Subject: Re: [NYCGA Internet] Re: how does this relate to permabank?
From: evy brown
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2011 20:25:50 -0700

Hello All,
Every time I see these type emails, I am stunned by the they are big, we should thank them attitude.  If the groups want to continue their tax exempt, not for profit status with the IRS, they must establish accountability.  Where is the money coming from and where is it going?  The same questions we ask of Wall Street---publicly traded corporations. 

I am the CEO & President of a not for profit.  I would be delighted if someone wanted to raise money for my organization.  However, I would never sanction that happening without an agreement and knowledge of exactly how that money was being raised whether through petitions, direct notices, ad campaigns, legacy contributions, etc.  It is not a matter of not appreciating collaborative efforts.  Collaborations are agreements.  Without both parties agreeing, there is no contract.  How would I explain a contribution to the IRS from a group that did not give me an accounting?
Stop thinking it is okay for anyone to capitalize on the movement and name without having an agreement between the parties. 

I hope this information is helpful.  It is not to be construed as putting down those who want to help or with differing opinions.  We all have our levels of expertise.  I'd never think of trying to write a software program.  Don't go there if you don't know how the collaborative method of fund raising works.  Moveon is powerful and structured.  I'm sure they ran raising money for OWS through their own internal structure.  There is no harm in anyone asking to know the details of the decisions and for documentation before an agreement is formed.  Transparency... 

On Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 8:06 PM, Mark Pruce <> wrote:
For what its worth - I think we should not fall into the 'classic left' trap of looking for reasons to be divided. is a powerful organization and wants to support OWS. Whether or not OWS is co-opted is up to us, not them - we are a powerful organization as well. And right now its them who are looking for ways to support us. I think we should look for ways to unite with all members of the left (or members of 99% in general) and define our goals clearly to them in moving forward, including issues that we are worried about. Maybe they'll lend us a programmer or server space, etc. 

Plenty of reasons to splinter and divide but thats exactly why the left has been benign for the last four decades. Plus, until OWS woke everyone in the country up - was participating in democracy in the only way we (as Americans) really knew how: they raised money, got lobbyists, advertised, etc. We are changing the game here and they are on board with that (I think) - thats a good thing. Lets be inclusive leaders in this changing moment. 

- Mark

Mark Pruce
Freelance Designer

On Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 10:33 PM, Charles Lenchner <> wrote:
Doesn't it piss you off that we aren't circulating petitions and raising
money? Money that could have helped complete Permabank faster? Money is just
labor, captured in time....
I can send a request to Mintz. Email me directly and I'll forward it.


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Sam Zimmerman
Sent: Thursday, October 27, 2011 10:25 PM
To: internet working group
Subject: [NYCGA Internet] Re: how does this relate to permabank?

Thanks for these quick comments everyone.
A couple notes from me:

I filled out a Moveon-powered petition recently and was rapidly served with
a donation request. There are several occupy-themed petitions circulating in
facebook right now, for example:

All of these serve to build their donation database - basically, they will
be making money off occupy and using it for non-occupy ends.

Although this makes me queasy, if Moveon wants to contribute resources and
capacities directly to help occupy scale rapidly, that is a discussion worth
having isn't it?  As we are experiencing, it is an extremely difficult thing
to do with irregular troops.

The big caveat here is that Moveon is already has a seat at the entrenched
disfunctional political table and connecting that to occupy might just be a
bad idea message-wise.  The right is already itching to prove that their
same old enemies are behind all of this, for

So is there any interest in dialoging with  Daniel Mintz et al., saying that
we are building our own tools like permabank, and are there opportunities
for Moveon to bolster that process?  for example, I bet they have a decent
server facility...

