Phone Banking: Occupy Bernal negotiates on behalf of homeowners

We are phone banking on Wednesday. July 18, from 6-9 p.m. at ACCE, 1717 17th Street in order to identify more homeowners who have loans with Wells Fargo who would like to participate in the negotiations Wells Fargo is having with Occupy Bernal, Occupy Noe and ACCE.

Please come and help out. There will be a limited amount of Pizza and salad.
Please let Deborah G. know if you’ll come. (415) 550 1030

Below is the letter we are using to reach homeowners with Wells Fargo loans.

If you are a homeowner with a Wells Fargo loan and want to be part of the negotiations, please read the letter below for the qualifying information you’ll need to have, then contact  us to see if it will be possible to be included in this round of negotiations.  Please see the letter below for the appropriate contact information.


July 2012 WELLS FARGO will negotiate with homeowners

Dear Neighbor and Homeowner,

After more than six months of struggle: emails, phone calls, requests for modifications, protests at the auction of our neighbors’ homes, a unanimous resolutions from the San Francisco Board of supervisors and most recently, the passage of the HOME OWNERS BILL OF RIGHTS by the California Legislature, WELLS FARGO has entered a negotiation process with representatives of Occupy Bernal, ACCE and Occupy Noe.

We now have the opportunity to represent more Wells Fargo loan holders. This process allows Occupy Bernal and ACCE negotiators to advocate for your home, and makes a fair settlement of your situation more likely. Please join your neighbors in waging a unified and well planned struggle to achieve homeowner justice.

To be part of these negotiations—and any potential settlement– Wells Fargo demands and Occupy Bernal and/or ACCE agrees to deliver:

  1. PROPERTY IDENTIFICATION: Name, address, phone number, loan number and email.
  2. FINANCIAL PACKAGE—Complete and up-do-date. Please check with OB or Ed Donaldson for completeness.
  3. SIGNED 3rd PARTY AUTHORIZATION, specifically naming any SF ACCE, Occupy Bernal or Occupy Noe negotiators.

If you have a Wells Fargo loan, this is an overdue and important opportunity to get real satisfaction. And be assured: no modifications, or other payments will be finalized without your full knowledge and consent.

To join this negotiation process, call or email:

  • Buck B. (415) 385-0389 BuckB@devinegong.com
  • Deborah G. (415) 550-1030 dgerson646@gmail.com

Minutes of General Assembly, June 28, 2012

Occupy Bernal GA notes

7-9pm, June 28, 2012, at Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, 515 Cortland Ave

Items:

* Introductions: 34 people representing both Occupy Bernal and ACCE membership, 16 ( including 2 new) foreclosure fighters. Stories shared of ongoing struggles and some victories both small and large. 2 OB FEF’s report receiving mod. offers after sustained pressure. Dexter Cato’s home, after sustained pressure (and probable bank fear of further resistance/reoccupation/scaring off ), has been resold to him @ half initial modification offer. ACCE/Dexter will hold press conference (& apparently Bank wants too as well to spin this, as their humanitarian gesture). By contrast, Archbishop King has received mod. offer but one that’s unsustainable, w/ unacceptable 5yr balloon payment… 1 week response date (w/much of that time eaten by holiday/weekend).

I. Wells Fargo Negotiations:
Background: Had INITIAL meeting first of the year, with Diana Stauffer, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage senior vice president, and Alfredo Pedroza , Director of California Local Government Relations for WFB, brokered by Campos. Thereafter told to work w/ 800-number contacts if customers, attempting renegotiation, and Pedroza if not. Pedroza officially lobbying against any foreclosure moratorium, not supportive/communicative. No ‘ official ‘ negotiations contact until recent action-call against Pedroza, who is well-connected and may have Sacramento ambitions, for demonstration@ his home. Now receiving pressure from City Hall contacts and Pelosi staff to call this off, allegations from Pedroza re: racism and homophobia for targeting him specifically, threats of a counter-demonstration. Per OB/ACCE approached by Stauffer (specifically Buck), and Pedroza (specifically Grace) asking for a moratorium on actions in exchange for meeting, resuming negotiations. Pedroza offered to reconsider positions on current difficult WFB cases represented by ACCE/OB and willingness to postpone auctions (though job-role is only messenger and probably lacks this power), while Stauffer offered only a meeting date, if we call off current action. To be further discussed below.

