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2019-05-20 Meeting

Begin the new entry hereMEETING NOTES 5/20/2019

Facilitators: Ellary and Samantha

In attendance: Ellary, Samantha, Joe, Natali, Claire, Alex, Lily, Philip, Jess (manager), Lara, Aurisha, Lara,

Intros (7 min)
Agenda Review ( 3 min)
Sublet/Lease of Absence (15 minutes) - Claire
Claire is going to be a rabbi, taking online courses, got a fellowship at Indiana University Bloomington
Needs to take a leave of absence to go pursue that of at least a year
Also got a summer job in Redlands
Official request for leave of absence is end of August
Would like to sublet apartment for a year starting as early as June 14th
Q: you would sublet to provisional members that don’t have housing yet (beandrea and are?)
A: yes.
Concern: One concern is because of tight housing market, if someone gives up their tight housing, there might be an awkward situation when you come back and take back your room.
Comment: good to be very clear about a one year term.
Comment: there has to be clarity to a submitter that when subtext is up, they have to leave
Q: what happens if a provisional member cuts the sublease short and moves into another unit when one becomes available? Who’s responsibility is it to find their replacement?
A: Mine (Claire’s)
Comment: we’ve always been able to find someone good to fill in the sublets
Q: What are your hard dates?
A: June 14th
Q: would you want to be rabbi in LA?
A: Yes, I would like to come back to LA
Next Steps:
Check out the policy and see if you need to present it to the community to make a decision
Kiddie Kondo Revolutions (15 minutes) - Jess (Manager)
The kiddie condos is in bad shape. It needs work, or needs to be deconstructed
Would like the parents to lead the charge
Would like general feedback about what the community wants in a play place
Comment: Would recommend checking with parents about presences before checking with the rest of the community
Comment: happy to hear Jess’ idea, saw mold, and decaying state of article board, and the sand that attracts cats, I would love for there to be someone that has a better infrastructure, and a more sanitary space
Comment: We would like to get rid of the sand, and there is mold in there, Nelson’s dad is offering some turf that we could put down there, try to make it good for all the kids of all ages, in favor of moving faster rather than slower
Comment: I am happy that none of the kids are hurt. Might be worthwhile to look at the pieces of wood leftover from Somerset’s play place. Maybe install a fence on the roof of the garages
Comment: it would make sense to fix up what’s there, give it a coat of paint
Comment: garages are one of the most logical to put rain barrels, so it would be good to design the rain barrel and new playground together
Comment: it would be interesting for me to know where the play place came from, and if there is something that we could buy to replace it that would be less maintenance
Comment: I want a space that’s nice for all the kids to play with
Comment: it sounds like there needs to be a budget for this, so I suggest meeting sooner rather than later
Next steps
Contact Jess if you would like to be on this committee
Committee will meet, come up with a design proposal, and a budget to present to the community
Beandrea’s Provisional Membership Interview Scheduling (5 minutes) - Sam

     -   membership interview scheduled for June 10th 

Rae’s Room Decision (10 minutes) - Sam

      -  Jemma and Chloe moving out at end of July, Yolanda is not coming back.  Rae is 
          requesting room 115
      -  Consensus reached

Next 4s

-Board—Alex? and Jimmy
-Management meeting—Tues 6 pm @aurisha’s
-12:30 work from home lunch Friday
-4 pm permaculture webinar Tuesday
-RVNC meeting Tues. night
-St Elmo’s village 50th anniversary party Friday and Saturday
-tour Saturday for Silverlake Neighborhood Council
-memorial at Emmanuel Presbyterian church on Saturday for long-time LA activist
-Path neighborhood watch committee Wednesday
-Bresee foundation neighborhood story presentation Friday 10-12

-Thanks for markers, josh
-Thanks for giving community heads up and providing space for feedback before a proposal is

  fully formulated \-Good and smooth meeting. Confused about direction of kids kondo 
-Liked life updates at beginning of meeting
-should have looked up facilitator policy

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2019-05-13 Meeting

USTU Meeting - 5/11/19

Facilitators - William and Irma

Members Present - Carol, Irma, William, Julio 2.0, Rae, Lara, Carrie, Philip, Jess B, Brucey Boy, Adriana, Joe, Lily, Arlene (guest), Autumn, Josh, Alex, Questa, Claire

1. Room request announcement - #115

Update from Jess B - contacted Yolanda in January who is not planning to return to LAEV. Subletters are subletting until end of July; condition of apartment is generally good. Room will be ready likely 2nd week of August.

Rae: room is available and likes it. They primarily work from home, it has enough space for a home office. Looks great.

Room 115 has been requested by Rae. Decision will be made next week once members have had a chance to be notified.

2. Philip full membership interview

Philip - became a provisional member in October 2018, has now reached 6 month milestone. He likes the idea of being a full member so that he can be a role model for others going through the process. He would like to see an integrated progression for an additional stage towards becoming an owner member.

