[OpenStack Foundation] Proposals for individual board election

Ryan Lane rlane at wikimedia.org
Fri Oct 26 02:01:05 UTC 2012

> From my understanding, most proposals are focusing on how to increase the
> barrier for becoming individual members and limit one single company's undue
> board control.

I think the proposals really want to limit the ability for a company
to have all its employees register, then have them vote for a single
candidate. In the last election a few board members were voted in
almost solely by their own companies, which at minimum makes people
feel uneasy about the process.

> In the initial board election, everyone can be nominated by everyone, it is
> really easy for someone to get at least 10 nominators, thus to be a
> candidate, and then voting began. Thus any incapable person can be elected
> in such kind of process.

All of the people elected were/are perfectly capable people who have
some affiliation with the community. I'd argue that all members
elected have very strong affiliation with the community and were more
than suitable candidates.

> So my major proposal is that increasing the barrier for the individuals to
> be nominated. In addition, the following 3 steps are required before voting
> start:
> 1. The candidate should fill an application form to the secretary of the
> foundation, to explicitly express his or her intention to be nominated.
> The application form should include some basic information/facts such as who
> are you, what you have done for the community, what's your contribution to
> OpenStack, etc. More importantly, the application form must be reviewed and
> validated by the secretary or someone like Election Committee (seems EC is
> not existed in the bylaw of foundation, hereby can be a temporary committee
> consist of secretary and legal team of foundation), thus make sure
> application form validated, and the contents in the form is true. If his or
> her application is accepted, then go to next step.

This seems sane.

> 2. The candidate is required to make a public statement in the ML and
> openstack.org.
> In our first election, there already has such a process in place such as
> the candidate should answer 4 questions from the secretary. However, it was
> only optional.  Thus, in one case I know that someone got it away who did
> not say anything about himself, his professional work before and his future
> contribution plan, nor answer the 4 questions, BUT at the end, he had even
> been elected. Such kind of case seems suspicious and unfair for other more
> qualified candidate.

I don't think this is necessary. If people don't feel like they need
to campaign, they shouldn't be forced to.

I don't think many people put a lot of effort into campaigning this
election. I have a feeling most people were voted for because people
knew them from lists, IRC, summits, etc.. In a few cases it's likely
that people voted for a candidate because they signed up as a member
to support their organization and the only name on the ballot they
knew was from their company.

> 3. The candidate is required to make a live or recorded video speech to
> express himself, to state his understanding of OpenStack project as well as
> the mission of our foundation.
> Most of people in our community believe that the individual board members
> will play a critical role to represent  the whole community, they must be
> qualified enough to represent the community, through the video, the
> community will be more familiar with our candidate in person, thus it will
> help the individual members to make the right judgments. From my
> observation, the board members are often invited to giving a speech in his
> or her local regional user group meetups, and will also present in many
> public cloud tech events, so he or she should has the ability, as well as
> better understanding of the foundation, OpenStack projects, to promote
> OpenStack and the community, to influence more and more people use
> OpenStack, to involve in the community.

I'm strongly opposed to this. I surely don't want to make a video if I
choose to run again. I wouldn't have done so last time, either. It
isn't that I'm shy to speak in public or to make videos. I do video
interviews often and they are *really* awkward if they aren't
professionally done.

- Ryan

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