[Foundation-l] Wikimedia chapters in the United States

Austin Hair adhair at gmail.com
Wed Aug 1 13:54:06 UTC 2007

The topic of a Wikimedia chapter in the United States has been
discussed and debated for a few years, during which time the role of
Wikimedia chapters and the Wikimedia Foundation itself has grown and
evolved.  The unique geopolitical circumstance of the U.S. poses
several interesting questions regarding the form a chapter or chapters
there will take, and this discussion has been renewed with the recent
announcement of fledgling chapter Wikimedia Pennsylvania.

There is not yet any firm policy specifically concerning U.S.
chapters, but it's clear that the conditions and challenges they face
will involve a different approach from that we've established over the
last few years working to build chapters in Europe and elsewhere.

It is the consensus of the Chapters Committee that this approach
should be a practical one, governed by the needs of chapters as they
develop, and that any contrived policies made now would be of little
use, even detrimental.  Our view of chapter policy is that it should
not be prescriptive, but rather reflective of the relationship
chapters have with the Foundation and with the community.

We therefore intend to continue working with groups forming chapters
in the U.S. to help identify their role, and to define sensible
policies to allow us to work together toward our common goals.

Austin Hair
Wikimedia Chapters Committee

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