Dear NYC REIC Members,
Happy 2016! The first newsletter of the new year focuses on our Governance! Read on for ways to get involved as we build our cooperative and formalize our structure.
WE NEED YOUR HELP
Scroll down for opportunities to help by facilitating upcoming meetings, making calls to remind members about upcoming events, helping with our member data management and joining workgroups.
NEED TO JOIN?
You can sign up here and complete your membership process IN PERSON on Thursday, January 28, at 6pm or 8:30pm at New Middle Collegiate Church, 2nd Ave and 7th Street, in the East Village in Manhattan. You will be an active member once you have done these three things:
(1) Read and signed the member agreement (in person or online);
(2) Contributed a membership fee of $10 (in person); and
(3) Attending a quarterly All-Member NYC REIC meeting (next chance: January 28, 2016!).
You will then be expected to conduct yourself in accordance with the principles of cooperation. Active members only can participate in Workgroups and the Steering Committee and make nominations, as described below.
ARE YOU FOLLOWING US FROM AFAR?
REIC U (the Case Studies Workgroup) is doing incredible research into best practices that can be applied to your nascent social justice-driven real estate investment projects as well. Scroll down for a detailed report-back.
WE’RE BUILDING OUR COOPERATIVE!
Our next steps will be to elect a Steering Committee and finalize its Charter.
What is the Steering Committee?
The Steering Committee will be NYC REIC’s first democratically elected governing body. It will help govern the REIC and act on our behalf while steering our work on a longer-term governing structure. As part of this work, it will be responsible guiding the REIC to the point where we put in place a permanent governing body (such as a Board of Directors). The NYC REIC opened the nominations for Steering Committee on January 5th, and we will hold elections for those seats at our next General Meeting on January 28th. Members can nominate themselves or other members here.
Please come to the Meet the Candidates meeting to hear directly from nominees for the Steering Committee – and for a last chance to make nominations – on Thursday, January 14th at 6:30-8:00 pm, at 33 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn on the 6th floor.
What is the Charter?
The Charter is a short document defining the rights and responsibilities of the Steering Committee. It states, for instance, whether the Steering Committee will be able to sign contracts on behalf of the REIC, whether they will be able to spend money collected by the REIC, and whether they will be empowered to file the necessary documents with the State to form the REIC as a business entity. It also specifies how the Board will be established, or if the Steering Committee is required to bring this decision to back to the membership. Governance has presented a final draft Charter, and we invite all members to continue to provide final comments!
How will this all come together?
Here’s how the process will work:
- ONLINE, January 5: The Governance Workgroup integrated feedback from the December 14 meeting into a draft of a Charter and sent it to all members for final objections. HERE IS THE FINAL DRAFT. Click to read it.
- ONLINE, January 5: The nominations period for the Steering Committee has opened.
- IN PERSON, January 14: We will hold a “Meet the Candidates” meeting on Thursday, January 14th at 6:30-8:00 pm, at 33 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn on the 6th floor. On this night, we will incorporate final comments to the Charter so that it can be put into place, meet candidates for the Steering Committee nominated through the online form (here) and make floor nominations for new candidates. Nominees can accept their nominations, knowing what will be in the Charter.
- IN PERSON, January 28: We will hold elections for the Steering Committee and ratify the Charter at our next General Meeting on Thursday, January 28, 6:30-8:30pm at New Middle Collegiate Church, 2nd Ave and 7th Street, in the East Village in Manhattan.
MEMBERS! Please come to the January 14 and January 28 meetings, as your involvement is crucial to the success of this work! This is a huge step for REIC and the result of a huge amount of effort and input from many of us, particularly the members of the Governance Workgroup. Many thanks to Governance and everyone who has participated in this process!
MEETING FACILITATORS NEEDED
Can you volunteer to come early or stay late to set up, clean up, sign NYC REIC members in, and sign new members up to join? We need members to volunteer to help at the following times:
Thursday, January 14, 5-7pm at 33 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn
Thursday, January 14, 7-9pm at 33 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn
Thursday, January 28, 5-7pm at 2nd Ave and 7th Street in Manhattan
Thursday, January 28, 7-9pm at 2nd Ave and 7th Street in Manhattan
If you can sign up, email email@example.com with the date and time as the subject line. THANK YOU!