- Sam

On Oct 27, 10:09 pm, Chaz Cheadle <> wrote:
> I am in complete agreement with Sam here.
> We don't want to turn down any support, but we also want to keep our
> heads about us and make well informed decisions when it comes to
> accepting that support. We don't solicit support from
> party-affilliated or politically-aligned organizations as we do not
> want to be beholden to them for anything. We are here to make
> everyone's life better, not just one party.
> On another note, we are working on a solution of our own that is
> OpenSource and completely OWS run, called Permabank. It will serve the
> needs of requesting and donating non-monetary goods for Occupyers.
> Thank you though for sharing the link with us. It is nice to see that
> we're making enough of an impact to get this kind of support.
> chaz
> On Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 9:59 PM, Sam Zimmerman
> > ugh! I think Moveon glomming on to this movement and coopting the
> > occupy brand is incredibly sleazy. Their model is about passive
> > involvement - give us money and we will do the work of informing
> > you, lobbying for you and buying advertising in your behalf.  They
> > are circulating all sorts of OWS petitions, which then puts new
> > people on their solicitation lists. Moveon spends money with media
> > corporations to support Democrat politicians and causes. These
> > tactics and overall agenda do not align with the Occupy movement,
> > which is about direct expression and depriving corporate entities a
> > stake in our governing process.  If Daniel Mintz wants to contribute
> > resources, can this this be done within some context of consensus
> > decisions?  Is it worth asking?  I would be happy to be part of that
> > discussion if there is interest in having it.
> > - Sam
> > On Oct 27, 7:57 pm, "Charles Lenchner" <>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > connecting-ows-needs-and-donors
> > > Here's another interesting online effort that's popped up around
> > > the
> > Occupy
> > > Wall Street movement:
> > > <>
> > , a
> > > simple platform where people who want to give direct support to
> > > occupiers
> > in
> > > need of things like blankets, batteries, sleeping bags and the
> > > like can connect with each other. Built and supported by
> > >, the site is
> > just
> > > starting to see some usage, with 187 items provided by 58 people
> > > to 8
> > sites
> > > so far. I spoke with Daniel Mintz, MoveOn's campaign director, who
> > offered
> > > some background about the project.
> > > "The big challenge is less on getting people to help; the bigger
> > challenge
> > > is on getting in touch with all the occupations," to make sure
> > > actual
> > needs
> > > are being expressed and met. He noted that such efforts were
> > > already
> > taking
> > > place around the hashtag #needsoftheoccupiers, but said that such
> > > a decentralized approach had one challenge: "If someone wants to
> > > help their local occupation, they may not know how to figure out
> > > which one is the
> > one
> > > to help, to find a list of what's needed. There's no comprehensive
> > database
> > > of all the occupy sites, no hub where you can type in your zipcode."
> > > Creating such a database would be a "Sisyphean task," Mintz added,
> > > given
> > how
> > > fluid so many of these local occupations appear to be. The Oakland
> > > encampment was just broken up by police, for example, and the
> > Indianapolis
> > > group appears to have fallen apart due to internal strife. "This
> > > is more about helping make connections quickly and easily before
> > > circumstances shift," he said.
> > > OccupyWishList doesn't just make it easy for people to list their
> > > needs
> > or
> > > their willingness to meet them; Mintz says the site will also work
> > > to
> > ensure
> > > that connections and commitments are actually met, or a need will
> > > get relisted.
> > > Why is MoveOn doing this? "Over the course of the last year, our
> > > members, like most Americans, have become more and more fed up
> > > with the discussion
> > in
> > > Washington focused on a fake deficit crisis when there's a real
> > unemployment
> > > crisis facing the country," Mintz replied. "The OWS movement is a
> > > real manifestation of anger and frustration that Washington isn't
> > > addressing people's real problems, and it's no surprise that
> > > MoveOn members' top priority right now is to find ways to stand in
> > > solidarity with those protesters."
> > > "We felt like this was something obvious that we could provide.
> > > We're not looking for credit. We're much more interested in
> > > getting this out there
> > and
> > > making sure that it really helps. We have developers and project
> > managers,
> > > so we felt we could throw it together in a couple of days."
> > > ---
> > > Charles Lenchner, Organizing 2.0
> > >  
> > > <>|202.460.
> > > 5199
> > >  <>
> >

Evelynn Brown, J.D., LL.M
Chief Executive Officer
The Brown Center for Public Policy
     Ethics in Business Institute

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

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