Philip’s current job ends in July. His next year is looking uncertain as a result; he’s not sure if he wants to take another year on his VISTA contract. If he obtains a job elsewhere he would give up his unit to do that rather than subletting it. His overall plan currently is to stay here and look for a job here in L.A.

Bruce - has appreciated Philip’s contributions since being here.

Lara - would like to see Philip further investigate the progression to becoming an owner member as part of USTU policy.

Julio 2.0 - with blocking privileges, do you fully understand what this entails? And do you understand the liability aspect if you were to become an owner member.

Philip - not looking forward to the prospect of blocking but simply taking some more ownership is exciting.

Lily - which of your habits have changed since being here?

Philip - have wanted to raise consciousness about climate change and thought about doing this at the retreat. Not sure what is going on with the status of the retreat.

Proposal to upgrade lobby lighting.
Adri speaks about lobby not currently having proper lighting, that is not inviting to residents and the Co-op Lab would like to have an event. Adri spoke to beautification committee and was advised to request recess lighting for lobby ceiling. For quick changes, the Beautification Committee justed purchasing 3 stand-up lamps and 2 fixtures at cost of $600.00. Adri is asking for folks with strong opinions to come to beautification committee and give their opinions so they can give input so committee can move forward.


Is $600 for installation and material? No, just for stand-up lamps set to regular timers.

Josh- $600 for 5 lamps seems pricey. Also, where would the money come from? Community directive funds
Can lamps be stolen? Yes, if people want to steal lamps.

Julio 2.0- Would lights be on sensor? Would light bulbs energy efficient? Lights would be LED.

Lara-Is one of the goals to have more light in lobby? No, to have a uniform lighting in room to create a warm feeling. What is the goal of changing the fixtures? Currently the fixtures only light certain spaces and create darker areas.

Joe- Will these show that we’re being energy efficient. Fixtures will be on timers.

Rae- will lights on in lobby create a safer space? Lights will be on timer and are meant to create a more inviting and bring people to the space\lobby.

Philip-will lights emit more light to outdoor area? Lights may create a little more light.

lara- If we purchase fixtures and then go to ceiling light.

Beautification Committee will be meeting soon but not sure when. BC will announce next meeting soon.

Two stand asides

Eco Care

Red- 201
Yellow-Bike, room, lobby
Green- Courtyard, kitchen courtyard
Blue-Kid play area

Closed session:
good member
great, pulls through, very active
positive evaluation, infavor
thumbs up
great fit
yes, i’m comfortable
I appreciate all the different aspects
Huge advocate for community
Most positive altruist
I agree to all comments

Garden group on Sat, 3-5pm, meeting and work party
Facilitators: Joe an Alex
5/17 Bresee 10am to 3pm
5/18 City Hall event: Beautification Conference 9am to 2:30pm
5/18 Yolanda Castillos bday
5/15 Animal committee 6:30
5/16 Bike Week, New Hampshire and 4th will have round about test/event

+deep respect for meeting
+loved the consensus, agenda, time allotted for items. Very impressive
+appreciate you bringing people to topic
-know who are next facilitators

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2019-05-06 Meeting

USTU Community/Board Meeting 5.6.19

Facilitators: Eric and Adriana
Present: Lara (Board), Julio 2.0, Kurt, Alex, Jessica B, Josh (Board), Philip, Carol (Board), Lois (Board), Andy

Intros (5)
Overview of owner, board and officer responsibilities

President, Secretary, Treasurer, VP
Secretary: Board calendar, meeting minutes, familiarity with community agreements and bylaws
Treasurer: Review financial statements, lead dev of annual budget, sign checks, understand financial tools, familiarity with community agreements and bylaws
VP: Backup to board president to implement legal oversight, engage board members, sign documents, follow bylaws
President: financial oversight, legal oversight, decisions done in compliance with mission and values
Management Update

Break in to the office: broke window and glass but left before they could get in
Window has been repaired, not replaced. There will be an art piece made that doubles as security.
Lois is against having anything that resembles bars, would potentially block if that was the case
Carol sees this as urgent matter
Josh proposes to move forward in installing an artistic/recycled barrier on the window to the manager’s office.
Lois would like to see pictures of art piece before installation, knows of artist to suggest doing it. She also wants to know if alternatives were discussed.
Lara has concern about USTU board member being paid to do project (proposed artist: Jimmy)

Consensus reached - Proposal: To empowers management committee to create artistic/recycled barrier on the window to the manager’s office with the caveat that conflict of interest needs to be resolved
Stand asides: Lois and Bruce
Consensus reached

