As we star to get grant funding, it will be helpful for us to start
tracking our program outcomes. Currently we have approximate records of
turnout at our events. I'm hoping that we can expand our recordkeeping a
bit to include data like amounts of content contributed or skills taught.
The WMF Program Evaluation team has tools for recordkeeping of edit-a-thons
that may apply.to many of the events that Another Believer hosts in
Portland. A.B. will you please start using these tools? I'm sure Program
Evaluation (email above) will be glad to help you get started.
In Seattle, we have done cross-pollination recently with TA3M by speaking
at their meetings. These events are more about networking and information
exchange between technologists and information activists than they are
about recruiting new contributors, but I think we all would agree that we
enjoy these events. I think we should at least document our speakers and
the subjects of our presentations as they relate to Wikimedia. (I may give
a presentation in November, subject TBD. In July, J-mo gave a research
presentation, and this month I gave a brief intro to SeaFOSS and the IEG
Questions about how to track program outcomes can be directed to
Please post reports or links to reports on Meta on our talk page,
As you saw, we have approval from AffCom. We now need to get a few things
in order for the legal structure. I apologize for the length of this email.
Those who have legal backgrounds will be familiar with much of what I am
describing here, and any lawyers on the list with Washington nonprofit
expertise can correct me if I make any errors.
1. We need two people to sign the WMF affiliation agreement. One of the WMF
attorneys, Stephen, is coordinating this process on their end. I have
reached out to him and asked for his preferences for who will sign the
2. Incorporation as a nonprofit in Washington State is fairly
straightforward, but the situation gets more complicated if we want to
raise funds, especially out of state, or if we want 501(c)(3) status. I
suggest that we take one step at a time. We will need to do a few things to
incorporate, detailed below.
3. We will need someone to serve as our registered agent which would
include providing their legal name and address; one of our members might be
willing an able to do this for us, or we can hire a service to do this for
us for about $100 per year. I would prefer that if one of us is willing to
serve as the registered agent that they also be willing to serve as
secretary for the organization, so that this person can easily handle
correspondence between us and the Secretary of State's office. The job is
likely to be low volume, but it's important that documentation matters are
handled in a timely and accurate manner. Are there any volunteers for the
secretary / registered agent role? Feel free to contact me off list.
4. In addition to the registered agent, we will need board members. These
individuals are legally responsible for the organization, similar to the
WMF Board of Directors on a small scale. Their legal names (but not
necessarily their Wikimedia usernames) are public, and I believe that for
their physical addresses they can list the address of the registered agent
(I can check that with the Secretary of State). The board members will be
involved in the joyful tasks of writing bylaws, approving budgets, setting
priorities, etc. I am hopeful that we will have 5 to 9 volunteers, and a
number of people have indicated their interest. I want to be very clear
that people who volunteer will have their legal names made public and
possibly their addresses. I would like to ask those who are still
interested to email me off-list and/or contact me in person, and I will
also bring up this subject with people when I see them in the next month or
two. The members of the board also have a lot of discretion in how officers
of the organization are appointed; for example, the Board will need to
approve people for the secretary / registered agent role. I believe that
Washington law requires that the secretary and the president be different
individuals, so the Board will also need to decide on a president, and
possibly other officer roles if the Board wants to establish them
4. Funding: initial funding needs, fortunately, are small since we have no
staff. I estimated earlier that a total first year of operation cost would
be about $1000, which I hope we can get from Affcom or GAC. The startup
costs simply to register as a nonprofit in Washington is $50 including the
"expedited" filing fee (I could call the Secretary of State to find out
what the non-expedited turnaround time is). I am hopeful that Affcom would
be willing to provide the $50 to us, and later we could write a more
detailed budget for Affcom or GAC for the remaining funding. This includes
funds for online bookkeeping software so that all directors can view the
5. Programmatic work: initial priorities that I have heard include
*Getting press-level access for members to Seattle public works projects
*Continuing support of edit-a-thons and related content creation events
*Establishing more systematic relationships with education, GLAM, and
research institutions in our area; I personally am particularly interested
in relationships with the Gates Foundation and the University of Washington
regarding matters of public health and education, including the possibility
of establishing a Wikimedian in Residence position at one or both
organizations. We also have some excellent GLAM institutions and we could
explore having edit-a-thons or WiR positions at those organizations.
