--- --- Announcing the OSM US Governance Committee | OpenStreetMap US

We’re excited to announce the formation of the OpenStreetMap US Governance Committee! As our community and the organization continues to grow, the OpenStreetMap US board and staff have recognized the need to expand the role members can serve in ensuring a safe and respectful environment as well as an organized structure for participation. 

The new Governance Committee will support our community and organization by: 

  • Overseeing the OpenStreetMap US Code of Conduct moderation process;

  • Managing the annual membership voting processes;

  • Providing Conflict of Interest determinations and recommendations; 

  • Providing governance recommendations to the OpenStreetMap US Board of Directors where and when necessary in regards to membership and community. 

More details and the full Terms of Reference for the Committee will be available on the OSM Wiki soon.

What does this mean for the existing Code of Conduct Committee?

Two years ago, OpenStreetMap US achieved a significant milestone for our community by drafting and adopting a Code of Conduct & Process for Moderation. Since then, our volunteer Code of Conduct Committee has worked diligently to foster a safe, inclusive, and respectful OpenStreetMap US community both online and in-person. The current members of the Code of Conduct Committee have been invited to transition into the Governance Committee and are actively supporting the recruitment of new members.

To both our current and former volunteers who have dedicated time to the Code of Conduct process and committee, we cannot thank you enough! 

Who can serve on the OSM US Governance Committee?

Any member of the OpenStreetMap US organization can self-nominate or be invited to join the committee based on their background, experience, or role in the community. If you are interested, please use the form below to request more information about participating in the Governance Committee and share your statement of interest. Please see the OSM Wiki for full details on committee membership & nomination. 

How does this impact the upcoming 2023 membership voting process?

The 2023 membership voting process will be managed by the Governance Committee, with assistance from outgoing board members and staff as needed. In the past, the membership voting process has been run by both dedicated volunteers and recently, managed by Maggie Cawley, our Executive Director. By transitioning the management of this process to the Governance Committee, we hope to address procedural issues that we have experienced previously and reduce the time spent by staff on the annual voting process. If you have interest in assisting with the voting process, and especially if you have experience running voting processes for membership-based organizations, please consider joining the Governance Committee. 

Will the expanded scope mean more work for the volunteer committee? 

As part of this transition, we are both increasing the minimum number of committee members and expanding the total seats available. With no fewer than five active members and up to nine total members total, we hope that a larger committee will increase both efficiency and redundancy in handling responsibilities, such as response to Code of Conduct complaints, creating more opportunities to participate but a lower demand on individual volunteer time.

Thank you for your support in achieving yet another important milestone for our community!

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