proposed replacement bylaws

Bdale Garbee bdale at
Sat Jul 2 13:43:04 UTC 2016

For as long as I can remember (that means on the order of 12 years on the
board and 10 years as president of SPI), we have been aware that there
were problems with the existing bylaws of the organization.

The problems with the current bylaws we really need to fix include:

   - the bylaws do not comprehend the idea of board meetings on IRC
   - the rules the board voting by email are intractable
   - there is a hard requirement to hold an annual general meeting on
     the first day of July, which is rarely convenient due to national
     holidays, etc
   - in a number of places, the bylaws seem to contradict themselves

At least once in history, we formed a committee to recommend changes,
but nothing useful ever came out of those activities.  Some months ago,
I decided to try a different approach.  I asked our friends at the
Software Freedom Law Center to draft a complete replacement for SPI's
bylaws, intended to be as simple and clear as possible, while capturing
our current operating practices in a legal and supportable fashion.

At our in-person board meeting earlier this year, the board members
present worked with Mishi Choudhary from SFLC on the details, and for
some weeks we've had a draft set of bylaws that everyone on the board
seems to be comfortable with. I present them here for review and
discussion, after which I hope we can have a vote of the contributing
membership to adopt these as SPI's bylaws for the future. 


Bdale Garbee
SPI President

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