II. Occupy the Auctions Actions/Alerts:

– Eric’s Home, 1:45pm, TOMORROW, June 29, City Hall, 400 Van Ness Ave.
may be postponed but as of Thurs evening still on tomorrow’s auction-list. Received postponement paperwork after end of workday today; resume negotiations first thing in the am. John and Eric can’t be there tomorrow afternoon, but endorse OB being there in case need to disrupt auction. Reassured that, even in worst case, this is not the end of possible interventions. OccupyAuctions crew will show; BB will bring banners. Celebration as auction was postponed 11:30 am Friday.

– Emma Castro’s Home, 1:45pm, July 3, City Hall, 400 Van Ness Ave. in negotiation BUT need Spanish speaker to go discuss in detail if she is requesting auction intervention. Mesha will go; BB will drive her.

– Alberto del Rio’s Home, 1:45pm, July 6, City Hall, 400 Van Ness Ave. in negotiation; bankruptcy filed but still on list.
– Thomas German’s Home, 1:45pm, July 10, City Hall, 400 Van Ness Ave. hopes that successful bankruptcy case will result in postponement and ability to renegotiate.

III. Pedroza Action discussion excerpts:
• personal opinion that Pedroza would like to make concessions (after obligatory sparring around street cred.), he responded in discussions that he hasn’t been doing everything he could & “could do better”. Advocates holding this card (home-action), as can only effectively use once (sev.others echo this). Clear he is perceived institutionally as our ‘official’ conduit to the WFB power-holders, maybe want to preserve and give him a shot, good tactically if we need to again escalate actions.
• Pedroza is a messenger. Not a player… Need to hit him to send a message further up.
• Clearly hit a sensitive-spot targeting mid-level players (not as protected/insulated as Stumpf), ‘ ‘he squealed’. We should hold this card and see what we get, in further negotiation, given reaction. Use letter as initial high bid. Proposes we still start action @WFB branch sat. AND demonstrate resolve w/ more aggressive branch action: block and/or occupy inside until cops come, non-arrest.
• Several people discuss publically comparing WFB intransigence, insulting and non-workable offers, to other banks (eg, Dexter and BofA, others and Aurora) recent good modification offers
• Reluctant to concede demands, w/o upfront WFB concessions, “too many ‘ifs’ “. Need to escalate actions to obtain workable modifications. If sending terms-letter to Pedroza/WFB, want to add more systemic demands: sales of bank-owned properties to community non-profit, to be determined by community, not bank. Others counter w/ support for concept but insist aim of letter is to stop current foreclosures and get us in negotiation, where we can add these substantive demands as condition for anything greater than one-action postponement.
• “Let’s dual-track them.” Negotiate while still holding potential date for Pedroza home action. Be clear this is still an option if negotiations in bad faith, no progress on key moratorium issues.
• Feels, if we can achieve, moratorium until Jan. especially when Homeowners’ Bill provisions might be in effect , important to give our FEF’s some much-deserved breathing room
• Unless they accede to ALL letter’s demands let’s only postpone minutely to keep up pressure

POSSIBLE CONCERNS/ LAST STATEMENTS BEFORE CONSENSUS TEST:

• Worries about this negotiation-offer is a usual tactic of power; fear getting chumped. Need to use this break to organize broadly and assure ourselves of serious numbers in likelihood real negotiation points will break down, and we will have to go do this later
• Clarification as to when we could expect answer to letter. Clearly we have already postponed w/o concession as no WFB response likely available before Sat. Report back by list / update @ next meeting.

