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Re: Debian joning OASIS?

On Mon, Mar 11, 2002 at 01:13:02PM -0600, Steve Greenland wrote:
> On 11-Mar-02, 11:24 (CST), "Chad C. Walstrom" <chewie@wookimus.net> wrote: 
> > On Mon, Mar 11, 2002 at 11:07:04AM -0500, Mark Johnson wrote:
> > > Because they can't afford it. The members services director informed
> > > me that the $1000 membership fee is mostly subsidized by the
> > > for-profit members, and doesn't cover the true costs of the
> > > membership.
> > 
> > Can we get a detailed budget and fee break-down from this organization
> > to verify their logic for charging non-profits the $1000?
> Mark, you'll never get this done if you try to get agreement from
> everyone. The ideal way would (probably) be for the interested people to
> donate the money to SPI, earmarked specifically for "Oasis membership
> for Debian"[1], and have them pay. Then you guys get a tax break,
> and the nitpickers can't bitch about misappropriation of funds. I
> assume this is an annual fee, so you'll probably need to generate some
> justification to keep it ongoing. (Or, just get enough people interested
> to keep the dedicated fund full.)
> Steve
> [1] Talk to Branden Robinson (probably secretary@spi.org) to make sure I
> haven't just suggested something illegal...

Er, Wichert is the SPI Secretary; I am the SPI Treasurer.

It is Debian's right and responsibility to approve this donation.  My
role as SPI Treasurer is twofold:
	1) try to ensure that it's legal for SPI to make the expenditure;
	2) if so, write the check

As far as 1) goes, according to SPI's bylaws[1], I think this expenditure
could uncontroversially be justified under SPI's charter "to aid,
assist, cooperate, co-sponsor and otherwise engage in concerted action
with private, educational and governmental organizations and
associations on all issues and matters concerning the use of computers
and computer software and generally".

As far as 2) goes, at present I'm not recognized as an authorized check
signer by SPI's bank (I can access our investment account, but not the
checking accounts, which belong to a different arm of American Express).
I can fix this as soon as I receive a fax that I've been waiting on from
Nils Lohner, SPI President.  (nag, nag, nag)

In my personal opinion, Debian has enough money at its disposal to pay
for this expense.  Membership in trade and standards organizations is,
in my opinion, a legitimate thing to spend Debian's donation money on,
if that membership will increase our voice and representative power in
a given community.

Debian does have the ability to purchase this membership, *IF* it's
deemed worthwhile by the developers.  I personally think a fundraiser or
matching funds program for the purpose is a good idea.  As SPI Treasurer
I'd like to see Debian doing explicit fundraisers for particular
purposes.  If there is anything I can do to help facilitate this, let me
know.  In my opinion -- this time as SPI Treasurer -- we have the
potential to bring in more money than we expend by making a solid case
for specific expenditures to the people who support us.  Time will tell
if this potential is borne out.  People support Debian by voting with
their dollars when they make donations, and seeing how the inflow
correlates with specific-issue fundraising might be a good way to take
the temperature of our user community, and better fulfill clause 4 of
our Social Contract.

However, in the instant issue I cannot make an assessment of whether
OASIS membership is worthwhile.  I had not even heard of the
organization until this thread.  So I'm going to have to suspend
judgment on the matter.

[1] http://www.spi-inc.org/corporate/spi-bylaws

G. Branden Robinson                |     Q: How does a Unix guru have sex?
Debian GNU/Linux                   |     A: unzip;strip;touch;finger;mount;
branden@debian.org                 |        fsck;more;yes;fsck;fsck;fsck;
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |        umount;sleep

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