Terrace Roof: molding that goes around the southside and northside is being addressed. Solar panels are set low to the roof and we’re figuring out a solution.
Lois has solar panel system files - will send to Jess
USTU now has an electric drain snake available for clearing drains. Have been clearing out four airshaft drains.
Only spent $900 in the last month.
1st Quarter Financials - Josh (15)
Utilities a little higher budgeted.
Repairs and maintenance: We spent 16,466 out of 7,505 – Mostly for 207 and Julio 2.0’s leak
Made 9,000 less than we should have in the first quarter and it mainly had to do with the repairs and maintenance
Question Julio: mentioned that Julio’s apartment refurb would be budgeted for. A: it would come out of the regular repairs and maintenance line item.
Comment Lois: Guest unit line item should be identified as donation and only denote that which goes over the daily rate.
Total equity: $333,000
Cash at the end of period: 350,319.85

Decision: USTU Board approval of LOI for purchasing four-plex property - Josh/Yuki(25)
BVCLT has a few a things that they need to show their lender in order to get a loan extension. They’ve been in conversation with the lender and one of the things that BVCLT needs to provide is a Letter of Interest from a party interested in buying the fourplex property
LOI serves the purpose of providing time and space for conversations to take place. It is non-binding.
C: letter does what you want it to do, but I have a question. What does “improvements” mean? A: It means USTU would be buying the building not the land.
L: I’m enthusiastic about this. Don’t see a need for Yuki or Lara to recuse themselves from the decision.
L: The audience is the board of the lender who is being asked by the staff person, so we want something that would appear professional.
Q: are the details binding? A: No

Proposal to move forward with USTU and BVCLT
Stand aside: Josh - I’m willing to move forward, but I really think Lara should recuse herself in future discussions
No other concerns - Consensus reached

Time permitting: Phillip full membership interview - Phillip/Bruce (15)
- Did not have time for this item

Closed session - Board:
6) Update on fire code violation - Jess (10)
Fire code violation discovered in Julio’s apartment. In response, Julio has removed the majority of the items from the unit to resolve the issue about 90%.
Accumulation in Julio’s unit the result of e-waste accumulated over time plus his mom’s stuff – all of her mom’s stuff and almost all e-waste has been removed and will not come back
Officially a grievance was given to Julio
Julio will no longer be receiving e-waste (separate)

7) Update on basement storage - Jess (10)
Basement is infested with fleas. Jess and Carol and Reyna have been working hard to clean it.
Lois has storage in the basement NS.
There are still fleas in the basement as of today.
Carol would like a hard deadline.
Lois can’t give a hard date
The fact that our service company wouldn’t come out to work on water heaters is a concern as our staff members need to be safe too.
Lois could and should ask for help, if that’s what is stopping progress.
Committee to help lois clear out space: Julio, Jimmy, Questa, Bruce, Philip, Andy

Next 5s/Eval (5)

Appreciate given space and time to items not necessarily on the agenda.
Facilitators: Irma and William
Management Committee, tomorrow at 6pm.

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2019-04-29 Meeting

USTU Community Meeting Monday, 04/29/19

Present: Ellary (Facilitator), Becca (notetaker), Lara, Jimmy, Kurt, Kyla, Yuki, Carol, Joaquin, Philip, Jess (Mgr.), Bruce, Garrick, Julio 2.0, Audrey, Lois, Eric, Aurisha, Adriana, Gemma (visitor), Chloé (visitor), James (visitor), Jeremy (visitor?), Michelle, (may have missed one person)

1. Intros
2. Agenda review
3. USTU and the Four-Plex – Yuki –

If BVCLT sells the 4-plex, they want to give USTU the first right of refusal.
-BVCLT needs an extension to have time to figure out plan
-Needs a non-binding letter of interest from USTU by mid-May
-Presenting draft letter intro tonight, decision needed at next week’s board meeting

Pros and Cons – from the USTU perspective – Josh presents

Pro – expands inventory, esp. of 2 bedroom units – Con - although right now there are no vacancies
Pro – increases assets, potential to leverage $ - Con is that increases liability
Pro – maintains affordable units in the neighborhood
Pro – Will purchase for less than the market value – this is better than any possible future deal
Pro – could be a revenue generator – Con – doesn’t currently pencil out, needs plan to become self-sustaining
Pro – Economies of scale – fits into what we are doing - synergy
Cons – non-uniform, non-ideal leases
Cons – requires work short term (a lot) and long term (a little)

Previously asked questions and preliminary answers:
What are conditions on building – there will be an inspection
Sale price? – To be negotiated
Current residents’ preference – in dialogue
Restrictions – ¾ at 80% AMI
What status will residents have? If following past precedent, Long Term renters most likely, could apply to be members

Draft letter includes the following:
-USTU Mission
-Maintain affordability
-We are solvent


Aurisha – Was reading the letter – who drafted?
Answer: The committee drafted wearing USTU hats.

Josh – have only skimmed so far.

