammy: “Great. So, here’s the assumption we’ve been going on, which is that these meetings are spaces for discussion, coordination, and eventually, decisions, when decisions are necessary for the Occupy Sandy network to make together. And my sense, which I think is generally the sense of the meetings meeting, is that the decisions we need to make together are pretty limited. most of the work we’re doing on the ground… can remain the same. But to build collective power, and harness the momentum of this movement, there are some things that we might need the consent of the network, and we want to figure out what those things are. We came up with some, but we thought it was better to have this discussion as a group, and we’re trying to figure that out right now. This is only a brainstorm; we want to take what we get and digest it into the meeting next week. So, we’ll go popcorn-style — if there is something that you feel like there should be consent from the Occupy Sandy network in terms of how we move forward.”

Jackie: “What you think should be decided? Not what should be discussed.”

Tammy: “This is about decisions. Discussion should always be happening, but — for instance, last week, Mayor Bloomberg touched down in the Rockaways, and he didn’t talk to the community members at all. He had a closed-doors press conference and then left, and a lot of people  were pissed. And we wanted to say something, but when we did, we didn’t know whether it was legitimate to sign it as Occupy Sandy.”

“So these are the things that as a network, we should talk about together.”

Chris: “I’d like to see us come to consensus on a one-sentence mission statement.”

Tammy: “All right, starting with a hard one!”

Evan: “Resource allocation.”

Marisa: “I guess we need to decide if we’re going to have these central meetings, or place the decision-making at the local hubs. Like what’s the relationship between the Occupy network and local communities, and what do we mean by communities?”

Tammy: “Thank you. Also a hard one.”

: “What does it mean that we’re a group?”

Easton: “Like you said, anything released as “Occupy Sandy.”

Tammy: “Cool. One of the terms we might throw around later, is collective vocie – -the way we represent ourselves to the world.”

Drew: “Empowering small groups to make decisions on behalf of the whole, for example, a mission statement.”

: “Leadership and structure.”

Carrie: “Are these things we should consense about or things we should all talk about?”

Daniele: “I want to propose a day or days of action, but I don’t know if we need to come to consensus; we should talk about whether we do or not.”

Tammy: “Thank you, and we’ll talk about that later in the meeting.”

: “Two quick points — again, I think if we want to have a joint consensus, maybe just talk to each other… form a consensus even though we have different beliefs. I like what we’re doing for the people whose homes were affected, and after what does that say about people who didn’t have homes? This relief effort was just for people with damaged stuff; what happens to those without any?”

Tammy asks that we stay on topic. Tim: “I think it’s safe to say that what you mean are long-term goals?”

: “I think we should have a consensus on the criteria — if you’re going to a government organization, they’re going to filter you and judge if you need help or not. And us — what level of criteria do we have that we help or don’t help…?

Tess: “So, how we assess needs?”

Lopi: “The structure by which the financial team operates. And I’m not proposing that we make consensus decisions about each financial decision — we all know that’s kind of nuts — but the structure of the team.”

: “Things that we agree people should or should not do — community agreements.”

: “I’d like to follow up on what the lady there was mentioning. I’m with the Red Cross, and I do think people need help applying for assistance…”

Tim: “But, I don’t know if that’s something we need consensus on?”

Jackie: “I think we should decide right away that Occupy Sandy is Occupy Wall Street, and not a new beast, and that the fundamental things we had agreed on at Occupy Wall Street — like fighting Wall Street, and some of the other basic agreements — apply to occupy sandy. Because I’ve heard people say, I’m not in OWS, i’m in OS; certainly people can work with us without that but OWS is OS.”

Dana: “Tagged onto what Lopi was saying, but accountability structures, whether on issues of finance or anything else.”

Paul: “Hi; I do a lot of work with… and I’d like to suggest people consense around the idea of spending more time being careful about our health and safety at this point… and to take more proper precautions.”

Pablo: “I’d like to have an element that informs our discussion — I think we should be cognizant of the fact that one of the amazing things about OS is that a level of autonomous action is possible, and that we do not make any decision by an overarching centralized thing, and that we trust each other to do amazing work. And that we not lose sight of that.”

: “Our dealings with the Mayor. I really think that that should be addressed.”

Tammy: “And dealings with government institutions.”

Devin: “We have to consent on what the definition of consensus is, for any group that’s going to use consensus. For example, is 9/10ths of a room — what are the rules around blocking? If we’re going to have some kind of decision-making process…”

Tammy: “And for the purpose of our discussion tonight, we’re going to try our very, very best not to get into that.”

Rob: “How relief and recovery efforts interface with political aims without conflict.”

Eric: “To expand on question of Mayor’s office and other government agencies, I’d add to that NGOs and other relief groups, especially those that receive a lot of government or corporate funding.”

: “Fundraising events in the name of Occupy Sandy.”

Lopi: “I don’t know if this is realistic or not, but maybe we should think about whether or not to come to consensus about what we use to remediate — I’m talking about toxic versus non-toxic chemicals. For the jobs that we’re doing, if we can consense on using non-toxic as opposed to toxic means.”

Tammy: “So, unless there’s something super-pressing, I think it’s time to move on. It’s going to take awhile before we really digest this, and we’re probably going to keep operating the way we’ve been operating in the meantime. I’d like to ask that people share what we’ve come up with with others you know. We’re developing, collectively processes that work for us, and one of the mistakes we’re trying to avoid is to go too quickly. So, this brainstormed list is going to come back to the Meeting Meeting which is 6pm next Sunday. That’s the meeting to plan this meeting. And so, if you want to help digest this, we invite everyone to come there, but for now we’re going to move on.”

: “How do we find out about this meeting of meetings?”

Tammy: “It’s 6:00 next Sunday; it’ll go out over the email and loops, all the ways we communicate.”

One more: “How do we advocate for the victims of hurricane Sandy in Rockaways, in Red Hook, in SI — and we’ve got to do that because the politicos are not the advocates.”

Tammy: “Cool, so let’s add advocacy, and how we take action together. We’re going to move on now for some time for people to share things they feel they need to share with the group here tonight. And then we’re going to come back with this discussion and talk about collective voice. So we’re going to do some report backs, and then we’re going to come back to this question of how Occupy Sandy can consent to things that represent our collective voice.”

Tim: “So, everyone in the group, take 5 minutes amongst yourselves to discuss what the single most important announcement for this collective group would be. If it’s zero, that’s cool; if it’s two, that’s cool, but please try not to make it more than 5.”

[5 minutes – 8:29]

Tammy: “OK, so we’re going to ask folks, if you want to report something back… we’re going to just do one group at a time. OK, so Online/Comms?”

Carrie: “We have 3 different report backs: Twitter, Facebook, and the Interocc OccupySandy site.

“Twitter: our main account has 12,000 followers, which is awesome; we get out a lot of information there. There’s a small team running it, and we work independently of each other, but following the same understandings of what we’ll tweet: 1, to blast out needs from sites. If you work at one of those places, we have a new email address where you can send your needs: If you’re a site coordinator or you work in the Kitchen, please send your requests to be tweeted there. We’ve also been getting good press.

“A lot of people ask to help, so we tweet info at them. We also try to stay on top of media — you can send video, pictures, blog posts — we want more voices.”

Lopi: “So, the Occupy Sandy Facebook; we’ve come up with a best practices doc, which is too long for me to share right now, but if anyone’s curious… if you want to interact with us, you can post on the side-running bar, and we always look on that and repost stuff. Also, in the group email, often we’ll pull photos and stories and such out of there. We also have a Flickr, and if anyone has photos or videos they want on the Flickr, you can email occupysandyny@yahoo, and we will put stuff on there.”

Badger: “OK, so Interoccupy, which is hosting the website — three things to know. One is the Coordinator’s hub,, and what you’ll find there are links to a bunch of forms — requesting stuff, like the Amazon registries, to send things out in the volunteer emails — so that’s just a useful page, and we’ll put any resources you need as coordinators on that one page.

“The second most-important thing to know is that we’re sending out regular volunteer emails about volunteer opportunities.” Only a few people sending stuff for this, “so if you need volunteers, you should send out the form for the email, also on”

“And finally, the resources section — go to and click on resources and you’ll see tons of stuff. And if you want to send us stuff to put there, you can send it to”

Drew: “One more from the Tech world — real quick; Sahana is currently being implemented — this is the disaster-relief softweare that the Sahana foundation has worked with us to implement. 520 and the Kitchen are using it among others; I’ll be trying to spread it, so come talk to me if you’re interested in learning more about this. We’re also building relationships with institutions to share non-personal data — sharing needs with the ARC and FEMA so they can fill large requests that our network can’t handle. And also sharing data between canvassers to better coordinate and understand areas of need. We need legal help around data sharing, in terms of making it good. So, thanks everyone.”

Tess: “How do we get in touch with you?”

Drew: “Well, you can email me at — I love getting emails — or you can talk to me personally afterwards. And Kay and Robert are also working on it. And if you have any techincal need, even unrelated to OS, you can email”

Tammy: “OK. That was a nice dry run; we did horribly. So we’re going to try to keep it to a minute if you can, and if not, 2 minutes.”

Chad: “Hi, I’ve been helping out at the kitchen. The key for the kitchen is 1500 to 2000 meals a day, and the things that will keep us going are more volunteers, more fresh food, and more meal requests. If we have more of all three of those, we can produce more food, we can feed more people, and we can feed volunteers in bulk. So those are the three things key to the kitchen.”

Tim: “I just want to point out that Chad is totally kicking butt in the kitchen. How do we get in touch with you? Coney Island?”


Elana: “Hey, I’m Elana; I’ve been organizing in Sheepshead Bay. One important thing is that we are moving from cleanup and urgent needs to demolition and construction, and we really need people with expertise in those fields to come train us. It’s a really amazing community in really desperate need, and we can use a lot of support. Also, we can use support bridging the gap between people there on the weekdays and those on the weekends; those of us who started it all have full-time jobs, so we can’t always be on site, so we need people on site who can help communicate with us — the needs on the ground, things we can do remotely. Also, people who feel comfortable with data management and tracking systems, to help with data management during the week to make sure we’re keeping track of needs and what has been filled.”

Tammy: “Cool. Rockaway?”

Tom: “Well, we really only talked about finding housing for people who have been displaced. There’s a lot going on — I don’t really see people here representing it; maybe they’re still out there working. But we wanted to talk about people who have been taken out of those areas and put into hotels and are getting close to when they’ll be kicked out… there’s a lot of people, like thousands of people, who don’t really have a place to go. So we’re curious about housing — temporary housing — what’s going to happen with all these people?”

Shlomo: “Some of the efforts going on connect to that — outreach with community leaders, some of them very young people, who have stepped up to do assessments and canvassing and lead the information gatherings in their neighborhood, both the East and West side, and right now they’re exploriing options for pressing that and other pressing issues that need to be pressed.”

Tim: “OK, Staten Island?”

George: “I’m George; a couple of really important things in SI right now — we need a lot of press about our locations in SI; a lot of people don’t know we’re there. The police have started to press sites on Midland Avenue — they’re removing them because the restaurant owners are starting to complain that they’re giving out free food. So we need to figure out how to address that as a network, I think. Need more volunteers…

Someone: “We may have to start closing more days a week because we’re not getting enough help.”

George: “We had some experts in mold remediation there; that was awesome. And the residents in the area we’re trying to organize had a meeting last weekend with FEMA and the RC, and none of their questions were answered, so they’re livid and starting to organize, so that’s great.”

Tammy: “Anyone from Red Hook? Anyone from canvassing?”

RH is having their own community meeting tonight, so that’s why they’re not here.
Canvassing is meeting tomorrow night.

Rob: “Regarding canvassing, we’re trying to integrate all the sets of data we’re collecting, and trying to better track who’s been where, because residents are getting tired of people constantly knocking on their doors. But we can get better on that and we’re getting better.” Meeting tomorrow at Cooper Union; email address you can find at

Coney Island:

Dan: “A coalition has formed in CI — a network of a lot of the non-profits and response agencies that have already been working together down there — talking about how we can work together and share resources. So, we’re — OS is a big part of that, but we’re also part of that team that’s down there, and we’re going to kind of see where that goes. That does include immediate disaster relief, but we also have long-term plans embedded in that strategy to address the long-term issues and community organizing issues. This is a council that includes city, state, and Federal resources as well, as well as local resources. And actually the structure of this is probably going to be tried to be replicated in the other areas as well — Staten Island and the Rockaways. There are councils like this forming, although I hear that Occupy is ahving more of a lead in those areas than we are in CI, where the community is sort of forming those. This is a very long-term plan that people are setting out, and it seems to be working pretty well.”

Tim: “Construction?”

Ben: “I’m with Respond and Rebuild / construction. We’re leading volunteeer crews, gutting houses, mucking out, and getting ready for mold remediation. As many of you know, mold is becoming a really big issue at this point, and we think the best way we can address it is to train other hubs to address it. We also have what we think is a pretty organized model for running work crews and a tool hub, so we should connect. And if you want to learn about how we’re doing it, the best way to learn is to come and help for a day.”

“What we need though are housing resources, medical resources, legal resources, and financial resources. And we have some work trucks, but they’re not great for moving people — we need to be able to move these crews more effectively so we can multiply our efforts.”

Tim: “And how do we contact you?”

Ben: “I’;m right here.” Laughs. “No,”


: “Is there anyone else who wants to talk for training?”

: “I can; we got melded into construction here. But I’ve been trying for weeks now to set up health and safety training, unsuccessfully despite everyone’s good intentions.” Suggests each site sets up a health coordinator, who could contact him and he could liaison with an org and “moe the training forward some. You can contact me, it’s And I volunteered with NY[KOSH?]. Please contact me.”

: “A general word about training: there’s a network of people with political educaiton training who want to be of resource to you who are working on the ground in a variety of ways over time. Just know we’re here, if you feel you need support or resources to helpf rame the larger politics of the work we’re doing. I think there should be a list on our website of good readings on the larger-scale problems around storms. If you can help, please talk to me after the meeting.”


Dana: “Hi, I’m Dana! I’m with OWS PR. So, I guess the long-and-short of it is that there’s been great coverage of Occupy Sandy efforts. Hundreds of articles in many outlets of every flavor, in many countries.”

Someone: “Not on Staten ISland, at all.”

Dana: “OK, well, we can talk. What I wanted to say is… that what’s important is that even though maybe SI has been left out of that loop, the story has been told about Occupy Sandy and the recovery effort, and it has been told many times over. So the press  — as the requests are dwindling; which we deal with every day, so I can tell you we are — what we need is a new angle. And that actually sounds kind of gross. But what we think is needed is the move from this — you know, the recovery story into the more politicized story. So, how are we leveraging our power as organizers and activists, as grassroots community membres, to actually ask for and demand the things that the communities we’re in need? Because we’ve had these conversations. And what are the targets and campaigns? That’s how we, the Press team, can help move the story. And we’re”

Next, Organizational Relationships.

Carl: “We talked about the benefit of collaborating; we talked about advocacy for the people being important; working with other organizations might facilitate that. I’d like to give a very quick reportback about an event that happened on Sunday; at 520 — the NYDIS — they held a dinner on Sunday; we helped organize it — we, Occupy Sandy — and the Episcopal Diocese. The White House sent somebody; FEMA sent somebody; a lot of organizations send people and the religious organizations send people. And it’s pretty consistent that everyone said OS is redefining relief, including the White House. And these are just top-down comments, but I would say there’s a window we need to jump through fast. I get the sense people are anti-Bloomberg, anti-the City. Perhaps that’s good; I don’t know. But we want to work on reconciliation here. My slogan is 99+1=100.”


Dan: “I think on the operational side, we have a direct sort of connection now with the VOAD organizations — some of those organizations are here tonight. What’s happening now is we have direct lines with the city. We also have direct lines with FEMA, to request supplies direct through our distribution networks, which we’re testing out this week to see how well that can work. We’re trying to do an internal needs assessment from sites across the city, and see what we can do to help with those needs — they call it muck-out. And food, aligning our needs with food with VOAD partners like City Harvest and the Red Cross, and also our vancassing efforts so there’s no overlap and people aren’t stepping on toes.”

Tammy asks how people can get requests to FEMA.



Premo: “There’s a lot of good media starting to come out from our self-produced media; media teams need more self-organization so we can do a better job of getting it out and… figuring out what stories aren’t being told and how to tell them better. There’s a Flickr page; if you’re a photographer who wants to put that stuff up there, it’s available… that exists. And there’s this project called the Sandy Storyline project, that’s a project of Occupy — it’s; it’s a participatory project that lets anyone tell their story with a cell phone or telephone line, currently about every area — they’ve started to share their stories; there’s about 150 stories up there already, with many more that need to be uploaded. The idea is to have a platform to raise our collective voice, so as the advocacy heats up, we can point to a site that has our stories already there.”

“Tomorrow at 80 Hanson Place, 7:00, Fort Greene, Brooklyn, there’s a meeting for the Sandy Storyline project.” Gmail:


Yotam: “So, a lot of people are expressing similar things– a bunch of different kinds of needs, like housing, mid-term needs, and long-term needs, like we want to rebuild communities so that people are empowered.”

“There’s also an opportunity, now — tons of people on the ground; a lot of people starting to organize themselves and us all over the place, finally immersed in those communities, and a lot of press that wants a new story, so the thing that we’re doing is starting to shift to do some resistance work that provides the cover that makes recovery and rebuilding possible… to stop the developers from bulldozing everything and building a bunch of condos.”

“so, tehre has been a tentative action call for December 15th, called by a bunch of people at sites and community organizations. Tomorrow, at 6:30, right here, there is an action where people from different Zone A sites and community organizations are going to come together and think about an action… so we can spread a message on something coherent.”

Someone: “Yeah!” Woo!

Distro hubs.

Kat: “I’m reporting back from 520 and Jacobi — we’re definitely in transition; Jacobi’s closed, and 520 is closing distribution. We’ve found two new multi-use spaces, and are in the process of getting those secured. So 520 is transitioning into a new identity — we’re trying to form a new community process there; the people’s library, engagement with the community, and there’s a meeting to be announced about the future of that space.”

Tammy: “And how will people know about the transition from spaces?”

: “All the various ways. There’s a meeting possibly next Tuesday with the Fathers of the church where we’ll present these ideas. And it’s not solidified…”

Tammy: “I was asking more about the new multi-use sites.”

Easton: “Hopefully after Friday night we’ll have a sense of the status and what they might be used for. We’ll disseminate the info when we have it.”


Becky: “So… medical out in the field is currently at two sites; they’re sort of switching it up a little bit; right now a lot of volunteers are based out of Ocean Bay, one of the NYCHA houses. There’s also — the trailer that used to be at Yana is now at Beach 96, and we’ve been getting a lot of people from Mt. Sinai and the NY Nurse’s Assn. And they’ve been doing water testing at Ocean Bay, so that may address some concerns about water, and have possible repercussions.”

“Something is coalescing at St. Camilus around mental health, which I didn’t know about. Making people — some of what the rebuilding people were talking about — the making people aware of dangers around demo and stuff — medics are starting to organize some of those trainings, so we should talk afterwards and we can connect. We did a training earlier for trainers about that at 520, and one at Veggie Island is happening.

“The volunteer pool is starting to dwindle a little bit, but there’s a little bit of an influx because some of the other non-OS hubs are starting to shut down, so we’re getting some of their volunteers to flow in. So it’s kind of a transition period.”

“And the reportback from Wellness and Volunteer Wellness is I’ve been working with other wellness people to create pop-up wellness clincics to go to various locations and have all sorts of different things — body workers… if that sounds like something you want, let us know so we can arrange it.”

Tammy: “Finance — and for finance, we can do Incubation, Infrastructure, and Registry separately.”

Bobby: “The Amazon Registry was a great idea, and got a lot of things to people really quickly, but from the beginning people have talked about how the money goes to Amazon, far away from these relief sites. So we’re working on local registries, where 100% of the funds go to hardware stores, small businesses, in the relief sites. You know, I was touring the Rockaways today for businesses that are open, and dint’ see a lot, but that’s the goal. And we’d like to do it before the holiday rush, to help people, then we can advertise it, and then people can order their items and they’ll get sent from small businesses. So I think it’s about transferring ourselves as much as possible away from charity and towrads mutual aid, and building those relatuionships. Occupysandylocalregistry@gmail.”

Daniele: “I’m with the incubation team; we do a lot of things, including linking grantwriters to projects. We need way more grantwriters. Another thing that we do is we send community members to benefits — there’s been a ton of benefits on behalf of Occupy Sandy. So we make sure that they are in fact donating, and that there are community members there to talk to folks.

“As of yesterday — after fees — we had raised $544,300.12 on the WePay. This doesn’t include anyone who wrote a check and sent it in; we get a monthly reportback from our fiscal sponsor on those numbers; should be getitng that soon. And we’ve dispersed ~$24k — this info is now publically available with about a 24-hour lag at All the information about this fund is there. We’ll be putting up a little bit more about process int he coming week, as well as spreadsheets showing donations and expenditures. And yes, there are line-item expenditures.”

“How to apply for funds? We have emergency funds for each of the sites, and then we’ve also started doing project funds of no more than $10k at a time. So if yopu’d like to apply for project funds, go to, and fill out the whole thing.”

“The budget is a Google thing; make sure you share it with us, or we can’t read it.”

“Emails: we have two emails. If you know somebody who wants to donate money or something in-kind, email Any other questions,

Justin: “I’m here to talk about the Infrastructure Fund, which is a new fund to support the existing physical infrastructure of OS. The first project we did was make small dnations to both of the churches that have been supporting us in Brooklyn. If you’re interested in finding out more or geting involved with this infrasgrtucure fund, we’re having a meeting tomororw night at 7pm at 520 and we’ll meet Wednesday nights thereafter.”


Joseph: “We’ve got loads and loads of lawyers who can help fight for disaster insurance appeals, FEMA, housing, tons of stuff. But to reach people, we need partnerships with canvassers. So we’ve been reaching out to canvassers, but if you’re involved in canvassing, please get in touch. Also, we know the city is circling out some of the open-air hubs; we’ve got a flyer going out about that. And if you have any people who are being threatened with closing, please get in touch., and we just got a hotline — leave a message; it sends us text and then one of us will call you back: 646 397 5671.”

Tim: “We have a few more. Volunteer Outreach?”

Susannah: “I’ve been talking to pepple about trying to get large groups of people — maybe 20, maybe local college kids on Winter break — it’s really important to know the needs in the hubs to make sure the right kinds of volunteers are going there and they can handle them. Come talk about it.”

Tim: “Someone wanted to talk about a high school internship program?”

: “I’m working with Justin out of 520 on an internship program — there will be a couple of 16-18-year-olds hanging out, and the idea is that they are going ot shadow organizers and get training and contribute, and then hopefulyl set up a mutual aid network for students. But we’re looking for organizers who would be interested in being a mentor. So email me:”

Tammy: “All right, one last announcement about the media team?”

Lopi: “Yeah, a few of us who have been doing mostly Rockaways stuff have decided to start organizing an OS media team, so we welcome anyone who has camera and equipment already — we want to form relationships with communities, or get people who already have, so we can get interviews with people — residents, relief workers; we need to get more stories together along the lines of the new angle or whatever. So we’re going to be trying to have a meeting at some poihnt tonight to try to set up another meeting. So talk to me or Luke.”

Tammy: “3 last announcements: event tmoorrow night at the Murray Institute about Labor speaking out after Sandy; 2, 520 Clinton is not available after 6pm; 3 — “

Leah: “For peolpe interestewd in being part of the participatory budgeting conversation, there’s a conference call Friday at 2, email and I’ll get it to you.”

Tammy: “We’re 10 minutes ahead of schedule right now!” Woah. “That was allt he reportbacks; thank you very much for keeping it concise and short. There’s a whole other section to this meeting that we’re hoping people will stick around for, continuing the conversation we had earlier. Are we ready to move on?” Yeah. “Cool. Soi, one thing that came up when we were brainstorming, and it’s come up several times, is how we harness our collective power, building a collective voice, and how we have a say in what that collective voice is. We know taht there is an interest in talking about resource allocation and that process; we’re going ot save that conversation for at least next week.”

Evan: “On what decision basis?”

Tammy: “The people who have planned this meeting — anyone can come help plan Sundays at 6. But we’re going to talk about how we build a collective voice, how we reach consensus on what represents us to the outside world. We came up with a list of four ways we see that happening: social media, website/press, statements, and actions.”

Easton: “Is there a break scheduled?”

Tammy: “I was going to ask… do people want a break?” Yes, they do. Tammy will explain what’s happening after first. “So, we’re going ot break up into those four groups. Before we leave here, do we think anything’s missing from that list?”

: “Documentation, literature, packets? Physical things we print out, like flyers and stuff.”

“So, we’re going to break up in these groups and talk about three questions: 1) what do you think people can or should decide autonomously in this area, 2) what deserves consent of Occupy Sandy, 3) what should be the process of coming to decisions about these things? And we won’t decide tonight, but start a conversation.”

Tammy reviews the groups one last time and where they’re meeting. “When you come back, you can get in those areas, and then discuss.”

[10 minute break — 9:23pm.]

OK, we’re back.

Tim: “Everyone, as you look around the room, you will see signs: website, social media, statements and press, actions, and educational materials over there. If you are working in one of those areas, I’d recommend you stand by that sign. If you would like to have input on an area — this does not mean you’re commiting to bottomline anything there… But please, also be conscious of the general dispersal of people. If everyone’s over at social media, maybe you can be a part of statements to press. Does everyone understand?”

Marisa: “I was wondering what happens to the different hubs — it feels like they’re kind of lost in this conversation.”

Tammy: “Right now, these are just discussion topics — go to the place you want to discuss. It doesn’t neccessarily relate to the groups you were sitting in before. And in these groups we’re going to have a discussion about each of these questions we discussed before. So this isn’t about the group you work in or tasks you do, it’s about having these discussions.”

Five discussion groups:
1) Social media
2) Website/press
3) Statements
4) Actions

Three questions:
1) What do you think people should decide autonomously in this arena?
2) What do you think merits consent from the OS community?
3) What do you think should be the space for input and decisions on these items?

Tammy: “Mic check! There seems to still be confusion. So, just to share one more time, go to the group that you want to discuss with. If you work on this task, please go to the one you work on, if you don’t, it’s just a discussion on how we prsent ourselves to the outside world. Like, even if you don’t work on the website, we’re all affected by what gets written there.”

“Some groups may have a process already… but some won’t. So please find a group and start discussing these questions so we can come back together and share.”

Tammy: “All right, y’all; we’re going to come back together. Mic check!”

Everyone: “Mic check!”

Tammy: “All right, cool. That worked. So, here’s — a few of us huddled during that and came up with a plan. We know there’s a lot more people working on the work of Occupy Sandy than are in this room right now, and than were in this room at the beginning of the meeting. So, here is the plan. We’re going to type up the notes from the brainstorm earlier, and all of the reportbacks that we get from this circle right now, we’re going to make a one-sheeter and we’re going to send that out to the hubs — to the communities on the ground — in the next week, and get feedback on it at the Sunday meeting. And that’s a way that we can communicate back to the communities what’s happening in this room, and get input and feedback from people who can’t be here, but continue the conversation and move it forward. Does everyone in this room feel okay with that plan? Can I see twinkles?”

Looks good.

Tammy: “Okay, cool. So… what I need for this to work — what we all need for this to work — is someone to sort of be point on the different areas and communities, and to help us get the feedback back, so that we can digest it all, at the Meeting Meeting, which will be on Sunday. So, I’m just going to see if we can arrange that before we do the next part, because I definitely would hope that you’d listen really carefully if you’re going to be that point. So, is there anybody that feels like they can take that on for the Rockaways? Can take the information in the flyer and make sure the flyers get to them?”

Someone asks her to clarify.

Tammy: “So the idea is: we’re going to type up the notes from the things that we discussed here — that eventually we’ll make decisions on. But it’s going to take awhile. We’re going to take those out in a one-sheeter, a flyer kind of thing, out to communities, to try to get feedback both from organizers and community members who couldn’t be in this room today, and help get that feedback back to the Meeting Meeting. It doesn’t have to come in person to the meeting; it could come via a Google Voice that’s going to be on the flyer, or it could come via an email address that we already have, that will also be on the flyer. But it’s just communicating that out.”

Ethan: “I just have a suggestion — rather than needing to try to find points for all of that, if you just want to send it out with all of the food to all of the locations we’re serving, it can be distributed from there.”

Tammy: “Great! So we will get flyers to the kitchen?”

Ethan: “And we can send it out with every delivery.”

Tammy: “That sounds good. It would be cool if we could also get a point for regions to actually, like, explain what it is, because I think people get a million things and don’t always pay attention. I love that idea. The idea is that email, phone — people are moving so quickly, and there’s so many lines of communication. We’re looking for a physical person who’s willing to try to help. If we can’t come up with that right now, that’s OK, but I want to see if we can. There’s people in this room that already spent time in the Rockaways, then maybe they can help translate. Is there anyone here, that’s the case?”

K: “I’ll do it.”

Tammy: “Great, K. Thank you. Is there anyone here who spends time in Staten Island that can do that?”

George: “Word.”

Tammy: “George, great. Is there anyone here that spends time in Sheepshead Bay that can do that?”

Tess: “I can get it to Sheepshead.”

