You don’t have to be able to communicate in English to vote for the representative who
needs to communicate in English
From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Gerard
Sent: Sunday, 06 March 2016 9:45 AM
To: Wikimedia Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Access and Participation in the ASBS
I am the last one to say that multi-linguality is not important. However, given that the
affiliates board is selected by an organisation that NEEDS to communicate in English, I
It is vital for people of the affiliates to have a reasonable understanding of English and
when they do not, this is not the place to start remedying it.
On 6 March 2016 at 08:36, attolippip <attolippip(a)gmail.com> wrote:
As you are (probably) aware, the 2016 affiliate-selected Board seats
process has started already. And I do think that the process is broken
somewhere . The democracy principles even in my country, though it
is far from being a role model for transparency and governance, state
that people are equal and they have rights and responsibilities. But
the process at the moment is not fair and equal footing is not
provided for. It is great to have dedicated friends across the
Movement that can translate your statement into German or Chinese, but
as long as not all statements are translated into the languages used
in all affiliates eligible to vote, I deem the process broken.
Thus I formally request that WMF spend enough resources to have all
nominations pages translated into all languages requested by the
affiliates eligible to vote   and all languages used already by
the nominees. I am sure that the three facilitators cannot provide it.
And there are limits to what volunteers can do  or how fast. If WMF
refuses, I am going to use my own money , it costs 150 UAH (around
6 USD) to have a page translated into Swedish, for example :) I can
manage 7 pages translated into as many languages as my personal budget
will allow, but I shall do it fairly at least, so we won’t have
Susanna’s statement only in English and Spanish, while Osmar’s is also
in German, Catalan and French. WMF spends considerable resources
(mostly in staff time) on supporting the three "community-elected"
seats, but these two seats are not lesser board seats than the three
The nominees write their statement in English. Nothing wrong with
that, of course. But for a tiny little (and big) thing: not everybody
understands it well enough to make an informed choice. But even among
seven board members of Wikimedia Ukraine, two DO NOT SPEAK English, so
they can read the statements only if they [the statements] are translated into
They have no choice, actually. In discussing whether to endorse my
candidacy, they either have to believe the rest of the Board members
that I am the most wonderful candidate and the others are just not as
wonderful and that’s it, or they are to ignore the Board meeting where
this decision is to be made. They can spend time editing Wikipedia or reading instead.
And beyond the language issue, there is the informing and
issue: I am not sure how this process is organised in other
affiliates, and how you make your decisions to vote for this or that
possibility (in terms of this, I believe that there are seven
possibilities presented at the moment, by us, as nominees. So you can
accept or decline what we seven offer). You (actually) do not know us
and if we are going to be great or poor as Board members of WMF, and
if we are the right-for-the-moment choice, but you are going to
choose. Are you really going to choose just based on your personal
contacts? Remember, in most cases administrators are chosen more
objectively, as it is almost impossible to get to know them first
personally. They are ‘judged’ by their deeds before, during and after…
Were you going to ask your communities what they think about the
candidates? And the members of your affiliate? If not, please consider
this option. We do have a sad example of an appointed Board member being not accepted by
us, as the Community.
I am sorry for the long letter. I do believe I have a right to request
suggest) this. I was a part of a team that made sure that the
Ukrainian community REALLY knows about the elections so the eligible
users on UKWP have voted   And we really worked to make that
happen. As you can see, Board elections may be of great importance to
the whole community. So (at least) informing your own members is important, I believe.
antanana / Nataliia Tymkiv
 There is a question about the ‘turnout in this selection process’
so you’d think that people care. But do they? Really?
 I think that contacting each affiliate eligible to vote and asking
them if they need help to translate the statements and if yes, what
languages are required by memberships/affiliates’ leadership to read the statements.
By doing this we also make sure that they are aware of the upcoming
elections and are engaged
 Because they just may be not willing to do it
 well, I was going to translate into Ukrainian all statement
anyway, translating is the best way to read the statement thoughtfully
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