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  1. From:  Jackie DiSalvo <jdisalvo@nyc.rr.com>      
  2. To:  september17@googlegroups.com      
  3. Date:  Thu, 22 Dec 2011 09:14:54 -0500 
  4.  
  5. OWS funds are rapidly declining – from $679,000 to less than $372,000 (12/9), probably less now; donations have dropped off dramatically to $6000 one week, after which we then spent $6000 in one day. As of 12/2 spent $30-40,000  the “1st month” (after eviction?), then $80 to 100, 000 (biggest expense is kitchen). So I did some research for the Labor Group, mostly from Accounting & GA minutes.
  6.  
  7. OWS Money is handled by Accounting Working Group (formerly Finance), but accounting no longer makes decisions about budgets. Spokescouncil was supposed to dispense money under a certain amount and to approve budgets and expenditures, but it’s been dysfunctional, so budget requests are going to GA. Almost all (not all) the proposals at GA have just been asking for money.
  8.  
  9.  
  10.  
  11. OWS only has non-profit status through sponsor, Alliance for Global Justice; as non-profit can’t own an apartment. It seems that some Accounting members are highly skilled and responsible, and there are 10-12 volunteers working long days. But there were the same disrupters there on 12/9 as have been in Spokescouncil, and they are using baiting tactics to get their way, accusing people of being oppressors, making divisions based on race, gender, ethnicity, between campers and others etc.
  12.  
  13. SOME FUNDS DISPERSED DEC 1 - DEC 18
  14.  
  15. Housing (paying church utility bills etc. $200 + $2900 +),
  16. repair damage to donated housing $1,000;
  17.             Reimbursement for damage done to apartments housing occupiers $1000
  18. Remodeling apartment  for housing & office ($2000);
  19. Metrocards $5800 for 200 weekly, then another $5,757 for 175 unlimited cards
  20.     for homeless & other evicted occupiers;
  21. Comfort for evicted ($1600);
  22. Medic, partly for evicted ($800 + $1100 wk)
  23. Kitchen ($10,000 week, mostly, not only, feeding evicted),
  24. Food for people with restricted diets,
  25. Holiday fair & skills share ($600)
  26. Outfitting a farm upstate ($15,000),
  27. Holiday toys & food for churches, shelters etc. for poor kids ($3000),
  28. Tools to fix 1 foreclosed home occupied for 1 family $6400;
  29. Additional money for foreclosed home occupied $9,576.30
  30. Cleaning foreclosed houses ($7000
  31.  
  32. There have also been movement building expenses, including
  33. $100 day for working groups
  34.            Rent for Spokescouncil & GA daily at 56 Walker; $150 night +- $30 night tips,
  35. 6 nights=$1,080 dollars
  36.             Rent bus to DC to support Bradley Manning $21,000
  37. However, budgets for movement building activities do not seem to be the major expenses – which is probably what the money was donated for- compared to other expenses, some daily or weekly. We have never discussed the purpose money was donated for; we have not set up any criteria for deciding what to give money to. There is even a proposal we just disperse the $500,000 we had at one point among the former occupiers at $1000+ each. I kid you not.
  38.  
  39. ____________________________________________________________________
  40.  
  41. MORE ON FINANCES – from Andy Pollack
  42.  
  43. The items I have concerns about (taken from Jackie's list):
  44.  
  45. * If total raised was $679,900; and now in bank is $374,722.57, that seems like a lot spent
  46.  
  47. * Housing (paying church utility bills etc. $200 + $2900 +) [is this every week - yes
  48.  
  49. * Kitchen $10,000 week, Dec mostly, but not only, feeding evicted
  50.  
  51. * Outfitting farm upstate ($15,000)
  52.  
  53. * 200 weekly metro cards ($5800) for, then another175 unlimited metro cards ($5,757) for homeless & other evicted occupiers;
  54.  
  55.  
  56.  
  57. Much or all of this is only justifiable if we think we have the duty and the ability to be a social service provider as opposed to a movement organization, or if we think we're prefiguring a future society, or both. Ironically, the people who are in favor of doing either or both of those would probably recoil in horror if we proposed using substantial amounts of money for a permanent office and meeting space for the organization itself.
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