Tammy: “Great, Tess. Is there anyone here that spends time in Coney Island that can do that?”

Dan: “Um…”

Shlomo: “Yes. Dan can do it.”

Tammy: “Dan, excellent.”

Shlomo: “Congratulations.” Laughter.

Someone: “Nice work, Dan.”

Tammy: “All right. So now we’re going to move forward with the understanding of how this is going to continue. Cool?”

Becky: “Wait, can somebody bring them to Red Hook? Even though Red Hook isn’t here?”

Tammy: “Oh, Red Hook!”

Mariya: “I’ll do it.“

Tammy: “Mariya will do Red Hook. Great, thank you.

“All right, cool. With that in mind, we’ll go through reportbacks; again, these will then be — what we’re discussing here today will be decided, or we’ll start to make decisions on, next week. That’s the idea.”

Someone: “What about Jersey?”

Someone: “I can talk to Jersey.”

Tammy: “Okay. I can also talk to Jersey. All right, great. So… cool. Does anyone want to start?”

Dana, statements/press group: “Okay. And feel free to jump in; I’ve got Bre’s notes here. So, to answer the — so, then, kind of the first question about autonomy, right? Individuals — and this is kind of the — the press, media statements, and this is not a mission statement. This is, like, press statements — there was one that went out last week for 30 days in, right? As an example.

“So, obviously, in thinking about autonomy, individuals can always speak for themselves. Smaller groups can decide amongst themselves, in the processes or agreements that they have made in smaller groups or communities organizing together, to then speak about themselves and what’s happening in their… speak as their communities.

“To speak on behalf of the larger community, as in Occupy Sandy as a whole, what we discussed here was to have a larger discussion — and that means potentially here, at these regular meetings — which kind of leads into the consensus, which was the second — what constitutes consensus? Which was the second part.

“Obviously, like I said before, within each smaller group, it’s up to them. For larger, it would be great if there was space in these regular meetings for actionable items — for groups to come forward if they have something that they want to propose on behalf of Occupy Sandy — so this would happen before they actually — and the group went out and spoke on behalf of larger Occupy Sandy.”

“Then: structure. What are the structures for this? We understand that a lot of conversations happen via email, on phones, on text loops, on Twitter, Facebook, and in person — old school — but that again, if it’s — and each smaller community has their ways of communicating. But again, if it’s a larger action or statement, then it would need to be brought to at least one meeting. That was our idea and our suggestion, because there is something about when we see each other and we, you know, have these kind of broader conversations and — and the brain trust and the buy-in that happens.”

Luke: “So, jumping on top of that, it seems like the kind of structure we described here would encourage people to act autonomously, and speak autonomously through the group. It’s also worth noting that despite — despite how much simpler it would be to only speak for your own group, there is a lot of weight in bringing something to the larger group, getting consensus, and putting out statements as Occupy Sandy. And that should be encouraged, as well.”

Tammy: “Thank you. I’m committed to being out of here in 12 minutes. So… we’re going to try really hard — please communicate what you need to communicate — that was really good — also to keep it concise. So we have four more groups, which means no more than three minutes for each of them. Go for it.”

Darrell, for the actions group: “To be honest with you, that sounds pretty much like where we had ended up, if I’m not mistaken. And there was some tension about — there was also some feeling that, you know, no actions have been taken as Occupy Sandy thus far, so that the December 15th action would be a great test case for that. And there’s also some tension as to — you know, between whether or not there would be more-or-less a more-permanent action group, or whether it would just be a dissolving group — you know, ad-hoc, as it goes. So that was the — I mean, essentially it was the same except for those two points.”

Tammy: “Nothing else?”

Darrell: “I mean — I mean, literally, it was — our conclusions were almost the same as theirs.”

Dana: “Great minds.”

Tammy: “OK, so we should just copy what Press said and put it for actions?”

Darrell: “Yes, pretty much.”

Tammy: “All right, cool. So we just need to make sure to get that in our one-sheeter. Cool. Education?”

Next, the Educational Materials group.

<someone>: “I’ve got a — sort of a question about how you actually achieve consensus as the entire — as Occupy Sandy. And if that’s over email, or in this meeting. That’s something that we should figure out.”

Tammy: “That’s part of what we’re in the process of trying to figure out.”

<someone>: “Right.”

Tammy: “Is there anything else that you guys wanted to report back?”

<someone else>: “Yeah, we basically… we’re going to compile this email list so we can collaborate among this group and we can produce documents — for example, visions and goals documents, purpose documents, educational documents such as on the various issues that affect these areas. And… other ancillary issues as well. So, we’re going to collaborate on producing documents. And that’s pretty much it. That’s where we left it.”

Tim: “Actually, I have a question for the education group. So, if people have the autonomy to make stuff as a small group and distribute it within that small group, is there any reporting-back to a central organization, either to the group as a whole or to people that are working on education — educational materials — to see if it’s useful in other locations?”

George: “Really quickly — so, basically there was an idea floated that there are just larger principles that are decided on by the larger body, and then each individual hub can autonomously decide the language and the way that those can come across. So, instead of setting hard guidelines, just a bulleted document with principles — like, principles that adhere to the movement, and then individual sites with community members can decide the right tactic and language to distribute things with. So.”

<someone>: “Yeah. And also, broader education material — like, for example, scientific literature on environmental issues, and so on. Which is applicable across the board, and…

Tim: “Cool. Website?”

Badger: “So, basically what we came up with, sort of was — our conversation went all over the place. But what I think we basically came up with is that website should really — if it’s acting well, it’s acting as a reflection of the expression of this community. And as such, it should really actually be pretty easy to decide what goes up there and what doesn’t, because, you know, if all these other groups get worked out, then you’ll have your process, and you’ll basically be telling us, hey, you know, put this up.

“So far, the content that’s been going up has been really pretty easy to figure out, because it’s all just mostly been useful information. So it really hasn’t been contentious at all. We’ve had a few times when it’s been questionable as to whether or not we should put something up, and basically, the way we’ve dealt with it so far is it comes to the sandyweb email address, which has a couple of us on it. If it’s questionable, then we bring it to the larger web team, and then if it stays questionable from there, we try to get it to the right groups of people that are outside of the web team, to sort of verify the information.”

Tess: “What’s an example of something that was questionable?”

Badger: “I mean, like, the mold. Does bleach kill mold? Like, we were getting all sorts of information from that. What FEMA was sending us was wrong. You know, so just something like that. You know, it’s small things — so far, it’s mostly been small things on the website.

“Just so you know, what we’re planning on doing in terms of direction for the website is creating more of, like, a newswire for it. So anybody will be able to — from the community can submit to the newswire for Occupy Sandy, and, like, you’ll get credited as your group — as the person — as the group submitting. So it’s not just going to be sort of this central web team that’s submitting all of the updates, but there’s going to be a process for all of you to basically submit stuff and just channel it up there.”

Tammy: “Is there anything else?”

Badger: “I think we’re good.”

Lopi, social media. “We didn’t have a lot of people from social media here, so we worked with what we have, and we feel that… and we recognize that our voice is really important, because we’re, like — you know, we’re social media. And it’s somewhat tricky because we are autonomous — we’re autonomous, but we’re not, within our group. We do have mechanisms to check in with each other. On the Facebook page we have an admin group where we vet things that we think maybe we’re not sure about posting — like maybe it’s a politician, or maybe it’s a financial thing, or whatever — we have this admin page where we post stuff and give people — give each other feedback, and we approve or disapprove there.

“On the Twitter, we’re about to be set up on Hootsuite, but right now we just have, like, a very informal trust — it’s based on trust a lot. We trust each others’ voices.

“And as far as the community giving us feedback about what we’re saying, and how we’re portraying the voice of everybody, we get instantaneous feedback by people tweeting — like, tweeting back at us — like, what the hell are you saying?” or, you know, whatever. We can just… and the same thing on the Facebook. We can get direct feedback from people if they don’t like what we’re saying, or stuff like that, right directly on comments and stuff.

“Another — a new thing that we just decided to do was to have this email where people can email us feedback or… things that they need us to tweet or Facebook about. And that email is: really fucking long, and it’s —

Carrie: “No, it’s not that long.”

Lopi: “Oh, it’s not long?”

Carrie: “It’s the other one:” Pause. “To be honest, it is kind of long.” Laughter. “We have a longer one, it’s just — “

Lopi: “OccupySandySocialMedia@gmail, so it’s like — the other one’s going to go there. But so, there’s that. And if you don’t like a hashtag, or you don’t like something that we’re doing, please give us feedback, and we will adjust. Sometimes hashtags take off, and people like them, and they go, even if we stop tweeting them — they just keep going, you know? This happened earlier. #WeGotThis.”

“So yeah, we’re autonomous, but we want feedback. So that’s pretty much the gist of that.”

Tammy: “Cool. So, here’s what’s going to happen: all of this really awesome stuff is going to get put together on one page. The people who said that they would help will help get the word out to the communities, that they should look at this page, and provide feedback, either through that individual or the phone number of the website. The flyers are going to go out with the food, because who doesn’t want food?

“And we’re all going to meet again next week, same time and same place unless we hear differently. And if people want to be part of planning the meeting, you can come Sunday at 6pm. And — is it written?”

Someone: “It’s in blue.”

Tammy: “It’s at — it’s on Bedford between Jefferson and Putnam at a restaurant called Stable House.”

Tess: “Or email”

Tammy: “And with that, it’s 10:28pm! So…”

Someone: “Thank you to the facilitators!” Cheering, applause, chatter as the network begins to redisperse.

[Thanks everyone. These minutes will be polished soon and notification will be sent to the OS listserv and social media. Look for a flyer with your food distro discussing how our collective voice should be administered.]

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[accordion_panel title=”OccupySandy Network Assembly Meeting (11/27/2012)”]

Posted December 20th, 2012 by Pea • permalink


These minutes were livetranscribed during the meeting and then fixed from recorded audio by @DiceyTroop.

Originally posted here.

  • November 27, 2012
  • St. Jacobi Church, Sunset Park, Brooklyn
  • 7:30pm
  • Facilitators: Drew and Becky
  • Minutes: Dicey


    • Meeting Structure Intro
    • Meeting Agreements
      • Working with FEMA & the City
      • Accessing State Resources
      • Needs & Concerns
        • Politicization & Maintaining Autonomy
        • Organizing to Prevent Displacement
      • Overview: Establishment of New Kitchen
      • Anticipating Orders & Working with Caterers
      • Needs: Visibility & Volunteer Coordination
      • Concerns: Sustainability
      • Contact Info
      • N27 NYCHA Action
      • Potential D15 Action
      • 11/28 Guerrilla Movie Premiere
      • Needs: Make Actions Accessible
      • Relating to and Empowering the Community
      • NYCHA v. Private Housing
      • Needs
      • Cleanup & Construction Help
      • Info to Disperse
      • Rockaways: Working w. Communities & Medical Orgs
      • Medical Dispatch
      • Olympia Hub
      • Ongoing Cleanup & Canvassing
      • Needs: Regular Volunteers, Medics, Housing
      • Social Media Strategy
      • Occupy SMS
      • Conference Calls
    • JACOBI
      • Closing the Space
      • Clean-up & Rehab
      • Needs: New Space & Volunteer Retention
      • Dire Need for Resources & Volunteers
      • Overview
      • Canvassing & Cleanup
      • Concerns: Resident Health & Site Sustainability
      • Matching Resources to Needs
      • Canvassing
      • Need for Organizers
      • Cleanout Effort Status
      • Respond & Rebuild Trainings
      • Needs: Volunteers & Money
    • 520 CLINTON
      • Separating Volunteer Intake from Goods Distribution
      • Needs
      • New Space & Responsible Phase-Out
      • Get Distro Orders in by 4pm
      • Transitioning into Community-Building Phase
      • Battles with Developers
      • Health & Displacement
      • Media Presence
      • Canvassing & Needs-Assessment
      • Needs
        • Volunteers
        • Laundry
        • Inter-Hub Communication
    • LEGAL
      • Clinics & Canvassing
      • Needs: Communication to Get Help Where Needed
      • Gathering & Coordinating Media
      • Needs
        • Regular Updates from Sites
      • Concerns
        • Keeping the Story Alive
        • Community Pushback & Mistrust
    • INCUBATION: Fundraising & Finances
      • Overview
      • Emergency Funds
      • Applying for Emergency Funds
      • Participatory Budgeting
      • Needs
        • More Incubation Team Bottomliners
        • Resource Gatherings & Feedback
      • Overview
      • Trainers Group
      • Large Volunteer Groups
      • Upcoming Trainings
        • Risk & Safety Training
        • Organizer & Community Engagement Training
      • Concern: Standardizing Training
    • RED HOOK


Drew: “Hello everyone! My name is Drew; I’ll be facilitating tonight. I would ask that you find a space in the pews next to a piece of paper that has a location or role on it that you find an affinity towards, or that you are involved with. So if you’re in Red Hook, Red Hook’s over here; if you’re interested in the Bay Ridge kitchen, they’re sitting here. We are almost 45 minutes behind start time, so if we can settle ourselves, and become quiet and relaxed, we’ll get this started and… and have a really good time. Thank you.”

Someone: “I don’t think the people in the back heard any of that.”

Drew: “OK.” Gets on mic. “Ladies and gentlemen! Mic check!”

(Many voices: “Mic check!”)

Becky: “No, no, we’re actually just testing the mic.”

Someone: “All right, let’s get this party started. Let’s go.”

Becky: “All right, so, if you didn’t hear Drew’s announcement a minute ago, we’re asking that everybody — we have 20 different pieces of paper up around this room; some of them are locations, some of them are areas of work like kitchen or medical. Go find one that you have an affinity with, that you’ve been working with a lot, and try to sit near it.”

Meeting Structure Intro

Drew: “All right, while we’re all getting settled in, I’m just going to go over the general outline of how this meeting’s going to go. This came out of multiple discussions with a few different people, but unfortunately has been fairly rushed. So bear with us; we’re learning while we go, we’re building the ship while sailing… I’ll just jump right into it.

“So, around the room are pieces of paper that relate to locations and roles, and these pieces of paper all have 5 of the same questions on them: what has changed since last week, what are the two biggest things you are working on now — for the next week, and for the next month; what do you need to get these things accomplished; what are the two top needs in the area you’re working; do you have any concerns — political or otherwise?”

Becky: “Also, we have had people adding questions to some of them, so you may have some surprise ones that we don’t know about – to greet you when you get over there. And at the very bottom of the page — or on a piece of paper next to it – there is contact information. We’re working on interhub communication and trying to get better at talking to each other, so if you can put a central phone number that leads to your site, a Twitter account if you have one, email address for the site, and a loop if you have one — and if you want one of these and don’t have one, let us know — write it on the piece of paper, and we’ll help you get one set up for your area.”

Drew: “And try to explain the intention of the email,, cell phone, or phone number that you’re using. So once we’re — we’re going to go through introductions up here, and then we’re going to break out into these groups, and the people who have the answers to these questions are going to talk to each other. And we’re going to come back, and each — someone that is chosen from each of these pieces of paper is going to come up and give a three-minute reportback answering the questions that are up on the piece of paper. At three minutes, with 20 different groups, that’s one hour. We’re about 45 minutes behind schedule right now, so…. I’m sure you guys can do the math.”

Meeting Agreements

Drew: “So, let’s jump into it. There’s meeting agreements that we tend to have in Occupy meetings and Becky’s going to go over some of those things.”

Becky: “So, the first thing is step up, step back; it’s the idea of letting — if you’re a voice that dominates generally, letting other people do some talking; hearing that other people have some really great things to say, and maybe that what you were going to say gets said anyway. And if you find yourself talking a lot, letting somebody else talk, and sort of self-facilitating in that. But also, if something’s not getting said, step up — get it done… and then step back, and see what happens.

“Another principle is WAIT — it’s an acronym for Why Am I Talking? If you’re just talking to hear yourself talk… you might be enjoying it, but chances are others around you are not. So, just think about, when you’re saying something, is there a really good reason for you to be saying it? Is it substantive, does it add something new that hasn’t been said, or are you just repeating yourself or repeating somebody else? Because we have a lot to talk about, we have a lot of people, and as much as we like hanging out with each other, we don’t really want to be here all night.

“And active listening, which means really hearing what other people are saying — really listening to them, and letting it sink in, and realizing — again, with the “Why am I talking?” — if you really hear what somebody is saying, then maybe you’ll realize that you don’t need to say it. And also something that is useful that a lot of people in this room know, but not everybody knows, are hand-signals. If you see people using hand-signals — like, we’re not really going to use them in this meeting, but if you see somebody [uptwinkling] that means they like it or they agree. If you see somebody [downtwinkling] that means they don’t like it; they disagree. I don’t know if there’s any — oh, If you want to say something, raise your hand; [one finger up] is a point of information and means you have something — a little sound byte that adds something. [A C in the air made with thumb and forefinger] is a clarifying question — if you have a question. So you might see those being used, so you’re not totally confused as to, like, why people are going like this.”

Drew: “And be sure to point any of those signals up towards us so we can deal with it, and if we don’t call on you immediately, we’ll — make sure that we make eye contact, and we’ll get to that. So what we’re going to do to start off is break out into discussions around these roles. Before we do that, I want an opportunity for everyone that  had input in making this meeting happen, who kind of got it together and talked with Tammy or myself or anyone else involved in it — can you please stand up right now, so that people can see who was involved? You know, maybe who was outside last night talking about this meeting… stand up. No? It really wasn’t just me and Tim… oh, there’s some in the back. Excellent, yes. Thank you; thank you, everyone.”

Someone: “Thank you for doing that.”


“So, real quick, are there any questions about what we’re going to do tonight? Just raise your hand and yell it out — is anyone terribly confused and lost right now?”

Apparently not!

“Good. Okay. I’m going to set a timer for 20 minutes, for everyone to group up and begin answering the questions. Your intention is to be able to send one person up here to give a three-minute presentation that answers the questions on the wall, and any other questions that you feel need to be answered that the community needs to know about. If you feel your group is too large; you can split — we can make room for that. So, let’s break out. If you don’t feel like you have a group to be in, feel free to sit with groups that you’re interested in.”

Tess asks Drew to name the breakouts.

Becky: “Locations: Coney Island, Sheepshead Bay, Rockaways, Staten Island, Red Hook, Jacobi, Clinton, Bay Ridge kitchen, and Jersey.”

Drew: “Hold on — when we read these, can people raise their hand if they’re interested and we can just take that…? Okay.”

Becky: “Coney Island… Sheepshead Bay… Rockaways — woah there! Staten Island.” (Whoo, they shout.) “Red Hook. Jacobi. Clinton. Bay Ridge Kitchen. New Jersey.” “Yeah!” Applause for the NJ crew. “OK, now we have roles and categories not necessarily tied to locations — online communications, Interocc and social media; legal; reconstruction and cleanup; medical (physical and mental); canvassing; training; finance and benefits; housing; organizational relationships; actions; and Storyline/storytelling. All right — go to it!”

Tess: “OK, now what if you are sort of tied to a location, but you are also very much tied to one of these other sort-of meta…”

Drew: “Unless you can split yourself, you’re going to have to make a decision — wherever you think you can answer questions best and help spread information.”

Becky: “And if you figure out how to split yourself, please let us know.”

Josh: “Are we answering questions in these groups or talking to each other?”

Drew: “You’re answering the questions that are on the wall, and if some networking happens, great.”

[OK, we’re breaking out, be back in 20 minutes.]

Drew: “20 minutes starting nowww.”

Folks come up to him.

Drew: “15 minutes is the new time you have.”

Tess: “And please make sure to put your contact info on the piece of paper.” [8:26 -Ed.]

Drew: “Mic check!” “Mic check!”, everyone responds.


Drew: “All right; thank you very much everyone. If you can send the person who is going to be giving the reportback for your group up to the front here so they can speak into the mic. Let’s bring those people forward. If you’re giving a reportback, please come to the front.”

Somebody: “Come on! Don’t be shy; come up to the front. Come on and get on the mic like Jay-Z! That’s — come on! Come on, people! Let’s go.”

Drew: “All right, spectacular. Great.”

Becky: “I only see, like, seven people over here, and there are like 20 groups. So I think some more of you need to come over here to do reportbacks for your groups.”

Drew: “So, each group is going to have three minutes; what we’re going to do is — the reportback, any needs that they express, if you can raise your hand if you believe that you have information or some kind of experience… if you can fulfill those needs, there’s going to be someone coming around with a little stickypad. Write your information and the need that you can fulfill, and they are going to stick it to the pieces of paper, so afterwards anyone can go up there, get your contact information, and contact you about that need being fulfilled. So as the report back is happening, if there are needs that they are expressing that you can help with, raise your hand until someone comes around and gives you a little yellow stickypad, and write your contact information and what need you can help with on that stickypad, and then afterwards, collect that information from the pieces of paper. So, our first presenter is Susan from Organizational Relationships. All right, three minutes, Susan! Take it away.”


Working with FEMA & the City

Susan: “This is my first meeting, and I got enlisted to do this reportback, which I’m glad to do. This is from the organizational relationships group. On the first question, what we established was what’s different is that Occupy Sandy is — has now been at the table with other voluntary organizations and has met at the table with the Mayor of the City — I don’t have details on that; we didn’t have time, but apparently Occupy Sandy and the Mayor have been talking. And Occupy Sandy has been talking with FEMA as well as the Mayor. Also, has been meeting with and working with other NGOs and — just a lot of other community groups. So that’s one of the things that the group established is different over the last couple of weeks.

Accessing State Resources

The second question — I don’t remember what the question is, actually. What was the second question?”

Becky: “What are your ongoing projects?”

Susan: “OK. The answer — what was said was, figuring out how to request and accept resources from state, city, Fed sources. Because those are different than getting resources from community groups, church groups, individuals — you know, non-government — because the state, city, Feds — it all comes with strings and requirements. So while they have the most, they don’t like to give it, and when they give it, it’s with strings. And, so… figuring out how to request it and accept it without getting caught in their strings — that’s one of the needs. Coordinating, sharing data between projects and organizations is another need. OK. Third question — which… I have the answers, I don’t have the questions.”

Becky: “What do you need to get things accomplished?”

Needs & Concerns

Politicization, Resource-Sharing & Maintaining Autonomy

Susan: “What do you need to get things accomplished? Okay. Oh, dear. OK. Be careful not to get co-opted. We have to figure out how to get resources without strings. So it’s like the other one.  OK. Fourth… two top needs. A central place for people involved with Occupy Sandy to request resources from those who have the resources. We need a formal structure for how to request and vet — i.e., you know, like, if people are giving us things and it’s from government sources, how are you going to make sure it’s really something that you want? And how to stay on top of what FEMA is really up to. And then fifth, some concerns — someone raised a concern that they saw an Occupy Sandy person in one instance proselytizing very heavily about a political line to people that weren’t really interested, and the concern was not to… you know, not to preach to people who don’t want to be preached to about your politics. Just, you know, do the disaster relief work. However, another concern is, how is Occupy Sandy going to do this disaster relief work and not lose its political direction, and be able to stay independent while also building allies but also be able to fight the people we’re supposed to be fighting?”

Someone: “Thank you for saying that. Thank you.”

Organizing to Prevent Displacement

Susan: “You’re welcome. Okay. And continue the political mobilizing and organizing against displacement that’s going to be going on — because they’re going to try and move poor people out of the areas and bring developers in. So, how is Occupy Sandy organizing the necessary structures and arenas to be able to stay on top of that and organize around that? And pressure the government to rebuild in a sustainable way for everyone no matter what their income. I think that sums it up.”

Whistles, applause.

Drew: “Excellent, thank you Susan! All right, who’s next? Come on up. What’s your name, and the group that you’re reporting back from?”


Overview: Establishment of New Kitchen

Emily: “I’m Emily, and I’m from the Bay Ridge Kitchen.”

Whoops and “yeah!”s from the audience.

Emily: “So, what has changed? Well, we exist, which is very exciting! Because kitchen was previously in a couple different locations, and now it’s all combined in the kitchen down on 99th Street. We served 5,000 people on Thanksgiving, which was really exciting. We are currently serving between 1000 and 2000 meals a day, and possibly more if we’re able to plan ahead. Our standing orders — like our repeated daily orders — are about 2500, which we are able to meet because we’re working with another kitchen that’s cooking about 800 meals a day for us.

Anticipating Orders & Working with Caterers

“So, our largest project is working on streamlining organization and communication, in terms of getting volunteers, drivers, and planning our food orders ahead of time. We’re also working to network with local kitchens and caterers to help get them involved as well. That’ll help us produce even more food.

Needs: Visibility & Volunteer Coordination

“Our ‘needs to complete’ on projects — first off, we need to exist on the website, because although we exist, we’re not existing electronically. And that’s providing issues with getting volunteers, so that’ll help us get volunteers and drivers. We’re also trying to organize in a way that empowers people to commit for a longer period of time, whether that be doing remote work in the morning — calling in, double-checking sites for standing orders, et cetera.

“We also need to create a systematic driver and volunteer outreach, because when we have numbers of volunteers that fluctuate a lot from day to day, that’s really hard for our kitchen to work with.”

“So our top two needs is really visibility, as I said before, with the website… and a commitment from volunteers.”

Concerns: Sustainability

“Our concerns primarily deal with sustainability — sustainability for the kitchen, because we have to move in and out of the space about once a week for other events — sustainability for the volunteers, and how to support Occupy ideals. Because we want to be not just, you know, an extended soup kitchen, but — are — the needs of the communities change over time, and so we may go from cooking food to delivering food as they gain that capacity to cook for themselves. So we need to find a way that we can either be taking our produce… or how we can work with that.

“We are taking in supplies; our supplies needs change day-to-day, and they will be posted on the website once that gets up. But, for now, it’s always best to call our hotline, and then we’ll let you know what’s best for us.”

“And then one last point — we’re hoping to modify our kitchen hours starting a little bit earlier in the morning, and then including some after-work hours, from maybe six to 10. This is still pending work with our chefs and communication on that, but hopefully that will help us get more volunteers as well. That’s it, thanks!”

Contact Info

Someone: “What’s the address of the kitchen in case we want to volunteer?”

Emily: “It is 461 99th St; it’s on the corner of Fort Hamilton and 99th down in Bay Ridge.”

Someone: “And what’s the hotline number?”

Emily: “The hotline number is 347 465 7430.” [Someone left this email address in the liveminutes: -Ed.]

Drew: “And remember, you can go around and look at the — the information for a lot of these sites — it’ll be on the wall. And this big yellow piece of paper has information about the Interoccupy website. When you’re giving your presentation, if you could pause and say the need — I heard that you had a need to get on — on the website. Can someone raise their hand who can facilitate solving that need?”

Someone from Interoccupy steps up to help them out.

Drew: “So — do you have a question?”

Josh: “Well, can — after… could you ask everybody to… offer contact information? Like a point person? How we…?”

Drew: “Yeah — please, at the end of your report back, give some contact information, and make sure that it’s up on the wall next to the piece of paper. Who’s our next — “

Becky: “We noticed that only Staten Island put their contact information and its purpose — like, what the intention behind, like, their phone number is. Like, what — who we’ll be reaching when we call that number. So, if you put up your contact information, you did half the thing. But we’d love it if you didthe rest of the thing, and if you didn’t put anything up there, please do — it’s really imperative that we be able to have really flawless communication between all the areas and all the places.”


N27 NYCHA Action

Elana: “Hi; I’m Elana, reporting back from actions. We basically just covered what’s changed in the last week and concerns, so we’ll stick to those. A couple of reportbacks from the last week:

“This morning, there was an action outside of the NYCHA headquarters to protest the rent credit that’s being delayed until January, and asking for NYCHA to give rent credit to people who lost power and basically had uninhabitable homes in December.  So, that was apparently on the small side, but there’s some thoughts about follow-up, which kind of leads to the next point…

Elana: “There was a meeting last night of a bunch of community organizations including VOCAL, New York Communities for Change,, Community Voices Heard, and reps from all of the affected areas that Occupy Sandy is working with to think about planning a larger action. And December 15th was called out as a potential day. And all these representatives are going back to their organizations and sites to float this idea, but that’s also the day of the, like, NYCHA board meeting, if I’m correct, so that’s a big potential for action.

“Also, tomorrow night, there’s going to be a really exciting… okay — not the same day?”

Someone: “December Fifth is the NYCHA — “

Elana: “December Fifth! Oh, okay — I misheard that. December Fifth is the board meeting; December 15th is the day of a potential action of all these community groups.

11/28 Guerrilla Movie Premiere

“So, then, tomorrow night there’s going to be a really fun, exciting action-slash-guerrilla-movie-premiere that some of us from Occupy Sandy have been organizing to spotlight the connection between Occupy Sandy and the hurricane disaster and climate change, and to really say, you know, it’s great that we’re doing all this relief work, but if we don’t actually do something about climate change, this is going to happen again and again, and it’s our responsibility to start to connect those dots and really call out fossil fuel companies for the part that they play in creating disasters like this. So, this is tomorrow evening at 6:30 at a to-be-disclosed location in Manhattan that I can tell you is in some way related to a fossil fuel company. But we’ll be projecting this new film by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Josh Fox onto the side of a building. We’ll have popcorn; you should bring hot drinks; we’ll have RMO playing, and it’ll just be a really good time. So if you are interested in coming to this, the way to get updated about the location is to text. If you want to get out your phones now or write it down,  you can join a Celly loop. So text 23559, and in the body of the text it’s @climatecrime.”

