[Noisebridge-discuss] DRAMA are we kicking people out to quickly?

Danny O'Brien danny at spesh.com
Thu Apr 5 22:14:46 UTC 2012

On Thu, Apr 5, 2012 at 1:04 PM, Martin Bogomolni <martinbogo at gmail.com>wrote:

> I think you're confusing NoiseBridge with the Burning Man principles.
>  Where is 'radical' anything in the NB charter?
> The Bylaws are pretty clear cut:

For the purposes of clarity, you shouldn't deduce much about our actual
functioning from the text bylaws, which are straight out of NoLo and don't
go into a lot of detail about a huge chunk of NB governance. For instance,
Noisebridge's use of "member" is different from the bylaw use of member in
a number of ways. We only use the bylaw definition when complying with our
bylaws, which is when we annually elect the board. That's why there's a
flurry of activity and a weird degree of specificity when we have our board
elections. The board by tradition, has no power, and defers to consensus,
which has a different definition of membership and who can participate in
our decisionmaking process. It's a hack.

There's an ongoing project to match our bylaws with our actual practices.
They're not contradictory, they can just be misleading about stuff like
this. For instance, you're right in saying that the bylaws make no mention
of anyone but the membership, but that's not actually the *noisebridge*
membership, that's just the board-electing membership. We never use that
construction for anything but electing the board. We'd have to use it to
change the bylaws, which is partly why changing them will take a while.

That said, bylaw definition of what we do is very important legally and
definitionally (we should not wander far from it), but (as the bylaws say)
inclusive and not limited. Whether it's *radically* inclusive or not is up
to consensus. Tradition does indeed determine that we are very inclusive,
and it's an important value. What that means isn't so much up to the
bylaws, but by discussions like this.


> The purpose of this corporation is to promote and encourage technical,
> scientific, and artistic skills through individual projects, social
> collaboration, and education. Also in the context of these purposes,
> the corporation shall engage in scientific, charitable and educational
> activities within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal
> Revenue Code, including but not limited to:
> (a). Through talks, classes, workshops, collaborative projects, and
> other activities, to encourage research, knowledge exchange, learning,
> and mentoring in a safe, clean space.
> (b). Provide educational spaces for teaching practical skills and
> theory of technology, science, and art.
> (c). Provide work space, storage, and other resources for projects
> related to art, science, and technology that will benefit the
> individual members' personal growth in their fields of interest,
> encouraging the individual members to share their projects and
> knowledge for the betterment of society through art, science and
> technology.
> (d). To create, learn, and teach, individually and as a group,
> inviting members of the community in the San Francisco area and the
> world.
> (e). To develop, support the development of, and provide resources for
> the development of free and open source software and hardware for the
> benefit of society.
> (f). Collaboration across disciplines for the benefit of cultural,
> charitable, and scientific causes.
> (g). To foster, by all legal means, the common purposes of its
> participants.
> (h). To conduct or engage in all lawful activities in furtherance of
> the stated purposes or those incidental to them.
> There is one class of member -- a member, who pays dues, approved by
> the board and membership, in good standing.
> As for who can come in and out of the space .. traditionally it comes
> down to who has a key, as well as who is willing to be responsible for
> a person coming in _without_ a key.  However, letting someone into the
> space does not mean they are a member of Noisebridge, and it doesn't
> mean they can do as they wish.
> Tradition is what dictates our policy of openness, and acceptance of
> people in the space who have not petitioned for membership.   It does
> not mean we have an Open Door policy.
> -M
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> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
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