[Chaoss-Board] CHAOSS response to FSF

Georg Link linkgeorg at gmail.com
Fri Apr 2 13:57:44 UTC 2021

Hi CHAOSS Board Members,

TL/DR, proposals:

   1. Community Communication: YES, send Saturday (tomorrow).
   2. Public Statement: YES, publish the same email on our blog on Monday
   (in 3 days).
   3. Sign Open Letter: NO.

Thank you for chiming in on this important topic.
Following is a summary of what I've heard (including private emails) and
proposals for each decision.

*# 1. Community Communication*
I heard only support for our internal email to CHAOSS members with the
following edit suggestions:
* Sean: Add statement about RMS. Suggestion was revoked to stay positive
and not give RMS more attention.
* Kate: Use "free and open source" instead of "open source" -- The email
contains neither, that was in Sean's proposal.
* Don: Spell out DEI -- The email doesn't contain DEI, that was only in our
===> No changes made to the email draft.

*[x] Proposal:** YES*, send email. Following a lazy consensus approach,
I'll wait another day before sending the email to the CHAOSS community
mailing list. This will have given everyone 3 days to object and improve
the proposal.

*# 2. Public Statement*
I heard mixed opinions about this but no strong support. The email to our
members seems to do justice to the situation.

*[x] Proposal:** YES, but* we publish the same email also on our CHAOSS
blog to give it a bit more visibility long-term compared to the mailing
list archive only. Following a lazy consensus approach, I'll wait until
Monday before publishing the blog post, giving everyone another 3 days to
object to and improve this proposal.

*# 3. Sign Open Letter*
I heard very little on this topic because most discussion was about the
email to the community.

*[x] Proposal: **NO*. No lazy consensus needed since this is inaction. We
can change our mind any time.


On Wed, Mar 31, 2021 at 3:40 PM Georg Link <linkgeorg at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi CHAOSS Board members,
> In the DEI Working Group call [1] there was discussion about the
> recent/ongoing concerns related to RMS rejoining the FSF board. As the DEI
> WG is committed to helping organizations and communities center DEI in
> their open source work, the question was raised whether CHAOSS could or
> should have any response. It is possible that the Linux Foundation is also
> responding to this (or already has) and any insight on that would be
> helpful too.
> We have three decisions to make and I would love your input.
> We don't need to make the choice right now, we can first discuss.
> I will voice my own opinion in a response to this email tomorrow.
> *# Decision 1 - YES/NO: Public Statement:* Does CHAOSS make a public
> statement?
> Other organizations have publicly stated how they stand on the subject of
> bringing RMS back on board but more broadly about expecting respect and
> dignity from free software and open source leaders. Examples:
>    - OpenUK:
>    https://openuk.uk/openuk-response-to-richard-stallmans-reinstatement-to-fsf-board/
>    - RedHat:
>    https://www.redhat.com/en/blog/red-hat-statement-about-richard-stallmans-return-free-software-foundation-board
>    - Outreachy:
>    https://www.outreachy.org/blog/2021-03-23/fsf-participation-barred/
> *# Decision 2 - YES/NO: Community Communication: *Do we, as the board,
> send a message to our community members?
> We are lucky with how inclusive the CHAOSS community is and now might be a
> good time to reinforce that this is by design and choice, affirming to our
> community members that we value and strive for DEI, respect, and positive.
> Here is a draft for the CHAOSS mailing list that we can discuss:
> >>>
> Hello CHAOSS Community members,
> In light of recent events surrounding the FSF, we wanted to reach out to
> our community; specifically those who may feel uncertain what our stance
> is. We wanted to assure you that this community does not condone or
> tolerate harassment or inappropriate conduct at any time.
> We would also like to extend our sincere thank you to all of you. Your
> effort and contributions are what make the CHAOSS community who we are. We
> welcome and support everyone.You have all been excellent in creating a
> positive environment by:
>    - Using welcoming and inclusive language
>    - Being respectful of differing viewpoints and experiences
>    - Gracefully accepting constructive criticism
>    - Focusing on what is best for the community
>    - Showing empathy towards other community members
> Should you notice unacceptable behavior, please use our process in our Code
> of Conduct <https://chaoss.community/about/code-of-conduct/> to allow us
> to restore the positive environment we are currently enjoying in CHAOSS.
> >>>
> Thank you to Matt, Nicole, and Elizabeth for helping with the draft.
> *# Decision 3 - YES/NO: Sign Open Letter:* Does CHAOSS sign the open
> letter to FSF?
> This is the letter: https://rms-open-letter.github.io/
> What are your thoughts?
> Best,
> Georg
> PS: Please remember that the CHAOSS Board mailing list has a public
> archive. You can share your thoughts privately with me and other board
> members by sending a direct email.
> [1] CHAOSS DEI meeting from 2021-03-24, starting at minute 28:30
> <https://youtu.be/L_tuEhyLRt4?t=1714>
> --
> Georg Link, PhD
> (he/him)

Georg Link, PhD
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