Wikimedia Election Committee User Group

The Wikimedia Election Committee User Group is a Wikimedia community organization which advocates for voting and democracy in the Wikimedia community as the best way to protecting Wikimedia community ethics and values. The path to achieving the mission of the Wikimedia Movement is participatory governance through elections.

Election Committee
User Group

Elect community advocates to the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees
Protect the rights, ethics, and values of the volunteer Wikimedia community
Connect volunteers to talk among themselves without non-volunteers setting the agenda

The Wikimedia Movement has a tradition of volunteer community election of trustees to the Wikimedia Foundation board. The reason for this is that volunteer participants are the source of power, ethics, and values in the Wikimedia Movement. Donors give to the Wikimedia Movement because they trust in the volunteer community and volunteers join as editors and contributors because they share belief in volunteer community governance.

The Wikimedia community organizes every part of elections.

Please join this project to show support of Wikimedia community elections, the protection of Wikimedia community ethics through elected Wikimedia board representation, and the right of volunteers to talk about all these things peacefully among themselves. Keep consensus, keep brief and to the point, be civil, and ♥ your Wikimedia Movement.

Why we need community-organized elections


The Wikimedia Community elects most of the members of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. This is unusual, as for most organizations, the Board of Trustees takes recommendations from staff to replace board members. This Board of Trustees manages more than US$1,000,000,000 every few years, and each person elected to the board will review the budgeting and allocation of most of this. The Wikimedia Community needs to elect board members as the best way to protect the values and ethics of the Wikimedia Movement. The Wikimedia Foundation is a wealthy nonprofit organization and a media organization which reaches more than 1 billion unique people every year. Every part of the Wikimedia Movement is attractive for every government and corporation in the world to influence. The alternative to empowering the Wikimedia community of volunteer participants and contributors is empowering players which do not share our values.

Every nonprofit organization has two conflicting goals: one is the advancement of its mission, and the other is being powerful as an organization. In general, nonprofit organizations choose to either spend resources on advancing their nonprofit mission, or they can spend resources on being a more pleasant, comfortable, powerful place for their workers. It is good that the Wikimedia Foundation is a pleasant place to work where people can grow their careers and express themselves. However, the Wikimedia Foundation has a conflict of interest in deciding how to share its resources between itself and the advancement of the Wikimedia Mission. The Wikimedia Foundation and its Mission are not the same thing, and they are in conflict, and the Wikimedia Community addresses that conflict of interest through elections of Wikimedia Foundation Trustees.

Whatever the case: The Wikimedia community must protect community elections to protect the community values and ethics which focus on the Wikimedia Mission.

What elections need oversight


While the single most important election by far are the appointments to the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, other elections in the movement are extremely important also in terms of their impact, the amount of money which they redirect, and the passion which the volunteer contributors put into them. Here is more information about some of those elections:

Direct actions

  1. Expect 50%+ board elected seats
  2. The Wikimedia community manages those elections
  3. The Wikimedia community discusses and negotiates among itself, rather than reacting to external prompts
  4. Apply for money from the Wikimedia Foundation to sponsor the community's own self-organized conversation, just as the Wikimedia Foundation uses money to sponsor its own staff to direct and moderate election conversations which favor its own differing agenda
  5. Show solidarity with the Wikimedia community and SIGN SUPPORT

Centralize conversation about matters of ethics and values on this project talk page to keep a central record of discussions and issues.