PROPOSAL: WE POSTPONE PEDROZA ACTION, SEND DEMANDS-LETTER BACKED UP BY PHONE CALL FIRST THING TOMORROW MORNING. NEED TO SEE FULL CONCESSIONS FOR LOCAL CASES MORATORIUM FOR ANY CANCELLATION, & MEETING DATE SET. CONTINUE W/ SATURDAY 11am MORE-AGGRESSIVE ACTION @ 22ND / MISSION WFB BRANCH.

CONSENSED, W/ ONE STAND-ASIDE: individual will participate but is worried re: efficacy of negotiation, fear of being used & losing momentum. Wants strong commitment to interim organizing

Grace and Buck and 2 FEF’s will implement contact/follow-up.
Fri eve meeting to plan Sat morning action @ 22nd St, WFB.

* Other Upcoming Actions:

IV. Homeless Shelter currently scheduled for 11am, July 11… postponed indefinitely but still on table, need make more preparations, some key-organizers will be absent and possible collaborator /stakeholder meeting (Coaltion on Homelessness) too close to date. WILL REVISIT @ NEXT GA.

– Occupy Wells CEO John Stumpf, 11am, July 18, Wells Fargo Headquarters, Montgomery@California : still on … hold

* OccuPride Recap: postponed to next meeting

V. California Homeowner Bill of Rights:
– Status of Legislation Bill out of committee today (Th 6/28) . Historic as slated for [first time in history] for same-day vote in State Assembly and Senate, this coming Monday, July 2. Retains all important points: private right of action, to sue banks for bad/fraudulent practice upto and including full value of home; no dual-tracking; single-point of contact. Come witness and lobby

– Next Sacramento Trip: Monday, July 2; leaves 8:30am 1717-17th St. back by 4:30/5pm
Contact Grace , 415-377-6872; will rent van so needs commitments ASAP

——————————————————————————–
VI. * Announcements:

– Monopoly and Foreclosures. Educational WG eve of educational game-play. “Foreclosure and Monopoly.” 7 -8:45 pm at the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center. A short film and hands-on play with the game of Monopoly (bring your own so you can practice), using it to introduce others to the game originator’s anti-foreclosure purpose in inventing the game, constitutes the evening.

– Monterey Foreclosure Meeting, Saturday, July 7: invited by OccupyMonterey. Buck will drive and go for the day; contact . Campout possible. OM planning for food and [outdoor]accomodations, if people want to stay

– Coalition on Homelessness Meeting, 12:30pm, Wednesday, July 4 (contact Stardust ), prep for homeless shelter action, other collabrations

– Outreach at SF Mime Troupe, 2pm, Wednesday, July 4, Dolores Park (contact Stardust)

-regular foreclosure outreach ‘ door-knocking’ this Sunday, always meeting 10:30am Progressive Grounds. Please be on time as minimal time is spent in prep; RSVP ideal for materials, address assignment: Judy Siff, Occupy Bernal doorknockers ,

* Next Meeting: 7-9pm Thursday, July 12, Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, 515 Cortland Ave.

Minutes of General Assembly, 14 June 2012

Occupy Bernal General Assembly Minutes
7pm on Thursday, June 14, 2012

1. Introductions

Agenda approved with addition of the following items:

* June 25 Sacramento action
* Announcement from Action Council (David Solnit)
* Communications Workgroup

2. Where we stand: Geary and Josephine’s trial loan modifications from Bank of America with assistance from SF Mayor’s office.

Update on Homeowner Bill of Rights: some parts have passed, but dual tracking and single point of contact are still in process. Discussion on how to get more action alerts out on Homeowner Bill of Rights from larger organizations. Talk with Christie Hakim if you’re interested in working on it. Judy Siff recommended putting a message in our email signatures. Also discussed petitions and Occupy Bernal’s petition to the banks for a foreclosure moratorium.