Philip – Such a logical thing it seems – USTU manage property and BVCLT to manage land – how come it didn’t happen like that originally? What has changed since then?

Lara will explain out of meeting.

Eric – What’s the reason that BVCLT wants to sell? Process related – would the BVCLT members need to recuse themselves if also members of USTU Board? I assume answer is yes, however it hasn’t been stated.

Answer – Yuki with BVCLT hat on - Not completely sure, but we want an extension to figure it out. One reason would be that we don’t want to be landlords, maybe want to focus on finding other properties and doing advocacy work. There are some reasons to keep it, and the Board is new, which is why we want more time to figure out the plan.

Would make sense for members of both board to recuse themselves.

Carol – For the inspection that BVCLT plans to do will it be a neutral inspector? Also are any of the residents of the four plex interested in participating in the workload to convert buildings?

Yuki – RE: inspection - this makes sense. Lois adds that it’s a given. RE: residents – this is a question. Josh adds it would be good to get help and also get their voice – financial, legal and membership related.

Jess – What does it mean that the leases are non uniform and non ideal?

Josh answers – the rents are at historical levels, not based on square footage. Some have free parking and others don’t, we want to get away from free parking. The utilities are included, not ideal as usage is uneven.

Are there leases? Supposedly.

4. Bienvenidos – Revising membership policy – Lois/Lara

Lara – Bienvenidos has had a number of meetings wherein we have discussed our membership process given that we have achieved full occupancy. How do we want the membership process to evolve given these new circumstances? Notes were sent out on the listserve prior as an introduction so folks can attend Bienvenidos meetings and help craft a proposal, or be ready when one is brought to these meetings. There is a need for a next phase in terms of membership.

We would continue to answer peoples’ questions and then encourage them to attend a tour. For people with immediate housing needs, we would direct them to other intentional communities. Then we would outline ways that people could become part of the Eco-Village demonstration project. There would be options for people who are visiting the neighborhood as well as

-Everyone – can recommend the following:
-they become members of the Food Lobby
- Become members of BVCLT
-Attend monthly karaoke
-Become members of the Time Bank

These would be non controversial things to do, but we haven’t been focused on them.

For those in neighborhood:
-Attend potlucks?
-work parties?/committees?
-what else? See notes that were emailed out prior

As well, could ask some folks to go through some period in the interested phase to see if we would recognize them as a Friend of Eco-Village, so they would have some privileges of membership, but not full membership. Friends of Eco-Village listserve, permission to hang out in common spaces, access to gate code?

Questions –

Carol – point #2 – people who have been in interested phase for a while and then granted certain privileges, what would be examples of what you had in mind?

Lara answer – access to greywater washer, perhaps?

Eric – Curious about what Bienvenidos committee and others think about closer to actual membership privileges for people who don’t live in the building? For example, Michelle. Open question, doesn’t have to be discussed today but interested in discussing further. Could be that that person would request housing when available, or not.

Jimmy – my wariness is having to make hard decisions with people that don’t actually live in the building. It’s already hard to make hard decisions with this body. Exterior opinions can make it difficult, though want to keep the community open.

Lois – Have been talking over several months re: having different levels of friends. Originally, non-resident membership, but now looking at Friends. Could have different layers of friends. Those who live nearby would be one. Former members and relatives could be another category. An annual membership with annual membership dues, which would be a source of revenue and recruiting various people to help with committees, projects, etc.

Josh – currently people can be members and not live here and we have one or two of them. Rae and Lily in addition to Michelle. Right now they can be provisional because we have nowhere for them to move in.

Jimmy – How long is this process before you bring it back? Who are the members on the committee?

Lara answers - Jordan, Natalie, Lois, Lara, Philip are on Bienvenidos currently.

Jimmy – Feels like we should replicate more outside of this place – how to help others around the city?

Bruce – We talk about membership – renters group – there are a lot of groups that meet here – some of them could be incubating? Can we incubate for sister organizations? And they would pay annual dues? Membership for organizations who are akin to our values.

Julio 2.0 – At some point, we had members who wanted to continue – who were on a leave of absence. They do bring energy. They would still be friends of the Eco Village – when they come back, we give them a fast lane track for re-entering.

Yuki – Makes me think of USTU and LA Eco-Village – not just about this property and behind the gate. What is the thing that we are building and what does it mean to be a member of the Eco Village, can it be broader than the co-op. If it is something broader, one co-op principles is that people are vested into it. So what is the contribution in both directions? It shouldn’t feel extractive on either side, building relationships.

Adriana – In terms of Jimmy’s concern – maybe have these meetings be separate. Join a committee or start other projects, but these meetings are a lot of people to get consenses as it is right now.

Lois – In the event that Song’s becomes a community neighborhood space beyond what is currently happening there, I can imagine Friends of the Eco-Village essentially being headquartered out of Song’s without imposing on this space. Folks would ideally hang out over there as well.