A chirping cricket signals that her three minutes are up.

Elana: “OK, that’s my time!”

Concerns: Action Accessibility

Elana: “Really quick, just concerns; we talked some about just making sure that these actions are accessible to community members and really not just, like, relying on people who have the good fortune to be able to come out to protest, so… that’s something we’re going to be focused on moving forward.”

Drew: “Thank you very much! Ah, next?”

Becky: “Coney Island!”


Relating to and Empowering the Community

Eric: “Hello, I’m Eric; I’m out in Coney Island. Yay. Okay, so Coney Island is unique in the sense that it is one of the more densely-populated areas that Occupy Sandy’s been helping out in. Mutual aiding in, whatever you want to call it. So basically what we’ve been dealing with now is a real problem I think that exists in a lot of communities, which is how to responsibly empower the community so that mutual aid is practiced, and not charity or dependence. That’s kind of a general point. And then the other thing is really how to balance the communal needs that existed prior to the storm with the newfound and compounding disaster needs, and the resources that city, state, volunteer organizations, and community organizations have. So, I’ve noticed that Occupy has definitely kind of been the almost, like, filter between all those at this point — in Coney Island, and perhaps in many other places.”

NYCHA v. Private Housing

“Another interesting dynamic for Coney Island is the NYCHA housing and the private housing. Two very separate needs — very related needs, but, you know, if you have a building with 1250 people and a home, obviously there’s different needs, as I mentioned. With that being said, not only is there the dynamic of the buildings versus the private homes, there’s also, kind of, internal communities within those homes and buildings. So, there’s a large-scale, and mostly elderly, Russian population in Coney Island and, I believe, Sheepshead Bay, which needs to be interfaced with, and we don’t have enough translators at this point, or really in-roads with the community. There’s also a large Chinese community as well; same problems.


Cleanup & Construction Help

“Also, mold and cleanup. I know there’s been a great effort in a couple of the other areas — in the Rockaways, in Staten Island, to do that. And Coney Island, unfortunately, is just getting off the ground. So I think whomever’s been doing that can hopefully network with the guys out in Coney, because we really need it, and people have been living with the mold for, you know, close to a month… or a month at this point.”

Info to Disperse

“Lastly, just the — kind of, dispersal of information has kind of been non-existent out in Coney Island — that’s legal rights that people have… you know, obviously, information about rallies, like we just heard about in terms of NYCHA, and otherwise. So anyone who does printing and graphic design — yeah, that’s it. I’m done. I’m done early. Thank you.”

Becky: “Done, one minute early! Woo!”

Drew suggests he ask the group for help with translation.

Eric: “Translators. Who can help out?”

Some back-and-forth around who can speak Russian.

Becky: “Next, we have medical.”

Drew: “Oh, I forgot to do this — if you are working or involved at all with whoever is coming to speak, can you please stand up, just so the room can see you and maybe connect with you later? Medical? Is there anyone doing medical? Stand up? Excellent, thank you.”


Rockaways: Working w. Communities & Medical Orgs

Margaret Mary: “Okay, so I’m Margaret Mary; I’m doing medical. I’m primarily now located at the Rockaways. Beforehand, I was doing dispatch and other things like that. I can speak primarily to what we’re doing at the Rockaways, which is building relationships with Mt. Sinai as well as the Global Health Initiative, and we’re also working to build relationships with community organizers. We’ve been doing things such as — we just started a meeting with the community, and asking what do they want and what do they need from us. We’re moving away from providing immediate care as clinics open into forming relationships with the clinics and with people who want care, and trying to figure out what they want, and trying to work as advocates for that need, such as creating a fund so that we can get things like P100 masks, which people have been requesting, and infant masks, and pediatric masks that people have been asking for — not just N95 masks —  and trying to get funding to cover the $45 pay that folks have to pay for to go see folks at Father Adobo’s clinic, in order to be seen. So that’s primarily what we’re doing; we’re trying to create more community meetings and work more with folks, and try to escalate and work into being patient advocates. And, you know… that’s one minute?”

Drew: “You’ve got plenty of time.”

Medical Dispatch

Becky: “Hello — I guess I’m talking about medical dispatch. We have been talking about how it’s starting to become sort of obsolete, especially as we’re losing Jacobi at the end of this week, and we’ve been working out of this space. It’s moving out to the sites more. We’ll still be answering email, but we’ll start moving away from taking as many phone calls, and we’re not going to have somebody on dispatch all day, because it’s starting to feel like a waste of time and there’s better stuff that us medics can be out doing. So, just trying to put the word out there that that’s a thing that’s happening. It’s sort of going to be a phase-out; it’s not just going to stop. But we’re going to lessen promoting the number as a thing.”

OK, next, Staten Island.


Olympia Hub

George: “What up? This is Staten Island.”


George: “Everybody at Staten Island, stand up real quick — do the thing. At 1128 this week, the church we were working with has decided to — because our capacity has just grown way more than we have the people for. So our site is now open at 1128 on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday — so, it’s closed Tuesday / Thursday — from 11 to 4:30pm. That’s always subject to change; as we get more people, we can better serve the community; we’ll be doing that and getting more community members involved. Make the Road and the American Red Cross have moved in with us — Make The Road is now in the same building as we are in, canvassing the Hispanic community, getting to undocumented needs, and the American Red Cross is in the gymnasium right next to the facility that we’re in. I see a point of information over there, is that what’s happening?”

Someone: “No — can you just enunciate?”

George: “Oh, my bad. All right. Yeah, so…”


George: “That’s cool, all right. It’s whatever. Uh-huh. So, Make the Road has just moved into the building that we’re in; the American Red Cross is in the building next door. I’m not entirely sure what the Red Cross is doing there, but they’re there. We’re trying to figure that out.”

Ongoing Cleanup & Canvassing

“We’ve gutted a lot of the houses in our neighborhood, and a lot of the electricity is coming back up, but the mold issue is — we’re in crisis mode with that; we need experienced mold remediation folks to come to Staten Island, give trainings and the like. Let’s see, what else is here? We need — we’re working on getting heaters and doctors; we need that right now — it dropped like 20 degrees this past week, so it’s not — it’s a very bad look for people out there. We’re trying desperately to coordinate with all the sites in Staten Island, and I know people have been aggravated with 1128 especially, and Staten Island in general — we’re sorry about that. 1128 Olympia Boulevard. We’ve started using Mappler, this amazing app that can — you can set the parameters for, and input the data and it will show the residencies that you’re going to on the map and what their needs are, so we’re trying to do that, to better utilize our canvassing data.”

Needs: Regular Volunteers, Medics, Housing

“What we need is dedicated volunteers that can show up regularly, doctors, and heaters in the immediate term. Let’s see… a lot of housing; there’s been a lot of displaced folks; FEMA’s not getting vouchers to anyone right now. They think they’re working with the city on that, and that’s not happening. Getting folks into short-term housing right now is a desperate, desperate need.”

“And if I’m forgetting anything — I think we’re good.” Crickets chirping. “Oh, I think I’m out of time, so it’s whatever.”

Drew: “All right, nice. Thank you. Who is next? Excellent?”


Social Media Strategy

Susanna: “Hello everybody! Can you hear me? My name’s Susanna; I’m reporting for Interoccupy and social media. So, the big thing with that is it would be very helpful if there was a roster of folks working on social media; it’s hard to know who’s doing what; a bunch of people signed into the same Twitter accounts — who’s tweeting? Who’s dealing with the reportbacks on tweets and whatnot? So there was hope to make sort of, like, a Google group. If you’re interested in being — and having a conference call to talk about the social media strategy and communication going forward, if you’re interested in getting involved with that, you can talk to Jackrabbit tonight. Or if you are on the Google Doc that has a list of social media people, you’ll get an email about it, and hopefully this week there’ll be a big conference call about it.”

Occupy SMS

“Additionally, there was talk about cutting down the number of Twitter accounts that we have, because there’s a whole bunch, and maybe get a little redundant and confusing to use. So, that will also be discussed on this impending conference call. People are encouraged to use OccupySMS, which you can get to at; it’s a way to sort of do mutual aid — like, you don’t have to go to a distribution center. Someone can be like, “I need my basement pumped,” and then someone with a pump can go there. It’s sort of a cool system like that.”

Conference Calls

“There are, on Monday and Thursdays at 9pm, coordinating people conference calls that everyone is encouraged to join. The information seems to be on that yellow placard, so look at that. And then, very quickly, I don’t know how many people know about Sahana, which is this new system that we’re trying to implement about… sort of dealing with requests and then fulfilling requests for needs and supplies. We’re working on doing — get training set up for that; different documents and whatnot, but it should — the way that it’s set up is you can easily just type in a request for supplies and then a request for volunteers, and then those can be filled and they can be tracked. So, trying to streamline that process, and it creates one centralized database that everyone can see in the different hubs and distribution centers.”

“That’s it.”

Drew: “Cool. Thank you very much! Next!”


Closing the Space

Lauren: “Hi, I’m Lauren; I’m from Jacobi. Can everyone from Jacobi please stand up and show your faces? You lovely people. There they are!” Cheers. “Lovely. Thank you Jacobi.

“So, what’s changed for us since we last spoke? We have less volunteers, less supplies, and less dispatches coming through our doors. And just as a reminder that — the space we have will be closing on Friday. We’ve made a decision as a space to stop accepting donations at the end of day Wednesday. All of this will be distributed on social media, but that means on Thursday and Friday Jacobi will not be accepting donations. If donations come in, then we’ll try to send them directly out to the affected sites, or redirect them.

Clean-up & Rehab

“The biggest things that we’re working on are finding a new space — obviously is high in our mind — and leaving the space, this space, in good condition… to make sure that we give really, like, a great sort of — a gesture of gratitude to this space for the amazing generosity that they’ve shown us. And also, retaining our volunteer base from Jacobi — there are a lot of people that call this space their home, and we want to make sure that we respect that and also redirect their volunteer efforts to new spaces.

Needs: Clean-up, New Space & Volunteer Retention

“Our needs… when we are doing rehab on the space, we’re going to need volunteers to come in and do some work with us. We need a place to put our supplies and donations — i.e. a new space of some kind. And we are hoping to schedule a volunteer weekend after we’ve moved out of this space, so that we can work in this space as a thank-you and really, like… we’ve put a lot of wear-and-tear on this space, which is very old, and I think a lot of the sort of coordinating folk at Jacobi are working on figuring out exactly how we can give back to this community, because they’ve really been amazing. So obviously, our other needs are figuring out how to keep Jacobi volunteers around and staying in communication with volunteers.

“Our two top needs are finding a space and rehabilitating this space. It’s very redundant, because we have very essential needs. Also, keeping our volunteers. So, that’s what  it is.

“I think we have… a concern about losing volunteers who identify as a part of our community, and our other concern is people forgetting about what’s going on here, and that coupled with us also moving out of this space having some kind of big impact on this effort — in terms of bringing in volunteers, in terms of keeping the volunteers we have, and in terms of keeping the people who’ve been affected by Sandy in the consciousness of New York. I think we’re all kind of, like, in business as usual. A lot of people are going back to business as usual. And so I think our big concern, as a Jacobi community, is making sure that even as we transition out of this space, we keep the sense of community and the sense of solidarity with the victims of Sandy and making sure that our volunteers and coordinators stay engaged.

“Oh — I just had one more thing, which is that we had a question come up about what to do with additional stuff, other than take it to the Salvation Army, and we learned that the Seventh Day Adventists are around and any site that we’re associated with can schedule pickups with them to take away clothes, or any other unwanted… things that aren’t useful for our people. And that was our info.”

Drew: “Thank you! All right. Who’s next?”

Becky: “We now have Breezy Point.”


Dire Need for Resources & Volunteers

Miles: “Okay. What has changed since last week? I don’t think I’ve ever had an update from Breezy to the whole community, but… what has changed since last week? It is cold, and raining — we don’t have enough gear. I could answer all the other four questions in one: resources. I need manpower and supplies, really bad.

“The biggest things we’re working on: okay, so I just became a volunteer firefighter, officially. So I want to try to use that to our advantage as much as we can; I’d like, maybe, some help trying to figure out how best to do that. Because I can now walk into government buildings and demand respect.


“Like, I had a meeting with OEM yesterday… I — I’m talking to the Department of Health, the Red Cross. I can — we can get herbs dispatched now. So, basically, what I need is for more people and — we’re really short on resources down there. Like… yeah.”

Drew prompts him to give contact info.

Miles: “Give them my phone number? No, I don’t want to do that.”

Luke: “Are there other people from Breezy Point here?”

Miles: “No, I’m — yeah, right there… amazing folks. I’d like to talk to some more individual people after. I really need to get these things together more. I think I’m done for a minute; I’ll speak again in a little…”

Drew: “So, if you want to talk about Breezy Point, or have any information on how to get more resources, talk to this gentlemen. And can the two other people who work with Breezy please stand up, just real quick, so folks can see them? Thank you. Thank you all.”

Becky: “Basically they’re really overwhelmed with a really intense disaster area, and not enough people and not enough supplies, so… I was just talking to Miles during our breakout, and this is the first that I’ve really heard much about them, so I know that we haven’t been giving them much attention ourselves, at least not from what I’ve heard, and I generally hear a lot about what’s going on. So that’s a really important thing for us to pay attention to, I think, and… start figuring out with you.”

Drew: “All right, who’s next on the reportbacks?”

Miles: “Sorry guys, I’ve been in Breezy all day and I’m a little tired.”

Someone: “Thank you, Miles.”



Gelsey: “Hello! My name’s Gelsey, I’m from Sheepshead Bay, pop-up recovery. So, for those of you who don’t know, we’re on a corner outside in Sheepshead, and we’ve managed to keep going for the last three-and-a-half weeks and help a lot of different people within the community. We arrived a week after the storm, so the need was pretty great, and we’ve been focusing mostly on triage, with supplies and clean-up. A lot of the houses we’ve been helping have been under, like, 12 feet of water at one point. So we’re moving now into — so, what has changed. We’re moving now into less triage, less giving supplies, but needing more clean-up help, more debris removal, definitely moving into demo and mold remediation or mold treatment — helping with that kind of stuff. Yeah, we kind of — things like that get a little lax during the week, mostly because we’re short on volunteers — as I think everybody is — and then we try and organize really big ramp-up efforts for cleaning and removal, over the weekends.”

Canvassing & Cleanup

“Let’s see — the biggest thing we’re working on is — there’s, like, two halves — there’s the advocacy and canvassing part — so basically outreach with other community organizations; we’ve had some really great interactions with Bay Improvement Group lately, and then, also, the other half is debris removal, demo, and mold. We just really need a lot of help getting that going and finished — and also just contractor bags. Who can ever have enough of those?

“What do we need to accomplish… we need to continue working on debris and removal and mold. We’re really very concerned about a lot of people who can’t leave their houses being caught there, and their health and their safety. A lot of families who need to be placed in housing — we’ve been working with a lot of other different sites and other community organizers who’ve been doing clean-up and supplies and stuff like that, and it’s just — It’s overwhelming at points. So, we need help with that.

“Top two needs in the area is: women and manpower; we need volunteers — we need consistent volunteers. We have a serious lack of consistency and just, like, flow during the week. A lot of us who are coordinating the site have full-time jobs and can only do coordination remotely and it’s just so hard to make sure that we’re still there. And we’ve all been doing such a great job.

“And then, the other need is just debris and mold demo. It’s kind of redundant. And canvassing — so just sending people out, and organizing that way.

Concerns: Resident Health & Site Sustainability

“What we’re most concerned about right now, like I said before, is the mold becoming unmanageable and the health and safety of our residents in the community. We’re really afraid of the sustainability of the site, as it is outdoors, and this is the East Coast, with weather. And so — you know, we’re working on that. And then also support with volunteers — just having people come out — it’s a lot to ask folks to stand outside all day. And then, advocacy for everybody who needs it.

“That’s it. Thank you.”

Drew: “Thank you. Our next reportback — New Jersey!”


Matching Resources to Needs

Larry: “Hi everybody! My name’s Larry; I’m from Philly, and I work with Jersey, and I’m standing in New York. Interstate solidarity. Okay, so… I think that atnswering the four questions would be a bit superfluous for me, and I apologize to the folks who organized the meeting for that, but I’m esssentially just going to try to convey a lot of information to you at one time and then ask the folks that are here from New Jersey to fill in the gaps for me.

“I know there are a few people here, and people have done this before — these folks in Jersey really deserve this, too. If you’ve worked in Jersey, can you stand up please? You deserve acknowledgement.”


“These folks have been working really, really hard. Okay, so… the first question was, where are we that we weren’t two weeks ago? We’ve — this. This is the answer to that question. We have developed our kind of communication infrastructure that we’ve kind of built over the past year with Interoccupy, using email addresses, loops, the Civi system and the Sahana system. The whole point of the project is since there’s an entire state that we’ve got to cover, we’ve got to really kind of solidify the network of resources and people, and making sure that they’re getting matched. So far that’s been done in a kind of analog way, because we’ve been trying to put these pieces into place so that they can be kind of set off at a moment’s notice. That’s going to happen very, very soon, as… the person who mentioned Sahana earlier.

“So essentially what we — the basis of what we’ve been doing is — we have a community needs registry that’s on the page for Occupy Sandy NJ. So, — the first link is a community needs registry. And by the way, it’s the same site as Occupy Sandy; just different links. There’s no us, you here — this is all we. I just want to kind of throw that out there on the table.”


“And so, that community needs registry, that people can… either community members can input their data directly, or canvassers who go out… oh, dear.” Time’s up! “Okay — or canvassers who go out and have a paper form that correlates directly to the questions on the website can enter it too. What we’re doing — data is going into the Civi system, and then now we’re going to go into Sahana, too, to make sure we’re connecting needs to resources directly. So, essentially, we’re doing dispatch and coordination from afar. Because… one of the other questions — what’s your biggest inhibition? — Is that we’ve got a state.

Need for Organizers

“There are about eight to 10 things that would qualify as what we’d call a hub, which we use for distro and volunteer muster points. We have a work day every Saturday, and it’s kind of a lot of the same things that people have been saying about consistent volunteers. I’ve got to say, our biggest need — and this is where you come in — is we need organizers. If you identify yourself as an organizer… we need probably two people for every one of our sites, so that we can make sure that the community is having the information conveyed the way it needs to, and vice-versa. We want to make sure those lines of communication are open, and we can’t do that unless we are organized ourselves. We have resources, we’ve got the tools; now we just need the people.

“The only other thing I would say is this — is I have 40 copies of this [document]. This is pretty much how Jersey has been working — the communications structure and the volunteer canvass program. If you identify yourself as an organizer, I would love to give you this, so that way you know how to plug into Jersey; we can open those lines of communication, and do those backwards and forwards. So, I’m going to — just find me after; I’ve got a big pink scarf and a commie hat, and I’d love to give you this. Thanks everybody so much — you all — this is the second time you all have changed the world. Great job.”

Drew: “Thank you, thank you. Who’s next?”


Cleanout Effort Status

Andy: “Hey big room! All right, so — I’m Andy, and I do some of the construction and cleanup stuff — specifically, though, in the Rockaways with hopes of expanding out of that area. And I just also want to throw out the fact that there are a lot of cleanup operations in other locations outside of the Rockaways. I hear Staten Island has pretty much cleaned up its own borough. So, to go from there — all right, what has changed since last week? We’re definitely starting to do a lot more mold remediation, which means we’ve got a lot of the drywall out, and now we’re starting this process of really, like, treating the wood, sanding, adding the solution to it, and then painting over. Just because I have some ears here — if you see people putting bleach all over their houses, tell them that doesn’t work very well, and that they should think about using vinegar, Borax, and hydrogen peroxide mixed together, and that would work better. That’s just a really — and in general, we’re fighting rumors like crazy about mold and it’s an uphill battle.

Respond & Rebuild Trainings

“So, what’s the largest project you’re working on? I mean, I guess it’s the project — I don’t really know how to answer that question. We’re called Respond and Rebuild, we’re at 74th and Beach Channel Drive in the Rockaways and we run volunteer crews out of that space daily, and we also do trainings — mold trainings, team leader trainings. There’s two trainings in the Rockaways on Saturday, one at Beach 100 and one at Beach 38. So, come on down.”

Someone: “What time?”

Andy: “I’m not exactly sure. I will — It’s going to — I’ll write — “

Someone: “Will it be on the website?”

Andy: “Yeah, it will. And it’ll also be up on that — I’ll put the information right here. You’ll be able to query our website.

Needs: Volunteers & Money

“So, what do you need to be able to complete your projects? Man, a lot of people have been saying, like, they need volunteers — shit, we need volunteers, too. But, so, I’ll go with the positive here — it’s, like, if we need volunteers, then we’re doing a lot of volunteer outreach. Like, we’re approaching schools, we’re approaching church groups, we’re doing things like this — like, using the web tools we have to seek out volunteers. There are volunteers out there, and if you don’t have a lot of volunteers, you should probably think about your volunteer outreach strategy. Because that’s going to be a constant need and it’s going to go down no matter what. So, what else…?

“What do we need for our projects? Oh, yeah — so I said, yeah, volunteers, mold removal, and — oh yeah, the thing we need for our projects is money, to build houses. Okay, so…” Time’s up, and the crickets start chirping. “Oh, crap. So, two things I need to complete my project — I need people to begin to switch their mindset a little bit from, like, direct relief, to start thinking about what it means to, like, take on these swaths of, like, empty houses — thinking about how to be political a little bit when it comes to thinking about how to force — force where, like, the money goes and really digging into that sort of mindset, more than just, like, making meals and getting your hands dirty. Like, we need that very much.

“And what are concerns? It’s getting cold; homeowners are putting their drywall up over moldy beams, so that’s a big concern of ours.”

Drew: “Thank you.”


Easton: “All right. 520! Can 520 stand up? Awesome. What has changed since last week? It’s been quiet; we’ve had a lot less volunteers, a lot less cars coming through; we’ve also been working on streamlining, kind of, dispatch with these box trucks we’ve got and also these vans we’ve got.

Separating Volunteer Intake from Goods Distribution

“And big thing — we discovered that we need to basically separate out the three main functions of the space — there’s communications, there’s volunteer orientation and intake and dispatch, which I kind of lump together, and then there’s intake and distribution of goods. We need to separate the volunteer intake / dispatch side of things from the distribution of goods. There’s been a lot of issues with — just basically our capacity to deal with those two things in the same space. There’s been security issues, all sorts of things, and the church has asked us to make changes. So, considering the convenience of our space, and how close it is to trains, I think that the obvious answer is to find a new place for distribution. So, we are going to be trying to do that by Saturday — and indeed, we need to do that by Saturday.


New Space & Responsible Phase-Out

“So, ‘what are the two biggest things you’re working on?’ The two biggest things we’re working on: definitely finding new space, like Jacobi. And I would say the other one is to find a way to responsibly phase out of the space that we’re in, so making sure that we can clean up after ourselves, and also not just one day cut off and say goodbye, but put the information out there with enough time.

“What do you need to get these things accomplished? We need to meet with other folks who are looking at new spaces. So if actually any people who have been looking at new warehousing and distribution kind of places could raise their hand right now? I think that there’s some people who have been working on that. OK, great. Maybe we could try to meet at the end of this meeting. That would be really good.

Get Distro Orders in by 4pm

“Other needs we have is we need sites that we are distributing goods to try to get their orders in by 4pm the day before, so that we can figure out how to get our box trucks out there in a really organized fashion, so we can do big drop-offs and just load up the trucks the night before.

“And, we have no concerns.” Laughter.

Drew: “Al right, thank you. And I will point to a corner of this room at the end for people who want to work on space and congregate and chat with each other. So, next up!”


Transitioning into Community-Building Phase

Tamara: “Hi guys. I’m here from Rockaways!” Cheering. “Okay, so I’m kind of doing this the way we need to get the information out. Our biggest thing right now is transitioning to the next phase; that’s a big job. There’s a lot going on there, and the needs haven’t been met yet that existed before. So, we’re working on stuff like political education, distribution, community needs, political action. We’re trying to set up a community council structure with the people who live there, so that they can be as big a part of the aiding of their community as they need to be. We’ve involving the residents in everything.

Battles with Developers

“And we’re working on picking our future battles in terms of developers, disaster capitalism, and the Rockaway pipeline. To that end, there are families in the Rockaways who’ve been stuck in Manhattan at their emergency housing. They just did their own public action today; we sent a couple of folks down there who met with them and made contact with them. And — I don’t know; Sean, did that guy come tonight, or no?”

Sean: “No, not yet.”

Tamara: “Okay. But we — we are in touch with those guys. And, I mean, it speaks to the broader problem in the Rockaways, which is that people think it’s over. And it’s not over; it’s in fact getting worse in a lot of ways. And that takes me to health and displacement.

Health & Displacement

“So part of what we’re facing are dire immediate needs — people’s prescriptions running out that can’t be refilled; people needing to get to doctor’s appointments, that now people don’t realize that it’s still tough for people to get to their doctor’s appointments. We’re in a health crisis right now out there right now — it’s really cold. It’s really, really cold. And just because people have electricity, it does not mean that they have heat. It does mean that people stop looking at them, though. And so one of the other health crises that we’re dealing with is mold remediation, and a big problem with that is that the housing buildings — the public housing buildings — also need mold remediation. Where do you put people who live in public housing when they have to get their houses redone?

“So we have a temp. housing crisis. AKA, there is none. And what there is is not effective. They have people stuck in Manhattan; their kids are in school. How are they supposed to deal with that? If they have a job, how are they supposed to deal with that? We have businesses out there that are opening up that haven’t done their mold remediation. They couldn’t have done the mold remediation, because we’re only four weeks in. So, how could they possibility have cleaned out their businesses right now? But they’re opening, and they’re serving food, and they’re seeing the public. Yeah — they don’t know it’s there. They cleaned the walls! Come on, they bleached their walls, guys. It’s cool.

“Okay, so our needs — we — I think the biggest need right now is the publicity that there is an ongoing need.”

Someone: “Right on. Right on.”

Tamara: “We need tools; we need masks; we need a lack of misinformation — we need to clarify the misinformation. less misinformation.

Media Presence

“One thing we were just talking about over there in the group is that, you know, we’re in the Rockaways. Like — and we’re not on social media, and we know we have awesome people here doing social media, and doing media. And we need someone to be watching the media — the stories that are going out. And I don’t mean the stories that are coming out here — I mean the stories that are coming out other places. We need someone to kind of report back to us and be like, “Hey, we just saw this on the news. Is that a bunch of shit, or is that real?” Because I’m going to tell you: a lot of times, it’s not real. The problems are not solved, and the happy little button that the news puts on it at the end is not true, necessarily. So I think that actually if someone could start monitoring our media presence in terms of what the media is saying and what they’re putting out there, that would say words about what information we need to be putting out there.

Canvassing & Needs-Assessment

“We are currently assessing our new needs through canvassing, because at this point we don’t know what we need. I mean, we know the needs we addressed, and we know what the needs are going to be that are coming up, but we don’t necessarily know who applies to whatever. We don’t know that they’ve been fixed; we don’t know that they’ve not been fixed. And we don’t know who is still stuck. So, that’s what we’re at now.



“We’re working with a bunch of organizations, community-wide — the Rockaways have sort of come together on a lot of fronts. That includes all of our Rockaway hubs, and includes the community hubs; that includes outside organizations who want to help the Rockaways. It’s — it’s not fixed, at all. It’s a mess. And part of that, now — the problem is that, as everyone is saying, volunteers are dwindling. New York Cares is stepping in in a couple ways in the Rockaways, and I think that what they can offer, as an organization, is volunteers, and it might not be a bad idea to use them for their volunteers, which they can provide on multiple fronts. They’re really good at that; that’s what they do. That’s what New York Cares does.

“And on specifically nitty-gritty stuff: we’re working on volunteer and resident waiver forms. In terms of the information that’s been passed around; in terms of what people are doing; what people know about, in terms of volunteers. And volunteers that do come out — do they know that they’re going to deal with mold? Do they know how dangerous mold is? Do the residents know how dangerous mold is? That’s something we can really provide to people that are out there.


“Clothes-washing is a big deal. It’s silly, it’s small, but it’s so major right now.

Inter-Hub Communication

“And then, communication between hubs, which is kind of a big deal for us right now. I think that’s it.”

Drew: “Thank you very much. Next, Legal?”


Clinics & Canvassing

Joseph: “Hi, this is Joseph, reporting for legal. Guys who are working on legal — there’s just a few in the back in the room — can you stand up? OK, Thanks.

“So, what’s changed? This week there have been more clinics; they’ve been experimenting with canvassing door-to-door. And critically, what’s changed is we actually have a few more volunteers this week — just a few. But what that means is we’re now able to work on assigning point people for legal to specific communities. Not every community immediately — we’re working, sort of, initially off of a couple. But we’re going to have point people for Coney Island, Staten Island, and for a couple of locations in the Rockaways.

“What that allows us to do is to give more targeted attention, instead of just relying on clinics. So, that’s what’s changed.”

