[Osmf-talk] Candidacy: OSMF Board

Rory McCann rory at technomancy.org
Fri Nov 24 19:34:08 UTC 2017

Hi all,

Cultural differences are one thing, but to my
Hiberno-English ears this email is quite condescending and I can
tell Severin really, really doesn't like Heather. To say "Severin could
have phrased it better" is an understatement.

A thing which makes it rude is how he has addressed this email to
Heather, and done that throughout: "You have done this... You
said this...", along with condescending swipes (nothing wrong with iD!).
If one thinks someone is unsuitable for election, then your audience is
the electorate, not the candidate. Address them. If you want to tell us
why (you think) Heather shouldn't be elected, then write an email *to
us*, not to Heather. If you wanna get information out there, then inform
the electorate, don't insult the candidate. A bit more factual comments
than snideness.

Nevertheless, Severin raised some points, which Heather responded to.
That's part of an election. If one wants to continue that topic, write
it to the right audience in the right manner. Criticism in and of itself
isn't bad.

re: Code of Conduct, I'm in favor of this list, and all OSM/OSMF venues
having a strong CoC. But I'm a little confused. CoCs are often used to
ban sexist/racist/etc speech/actions, and I couldn't see anything like
that in Severin's email. (did I miss something?)

Some CoC's require politeness at all times. (Ubuntu CoC). The HOT CoC
covers both politeness & sexism/etc. Is that (politeness) what people on
this thread mean when they talk about a CoC violation?

I can give example, but "politeness at all times" can be bad to have.
The LGBT in Tech slack CoC in good in this regard. I don't think
Serverin's email falls into that type though.


On 23/11/17 00:07, Severin Menard wrote:
> Heather,
> 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.
> Sincerely,
> Severin (sev_osm)
> [1] http://hdyc.neis-one.org/?Heather%20Leson
> [2] 
> https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/Heather%20Leson/history#map=15/18.9953/-72.4767
> [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 
> <mailto: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
>     <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 <mailto:heatherleson at gmail.com>
>     Twitter/skype: HeatherLeson
>     Blog: textontechs.com <http://textontechs.com>
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