[Foundation-l] Board resolutions (chapters)

Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijssen at gmail.com
Tue Jan 20 20:25:27 UTC 2009

When the right five friends come together, they do not need their dog to
make a successful organisation. Five people are enough to make a bored, five
people are enough to raise money. It takes dedication and a lot of effort.

One essential ingredient is that a chapter represents to some extend the
people of projects. Key is the limitation; a chapter has a particular
importance that the organisational aspects of the WMF get represented. It is
not right that most of the donations are from the USA. This means that a
more local chapter effort needs to make a difference in Europe, Asia,
Africa, Australia and South America.

The reason why a chapter represents to some extend the people of projects
exists on several levels and on the other hand it is wrong. Many of the
activities have no relation to the projects at all while a chapter provides
the projects with opportunities that would otherwise not exist. By being
organised there is the opportunity to connect to archives, to politics, to
become the public face for the projects.

Ting ruled out the existence of an USA chapter because of the existence of
the New York chapter. It is equally clear that the WMF organisation does not
want to fulfill the role of an USA chapter. When Dan asks me and Anthere not
to use the "sub-chapter" word, he is right in that the board names them a
chapter, but the issue of the New York chapter having fewer abilities and
responsibilities is conveniently swept under the carpet in this way.

The prefix sub indicates that it is less then the norm. For me it is obvious
that some great five or more people will make the NYC a success. What I want
to learn is in what way the national concerns that I expect a functional
chapter to take care off will be handled for the USA. This is the crucial
bit of thinking, information that is missing. And as long as this is not
clear, the NYC is a sub-par to me.

2009/1/20 Andrew Whitworth <wknight8111 at gmail.com>

> On Tue, Jan 20, 2009 at 9:30 AM, Andre Engels <andreengels at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Well, one benefit would be that it avoids strange definitions of
> > chapter boundaries. Suppose that we have a Los Angeles chapter and a
> > Monterey County chapter, and then people from San Jose, Sacramento and
> > a few smaller cities come together to make a chapter, would this then
> > be "Wikimedia California except Los Angeles City and Monterey County"?
> > Or should it perhaps also be restricted to not include San Francisco,
> > since perhaps there will be a city chapter there, and created the
> > "California-except" chapter would make such impossible?
> 5 Friends and their dog cannot make a chapter. To become a chapter,
> you need to have critical mass: You need enough people to form a
> board, you need possible members. You need to be able to raise money,
> and you need to be able to perform activities. If we have a situation
> where there are enough Wikimedians in Scramento, Los Angeles, and San
> Jose to each form chapters, we should consider ourselves to be very
> lucky. More likely, to build the critical mass necessary to start a
> new chapter, Wikimedians from all these places may need to work
> together instead of working apart. The smaller the geographical area
> is, the fewer potential members you have, the less money you are
> likely to be able to raise, and the fewer outreach activities you will
> have available to you.
> --Andrew Whitworth
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