Needs: Communication to Get Help Where Needed

“And what do we need? We need your eyes and your ears, so if there are legal needs that are unmet, we won’t know about them unless we hear from you, unless we hear from canvassing. So my message to you guys is, you don’t need to be a legal expert — I’m certainly not a legal expert — but if you see an issue which is around — you know, FEMA, or insurance, or unemployment, or any court stuff, or insurance or housing — any issue that feels like a legal issue, — drop us an email: We’re going to have point people really soon, but we can get back to you fairly quickly, and we can find a way of getting help to you if we hear what that need is. So, that’s pretty much our top needs.

“Our concern is just that right now, there’s loads of people on the ground; that makes us more effective than some other organizations offering legal care, and we kind of want to make the most of that. So, we want to make the most of this — this movement, and this community, to get help where it’s needed. Because oftentimes, you know, the people who are coming to the clinics — they’re the people who can get out of the house, and they’re the people who can help themselves. There are lots of people who can’t come to the clinics who need help, so please — send us an email, and we will work out a way to get help to those communities. And that’s it — anything from the back of the room? Okay, that’s it for Legal.”

Becky: “All right. Storyline? You’re next.”


Marisa: “OK, hi! I’m Marisa — “

Luke: “I’m Luke.”

Gathering & Coordinating Media

Marisa: “So, there was a Storylines/storytelling card up, and so we basically met to talk about media and telling stories and Livestream, video, photo, written, whatever you have — independent media. And… so, I don’t know if — so, people have been shooting, and people have been taking photos — you all have smartphones, right? Well, not everyone. But a lot of people have phones that can take pictures, and you can post them, and you can spread them, and that’s been happening, and that’s great. But it hasn’t really been in any kind of organized way. Like, we haven’t met as a media group or coordinated. So basically, that’s what we talked about.”


Regular Updates from Sites

Luke: “One thing — one of my needs is, I’ve been looking for a long time, and I’ve been trying to get volunteers who can do regular updates from the sites — just take out your smartphone, shoot it, we’ll put it up somewhere, just so that we have this constant presence. We’re also talking about doing a series of small instructive documentaries — videos, I shouldn’t say documentaries — but on subjects such as mold remediation or, you know, very frequently asked questions, so that we can just refer people to these things — take a look at this, instructions, et cetera. What else?”

Collaboration with Volunteers

Marisa: “Let’s see — what do we need to complete projects? So, mainly we need collaboration with all of you. So let us know if you have an event or action, or if there’s a particular issue, if you find someone that has a really amazing story that needs to get out, please contact us. Our listserv is, or visit us after this is over.


Keeping the Story Alive

“And yeah, I guess concerns — concerns are that — the mainstream media is going to forget about this. People are going to think that this is all over, that the relief is done, that there isn’t anything else going on. So we need to remind them that there are all of these problems that are persisting — that people still, you know, don’t have electricity, don’t have heat. You know, dealing with mold; housing issues — the displacement. All of this. These are ongoing concerns, and so we need to make sure that we produce our own media and do counter-narrative so that it gets out — so the stories get out.”

Community Pushback & Mistrust

Luke: “And another concern — we’ve been getting a lot of pushback from groups who are out there who are maybe a little bit protective of their projects and protective of the people that they’ve built connections with — and built these relationships with. We are not vultures. We are on your side; I don’t — we don’t make any money from this. We are doing this to get the message out there. So, yeah.”

Marisa: “And there’s also — there’s a lot of projects going on. Storyline is actually a particular project, so we met about livestream and media, but Storyline is its own project, and they’re collecting audio and written testimonies, oral history accounts, and mapping them, so you should check that out too. They have a website.”

Drew: “Thank you very much. All right, we have just a few more to get through, and then stuff happens.”

INCUBATION: Fundraising & Finances

Daniele: “Well, I would hate to delay stuff from happening. Okay — I’m Daniele, hi!”

Devin: “I’m Devin.”


Daniele: “And we are from the Incubation Team, which is currently on the wall as Fundraising and Benefits, but we do a lot more than that. So I know there’s been a lot of misinformation and conjecture floating around, so I’m going to answer the questions that people wrote on our board. Specifically: how much have you raised; what is it for; where is it going?

“So, my theory with fundraising — my theory with money and work — is that the money only makes sense if the money follows the work. Otherwise, there’s no point. So, really, what you have to decide is, what are the goals of the work? And so, with recovery work, there’s four steps: there’s direct aid — which is food, and heat, and medical attention so people don’t die; there’s cleanup, there’s rebuilding, and then there’s step four, which is a little more abstract, which is building sustainable communities and building deep ties into those communities. So the only way it makes sense to use any of our resources is to support that work.

“So basically, what we’ve decided is that we want to leverage the in-kind donations as much as we can. The hurricane honeymoon, as we can all see, is already starting to end, so as long as we can get in-kind donations of stuff and services and space, we really want to use that as much as possible.

Emergency Funds

“So the way we’ve been using the money so far is there’s an emergency fund for each location, and for regions, as regions are getting developed and as we’re finding point people in regions. Emergency funds cover things that are, like, emergencies — so, like, if we get 400 pounds of meat at 10pm donated, you might need to put it on ice. So, things like that — interim stuff.”

Devin: “And if you’re at a site and you don’t know have a clear point person — you don’t know who your point person is for getting these emergency funds — then you should email us at”

Daniele: “Yeah. So the way we’re basically structuring it is, there are these emergency funds, which are kind of, like, money to tide us over when the donations don’t fit. So, like, we got propane heaters but no propane one day. We bought propane. Things like that.

“Then… what we’re really building to is bringing the money to the communities, doing participatory budgeting with the communities, so they’re deciding what they want to build. Instead of the government deciding for them, we’re giving them an opportunity to decide, and we want to help leverage other resources — other…”

Applying for Emergency Funds

Devin: “Well, the basic gist is that there’s the emergency fund, which has been done hopefully at — site-by-site — people have been getting the resources that they need. If they haven’t been getting the resources that they need, they should email us at And then we’ll figure out where your point person is if they’re not there, and then we’ll try to solve the problem. The second — that’s the emergency phase.

“The next phase is the projects phase, where, basically, people submit projects through a form that you can find at Under the donate link there, there is more information about the Occupy Sandy NYC fund, and there you’ll find Apply for Support as a button. There’s a form. The form gives us information. We need more ‘us’ so that we can process more information, so we can allocate funds in a way that isn’t terrible, because money is a problem.

Participatory Budgeting

“But, anyway. So, the next — the final phase in all this is that we’re working with people who have deployed successful participatory budget programs around the city. There have been eight city councilmen who have used their discretionary spending to incubate participatory budgeting, where the community leads the budgeting process. And that’s something that we feel is an extremely high priority. If we can use the attention and the resources that this whole event has created to put participatory budgeting in the spotlight, to create communities — to help incubate community-led initiatives to do budgeting, then the flood of resources that’s going to come into these communities will actually — there’s a chance that more of that will get community — will be budgeted by the community and will be directed at the community, as opposed to the powerbrokers that usually capitalize on this experience.”


More Incubation Team Bottomliners

Daniele: “So, where we are right now: we’re working on process-writing, and we’re working on our documentation. Once we get all of our documentation solid and awesome, we’re going to put it online, so you can see it — so you can see what’s being spent all the time.

“So, things that we could use — we could use more bottomliners, we could use grantwriters, we could use people who want to work on, like, a resource-gathering group. We could use, probably, some more people who are interested in working with benefits. We could use people who want to go to these benefits — people are just doing benefits. They’re like, “We want to donate to Occupy Sandy! Can you send people to table?” If you’d like to table, please come and see me at the end of this; we’d love to send you somewhere to table.”

Resource Gatherings & Feedback

Devin: “And one last thing — we’re really hoping to create what we are considering calling ‘resource gatherings’, where we bring projects that are interested in getting resources; that are interested in getting support, to an event, and we bring a bunch of people with resources — not just, like, money as resources, but technical resources, with skills — and creating, like, mixer events where people pitch their projects, and where there’s a good amount of time and shelter, so that people want to come to these events, see what the projects are about, and really — and work with those projects to continue them going forward.

“The last thing is, like, we — I don’t think — like, we need to do a better job, and we need more people to get involved in the process to do that. And, like, people who are interested should email us at We need more feedback, the more the better.”

Daniele: “Okay, and then I have one, one last thing — sorry. If you have a big donor who wants to give you some awkward amount of stuff or has a question about getting a receipt, you can email And then I have one request for everyone in this community — we’re here; I’m at Jacobi, like, every day; I will be here after the meeting. If you have questions, if you have concerns — do not tweet them! Do not tell reporters — come and just come talk to us! We’re here, this is our community; the money follows the work, and that is it. Thank you.”

Becky: “Hey everybody! I know this is really long; and you’re going to start getting a little low-energy. So, I just want to take a minute, not talking, but just stand up a minute and stretch. You all look like you could use it; you’ve been sitting for a long time. And I just request that the rest of the people talking — and stand up slowly, instead of too fast. If you need to go get a drink of water — this is a report from the Volunteer Wellness — while you’re stretching, Volunteer Wellness status. Remember to eat real food; if you’re thinking back on the day, and you’re like, “Well, I had a granola bar earlier” — that doesn’t cut it. Drink water! Drink a lot of water. Stay hydrated. And also, try, try, try to get some sleep. If you’re going on three hours every day, you’re not going to be at your most effective. So, like, we love you all; you’re doing amazing work, please take care of yourselves.

“All right. Sit on down, let’s get back to these.”


Needs in the Rockaways

Dennis: “Hey, what’s up? I’m Dennis. And I’ve been a native New Yorker my whole life — I’m from Brooklyn; I spent every day of every summer of my life in Rockaway. My family’s from Staten Island; I live here in Brooklyn; I do my grocery shopping at Fairway in Red Hook. So this is… what you see — some of you people that might not be from around here — what you see is happening to me. What you’re trying to help is happening to me.

“I’ve been on the ground in Rockaway since Day One, doing the best I can — I’m just a kid from Brooklyn; I’m not a politician, I don’t have a lot of money. I’m you. Okay? Occupy Wall Street was a great movement; you coined the phrase “one-percenter”, and it’s fantastic. And Occupy Sandy has been warming people up to the Occupy movement. Where people may not have necessarily loved everybody so much before, they see the warm side and they — and they see that, and they love — they love everybody at Occupy for that. And so do I.

“And… I hear people talking about working with the Mayor now, and working with this, and — that’s great. I’ve been working with the Mayor since the first week, and I’ve been working with the Governor since the first week. I call Washington every day. And I’m still on the ground doing rescue missions every day. More than a month after Sandy — more than a month — I’m doing critical rescue missions tonight. Okay? We need immediate temporary housing, and we need a simultaneous program of reconstruction for the homes in Rockaway, so that they’re habitable for the residents there.

“This one-percenter, Bloomberg, that runs this city, is smart enough — believe it — and powerful enough to have a clear vision of what that beachfront property 20 miles from City Hall should look like. His vision does not include NYCHA housing; it does not include Section 8 housing. It does not include what costs the city money in some places.”

Someone: “Preach, preach!”

Dennis: “It includes resorts that funnel money into the city in a number of different directions.”

Someone: “Tell it.”

Dennis: “Okay? I’ve been working with people in Washington who are dedicated to empowering the community leaders that have grown organically through this disaster to decide — for the community to decide what the future of Rockaway is going to be — not for anyone else to do that. And I’ve been working every day, and I’m really, really close with people like Jerry, that Greg knows so very well at St. Gertrudes, and Prince Brown on 19th Street at Cornega, and all the way through the Rockaway, to Michelle Cortez at Veggie Island — and to Sal at Yana — people from all walks of life, who are gathering together for the community — for the community’s sake — and going to City Hall on Friday morning at 9:00. Because a minute and a half on local news is not enough coverage. When I talk to people in Amsterdam, my friends in California and Florida, and they say to me, ‘Wow, we looked at your Facebook wall; we had no idea it was that bad,’ and I tell them what I’ve been doing, and they just don’t know, it’s because the TV and the radio are keeping it unclear what’s going on on the ground down there. And we need support on Friday morning at City Hall so that it’s something newsworthy enough that the world will know about.”

Cheers and applause!

Cover-up of Deaths in Breezy Point

Miles: “Speaking of the news covering things up — the other day, I sent out my friend who’s a photographer — one of my good friends — out to around Breezy Point, while we were — I was working with my teams. And he took a lot of great photos and got out a lot of good information, but one thing in particular everybody, I think, should know.

“He met a woman who lived in one of those houses that burnt down, and she was there after… well, basically — there’s no easy way to put this… a lot, a lot more people died out there than the news is saying. The news maybe said 10 people died in Breezy. My friend…

A heavy sigh.

“She didn’t even want to give us this photo; my friend had to beg her for this photo. She had a film photograph of roughly 70 bodies on the beach in Breezy Point. And this kind of thing needs to get out there; I’m hearing similar things from Staten Island. Basically, what happened was.. as you know, the ocean came in. And then… it receded. And then a couple of days after that, all these bodies started washing up on the beach. And just in this photo — I don’t know all together, but just this photo alone, there was roughly 70.”

Miles’ voice has become very quiet. Someone shouts: “We can’t hear you.”

Miles: “70.”

The number rings for a second.

Miles: “Yeah. I could use some help gathering more information about this; we need to blow the lid off this, as it seems to be a trend. I have a photo of the photo; the photo was taken on film, and my friend had to beg her to take a digital picture of this photo. And I’m having trouble finding this woman again, because her house was burned down and she’s been relocated. But I’m sure more people must know about this. I mean, she was there, there was… we even just got a couple more bodies wash up onto the beach the other day. Yeah, if anybody would like to help get to the bottom of this, let me know.”

You could hear a pin drop in this room right now.

Drew: “Yeah, that just points out how important the work we’re doing is. So, let’s continue with reportbacks. You’re up.”



Next reportback. Sam: “Wow, everyone looks super dazed. OK, I’ll try and be really brief and go back to the other format, before. So what’s changed, and what are we working on? So — sorry,  this is training — anyone from training, can you stand? Okay. Actually, I’d like to say, anyone in this room who’s doing anything important, please raise your hand — that’s everybody; raise your hand. Okay. If it’s important enough that someone needs to be able to do it even if you’re not there that day, please raise your hand. Yes, everybody. No, don’t look at me. That means that you need to be part of this training conversation.

Trainers Group

“It doesn’t mean you need to come to extra meetings, and it doesn’t mean you need to, like, consider yourself one of the trainers, or whatever that means, but one of the projects of one of the iterations of the training working group is trying to map: what work is getting done, what work needs trainings in order to be able to do it — so, one of the roles and tasks associated with that work, so more people can do it. So a lot of what I’ve been hearing is we really need people to —  we need that written down somewhere, so that when someone comes in, or we have a large volunteer group, we can say, these are the tasks, and here’s how we train them, so someone else can take it over and have some ownership of that. Also, know what’s required of them. So that’s a project that’s been worked on. Adam, who just left, is working on that, but come see me about that.

“Other things — so training, at the beginning, was covering things like orientations for people who identified as volunteers coming through here and also 520; there still are orientation trainings happening at these sites; there were canvass trainings for awhile that were separate — one of the things that’s changed is that now a lot of the canvass training is folded into the orientation training. They’re also happening much less frequently, as we have less people.

Large Volunteer Groups

“One of the requests associated with that is that if people who are in comms are getting, you know, “I have a group of 100 people who want to come and volunteer” — please get that information to someone who’s doing the orientation training, so they can schedule those orientation traings and be more efficient with that time and what those people might be able to do. That would be Damien at 520 you can speak to, and Rachel is not here right now, but you can talk to me about Jacobi. Though maybe Damien is just the right person to talk to in general about that.”

Upcoming Trainings

Risk & Safety Training

“Upcoming trainings: Friday, 7pm at 520, there’s a risk and safety training — people will be talking about vaccinations, about tetanus and flu shots, environmental contaminants, equipment, and needs. That’s coming from some of the folks who’ve been working out in Rockaways. And that again — 7 pm at 520 — people who are going to be wanting to do that kind of work — oh no…” Crickets chirping tell her her time is up. “Okay, really fast — really fast. So, yeah, that is an upcoming training.”

Organizer & Community Engagement Training

“Another piece of the training universe is that the other piece of training that’s coming up now, rather than mostly dealing with people who are identifying as volunteers who are coming in to be sent out, there’s now a project going to places in, you know, starting in the Rockaways, but hopefully we’ll be able to spread to Coney Island, Staten Island, and other places where people are doing work and engaging with people who either are community members or people who are doing work in those sites who want to stay connected to those communities and running… whatever seems to be appropriate. So, one of the things that’s starting up in the Rockaways particularly is organizer training — some political education, but mostly things like how to organize the group that you’re working with so that it’s sustainable. Things like that. And that’s happening with one-on-ones, and that’s growing. The next meeting for people who are going to be doing that work is… we have a Doodle about that, but again, come see me if you’re interested in doing that kind of on-the-ground ongoing work.

Concern: Standardizing Training

“And… sorry — oh, some concerns. One of the concerns is that there is no standard training or any kind of standardization across people going out canvassing, or the kind of sensitivity and anti-oppression training that we were trying to give. That’s been hugely problematic. We don’t have that standardized across our own network; we certainly don’t have any kind of standardization or power over that in terms of Red Cross, FEMA, and the city. However, one of the things that we’re trying to do is coordinate with them so that they stop — I’m sorry — being assholes at the door. But so that we have some communication with them about what they’re doing.

“One of the concerns about that is that as we abstract and as we scale, losing some of the humanity that is really central to the work that we do and some of the kind of trainings that we do. And… I’ll drop the mic.”

Drew: “Thank you!”


Drew: “So, we just have three more. We have Red Hook — is anyone from Red Hook here prepared to give a… any kind of report back? Is anyone from canvassing prepared to give any kind of reportback?”

Yoni: “I didn’t do a Red Hook breakout, because there wasn’t one, but we had a Red Hook meeting earlier this morning.”

Drew: “Okay.”

Yoni: “Yes?”

Becky: “Yeah.”

Drew: “All right, keep it brief.”

Becky: “If you know what’s going on, it’s…”

Drew: “Yeah. If you have the information, you…”


Yoni: “So, this past week in Red Hook, there has been a lot of sustainable organizing. There’s still a need of volunteers. If you have volunteers, contact me or talk to me after this. This morning, we had a meeting regarding the New York City Housing Authority. In the meeting that they had yesterday, it was tenants that met with NYCHA, and they discussed a lot of the demands. A lot of those demands will be met — like, there will be concessions on the rent subsidies — that appears to be what it will be.

“So, this morning, we had a press conference to keep the pressure on NYCHA. There was a lot of things that I personally wouldn’t have done, but it was different efforts that the tenants were doing. So it’s really important that Occupy Sandy as a separate entity continues to support them in their decisions and to, you know, be there as an ally in solidarity with them.”

Drew: “Okay, thank you very much. Housing or canvassing?”

Larry: “I can talk about canvassing in Jersey.”

Drew: “Canvassing in Jer– is there someone from canvassing that can — did anyone meet regarding canvassing to answer questions?”

Sounds like not this week.

Drew: “OK, I think what that means is that the reportbacks are done, unless there’s anyone that can report back on something that was not covered. If you raise your hand…”


Question on Volunteer Database

Someone: “This is more of a suggestion I was having in the reportback.”

Drew: “Okay.”

Someone: “Apologies if I’m talking out of turn or being an asshole, but it seems like a lot of what I hear today is we all need volunteers. Correct?”

Affirmations from the meeting.

Someone: “A little bit? I know that everyone who has been volunteering here and in Clinton signed up on a big database — or signed up online. We have a database of how many thousands of people right now? I don’t know where this database is, but I think it would be — not to be rude, but I just don’t. It would be cool if whoever’s in charge can maybe talk to all the different coordinators around this room and say, “Hey, here’s the database if you guys want to pull form it.” We have people who say, “I’ve been working in the Rockaways,” “I can cook,” “I’m an electrician.” It would be a really good thing to have. offer it to people. I don’t know if it makes sense or if it’s a stupid idea, or what. So I don’t know who’s in charge of that; I’d help.”

Tess: “Drew, why don’t you explain the CRM?”

Drew: “Oh, okay. Yes. We have thousands and thousands of volunteers in a constituent relationship management system, which just means we have a list of email addresses of people and we know information about their skills and their availability. There are calls on Mondays and Thursdays at 9pm, and that would be an excellent time to get more information about that stuff — information about those calls is on these yellow signs.”

Tammy can answer the question.

Drew: “Oh, I’m sorry. And yes — you can answer the question.”

Answer on Volunteer Database

Tammy: “All right. So, we have a database of about 14,000 volunteers. We have all sorts of information. If you need a query about — so, you can do a query, like, if you want to know all the volunteers that have food preparation experience, we have that information in the database. And then we can send targeted emails to them. So, I — how do you do it? I think the best thing to do is to email and you say, “Hey, I’m just a volunteer, and I want an email sent to volunteers with these specific skills,” and they’ll send you back either a spreadsheet with all the email addresses and phone numbers so you can contact them yourselves, or you can ask them to send an email. Either way.”

“And every — so, here’s the other specific information. Every day, pretty much every day, we send regular emails to that list of 14,000 people.”

Jackrabbit: “Yeah, every night they go out to the group.”

Tammy: “Every night. And if you want to add anything to that email that goes out — any specific information: go here, do this, we really need volunteers who can do this, contact me — there’s a hub. It’s And there’s a bunch of useful links there — links for how to get stuff on the registry, links for how to get stuff up on the website, and also links for information you want to go out in that newsletter. So, anything you want to go out in that newsletter, go to that website — You should all know that — if there’s one thing you need to know, it’s that, because it has — all the organizing info is there. It has a roster of all the phone numbers and email addresses that are put in there. Everything you need to organize with each other is there, including a link to get information into the volunteer newsletter. Thank you; I’m done.”

Need for Inter-Hub Communications

Becky: “Alright; I’m going to make the quickest reportback of the evening — this is for what I’m terming Intra-occupy, which is, like, within Occupy Sandy or connecting the hubs. We need better communication between the hubs. I think we’ve been alluding to it with the asking for your contact information. Some of us are trying to find a car; we need a car that we can take to every single one of the sites in the coming days and check in with everybody in person — where they’re at, get pictures, get needs, get their contact information, get them set up with Google Voice numbers if they don’t already have one. What we need are: your cooperation when we come, any addresses you know of hubs, and your contact information now, if that is possible — and a car. Thanks.”

Drew: “Okay. I know — thank you, guys, for bearing with everything. So, we have a very special guest: Peter Yarrow is here. And he would like to sing a song. Would everyone — is everyone okay with having Peter come up? Okay, so I’m going to hand it over to Peter, and I’m going to stand in the back, and if you have any announcements, I’m going to take those announcements in. And after Peter is done…. Peter from Peter, Paul and Mary — “

Someone: “That’s right.” Applause; Peter strums his guitar.

Drew: “I’ll be in the back if you have any announcements you’d like me to say on the mic when we come back.”

Sing-a-Long with Pete Yarrow

Drew asks if folks are OK with having Peter, from Peter Paul and Mary, come up. He’s doing to the thing and then announcements when we come back. Well, this is a twist!

“There’s no easy walk to freedom / keep on waking and you shall be free / that’s how we’re going to make history,” Peter and friend have everyone in the pews singing. “Freedom for all, free at last, free at last.”

Wow, big applause!

Peter: “On October 4th, last year, right at the beginning of OWS, I came down with my daughter Bethany, her daughter — 4 and a half years old — to Occupy Wall Street, and then Christopher, Bethany’s brother came down, and subsequently I was at Occupy Denver, Occupy DC — and that — that whole movement… stood on the shoulders of the civil rights movement, when people realized in this country that it was ordinary human beings, not just powerful and wealthy people, who could change history. That’s when it became very apparent, in that movement. And singing was very important in it, because people were allowed to know that their hearts were bound together.

“What you are doing here is really transformational; it’s extraordinary — in fact, my daughter Bethany went out and saw what was going on in the Rockaways and it broke her heart. That’s what she has been doing with her life since then. I was across the ocean at the time… and when I just got back, I said I wanted to see what was going on. And I haven’t been out there, but I’ve seen you, and I must say, this is the long struggle — this is the road to freedom, what I’ve heard from you, that you are taking this matter into your own hands. It will not be the case that the established corporate interests or even the interests of the government will lead the way.

“It just has to come, on a person-by-person basis, the way you’re creating it. It is very hard — it is no easy walk, to successful alteration of the direction of a country — this country that has, to a certain degree, lost its heart. I sang in 63 with Paul and Mary… and we worked together through the anti-war movement, and it was the people that stopped it. So you should know that what you’re doing is extraordinary work.

“For Bethany to see what you’re doing is a great inspiration to me, and to hear me now with your humility, and you’re just walking, and that will set you free in the most profound of senses. I want to tell you that I visited Katrina about 3 years ago, and they did not have Occupy Katrina. And I visited houses that still were there, in the 7th and 9th wars, with a tic-tac-toe and a number in the left-hand corner with a number of people that died, and it’s still that way, and a number of people have not been able to return. And that will not happen because of what you’re doing. But it would happen if you were not doing it. It’s very challenging, because it’s not just a moment of recovery, as you know.

“It’s a matter of thinking about what is going to happen in the future, because of dramatic, radical climate change, and how to make sure that, as you have so powerfully said, the community itself rises up, as you said, and stays together. Because that is the bulwark of what must happen if we are to rescue our country form where it is going. So I salute you. I’m so proud to see that you are doing this. You are — you’re saving lives, you’re saving our country, you’re saving our ethic, you’re saving hearts. and your voices are important, too. When you — you do need a moment to sing together and be together and manifest your caring for one another, and that’s why the music is so good. So, I want to sing one another song for a moment, and then Bethany, who’s really been on the front lines with this, to speak. I know — I have the opportunity because of my history, but I’m not there — I haven’t been there, I was across the ocean, in Asia, but I’m back now, so I’m honored to be with you.”

Applause. Another song now, I think. “This one is good because you get to make up verses.”

Ahh — “We shall not / we shall not be moved…” He stops. “You don’t know the words — you just didn’t grow up with it. You’re just not pinkos, that’s all.” He starts to teach us the words. Becky: “We do know it!” Peter: “Oh, that’s OK — you know it.” But others don’t, so he continues amid some disorder — “Just like the tree —  mic check!” Laughs and applause, everyone now repeating: “Just like the tree / that’s standing by the water / we shall not be moved.” This is pretty hilarious.

“Young and old together” “WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED!” shouts everyone who is now dancing in the aisle, hilariously much more like a punk refrain than Peter’s croon.

“Listen Mayor Bloomberg — WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED!” At this, everyone forms a human wall facing the altar, evoking familiar forms of struggle we know we will need to return to some time probably quite soon:

Some more great words from Peter that I can add in later from the recording.


Meeting-Planning Breakout

Drew: “Thanks for sticking around; I have a few final announcements, and then we’re free to go. If you’re interested in helping plan the next meeting, which will be here next Tuesday, same time — same awesome long meeting — if you’re interested in building a process for making these meetings, please come up to the front of the stage after I’m done with these few little housekeeping announcements. If you are interested in space — finding space — please go into the back corner over there and talk to each other — Jacobi, 520 Clinton, Stan — Stan’s going to help you all a lot, he’s awesome.”


Becky: “Tomorrow night, there are a couple of things going on — first, the awesome guerilla screening of a film about Occupy Sandy and climate change at an undisclosed location, and I hear rumors that the Illuminator’s back in gear, which is super exciting. Followed by, 9pm at the Bell House, there’s a volunteer appreciation party — we’ve had a venue generously donated to us, live entertainment — I’m trying to find someone to fulfill volunteer needs such as haircuts, that have been asked a lot about. It’s going to be an amazing opportunity to interact with each other at a setting that is not a meeting.”

Drew: “OK, and lastly, the minutes for tonight’s meeting — pull out your pen and paper, people — I have a URL for you. These minutes, that will be up in the next couple of days, are at I’m just going to call meeting adjourned — thank you, everyone!”

Whew that was meta. OK that’s it. Thanks y’all.

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[accordion_panel title=”OccupySandy Network Assembly Meeting (11/20/2012)”]

Posted December 20th, 2012 by Pea • permalink


Next all-project meeting, as agreed at end of meeting: Tuesday, November 27, 7:30pm, Jacobi Church.

This transcript is also available as a printable half-page booklet (print double-sided) and a printable full-page book.

The minutes below were livescribed by @DiceyTroop during the meeting and then corrected as much as possible by @DiceyTroop and @TesselizaTC using audio from Patrick de Warren and from the Occupy Sandy Livestream.

Originally posted here.

  • November 20, 2012
  • St. Jacobi Church, Sunset Park, Brooklyn
  • 7:30pm
  • Facilitators: Brett, Dalit


      • JACOBI
      • CLINTON
      • RED HOOK
    • PRESS
      • TWITTER & CEL.LY
      • RED HOOK
        • CANARSIE
        • LONG ISLAND
      • LEGAL
      • HOUSING
      • TECH
      • KITCHEN
      • OTHER
        • NEW JERSEY


Brett: “If everyone could take a seat, please, we’ll get started. So, before we get started, if anyone needs translation or interpretation, we can do at least Spanish.” Looking for Pablo. “So, if anyone needs Spanish interpretation, we have the capacity to do that tonight.