*Creating a travel cost reimbursement fund, e.g. to reimburse members for
gas for trips between Seattle and Portland for those attending edit-a-thons
in the other city, to reimburse bus fares for those who attend our events,
etc. We might also try to arrange scholarships for Wikimania 2015,
WikiConference USA 2015, and Wikimedia Affiliates Conference 2015 (name and
program still under discussion) through this fund. I feel that
WikiConference USA is particularly relevant to our work and I hope that a
few of us will attend in 2015.
*Exploration of the possibility of hosting WikiConference USA in 2016 at
The Board will be responsible for setting these priorities.
6. Membership: in addition to Board members, we may have many other members
of the organization who participate in our events and inform the Board of
their wishes for support. Typically, the regular members elect Board
members from among themselves, and membership is construed broadly,
sometimes with a nominal fee. Wikimedia UK charges 5 GBP per year for
individual membership, which is roughly $8 USD. The Board sets any fees and
may establish scholarship programs fee waivers.
I hope that in roughly the next month we will have decided on founding
Board membership, the Registered Agent role, and the signatories for the
WMF affiliation agreement.
Please feel free to contact me here or off-list with any questions. I will
be at the TA3M meeting tomorrow and you can contact me personally there;
depending on traffic I also hope to arrive early at the Least Squares
social tonight. I'm happy to set up Google video or IRC conversations with
people who are willing to volunteer for Board roles. My hope is that we
will get a number of active and involved Board members so that the workload
of getting established is relatively light on each individual person.
I'm cc'ing this email to Kirill and Tanvir to ask if they have any advice
or points that they would like to add in their roles as our AffCom
liaisons. I would also appreciate information from them about how we go
about requesting startup funds from AffCom.
Thank you very much, Kirill and Affcom. (:
Just a small amendment: we also have likely members in the British Columbia
Province of Canada, and we are proud to include them in our membership if
they wish to affiliate with Cascadia Wikimedians.
Our most frequent activities occur in the Seattle and Portland areas, and
we aspire to support additional cities in our region. In addition to the
British Columbia Province, Washington State, and Oregon State, we have some
email list subscribers in Idaho State and from other regions of the United
States and Canada.
Personally I would like to take a moment to thank the leadership of an
open-source and privacy advocacy organization, the Seattle chapter of TA3M,
who have been enormously helpful in providing us with information about
open source groups in the Seattle area and who have invited us to speak at
their meetings. I would also like to acknowledge the University of
Washington for its direct and indirect support of open source, open data,
and open research projects including Wikipedia and TA3M. I hope that
Cascadians will add to this list if there are additional supporters who we
Thanks very much,
On Sat, Sep 13, 2014 at 6:46 PM, Kirill Lokshin <kirill.lokshin(a)gmail.com>
> Hi everyone,
> I'm pleased to announce that the Affiliations Committee has recognized
> Cascadia Wikimedians  as a Wikimedia User Group . The group is based
> in the Northwestern United States, and plans to focus on organizational
> outreach and supporting the education program in their region.
> Let's welcome them to the family of Wikimedia affiliates!
> Kirill Lokshin
> Affiliations Committee
>  https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Cascadia_Wikimedians
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
Please accept my apologies on this delay. Tanvir is taking care of personal matters, so probably that's why he hasn't got back to you. We'll make sure you guys get an answer before Sunday evening.
Again, please accept our apologies for the delay. Oh, and no need to CC Asaf, he's already in the AffCom mailing list :-)
Sent from Samsung Mobile
-------- Original message --------
From: Pine W <wiki.pine(a)gmail.com>
Date: 12/09/2014 09:20 (GMT+02:00)
To: Affiliations Committee <affcom(a)lists.wikimedia.org>,abartov(a)wikimedia.org,Wikimedia Cascadia mailing list <wikimedia-cascadia(a)lists.wikimedia.org>,Tanvir Rahman <wikitanvir(a)gmail.com>
Subject: [AffCom] Affcom application status
Dear Affcom, Tanvir, and Asaf,
We answered Affcom's last question to us about the proposed Cascadia Wikimedians group on August 7th, over a month ago. I have attempted to contact Affcom a number of times to check on the status of our application, but the last information that I received was on August 17th, which was over 3 weeks ago. We have projects that we want to do but we are waiting for Affcom approval before we launch them. This is a busy time of year here in Cascadia and I feel it is important that we get ourselves launched as soon as possible. We had anticipated receiving approval from you before now. We would appreciate an update about when we can expect to hear from you about the status of our application.
