User:KathleenLD/2014 OSMF Board Elections Manifesto

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I threw my metaphorical hat into the ring for the OSMF Board election rather late, as a response to what I saw as dysfunction and stagnation. I didn't focus on pulling together a manifesto, but instead simply stated my intent to run because I believe I can help. That is still essentially my entire position, but in the interest of making it easier for people to decide who to vote for, I am pulling together some materials that will help the electorate get to know me better.

I have said a great deal across different mailing list and other forums about the need for more diversity in OSM. In September, I made the following recommendations:

  • I would like to see widespread adoption of codes of conduct across the community. As Mele mentioned [1], the Puppet community has a very robust list of Community Guidelines for a wide array of forums and interactions [2]. I would love to see us do something like this.
  • Explicit, easy to find, enforceable guidelines for conversation happening on any mailing list hosted by OSM.
  • Clear expectations given to moderators in enforcing said guidelines, and adequate support for moderators, who are often too drained to step in.
  • Required Anti-harassment policies for any event billing itself as a "State of the Map" conference. This would obviously have to be tailored to each locality for legal reasons, but having a minimum requirement for the type of expectations as well as the type of recourse that should be available to all attendees, would be a great start.
  • More scholarships for marginalized groups to attend SOTM conferences. (Some conferences have started doing this, but we still need to do better.)
  • People doing a better job of holding each other accountable publicly. There are a lot of really good people in this community, but a lot of times you stay silent when someone misbehaves. That tells me that that behavior is tolerated. You can call people out in a gentle, but clear way. Try that.
  • Prioritizing outreach to marginalized groups to join the community and to speak at conferences.
  • Programming and initiatives originating from places of leadership within the community to provide safe, welcoming places to talk about these issues and work on ways to improve them.

These are just some ideas, and obviously there are road blocks to each of them. I don't expect any of them to happen overnight, and I know that some are quite controversial. My point, though, is that we aren't powerless. This is our community and we can make it better, but depending on the people who are already in a disadvantaged position to be the ones to drive change isn't helping. To those of you who are in a position of privilege, use that privilege to make some of those things I mentioned happen.

I've highlighted the above, not because it's the only issue I care about, but because it displays the type of attitude I take toward leadership.

Overall I think that the OSMF has the potential to far more than it currently is. This doesn't mean "controlling" the project, but there is far more support work to be done. Having spent the last year on the OSM-US Board, I am ready to engage with the international community to see how I can help.