“La necesitamos o no?” Seems like we don’t need it for tonight, but several Spanish-speakers announce their availability. “Cool beans,” says Juan Carlos. “Welcome to St. Jacobi.” Whooping from the audience.

Dalit: “Hi, I’m Dalit, and I’m going to be co-facilitating with Brett. So we want to check and make sure if it’s OK for Brett and I to co-facilitate…” Looks good. “It’s so amazing to see so many people; thank you for coming; I’m just excited to be here, and the work so far has been amazing, so I’m excited to hear more from everyone.


“So, I’m going to start off by going over some of the meeting agreements: first, step up, step back. We encourage people that if maybe in their lives or communities they haven’t felt encouraged to speak, to be empowered here and take the space to share your voices, and for those who maybe have always been encouraged to speak and have felt more comfortable through their lives, to step back and give space for other people in the conversation.

“The next agreement is W.A.I.T — Why am I talking? We have a lot to get through tonight, which is awesome, and we want to hear what everyone has to say. But, to respect each others’ time, just try and keep it concise, and keep your comments to things that are relevant for this large group; there’ll be an opportunity at the end for people to break out and have conversations about more logistical, nitty-gritty, micro things. So, let’s keep that in mind.

“The next is active listening — let’s pay attention to each other, and think about what one another is saying and, you know, process that in our responses.

“The next agreement is that this is an open meeting; we welcome everyone, but we’d like members of the media or press to ID themselves.

“OK, so it looks like we have a lot of people. Great. And is there anyone here that’s uncomfortable being filmed tonight?

Bill Dobbs asks the press to ID themselves.

Patrick: “OK, I’ll start. My name is Patrick, and I’m a filmmaker, doing a documentary about the Occupy Wall Street, and I’d love to be able to create kind of a mini-advertising for what you guys are doing on Sandy.

Sharon: “I’m Sharon… and I’m writing an article for the American Prospect.

“I’m Stacey… I’m a documentary filmmaker from Seattle. Today is the 184th day I’ve been on the road travelling the country, filming disaster.” Saved the best/worst for last. “Film’s called Storm Surge — stories of survival, resiliency and recovery after disaster

Nick Pinto, Village Voice.

“And I’m from the Daily News.

Dalit: “Can everyone hear me?” Brett: “Or do you want us to use microphones?

Wow, facilitators now using microphones. Dalit: “All right.” Cheers!

Dalit: “Did anyone have a problem being filmed? Do you want to ID yourselves, if you’d rather not be?” No one.

“The next agreement is regarding hand-signals that will help facilitate the meeting, so just to get everyone on the same page — later on, when we’re sharing thoughts about where we should go, you might want to agree with what someone is saying. If you do, you can go — I’ll take off my gloves to show you — you can just can up-twinkle to signal agreement; if you disagree, down-twinkle; if you want to express somewhere in the middle, mid-twinkles. If you hear something — a fact that you think is wrong and needs to be corrected, you can [hold your finger up like that, just to correct a fact. If you think that somebody has made their point and you’ve heard them and maybe they should wrap it up, you can [spin your hands], but let’s do that lovingly and with respect for one another. And if others are talking without a mic, and you can’t hear them, you can signal louder [with one finger pointing up in the air.]

“The next agreement is let’s respect each other’s time and voices;

“And lastly, to make I statements. There’s a lot of people in this room; there’s obviously lots of people and voices that aren’t represented here, so when we’re speaking make sure to frame things in terms of our own experiences.

“Those are the agreements.

Brett: “OK, so as we get started here, one thing to keep in mind — Sandy hit New York on Sunday, October 28th. On Tuesday, the 30th, folks in Red hook started to form Occupy Sandy. We’re now doing this community meeting on Tuesday the 20th — so we’ve been at this for 22 days. So — that — an incredible amount of things have happened in 22 days, but it’s only been 22 days. So questions of where are we going, what’s next, what exactly is Occupy Sandy, are conversations and questions that have happened in small circles, it’s happened in email threads, the community at large, the press — everyone is asking these questions. This meeting tonight is the first step in trying to address that question.

“But before we can just… dive into them and decide where we’re going, we have to have a shared understanding of where we’ve been and what’s currently happening on the ground. We need to understand the lines of communication as they currently exist, and power structures that formed in the early — it’s only been 22 days, but in the very early days when this started. We need to understand decisions that were made and power structures that were formed that continue to affect our work, so we can collectively move forward as a community based on equity. As facilitators, we acknowledge that this meeting is not going to meet the needs of every person in this room, let alone the community at large, but what we’re here to do is share and gather information so we can continue to do the amazing work we’ve been doing and move forward together as a community. Like I’ve been saying, we’re 22 days into this; we’ve built an incredibly expansive network, and it’s complicated. We’ve built an incredibly complicated network. We have at least 3 distribution hubs, dozens of recovery sites across three boroughs and we’re expanding every day. Nothing that has been created yet is set in stone; everything can change and evolve. So we request that we be constructive, we be critical, but let’s be gentle with one another.

“Just remember, it’s only been 22 days, so please let’s be gentle. We have a — as you can see, we have a very full agenda. So, we just got through the welcome and the meeting agreements; next, we’re going to go into a section of “where have we been” that will be as series of report backs, hitting on all these different topics that I’ll get into in a minute, and this is to understand the history of how this project got off the ground — to understand lines of communication and power structures as they currently exist.

“After that, we’ll go to “where are we now?” and get report backs from all of the various recovery sites that we’ve been working in as well as more specific areas like medical dispatch, legal, the housing initiative — things like that. And the idea of this is not necessarily to get into the intricate details of each site, but to go in broad strokes to understand the work that’s currently happening. So we can see in certain areas where are we no longer doing direct relief, where have we moved into canvassing and damage assessment, to then go into the next step of rebuilding.

“And then… so, hopefully we can do all that in an hour, that series of reports backs, and then we’ll go into a discussion of “where are we going?” So once — the idea is to get everyone here onto somewhat the same page of information, because the network is very compartmentalized. We have our different areas where we’ve been focused on, so in order for us to have this community-wide discussion of where are we going, we need to know what other people are doing and what work is happening across the network.

“And then, we want to open up space for kind of a — general questions and announcements — for example, to hear what is going on for Thanksgiving in various sites, or if there are things that have come up in the meeting. We’re going to try not to do direct response and questioning here, but we’ll have space for it later, as well as time for people to connect, exchange contact information, so that more intricate information-gathering or connections can happen outside of this meeting space. The idea is to utilize this time for information that is relevant to the whole group, so try to keep that in mind as you’re — if you’re one of the folks giving a report back. Please try to keep it as broad as possible.


“So, I think with that, we’d like to go into the “where have we been?” section — which, again, you know, we’re trying to utilize this time to understand how this project got off the ground. And it’s not necessarily to find fault or criticize any decisions that were made — because this project started because there was crisis and people on the ground needed support. So we want to understand how it came about.

“Do we have someone who feels like they can speak to origins? What the, you know, first day was like.


Bre: “Hi! My name is Bre. So, this whole thing kind of originated with a number of occupiers sending text messages to each other asking if they wanted to start a relief effort. So, that first day — actually, the night that it hit — so when the storm hit — we had a Facebook page made, a Twitter account made, and a WePay account. And by the next morning, we were out in Breezy Point bringing food to people who were actually on the ground. And by that night we had a space in Red Hook and a meeting with a bunch of volunteers. So that’s, like, where it came from.”


Brett: “Does someone feel comfortable speaking about where Jacobi came from? Like, how did we get established in this space?”


Tammy: “The day after that, that was Wednesday, we… the site in Red Hook was already overwhelmed; there was a lot going on there. And several people had connections to — well, and Juan Carlos lives here — and he opened up [Jacobi] for us to cook, and have volunteers come here so we could distribute food. And that night was Halloween — that was the first night we went out to the Rockaways, and also volunteers came here, and we organically realized we could send them out from here… “

Dalit asks for a report from Clinton.


Sam: “It became clear pretty quickly we’d outgrow this spot, so some other folks from Occupy Faith reached out to our networks and the folks at St. Luke and St Matthew at 520 Clinton offered their space. We moved in I think on Saturday – yeah, Saturday – and it grew extremely quickly to have a kitchen, a distribution center, and a really large volunteer intake and training. From there we were able to send folks out to the other hubs and I think we’ve also started sending canvassers straight out from there.

Dalit: “We heard a little from Tammy about Red Hook.. is there anyone else from Red Hook that wants to fill us in?


Vincent: “Red Hook was one of the first sites set up on the ground and this was a coalition of neighborhood volunteers, community organizers, OWS-affiliated individuals, a representative of councilwoman Christine Quinn, and Red Hook Initiative, a local non-profit which opened its doors for the operation to run in. The operation was running out of there for about a week, and during that time, an assumption was made that RHI itself was autonomously organizing the Red Hook recovery effort…and there was a bit of disconnect in communication between the Occupy-affiliated organizers there and the overall structure. That structure has continued to morph – distribution sites have changed about three times-  lots of different coalitions of organizers with different political affinities are forming.

Brett: “So next, is someone able to talk about financials and WePay and where all that originated from? Just so that we have an understanding – a WePay got set up, I think many of us know that it exists, but just so we have an idea of where that came from, who set it up, that kind of thing…


Bre: “When this first started… the sense was that it was going to be about $200 and 40 volunteers, which is obviously not the case anymore. The WePay was set up originally in my name; we immediately got fiscal sponsorship from the Alliance for Global Justice, so we are a project of Alliance for Global Justice, which means we are essentially a tax-deductible organization but can still do the things we need to do without having to deal with red tape. So the WePay, then — there was a meeting that happened — I don’t know what day — where we agreed to split the funds essentially into a 30% or $100k and 70% to long-term. The 30%, or 100k, went to short-term, immediate direct aid and infrastructure where we couldn’t fill in with in-kind donations, and the 70% was going to go to long-term real recovery and rebuilding efforts.

Brett: “Can someone speak to the role that Interoccupy has played so far?


Badger: “At Interoccupy — for the last year, we’ve been using that website to basically organize around different issues for the Occupy movement. So as soon as Occupy Sandy started, it made sense to start what we call an Interocc hub on the new website, which brought the Facebook feed, WePay, Twitter, all that kind of stuff. Very quickly, we needed a space for the public to be able to see where the locations were that we were organizing out of – this space, and Clinton and all of that. So we ended up kind of repurposing it as a public-facing site, and then we re-designed it so that it would look a little bit prettier. So, I mean, it was just a sort of very natural progression of how we ended up in the space that we are now.

Dalit: “Next we want to hear from someone who can talk about about FEMA, the Red Cross, and the state. If anyone knows about the communication with those different groups and what the relationship has been so far?


Rasul: “I’ve been out in Rockaway since the Sunday after the storm, and just a few indications of that relationship — Red Cross and FEMA. The first day we went out, a number of parking lots in Rockaway had perimeter fences guarded by police and National Guard. And they were sitting there waiting for people to come to them so they could give out water and those pure bricks of sodium in our hypertension epidemic community – called ‘Meals Ready to Eat’. FEMA was involved in that. The day of the Nor’easter, that afternoon, we saw a convoy of school buses going across the bridge and thought there might be a mandatory evacuation, so we called the FEMA project director at Breezy Point, who told us very easily, “Oh, I don’t know what’s going on; we sent our staff home at 7pm last night to take the day off for the storm.” That evolved, because they suddenly realized that they had no idea- both FEMA and the Red Cross- had no idea what was going on, and so they began to talk to us. Of course the Red Cross early discussions were, “if you need help, we’re working through Office of Emergency Management — call your public health liaison.” Within a short period of time, they realized they had no idea what was going on, and they had to find out.

“So FEMA and the Red Cross began to come to Occupy Rockaway to ask what was going on. And then they were finally ready to put boots on the ground, and came in with the arrogance assumption- “That’s ok, we have it” – which lasted just long enough for them to realize that they didn’t. And so they were back to asking Occupy what’s going on. Most recently, last Sunday, I saw first Red Cross truck, and then the night before last, the first Red Cross truck on a corner giving stuff away. If you look at the Red Cross donations, they were advertisements for the Red Cross. I never saw an Occupy sign on anything we gave anybody; they’re out there marketing better than they’re distributing stuff. That’s my sense of that relationship.

Brett: “Tammy, do you want to speak to how we communicate with them on an institutional level?

Tammy: “Others might be able to talk about this better… there was a sense early on, I don’t remember when, that there was a real need for communication, because if there were resources out there that we could have access to, we wanted to find that out. And so they were trying to contact us, and eventually they got – we had a contact at FEMA, who’s actually [inaudible]… I think the most useful thing, from my perspective, on an institutional level, was they they do have these conference calls, these VOAD conference calls, with everyone doing aid work, and we got access to resources like the Disaster Distress hotline, mental health [inaudible] and some medical support — so there have been some useful things that we’ve been connected to that way. Other than that, this contact of ours has been very kind and quick to respond to phone calls, however has not actually brought us anything yet. But some lines of communication were started in order to find out if there were resources that could help people that we could connect them to. [inaudible] Others might know more.

Brett asks to keep these short so we can find out in broad strokes what our relationship has been, “don’t need to get into what’s happening on specific street corners.

Stayc: “I just wanted to say, as far as Sheepshead Bay, even though we’ve had difficulties with the RC, they’ve been a lifeline in terms of hot meals — we haven’t been able to get hot meals always, we’re a very small pop-up site, and we’ve been using Red Cross to try to communicate with them and point out the needs, because they don’t know where to go and they’re from out of town and don’t know the area. They’ve been our lifeline in terms of hot meals; just wanted to say that, and if we can work closely with them in that way to tell them where to go, that could be really helpful. And they can’t hand-deliver meals, but we can.

Rasul: “That’s clearly not an across-the-board type of situation – we got one shipment of hot meals at B113 Rockaways. It was delivered in a container, and the horrible-looking beans and pork in the container had slid sideways in the box and were falling into the bottom, and the so-called pork tenderloins were questionably pork and certainly not tender.

Medic: “My experience with FEMA and the Red Cross — the Red Cross was more interested in, instead of going into the high-rises, asking me, after I had come out of the high-rises, what it was like. They did set up their own station, but it was far away from medical needs, and I have not seem them provide medical care. FEMA was also set up outside areas of need and were not accessible to the folks who needed it- elderly folks and people who couldn’t walk, and all those things…

Sam: “It seemed like for awhile FEMA and the Red Cross, but particularly FEMA and the National Guard were taking orders through the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management — a representative was going around to a number of sites, came to 520 and was introduced to a number of other sites… and I think the broad strokes of that were there were different relationships depending on the different sites. Some have maintained a very close relationship with those organizations; others have had almost no contact. From what I’ve heard, they were focusing on NYCHA housing, and then FEMA and other insurance companies are going house-to-house for paperwork reasons — however, they are not running the same types of canvassing operations we are, and they are trying to find out and coordinate more with what our medics are doing, what our legal groups are doing. We have been reached out to by some folks from the State Senate because they have offices in a lot of these places and they live there. They have been coordinating different kinds of canvasses – I don’t know where that relationship is at this point, but…

Brett says one more hand on this.

Someone: “I got involved with Occupy Sandy via the text loop; today was my first day volunteering… I had a comment and a question — first, a question for the facilitators — have you reached out to FEMA and the Red Cross representatives? And if yes, what was their answer? I just mean, because it would have been also helpful to hear what they have to say to respond to many of the comments from the members. And secondly, my comment is that I understand that any institution has its… its flaws, and any… [group of] experts has its professional myopia. Right? And patronizing attitudes towards non-experts. But from just my experience from the ground, so in Brighton Beach, I didn’t see any other relief workers other than Red Cross trucks distributing meals. And there were lines, so it means that there is need, and they’re responding to this need.

Brett: “Sorry — so, OK, I am going to have to cut you off; we’ll have space later for questions and feedback; right now we’d just like to do very specific reportbacks on these topics. But there will be an opportunity to address some of your questions later.

“So, our next topic is the press.


Dana: “Hi, I’m Dana; I work with the Occupy Wall Street PR team. So, just a quick history — we got, you know, just one day info — after Sandy hit — there was an effort to put something out — what I would lovingly call an ad-hoc press release — that did not come through the Occupy Wall Street PR team. But after that, we rallied and have been doing outreach — you know, trying to let members of the media who have been — you know, who we’ve been in touch with for the past year and beyond — on what’s happening as best we can on the ground — letting them know, trying to do our best we can to connect the dozens of calls that come in every single day — we haven’t had phone calls like this — press hotline: 347 292 1444 — since last November. And… we’ve (inaudible) — oh, just a little bit of the structure: there is a press email that comes in through Interoccupy; they get forwarded to the press team, and then there’s all sorts of folks on the ground that I call, and others — Luke, he picks things up — I know Brett — and I know the press is also — just members of the press — just come here, and we direct them just to the churches, and then we do our best to try to encourage them to go out with the crews to sites; a lot of members of the press want to talk to people out there and then there are the stories about what we’re doing as well.” Passes the baton to Bill Dobbs.

Bill: “I’m Bill, and just a little survey of the coverage, which is — there’s been a lot of it, in all kinds of platforms, print, TV, radio, online, local, national, and international — much of it has been extremely sympathetic, as I’m sure you’ve seen; it’s certainly got Occupy Sandy, Occupy Wall Street, and sometimes even the message of Occupy Wall Street in there. Much of it, though, is surface coverage; the deeper stories have not — we have not yet begun to tell them.

“And I want to also give two quick cautions: which is, let’s not — let’s be careful about believing our own clippings, and I say that because you don’t want that stuff to go to your head. It’s important to keep this all in perspective and realize that, with everything else in  mainstream media, we know to think about other sources of information we’ve got. And that’s healthy. And the other lesson is that right now the press is with us. The press moves in a pack, and from our experiences last year with a huge amount of coverage, there are moments when you can see the press tugging at little threads, hoping to unravel everything. So the caution is, we’ve got to have our house in order. And just last weekend, there were some stories that — some of which we were able to get to fairly quickly, about a connection between somebody arrested and Occupy. So be on the alert for that, and also realize that it’s the good work that counts. Sometimes you get credit for it and it gets amplified and projected through the media, but don’t confuse that with what we’ve done.

Rebecca: “We’re getting a — I’m Rebecca. We’re getting a lot of queries from local publications like New York Magazine and Time Out asking us about the most up-to-date information about volunteering, and the press team has been kind of scrambling to call, like, Coney Island, Staten Island, Red Hook, whatever, to get that information. So if you have projections going into the next two weeks for what kind of needs you’re going to have. You know, is it distribution, is it rebuilding, what kind of volunteers you’re going to need — please do email Because I just got like five calls like that today, and it’s impossible for me to project two weeks in advance.


Brett: “OK, so our next one is some of the communications structures we’ve been using. Specifically, there are a handful of Twitter accounts, there’s a Facebook page, and then there’s also this internal Google Group. So we thought it would be a good opportunity if we, you know, identified some of the folks who are doing this outside communication, so we know who those folks are and who to talk to from our different sites if we need to get information out there. You know, so that we can identify who is doing that work. So if anyone can speak to the Twitter groups… Lopi?”


Lopi: “Hi; I’m Lopi; the day after the storm, Bre and Bobby called me and said they were going out to the Rockaways and they’d started a Twitter and Facebook, and a WePay. And so I sat on Facebook all day and just gathered information, put it out…. it went really viral really fucking quick. We have a Twitter; it was a few of us tweeting; it was really overwhelming… so that was the beginning of it. And then we got other people in to help us manage that, and then we… brought a group together, and then we were doing the @OccupySandy twitter, which grew so quickly… and then 520 Clinton started one and Red Hook has one, just sort of organically happened. So it basically evolved and grew exponentially, and now we have something like 15 managers on the Facebook page, we started a New Jersey page, we started a Haiti page. So, yeah — and somebody else can talk about the other Twitter… I know there’s a new Yana twitter, which I don’t think has been announced yet.”


Carrie: “I would just augment that; I’ve been doing and the Occupy Sandy Twitter, and also Facebook now — this all grew out organically as things happened, and they were being done by a diverse group of people, and not neccessarily that consistent. We’ve been working this week and last week to make them more consistent. So updates will go out on the, Twitter, and Facebook, and it will all the same information and not different. And definitely all the locations, now that Interocc has created new Twitter accounts for each location, so we’re organizing with those different accounts in those different locations…. so we can all have the same messaging. Everybody should be following @OccupySandy and also the other locations’ Twitters. …And there’s a lot of admins going on, because there’s a lot of people asking questions, so if anyone has experience with Facebook and Twitter and wants to help, we can always use help answering the questions on the @OccupySandy Twitter and loop… But the big message is that we’re getting it to be more consistent across all our social media platforms so that…. it’ll all be coming from the same people who have verified information.

Brett: “So, the one other thing that I’d like us to hit on before we move on is… there is a Google group that’s being used for coordination and communication. I got on it somehow, and I have no idea how. So if anyone knows how other folks can join it, I feel like this is a good place to announce that.


Lopi: “There’s about four admins on the Google list; I’m one of them, if you want to email me, I can add you… “ Someone suggests that there’s a way to email to subscribe. We’ll put the info on how to join on the wall before the meeting is over. [You can send an email to to send a subscription request. -Ed.]

Dalit: “All right, great. So we’re going to move onto where are we now, this is… yes?


Badger wants to explain the different locations’ Twitter accounts. “About the Twitters at the different locations — on the website, we’ve been trying to get all the Twitter accounts to use them as comms, to get info from sites as quickly as possible. It’s been challenging keeping up with the flow of info coming in, and that effort has started, but we need more people, particularly in the Rockaways.. need someone to really be on it. And then we do have a special Twitter account, @SandyUpdatesNY — anything that gets tweeted from @SandyUpdatesNY lands on the homepage of the website. And that’s for a specific purpose; this should be for current needs and requests for the different locations. And we also want to share that we have a separate Interoccupy hub which is for kind of internal coordination needs, and that’s And what you’ll find there is links to a bunch of forms for different things, like you need to make an update to a locations that we have listed on the site; if you need to post needs for a location — things like that. If you need to add a new location that we don’t know about, there’s a form for that. If you want to post requests for the Amazon registries — I think we have four registries going now. So if you’re at a location and you need stuff to be sent from Amazon, there’s a form for that as well. And then there’s also a form for — we’re sending out emails a couple of times a day out to all of the volunteers with volunteer opportunities, and there’s a form on that page, also, where you can submit, you know, requests for that email, to go out that night.

Sam: “Just two things that I wonder if they should be added to this section — it doesn’t have to be if no one’s interested — but we also have an Occupy Sandy wedding registry on Amazon, which is an enormous way that goods have been coming in. So, if there’s time… I can speak to that. And also I think another question, of the origin story of the recovers website and what our relationship is to recovers and the hotline. I can’t speak to that, but that might be another thing…

Dalit: “Do people want to hear about the Amazon registry? Briefly? I see some uptwinkles; no downtwinkles, so that’s a yes.

Brett: “Can you do it quickly?


Sam: “A couple of folks came in, wanted to volunteer, saw that we were getting a lot of things we didn’t need and not the things we did, and they independently set us up a wedding registry on Amazon, and listed stuff there that they thought would be good. And then started working with me to ask the sites what would be good. The process is imperfect, and the construction crews have also asked and talked directly to the folks that are managing that project — it’s three folks. And there are now other Amazon wedding registries specific to sites, and there’s a google form for getting things on the registry that if you need more information about you can talk to me.

Dalit: pages? “Do people want to hear about that?” Not sure anyone here knows about them… “Those were the websites that in the beginning were affiliated with Occupy and were also sourcing volunteers….

Brett: “Premo can talk about it.


Premo: “Hi; my name is Michael Premo. A little bit on — it was a project of as well as some other people who were involved with the technical aspects of Occupy Wall Street, who were developing a platform to allow communities to create community-driven microsites on their site to be able to direct volunter support, as well as donation support, to disaster relief in particular communities. I believe this is maybe the 5th or 6th use of it, but the first sort-of full-scale disaster — large-scale disaster — use of the website, and I think the first site was Lower East Side, and then Staten Island, and each site also had a hotline, which was a Google voice number, so people who had power or aren’t in the affected areas could see and know what was going on and direct resources to people who needed it.

Someone: “Just a question — I thought I was clear; I’m at Yana; I need stuff; I’ve been putting it on cellybot and sometimes it comes and sometimes it doesn’t. What’s not clear is all of these other routes being described — do they invalidate mine? And the other question is, once it goes out, is it going out to Jacobi or 520 and what’s the coordination between them in getting us what we want?

Sam: “I can speak to some of that; I don’t think that there’s any one thing that invalidates any of the others; I think that everyone has been reaching out for what they need, and most people have been very successful.  I can speak specifically to the Amazon registry stuff — the main one, the mailing address is 520 Clinton; UPS brings it to us, and — but they’ve also been incredibly helpful with… helping to distribute, as well, to the sites that request those things. The tools have been routed specifically to the construction crews that have requested them; they’re not, kind of, generally available.

Josh: “So, when you have a need, I’m not sure how the needs get filed, but the Google drive that has all this information has a form with all the needs and the orders of every site so far. And then it’s real-time updated between St. Jacobi, Clinton, and RH. And when a group is sending out an order to one of the sites, they’ll mark it as sent. But there’s not a system in place to keep track of the things they did not manage to include in that order. So… how do I say this? If you don’t get one of the needs in one order, there’s a lot of flow, so please ask again and we’ll make another order, and that will get sent out.

Rasul: “OK, so when it goes out on cellybot, whatever we need will — the Google or whatever — “

Josh: “Yeah.

Brett: “OK, we need — we need to stop the back and forth.

Rasul: “Sorry.

Brett: “We have a lot here to still get through, and hopefully when we move into this next section, “Where are we now?” and folks report back about the work they’re doing on the ground, they can also share concerns and feedback for how it’s been going for them, so then as we move into the “Where are we going?” we’ll figure out ways that we’ll be addressing all of these issues.


Dalit: “So, the next section is “Where are we now?” We’re going to do the same format of getting reportbacks from people. The big overarching thing that we’re looking to kind of figure out and hear about is in what stage different sites are at, and I know within each site there’s a lot of sub-sites, but to get a general sense of whether different sites are still engaged in active… direct service relief — meeting basic needs; this is what we were doing most of at the beginning — feeding people, if they don’t have heat and water… sort of meeting those basic needs. Once sites have sort of gotten a handle on that, as electricity comes back, as heat comes back; sites have been transitioning into doing recovery work, which is assessing the situation and canvassing and seeing what the needs are as we move out of that first phase. And then the third main area is rebuilding… which is the more big project, you know, as it sounds — actual construction and things like that. So… we’re going to start with the Rockaways. Is there someone that can speak to what’s going on over there?”


Someone: “There’s a lot of different sites.

Dalit: “Right.

Someone: “There’s a lot of different things going on.

Dalit: “Is there someone that has a sense of the whole area, that’s been…?


Diego, clowning: “I know I’m short, but come on.” Laughter. “They’re like, stand up, stand up!” Hahah. “So, like, an overall of the Rockaways — my name’s Diego. So, pretty much, you know, the day after the Red Hook Initiative — stop it Rasul. The day after the Red Hook Initiative was established, a group of us went out to Rockaway to scout — I’ve got to give props to Premo, Bobby, Shlomo, and, like, mad props to [Laura?] who’s not here, but, like, she really made Jacobi happen with Juan Carlos and everything to, like, initially start that — we were promised just storage for just a couple of bags — just, like, a couple of bags… and then it turned into, like, a shitshow. Which is very well organized.” Laughter. “So we went out there in Yana — and Yana is at 113th Street… completely destroyed a block; I think a lot of you have visited, and we sort of were looking for a location, and there was a man there whose name was Sal who said his business was destroyed. Premo, Shlomo and myself were like, “Hey, can we use this location?”, and he was — gave us the keys and was like, “That’s exactly what I want to do, I want to make a community center.” And the rest is history, and it was beautiful. I got to give mad props from Yana — you know, from Chris, Jessica, Sofia, Miguel, Christine, Terry, Gabi, doing a kick-ass job. Went out to, then, 100th Street, where a church just like this one was completely established as a distribution center. We focused on doing community building; getting a lot of the folks who were doing — who were living in the — in the communities, who were affected themselves, to take over the jobs that — that we were initially doing. And so — that — we were successful with that at Yana, and that’s why, like, 100th street was able — like, completely run by the community. And then, from there, you know, Bobby and some folks were doing Veggie Island stuff. And from there, you have 59th Street, where… Jessica, and a community member, Bre who’s here today — and just holding it down, like, the projects over there which is just — just mad crazy, and just really, really, like, important, you know to have the places that were not, like, had any — like any support at all. From there, you had 38th street, with a lot of good folks, who were great — who went down there, and we had a lot — I don’t know if the — the French folks are here. Where’s…” [Rockaways crew starts clowning: “Bruno… bruuuno!”] “Where’s Bruno? And — yo, those guys are awesome. But anyways, from there — I’m almost done. From there, we continued down to the Red Fern projects where homeboy Luke over here has been holding it down, working with a lot of community folks and just doing a lot of the grassroots mobilizing, and… we’ve even gone down to 25th Street and on, where a bungalow was donated to us. It’s sort of like guerilla warfare out there, and it’s just been, like, you know, turning, like, private property into, like, public property, right?” Whoops from the group. “That’s really what it’s been, and it’s been an amazing, incredible journey.” Pauses for a second, speaking to others from Rockaways: “You want to continue? You good?” “Right, because transitioning is really, like — we’re now focused — as, like, initially it was, like, emergency relief, right? Just, like, our emergency recovery — everything, like, food and water, and as fast as you can — everyone’s, like, you know, really really in a hurry — but then, as we’re transitioning more, it’s, like — it’s a longer-term, like, political education — we’re doing a lot of one-on-ones with a lot of community members, sitting them down and being like, “Hey, like, you know, let’s talk about disaster capitalism; let’s talk about how to build community; let’s talk about how to do some of that community, like — what it means to be an organizer.” That transition is happening, and also, lik,e a lot of the stuff that, like, Andy and Terri and Gabi are doing — that team of folks, going into, like, the actual homes and gutting a lot of the — you know, the process of gutting is a very rigorous process, and it’s very important, but it’s very hard for folks, you know, to see their homes literally be destroyed… and then, you know, that’s — and then of course now the health issues.