Christie reported on the Monday, June 25, Foreclosure Moratorium action in Sacramento and encouraged people to attend and to lobby. Occupy Sacramento wants FEFs to speak. Kathy asked about what Tom Ammiano and Mark Leno are doing on the legislation and Judy K. replied that Leno is an author of one of the bills. Judy K. and Christie agreed to be liaisons to the organizers of the protest and coordinate Occupy Bernal’s participation.

Hiya offered some typewriters for personalized letters, which legislators treat with more weight than electronic ones.

Mayors’ Pause Letter: calls for pause on foreclosures until Attorney General settlement in place, but has a sentence that excludes those who can’t make payments on their mortgages, so is not very helpful.

Action on individual cases

What end of Alberto’s auction postponement means

3. Assessment of Alberto auction protest: 50 people came out to the auction. David Solnit made awesome mirrors. Alberto filed for bankruptcy so his house wasn’t sold. Kat mentioned how cool the mirrors are, the way they show peoples’ faces in the reflection. Fred found the action super-inspiring and felt the auctioneers and investors were very frustrated. Jose said we stopped some other auctions from happening. Tita felt uncomfortable with the intensity of how the protestors were talking to the people and felt the protestors were verbally violent. Incident where we mistakenly yelled at someone who was a supporter. Tita wants people to come and feel safe at our demonstrations… she saw several people distancing themselves from the action. Perhaps we should have a nonviolence training. Kathy felt horrible at Alberto’s grief when he announced that his family had to file bankruptcy. Julien mentioned that deciding about violence can involve tactical questions, for example, if we get physically violent at an action, then we would invite police repression. Bruce reported that an auctioneer was calling people telling them that there was a huge demonstration. He mentioned that even after discussing the issue of violence for over 50 years, but still haven’t come to any agreement. Alice brought up an incident where an investor pushed her and we had a discussion on how to deal with the situation. Fred suggested a discussion about the pushing scenario and how to respond and felt that we don’t have an agreement in the room about what nonviolence is. Stardust suggested a nonviolence training at 12:00 noon on Saturday after the action planning meeting at ACCE, but some people said they couldn’t come. Bruce suggested creating a card that lists the nonviolence guidelines for the protest… great idea! Kathy L. suggested to Alice and Fred determining what it would take to file a complaint. Elaine suggested an immediate response pertinent to the auction actions, as well as a longer-term Occupy Bernal discussion on violence. Hiya suggested that people meet with Stardust who want to figure out what should go on an action agreement card for the auction action. Fred suggested meeting before an action for an orientation. Those interested will discuss with Stardust immediately after the meeting. Stardust volunteered to draft a card for the auction action and send it to the group for comments. Kat volunteered to prepare a proposal on a nonviolence discussion for the next GA and invited others to participate with her. Elaine feels the discussion is necessary prior to the training. Consensed on the proposal for the auction action card and preparing a nonviolence discussion for the group.

4. Foreclosure and eviction fighter deadlines report

Stardust reviewed the cases and when our foreclosure and eviction fighters are up for auction. Maria talked a bit about her situation.

5. Suggested action calender from ACCE meetings, next coalition meeting

David Solnit reported back from Action Council. David let the Action Council and the Direct Action Workgroup know that things are coming to a head with the housing actions. They want to help Occupy Bernal. They would prefer to have 2-6 weeks notice and prioritize actions.

Christie thinks planning our actions with more notice would be good so that other groups can join in and be effective.

Stardust reported on the action planning meetings co-held with ACCE. He described the actions on the calendar handout.

