[Osmf-talk] Candidate response: multiple threads

Heather Leson heatherleson at gmail.com
Sat Dec 2 15:18:20 UTC 2017


Hello,

Over the past few days, there have been multiple email threads about HOT,
Code of Conduct, as well as directly about me and my role. Thank you for
the discussion and the questions. I do agree that dialogue and being open
to points of view are important.

I am a member of HOT, a former Board member, and a current proud supporter
of HOT and OSM. As well, I do have other fine qualities.The OSMF membership
does have a right to determine if I am the candidate they seek. We are
individuals before we are our affiliations. HOT is one part of OSM. There
are other NGOs that connect to OSMF. There are many people on this list who
may work for those NGOs, or who previously worked at them. There are many
people who contribute to OSM on a myriad of topics from bike trails to
public toilets. The incredible community, membership, supporters, donors,
and board of HOT deserve more than to be discredited for their efforts. As
I said before - it is an open election. It is an asset that I have
experience and patience to keep trying in a positive, forward-thinking
manner. And, it is the choice of members, to agree or disagree.

The activities of the HOT board, specifically my contribution, were put
into question. It is true that there are differences of interests,
policies, and practices. I stand by our decisions to be accountable to the
HOT staff, donors, supporters, members, volunteers, and fellow board
members. This is well documented within the HOT organization and via the
membership and community mailing lists. The membership made decisions, the
board made decisions, and Executive Director(s) made decisions. There is
always room to improve your governance and leadership. We worked hard to
support the mission and the people involved.

The HOT board, as you read, managed a many difficult issues. We procured
help from a leader in facilitation and organizational development. Allen
Gunn of Aspiration Tech, who previously supported Tor, Greenpeace, Mozilla,
and other large open communities. In addition to running the HOT in-person
board meeting one year, he volunteered his time to help us work through
some of these items. I am thankful that he tried to help us. OSM and OSMF
are too important to not try to work through issues. Sometimes we need
help.

Regarding Code of Conduct, we did research on best practices across open
source communities, which informed the Governance Working Group of HOT. You
can read more about this on the links on the Questions page and in my
candidacy statement. A code of conduct only works if there is a process
around it and people to support it. If OSMF did institute one, I know that
there are many talented people here who would do their best to make good
judgements in consultation with each other and you.

Just a reminder that I am a volunteer and person. It seems to me that
anyone can and should try to be a leader, irrespective of their
affiliation. These notes may be a deterrent to those who might consider
standing for the OSMF board or other activities. I hope that whoever you
are that you reconsider. It is not exactly easy to have to wake up to all
these emails and documents dissecting an organization and individuals that
I care about. I can’t say that I enjoy reading my character and volunteer
contribution be questioned to such a degree on a mailing list. But, I can
only hope that we move to a better place as a global community.

Have a good weekend,

Heather
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