“So we’re transitioning more to, like — pivoting from a more, like, you know, emergency recovery to a more, like, longer-term, you know, issue-based, you know… just building community. Because we know — you know, the long term is what we’re thinking of. So that’s sort of where Rockaway as a whole is going. Oh, yeah, and alternative energy, which includes, like, political education — we have to address, like, why this happened, you know, what is happening now with developers and disaster capitalism, and, like, what is possible. And so those are sort of, like, our main framework — like, what is possible? It’s sort of, like, what we’re going to start using Thanksgiving for is, like, this huge platform to really launch, right, what is going to happen? And, like, the whole political education aspect.

“Oh, and Greenpeace — oh, fuck yeah.” Laughter, cheers. “Whoop-whoop,” someone shouts.

Diego continues. “Greenpeace has been on the ground from the beginning, fucking powering our asses. Josh is here — I saw his long, sexy hair.” Laughter. “And Jesse — yes, Jesse. Oh, man. So that — I want to just shout out that a lot of Greenpeace folks have been on the ground and just, like, really doing a lot of the hard work. I’m sure I missed a lot of folks. But that’s sort of, the, like — the overall picture — I’m sure I missed a lot of folks.

“And yes, yes — we did turn a fur shop into a medical center, but…” (Cheers).

Luke: “I would just — just — not to repeat anything Diego said, but just the numbers for what happened out there? Which is now… at one point, I guess 14 different sites — again, community-run, and what actually happened from all those sites was direct distribution.. it was outreach, for assessment, and also to return with emergency supplies. And it’s now down to… I think 6 plus… 3? I guess 9 in — or maybe 10 in the Rockaways? Sites that are still active and still community-run. And…” Folks are chiming in around him. “7? 7 is the number? It’s 9, I think — I just did the math in my head. So, it’s going well — we’ll be in the conversation, I’m sure, later on again. Thanks.” Whoops again from around them.

Dalit: “Anyone want to add to that… who has a sense of the overview of the Rockaways?

Corey: “ I just want to add a quick thing, that — something that I experienced. I was at Yana, and when…  I was just hanging out, waiting for an assignment, I was talking to a woman, and I can’t remember her name — her name might have been Lisa? She had expressed that on Sunday, that the overall amount of work coming in — requests for people to go out on jobs to do cleanups and houses — has significantly gone down this past weekend. I don’t know if that’s what anyone else is experiencing; this is just what she had told me, just — on Sunday.” Someone talking to him from Rockaways zone of the pews. “What’s that?

Someone: “I’m actually waiting for a woman, Aria Doe — she’s supposed to be here. But I’ve been working with her now for about two weeks, out in the Far Rockaways at Beach Channel Drive and 57th Street, at the Action Center, and it’s still an emergency mode out there. They were reporting today that everyone had heat — on, you know, NYCHA was saying everyone — but floor-by-floor, people still don’t have heat. All of the FEMA claims are being denied; you know, you go into an apartment, they’re 14 people, and their babies in wet, moldy cribs. There are some serious health issues. It’s been… you know, Aria’s been working out there and run these after-school centers since 2001, and… she’s really deeply affected by what she is seeing. And… so we have started huge drives to do what we can to get media, people, attention, as people are coming in really sick. We finally — I’ve been on the phone all day with the Red Cross; got the Red Cross out there to deliver cleaning supplies. But the only people who’ve been out there have been, you know, some mothers’ groups, and then calling Occupy Sandy, who’s been delivering stuff off and on, but it’s been hit-or-miss. We really need people; we really need volunteers. There’s not a lot of people out there — we really need people to help to go into some of these apartments in the projects, help people clean their apartments… help them so that they can then get their kids to doctors. We’ve set up a little medical center inside this afterschool program, and it’s really been an exhausting, Herculean task with very few people, trying to support — you know, officially there are 10,000 people living in the projects — if you look at the stats, that’s, like, 2.5 — 2.3 per apartment. The apartments we go into there are 14 people living in there. So there are a few people who are really trying to support the needs of a small city. And this small city still doesn’t have heat; it still doesn’t have electricity in all the units. There are children who are really, really sick. So, I’m wrapping it up; I wish she were here, but that’s what’s going on in the Far Rockaways.

K: “I went out three weeks ago; been working with Diego, Greg… and my commentary… what I’m trying to do is facilitate. from back here… better logistics and support for the guys who’ve been out in the field for 2 or 3 weeks more — or, 2 weeks more than when I got here. So, talking to Bre and Jessica, who are working at B57 — I’m going to be — I’m going to be short. Talking to them when I first got here, and working in the housing project there, and the commentary to the woman over there — I think there’s a lot of sites that are doing better and well, based on what the guys have been out there — like Yana, like 38 — but I think there’s a lot of need for, like, Mrs. Doe in the 57s down there, that need to be addressed as well. I think we’re doing a lot of good work; seeing the overarching system, I think there’s a lot more help that needs to be done. Am I right Bre?

Bre: “Yes, you’re right.

K: “So, I just want to make that point, that — I know we all know this, but we’re not done in the Rockaways. At all. And I think there’s a lot of places, in town, in the 50s and otherwise, that do still need the same amount of attention that we have to 113 and other places.

: “(inaudible)… you know, we’re just barely touching… Far Rockaway needs a lot more help than what we have right now. FEMA and Red — Red Cross, I mean… yeah, they show their face; but showing they face is not enough. Actually, we need more than them to come out, the National Guard — we actually need to knock on people’s doors, because there’s a lot of people that can’t come out. They’re used to routines that they do every day — and now that we have this Occupy Sandy coming in — I mean, this Hurricane Sandy coming in — “ Hahah. “Excuse me. Now that we had Hurricane Sandy come in, it has stopped their lives. And due to the fact that they stopped, they’re depressed; they’re getting lonely. So we need more than just water, food — we need love, unity.” Applause. “We need help. We need more than one person speaking. It’s a village, not just one person. So if we all can just unite and learn from each other, we might just get somewhere further than what we are now.

“That’s right,” many murmur in the crowd.

K: “We had a lot of people going out, and it’s starting to peter down. So, one thing I want to do — this is my agenda, in terms of recruitment — we need more volunteers immediately. And we can keep on doing the work we’re doing, and I’m — and I’m… not nervous; I am encouraged and challenged, that we need people to start doing that immediately. So, that’s my overview of what I see out there. So.

Brett: “So I’m seeing a handful of hands; people are starting to repeat each other. So, if it’s things that absolutely need to get to everyone in this room, so that we understand what’s happening on the ground, like, we can take it, but we should start moving forward. So I saw one over here, and then one in the back.

: “I just want to point out that electricity is up in a lot of the projects because of outdoor, massive generators. That is a health crisis in the making, and we are gonna see — and we are seeing already, enormous symptoms coming out of that. Symptoms coming out because of the generators that are plugged into these buildings. That’s how they’re getting lights right now. That is a disaster in the making. The people that are out there — the police officers that are directing traffic; you see them sometimes wearing those flimsy masks — that’s even worse than not having it at all. It’s concentrating whatever fumes that are — noxious fumes inside of their masks. So, that’s just in terms of civic workers, but the kids that are standing by bus stops; people going to plug in their phones — all of that; they are getting — we are all getting, who have been out there, and I’ve been out there now for weeks too…  That has to be addressed, because that’s their long-term solution to put electricity on, and that is — it’s really serious. We’re going to see what we saw after 9/11. We’re going to see serious increases in health conditions in people living out there and working out there.

Brett: “We’re going to take one more, and then we’re going to move on.

: “Speaking to the Far Rockaways– we need to… most effectively learn how to route willing and able health care professionals, who’ve already been out there. At 57-10 Beach Channel Drive, there’s been a clinic that opened up Friday, and guess who prompted the clinic — was Tyson Chandler’s wife, right? So that it wasn’t — it wasn’t us, but Occupy Sandy — Ms. Doe requested whether or not Occupy Sandy could get some medical health professionals out. So, Mt. Sinai, [Montefiori], NYU have been sending, and have teams ready and willing — and they don’t know where to go now, because the clinic petered out after Monday. And we don’t know if that’s the site that is the best site for this clinic. Right? Because there is a clinic called the Adobo Family Health Clinic that’s open in the area;  the local pharmacies have re-opened.. but there are tremendous health needs in that community. But how do we match them? What do we do and where do we site it?

: “I’ve been in the Rockaways, and I — there’s not enough time to go into it, but there’s definitely some restructuring going on, so… we’ll have news.

Brett: “We will have a section for medical dispatch; we’ll have a section for legal; we’ll have a section for housing — so we can address some of that as we get to it.

Dalit: “And also at the end, you know, we encourage obviously everyone to talk to the people that you had a question for, and, to, you know, get in touch via, you know, the Internet and other ways that we can find each other.

“So, the next area that we’re going to talk about is Staten Island.

Goldi: “Hey, I’m Goldi. Just before Staten Island — is the Lower East Side on that list? Because it’s probably not?

Dalit: “It’s not.


Goldi: “So, the Lower East Side was out of power for a long time — well, 4 days, 5 days. And… we operated out of CAAAV and out of GOLES down there, and sent over a thousand people to the tops of every building to make sure people were OK. And we did that before any other organization got there, so… kudos to Occupy GOLES and CAAAV for that.


“Staten Island… is kind of a different territory. It’s not as densely populated; the people there are really… they love their homes and they stand by their homes. So what we did originally when we first got out there was identify a few key hubs, and supplied them with volunteers and supplies. More recently, we have a hub now at 1128 for Occupy and St. Margaret Mary Church, where we’re operating for the last week. Receiving supplies; we have a Free Store there, and an office set up to intake volunteers and dispatch them on work jobs or supply runs.

“It’s still… large areas without power… we went canvassing — we’ve sent some crews out canvassing — every day we send out canvassers. And on Saturday, people in one household were cold, hungry, and needed water. And there is probably more of these people, and winter is coming on, and we’re really getting worried that there may — Occupy Sandy may need some kind of emergency heating system, because I’m sure FEMA and everyone else is not even thinking about people that do not have heat. We’re really lucky, due to global warming right now, but… it’s going to get cold, and it would be really cool if Occupy Sandy prompted that through even… some kind of — we have the infrastructure here just to send out a release and a grand plan to take care of anybody for anyone to request heat from OS- we give them a generator or a solar panel, or whatever it takes; I think it would be a great idea and may prompt the federal government into action by following our lead.

George: “And quickly, I’m George… [I’m organizing at (inaudible) with (inaudible)…] Antonia. Also at St. Margaret Mary’s, we’re building a tool library to start on reconstruction; we’re contacting some carpenters, electricians, plumbers in the area that have been coming to volunteer, to see if they can go out and assess homes – also give trainings to our volunteers in the region, on demolition and very simple reconstruction work. We’re trying to partner out with team that’s going out to the Rockaways to eventually get some help over there as well. Another really interesting and amazing thing that’s happening in the center that we opened – much like what’s happening in the Rockaways – is a lot community members are coming to us as they’re getting on their feet to run the center, and so we’re trying to start up a little education on that front. Also Make the Road, a community organization that deals primarily with hispanic immigrants and the laws they have to – the legal issues they deal with around immigration – have partnered with us and are renting out a space in the center that we have to canvass the hispanic community in Staten Island. So I think it’s a really interesting and great partnership, and it could be a model for all of these hubs to partner with issue-based organizations to get this information out to communities to organize around those issues and to build together and connect all of these issue. So hopefully some really great things can come of that. Again, Staten Island is utterly devastated; there are people coming every day with medical needs; we need more and more doctors to come and fill prescriptions and get that to the elderly and homebound. Today we had to pick up morphine for a man with cancer and deliver it to his home; he hadn’t had his medication for 2.5 weeks. So this is something that’s incredibly serious and we need as much medical help as we can get out there right now.

: “I was at SI a few days ago and helped set up an impromptu medic clinic out there. Since we got there, we’ve been able to get tetanus shots to people and we’re also working on getting flu shots. Medical need has been hard to supply because people who need help don’t know where we are – there has been a lack of communication between groups, so there will be groups on corners far away who don’t know that we’re there – so it’s been really hard to get together to find where folks are, because the communities differ so much. So there needs to be more communication. But that’s being worked on, which is really great. We’ve got the nurse’s union helping us… it’s going pretty well, there just needs to be more communication. That’s (inaudible); that would be great… (inaudible).

Arielle: [inaudible begins at 1:14:06 … ends at 1:15:40] “Another issue we’re having is getting out to Staten Island and routing people through, especially 520 – we were hearing on past weekends it was taking 2 hours from the time they left 520 to get out to 1128. Also from here it’s a little bit closer but not quite close enough, so we’re working on how we can route people directly out there without coming through here, but we also need supplies and other things going out there with people, so those are some things we’re working on.

Brett: “So, we really need to keep going — we have a lot of sites that we need to get through. So, can someone speak for Coney Island? Er, about Coney Island. Not for it.


Dan: “The status in Coney Island is… it’s kind of right on that, right on the cusp of getting out of that first response state right now. Although a lot of parts of it are very much in that first response kind of state. Right now we know that we’re working out of 6 NYCHA public housing developments where we have distribution centers – storage centers where we keep things down there; sort of like mini-hubs so that we can do canvassing and outreach to homebound populations. We’re working with a group called The People’s Relief who was down there the Tuesday after the hurricane, and has developed a list of about 700 homebound people who they know across NYCHA and across different neighborhoods around Coney Island, roughly from Stillwell Avenue all the way out to Seagate, where they’ve been canvassing on a daily basis, kind of scheduling routes… We have a couple medic trailers down there now that are for the long term; they have no plans on rolling out, or phasing out, right now. As far as our church at 2828 Neptune. We do know that as of today, a FEMA crew went to one of our sites; I was talking with them – they’re shutting down operations with FEMA and OEM as of Friday at the MCU station, which I think is a pretty bad idea. We’re talking about what the other presences there are out there today, and who is really going to be able to kind of be out there, if FEMA and OEM aren’t – not that that is that big of a presence. And it basically it comes down to, Occupy Sandy working with City Harvest; we’re making scheduled deliveries down to the public housing sites of a ton of food and different supplies. We’re sort of trying to sort of craft as much as now with FEMA and OEM that that is probably not the best idea, that they need to be there at least through December, and they need to be prepared for that. So as people see this in other areas of the city, they’ll approach you… and they’re doing needs assessments this week. I think by the end of tomorrow they’re trying to file all of the needs assessments for all of the affected areas of the city. So if you see them, be very honest with them about what is actually needed on the ground, and be honest about with them about how long the FEMA, Red Cross, OEM presence is actually needed. If they do pull out and it is just us, we just heard from City Harvest that Mayor’s office is expecting City Harvest and us to be the presence down there. NYCHA is as well — there is a NYCHA tenants association meeting tonight, where most of the TAs came out to talk – it was not as – the issues that were discussed were not wide-reaching at all.

: “What’s NYCHA?

Dan: “Sorry. NYCHA is the New York City Housing Authority, the authority that maintains all the public housing in the city. They have, I think, somewhere around 9,100 apartments in Coney Island, which we’re hopefully kind of capturing with coverage down there. NYCHA kind of took the credit for the canvassing that we did down there, but we’re going to sort of shake that off. We’re working hand-in-hand with them, they’ve let us into their spaces to run distribution centers; we’re thinking of opening up some more localized medic centers down there the week after Thanksgiving that can have a longer-term presence. Although we are losing two sites as of Friday, we plan on being down there for the long run. And we’re working directly with the tenants associations there, who are overseeing that as well.

Premo: “Just to add to that, a little context — the history of the specific sites. The first couple sites — the first site was Ms. Reed,  a tenant association president who running a shop on her corner, who we were supporting with the chaos she was dealing with by setting up a pop-up stand on the corner. The second two sites were at a mosque down the street as well as Coney Island Tabernacle Church. The mosque is run by Brother Sharif and the mosque community — it’s community-led, community-staffed, community-sourced – they engage directly with the recovery lines getting what they need. As well as the Coney Island Tabernacle – a beautiful community – I go there for amazing seafood soup in the lunch – I highly recommend anyone doing that. They are completely community-led, community-supported and engage directly with the network. 2828 Neptune is a large church, which was supporting many different efforts that were using that particular site as a space to serve the immense need in the community — that space is phasing out soon as Sister Connie and Sister Margaret and the church leaders try to regain some sense of normalcy in their community there. There’s potentially another site, which is a church that was decimated by the storm; assessors from our cleanout crew were there today to make an assessment around that – we’ll hear about that in the coming days, about the viability of what that church community wants to do and how to they want to engage with us. People’s Relief started the following weekend, and is a group of members of OWS and Decolonize NYC, who are helping run an amazing medical effort that is getting up to those 5 sites that Dan mentioned – represent blocks of 5 buildings, some of them. So there’s at least 18-25 large towers where there’s still no heat; some of them have power come on, but there are still people up in those buildings that have been stuck there. And I think that’s it for Coney Island.”

Brett: “Anything else absolutely essential to add about Coney Island? OK, Red Hook.


Vincent: “For time being, our distribution center is located at 110 Wolcott; the distribution needs in the community have started to slow down, and as I said before, different organizing groups are forming and we need to understand how we’re going to begin to participate with them. For time being, we have a group being formed called the Red Hook Coalition — that is being formed – I’m not fully understanding how it’s going to operate, but it’s being administered by Christine Quinn’s assistant, local non-profits… they are taking charge of the canvassing and coordinating of volunteers. It’s up to Occupy Sandy-affiliated organizers to determine if that’s where we’re going to be where we continue to send Occupy Sandy resources and volunteers.. I can be a liaison for that discussion and I could use some help having that conversation after this meeting. There’s still a general need for food in Red Hook, given that one of the largest markets, the Fairway market, was destroyed and hasn’t opened yet – nor will it. As we move forward, a series of community meetings began last week by some Occupy-affiliated organizers who were not choosing not to participate in these organizing structures that have political affiliations with city, with the National Guard, with the police – in coalition with some of those volunteers as well, and some of those organizers as well. We started a community meeting mostly to respond to the needs that we heard from people throughout the community, and give them a forum to speak, and just to facilitate that conversation. Once folks got in the room, we found the most urgent needs were those of the residents of the NYCHA buildings — when the meetings began, the services had not been on for two weeks. Although those services have been restored to varying degrees, many homes have mold damage, they have wet ceilings and walls, and the utilities aren’t quite working. Also, folks are very concerned about quality of the water. Background: we have 10,000 residents in Red Hook in the NYCHA buildings; that’s 75% of the Red Hook community. We also heard throughout these conversations that NYCHA was absent during the storm, that folks felt there was no accountability, and they were ready to act. Out of these meetings demands have been proposed and an action is being coordinated, and on behalf of the RH community, we’re prepared to announce that next Tuesday, the 27th, the RH community is calling for NYCHA residents and their allies to convene at the NYCHA offices at 250 Broadway – this is at 9 am – to hold a press conference and rally, where demands will issued on NYCHA. The demands have not been formalized, but I can introduce some of the concepts to you — as some of you may have heard, a rent credit is being offered for January; many folks can’t wait that long. They have the holidays coming, they need to provide for their families. One of the  demands may pertain to absolving rent for November and October. Further demands are being discussed to replace the NYCHA board with a community board, to employ the residents in the fixing of the buildings, to implement long-term power and weather-prepared solutions for these buildings, and to allocate federal funds to NYCHA to facilitate these demands. Furthermore, there’s going to be a NYCHA board meeting December 5 at same location, 250 Broadway — that’s going to be a second action. There’s being a call issued- as we’ve heard in this meeting, we know there are NYCHA buildings in Coney and in the Rockaways; RH community is inviting these other communities to participate in this event, to join us in conversation to coordinate these demands and to stand in solidarity. That’s all.”


Dalit: “So there are a number of additional sites that we haven’t been as involved in, but there are on the rise, and we’ve had some work in. So Canarsie, Sheepshead Bay, Gerritsen Beach, and Long Island – is anyone able to speak about any of those areas?


Casper: “I could just speak about Canarsie, briefly. This guy named Brandon, he’s been out there in Canarsie and Flatlands, and they’re doing an amazing job. They’re self-sustaining themselves, we’re just bringing slowly products and materials to them. A bunch of councilmen showed up just the other day, I believe yesterday. Like Al Sharpton and various other people, who were just scouting the sites, they actually went to 2828 Neptune as well. And there’s locations in Canarsie that have been hit and it’s devastating – the buildings and the basements, particularly on the first floor and basement — it’s overwhelming — but the community over there at Holy Church on Flatlands, on 98th Street has been doing an amazing job; they’re very happy that OS is bringing them material and whatnot. They’re in stages of cleanup, and some areas still have power loss and need heaters. We are trying to assemble things — we just finally connected with this girl named Karen, who has been doing an amazing job on her own canvassing by herself in these locations. She took me the other day, for the first time — I grew up near there — so she showed me the location, and certain areas are just devastated. And certain churches are connecting, we got them together to work intimately together as a unit to distribute materials. And right now in Canarsie they’re self-sustaining but need materials from us. And by the way, the Holy Church has FEMA, the Red Cross, and all the housing organizations and others in this auditorium by the gym, and they’ve been working together side-by-side with that community. That’s it for Canarsie.

Brett: “Sheepshead Bay?”


Stayc: “Hi, I’m Stayc; I’m representing the Sheepshead Bay location on behalf of Gelsey, the site coordinator. We started setting up there about 2 weeks ago, and when we set up our pop-up location, which is basically just a table on the corner, the people came out — they hadn’t seen FEMA, the RC, they hadn’t seen anybody. This is a community of folks that live in bungalows that are below street level, so you can imagine they flood when it rains, so when the water came it was really, really bad; their houses are destroyed, and they’re all these little, tiny houses. We set up a table; the need is there; the past two weekends we’ve been doing a cleaning blitz and need more volunteers on the ground. There was a decision made to kind of stop the table last weekend because the cleaning was done for that area – we’ve had a very small couple blocks of people that we’ve been helping very directly, but we definitely need more people out there. I did a couple of streets of canvassing yesterday and today with Casper – there’s places we haven’t even scratched the surface in that area – in that area, in Sheepshead Bay, in Brighton Beach, and the area in between Sheepshead Bay and Brighton Beach up to Neptune Avenue and Emmons Avenue. We need more volunteers on the ground. And it’s become clear that obviously since it’s getting colder we can’t really have a pop-up table and volunteers working at that table forever, so we’ve been trying to find a remote location we can work out of, we went to Kingsboro Community College today, and we hopefully have a site that we can put our stuff in and hopefully work as a remote location out of there. If anybody’s interested in coming out to Sheepshead Bay and Brighton Beach area, please get in contact with me or Gelsey, lots of us have been working on it, and we have some wonderful volunteers here who are from out of town who have set up renegade sites, and they’re amazing and we love you. And yeah, that’s all I have to say.”


Premo: “Gerritsen Beach — we were there a week and a half ago; it’s a community in Brooklyn across from Sheepshead Bay– working-class, bungalow, a sort of “veteran community”, single-family homes. A week and a half ago, most of the community had flooded and by the time we were there, the relief efforts were being coordinated out of the volunteer fire department – kind of crazy to think there’s a volunteer fire department in New York City, but there are several. The relief was being coordinated out of the volunteer FD and there were two tanker trucks giving away free gas, every ConEd truck I’ve ever seen in my life… as well as National Guard people there helping little old ladies bring groceries inside their house. So after conversation we determined that it might not be a place that necessarily needed or wanted some of the resources we have to offer, but we’ve been keeping open lines of communication in case there are people that are in need there. But when we were there they were pretty well-covered.

Brett: “Can anyone report back on Long Island?”


Becky: “I have not been out there, but I got a call from somebody out there out in Oceanside while I was doing medical dispatch a couple of days ago, so if nobody else has a more direct reportback, I can talk about that. She said that in one neighborhood, a raw sewage pipe was burst, and the houses for about a 4-block radius were flooded with 2-3 feet of water containing a large amount of raw sewage, and all but one family is still staying there because they don’t have another place to go. And as of 2 days ago, the pipe had not been fixed and was still spewing raw sewage into the bay.

LI: “We had one call at Rockaway for Inwood, which is in Nassau County, and we were able to send a work crew out there. This guy had been living there since the storm. His brother was calling, the basement was still a mess, water, sludge, et cetera.


Brett: “So, we’re going to move on; we really need to power through the next ones. Legal, construction, housing, tech, and kitchen. If folks who are doing those things could each give us the essentials in a minute, that would be awesome, so that we can continue. So folks who can speak to medic?”


Medical: “I’ve done medic dispatch in Common Ground — medic dispatch exists for volunteers to contact us essentially for us to get doctors out to establish needs of clinics and hopefully provide the clinics with what they need. However, there has been an issue with sites not coordinating with one another; I don’t know what’s at 520 Clinton, just Jacobi; I can’t get out what’s on the Twitter, instead I can only request things from other groups, because I don’t understand the wedding registry, neither do I have access to it, which has been a problem. We have fielded calls from people who said they were referred to us by the RC, which was interesting if not a little funny. We’ve dealt with more than 100 medics, doctors, paramedics EMTs, street medics, who are trying to help, as well as basic volunteers who have simple things like CPR and First Aid knowledge. We’ve canvassed high-rises for dead bodies and have found, so far, none, which is nice.

Becky: “Basically one of our big concerns now is we need to know what your needs are — at all of the sites. We have doctors, we have a list of medical supply needs, we have a ton of First Aid stuff, we’re not in that intense triage situation anymore; now we’re dealing with long-term things — we need things like nebulizers, facemasks for nebulizers, insulin test strips, oxygen tanks. We can give you a list, if you want it, come find us. We need to know what your needs are so we can get them met; we’re not psychic and can’t just send you things, and don’t expect us to just show up.

“You can contact us at Number: 646 470-7256.

“And also, out in the Rockaways, the reason they may have seemed a little bit less visible in the last couple of days is because they’re currently restructuring to try to set up a new centralized medical space in two donated trailers and they’re using the opportunity to reassess the needs of community, and how best to address them, and sort of looking at it for the long run. And also, I’m going to report back on another part that’s not on here, which is Wellness — especially volunteer wellness. You all are doing a lot, you all are amazing, you all are taking care of other people in really intense situations; you’re not necessarily doing a great job taking care of yourself. I’ve seen lots having meltdowns, getting burned out, working really long hours, and I want to try to make sure that there are resources available to you. I’ve set up a couple of what I’ve been calling “Calm Hubs” at Jacobi and Clinton, which are quiet spaces that we have a pretty steady stream of body workers going through. I would love to get those set up out at other sites. I just don’t know who to talk to. So if you’re a coordinator from one of the other sites, talk to me. I also want to get mental health people out into the field, working with volunteers who have seen a lot traumatic stuff as well as the people who live in those neighborhoods. Y’all are great; drink some water and get enough food and sleep.”


[missing audio 22:17:23]
Legal: “Hi, I’m Jen from Legal; so… OS legal formed basically to try to help coordinate all the lawyers and law students that are doing stuff around this. And so, we’ve been trying to help set up clinics where they don’t already exist and recruit more volunteers for them where they do. Similar to medical, we need to know where legal clinics are needed; we know everywhere, but especially high-traffic areas where lawyers can meet lots of people in one day.” FEMA applications, lawyers can help; insurance issues, landlord-tenant issues, “other housing stuff. We have a flyer that lists a lot of the legal issues, which we’re trying to get out to the hubs, so if you haven’t gotten that please email us at and email us if you have a place where you want us to send lawyers for legal clinics. And also, we need legal organizers, which – if you don’t know what that means, I can tell you more in-depth later. But lawyers aren’t organizers; there are a few of them that are also organizers, but most are just lawyers. Spo it really helps in communities like this for organizers to wrangle between and interface between them and affected communities. So if you’re interested in doing that, we can show you how to plug in. So please do email.

“Also, we need point people for legal on the ground, so even if you can’t be a lawyer-wrangler, you can be the person thinking about legal in certain neighborhoods. Also, we’re starting to do more hands-on legal help, more than just clinics, so there are a lot of people who can’t leave their houses – -we’re trying to get lawyers to people’s homes, which is a whole other can of worms, but it’s really necessary. So that’s kind of the external legal picture.

