Occupy Seattle Proposal Checklist
Most work and decisions within Occupy Seattle are handled by individuals and groups within the Occupation. If you want to do something, do it; you don’t need permission from the General Assembly (GA). But some decisions — official statements, organizational changes, major resource commitments — require broad support. Such items must be brought to the GA as a Proposal.
Since passed proposals represent the will of Occupy Seattle (OS), it’s important that they have a fair hearing and as all interested people as possible can contribute. Proposals can only be passed at regularly scheduled “decision” GAs (currently Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings). All proposals must be announced and posted at least a day in advance. The proposer is expected to follow the Proposal Checklist. The checklist is intended to avoid wasting time in the GA, so while it isn’t required, anyone skipping it might be asked to justify why their time is more important than that of others.
The Process and Facilitation Working Group can help you with the Proposal Checklist, advising you of people to talk with, other proposals to look at, and possible side effects. For help, find a member at camp, email email@example.com, or call Carol (206-283-9382), Shon (206-327-8773), Michael (206-790-7743) or Jack (206-300-5348).
▢ Email your draft proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Proposal" in the subject at least a day before voting. If you can’t email it, find a member of the Process and Facilitation Working group to help you.
▢ Read the proposal at a GA at least a day before voting. You must give a written version to the Agenda Facilitator at the beginning of the meeting.
▢ Email an updated version to email@example.com before the GA at which you’re voting.
▢ Present the Proposal at a Decision GA. Again, bring a (current) written version for the Agenda Facilitator.
Drafting the Proposal
▢ Is the proposal written correctly? A proposal should be written as:
- Background and Rationale: Why the GA needs to pass the proposal.
- Short Form: A one-sentence summary of the proposal.
- Long Form: The full statement, action, delegation, or rule the the GA will pass. Be clear and specific enough that others can interpret it without confusion.
- Implementation: How this proposal will be implemented or enforced. If work is required by groups, they must already exist and agree to the proposal. Don’t just assume someone else will implement it.
▢ Is the proposal an appropriate topic for the GA? It should be either
- A formal statement or endorsement by Occupy Seattle,
- A direction of significant OS resources, either money, supplies, or people,
- A significant change in the legal or organizational structure of Occupy Seattle,
- A creation, removal or change in mandate of power to an individual or smaller group, or
- An internal rule or external action that requires consensus of all of Occupy Seattle to achieve.
You do not need a proposal to start a group, perform an action, or tell someone what you believe or why you are here.
Gaining Support and Improving the Proposal
▢ Have you discussed this proposal with the most relevant group(s) and updated the proposal based on their input? Although you can make a proposal without Working Group input, other people interested in the area can help find omissions or unintended consequences or refer you to related work or ideas.
▢ Have you discussed this with people with opposing views? By considering opposing views prior to the GA, you might avoid blocks that will cost assembly time and create unnecessary conflict. A good proposal is the product of consensus before it has reached the GA.
▢ Have you considered how it relates to past and planned proposals? Does it duplicate or conflict with other proposals? Working with the authors of such proposals will help you reach consensus.
▢ Do you believe the Proposal will pass? Don’t use a proposal just to get discussion about your idea. Announce that you’d like to talk about it, or bring it for discussion in a non-decision GA.