Opened 12 months ago

Last modified 2 weeks ago

#22079 new project

Community governance documents

Reported by: alison Owned by: alison
Priority: Medium Milestone:
Component: Community Version:
Severity: Normal Keywords:
Cc: community-team, richard@… Actual Points:
Parent ID: Points:
Reviewer: Sponsor:


This is the parent ticket for organizing ideas and drafts for community governance documents.

Child Tickets

#22082closedalisonRefine membership guidelines draft and submit proposal to tor-internal@Community
#22511closedTor Code of ConductCommunity

Attachments (1)

0001-Include-prefered-pronoun-s-in-membership-questions.patch (747 bytes) - added by juga 2 weeks ago.

Download all attachments as: .zip

Change History (15)

comment:1 Changed 5 months ago by alison

Amendments needed to existing documents:

  • Change Community Council guidelines to say that a person must be a Core Contributor and remain a Core Contributor in order to stay on the Council.
  • Change membership guidelines to say that you need six months of activity to become a core contributor, but activity within the last 12 months is enough to stay a core contributor.
  • Separate membership secretary/account manager roles into two separate roles:

administer the list of core contributors, and
make sure we are following the core contributor process.

comment:2 Changed 5 months ago by atagar

For what it's worth concerning the 'split secretary/account manager roles' I think Tim suggested that to reduce load on me, but as discussed on the thread that wouldn't be helpful.

comment:3 Changed 5 months ago by atagar

Oh, also if you're collecting amendment ideas then something from May...

Speaking of which, if we want to have a Q&A as part of next year's council
selection someone should write a proposal for it. The vote we just had
made it clear there's quite a few differing views on how this should be

comment:4 Changed 3 months ago by alison

what happens when a councilmember resigns?

the current policy says we can:

  • continue with a 4 person council until terms end on March 31 (our policy lets us have a 3, 4 or 5 member council)
  • hold community council elections early (we need 5 people to ask for this)

maybe instead we should revise the CC guidelines to have a countback, which means filling vacancies with the person who received the next highest votes.

comment:5 Changed 3 months ago by teor

I'd like us to make new and revised documents more readable. This helps people who know fewer English words. (Most people I have talked to prefer simple English over translations.)

Here is a process that seems to work so far:

  1. Get permission to copy the text into an online readability checker. Remove comments and names first!
  2. Use the readability checker to highlight long words and long sentences.
  3. Put the highlights into the document.
  4. Ask for help to rewrite them.

comment:6 Changed 3 months ago by teor

Someone found a better readability site:

It does live checking. And it doesn't have usage limits.

comment:7 Changed 5 weeks ago by nickm

A few proposed amendments to the community council guidelines and procedures. Many of these would require votes.

  • I think people should be able to publicly nominate others for the community council; nominees should be free to decline or accept the nomination.
  • Community council deliberations should come with a self-imposed time limit, and a policy of what happens if the council cannot reach a decision. A suggested time limit is one month, or two months at the most. Possible fallback actions are: "Take no action"; "Declare that they cannot come to a decision"; "Choose some mutually agreed upon project member to arbitrate and decide";
  • Community council members terms should be somehow staggered or arranged to overlap, so that the entire council is not so likely to all have their terms end at once.
  • Possibly, unanimity should not be required; best effort unanimity, falling back to unanimity-minus-one, may be enough.
  • Possibly, the CC should adopt the policy that the Tor bylaws have for absent board members, to survive attendance issues.

comment:8 Changed 5 weeks ago by arma

Another community council change that somebody suggested to me in Rome: choose the members of the council holistically, rather than having a bunch of people apply and then just pushing together the top k vote-getters. Holistically could mean to make sure to have the right skills on it (a lawyer, a psychologist, etc) or it could aim to make sure different backgrounds or perspectives are represented.

More generally, we should think about what our reasons are for "vote individually, and call the top k people the council" -- so they feel they have the mandate of the people? so we don't have to answer the question of who would pick the council otherwise? so we're being "fair" to the candidates? something else? -- and brainstorm whether some other mechanism would do better for us.

While we're doing revisions, we should also assess the progress we've made at diversity in our community, and see if we want to require any more axes of diversity (beyond "has a woman") in our future councils.

Last edited 5 weeks ago by arma (previous) (diff)

comment:9 in reply to:  7 Changed 5 weeks ago by arma

Replying to nickm:

  • Possibly, unanimity should not be required; best effort unanimity, falling back to unanimity-minus-one, may be enough.

I think when writing the council guidelines we didn't provide anywhere near this level of instruction for the council members.

I think (at present) that means it's up to the council to figure out how it functions.

I see that this could be problematic, e.g. if some council people disagree about how things should be done, so writing down more of the expectations, though constraining, could also be freeing.

I heard that a lot of what the first (elected) council did was to try to decide about its policies and procedures in more detail. Maybe we can ask them to publish some of those choices, and we can codify the ones we like, and/or help to identify areas where the current instructions are too vague?

comment:10 Changed 5 weeks ago by pospeselr

Cc: richard@… added

comment:11 Changed 2 weeks ago by atagar

Some more things that have come up...

  • Lets add 'what is your irc nick?' to our membership questions so they can be granted permissions when subscribed.
  • As part of the above I'd like permission to include the #tor-internal password in the welcome email. Or maybe we should drop the password? Since we have two authentication checks (GroupServ membership and the password) the later should be redundant, and including it in the welcome email would cut down on friction for new members to get involved.
  • Lets clarify what we do when folks are added during a vote. My suggestion is that they cannot take part in the vote but also do not count toward quorum.
  • Lets clarify what we do when a person's membership is revoked during a vote. My suggestion is that they can still take part in the vote and count toward quorum.

comment:12 Changed 2 weeks ago by juga

I'd also include pronoun in the membership questions. Attaching patch. Maybe English expression is not correct

Last edited 2 weeks ago by juga (previous) (diff)

comment:13 Changed 2 weeks ago by atagar

Another thing that was mentioned on irc was to simplify the process of making small amendments. Maybe something similar to our membership addition policy (if nobody objects then it happens, otherwise it proceeds with a standard voting process).

comment:14 in reply to:  11 Changed 2 weeks ago by catalyst

Replying to atagar:

Some more things that have come up...

  • Lets add 'what is your irc nick?' to our membership questions so they can be granted permissions when subscribed.

I suggest clarifying this as "your IRC nick on the OFTC network"

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