Kat said she felt the Homeless Shelter action should have a day of its own. Stardust said he feels we really need to escalate our response. Julien said he felt there were too many actions on the list and they should be spread out over more time. Bruce talked about how to indicate which actions should be prioritized, especially for people who can only take limited time off from work. Fred likes how there are actions after the auction actions, especially in the case where auctions get canceled or postponed. Fred suggested sending an email saying “this is the week” and asking people to pick at least one day they can come this week to help their neighbors. David mentioned that to outreach to folks with a short message works better than a complex message. David said to put off the Stumpf action and to advertise the auction actions. Christie would like to focus on getting people to the auctions, along with the email alerts that go along with that.

In summary, the group seemed to think it would be a good idea to delay the Stumpf action and to downplay announcing the actions after the auction actions (and perhaps to restrict it to actions that are simple, such as the Points of Light action).

6. Outreach

Diane will call for an outreach workgroup meeting and coordinate some tabling activities. The education and outreach workgroup meetings typically take place at 10:00am on Sundays at Progressive Grounds.

Julien talked about how we do outreach to foreclosure and eviction fighters. Doorknocking happens at 10:30am each Sunday at Progressive Grounds. Julien brought up the idea of hosting house parties with foreclosure and eviction fighters.

7. Communications

Diane would like to prepare some literature for Occupy Bernal. Diane would like Occupy Bernal to include a broader message with our literature. Christie will work with Diane on the materials, since she has already prepared some. Jose suggested wording of “Do you know someone who is facing foreclosure…?” rather than “Are you facing foreclosure…?”

8. Announcements

* Kathy L. announced that Supervisor Wiener proposing a nasty measure to enable condo conversions and remove rent control protections.

* Elaine announced an event with Boots Riley scheduled for 6pm on Saturday, June 16, at the Redstone Building.

* Diane announced availability of Occupy Bernal buttons available for $3-5.

* David announced events related to solidarity with the student movement in Quebec including:

– Movie screening at 8:30pm on Thursday, June 28, 555 California St.
– Solidarity march at 11:30am on Friday, June 29, 580 California St.

* Fred announced that Occupy SF Housing is planning a campaign around Ellis Act conversions.

Minutes from Occupy Bernal GA 5/24/12

Occupy Bernal GA  5/24/12

Notetaker: Kirsten came in during introductions so no list of people attending.  Molly is chairing the meeting.  Bolded are action items committed to.

Introductions

Discussion of Education Materials
We need fact sheets for every case, compelling and specific stories are the best way for us to get our message out.

Diane volunteered to write up the stories of some of the foreclosures and our successes.

Recommendation to forward ACCE stories to Legislators to Supervisors,  Ed Mayor – once they get it becomes public record. Everyone can do this

Post videos to Facebook (We should have a bunch of video stories) Suggest going to the universities to get volunteers to make movie.

Get Noe Valley Voice and El Tecolote and Bay View Times – fabulous ideas for the media committee.   Molly, Christy, Diane volunteered to be on the media committee.   Good models are on-line for Thomas’ case

Video is being done by Peter Menchini and Beth Stephen’s student, Julia.  There are  great speeches on-line already.  Molly has the 10 minute version and says a 5 minute version will be better.

Fiesta Report:
Over 280 people over the period of the day. Lots of good people coming. Annie  and Beth spoke, Ernesto and Ross  spoke. There were about 30 new sign ups.  We sold all 60 buttons. People are interested.! This was a great event- first thing where we all went out to get new people. One thing we need to do is the phone tree.- to call al new sign ups engaged. We could set up different categories — people who only want to hear about emergency actions, people who want to be on various committees, or people who want to come to the meetings.  If we call people we can figure out how people want to be involved.

The Fiesta was a big commitment – maybe there is something less ambitious we can do. House party might be easier?

Next Education meeting is June 4th what about using it to recruit for house parties  – foreclosure fighter  potlucks in different homes.… do a leaflet. Foreclosure fighters invite their friends to meet someone who is in foreclosure.  It would be nice to have some of the tapes so we can tell the story in more places.

Auctions
Other than Ernesto, we have haven’t helped any get a refinance. All we’ve been able to do is to get a postponement.  Erik has one on May 31, Alberto has one on June 1.

