[Foundation-l] Board resolutions (chapters)

Andrew Whitworth wknight8111 at gmail.com
Tue Jan 20 14:48:25 UTC 2009

On Tue, Jan 20, 2009 at 9:33 AM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton at gmail.com> wrote:
>> New York City is a city, and France or Germany are nations. In the
>> geopolitical sense, the two are very different. However, in terms of
>> chapters the geopolitical boundaries are meaningless. Chapters are
>> defined and measured by their levels of participation. We don't say
>> that a nation must always be "better" then a city, we say that one
>> wikimedian is equal to one wikimedian. A Wikimedian in WMNYC who pays
>> dues and participates is equal to a Wikimedian in Wikimedia France who
>> pays dues and participates. To say that one group of our volunteers
>> should be discounted because they represent a smaller area is not a
>> good thing.
> So would you suggest that votes at chapter meetings, etc., be weighted
> by membership? That gets rather complicated when you consider that
> different chapters function in different ways (different membership
> fees, different responsibilities of members, different classes of
> membership, etc). If you have one vote per chapter then it becomes
> completely arbitrary.

My only suggestion is that the situation is very complicated, and we
cannot always say that national chapters must be more important then
sub-national chapters. It's entirely conceivable that WMNYC will have
more active members then some national chapters do, so why should it
be counted less? Some chapters might be very large and successful, so
maybe they should be weighted more. There is no way to make the system
completely fair, for reasons you suggest and for others entirely.
However, that doesn't mean we should draw a line in the sand and say
"Wikimedians on this side of the line are more important then
Wikimedians on the other side are". I would hate to see Wikimedia
Chapters used as a vehicle to disenfranchise certain groups when it
comes to global educational initiatives.

--Andrew Whitworth

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