Wikimedia New York City/Letter to Chapters Committee

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OK, since only one concern was raised, I've adjusted the wording and the letter has been sent.

The following is a proposed letter to the Chapters Committee on behalf of Wikimedia New York City. This is posted here for the benefit of other Wikimedia New York City members, so that you can review it, and offer further suggestions, as mentioned at the Meetup. I'm going to send this letter out within the week.--Pharos 06:41, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Dear Chapters Committee,

I am writing to you on behalf of the nascent 'Wikimedia New York City', a group of volunteers in the New York metropolitan area who are greatly interested in furthering the educational and free culture goals of Wikimedia in our city and region.

I realize that we are treading new ground with a local US chapter, and one should consider the proposals below as very much open to further development.

I would first acquaint you with a history of the recent discussions on this topic, both between our group and the Chapters Committee, and among ourselves.

On the date of January 9, I engaged in a productive IRC conversation with Delphine and others on the subject of establishing local chapters in the US, and particularly a local chapter in New York City. This conversation was summarized in the previous e-mail by Delphine (dated January 10) to this list, which is appended to this message.

A that time, Delphine requested that we work out the matter at our next New York City Meetup, and so the issue was raised at our most recent meeting, on January 13. We are currently on a schedule of holding Meetups on a bimonthly basis.

Per Delphine, this letter should be considered as that summary which has been requested of our ideas developed at the meeting.

It was generally agreed at our meeting that the most important reason to found a Wikimedia New York City was the bureaucratic necessity of an "official" representative when dealing with large local institutions, who may be unwilling to work with unauthorized volunteers acting purely on their own initiative. Beyond getting a liaison to represent us "officially" in regards to the Wikimedia Foundation, we do not plan on any formal organization- we have no interest in the founding of a separate non-profit, or any set membership roster. We do not even have an interest in demarcating our geographical region exactly, since we will be open to the participation of anyone who can attend our meetings.

And so, by the agreement of the 20-odd local Wikimedians attending, I was elected to be that representative.

As accredited representative (should the WMF agree to such), I would hope to be authorized to do the following:

(1) To have the use of trademarks for the promotion of Wikimedia, Wikimedia New York City, and our activities.
(2) To have the ability to organize joint projects with local cultural institutions, including educational outreach projects (presentations to educators and librarians, and classes to the public at libraries and computer centers), as well as 'content projects', such as a free-content photography contest at the Brooklyn Museum (one project under discussion).

Such authorization would -not- extend to any rights to conducting business activities, commercial deals, or using the WMF's non-profit status for tax privileges.

If called on, I would be willing and able to file regular reports to some higher figure in the WMF hierarchy, who could perhaps become a 'supervisor' over the several US local chapters that may emerge. This 'supervisor' could also hopefully be the person to go to for special authorization in case we ever do have a potential project that might require activities outside of our normal scope.

Delphine has suggested that the use of the term "chapter" may be inappropriate for us, as we are an informal group, in contrast to the legally-organized separate non-profits which are the international chapters. We have no special attachment to the term "chapter", and are willing to accept any alternative term (like "affiliate" or "section") that the WMF may deem appropriate.

Please kindly CC any replies to me, as I am not a member of this list.

I will gladly respond to any further questions you may have.

Thank you,