Jeff Buckley in the Mayor’s office – suggests writing up the situations and demand that the postponement be indefinite. The mayor’s letter now has 10 other mayors asking for a pause in foreclosures. While we are in negotiations put off the auctions.   If they don’t do it then we go into action.

Commander came by and complained that we are blowing whistles in people’s ears so it can be considered assault if there is a complaint filed.  One of the lieutenants last Tuesday kept and eye on them and we weren’t able to disrupt.   They are finding ways to get around us now. We may need to change strategies.

Physically stopping the auctions and/or political solution to stop the auctions = two choices not necessarily exclusive.   We need numbers to stop the auctions – connect to our actual stories. We have only a week for Erik’s auction. Need to get moving now.

We’ve succeeded in stopping 50- 60 by the e-mails. None of our people have actually gone to auction. We have power before the auction to prevent.  We have to keep doing the two things.

ACCE wants to talk about actions every day for two weeks.  We should bring proposals from this group.  We need to get the case histories of unfair evictions back in the media.  Even if we don’t stop the auction we can educate the seller and the passer-bys.   When should we do this? The issue isn’t just when can we get the people. If we are fighting with people we actually have a chance.

We can’t wait on Eric and Alberto’s auction dates. Proposal is that we do an e-mail blast for both of them.  Propose that we go down on June 1 for Albertos. Auction is at 2:00 – get there at 1:45.  Proposal that this is part of a week- long recruitment  — enlarge the e-mail list.  There are many more people who care.   Get histories done and recruit and then show up en masse.  Educate people about dual tracking, — Diane and the media  committee (Christy, Grace, Molly, Jose) will do histories and we’ll use this as an education and outreach.   Use auctions as a way to do education and outreach…  Table on Saturday  4 -6 and Monday 11- 1 (one hour shifts),  starting at noon at Good Life.  Media committee meeting on Monday evening at 7 pm. Next Thursday with WOW and Occupella.

Judy K and Stardust met with DA, Chief of Staff . They only want to hear about possibilities of fraud and/or discrimination – robo signing etc.  There can be no follow-up to the assessors report.   The City Attorneys are really committed to working with us – get more information from Ting report. – public records records.  There are limitations on what they can do. Apparently Kamala Harris’ legislation isn’t going anywhere. Dual tracking is pre-empted.  There is a new consumer finance protection bureau – they can do regulations that eliminate dual tracking. They are very interested in the auction stuff.  There is also a committee now – Occupy the lawyers group – try to get them to take some of this one.  The City Attorney is really committed… they have three people working on it.

Nothing we can do right now because of global settlement with the 5 big banks. … Ting report can’t really be used unless there is an issue of fraud or discrimination.  Cases outside of the big banks, there might be able to do something.  Foreclosure mills can be attacked because they are not part of the global settlement.  There is a lot of cooperation.

Announcements
Chronicle will publish an Op-Ed from Occupy Bernal and ACCE – Maria, Stardust, Grace, Kat  with a couple of changes. Signed by Dexter and Maria..

Egyptian youth founder,  Tuesday at 7 pm.. An e-mail will go out about it.

Door knockers going forward—need some more people.
Julian and  Juli  will make a proposal  for house parties.
We should have a table at the Fiesta on the Hill and the Hill -wide garage sale.  Get a bunch of people, sit and talk to people.   Great idea…

Communication between WOW and Bernal – want a closer relationship between B of A actions and Bernal!   They would be more involved… Would like to do outreach to the WOW women. Propose that we highlight cases at of B of A.  Come on Thursdays from 12 to 1:00.  Bring leaflets.  Action Alert and  make a call about Mary Jo’s case.

Brainstorm – What can we do to block the auctions; what can we do to Wells Fargo. More permanent postponement of auctions and go after the Wells Board members. If the shouting isn’t stopping the auctions what could?  Strategy meeting with ACCE and figure out how to gain traction on these issues.  Dexter re-occupied and he was re-evicted.
Brainstorm and strategy session with ACCE.  10 am 1717  17th Street is the meeting time.

