PRESENT: Lisa, Neal, Vince (Facilitator), Alan (Note taker), John, Patricia,
Update on meeting with Bethlehem, (Neal, Lisa, Patricia).
Resolution coming out of that meeting.
Patricia’s financial update.
Proposal on delegation (Who our representative should be).
BETHLEHEM MEETING: Our TCT representatives met with Pastor Nina and some other church people. The trustees had list of questions, especially regarding the finances and who the actual TCT organizers wanted to be official TCT spokespersons as we interface with others. In their minds, the trustees lacked a clear understanding about who speaks for what Vince calls “the development team.” By the term “development team,” Vince means those activists who have been meeting and working on TCT for about a year.
FINANCIAL: Patricia announced we now have a credit union account and checks. She and Blaine opened an account for us in our name.
VISITS TO TC3 AND TC4: Colin and Harry visited TC3 and TC4, and Patricia accompanied them. (TC3 and TC4 are long-established tent cities in Seattle). It was a very productive visit. They were impressed with their organizing. Both TC4 and TC3 are well organized. They say it takess between 5 to 6 thousand dollars to run.
Discussion of proposed changes in Tacoma City code and potential host site.
Proposed City Code and Potential Host Sites: John and Colin from the City of Tacoma came to discuss the proposed code governing tent cities. They had visited Camp Quixote in Olympia and consulted with the people there. They came to some conclusions and formulated a proposed ordinance, which they sent to Patricia. We spent much of the meeting discussing this. John had come up with a list of requirements. He had concerns about several major issues.
He wondered about how many campsites and the maximum number of occupants at each site. He also had concerns about how long each camp might remain on a site, and how long before it could return to that site. He wanted to make sure that the new locations of sites that moved would be far enough away from the previous hosting area. He made several proposals to address these that TCT activists felt should be less rigid. He said the city would not require warrant checks, but TCT activists felt this would be a good idea.
Several TCT activists asked John if he had visited Occupy Tacoma’s occupation of Pugnetti Park (Occupation Park). They pointed out that several concerns John had were adequately addressed by the OT activists in the park, such as environmental, security, sanitation, and so on. TCT activists also urged John and Colin to visit Tent City 3(TC3) or Tent City 4 (TC4) in Seattle for more factual background. The Camp Quixote people gave John information that 25 people was the most manageable number of activists. TCT activists said that Occupation Park had had up to 80 residents, and that TC3 and TC4 had up to 100 or even more on occasion and made it work.
Colin said his impression, after discussing the matter with several city officials and departments, was that the city feels pretty good about the planned Tent City Tacoma. However, city officials wanted to hear maybe more about “what’s rubbing activists wrong” in the city’s proposal. Patricia asks if we need to meet all criteria before setting up. John says health and safety is important. Neal emphasizes need for safety, says this is at the top of our interests. Patricia asks for more specifics about safety, for example, do tents have to have a specific amount of space between tents? How strict are the regs? We can’t come up with floor plan. John says that minimum is 50 per site, only 2 sites. Neal and Blaine asks if there is a way to petition to increase size. It may be possible for us to get site together before ordinance is passed. Neal suggested the idea of space-based limitations, a specific number of square feet per resident to determine the ultimate size of the camp.
We discussed the possibility of a site at Bethlehem Lutheran. Patricia showed John some pictures of the proposed site, and they did some measurements. We talked about logistics.
TCT activists emphasized that this was a learning process for all of us and that we should be careful not to get too rigidly locked into our respective conditions. We all recognize the need we are trying to address is real, and we agreed that we should assume all of us want this to work out. But it is also obvious we need to hammer out more details.
WEBSITE REPORTS: Because we had 2 people from the City of Tacoma present at our meeting and they had important matters to discuss, Alan said that he would present the website report on line, in the minutes. This is his report:
Facebook Page: The number of likes is now at 91, which represents 8 new likes in last week. The number of people who saw our FB page this week 117, which is a 58% increase from the previous week. We had 27 people engaged this week, up 8% from previous week, and there were 3 comments and 3 shares this week. There were 56 post clicks this week.
Blog: Since last meeting (11/4), 47 separate people visited our site. There were 79 page visits (11 from mobile, 1 from tablet), and 179 page views. Visitors to our website viewed an average of 2.27 pages, and average visits lasted 3 minutes 7 seconds. New visits were 54.43% of the total. Visitors came from USA and Germany.
Backup: Alan backed up all changed files and the DB last night.
NEXT MEETING: Monday, December 2, 2013
Thanks to Fixitstitch for proofreading these minutes and checking them for accuracy —Editor