Calling other REIC members is fun! Have a few minutes to spare this month? Want to wish lovely folks you are getting to know a happy new year? Give them a call on the phone to remind them about the key upcoming meetings on January 14 and 28. Directions are here.
ARTS & MEDIA
If you are interested in getting involved in our work, please come to our next meeting on January 21, from 7-9 pm, at 139 Fulton Street, in Manhattan (Apt. 903). Please contact Leland at firstname.lastname@example.org to post on a topic specific to your workgroup or anything else related to the REIC in the NYC REIC blog.
The Governance Workgroup held a very well attended all-member meeting on December 14 to discuss what the Steering Committee’s rights and responsibilities should be. Based on this feedback, Governance has presented a draft Charter, and we invite all members to continue to provide additional comments! Please send us your thoughts, questions, and insights at email@example.com.
MEMBER DATA MANAGEMENT
We could still greatly use some more technical help to join our crew – we’re looking for someone who has great data / web skills. Ideally you’re great at using CMSes with a solid grasp of HTML/CSS under your belt, have a good understanding of data formats (CSVs, JSON, etc.), maybe some familiarity with databases and web development, even? We really want to make sure we have good systems in place for communication, decision-making and tracking our input. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject PHONE TREE if this is you!
CASE STUDIES / REIC U
Case Studies began the month of December with a brainstorming meeting in pursuit of a new educational tool for REIC U that will highlight promising governing structures for the REIC and deal with other important questions, like mechanisms for keeping commercial space permanently affordable and for addressing systemic injustices through our structure and practices. To make this pursuit easier, members broke off into different research tracks in preparation for the month of January, some of which are highlighted below.
- Infiltration: How the values of oppressive systems tend to arise in co-ops [and what we can do about it] (from Aorta)
As part of their research, the facilitators of Case Studies and the Interim Facilitation work group attended a Skype session with Seth Leon from the Alberta Community and Co-operative Association, who gave the REIC a great range of ideas for governance structures, membership engagement, and financial mechanisms (more on ACCA’s work can be found here: http://acca.coop/, and the audio from this session can be found here: Audio Link).
Members spent the rest of the month pursuing additional investigation tracks in preparation for the January 7 meeting, where we shared the findings of our research and continued to brainstorm our next REIC U educational tool. New members are welcome to join! To reach Case Studies Workgroup by email: email@example.com
PBIG (Public Buildings Inventory Group & Community Outreach)
During the month of December, we continued to divide tasks among ourselves and the properties we have continued to consider feasible for potential REIC projects, in Jamaica, Coney Island and the South Bronx, as well as looking into other potential properties. We have been planning our best routes of community outreach, conducting further research, and connecting with the relevant government agencies.
PBIG made a strong showing at the Governance meeting in December, and then held its own meeting just before Christmas to plan our next steps in the new year. We hope to have a joint meeting with the Case Studies workgroup soon.
We are holding our next meeting just prior to the Meet the Candidates meeting, between January 11-13, TBD. If you would like to get involved, please email us at: nycreic–firstname.lastname@example.org
One more note:
A shout-out and a big thank-you are due to Urban Cartographies for a generous donation to Spaceworks, Inc. to support the expenses incurred by the NYC REIC in its incubation!
Become a Member of NYC REIC
There are 4 requirements for active membership in NYC REIC:
(1) Reading and signing the member agreement;
(2) Contributing a membership fee of $10;
(3) Attending a quarterly All-Member NYC REIC meeting (next chance: January 28, 2016!);
(4) Endeavoring to conduct membership in accordance with the principles of cooperation.
Check out our Calendar:
We maintain a Google Calendar with all workgroup meetings. Please add this to your gCal, or look at http://nycreic.com/meet to stay updated with our meeting times.
Please Help Cover our Current Operating Expenses!
You can support REIC’s development by making a charitable donation during this incubation period for very basic expenses, like the monthly charges that must be paid to circulate this e-newsletter. Please contact us at email@example.com if you’d like to make a charitable contribution (not an investment) during the incubation period of the NYC REIC.
REIC Learn and Share
What the REIC? Check Out Our Video:
Please take a minute, literally, to check out this amazing video that NYC REIC members produced to explain the REIC in under 60 seconds, and share widely.
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New York City Real Estate Investment Cooperative