Occupy Cincinnati General Assembly Rules

Standard

As far as I know, these aren’t available anywhere online. So I am posting them here. I have written a few annotations in green.

(Initially adopted 10-8-2011)

DEFINITIONS

  1. Resolution. A resolution put before the General Assembly to be included in Occupy Cincinnati’s official positions/list of grievances/demands.
  2. Proposal. A proposal is any plan of action (such as ideas for marches, logistics, etc.) that the body should undertake.
  3. Reports. Reports are brief summaries of their activities that each committee provides to the General Assembly for purposes of transparency and accountability.

GENERAL ASSEMBLIES

  1. General Assemblies will start by asking for a volunteer to serve as the moderator. If a volunteer is met without objection in the Assembly they will serve as moderator. Otherwise the moderators name should be drawn from a hat. After a moderator is chosen, a proposal for a new moderator may take place.
  2. The moderator is an impartial arbitrator of the assembly. As such, the moderator may not make proposals/resolutions, speak in favor or against any issue, or vote. If the moderator wishes to speak or vote on an issue, they must step down. At that time a new moderator will be chosen.
  3. Once the moderator has been selected he/she will call for volunteer(s) to serve as secretary for the assembly. The secretary(s) will be responsible for keeping the minutes for the assembly and communicating to the Media Committee.
  4. The moderator may delegate the task of keeping the speakers’ list and times. Note: This is typically delegated.
  5. The moderator will ask all committees present to present an oral report to the General Assembly. Any proposals a committee wishes to make will be presented at this time.
  6. Once the committees have submitted their reports/proposals to the General Assembly the moderator will ask if there are any resolutions/proposals that members of the assembly wish to propose. The proposals/resolutions of the Committees and the General Assembly will constitute the agenda for that session. Suggested time limits for debate of each item should be included with each proposal/resolution.

GENERAL PROCEDURES AND RULES OF DEBATE

  1. For each item on the agenda the moderator will draw up a speakers list. The lists will be those wishing to speak in favor of the item (starting with the committee or individual that proposed it) and if necessary those wishing to speak against the item.
  2. If people wish to speak on an item more than once, the moderator should prioritize those who haven’t spoken yet (or as much).
  3. Once the speakers list is exhausted the moderator will bring the body to a vote on the issue. Alternatively any member of the General Assembly may propose to end debate and vote.
  4. No one may speak without first being recognized by the moderator.
  5. All speakers are limited to two minutes for remarks starting when they are recognized by the moderator. Note: This has usually note been enforced.
  6. When speaking, General Assembly members will see that their remarks are germane to the issue being discussed on the floor. If they fail to do so, the moderator shall call them to order without delay. Note: The “Point of Process” symbol serves this purpose.
  7. Once all items on the agenda have been discussed (or the General Assembly is coming close to another scheduled item, for example a scheduled march) the moderator will make a motion to adjourn the General Assembly. If there are no objections the assembly is adjourned, if there is an objection a vote will be held, a majority being necessary for adjournment.

GENERAL VOTING RULES

  1. A 90% three quarters (75%) majority is necessary for resolutions/proposals to pass. (Amended 10-8-2011)
  2. Unless otherwise requested all votes shall be by a show of hands. (see hand symbols below)
  3. Only yea, nay, and on the fence votes shall be counted. Abstentions are not counted. (Amended 10-8-2011)
  4. A block (arms crossed) means someone is morally or ethically opposed to the proposal/resolution and will leave if it passes. If a block occurs and the vote passes, the blockers will be able to state why they are opposed and then another vote will be taken. (Added 10-8-2011)
  5. To take a vote the moderator will ask for “those in favor” (hands up), “those opposed” (hands pointing down), and “those on the fence” (hands level), “blocks” (arms crossed) (Amended 10-8-2011)

QUORUM

  1. Assemblies are held once a day at 6:00 PM.To accommodate as many people’s schedules as possible, General Assemblies will be held twice as day; once in the morning and once in the evening.
  2. All resolutions and proposals (when possible) must be approved by two consecutive General Assemblies. Examples of exceptions are if a morning assembly adopts as a course of action to take place before the evening assembly. Resolutions must be approved by two consecutive assemblies without exception. Note: This is not enforced, as only one assembly is held each day now.
  3. General Assemblies will not be held when the group is substantially divided (ex: part of the group is on a march).

COMMITTEES

  1. Established Committees are Action, Child Care, Communication/Education, Food, Legal, Occupation, Treasury and Security
  2. New Committees may be formed by General Assembly proposal.

CHANGING RULES

  1. Proposals for changes to these rules will be submitted in writing at the same time as all other proposals.
  2. Proposed rule changes take precedence over all non-emergency orders of business (move to the head of the agenda).
  3. Debate and voting on rule changes is the same as for any other proposals/resolutions.

OTHER HAND SIGNALS (not formally adopted, but used)

  1. Finger up – Point of Information – To indicate that person has something relevant (IE: factual info, etc) to say about the current topic, not for opinions. Person is added to the end of the inner stack.
  2. Fist up – Point of Order – To indicate that person has an opinion to share in support/opposition to current topic. Person is added to the end of the inner stack.
  3. Palm Up – New Proposal – Person is added to the end of the outer stack.
  4. Thumb and Forefingers in a triangle – Point of Process – To indicate to the moderator and speaker that we are not following process. Speaker is allowed to finish, and then the person who indicated this voices why they were out of order.
  5. Circular fingers – Wrap it up, we got your point already.