[Osmf-talk] Voting "recommendations" by employers (straw poll)

Clifford Snow clifford at snowandsnow.us
Thu Nov 1 22:48:47 UTC 2018

I have been in contact with a number of people working for companies that
do use and or contribute to OSM. I have not heard of any company trying to
influence the elections. I would suggest that if you have heard of
companies trying to influence the election that should be brought to the
Boards attention. The worst thing you can do is to say to the community,
"I've heard rumors of..." That's total inappropriate, especially for a
Board member.

Companies do a right to influence our elections. It's up to the members to
decide if what they are attempting is in the best interest of OSMF. One of
the best ways is to get as many members as possible. One way is to reduce
the cost of membership. The current cost is trivial to a large company but
likely too expensive for many of our members. Another method would be to
increase the advertising.

On the subject of companies influencing OSMF, they should have a concern
that we don't have a formal Code of Conduct. I would hope that companies
push for the Foundation to adopt one.

On the other hand,if a company were to suggest structural changes that
would negatively impact the regular membership, then having a large number
of members could easily vote down the change.


On Thu, Nov 1, 2018 at 12:45 PM Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:

> Hi,
> recently two different people who used to work for (different) large
> companies dealing with OSM told me that their employers regularly
> suggested that everyone became an OSMF member, reimbursed them for the
> membership fee, and also circulated "suggested voting" instructions for
> the OSMF elections.
> (I have no idea if this is true and no way to verify it, but it doesn't
> sound far-fetched. I'd be happy to hear if anyone has witnessed such
> dynamics first-hand.)
> I've discussed this with a few people and the reactions ranged from
> "this is outrageous" over "what did you expect" to "this is totally ok,
> after all there's enough other people publishing their own voting
> recommendations on the lists too".
> What's your opinion on this?
> I've tried my hand at setting up a "LimeSurvey" instance which asks the
> question and if it works all right it will show some statistics directly
> after you've replied:
> http://survey.gryph.de/index.php/528658?lang=en
> Though I am also interested in a more detailed discussion on the topic.
> Is it an issue? Are there lessons to learn from other nonprofit
> organisations?
> Bye
> Frederik
> --
> Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"
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