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

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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.

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