Wikimedia Foundation elections committee/Minutes/2020-01-24
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- Joe Sutherland
- Charles Roslof
- Stephen LaPorte
- Greg Varnum
Agenda / Notes
Welcome / settling (~5 mins)
Timeline and plans for 2020 (~20 mins)
- Timeline is below (Appendix A), with most important and hardest to move dates in red
- Candidate Q&A: last year, used a standard set of questions to ask all candidates. Could do that again—it helps with translation.
- End of timeline is designed to allow enough time for the winners of the election to be able to go to Wikimania (book travel, get visas, etc.)—so, about two months out
- In the past, the review of the votes was done by the Elections Committee, not by the Stewards
- We want to make sure that the start of voting is timed to be when there are people available to handle any issues that may come up (e.g., the middle of a workday in San Francisco is better than a Sunday evening)
- Clarification: this election is only for the three community-selected seats on the Board of Trustees. It is not for the FDC members.
- Flag: The elections process favors candidates who come from larger wikis/communities (such as English and German Wikipedias). Is there anything we can do to help there be a fairer playing field.
- Call for candidates can be a way for the board to shape what they're looking for and empower those from smaller projects.
- Outreach to smaller wikis and translation can help
- Elections Committee members can reach out to communities directly
- Could seek potential candidates from less-represented communities and encourage them to become candidates.
Talking about retrospectives from previous years (~15 mins)
- Post mortem report from 2017.
- Changing the voting system takes time. We might not have time to make those changes now (for this cycle), but we will have time to make changes for next time.
- We need to plan ahead and get engineering time to improve or replace SecurePoll. Staff can seek to get an engineering commitment in the plan for the next Foundation fiscal year (July 2020 - June 2021).
- There is nothing preventing the Elections Committee from deciding now to make changes for the next election cycle, even if there isn’t time to make those changes this cycle.
- How did we do in terms of translation last time?
- Section in the post-mortem. Last time, it went well because of the use of the (paid) Movement Strategy contractors. This was for both the voting software and the pages on Meta.
- Can get paid translation, but it is difficult because of the amount of Wikimedia-specific terminology that we use.
- Professional translations are often very expensive and poor quality, though they are the fastest option.
- We can use paid translations as a starting point, though, and allow users to improve those translations.
- Translations are accounted for in the timeline. They run alongside some other items.
- Greg is developing a new model for this sort of translation work. He will connect with Joe and Chuck outside this meeting to discuss it.
Committee makeup idea (~10 mins)
- Idea: Have two different roles within the Elections Committee:
- 1. Core: Shows up to organizing meetings like this one, to make decisions and discuss plans.
- 2. Auxiliary. Does not need to show up to meetings, but will be assigned discrete tasks to accomplish in service of the committee.
- The 2018 proposal was more about degree of participation in off-cycle committee work. The core group would participate on a continual basis, whereas the auxiliary group would only participate during an election cycle.
Chair discussion / vote (~5 mins)
- Katie has been chair previously, so might be the default choice if still interested.
- Katie is still interested.
- Others are welcome to express interest, though. Joe can email the mailing list to ask
- All committee members in attendance would support Katie as chair.
A.O.B. (~5 mins)
- Create a Telegram group for the committee?
- Joe can put a group together
- It makes it easy to create polls
- Possible to have an in-person meeting of the committee?
- Could be at Wikimedia Summit, if some folks are already planning to be there and if we can get invitations for others
- Could be at Wikimania, if it doesn’t have to happen during this cycle
- Could be a standalone time, though that may be more difficult to arrange.