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Soliciting Applications and Nominations for the SPI Board

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Below is a message from Martin (Joey) Schulze, the current Vice President 
of Software in the Public Interest (SPI).  SPI is the non-profit corporation 
that was formed to provide Debian with a legal and financial existence in the 
United States, and which now provides similar service to several other notable
projects in our community.  You can read more at http://www.spi-inc.org/.

As Debian Project Leader, I serve as an advisor to the SPI board.

As a Debian developer, you are a contributing member of SPI.  Currently, you
need to express your interest at http://www.spi-inc.org/membership for SPI
to recognize you as such, since there is no automatic connection yet between
the Debian developer database and the SPI membership database.

The SPI board hasn't been very active lately, but there is great potential for 
good work to be done on behalf of the community if contributors of sufficient 
passion and energy emerge and devote themselves!

Please direct any followup to Joey, and/or the SPI mailing lists.


  Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 12:05:37 +0100
  From: Martin Schulze <joey@infodrom.org>
  Subject: Soliciting Applications and Nominations for the SPI Board

  Some members of the current Board of Directors of Software in the
  Public Interest would like to expand its Board.  According to the
  by-laws, the Board should include 8-12 people, and we may add a number
  of advisors as well.  We are soliciting applications and nominations.

  It is my understanding that SPI should recruit new Board members
  primary from its own members, the spi-general list and affiliated
  projects, but consider new people as well.  Hence, I'd like to
  encourage you to forward this mail to your own members.

  However, people in the Board of Directors are responsible for SPI.
  The past has shown that busy people who are already affiliated in
  several projects, and who have a day-time job and perhaps a family as
  well, may not be best suited for yet another important job.  They may
  be too busy to join meetings, vote on resolutions or join the
  discussion on certain topics.

  I would also like to add a special "Assistant to the President" (one
  could even say Secretary) to the Board, whose job would be to help the
  (vice) president maintaining the Corporation, run meetings, draft
  documents etc.  It may be useful to split the work among two people
  (maybe a Secretary and an Assistant) due to the large amount of
  continuous work.

  The tasks include but are not limited to:

    . Writing minutes from board meetings and general meetings
    . Monitor + merge corrections, additions, comments etc. to those
    . Monitor votings on resolutions and minutes via mail
    . Watch, prepare/propose, correct, help with, monitor
      etc. upcoming resolutions
    . Monitor meeting minutes and see which jobs still need to be done
    . Remind people who agreed to work on a particular issue to work
      on it accordingly
    . Monitor discussions, so they leed to something, probably a
    . Remind Board members to vote on a subject if they did not vote
      on a particular resolution or minutes yet
    . Simplify difficult (or large) postings so people with less
      english skills are able to understand them and vote upon them,
      even if they disagree with the content (they may vote NO in that
      case, though)
    . Watch or work on forgotton tasks
    . Work or discuss with third parties who have sent in requests for
    . Work together with third parties in order to accomplish certain
      tasks (internet domain name registrars, for example)
    . Doing research on certain topics that require more input
    . Present research results to the board so people understand them
    . Check whether meetings, resolutions and votes are done in
      accordance to the by-laws and coi and other potential official
    . Prepare an agenda for Board meetings together with the (vice)
    . Preparing amandments to current official documents and
    . Do or help with our official paperwork.  I believe that the
      state of our incorporation etc. requires some paperwork, which
      not only the treasurer should be burried under.
    . ensure meetings meet the required quorum
    . backup with by-laws and coi that SPI works within the rules of
      these documents, i.e. legally valid.

  Of course, there should be a strong connection between the President
  and the Assistant/Secretary.  This person needs to be able to donate
  time to SPI continuesly to work on these issues.  We are also
  soliciting applications for this position.


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