[Osmf-talk] Candidacy: OSMF Board

Rob Nickerson rob.j.nickerson at gmail.com
Thu Nov 23 12:42:33 UTC 2017

It's a difficult one because if you stand for one of these two vacancies
then you open your self up to challenge - essential for a functioning
democracy. On the other hand challenging via the written medium is hard to
get right.

Thinking about TV interviews of politicians I can imagine presenters
putting these same challenges to the candidate. I.e. they seem like
reasonable challenges to have.

I'm looking forward to Heather's response (be that written, audio or


On 22 Nov 2017 11:44 p.m., "Pete Masters" <pedrito1414 at googlemail.com>

Sev, whatever you think about Heather, please try and show respect in the
way you talk to people. Maybe you think you speak with passion and
principle here, but you just sound to me like a bully.


On 22 Nov 2017 23:10, "Severin Menard" <severin.menard at gmail.com> wrote:


As of today, since you created your OSM account in July 11th, 2011, you
have been active as a mapper over 11 days, adding a total of 1 new highway,
2 names, and 302 buildings[1]. No activity at all during two years during
which you were a HOT US Inc board director then its President. With 331
changesets, I guess you are one of the very rarest mappers to have produced
more changesets than buildings, actually because you have the totally
newbie habit to upload every single building you trace with your very
favourite editor iD[2], some of them being not even squared[3]... Seeking
to join the board of the OSM Foundation with such a high OSM profile is
really shameless.

Of course you do not emphasize this and you prefer argue in the Election
wiki talk page that you have been an intense promoter of OSM and “hosted
mapathons”. But actually no, you have not. In any event you are part of,
you manage to have someone else having the required skills to run the
mapathon or deliver the . It was myself in 2013 International Conference of
Crisis Mappers in Nairobi, Pierre Béland and Samuel Paul Alcé in 2014 IEEE
Canada International Humanitarian Technology Conference in Toronto and
apparently on November 15th it was this lady[4] during the 35 people
mapathon you mention in the Election wiki talk page.

The goals you present in your Manifesto about community building and
governance mix platitudes (thank you for teaching the OSM community that
« Community-building is an essential ingredient in building good governance
and expanding support », I am sure that it had never come in mind to any
member of this list before) and issues that have been discussing for years
like diversity, though it is strange that you did not figure out so far
that the OSM ecosystem, including the one involved in the Foundation, is
not reduced only to “editing and building technology” people but has a
large diversity of skills. The diversity issue is much more related to
gender, language and economical context balances.

Anyway, you might compensate by a huge involvement in board related
activities. But not even this. For HOT US Inc, then totally unknown both
from OSM and the humanitarian field, you managed to directly join the board
in 2013, especially to make the NGO benefit of your high capacity in
fund-raising. For years, you did not disclose anything about it, pretending
confidentiality, but emphasized this supposed activity for being
re-elected, even if you did not collect a dime during this period. I was
also member of the HOT US Inc board when the NGO faced financial issues mid
2015 due to jeopardized management and, having to make the fund-raising
becomes a reality, we discovered that you had not even produced a basic
strategic document so far, and other board members had to do it. And during
these hard weeks, you even complained once that you had to dedicate 5 hours
a week to HOT US Inc. I do not know if you realize how many hours many here
dedicate to OSM every week.

So, why are you willing so much to join the board of a community of doers
without being a doer yourself within this community? Just to pin the OSMF
board in your collection of voluntary based and open projects you “led” the
same way, and therefore continue to boost your CV: according to your HOT US
Inc profile[5], OSMF would at least join the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap
Team, Crisis Mappers Network, Open Knowledge Foundation, Ushahidi, Random
Hacks of Kindness, Mozilla.

But if ever someone in this list thinks it might somehow be interesting to
have among the OSMF board members a totally inactive contributor with a
very limited knowledge about what OSM is, but with links with other open
source based communities, please keep in mind that Heather is not an
inoffensive collector of open source projects board medals.

Electing Heather at the OSMF Board membership would reconstitute the former
trio who in the past turned the originally open, horizontal, and community
rooted project into the very classic NGO HOT US Inc become, highly tight
with many organizations from the USA soft power (American Red Cross, USAID,
Peace Corps, US State Department...[6]), with quite an opaque governance
even for its voting members and internal repressive mechanisms for any
member defending other vision and practices for the NGO or complaining
about what is going on. I am not surprised at all to learn that Heather is
currently focus on reviewing the HOT US Inc Code of Conduct (for everyone
to understand: this means turning it more severe for members).

I really encourage the OSMF voting members not to make this happen.


Severin (sev_osm)

[1] http://hdyc.neis-one.org/?Heather%20Leson
[2] https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/Heather%20Leson/history#m
[3] https://www.openstreetmap.org/changeset/53780169
[4] https://twitter.com/HeatherLeson/status/930800399451410433
[5] https://www.hotosm.org/users/heather
[6] https://www.hotosm.org/partnerships

2017-11-13 20:02 GMT+01:00 Heather Leson <heatherleson at gmail.com>:

> Dear colleagues,
> I seek your support for the position of OSMF Board Member. Over the years,
> I have been so happy to meet and connect with OSMers. Please find my
> candidate statement:
> http://www.openstreetmap.org/user/Heather%20Leson/diary/42706
> Thanks in advance for your consideration.  Looking forward to our
> conversations.
> Heather
> Heather Leson
> heatherleson at gmail.com
> Twitter/skype: HeatherLeson
> Blog: textontechs.com
> _______________________________________________
> osmf-talk mailing list
> osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/osmf-talk

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