Position statement for Jimmy Kaplowitz

I'm Jimmy Kaplowitz, running for SPI board. I was previously on the board for most of the decade 2004-2014, including periods serving as Treasurer and as Secretary, then left because I no longer had sufficient free time to contribute usefully. I've been encouraged to run again if I have more time than I did then, which I do.

My SPI associated project affiliations: I'm a long-time Debian developer and have also been an OFTC staff member for several years. I am a user of several other SPI associated projects and a fan of more.

What I think is going well in SPI: The lightweight fiscal sponsorship model continues to appeal to a growing number of software projects, recently reaching an impressive count of 44 associated with SPI. Martin Zobel-Helas's effort to move our financial bookkeeping into a hacker-friendly double-entry accounting system has the potential to greatly streamline our ability to report on and track our balance sheet and income statement. Michael Schultheiss and Bdale Garbee have shown impressive stamina in contributing so heavily for so long. Jonathan McDowell's overhaul of the members website and resulting implementation of the membership expiration resolution should enable a long-overdue rewrite of the bylaws in the near future. SPI has completed its investigation of directors & officers insurance and is ready to proceed with that.

What I think is going badly: Chiefly, it still takes too long to do anything. For example, reimbursement requests, systems administration tasks, annual reports, etc. This is not something for which I will assign fault or blame in a volunteer organization, but it's something that all of us who care about SPI's success have a responsibility to see gets fixed. As a separate matter, too few of SPI's board members over time have been unaffiliated with Debian (except some welcome PostgreSQL folks), and too few have been non-white or non-male. Naturally one should use qualifications and not demographics as the primary factor in who one elects to the board, but there are plenty of qualified candidates in other ethnicities, genders, and free software communities who would add valuable perspectives that SPI can't as easily access right now. SPI can't operate as effectively by considering only input from directors of societally dominant privileged backgrounds.

How I would help: To be clear, electing me would not improve SPI's lack of diversity along the above axes, and on my ballot I'll happily rank above myself any qualified candidates who would improve this. What I can do is provide some continuity and institutional memory (based on my prior service) at a point in SPI's history when six board members and one officer are departing. I can also put sustained proactive effort into some tasks I foresee as likely in the next few years: DebConf17 may use SPI as its local legal entity in Canada (pending further exploration of the legal/logistical details), and it's likely that SPI will need to engage some form of ongoing paid help to execute faster on bookkeeping and administrative tasks. I'm well-positioned to help in depth with both of these tasks. I don't plan to seek an officer position for the 2016-2017 officer term.

If you have questions: While I'll stick with SPI's norm of no election campaigning, I'm happy to answer any questions on OFTC in #spi or via /msg (I'm Hydroxide), via email to jimmy@debian.org or jimmy@spi-inc.org, or on the spi-general or spi-private mailing lists.