Next meeting is in two weeks-  June 5th

How to Spiffy Up Your OccupyBernal List Subscriptions

Here are some instructions to get the digest form (one email per day) of any Occupy Bernal email list.  Also, how to unsubscribe.

These instructions work for all lists.  However, in this example, we will use the General Assembly list ga@lists.occupybernal.org to illustrate how to do it.

We are working on a simpler way;  please bear with us.  For now you need to use the mailing list website to set your own subscriptions. This should take less than five minutes.


This is how to get the digest form of a list:

  1. Go to http://lists.occupybernal.org/index.fcgi/firstpasswd
  2. Enter your email address and click the Request first password button.
  3. Check your email for a message from SYMPA with the subject Bernal neighborhood organizing
  4. Click on the link in the email, which will send you to the mailing list web page.
  5. Type in a password of your choosing and click the Submit button.
  6. In the navigation, click on the Lists of Lists link.
  7. Find the name of the list (such as ga@lists.occupybernal.org) for which you want to change your subscription mode and click on the name of the list.
  8. In the left navigation, click on the Subscriber Options
  9. In the drop-down menu labeled Receiving mode, choose either digest MIME format or digest plain text format and click the Update button.
  10. Take a deep breath, relax, and feel good about continuing to help our neighbors fight the banks so they can stay in their homes, while not getting too many messages in your inbox.


This is how to unsubscribe from a list:

  1. Go to http://lists.occupybernal.org/index.fcgi/firstpasswd
  2. Enter your email address and click the Request first password button.
  3. Check your email for a message from SYMPA with the subject Bernal neighborhood organizing
  4. Click on the link in the email, which will send you to the mailing list web page.
  5. Type in a password of your choosing and click the Submit button.
  6. In the navigation, click on the Lists of Lists link.
  7. Find the name of the list (such as ga@lists.occupybernal.org) for which you want to change your subscription mode and click on the name of the list.
  8. In the left navigation, click on the Unsubscribe.
  9. Make sure to check the website on a regular basis since you will no longer hear about what is going on through your email.

Occupy Bernal Newsletter for December 28, 2011

Welcome to the first issue of the Occupy Bernal Newsletter! (let us know if you have a better name)

In This Issue:


General Assembly Gathers For First Time on Bernal

The Occupy Bernal General Assembly (GA) met for the first time last Wednesday, December 21. About 60 people attended the meeting at the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center. Many participants focused on the issue of keeping Bernal residents in our homes by preventing pending foreclosures and evictions of owner-occupied properties and rental-unit properties. The GA set up six workgroups and set a next meeting for 7:00-9:00pm on Wednesday, January 11, in the same location if available. For more information, check out the minutes of the meeting and media coverage from the Huffington Post, the SF Weekly, and Bernalwood.


Join a Workgroup!

A great way to get involved in Occupy Bernal is to join one of the six workgroups created by the General Assembly (GA) meeting. Click on the link below to read more about the GA or a workgroup and to subscribe to the email lists that are right for you.

  • Announcements Only: a low-traffic moderated email list to receive occasional news about Occupy Bernal
  • General Assembly: the main regular meeting place for everyone involved in Occupy Bernal
  • Communications: organizing press, newsletter, website, email lists, social networking, etc.
  • Coordination: coordinating meeting logistics, facilitator training, and other activities that must take place between GAs
  • Education: research and develop educational materials and long-term strategies
  • Housing and Foreclosure Workgroup: organize to keep Bernal residents in our homes
  • January 20 Action Workgroup: organize local Bernal actions and participation in larger actions
  • Outreach: encourage broad and diverse participation and publicity for Occupy Bernal activities and events


