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Re: Question to all candidates: Ongoing/future legal projects

Hi Richard,

On Fri, Mar 18, 2022 at 7:53 PM Richard Laager <rlaager@debian.org> wrote:
> This is a complex topic, but in broad strokes, the concept of having
> more people involved seems reasonable to me. But I fear that the idea
> and the reality may be different. How do you plan to find all the people
> to sit on these committees? Have you found some already?
> > that enjoy broad community support.
> That is, of course, a great goal. Do you have any specifics to offer
> about how to achieve that?
> How would you handle contentious topics?

The benefits of greater community involvement require fewer people
than you might think (but hopefully a growing number). I'll try to
illustrate that below.

As project leader, my greatest concern would be to lend my own
decisions some measure of democratic legitimacy. Let's take
disbursements, for example. I would not be comfortable granting
financial requests, other than on an emergency basis, without some
type of community review.

I might ask you, Richard, to serve on my Disbursements Committee
together with someone I perceive as an equally strong person but
otherwise different from you in some way. A small Appointments
Committee could help me figure out who would be a good counterweight.

In your case, I might approach Daniel Kahn Gillmor, who was copied as
a courtesy. (Sorry Daniel, it's all hypothetical.)

Anyone unhappy with Debian's disbursements could feed supplemental
information to either one of you, who would then confront the other.
Your meeting is open to the public. The threshold for community
involvement is low, especially for folks afraid to write to the lists.

For contentious topics, the debate over disbursements would
automatically be compartmentalized to your tiny committee without
burdening the entire project. There is no need to write to d-devel (or
to threaten to do so) unless some outrageous conduct deserves broader
attention. Neither would there be a need for a General Resolution, or
the all too popular threat of one. The moderating effect grows with
the size of your committee.

The overall temperature of the project would also go down. We already
do something similar with our technical teams.

In summary:

Yes, you are right. The reality will be different, but no one is
perfect. As for finding the volunteers, my experience is that people
will contribute if they can help control their own destiny. In a
group, everyone only has to do a tiny part for the whole thing to get

Jonathan would know how much time he spends deliberating over monthly
disbursements. A committee with modest experience would probably take
twice as long.

Kind regards,
Felix Lechner

P.S. Hi everyone, please join #meetfelix on OFTC. I hope to get to
know you better!

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