Tom: “I’ve been working with Jen; I just want to emphasize before I go into a few things that we really do need people to do legal organizing work. It’s really easy; mostly it’s emails and phone calls, talking to lawyers. It’s really important. People are having a lot of issues with FEMA right now because they’re not being responsive, and there are plenty of lawyers who would love to sue the Federal Government, because they can make money from that, but we have to be intermediaries. We have to get people what they want by using the law sometimes. So anyway, that’s a serious thing. Please email us if you’re interested in doing that work – We also have waivers that we’ve been working with lawyers to produce — both for volunteers and for residents, homeowners, tenants, people whose places we’re working on, as part of our internal legal stuff. It’s really important that these waivers get out there and get signed, so I’m trying to get them out there everywhere they’re needed — if you’re part of a construction crew, please sign a waiver before you do work somewhere. If you are working with homeowners, tenants, please make that they’ve signed a waiver before you’re working on their place. And the last thing I’m going to talk about is really fun, it’s this thing called anti-repression, which not many people know what that means. So, Common Ground was a people-powered relief and recovery thing that started in New Orleans post-Katrina, and they were infiltrated by the FBI. The state doesn’t like what we’re doing; as soon as they can get us out of the way and crush us, they’re going to. So a group of has have formed to start doing anti-repression work to combat this. We’ve already heard plenty of reports of FBI visits to certain locations in the field; this stuff is real. If you have heard of those reports, please let us know, we can put you in touch with a lawyer – it’s important to relay to lawyers. So if you’re interested in doing any of that work, please let us know.

Brett notes that he’s getting comments that camera work is getting aggressive.  “Next, if someone could speak to construction efforts.”


Andy: “So, I work with a crew of people who affectionately call themselves Respond and Rebuild; experience with disaster flood relief — Indonesia tsunami, NOLA, Haiti. Some folks have been working since the first days, and we’d like to just talk about that. So, just in general, it works like this — we pump out houses with a pump, like basements; we muck out houses, getting out mud and dirt; we gut houses, take out drywall and other destroyed items, and put it out in the street. We sanitize houses – that means we put different chemicals, natural and not, on affected surfaces to kill mold. And we finally build houses. So, this operation, in large scale — and by the way, it’s going on in other zones, but as far as maybe the doing — very deeply involved in Occupy that’s organizing large volunteer groups, it’s only in the Rockaways. There are other volunteer groups, called All-Hands Volunteers, Rubicon, which is soon to pull out of the Rockaways, which will switch to New York Cares…other groups who are doing the large-scale volunteer coordination cleanout we’re doing. We have a large-scale tool area; it’s on 74th and Beach Channel Drive; we do about 150 volunteers a day on the weekends and about 50-60 a day on the weekdays. We’ve done about 90 homes in the Rockaways. We’re doing deconstruction — I see rebuild on the board there; I might venture to say that when it comes to structure stuff, there has been very little rebuild; if there is, people might have put new drywall over moldy, bad wood. So rebuild is something one goes slow on.

“Safety: wear a mask, please please please, when you go into a moldy house. Second, maybe you’re not supposed to go into a moldy house. Maybe you shouldn’t go into the house. Please don’t go into a house where the owner is not present at. Please, please do not tear down people’s walls. Please don’t do that. I know people have, just think about it before you do. And the idea of going into a cleanout with no particular plan into an affected area is not a job; please don’t do that; you’ll be standing on the street sweeping the sidewalk and that’s not an effective use of your time.

“We at Respond and Rebuild think that these skills are going to be really important as the need transfers from direct and immediate need to rebuilding, so I would say that all of us should really start to learn some of these skills: assessment trainings, which means you know how to go to a house, write down what the damage was like, and learn how to create a workplan for a group of volunteers to come and fix that space. Also, team leader trainings (learning how to lead teams of unskilled volunteers out into homes), construction, plumbing, electrical skills. All these kinds of skills.

“Lastly, reconstruction — us folks have done a lot of development work and disaster work; we want to do it differently, we want to do it in a way that’s participatory and sustainable. Thanks.”


Housing, Nick: “I’ll try to be quick. About two weeks ago, some people got together, including myself- we created a Google form on the Internet for people that want to host a hurricane Sandy evacuee– they fill out a forms, and we’ve been matching families across the Rockaways with these homes. We’ve had a lot of success, but as the week has progressed, we ran into some legal issues, and realized that it’s beyond our capabilities to house people this way. Especially due to the fact that, as far as the housing aspect, FEMA has slowly started to step up and put people into hotels. So now our group is redirecting people and making sure they have access to these other resources from FEMA that are available. The Red Cross is trying setting up some more shelters for people, but there are some laws in NYC that are stopping them from doing that- I think that shelters can only be set up in New York City public schools, but since public schools are back in session, it’s hard to create more shelters right now. They’re trying to reach out to church organizations to find spaces not for us to set up shelters, but for people looking from these places.”


Tech, Darrell: “I do know that right now we need everybody to register on Sahana- – there’s about 56 names on the list right now, and there are 300 people here. Sahana is the system that should make it easier to manage volunteers between sites, manage sites, and manage requests back and forth between sites– it was specifically designed for disaster recovery. It’s up and running now, the CEO who designed it is working with us on this; we should have a lot of support. When you request to get in, you also have access to that same system.”


Kitchen: “I took a reportback from Norman today; the kitchen is up and running at St. John’s Episcopal in Bay Ridge – 9818 Fort Hamilton Parkway; of course their very near-term focus is to start prepping for Thanksgiving. They need at least 40 volunteers for a day shift — they have two shifts: the day shift is from 8am to 6pm. Again, they need 40 volunteers to cover the day shift. The evening shift is 7pm to 2am, they need about 15 volunteers for that, more would be great. If you have your own kit — knives, etc — bring it. They need help with communications; they want to get their own Google Voice set up so they can start directing intake, or just communicating from the kitchen, and I imagine they would set up an email and Twitter account as well. Norman has a contact number but it’s not public-facing, so I won’t give it out here. Locations need to report back to the kitchen how many meals they need to be serving for Thanksgiving. So we need to get that up and running ASAP so we know how much food to make. Drivers need to be on hand to get that food out… and a van would be great to have on hand.

Ethan: “Yes, volunteers are definitely needed; I set up that kitchen this morning, and volunteers with kitchen experience especially — you don’t send a nurse to do a lawyer’s job, right? So just throwing bodies in the space doesn’t help us; we need people who are focused.”


Next: “We have a volunteer mailing list of more than 7k people who have registered with us as volunteers, so hearing requests for volunteers, it’s important that people who need them fill out the volunteer request form on the Interocc website so that we can get them to you.”


Badger, speaking to Jersey: “They’ve been organizing and they’re using… they have conference calls every night at 9pm, if anyone wants to get on those calls to hear a lot more details about what’s happening in Jersey, you can find those on the website. What they’ve mostly been doing as far as I know right now is canvassing, doing a lot of needs assessment; they’re basically planning on having big volunteer days, mostly on weekends, Saturdays, where they’re sending volunteers to communities in need. They’ve gotten a few unions on board to help out with their effort already and things are kind of really ramping up in Jersey now. That’s pretty much all I have on Jersey. While I’ve got the floor, all of these emails addresses and hotlines will be on the Sandy Coord Interocc site – so – I’ll try to get those up sometime tomorrow, so if you’re missing some of them, you can check there. And if you don’t see yours on their, you should contact us also. to let us know to include it.

Brett: “That section only took a little over twice as long as we ambitiously thought it would, which both speaks to the amount of great work happening and amount of work that needs still to be done… We should not by any means feel guilty that it took this long, there was a lot to get out there, and this is really the first time we’re holding all of these different groups and this whole network in one space, and it was going to take as long as it needed to take. Initially, we wanted to start holding the conversation of where are we going — what’s next for this project? But it’s a quarter to 10; if we did smaller groups of… you know, people starting to talk about areas they’ve been working in, especially focusing on any feedback or conversations that you all have been having with the community itself and not just folks coming from outside doing organizational work. So if we start talking about where we see the needs of the communities we each have been engaging in, and what role we see ourselves playing, and how we move forward as the needs are changing. Does that sound  like a good use of this time?

Dalit: “And before we transition, quickly, we’re going to get a very quick report back on Occupy Sandy in Haiti.”


Lopi: “I just want to let people know that myself and two Occupy LA folks started an Occupy Sandy Haitian relief fund, and we have a fiscal sponsor with Give Love, who has done amazing work in Haiti. Just wanted to let people know that’s happening; we’re basically taking donations to start with water filters and will go from there, working with people on the ground in Haiti. Everyone in the group has worked extensively on Haiti, and have networks within there. I just wanted to let people know that that’s happening. We’re going to have a hub on Interocc soon – we have a Facebook page and a WePay and a Twitter so far. We’ll be doing some events in the community to raise awareness that this is happening; some benefits, and we’d love people to get involved. So if you wanna get involved, go to the Facebook page and contact us. Thank you.”


Zack: “The report-backs about relief efforts have been incredible to hear, but I just have a question about- it seems like certain issues coming out of the storm are beyond our scope, just as volunteers doing relief — such as the fact that there are 4 hospitals that are still partially or totally closed in the city — that seem to be more political issues, and others mentioned NYCHA, the rent issue, and I’m asking if there will be forums to start to figure out a response to these types of question. And also, I’m a carpenter; I’m all for volunteer reconstruction, but I also know a lot of unemployed carpenters, and there’s an unemployment crisis in the city and in the country and there are billions of dollars flowing into the city for reconstruction. So I guess I just wonder, where will we start formalizing responses to those types of questions?

Brett: “So one way that we could utilize the next chunk of time, the next half hour or so, we could do it in an open-space style, where folks can say topics that they want to “host” a conversation on. So we’ve had all these different areas – so you know, this person was interested in having that more political side of it, he could host that conversation over here. People who are interested in starting to form longer-term construction plans, they can go over here. Folks who are working on community-building in Red Hook or the Rockaways can go over there. We can start creating more focused conversations for the next half hour that will maybe lead to action steps and things that we can start working on before we have our next big meeting. Does that sound interesting?

POP: “I’m wondering how likely it is that we’ll get back together after these breakouts, since it’s 10, even though this seems vital.

Brett: “Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll necessarily have time to bring it back to the full group, but if we have these focused conversations they can maybe lead to work, and then at the next meeting we can fill in the gap. I don’t think we’ll have time to do both, but it would be great to have an opportunity for lots of people to talk to each other, instead of just one person talking.

Announcement: “If you’re an artist and are interested in plugging in, or if you know an artist, there’s going to be a conference call on relief and recovery and talking about different artistic projects that have already been plugging in, and how artists can plug in in the future-

Brett: “So if you want to hold a conversation about art, you can do that, but we can’t start doing announcements now. So unless there are major concerns, I saw a lot of uptwinkles for doing an open space, I think it’d be great if we just got into these conversations.

Dana: “Can we announce a time for the next meeting before we break into groups?

Brett: “We don’t have one necessarily. We can do the same time — one thing that didn’t come out yet is we’re losing Jacobi on the 30th, so we’re trying to plan what future looks like — so if there is a space that would like to host it, we can plan for same time on Tuesday, and maybe location TBD… Folks connected with space say we can do it here next Tuesday. So that’s our next meeting: 7:30pm next Tuesday.”


Conversations that will be held in “open space”-type breakouts:

* Justin: “How we can create structures within spaces we’re using that might meet long-term mutual aid.”
* Ethan: “Sending out food that isn’t healthful to people already suffering isn’t really mutual aid; it’s adding insult to injury, so let’s keep that conversation going about how to actually sustain people in the future.”
* Darraugh: “Want to have a conversation about ongoing community meetings, conversations about climate change, doing longer-term analysis of what we’ve been doing. I know some people have been working on setting up a schedule for the next couple weeks, but I’d love to hear from other hubs so we can maybe coordinate with that.”
* Rebecca: “Accountability breakout — financial accountability, transparency, etc.”
* Darrell: “We need a map of worst needs, find how they’re being addressed. We also have to coordinate with FEMA and figure out what we can get from there. And I also wanna talk about talking with a voice, we have the exposure to actually get back and say something about NYCHA, the political bit that I’m sure other people wanna talk about.”
* Andy: “Sustainable, participatory deconstruction and reconstruction.”
* Becky: “Two things — how to have better communication between hubs and sites. And volunteer wellness, which needs to know about all the different hubs anyway.”
* Shawn: “I’d like to talk about some immediate ways people can plug in to volunteer in RH — exciting things, rent strike, inputting lots of data, unloading trucks, organizing comms.”
* “An urgent question with larger implications — we had two reps from RC come to 520 this evening; asking if we could send them volunteers – and their stipulations for that: they couldn’t wear any Occupy stuff, so yeah – I see lots of downtwinkles? OK, thanks.”
* Luke wants to talk about long-term volunteer outreach, social media, media, etc.
* Bre: “Breakout groups for participatory budgeting, long-term process of setting up” money process in zones.
* Austin: “Have been working with canvassing operation, figuring out how to track, want to talk to others doing that, maybe part of this mapping convo but specifically canvass data.”
* Someone says they “want to talk about what we’re doing,” political implications.
* Easton: “Distribution between Amazon, hubs, affected communities.” Will cluster with Becky.
* Tammy: “Let’s talk about how we can keep meeting and have effective conversation” and process. Will group with Becky and Easton.
* Luke wants to talk about long-term volunteer outreach, social media, media, etc.
* Bre: “Breakout groups for participatory budgeting, long-term process of setting up” money process in zones.

: “I’m finding myself wanting to clone myself, and be in all these breakout groups. I’m just wondering if there’s a way for people to report back, so we can actually read what was going on in these groups. Maybe using some perfected form of communication that will be discovered in the breakout groups.

Badger: “We can post all the notes on the Interocc site in the SandyCoord part in the minutes section.

Brett: “Every breakout, please take notes and we’ll get them to Badger to get on the site.

Rob: “We’re going to plan some workshop days, so if you don’t get everything done tonight, stay in touch with people working with and then we’ll get together and get more work done.

Jackrabbit lets folks know about Interocc conference calls, Monday and Thursday at 9pm – the information on how to call in is downstairs by the bathroom on the wall. But you can also go to

Mrs. Doe, who has been working out in the projects in the Rockaways, has an announcement and wants to introduce herself: “Thanks very much; I’m Aria Doe with the Action Center. We’re running the city right now; working with 45k NYCHA families, 65% of them live 200% below poverty levels; interesting to hear that everyone in NYCHA centers is running into same issues we’re running into. So I want to make the links and talk to some of those agencies to see how they’re correcting these problems, but also how we’ve done it as well. We serve 1k a day; appreciate that folks here have helped to do that and the question is long-term, and how do we sustain 1000 people a day with what we have now. We want to make sure we make links and get them coming directly to us so we can continue to work.”


[accordion_panel title=”Minutes | Website Update | Dec 9 2012″]

Posted December 9th, 2012 by admin • permalink

Next steps for

design project pages
mockup community callouts on home page
mockup community page
add footer callout for coord
upload design files
revise lists css

custom posts for library (done)
featured post on home page
form to submit news
add “submit news” button to top of “newswire” page (formerly “updates”)
create library page (in resources section)

adapt cards plugin to create list view
facilitate wordpress staging discussion

test gravity forms, determine if it’s good for projects form
look at shortcodes on calendar: aren’t working
choose flickr gallery plugin for community pages (or ask dana?)

write intro paragraph for home page
investigate needs for community pages
write email re:haiti callouts
ask jackie et al about email replies that could be FAQ content

merge google site content into coord hub


[accordion_panel title=”MINUTES – 11/5/12″]

Posted November 19th, 2012 by andrea • permalink


INTEROCC: Getting requests for pickups of goods, for volunteers needed, for individuals trapped in houses, changes for the website, where to go to volunteer, how to help with specific things like mold removal. Sending nightly emails to volunteers. Getting needs from people out in the field. Reportbacks from the field. Trying to get that back to Sandy Comms. In touch with driver dispatch. And trying to keep up to date with Google Groups.

SI: Getting info from all sorts of places, need to let volunteers know where to go, HQ know who needs what. Hasnt been using OS locations spreadsheet. SI has been using a zone system, with one person as point person per zone. Need to filter info from the field up to comms, and then push that info out to all the outward facing info sources. Having a way to share lessons learned and best practices would be good.

JACOBI COMMS: Info we need is where stuff needs to go. The systems that are working are systems that are invented by people who have agency to do so.

ROCKAWAYS: Only has service from Verizon, that’s a major problem. Need hand radios.

MEDICAL: Google voice # & Gmail – needs someone to step in for medical comms. The big issue is it has to be a little bit separate for patient confidentiality and coordinating with a discrete group of people. Big request is that any medical anything be redirected to Google voice: 646 470 7256. Would like help signal boosting that that is the medical dispatch number for medical needs and volunteers. We’ve evacuated a ton of people, called lots of ambulances

CLINTON COMMS: Not getting enough info from people in the fields. We have people manning the recovers lines here – SI, LES, RH. Assigning people to different areas…

TWITTER: Hootsuite account established today to avoid duplicating posts, mixed/conflicting messages. I need to know where to direct things.

Sam – Car systems improving – now using google forms. Knowing where to send buses and trucks, which sites can be donated directly to, where to pick stuff up. Coordinating w Jacobi when we don’t have enough stuff.

Daniele – Focused on getting lunch & dinner out to every site. We have specific delivery times for food.

Casper- I was doing CI and then I found out Premo was doing that too. I started getting numbers of drivers and contacting them directly, handing reportbacks to Peter.

RH COMMS: Need clear channels of comms, point people with roles that can be easily rotated into. INGRID MADE A CHART.

Central comms – sending out, getting in. 3 prongs — Outward facing prong – they are fielding questions and

CELLY: Needs are similar to FB and Twitter needs. We need to have

FB: We dont have enough people managing facebook given the number of questiosn coming thru there. Things cut out for awhile. Something about casseroles and hipsters with food trucks. Daniele says to send them to Jacobi.

Daniele: Chef says our space is as cold as a fridge. Cut out. Food needs to get to this very cold place by 9-930?


[accordion_panel title=”MINUTES – 11/4/12″]

Posted November 19th, 2012 by andrea • permalink

Paulie anne-
I would like to bring up how we can take the infrastucture that has been useful in Red Hook to help other Communities particularly Houseing Projects to reach the housebound and those with medical needs. Or organizing in general.

PLEASE FILL IN GAPS< HARD TO HEAR SOME !! I'm here... apparently brown, Lopi. i like this color Premo: SI Sent about 15 cars out to SI for assesment. unique socio econ landscape. residential, commercial, industrial. bad commuication to clarify sites and hubs. Hub didnt come through because of the politics. Blah all good, evolving, SI team evolved docs. Cleaning doc. Know your rights doc. Google Map with key locations with zones: block radius zones. A newsletter is being developed. Nurse doing door to door. Washing eyes, cleaning cuts. More medic support needed. Divided shifts out there, transition, 4 hr shifts on SI have coordinator commitees with needs assesment back to Com hub to fill those needs. Internal comms are being set up for SI : from Red Hook. Paulie Anne: Gowanus Warehouse Opening up Hot food at PS 27 (?) Politicians are coordinating putting pressure to get power back on Tess: Jacobi all day. Things went well, organizing themselves well things need to be worked out Street team report backs from the recovery zones? others/// crowd of people were having trouble coordinating with clinton hill inter hub com stuff in the works intake projections for needs system is set up floor, still issues with people coming in and trying to take food need de-esculation and spanish speakers to help manage that went from crib sheets with addresses we have walkie talkies today they are working great who has access to the email - need more people on the email? who is this>
Coming back from Ocean City
good connections at the senior center
ad hoc effort, community based effort
moving to a church over there for a base
got to the jersey shore but parts are still inaccessible
excited to be able to help people and build off of ny

manning the driver celly loop
lots of pickups all over brooklyn
tomorrow only north brooklyn
and williamsburg
shadow is Alex
transitioning out of the role tomoro
and looking for people to help be dispatchers for drivers
call him or her about that

Kirby from Red HOok
question mark about the food?
the hot food will not be served at RI
it will be moved to ….WHERE?
a church?

confusion between comms and dispatch
koby was the google voice number was unclear
to manage site info and community sites
new sites coming in, do we want all of those on the google doc?
people from affected areas started coming to our hosue and asking for food
this worked well
managed to get a toe hold in a neighborhood
micro hubs>>>>> having trouble hearing her<<<< sorry dont duplicate efforts talked about the other comm issues but proposal to move all intake for needs at clinton ave si gmail and gvoice newsletter will start in cpl days REhook: 5-7 taking in resources, some relocating sources back to nieghborhoods. medical needs visists, clean, medical system, chuch goods, 402 van brunt 321 van brunt PS27 and poss baptist church across street pols working to get power on . jacabi went well, ppl organizng selves well, huge overflow of vols. still much to get worked out (unnamed doing much better than I could do) so using resources in other areas. (:


[accordion_panel title=”MINUTES – 11/3/12 – COMMS MEETING”]

Posted November 19th, 2012 by andrea • permalink

Proposal from Bre
$$ divided into 2 categories (5)
Emergencies and long term
cleaning public spaces houses community investment – long term gereenhouses – 70% of the $$

Temp Check
If you feel good generally press 2

Morgan – missed 30 secs missed disclaimer – if this is the wepay occupy $ Yes.
I don’t think that long term recovery is on the description on the wepay Bre – it is – since Tuesday.
who? we put that on our page – can only have one – thought majority would go to feeding, cleaning houses, immed needs

andy – doing a lot of the longer term coord, reconstruction effort that fell into; a large portion will be dedicated to what you think – the cleanup and reconstruction of houses
having spent large amounts of money – ows has a of leaving behind a sustainable infrastructure in that neighborhood, and that is why bree was talking about long term

badger – we’re supporting ny and nj with the webiste – the wepay says only ny; if we separate the wepays ny will get the lion’s share – wonder how ppl feel about separating out to two accts.

justin – awesome – bre and everyone helping with the finances – trust you totally – thinks it’s great you are putting focus on the long term — capacity building – need structures to keep our volunteers engaged; thinks bldg infrastructure, engagement with vol., getting resources to vol, to keep ppl activated in our network,

kirby – coord vol. effort in red hook – the big thing with the %, the only thing that makes me nervous is 30% – if we have another big storm what kind of financial strain will it put on – any funds to allocate to keep ppl warm; cold one thing, wet and cold another

bre -ran off out in kind donations yesterday and today – we don’t need to use funds for things like food, need to keep for emergency relief – avialable for emergence back up – otherwise look for in kind while we’re able; donations peaking

tammy – if we have a snowstorm, we could bring in more funding – doing % so that when more comes in, same % go to certain things; we are not talking about projects — – we are talking about helping devastated communities sustain themselves in the long run
at jacobi besides some small petty cash, we can take care of needs; relationships with food vendors – food doesn’t concern me

moira – ques by email – how to access emergency money what is process – got a request for a women who needs a special bed

bre – system used migs and s17 – a person on the ground with petty cash, knowing what the steps are for use – for an emergency – in the event we can’t fill a need with in kind – what i have been seeing on facebook is that anytime someone has a speicfic story, that is filled within 15 minutes; petty cash would be with a point person at distribution centers
5 2s, 6 stand asides no downs

badger – ques – new for nj or will these be shared
andrea – help nj as well 2nd his pro or ques

how to move forward to help jersey
tammy – we should share it – in occupy, ny got all the money and others didn’t; impt to share with jersey – could change language to tristate – would like to not see us have ny take all the resources

bre – would like to sep $$ out until each of the recover spaces – solid contacts in the comm; keeps $$ more local and funnels $ to you – out of the 70%

morgan – soe experience with this is other states; org to build comm structures

2nd that – it would work well to make sure those ppl get the resources – they have contacts and know the communities

premo – the basic answer about nj is def yes but larger ques about how sites relate to us – do we send money to atlantic city – there’s a group over here that wants money but how do we decide who’s part of the network

korby – wanted to ask – accountability structure to report back to the public and what are the rules

bre – none of the money has been taken out yet – as soon as we start making money part of the convo, in kind donations fall off, ppl think they can spend money

tammy – daniele – involved in budgeting – receipts back, going well, has accountability process

Report Backs

Tess – a little hectic – a lot of diff input than output — sources of info, twitter,, hotline, google voice number used by ppl on site at recovery sites; a lot of problems with everyone getting the right information; database being shared with everyone – going into tmrw we’ll have more info; as more comes in – everyone has access
a big thing to think about is how we are coord on site – comm bet us and them; we need to consider comm bet here and clinton hill

Andrea – i love you guys – the whole comm sytem about driving and cause – getting 200-300 emails a day; helping with hub updates – 20 an hour; need ppl on the ground to report in about what you still need, don’t need, and what to do with volunteers – please send at night; other than that great work today – using the sites on the ground and whose in charge, contacts beefed up more – very helpful

Sam – setting up the new space – relatively way – only 8 hrs old; a lot of the

relied heavily on the google spreadsheets that were not up to date or the sites had new and inexperienced ppl who didn’t know what to do; what to send who where when; comm bet these two hubs – the loop – haven’t checked it today and thinking it is falling by the wayside – may be able to fig out tmrw at the new site – awesome office space

kirby – heaviest thing – red hook – we had too much of everything – hundreds of volunteers – had to turn some away, don’t want to do; had too many donations – 110 w. 9th taking in 3rd at visitation place – had to open up p.s. 37(?); throughout the day today bec they were getting so influxed with donations, they shut down sporadically; connar and chotan maybe wrapped into this system – i didn’t even know you had coordinatable cars – tmrw we may have up to 600 volunteers – focused on the residents in red hook, haven’t been able to tie into the comm system – will have extra supplies at every single point – right now don’t know where to send

tammy – we set up a google voice # – they can report back to it what the needs are; red hook, clinton, jacobi – can call this number and find out need and where they can send some to; incoming needs, new sites and their needs – call the google voice # is the goal for tmrw – 646-543-5324

bre – report back from rockaway most helpful a bunch of flashlights and moving vans to be mobile; other thing – there’s a chat on the side of the speadsheet and that seemed effective today – access it

morgan – – working on a way to make the need more noticeable a green light or other color – we have big voice online – we have the ablity to write all of the vol, needs req; be careful, don’t overwhelm ppl – be measured; don’t ask requesters to do twitter, celly etc ; med – if you are not a dr or nurse, the best thing is to drive ppl – the vast majority of us are not equipped to deal with med needs

premo – staten island – was a mess today – for a variety of reasons – (now have up and running and ready to hit tmrw) we seem to be adept at gathering info and putting some where
clarify somehow the staten island situation was complicated for a number of reasons, complicated out there – frantic comm that speaks to email comm – i propose an email goes out to the list to only share info they can confirm with there own eyes – if someone is telling you info they should be the ones to update; actionable steps first hand info; cares; socio-economic – several sites up there that are not talking to each other – rectifying that now – would like to help improve – have staten island comm team only

areile – running point on that – team at jacobi – running point on a 10 person scouting team – cut turf, access, identify sites from recovery to distribtuion; hopefully those spots can be self-sustained. not just a mess of info and ppl going out bonked out

the google voice # have a flyer – a list of questions to access new sites

freal? medical needs – trying to bring diff ppl into the same space – going down thru ows medical – there was a 6p conf call – org med intake, needs, mobilation and deliver mary clienda and ?? coming to jacobi – only function as med team distribution hub – all medical needs and requests should be directed to them and all gen ques they get about vol will be directed to volunteers; ramp up the,,,,, in coord with the person on the site;

jr – 2 things – 1) andrea — main person fo the inbox – impt to share the responsibility so we’re not getting burned out. 2. feel that a convergence of comm is not happening; the io sandy site – not aware of a central comm area; info is going out on the os site – how is that getting to ppl – a number of channels – the xx site, and how is that getting out; impt to deal with; not hearing it’s being dealt with

peter richardson – i am manning that line – the spreadsheet – ad hoc os locations; will be at jacobi tmw – have pw for the spreadsheet if anyone needs access

lopi – report back from far rockaway no more clothes, no delevrery, no volunteers, no nothing after 4p arrival – would love it if hot foods could be on a tight schedule at 11 a and 3pm; a new for a new hub v 38 st gertrudes chruch – send all the volu there to be oriented; send all hot foods, we will distribute ourselves – updated wish list to the list serve, io keep an eye out.

kirby – at work – speaking loud – i 2nd the worry about comm going back and forth – a huge worry – request – right now at rhi – we are limited on coord staff and all this info about the google voice line is not being communicated with the vols in the center – please huge favor – compile one email with all the hot links, websites, etc. and can communicate to the 3 centers in red hook

? – what happened here at jacobi – the hot line and tech team in same room and comm closely; today the team went to side and set up a …. new ppl were like an age old affinity
3 point plan
finishing consolidating and the comm process – the data into a clear manageable data base
call vols back and complete profile – better contact
diff from what premo was saying in SI
long and short the ppl handling comms and list will be meeting in the a.m bet 9 and 9:30 – the trajectory we were on before this call

badger – we’re getting deluge of req for changes on the hub; sometimes getting req and then change it back; ppl panicing; getting stuff on website a bit of bottleneck – the front page updated, the other pages a bit behind; gave ariel admin access and she will do staten island and send me info from there; if someone is on the ground and can do the tech work for their location, that would keep it manageable

premo – that info will be streaming on a hierarchy of needs; dated comm about what we are trying to report back from the grond – sites that are unconfirmed(?)