Lara – Anyone taken with this issue should come to the next Bienvenidos meeting, which will be the second Wednesday in May (May 8th) at 7 pm.

5. Eco-Village Safety Campaign (Carol/Jess)

Joaquin, Jimmy, Carol and Jess, enacted a skit about safety in the community and the dangers of leaving out toys and rakes without putting them away. Some didn’t realize it was a performance until the end.

Safety and awareness of what’s around us campaign
– there is often stuff in pathways, if you see it, please relocate it out of the way
-Alex and Rae will be making graphic signs to remind us
-Hoses, rakes, random blocks of concrete, kids toys with wheels and balls

Stay tuned – we will do these every meeting – 5 minutes

Garrick – adds – there is often stuff out peoples’ doors – the hallway to nowhere is an exit route and so are hallways. If there is an emergency at night, then it’s a hazard as there may be no light.

Lois – pick up scooters if you can.

6. Space Request – LA Co-op Labs – Adriana

Larger than 25 people – LA Co-op Labs would like to hold it’s annual mixer on June ___ - a bit of a fundraiser, sliding scale fee at the door and selling food and drinks. To get the network of food and drinks. The first annual one was last year at Jimmy’s – there was a kiddie pool. Or kitty pool, as Joaquin pointed out. Expect up to 50-60 people.

Open to the public? Yes.

Becca – points out that according to policy our quiet hours start at midnight. Yuki and Adriana say they can end it then.

7. Next Fives and Announcements

Announcements – Saturday – SWOT – She Wolf ???? Women and Trans folks racing team. Fundraising at Relampago.

Joaquin is turning 9, celebrating on Cinco de Mayo at the shop. Art supplies will be there, please recycle.

Garrick – email to listserve – anyone interested in volunteering for Jackie Goldberg campaign? For school board? Let Garrick know. The next two weeks are important.

Becca – complicated bike/hike/drive birthday camping trip May 10-12 – all invited! Contact Becca or Jordan for details.

Carol - Food Lobby delivery tomorrow – help if you can

Evaluation –
-Thank you
-Went fine
-Pros and cons was written very neatly (thanks to Yuki!)
-Skit was awesome!

Meeting ended twenty-five minutes early!

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2019-04-22 Meeting


1. Introductions - name, pronoun, question (10 min)
2. Agenda Review (5 min)
3. Update on Rainwater Harvesting Consultation - Sam (15 min)
4. Update on Spotvil - Lois (15 min)
5. Update & Discussion from Bienvenidos Committee -Update, feedback & possible decision on 1 or 2 items - Lois/Lara (35 min) – DIDN’T GET TO
6. 5 Nexts (5 min)
7. Evaluation (5 min)
8. Time Permitting: Free Shelf etiquette - Lois/anyone interested (10 min) – DIDN’T GET TO


Lara, Joe, Kyla, William, Carol, Sam, Garrick, Randy, Lois, Claire, Adriana, Chloe, Questa, Yuki, Aurisha, Joe, Julio 2.0, Eric, Jess, Jimmy, Gemma, Natali,


Introductions - 10 min

name, pronoun, if you could zap and make some change in LA, what would it be?

Agenda Review - 5 min

Update on Rainwater Harvesting Consultation

Sam (15 min)

  • We got $200 approved a while ago for rainwater harvesting assessment. Sam presented the estimate for the projects.
  • See proposal from Sam, including photos of what it could look like – via email
  • Price tag is for capturing all the rainwater we can is $59,640. Since it’s a lot, we should do piecemeal. Recommend that we start with the garages since we just redid the roof.
  • Clarifying questions:
    • Q: Are you sending this to the listserv? A: Yes
    • Q: How much rain can we catch? A: 13,400 gallons per inch of rainfall if we catch every drop
    • Q: What’s the storage capacity of the tanks? And what can we use the water for? A: Not potable water, but can be used for landscape irrigation. If we had all the tanks they recommend, we can capture up to 16,690 gallons. That’s the total tank capacity.
    • Q: How much water do we use for outdoor watering now? Sep 3443 gallons, Oct 5193, Nov 2760, Dec 1571, Jan 850, Feb 289, March 2588 gallons.
    • Q: All the tanks would have hose bib at the bottom. Pump would be extra.
    • Fundraising camapign with this being an element of what we would
    • Need to work with Jess and Mgt Committee because of all the roof work. Biggest question is if we’re going to do gutters on 117. It’s going to cost a lot of money to hang gutters. If it’s only for catching water, we’ll spend $30k on catching 2000 gallons.
    • Who’s interested in supporting moving forward? Kyla, Garrick, Julio 2.0, Natali, Eric

Update on Spotvil - Lois (15 min)

  • Update & Discussion from Bienvenidos Committee -Update, feedback & possible decision on 1 or 2 items - Lois/Lara (35 min)

