Elements Required for a Sufficient LoCo Structure
The following elements are necessary for a fair and effective structure for the California LoCo Team.
- The structure needs an assurance of equality in the group. Every member of the group is equal or can obtain an equal status in the group through a well defined pathway of involvement. No single member of the group should have absolute or arbitrary power over the group. Leadership positions are to be well defined, electable and updatable on a regular basis. This presents a clear/fair path towards leadership in the group. Fairness and equality is an essential element of the group to ensure all members feel empowered and understand who is judging their efforts. Such a guarantee is necessary to prevent sore-feelings or accusations of unfairness.
- An adequate structure governing a state as large as California requires a minimum amount of local separation of projects and decision making within different regions of the state (Bay Area, LA, Central Valley etc). In this way, events can be planned more efficiently by those who know the area, the groups involved and are likely to be doing the most work. All effort towards advertising and summarizing such events should done statewide as appropriate. However, statewide IRC meeetings etc. can and should be made more efficient by allowing local members to care for details in their local regions.
- The structure needs a definition of who is a member.
The structure needs a well defined succession and path to leadership (as discussed in 1). This ensures longevity by requiring that the LoCo is not tied to any single individual or group of individuals as required in http://www.ubuntu.com/community/leadership-conduct
- The structure should contain a well defined prescription for how decisions are made in the group, including the roles of ordinary members and leaders.
This structure is a brief, bare-bones, skeleton for the California team and can be expanded through the regular decision making process outlined in Part C.
The Ubuntu California LoCo should maintain a comprehensive mission statement to be created and edited under the rules of Part C. The purpose of this statement is to clearly define the goals of the group and the benefits of coordinated effort towards development and advocacy in a recognized LoCo. Events planned both statewide and locally should maintain strong connection to this stated mission.
Membership: Membership is gained by joining the Ubuntu-Califorina LoCo launchpad group. This is obviously a vast superset of active users (members who actively participate within the recent time period) at any given time; however, it shows a minimum level of participation in the group and is the most robust and automatic membership tool available at this time. Not all members, or even active members, will contribute to each discussion/project.
- Decision Making:
- Decisions about particular events, projects and other issues will made in IRC meetings or on the mailing-list. This provides a public record of important decisions made by the group.
In general, decisions should, as much as possible, be made to satisfy a rough consensus among members participating in the discussion (not among all active members or total members). When time constraints don't allow for the emergence of the rough consensus, a decision will be made by the California LoCo council (see Part D). As elsewhere the rough consensus choice may not be exactly what any particular individual wanted, but they can at least be assured their contribution is fairly considered and may yet be accepted in the future as the team evolves. See Part D for a discussion of council members making up the group leadership.
To ensure that all members have a chance to give input, action may not be taken during IRC meetings on items added to the meeting agenda less than 48 hours in advance. In addition, action may not be taken during IRC meetings on items not added to the meeting agenda, including non-agendized topics raised during "Any Other Business" sections. "Action" here includes formal voting, adoption of position statements, disbursement of LoCo funds, and other significant decisions. It does not include decisions by the California LoCo council due to time constraints as detailed in section C 2.
Leadership: As discussed in Part C, when rough consensus cannot be reached among participating members in a discussion/project the California LoCo council will make the decision.
- The council consists of 3 members, elected by the team as representatives.
The council as a whole will vote on issues, events and project discussions relevant to the entire California LoCo for which consensus of participating members cannot be reached.
- If a council member needs to step down, there will be a vote to replace the member.
Elections: Elections will take place once a year and will be done electronically and anonymously (the exception being our first election, which is overseen by the LoCoCouncil
LoCo Group Contact: The group contact at any given time may or may not be a member of the leadership council, but should always remain an active member. If the current group contact wishes to become inactive, a new contact will be chosen from the procedure for decision making in Part C.
Group Jobs/Responsibilities: Group roles, currently defined at CaliforniaTeam/WhoDoesWhat should be assigned by the council through a volunteer process. The council should recognize the need for an official group position, ask for volunteers and assign volunteers.
The point of this document is to provide a structure that alleviates hard feelings from the LoCo, insures fairness and guarantees a well-defined, healthy organization for the future. However, let us not forget that all members are here to have fun and support a project that they love. If that is forgotten, no amount of structure or organization will ensure a long-lasting successful functioning of the California LoCo.
This document is based upon a document presented by Jack Deslippe in 2009: Ubuntu California LoCo Proposed Structure