Also, are we allowed to set up social media accounts using the Cascadia Wikimedians name while we wait for your approval? We would like to use social media to recruit and coordinate for our events, and I have heard that other thematic organizations have done this prior to receiving recognition from Affcom.
My understanding is that user groups are intended by the WMF Board to be lightweight and easy to set up. The amount of time that this approval process is taking is problematic for us here in Cascadia, and the lack of communication and a clear timeframe for approval are also making it difficult for us to have the impact that we would like to have.
Dear Affcom, Tanvir, and Asaf,
We answered Affcom's last question to us about the proposed Cascadia
Wikimedians group on August 7th, over a month ago. I have attempted to
contact Affcom a number of times to check on the status of our application,
but the last information that I received was on August 17th, which was over
3 weeks ago. We have projects that we want to do but we are waiting for
Affcom approval before we launch them. This is a busy time of year here in
Cascadia and I feel it is important that we get ourselves launched as soon
as possible. We had anticipated receiving approval from you before now. We
would appreciate an update about when we can expect to hear from you about
the status of our application.
Also, are we allowed to set up social media accounts using the Cascadia
Wikimedians name while we wait for your approval? We would like to use
social media to recruit and coordinate for our events, and I have heard
that other thematic organizations have done this prior to receiving
recognition from Affcom.
My understanding is that user groups are intended by the WMF Board to be
lightweight and easy to set up. The amount of time that this approval
process is taking is problematic for us here in Cascadia, and the lack of
communication and a clear timeframe for approval are also making it
difficult for us to have the impact that we would like to have.
Seattle meetup tentative schedule:
Tuesday, October 14 at Cafe Allegro, 6pm-8pm
Thursday November 6, panel discussion with Mako's class, time TBD.
December: no regular meeting but may have a holiday party, time and place
Here is a bit of a report about the OpenStreetMap Seattle
Mapping-what-you-know Meetup. About a dozen people attended. Before we
started mapping, we discussed a couple of things about the bid to host the
2015 State Of The Map-US Conference.
- Clifford Snow is currently the main coordinator. He started at the
suggestion of Simon Poole, the Chairman of the OSM Foundation, who was very
impressed with the OpenStreetMap's 10th Anniversary Event that
OpenStreetMap Seattle organized.
- Clifford is grappling with finding a venue. He did explore UW, but
found that the amount of paperwork involved would be too daunting.
- I indicated that several Cascadia Wikimedians, including myself, might
be interested in working with OSM Seattle on the US Conference. The group
was very receptive to this. Surprisingly, Clifford said that I was the
first Wikipedia editor he has met.
- There was some disappointment that Cascadia Wikimedians bid for the
WikiConference USA will be for 2016 instead of 2015. I think that there
would have been a hope to do a joint conference, but I did explain that the
2015 WikiConference USA is slated for Boston.
We then moved quickly into the Mapping-what-you-know portion of the meetup.
Some things of note:
- There was some talk about a proposal of loading 700,000 user IDs from
en.wikipedia, which I believe was for the purpose of single sign on (SSO).
I am unfamiliar with the proposal. OSM also uses OpenID.
- Bryce, creator of Go Map!!, an iPhone & iPad editor for OSM (see
https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Go_Map!! , was at the meetup &
working on the next iteration.
- There was some interesting discussion regarding only using open source
data, primary sources (web site for a location), or the knowledge of the
editor. In particular, using Google or Bing for anything is strongly
discouraged, even looking up an address or determining what is at a
location by using Google Street View. Even data that one would think should
be public domain, such as county or municipal data, might not be unless the
jurisdiction has explicitly released it into the public domain. (See “GIS
and Copyright Issues: Orange County, California,”
- OSM has an arrangement with Bing Maps for the use of satellite images
in edit mode. These satellite images do not display in the normal OSM view.
For the record, you can find some of my first edits at
Although Seattle itself is well mapped, areas outside of the city need
help. I chose 192 Brewing Co. in Kenmore, WA.