Apply for membership now!

Florian Snow floriansnow at
Thu Feb 1 05:43:08 UTC 2018

Hi Cornelia,

Thank you for starting a discussion on an important topic!

"Cornelia S." <cornelia.sulzbach at> writes:
> I have learnt the FSFE is abolishing their community representatives
> in their board (remember the Linux Foundation?????)

Yes, that is something that the GA discussed at their last meeting (I
was not there because I was not a member at the time)[0].  The
Fellowship seats are one measure to grow the membership base because the
elected people often stay in the GA after the end of their term.  There
is a conflict between what is ideal for an election and what is ideal
for growing the GA, though.  In an election, ideally, there are multiple
people who are qualified for the position.  In terms of growing the
membership, an election is not the ideal tool, though, because it means
multiple qualified people compete for one position and several people
that really should become part of the GA do not in the end.

> All you need an e-mail to mk at and say that you apply.

Yes, this process has been there for a long time and it does grow the
membership slightly.  I actually joined through this process recently.
Matthias discusses applications with the GA and if the GA agrees, people
are admitted until their actual confirmation (or potential rejection,
but that is unlikely with the discussion beforehand) at the following GA
meeting.  One problem with that process is that it does not scale well.

Another problem with that system is that it has no mechanism to increase
diversity.  For all these reasons, the GA is looking into better ways to
increase membership and as part of that process, we are want to abolish
the Fellowship seats.  Another way of looking at it is this: What good
is an election if the candidate who loses the election can just apply to
become a GA member right after the election?

> Please do it now!

I understand your worries about losing representation.  The path to
membership through some form of application will always be there,
though, so there is no rush.  The GA always has the power to admit new
members and from my understanding of German law (the FSFE is a German
e.V.), there is no way to take away that kind of power from the GA.  The
GA will always be able to vote on anything within the scope of an e.V.

Also, I promise that I will vote against any motion to remove the
Fellowship seats as long as we do not at the same time take steps to
have a decent replacement system in place.  I feel very strongly about
this and if you had not written this email, I would have not made a
public statement about my intention to vote this way, but I would have
voted that way anyway.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Happy hacking!

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