andy – spent half the day trying to think about working with the os crew to become more outfitted home clean-out service – next step in our org effort; stated with a report back from the rockaways today – starts with yana being tiny and overwhelmed, also connected to a lot of vol going out there.
need to improve on os info on the rockaways; in general we need to focus a lot more about sending much more prepared sets of volunteers – oglie and mat – int’l vol core – point ppl out in the rockaways, the farthest along coord large scale clean ups – got inundated today and need to be careful with them tmrw dicey’s ….. info gathering tact – will also – much more training on our side – skill sets impt but much more impt is dedication and committment; think tammy will be going out to rockaway to improve our comm with rockaway tmrw
we’re gonna have a hard stop at 11 – sleep on it and comm tmrw early in the day

justin 520 clinton vol site – tremendous build up from nothing to many by end of day – heading to la. for a few days, but while i’m out i’ll be trying to find new sites that we can send the vols to; incredible working with you

sam – direct to dicey – comms space beuatiful and big at new site – tech and hotline ppl already there, ppl there, maybe makes it more conducive; who’s the rockaways coord based here? whoever – geeenpeace who has the cell phones – trying to get info back – only worked once
justin g said the site got up to speed and we got lots of vol – they started an os wedding registry on amazon – consulted with us to see what we want; big ticket items gonna go on

kirby – can i get one person to commit to send one recapped email with every single resource – will be at red hook site all week. someone confirm

dicey – that’s a top priority but i think we are all confused about what all is out there

proposal – a google doc google voice hotline links to forms – tammy will create, everyone can dump in, will someone take point and look at it in the a.m. and send and email – dicey will

laura – les – goles comm center – 1500-2000 vol came thru the site; caav had can’t have that many – both are trying to transition back to going to their programming on monday; how do we get everyone in manhattan and north of bklyn to tune into what it going out on the outer borough sites; working on transportation, redirecting to jacobi and clinton hill site tmrw. pretty much every public housing door has been knocked on, power back on

sam – for folks in manhattan maybe should go further uptown – westchester counties, we are having trouble placing volunteers in the outer boroughs; this is not aid and community building – how do we use this activated energy – don’t know what that is in practice – how do we focus on areas that were hit and focus on future building

we had no capacity to send people to the outer boroughs – feel that 90% of our people can’t get out – asking them to go back to their communities knock on doors there, get….later in the week

justin – while we have this attn and vol influx – to let the vol know they should share and tweet, etc. – that will help build capacity that when they go back to their jobs…
we went outside of barclay’s tonight and collected donations – whatever ppl can do in own communities

tess – tonight should we all be thinking about the specific comms goal that each site needs, comm with the world, the vol, inter, intra comm, one suggestion: be intentional about the usage of diff resources; if diff types of comm could be used for each resource – only having needs going to the google voice; the email is totally overloaded; it would be great if we could all get on same page about what goes where

tammy – if we have an interocc line here red hook, clinton, anyone with power and a phone – have done for actions – is it possible for an io member to man?
sam – can we call in hang up, get off?
tess –

dicey – think we’re getting into an area outside this call – maybe pick up convo tmrw

joan – i’m gonna jump in tomorrow – i think the idea … inbox from 1-3 tmrw; i will make sure to keep a line open if we do that
who has access to and pw for the interocc twitter and the sandy twitter so we are on the ……

premo – take lots of deep breathes – we’ve gone in 4 days of a group that are … and have scaled up a massive operation; the red cross were sending ppl to us, there were nat’l guardsmen sitting in on our class; congratualtions


[accordion_panel title=”MINUTES – 11/2/12″]

Posted November 19th, 2012 by andrea • permalink

Nov 2nd, 9am call

Agenda – (Notetaker please enter notes directly into agenda)
Basic Call Intro
Purpose and length of call, agenda and date of next call
Intro to call process
Using the num pad
1 – get on stack
2 – agree
3 – disagree
4 – direct response (use sparingly, do not use to jump stack!!!)
5 – tech problems (TA will help you)
Be succinct
Say check or yield or somehow indicate you are done talking

2. updates

3. Volunteer coordination

4. New roles

5. $$

AMY – caravan from astoria to staten island on saturday collecting supplies contact
recovery location that borough president has, get in touch with laura she is setting that up
Doctors W/O BORDERS – needed in all recovery places send to rock and staten island
particular needs?

premo – aaraon bakis black- organize medics

volunteering supplies – rubber gloves and asks / needs

tess – updated contact list of volunteers at jacobi – send contact list to andrea

sam – can lopi add tess or dicey to celly, coordinating rides, going to church, coordinate celly and hotline information

lopi – on celly webpage looking for usernames /

andy – at jacobi, one convoy to far rock now – eli has large cc rental fully gassed –

two pumps going to far rock and musicians,

FEMA is handing out food in far rock

libraries are open for people to go charge

justin – volunteer coordination pushing the limits of our system, helping streamlining the process of intake, sites should set up volunteer training, phone banking, caravans, if you want to train volunteers with a conference call and in person training

outreach – 2 people offered to do phone banking, prepare for the weekend and early next week

send volunteers to GOLES, can people go to SI and CI – sites are getting set up today

red hook update – up and running, chloe cochran is poc for today, accepting donations at park slope armory
premo – will forward
vols go to hicks
donations go to miccio center

lopi – staten island, 2 locations there that
unitarian church of SI 312 filmore
crossroads church 168 new dorp lane that is the right address – will double check i have it in an email
168 is the address. quick google map of SI locations:,-74.149818&spn=0.162737,0.253029
donations and volunteers

resources for printing – resource sheet and printed / peter needs a flier to print for distro
also post to hub for people to download and print
jackrabbit will do the flyer
occucopy – will see if they can do it for free 388 atlantic,
send all fliers to

community orgs and nfp’s in area need tools for the long term
it can also help with credibility of upper donors, like city agencies – they don;t have grassroots organization, talking to people in city and emergency management, large non profits and aid organization, putting credibility behind what we’re doing, making them bring us to the table.
confusion at jacobi how does it fit in there, but it is a tool

12pm staten island ferry is running – you can take ferry and get shuttle to locations, liam – lost his house and everythgin cna direct people who needs help,
ny water taxi free rides from ikea to lower manhattan

we need maps of rockaway

justin – backlash to mayor for continue the nyc manhattan, boro pres called for a postpone, marathon of support not running, who is interested in developing that with him,
– questions on celly about gas – where people can go? is there a map of operational gas stations?

premo – reached out to working families and united ny, printing electioneering maps, to help hit doors

marathoners – trying to organize volunteer event rather than marathon

dicey/tim – text loop of drivers
sam – celly loop
phone banker
premo – staten island support
lopi – monitoring FB and twitter, do some celly, go to far rock or SI and do video for social media outreach, signage for places
tess – text loop and do twitter and facebook
nick – 59th street


[accordion_panel title=”MINUTES – 11/1 – ADMIN CALL”]

Posted November 19th, 2012 by andrea • permalink

OccupySandy November 1st 2012 9pm call

Aggregation point for notes:

In Attendence
Jackrabbit – Comms (TA)
Duncan –
Dana, Linnea, Rebecca

Agenda – (Notetaker please enter notes directly into agenda)
Basic Call Intro
ID notetaker
Purpose and length of call, agenda and date of next call
Intro to call process
Using the num pad
1 – get on stack
2 – agree
3 – disagree
4 – direct response (use sparingly, do not use to jump stack!!!)
5 – tech problems (TA will help you)
Be succinct
Say check or yield or somehow indicate you are done talking

Site updates

– drop off / pick up sites
sam – will send jr and badger new sites (brooklyn) queens and uptown
laura – north SI will email
andrea will coordinate uptown
cass – pros heights sent to the celly 193 sterling sam has it

– distro sites (jacobi)
taking in volunteers and food
jacobi – rocked tons of people and food – sent to far rock and coney and howard beach
we have it thru sat probably longer

– recovery sites (far rock, CAAAV etc)
caaav has deluge of people. Andrea has lots of stuff, bringing there. need to get message to manhattan folks that need to bring stuff there. need volunteers also.
bowery mission and new LES site – Nazareth (206 E. 4th street – Contact: Michael Callaghan (212) 471-7017)- needs a POC and organize their volunteers
PREMO – GOLES 171 avenue b, on website drop off for goods, non perish and lights, need volunteers 12 and 6p tomorrow, going into building and canvass
far rock – b113 – Yana, its up, dedicated vols, local, still need volunteers, hot food, 10 1 and 5pm, establish normalcy, they need vols to canvass to assess needs
veggies island – cleaned it today, volunteers to clean to get it open as possible kitchen
59th should be taken down from hub
laura – recovery site SI south side chiurch 168 newdorp? need vols food and ideas
nick – howard beach location set up dropped off food, broad channel btw rockaway – they have suppliues – need volunteers. up and running and good

20th and 7th ave – nothing for people there – no support its a mad house
cass – LES – avenue d project in bad shape, stuck in buildings, no

Where we have holes?

jersey –

sam – we sent to coney island have not heard back yet – establishing site justin – coney, boardwalk to seagate, no power flooded, 33rd street and neptune – president of development, she will let us set up there in the morning.

group with hot food, right now.

sites in queens and bklyn
staten island, jacobi
manhattan – to chinatown and LES

cooked fiood in LES – we need a cooking site closer to there
sam – food not bombs set up new kitchen in lower manhattan possibly zuccotti, they might be able to do that

hole – we don;t have distro site in NJ or recovery site
badger – actively building jersey, organizers email

gas needs – we need gas in brooklyn in jacobi, we have bio diesel busses, may have one that can do manhattan, these are 80% solid,
send it to jacobi

amy – gas is scarce uptown

List of roles?


What do we have?

duncan – streamline volunteer intake online can help
sam – celly peopel are using it alot, requests for pickups, rideshare org space, taking a lot of time, needs remote people to help
justin – hotline – outlines. hotline 4 numbers set up all set up at google voice that connect several people, they can text too, needs people coordinate volunteers, outward potential volunteers, FB is useful, sending volunteers info twice a day – send to justin
trick or treat for aid – fb page is still up – people are self organizing for aid and carpool – crowdsourced app

dicey – shout out about

email sam – training in the morning for celly

justin/andrea – how do the comms connect to each other. badger would like to hear about that. we are reorganizing the hubs so each region get its own page
clarity on specific needs in locations

tammy – volunteer coordination – worked well today better tomorrow, sent cars to pick them up – and goods, doing same tomorrow.
we have a lot of info of what we have – talk about structure int he a.m.
tammy suggestion – comm flows and vol flows how does it all fit together

12pm at drop of locations in bklyn

red hook update – laura they might be closing tomorrow afternoon – storage site – opening in area coordinating all efforts moving that to rhi or just serving from storage site
good on vols – need medical services

premo – open question think about fo rtomorrow – next few days will peer and resource coordination, inventory of needs will shift over the days

What do we need?


Volunteers and goods – where?

– List of roles
– Review of online tools for volunteer intake

Occupy Radio
People are getting very very little support from Gov. They have no idea what is going on or where to go for services. Is there a way we can leverage our contacts at WBAI or do we have pirate radio we can use to broadcast important information for folks?
Volunteer army
People in lower manhattan are in dire need and we have a lot of folks who have offered to help. Can we get them to lower manhattan to help out?


[accordion_panel title=”Minutes – 11/1″]

Posted November 19th, 2012 by andrea • permalink

OccupySandy November 1st 2012 9am call

Aggregation point for notes:

Agenda – (Notetaker please enter notes directly into agenda)
Basic Call Intro
Purpose and length of call, agenda and date of next call
Intro to call process
Using the num pad
1 – get on stack
2 – agree
3 – disagree
4 – direct response (use sparingly, do not use to jump stack!!!)
5 – tech problems (TA will help you)
Be succinct
Say check or yield or somehow indicate you are done talking




Aid Areas
Volunteer management
getting people around
Drop off locations

PR and messaging
Team of folks to craft message

1. greenpeace volunteers and action

Question: Duncan we will mail out this info to 20,000 people in NY area mailing list and public demonstration on Sat/Sun. We want to know where there is appropriate place to plug in volunteers?




Premo: identified 2 sites. 1) @ intersection of B113 st & rockaway blvd. we have keys to site can use for staging area. very large. no place to prepare food. [This is Rockaway Park not Far Rockaway BTW, people that live there might care]
Can we have teams of volunteers do cleanup for destroyed homes?

2) 96th st and rockaway beach blvd restaurant called Veggie Island. Propane stove, he thinks. Potentially can cook food there. [This is Rockaway Beach not Far Rockaway, residents might care about this BTW]

Seems like low income folks who stayed are stuck in their homes. Getting reports that it’s dangerous out there.

Bobby: I’m bottomlining the Veggie Island food and materials distro and cleanup, contact me at 718-772-3802. Priority to get volunteers to clean the small restaurant at Veggie Island at B96th Street and Rockaway Beach Blvd. Volunteers should meet at 2pm at Veggie Island or B113th St. community center if they arrive earlier. We need to get food and cleaning supplies here. Tim Whelen has a bunch of cleaning supplies being donated

There is another location at Beach 59th street, and Rockaway Beach Blvd, it’s an outside location by a firehouse. We don’t want people going straight there, volunteers should be sent to the community center at B113th st and Rockaway Blvd throughout the day after 12pm (Diego? Primo? This is Bobby, can it be earlier at B113th?)

Diego: out there is no communication zone. with the greenpeace folks that are visiting they were helpful yesterday late at night and we’re going to set up some communications with them today. it’s all dirt. people need boots, warm clothes, etc. There are community leaders who want to continue this themselves–so that’s the goal similar to red hook but with far fewer resources. There are a lot of folks that are distraught.

We are leaving from St. Jacobi at 10:15. address is 5406 4th avenue.

Red Hook

Conor: Meals at 12 and 6 pm. Volunteers coming at 10 am to get plugged in. We had a community meeting at a flagpole. Now community meetings at 10 am and 4 pm.
Columbia st. and Lorraine st. We’re just getting streamlined with doing intake of volunteers. Conor will be there all day and will be a point person: 979 204 9253. Keep this # internal. Need: Food, Flashlights, Batteries, Candles. Also trying to help with the community agitation and trying to get people organized coming out of this. That will be focus today.

Sophia: Going to be helping with her friend to clean up near the B113 st site.

Tammy: Do you want volunteers there and is Red Hook closing up shop today to get their programing back up and running?

Zoltan: Response: we will need volunteers again today. We can assess at 10 am and report back. We have a landline and wi-fi but poor cell reception. The Red Hook Initiative are letting us use the space and are being very proactive, but probably on Friday or Sat we’ll have to move. Zoltan was looking for another place yesterday and will continue today.

Premo: Flagging–As it’s a relationship I have, part of the tension, which is common, is that that staff and space feel overwhelmed. They are used to running programs not doing disaster relief, which is different work. If someone could step up to really provide support for Sheryl and Jill (ED), that is a priority in supporting that space in doing the long-term work. We need a couple of good people that really need to step up and manage the space in a calm and intentional way.

Rob (@brooklynrob / We are located on the very southern part of carroll gardens with easy walking distance to red hook. if people need a staging ground or place to gather. Brooklyn Brainery: 515 Court Street. Intersection of Court and 9th. and specifically –

Laura: Trinity Church is going to be donating a storage space and materials, either today or tomorrow, nearby the red hook initiative. Chloe has more info on that front–will include her email asap. Also, medics will be there in red hook tomorrow.


Terri: We don’t have a drop off site right now in astoria. there are a lot more donations that need to be picked up. if you konw anyone in astoria or long island city that could serve as a drop off site, pls get in touch with Terri.


Please pop in and add more contacts / addresses here.

Food supplies and offer volunteers services. Got an email from CAAV last night and gave a specific list of things they need.
Sent to

Bowery initiative needs food and generators and are open 24-7.

Andrea: we have 2 drop off points in manhattan one is my address ???
one in harlem on 157th and what??

Elana: LES recovers has been answering the phone line. we have been sending people to check up on individuals who may be stuck in their homes. that will be continuing.


THIS IS THE PLAN: ALL Brooklyn based drop off locations listed on the interoccupy site will also be transportation hubs from there to St. Jacobi. From St. Jacobi we’ll figure out where people need to go. The transportation times will be 12 and 3.
So far there are site in Ft greene, bed sty, park slope, 2 in williamsburg. Sam says there will be more added soon.
to get more sites onto the hub, send an email to Subject line: HUB UPDATE.

Ask people to wait outside.

Other notes:

George: from question: does info from the occupy website get transfered to the recover website. Answer: get on the occupysandy google group.

How to get on the Occupy Sandy Google Group: Email at and she’ll add you.

Ronny: Gas is becoming a logistical problem.



Can we add a new site out there? Nick says there is a need.

Nick: livestreamer in queens in howard beach. does anyone have transportation to get some people down there. many people have water up to roofs of house.
Nick: Wants to be added to the listserve. I can’t speak for staten island, but he has family and friends and he has a spot set up. one at volunteer firehouse where they will let us set up. NICK: What are these sites?
cell 917 833 9957

Staten Island

Daphne: have a couple of possible hubs but hasn’t been there. 646 398 0869

Desperate need to get a crew and a car that is reliable. the only way out there from NYC is the Verrazano bridge.
we have needs and volunteer requests coming in it is very overwhelming.

Premo: Nick response. For today, can you get to st. jacobi. If we could get folks to Jacobi and from there get a car load or two car loads of people and some food to take it out to howard beach. and then we can do step 2 which would be what bre was suggesting to establish a hub.

Nick: he has a location set up. he can find a way to jacobi.

Tammy: it sounds like we need a list of where we’re sending people to. and sam it would be really useful to know what kinds of needs are needed at each location.

If your issues aren’t sufficiently addressed pls email to

Andrea: I need someone to call me or email me about what is there and what is needed. Send that information to me. If people who are bottomlining different locations, feed your needs to andrea. 646 326 4896 and leave a VM.
(Andrea, this is beyond the scope of just / Occupy, we also have this spreadsheet the tech group is using – Consolidation is probably something we (tech folks) could help with as well if that’s a need. (
OK that convo is going offline.

Andy: 41 flatbush we need someone to pick up a generator and other things.

Premo: has been listing specific needs


Justin: with we set up sites but we need folks to staff the hotlines. We need people with good connection and internet.
if we’re looking for people to plug in who are stuck at home. LES hotline, Astoria Hotline, staten island, and more.

If you know anyone who can do this email: or
we have students from Yeshiva university going over to St. Jacobi but we need to be getting info from the ground to plug them in. – ANDREA WILL CONTACT JUSTIN ABOUT PHONE VOLUNTEERS

Premo: I wanted to propose that we have an hour long conference call that is just about logistical organizing and coordination to really get a solid backbone to support emergence of more hubs. we’re in quick mode but we need infrastructure that could last for weeks. we also need to do this with intentionality and empowerment, we can do this in a way that is different from FEMA and red cross. – ANDREA WILL CONTACT PREMO TO SCHEDULE TIME

elana to contact andrea re: volunteers at

lopi – celly loop needs help, tracy – can help volunteer.

sam – will talk to lopi about celly as well.



tammy – see the far rockaway devastation – less about the work but see what’s actually going on
need a group dedicated to crafting messages.
justin – offer an apology to the group about the press release not being representative of everyone, moving forward, press strategy is helpful in getting resources and pushing media and press to the places that are most affected and have the most needs.
– anyone who wants to be part of this effort is open and augment the work
jr would like to be involved with press
tammy – han is on jacobi, he is volunteering for press


Gas shortage – gas fueled generators may not be the best idea

350 really important example of something we need to stop. empowers people – develop solution to the problem is part of that.
staging rally/event this weekend – is it appropriate to connect to relief effort 30 – 40 people to come help clean up this weekend
requesting meta roles, to coordinate or offer transportation
saturday or sunday – bring a bunch of people to st. jacobi

rob – nytech meetup crew, – several locations, for those of you on the ground, let us know what is logistically not work so tech people can develop apps, coding can help with fema applications etc

see or talk how we coordinate between different groups, contacts with national red cross – how we can coordinate?

jr – talking with person crowdsourcing with volunteers and needs and will pull him in, also

lopi – support duncan’s climate change action – would like to help – duncan when you email please ask for green energy sources.


[accordion_panel title=”Minutes – 10/31/12″]

Posted November 19th, 2012 by andrea • permalink

Here are running notes for our 10/31 9am (EST) Conf Call…

Check out the top right corner for more options on this ‘etherpad’ ~~~~~>>

The listserv for this organizing group:

If people want to create their own site >>>

Celly loop: text “@OccupySandy” to 23559 open to all

Text @occupysandyaid to 23559 for organizers only

Today’s Schedule:

Redhook 787 Hicks St- breakfast
CAAV 46 hester street requested help in chinatown


1PM – Caravan heading from Red Hook (767 Hicks St) to Rockaway

7:30pm – OWS Puppet Guild at Red Hook, (earlier at Sunset Park)

Call info:
Call 1-218-862 -6789

Enter code 405461

“This is not a sprint, it’s a marathon” -Gary Roland

In attendance:
Justin Wedes – #SandyVolunteer coordinator,
Caitria O’Neill –,
Keith Hart – MTOG Emergency Medical Consulting
Pamela DiFrancesco –
Ursulina, NYC Public Advocate’s Office,
Tony Bacigalupo,
Rob Underwood / @brooklynrob / (Also, I sit on the Community Board 6 – which includes Red Hook – Youth, Education, Human Resources Committee)
Bobby, on the ground in Rockaway,
Elana Bullman, helping with
Bre, admin on
Diego (@bolivianator) and Mark Adams (@emarkadams), kitchen at, also chinatown
Joe Hillis , head of the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center
Timothy Weldon, Occupy Wall Street Radio
Andrea – IO
Jackrabbit – IO
Lopi – occupy sandy, twitter, facebook, celly
Tammy – IO

Not in attendence, but importanct POCs:
Jessica Lawrence, New York Tech Meetup,
Noel Hidalgo, NYTM,
Andrew Rasiej , NYTM,

People are having trouble getting on this call, we should use maestro going forward or another more reliable service. //sure thing


Personal intros, intro to Hurricane Sandy Recovery
Urgent report-backs
Intro to functionality – Caitria
Daily Schedule of Events (list ’em below ?)
Sandy Relief Hackathon w/ @HurricaneHackrs
Greenpeace Solar Truck – Robert Gardner
Connecting parallel efforts

Please promote the Interoccupy page on your social media
It is a single place where information for ALL of the relief efforts can be disemanated. It has all the drop off points and all the sites. It also has a form for volunteers to enter their information.


Redhook 787 Hicks St- breakfast , canvassing
CAAV 46 hester street
1PM carvan from redhook Initiative to Far Rockaway
7PM puppet show for children tonight in REDHOOK
1 AM
2 AM

hackathon: identifying the needs that are out there.
– long term solutions (govt grants, ins, etc.)

to become an admin of please email

Website functionality: everyone log in to astoria (
Password: abc123
– this site can offer people help for the next 5yrs.
– frotnn page needs: immediate un-filled needs (someone stuck in a building)
– generally has 140-200 ppl at any point in time
-community admin button top right
-recovery information
-message center-.> send an email message to ANYONE who has signed up on the site
-google doc with admin stuff: ADD HERE
Best thing early volunteers can do is to canvass- bring info is good, but also collecting info
-contact info
-where aid dropped off
-description of need

REDHOOK: will be cooking food to bring to rockaway
– volunteers need to be redirected to a new location becuase the Redhook location has their own volunteers
-NEEDS: identify a spot for a generator and warm cooked food (ideally fridge and kitchen)

How do we plug in city-wide volunteers?

WePay Account?
-equation for money:
Water Off
No Potable Water
Electricity Off+
High Pollution Area
Low Income Area
Stores Closed
Relief Crews Unavailable
Standing Water
Downed Trees
Homes Lost
each of these is worth 1 point, your location then gets a score between 1 and 10. multiply that score by $5, and you get that amount per person. Then their budget is how many people on average they deal with per day. I am thinking it would be helpful for all involved to have a list of people who have recieved aid (so we know how many people we re reaching, etc)
anyone who wants to add anything to the wepay can email that info to me at

Celly Loop:
cureated seems to be a better idea (can be open as well)
-how to join: text @occupysandy 23559
-anyone who wants to help curate text @occupysandy to 23559
-made a new one that can be the closed one on celly
-1500 person text loop/ occupy alert text loop – used yesterday @occupysandyaid

Hard to use text loop stuff long-term. There will be a need to have these resources in the future.
-cell loop used for more reactive stuff

Should warn people NOT to use candles during power outages…common source of house fire.<-- maybe we should just teach people to use candles safely? Sure. ITDRC looking for nonprofits to donate large amounts of things like latex gloves etc. from corporate sponsors. Our Relief Sites Test U/P for abc123 Events: Red Hook street kitchen - time? place? other street kitchens Resources: - Site Administrator Guide - Here is the Google form Tony & Jessica set up to capture volunteer information - - Here is the page Rob U set up to communicate and coordinate the tech response - - Hurricane Hackers IRC - (this is pretty active, good resource) - Hurricane Hackers GitHub - - Hurricane Sandy Recovers FIELD SHEET - Description of the hackathon we're planning - -Occupy Wall Street Radio: @BrooklynRob -Interoccupy hub - collection of imoportant disaster relief information - Celly for announcements to orient volunteers daily text @occupysandy to 23559 celly for organizers,,,, building it now current amount: $2,807.67 Misc E-mail / Communications RE Red Cross Coordination: ---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: Ball, William
Date: Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 9:23 AM
Subject: FW: ARC POCs – NY Tech Hackathon
To: “Thurner, Susan”
Cc: Rob Underwood

Hi Susan…I hope you are doing well and not feeling too many impacts from Hurricane Sandy!

Please see the email below from Rob Underwood. You may remember him as my Deloitte counterpart on the SFI project. He is looking for a POC for both coordinating a blood drive and collecting donations in support of the Red Cross in the New York City area. Is there someone you can recommend up there that he reach out to in the Chapter to possibly arrange some activities to benefit the Red Cross? I’ve copied Rob on this email.

thanks for any help/insight you can provide.

From: Rob Underwood []
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 10:45 PM
To: Ball, William
Cc: Tony Bacigalupo; Jason Kende; Jessica Lawrence
Subject: ARC POCs – NY Tech Hackathon


I hope you are well and that your family is ok after Sandy.

I could use some help — mostly getting pointed in the right direction… The NY tech community is rapidly mobilizing to help coordinate and lead the response to Sandy. We’d like to do a series of hackathons – one tomorrow, one later this week (likely Saturday). The purpose of the hackathons would be to “crowdsolve” some of the more thorny technical and logistical challenges facing the city. Additionally, we’ll ask individuals and companies to “pledge” developers by the hour similar to how you might pledge a runner in the marathon by the mile. The money raised through the pledges will be given to charity, most likely the Red Cross. So the more developers, the more time hacking, and the more people who pledge, the more money gets raised for the Red Cross while concurrently solutions to problems get developed. We’d also like to have a blood drive at the weekend hackathon if the logistics can be worked out in time, as that would make the event even more valuable. See

I know when we worked together blood and fundraising we’re separate — don’t know if this is still the case. Is there someone you could put us in touch with, either form NHQ or Greater NY RC, both about donation support and the blood drive? I am sure everyone is at 120%, but I think this could be a really innovative event for ARC to get involved with. Cc-ing a couple of the folks leading the response.

Thanks in advance. I hope you are well.


Rob Underwood
Twitter: @brooklynrob (


———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Gregg Betheil
Date: Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 11:07 AM
Subject: Re: Support for Schools Impacted by Sandy
To: Rob Underwood

Rob: thanks for reaching out. I am checking with cabinet now and will be back in touch with more info.

Gregg Betheil


[accordion_panel title=”Coordinators call Minutes: 11/14/12″]

Posted November 15th, 2012 by badger • permalink

Occupy Sandy Conference Call 11/14 9pm ET

Agenda –

1. Weekly Call Schedule
– We will have Monday and Thursday 9pm calls
– Weekly agenda

2. Reportbacks
Coney Island –
not doing well. places with physical destruction have most attention. trying to get word out. team is uniting, thinking about sustainability.
Sheepshead Bay
table set up at emmons. distributing aid. plans for thanksgiving.
working on housing people. landlords not allowed to evict, only fema can do it. this is happening illegally.
Staten Island
Need solar panels. batteries. cedar grove.
Red Hook
need to be out by 11/30. NJ was able to get the unions, hooked up with large space.

Online Communications (interocc)
impotant info at – training at 520 in sahana – system for inventory management. internal coordinators website at

lawyers showing up and offering services, but not coordinated. weekly legal clinton in SI 1128 olympia. committed lawyers will be there weekly.
internal legal – recovery work means we have increased interaction with agents of state, just keep in mind the rules still apply when you’re talking to cops

no one present

Construction & Clean u

Citywide canvassing and long term needs assessment
Finance and benefits
concert this weekend. if want tickets, contact Justin W. for funding an infrastructure-specific account.

housing forms on website soon. using classifieds on

3. Food issues and kitchen
4. Prep for weekend – using volunteers to prepare for long terms
5. internal comms

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[accordion_panel title=”Minutes are forthcoming”]

Posted July 27th, 2012 by greggsky • permalink



[ai1ec view="agenda"]