[Noisebridge-discuss] Let's talk about: Noisebridge Membership

Al Sweigart asweigart at gmail.com
Thu Mar 27 16:34:07 UTC 2014

Naomi, I will talk to the board about reverting the proposals, we can
discuss them online, and then discuss them at the next board meeting. But
if we have a quorum and the proposals that you don't like pass, I expect
you to be true to your word and not criticize its legitimacy. (Of course
continue to criticize the measure itself vocally, but if you return to
"this was passed through illegitimate process" I take that as bad faith.)
This includes if you can't make it to the board meeting or phone into it:
this is why I need you to discuss your objections online before the meeting
so we can work out as much compromise beforehand.

Kevin, I don't know who you are accusing of removing your forum in bad
faith (there were a lot of people at the meeting), but this wasn't an
intentional act by anyone. Noisebridge meetings get drawn out in a
frustrating way. Your proposal to suspend Tom is still on the docket, we
just didn't get to it this week. The frustration about the slowness that
you feel is the same that I felt when it took two months to resolve
removing an abusive person from the space.

And the board is accountable to the membership: you yourself have said you
are already considering the logistics of removing board members.
(Ironically, under the bylaws this is easier for you to do because you need
a simple majority vote instead of consensus.)

David, I read the proposals that Tom had written up, made some suggestions,
and then gave the changes my +1 on its github issue comments page. Tom,
Madelynn, and Ari did the same. We had 4 out of 5 board members in favor of
the proposals. It didn't seem to us that this was a giant leap to consider
the proposal passed at this point. Also...

For everyone who is skimming this email, here's the one TL;DR point to
read: I understand that Naomi is angry that she didn't have time to check
out the proposal online and comment before others had done so and given
their +1 vote on it. My concern was that her first instinct was to
immediately state that her vote can override the votes of every other other
board member, and I thought that rolling back the proposals would be
endorsing a claim to veto power over everything the board does

BUT, this is cleared up and not the case. Naomi's response in this thread
assures me that she is committed to good process and that my fear is
unfounded. I'm sure the board can unanimously declare that the proposals
were passed under bad process, and then we can move forward and discuss

On Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 8:51 AM, davidfine <d at vidfine.com> wrote:

>  Noisebridge board: don't vote on things the same day they are proposed.
> Good process requires seeking input from all board members.
> Al: you did not make an attempt to work with Naomi in this case. That is
> why people question the validity of the board's decision.
> --D
> On 3/27/14, 4:00 AM, Naomi Gmail wrote:
> You have my utmost and truest word that I am trying to promote a good
> process here.
>  THAT is why I refuse to discuss any specific issues about this proposal:
> it is a distraction from a very serious problem that needs to be solved
> *first*.
>  I did explicitly say "go ahead and discuss in the hypothetical".  Did
> you notice?
>  I am objecting to the tacit promulgation of "decisions" made through bad
> process (re: 2/3 consensus).
>  Post without that specific block i called out, and you're fine.
>  --Naomi
> On Mar 27, 2014, at 3:30 AM, Al Sweigart <asweigart at gmail.com> wrote:
>   I am just exasperated with you. I know we disagree on many things, but
> the way you keep slapping down any attempt I make to work with you, well,
> makes it very hard to work with you.
>  I know it doesn't look like it to you, but I am bending over backwards
> trying to accommodate you and every other critic. And I will continue to
> bend over even more:
>  Naomi, I will talk to the board about reverting the policy changes made
> on Monday. BUT, I need to know that if the board we passes similar policies
> at the next board meeting, that you won't declare that those policies are
> also bogus for some contrived reason. I think my worry about goal-post
> moving is valid here; already Kevin keeps declaring that the board doesn't
> have the support of the membership because we didn't win with a -large
> enough- majority.
>  I need to know that this is truly about your concern for proper process
> according to Noisebridge's bylaws, and not just your own attempt to take
> down some policies you don't like.
> On Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 3:10 AM, Naomi Gmail <pnaomi at gmail.com> wrote:
>>     I did read your emails very carefully.  And this part specifically:
>>   Do not be mistaken: the membership still has the power to change
>> Noisebridge policy with a 2/3 consensus.
>>  This is the part where you make the presumption that the "2/3's
>> consensus" has been legitimately accepted. This is acting in bad faith,
>> because it is part of that massive overgrown proposal, and what's more it
>> happens to be own stated pet issue to boot.
>>  I just... you continue to test all credulity in your even having a
>> sense of ethics.
>>  --Naomi
>> On Mar 27, 2014, at 2:59 AM, Al Sweigart <asweigart at gmail.com> wrote:
>>   Naomi, please stop accusing me of bad faith EVERY SINGLE TIME that I
>> make a good faith attempt to communicate about things. You've already
>> refused to even discuss your own objections to these policies, but other
>> people might want to air their grievances or comments.
>>  I wish you would at least read my emails before you jump in with
>> accusations: "Do not be mistaken: the membership still has the power to
>> change Noisebridge policy with a 2/3 consensus. Policies are not written in
>> stone and are open to change, just as they have always been."
>>  I started this thread to talk specifically about the "Noisebridge
>> Membership" section, and in your VERY FIRST SENTENCE you derail the
>> conversation with begging the question. It is _very_ frustrating trying to
>> work with you when you act this way.
>> On Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 2:49 AM, Naomi Gmail <pnaomi at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>  Al: why are you acting in bad faith here?
>>>  We agreed as a board to revisit the process by which these policy
>>> changes came about in the first place and YOU even proposed reverting them
>>> to put these changes through a more legitimized board discussion process.
>>>  Why are you putting these discussion items forth as if these changes
>>> were already in effect?
>>>  Discuss as hypothetical all you want.  I encourage it.  Although why
>>> you didn't bother doing this /before/ voting on a massive board proposal
>>> that /could/ have been broken down into pieces like these is a great
>>> mystery.
>>> On Mar 27, 2014, at 2:18 AM, Al Sweigart <asweigart at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>   There's a lot of talk on the mailing list about the latest board
>>> policies. I'd like to focus on segments individually so that discussion can
>>> happen about which parts people agree with an which parts people don't.
>>>  Do not be mistaken: the membership still has the power to change
>>> Noisebridge policy with a 2/3 consensus. Policies are not written in stone
>>> and are open to change, just as they have always been.
>>>  This thread concerns the "Noisebridge Membership" section on
>>> https://github.com/noisebridge/bureaucracy/blob/master/membership.mdwhich reads:
>>>  =====
>>>  There is one category of Noisebridge membership.
>>>  Noisebridge membership dues are $80 per month. In case of financial
>>> hardship, the treasurer may choose to allow a member to pay dues at one
>>> half of the normal rate.
>>>  =====
>>>  My own commentary about this section:
>>>  This is a change from the two-tiered membership that was created by
>>> consensus last year. I'm very much in favor of this part: I understand that
>>> the two-tiered membership was created because the barrier to becoming a
>>> capital-M member was very high, but the concept of a hierarchy of
>>> membership has always bothered me.
>>>  The dues part is also a change away from optional member dues. This
>>> part I'm less enthusiastic about. I know Kevin wanted to roll back the
>>> consensus item that created optional dues. My concerns are that 1) I'd
>>> prefer if members chose themselves whether or not they paid the "starving
>>> hacker" rate instead of the treasurer and 2) I'm okay with mandatory dues
>>> for membership but the fact that Noisebridge is members only means that
>>> money does technical come into access to the space. (Only technically
>>> though, members can brings guests as always and, let's face it, no one
>>> really enforces the members-only policy.) I think this is something that
>>> could be changed.
>>>  Any other comments about this section?
>>>   _______________________________________________
>>> Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
>>> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
>>> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
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