FAmSCo August 2017 elections: Thoughts on a global community

FAmSCo August 2017 elections: Thoughts on a global community

A new release of Fedora makes headlines this month. With every release, it also means a new round of the Fedora community leadership elections. On 24 July 2017, the call for nominations went out for candidates. The Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo), Fedora Ambassador Steering Committee (FAmSCo), and the Fedora Council all have seats open. Already, discussions on nominations are happening. The candidate interview templates are being prepared. Even now, the nomination lists are filling up. However, I want to share an opinion on the upcoming FAmSCo election specifically.

Past term

In this past election, the Council encouraged the new FAmSCo to retool themselves. They should support the Ambassadors in a new age of Linux outreach and events. And they have done exactly that. Clarifications and improvements to the mentorship policies are taking place, the Fedora Ambassadors Membership Administration (FAMA) was reformed, and a Fedora Activity Day (FAD) for the LATAM region was successfully planned and executed. As a voting Ambassador, I am proud of all FAmSCo members and happy to see the progress they have made this term.

One concern

However, one thing stood out to me the past election. All of the representatives on FAmSCo were only from the EMEA and LATAM regions. Part of the fault is that there were no NA candidates and only one candidate from APAC. Therefore, the benefit of this was that EMEA and LATAM communities were more in touch with FAmSCo, since members in their meeting included elected representatives. In NA and APAC, this was not the case.

For Ambassadors in these regions, we did not have an attendee in our meetings to share news with FAmSCo. If we wanted to keep up, we would have to dig deeper. In March, I filed two tickets to suggest opening the mailing list to public participation and establishing an IRC channel presence. Consequently, FAmSCo has improved on being more accessible and transparent for all Ambassadors.

However, there is still a disconnection when your region doesn’t have an elected official to help represent the unique needs and perspectives of your region. In NA, I thought it would help to have a representative. This past June, I traveled to India and met with some Ambassadors in Pune, India. My discussions with them led me to believe that APAC needs representation in FAmSCo too.

Looking ahead to the next FAmSCo

Three seats are open for this coming election in August, leaving four (fantastic and well-qualified) FAmSCo members from EMEA to serve another term. Therefore, this leaves one region of the world well-represented by the Fedora Ambassador leadership body. Seeing as there are three seats up for elections and three regions that could be represented, I encourage voters in the next FAmSCo election to remember how big the Fedora community is.

The planet is big, and it’s hard to know what’s happening in different countries, regions, and continents. While we are all united as Fedora Ambassadors, there are unique challenges that our Fedora friends from one region may face that others may not. There are cultural, language, and currency differences. Some communities have a better foundation while others need guidance and encouragement to grow. I encourage all participating voters in this next election to remember our friends around the world and to help keep everyone included and involved in the conversations that drive the project forward.

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