F: emotionally charged topic – emotions okay, aggression not okay
P: update only, not open to talking about last night’s incident
F: sometimes people do ask questions
P: fine.
C: vibes watcher but all are welcome to help that.
P: spotvil has been going since October. Broken water pipe. I believe the guys at spotvil broke it. $2,500 water bill from DWP. Underground pipe, if we repair, they may reimburse. Temp fix didn’t quite work. Water is now off. Collecting water from 4-plex until people complained, now they take it from 4-plex. Spotvil people have been told they need to leave again and again. Demo for café, fix pipe, B&S fines $350 fines and threatened with deeper fines, etc. extension on B&S, final extension is for tomorrow at noon. Notice to comply – clean up the mess, take down the graffiti including the garage doors on Songs which has been there for 5 to 6 years. Have made contact with four service providers to get the people at Spotvil housed. The organizations have been out to visit 12-15 times trying to convince them to get services: job training, shelter, health services, etc. Final closing down date was April 15. I have posted rules that they were not able to follow. It was a disgusting mess – health and safety problem. In order to ask for a trespass arrest. I told the guys they need to accept these services or we’re going to call the police. I’ve made friends with them – they are very creative. We have to post a specific type of sign. Fill out a form with senior officer. I have the sign but it’s hard to post it because it’s a foam sign so I’ll need to make a paper copy and a bunch because they’ll keep getting taken down. Tomorrow I will file the paper and get the proper signs and get them up. Two people have left – Salvatore and Alfonso. The guys at spotvil prepared the space all last night for the inspector but the inspector said he would come tomorrow. Homeless health care was out there today. Authorization to arrest for trespassing will be posted tomorrow. Green wrap around fence has not been tagged. Neutral gang space. Clifford and I have a love/hate relationship but we always forgive each other. They all drink a little too much alcohol. Have never seen any of the five people that have permission to be there in a drunken state. Don’t have any direct evidence of any of the five of them using drugs. They need to go and they will soon go.
R: from the time the first tent showed up until yesterday – I see so much that others don’t see because it’s right off my balcony. There’s always noise. Last night’s noise was an emergency issue for me. Suspect stolen bikes. Do you want to know past experiences or do you want to know what happened last night? Guidance.
Group: last night.
R: I’m sick, I needed rest. I’ve seen Clifford snap. I’ve seen him snap at Lois. Last night they’ve got two radios going. I called from my balcony to turn it off. Knocked on Lois’ door – couldn’t wake her up. Skateboarded out there. I went out there prepared. Brought a baseball bat. Talked to woman first. She turned the radio off. I asked for Clifford. Asked him to turn the radio off. He got aggressive with me. I grabbed the baseball bat. That is what happened. I didn’t hit the guy. I asked him to stop. He didn’t stop. I went upstairs and called the police, that’s when it stopped. I’ve never called the police in my life. Perhaps I’m wrong. I don’t trust the guy. There’s where I’m at.
S: I know you’ve worked with gangs. The reason the fence isn’t getting tagged is that Clifford is creating neutrality? How does that work?
P: He has friends on either side of the aisle.
S: what is his upper hand?
P: He’s a community leader.
F: let’s gather the questions so that there’s no back and forth.
S: if someone knows what it means to be a leader of a gang neutral zone, I would be interested to know what that looks like because it’s terrifying to me.
C: in an email you asked for help finding housing for the guys. What’s the status of that?
A: what’s the hardline date that they will be gone?
P: I can’t tell you.
F: I’m just getting questions right now.
A: Will you ensure the community that there will be a date in the very near future that they will be leaving and if not, what does that mean.
A: you put up the signs, does that mean that they police can be notified? Can you clarify the sign situation.
L: I wanted Randy to share what happened between he and Clifford today.
R: I went out there and we talked and shook hands. I explained my side, got a closer look. I don’t trust him and it makes me even more uncomfortable. Having had my bike stolen from here. Gang neutrality? I see this every day, every moment. If people want to know more, just ask.
F: restates questions.
F: what does it mean to be a leader of a gang neutral space?
L: Clifford has lived here for a long time. He has friends on both side of the aisle and is able to keep that space neutral. I insisted that of all visitors. I have done that in this neighborhood for 40 years.
F: what is the status of finding other housing?
L: at one time I said that if I would personally put them up for one month if they could co-live in a studio. That was not realistic. There’s so much involved with renting the apartment. Didn’t want to have my life taken over by that.
F: will you ensure a date that they will be gone?
L: I cannot guarantee a date. I can guarantee that I can put up the signs and file the papers with the LAPD tomorrow. I can ask them what’s up with all the homeless services providers that have contacted them?
