Re: Proposal for an Events Code of Conduct and Policy Referendum

Hi everyone,

This is a general response to Ben's email, in my capacity as chair of
the Code of Conduct Working Group. I'm only going to address the
issues that have been raised in response to the group, rather than the
referendum proposal, which is a question for the board.

As you all know, the code of conduct working group's work has been
mostly complete for some time, as we published the draft back in
December 2017.

The remaining part of the process was to review the feedback that we
received from the community, make amendments accordingly, and forward
the code to the board for consideration. Unfortunately, no one in the
group expressed any motivation or enthusiasm to push this forward, and
four months passed with no activity.

Neil McGovern and I therefore took it upon ourselves to do this final
phase ourselves, as Executive Director and as chair of the group. We
partly did this to expedite a process that had stalled, and partly
because Ben's behaviour had become so unacceptable (despite multiple
warnings regarding basic behaviour) that it was difficult to get
anything done within the wider working group context.

If you're interested, the changes that were made to the code of
conduct as a result of community feedback can be viewed on the wiki
[1]. More improvements are planned for the future.

I want to stress that Ben had the opportunity to fully participate in
the code of conduct drafting process, right up until the point where
the draft was published. We spent 14 months debating and drafting the
code, line by line. Large parts of the current draft were directly
influenced by Ben's contributions, and we've expended a great deal of
energy trying to accommodate his views.

I think it's appropriate that the next step in the decision-making
process be made by the elected Board of Directors. I think it's also
important to respect the time and effort put into this process by the
code of conduct working group.



On Sun, Apr 15, 2018 at 3:40 PM, Benjamin Berg
<benjamin sipsolutions net> wrote:
Dear Board,

Codes of Conduct (CoC) and especially the policies surrounding them are
a very political issue (which easily becomes emotional). Unfortunately,
in my view, the CoC Working Group (WG) was unable to set these politics
aside enough to create a proposal that finds a balance in the wide
spectrum of different viewpoints, legal consequences, required
resources, rights, freedoms and the ability to deal with issues when
they occur.

I would have very much preferred if the WG had succeeded in this task.
Unfortunately, it seems like it was too political and too biased
(considering the political and regional spectrum that was represented)
for the whole time. That compounded to inter-personal issues that could
never be resolved as neither the session chair nor other members (or
the ED for that matter) were able to create an environment where these
issues could have been sufficiently addressed and a viable way to work
together been developed. On top of this, it has recently come to my
attention that members of the WG who are also on the Foundation Board
have decided to continue working outside of the scope of the WG,
thereby silently excluding me from the proceedings.

At the current point in time, I believe that the proposal below is the
best way forward. The idea to address it in a WG was good, but it turns
out it was too political to be an adequate forum. This proposal however
creates a forum that can legitimately resolve this political issue for
years to come.

I would like the board to adopt the proposal for a referendum below and
I am happy to work on revising it. Failing to do so, I am intending to
ask for support from foundation members to enforce this to be a
referendum as per the bylaws.

Should you have an alternative proposal on how to move forward, I am
happy to hear about it.



DRAFT: Event CoC and Policy Referendum

Timeline (in weeks before vote):
 * Announce referendum (13w)
 * Proposal writing phase (6 weeks overall)
 * Deadline for initial proposals (7w)
 * Discussion phase (6 weeks overall)
 * Last updates to proposals based on feedback (1w)
 * Vote

Proposals should generally include a main CoC document and important
pieces of the policy. If a proposal e.g. requires creating a Committee
then it may define policy parts that are intended to be created or
proposed by this body after adoption and are therefore not part of the

Proposals should include elaborations and take into consideration the
impact that policies have on affected parties (e.g. GUADEC or hackfest
organisers, the Foundation Board).

Proposals should be endorsed by 3 foundation members to be considered,
however a foundation member may endorse multiple proposals.

Proposals should be kept in Git or another GNOME hosted system that
easily allows any changes to be followed. This is in order to ensure
that voters can easily check modifications done during the discussion

Foundation employees must remain neutral.

The voting system is the single transferable vote (STV) system, which
is also used for the board elections.

From time to time confidential and sensitive information will be discussed
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