Mark Your Calendar for Upcoming Meetings

Anyone in support of the Occupy movement is welcome to attend these upcoming Occupy Bernal meetings:

  • TOMORROW: 7:30pm on Thursday, December 29: January 20th Action Workgroup meeting, Coleridge Park Homes 190 Coleridge St (at Virginia Ave, across from mini-park)
  • 7:00pm on Wednesday, January 4: Housing and Foreclosure Workgroup meeting, Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, 515 Cortland Ave
  • 7:00pm on Wednesday, January 11: General Assembly meeting, Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, 515 Cortland Ave

If you don’t see a meeting listed for the workgroup you’re interested in, then join the workgroup email list and help organize a meeting!

Upcoming events are displayed near the top of the right sidebar of the website where you can click on an event to see more information or you can display the full-size calendar.


Member Profile: Thomas German Facing Foreclosure

For this issue, we offer a profile of Occupy Bernal member Thomas German who is facing foreclosure of his home. Thomas German was born in Mobile, Alabama, a bit after New Year’s Day of 1940. After serving in the U.S. Navy, Thomas, aka “Tommie” or “German”, found employment as a die setter at the San Francisco Mint. He rented a home in Bernal in 1967. Living in the neighborhood for some years, he decided to purchase the home he was renting on Andover Street in 1974 for $21,000. How did he end up in foreclosure? You can click here to read the entire profile.


Know Someone Facing Eviction or Foreclosure?

Are you facing eviction or foreclosure? Do you know someone who is facing eviction or foreclosure? Occupy Bernal is here to help owners of owner-occupied properties and renters in rental-unit properties. Please fill out the Add/Edit Property to Map and Listing form so that the Housing and Foreclosure Workgroup can research the situation and keep our Bernal neighbors in our homes. Check out the Map of Bernal Owner-Occupied and Rental-Unit Properties Facing Foreclosure or Eviction that the workgroup is already investigating.


Housing Is a Human Right

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948, includes Section 1 of Article 25 which reads as follows:

“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”


Needs and Donations

If you are able, please donate any of the following items (you can bring them to a General Assembly meeting or click on “Contact” above to let us know you’d like to arrange to deliver them to us):

  • Masking tape (several rolls)
  • Clear mailing and storage tape (several rolls)
  • Reams of blank 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper
  • Butcher block paper (large pad)

We also need donations of the following services:

  • Spanish interpretation for meetings
  • Spanish translation for flyers, posters, website
  • Chinese translation for flyers, posters, website

Cash donations are also accepted to cover photocopying, Internet, venue reservation, and other organizing costs (no salaries or other overhead).


Social Networking Online

Join us on Facebook at facebook.com/groups/occupybernal.

The Occupy Bernal Twitter feed to follow is @occupybernal.

Minutes of Occupy Bernal General Assembly on December 21, 2011

Here is the digest form of the minutes of the Occupy Bernal General Assembly on December 21, 2011. Thanks to Kat, our notes taker!

OCCUPY BERNAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY

21 December 2011

(Decisions at the top for posting on the website; detail follows for GA email list only)

Decisions:

  • Molly, Steve, and Stardust took photos; no one objected to having their picture taken for use on the web or in media.
  • We approved 80/20 consensus. So…the consensus level of support needed to pass a proposal in the Occupy Bernal General Assembly will be 80 percent in favor. Vote was: 2 stand aside; 1 “disagreeable”; all others in favor of 80/20.
  • Created Housing and Foreclosure Workgroup. Unanimous vote.
  • Created January 20 Action Workgroup. Unanimous vote.
  • Created the following additional Workgroups: Outreach, Education, Coordination, and Communications (including media work and setting up occupybernal.org website, email lists, and email). Vote was 2 stand asides; all the rest in favor. (This vote was taken after most of the group had left at the break.)
  • Next Occupy Bernal Meeting: January 11, 7-9 pm. Location to be determined although intention is to reserve the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center again. Unanimous vote.