F: did that answer the questions around the signs?
A: I guess I’m wondering if there’s a way to put up the signs without getting LAPD involved and bluff to get them to leave.
F: concern about the LAPD.
L: if the LAPD comes out, the first time it will be a warning. Our lead officer Markonian is in many ways one of us.
F: process. Do we continue this and not do the bienvenidos item? I will accept some comments on process.
J: what question can we ask that will have an impact over there? Urgency of this issue – how can we get there?
F: rather than engaging in the conversation, is it okay for folks who were expecting the bienvenidos conversation to not do that discussion today.
E: practical suggestion – it seems that there is a desire for the spotvil folks to vacate the premises. Can we evict them without arresting them. I hate it but the police do sweeps where people’s belongings are removed but they are not arrested.
F: it sounds like there is a concern about the spotvil guys staying and there is concern about involving the police. Where are the agreements?
P: I agree with Eric that it would be great for them to leave without being arrested. You all should know that they have legal rights. They could force me to put them through eviction proceedings. Because we have congenial relationships with these people and I’ve been very transparent this time.
J: situations. People in the community feel threatened. Question – do the spotvil guys know that they have eviction rights?
L: I don’t know.
J: have you shared that with them?
L: no.
J: I see agreement that we all don’t want them to be there.
F: are there concerns around that goal?
General agreement
J: I see agreement that we don’t want them arrested.
F: concerns around that goal?
Some concerns around belief that they are stealing bikes.
J: why are we talking about a CRSP issue?
A: because it’s affecting us. If it’s a concern for us, why don’t we take it to the city. I think we’re wasting time.
F: reframes concern.
J: this isn’t an USTU concern.
G: this is a symptom of a much larger problem that’s only getting worse. Attempts to fix it have failed so far. This problem is getting worse. There’s going to be more encampments. As we move forward, we should realize that that’s a reality and we should think about how to address this beyond this one encampment.
L: how long is someone held in detention for trespass?
G: depends if they have priors.
J: part of what this is that it seems inappropriate for CRSP members to be a part of this situation. If we’re going to address it as USTU, we should do that. Otherwise it’s confusing.
W: kind of similar to what J and J said. It seems like every time we have this conversation, it deteriorates from the last time we had this decision. Expressing frustration.
L: I think that there’s a lot of issues that are worthwhile for us to explore as a community even when it’s involving a decision where we have control. I agree with G, this problem will be ongoing. I think the police discussion is important. I think we actually have a contribution that hasn’t been voiced. I would like to invite us to have a conversation with the people about the fact that their time is up and we support them leaving voluntarily and not risking arrest.
R: I’m sorry Lois. I don’t want this to blow up. I’ve asked for conflict resolution with Lois. It’s been turned down in the past and I’d like to talk to others here.
A: what we can do. Anyone here can call LA City. Not about calling the cops but having someone move their stuff without arresting them. I hear a lot of people feeling disempowered. This is creating divisions in the community. People aren’t feeling heard. What do we need and how are we going to address our needs without relying on CRSP.
E: I understand where people are coming from feeling like this isn’t our issue. But I do feel like it’s a useful conversation. Besides the fact that CRSP is the owner of this property, the question is how do we engage with the community around us? What’s around us is a reflection of what’s in the broader community. Worthwhile for us as a community to grapple with how we relate to the problems of our fucked up society. We share values about the impacts of the social system that we live in. I would encourage people to look at it from that perspective. We could and have had the same conversation about people living on the sidewalks, not CRSP property. We have agency, we have choices. I appreciate this conversation – how do we make thoughtful responsible choices with what’s in our power to do.
J: today in this meeting, someone asked for help. The problem here is that there wasn’t an ask. And now we have no power in how you will act. The problem is huge. If this community wants to tackle homelessness, then great. But we have a whole lot of other things that need to be tackled. What I’ve learned from you is to ask. So I ask that you do that so we can help.
C: My account of last night. I was woken up by screaming which was scary. I talk to the spotvil people. I don’t know if a lot of people do that. I was scared by R’s reaction. I would have gone out and participated but I was afraid of the outburst. I was more afraid of R yelling. This was just my experience.
L: I would just like to make sure that you know that I am hearing all of your comments. Just like anything in the neighborhood. We all have power. I think that we’re all on the same page about wanting them to leave but not go to jail.

