[Foundation-l] foundation-l Digest, Vol 79, Issue 65

Joan Goma jrgoma at gmail.com
Thu Oct 21 11:48:46 UTC 2010

I think you are very generous saying “chapter selection process is not very
transparent”, saying "absolutely opaque outside the chapters" perhaps is a
bit more realistic.

I have to say that according to the rules of the call in last election I
presented a candidate to the chapter’s board selected members.

He devoted his time to write the candidacy and answer the questions made by
the chapters.

The process is so opaque that nobody contacted him after the elections.
Officially he doesn’t know yet if he has been elected or not.

Of course nobody has thanked him his effort for participating in the

We don’t know neither who else participated in the process nor the answers
given by the other participants.

I have done my proposals at movement roles page but it seems to me that it
is difficult to understand why this information is not publicly available.

By the way, I have to say thanks to you, Phoebe. You published your
candidacy and your answers which honours you.

 Message: 8
> Date: Wed, 20 Oct 2010 14:52:46 -0700
> From: phoebe ayers <phoebe.wiki at gmail.com>
> Subject: [Foundation-l] chapter board seats (was: Greg Kohs and Peter
>        Damian)
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
>        <foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org>
> Message-ID:
>        <AANLkTinKYDzBsOuims+4dW2s9Cd3M1vmxJECSJTAA1Sz at mail.gmail.com<AANLkTinKYDzBsOuims%2B4dW2s9Cd3M1vmxJECSJTAA1Sz at mail.gmail.com>
> >
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> On Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 2:12 PM, Risker <risker.wp at gmail.com> wrote:
> > On 20 October 2010 16:47, Muhammad Yahia <shipmaster at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >> On Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 1:03 PM, Risker <risker.wp at gmail.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> >
> >> > The board defines both "community" and "chapter". I'm not sure that
> the
> >> > board does ultimately answer to the community; there's nothing in the
> >> > bylaws
> >> > to indicate that.
> >> >
> >> >
> >> Section (G) states: Board Majority. A majority of the Board Trustee
> >> positions, other than the Community Founder Trustee position, shall be
> >> selected or appointed from the community and the chapters.
> >>
> >> I think this directly says that the board ultimately answers to the
> >> community. Now you may say that the definition of community is not as
> broad
> >> as you may like given that some seats go to the chapters , but that
> still
> >> means that our community -as organized in a certain form given the
> chapters
> >> are all community controlled AFAIK- holds power to elect the board
> >> majority.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >
> > Three board positions (30% of the board) are elected by the community at
> > large. They are the only members of the board who have a direct
> > responsibility to the community, and there is no method for the community
> to
> > revoke their representation.
> >
> > Two board members (20% of the board) are elected by a tiny number of
> > representatives of chapters (the chapter representative election process
> is
> > very opaque). I can't find any numbers that confirm exactly how many
> people
> > belong to chapters, and whether or not all of their members would
> otherwise
> > meet the definition of "community member", but it is widely acknowledged
> > that only a small percentage of Wikimedians (i.e., those who would meet
> the
> > definition of "community member") are members of chapters. ?I have a hard
> > time understanding why people think chapters are representative of the
> > community. ?They're representative of people who like to join chapters.
> >
> > Risker/Anne
> changing the subject line because I think we've ranged pretty far away
> from the original subject of moderation....
> As the person who was selected via this process I feel the need to jump in
> :)
> I agree that the chapter selection process is not very transparent, or
> very clear (to the people inside as well as the people outside!) and
> could have been improved. However, this time around was also only the
> second time chapters have selected seats (by contrast, last year was
> our 6th community election) ... so I hope that we will continue to
> improve on that front and the next selection process, year after next,
> will be better. That's something we all want to see.
> Others can speak to this better than I can, but part of the rationale
> behind chapter-selected seats was to help even out representation --
> to make sure that the elected seats on the board were not entirely
> dominated by candidates from those communities that have lots of
> voting editors, like the English Wikipedia. If you are from a smaller
> language project, or a smaller chapter, the chances of getting name
> recognition and a seat in the community elections is much harder.
> Additionally, the chapters *are* a part of the greater Wikimedia
> movement, and selecting seats via chapters helps ensure that those
> chapters get a place at the table. In the U.S. there has not been a
> chapter presence until WM-NYC was founded, but that's not true in
> other places -- Wikimedia Deutschland was of course founded before the
> WMF itself was founded, and many of the other chapters are well
> established too.
> Now, you could certainly ask, given all that, why in the world the
> chapters would have selected me -- yet another American English
> Wikipedian -- to be on the board. And that's a perfectly valid
> question! It's important to realize however that I am not a
> "representative" of the chapters. On the board itself, I am identified
> as a board member or sometimes as a community board member, but not as
> someone who is there specifically to advance chapter interests or be
> more involved with chapters than anyone else (there are currently
> three board members on the chapcom, for instance: one is
> chapter-selected, one is community-elected, and one is appointed). I
> am honored that the chapters thought that I would be a good board
> member *in general*, to work on all of the issues that the WMF faces
> -- and hopefully that is why they selected me :)
> As for community accountability, I certainly feel accountable to the
> community. I also feel accountable to the long-term survival and
> health of the Wikimedia projects, and will do my utmost to help make
> decisions that will both help ensure this survival and that also
> represent community interests and needs. I have been around for long
> enough, and thought hard enough about the community, to realize the
> obvious -- that there is no single "community" for a trustee to
> represent. There are editors of all different types and interests,
> there are chapter members, there are even readers... but I do think
> that we have some important shared values, of openness and freedom and
> knowledge-sharing, and those values underpin my decisions.
> As for knowing what it is the board does -- yes by all means if you
> care about this topic go to the movement roles meeting (I have a work
> conflict, sadly). I also hope to start having more open IRC community
> meetings, as I mentioned a month or so ago at the IRC meeting with
> Bishakha -- I just haven't had time to schedule them yet is all. Soon
> :) And please ask questions anytime.
> -- phoebe
> --
> * I use this address for lists; send personal messages to phoebe.ayers
> <at> gmail.com *

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