Next 5’s

Facilitators: Becca and Ellary or subs
Tuesday night, Blue team, 201, 7p
Mgmt meeting, Tuesday
Sunday, yellow team
Yesterday, Red team


Way to wade through muck.
Thank you lois, I can’t imagine how hard this is for you. I’ve noticed
Never felt the need to do a vibes watch x2
Wise choice to continue this topic and not try to go to the other topic
Didn’t love Lois intro-ing by saying that I’m not going to talk about it but you didn’t hold that and I appreciated the ability to talk about it.
Maintained a safe space to talk about it
Appreciate people who don’t normally show up to these meetings


The Longest straw is screening locally May 1st, 7pm
Wednesday at 7p, energy blitz talk
Joe is going to Mexico city for a week.
Trans chorus on Wednesday at 7p

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2019-04-01 Meeting

Urban Soil / Tierra Urbana Board Meeting Notes 1 April 2019

Facilitation Team: Adriana and Joe
Board present: Lara, Lois, Joe, Carol, Josh, Jimmy
USTU Members Present: Adriana, Kurt, Andy, Phillip, Irma, Julio, Michelle, Alex, Ellary
Staff Present: Jessica
Others Present: Pierro

1. Agenda review and intros

2. Management Update
Jessica’s report: working to manage rain leaks, clogged pipe in Julio’s unit. Roof replacement being studied - full job will be expensive. Yolanda not planning to return - her unit currently being rented by Chloe and Gemma.

3. Decision: Approve New Budget
Josh presented discretionary budget items: education, retreat, childcare, translation eco-tech, and committees - total $8500 - about 2.2% of budget. USTU has a tax windfall about $6000. Proposal is to have an unallocated (or community-directed) fund that community could allocate throughout the year. Amount proposed is $12,250 - about 3.5% of budget.
Approved by consensus: $12,250 (added $3,750) to a community directed fund line item. Keep existing budgets for education, retreat, childcare, translation eco-tech, and committees budget items as guidance. For allocations within the $12,250 spending can be approved by membership, not requiring board approval.

4. Decision: Concierge Proposal
Jess: Lara has been managing guest unit (including open units) as a volunteer basis, with Lois filling in. Income averages $750 per month. Concierge responsible for correspondence, booking, managing visits, cleaning, guest log. Would report to manager Jess. Proposal is to approve up to $350 per month stipend to pay concierge. Dilean is available and interested in the position.
Approved by consensus: Concierge proposal approved.

5. Emergency Prep and Potential Training→ Postponed

6. Closed Session - Update on employee - no decision made due to lack of un-conflicted board quorum

7. Closed Session - Hoarding Situation - report only

8. Next 4s and evaluation
Bici Karaoke @ Jimmy’s → this Saturday
10am-4pm to vote on Rampart Village Neighborhood Council

Next facilitators:

Good facilitating
Budget discussion good, but painfully concluded

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2019-03-18 Meeting

Irma and William facilitating

Jess B, Joe, Dilean, Kyla, Philip, Natali, Lily, Kitty, Jordan, Chloe, Claire, Carol, Aurisha, Gemma

1. #201 Space Request for 3/22 -

Sky Blues - ‘whats’s going on in the world of intentional community’
Free for USTU members, 5 dollars for other, nobody turned away.
25 people approx.

2. Dilean full membership review

Dilean has now been a member for over 6 months and would like to become a full member of USTU.

Q: How has USTU lived up to your expectations and how hasn’t it?

A: Everyone here has been like family and it’s been a supportive environment to be in. I appreciate that everyone has each other’s back. It would be great to have more on non-violent communication to fully resolve certain conflicts that feel as though they’re pushed under the rug.

Q: When you talk about the eco village to people what do you say about it?

A: Always start with how much I appreciate everyone as a collective and the unique interactions that I’ve had that week.

Q: How have you felt about the pace of your commitment?

A: It’s been difficult to regulate that due to having a sensitivity to disappointing people.

3. Courtyard Improvements Budget for decision - Dilean

Proposal from the Beautification Committee to improve the lighting there. Each corner would have a string of lights that meet the magnolia tree. Have spoken to an arborist and it’s fine to do as long as the tree isn’t asphyxiated.

Proposed budget - $44.95 per light which are 48 feet each. Plus hooks and Oscar the arborist’s time. Projected total comes to $525.00. But Dilean thinks that we can do it without an arborist’s help we remove $175 from the cost.

Philip - what is the amount of electricity required?

Dilean - these are LED high-efficiency lights that are 1 watt. Not sure how much they would be to replace.

Carol - how do you envision this beautifying the courtyard? When would they be on?

Dilean - The idea would be to only have them on when we’re outside gathering in the courtyard.

Jess - would be good to have an extra string where the route from eating area to kitchen is.

Joe - think it would be good to use a hardware store rather than Amazon.

Jess - where in the budget would this be coming from? Would suggest it should be under eco-tech because there is money there. This should be checked at a later date.

PROPOSAL CONSENSED by community, budget must be approved by Board

5. Dilean Full membership decision
approved/consensed in closed session

6. Rae’s provisional membership decision- 15 min

approved/consensed in closed session

`next 4’s
-Facilitator needed next week - Ellary will need facilitator partner
-Philip would like help having dinner/memorial for Christine
-Movie night this Thursday, Border
-Rent committee meeting Sunday, 3/24 at 12:30pm
-Eval- your amazing William, appreciate the light agenda, get board decision for budgeted items,

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