Only 590 members of the NYTM voted, adding up to a turnout of less than 6 percent.
Thank you friends. Thank you geeks & thank you NEW YORK! No where else will you find such a diverse, passionate lot of nurds, geeks & dweebs who are ready to tackle the future head on.
This week has been refreshing. This NY Tech Meetup election is about the next steps – big and small. After hearing the promises, arguments and campaign speeches, TODAY COMES DOWN TO YOU!
NYTM Friends, I need your vote by 3pm ET at http://vote.nytm.org
GLOBAL friends, I need your tweets of support. Please share with the world the following lines…
NYTM Voters: “NY needs an API for the future! I just voted for @noneck for the #NYTM board. Vote "Noel Hidalgo” at http://vote.nytm.org!“
Non-voters: "I support @Noneck. #NYTM’s board needs his API for the future. Vote "Noel Hidalgo” at http://vote.nytm.org“
Thanks for hearing me out…
I’m running to represent the NY Tech community on the Executive Board of the NY Tech Meetup. This post is my second in a series on how to address the problems of the NY tech community. Visit my campaign site at http://votenoneck.org
This is the single most important question you should be asking yourself… Do we have the freedom of choice? Now that we have an executive board, event organizer and community committee, do we, as the community, have the agency to solve the community’s problems?
Unless we gave up our sovereign rights as nurds, geeks and dweebs… HELL NO WE DIDN’T!
So how do we solve them? How do we engender a disparate community to decide its future actions?
First, we need to understand the programming environment before we can code a solution. (See yesterday’s post.) Then we need to ensure that transparency and readability lead to literacy. We need to know what the board is doing and in turn, the board needs to know who we are and what we want. If our meetup organizer, who’s just learning how to program, build a voting system “overnight,” then I KNOW we can find resources to extend that idea into an “anywhere application” that extends NYTM literacy and collective action.
How will this happen? Not easily.
Second order of business, let’s ensure that every meeting is publicized and is open to all.
Third, let us ensure that the executive board has empowered the community to figure out how to solve NYTM’s hardest problems. These volunteer committees should be self-selecting, self-governing, open and transparent to all, and be accountable to the larger community. Each committee is in charged of documenting the problems and opportunities AND creating 3 to 5 solutions. These committees should be empowered to tackle our largest problems – Ticketing – Membership Survey / Development – Diversity / Affiliate Meetups – Educational / University Relationships – Executive Board Governance – Government Relationships – Elections – Internal Technology – just to name a few. WE, the community, needs to lead this organization. Fundamentally, the two community board members should represent our voices, not our ideas.
Fourth, address these issues in an open forum where the community decides…
As Tony Bacigalupo was telling me tonight, “this meetup and its board is already a cruseship." There are NO agile democratic solution to 16,000 "members.” No ONE person can solve the problems of 16,000. As I said, we need to understand the programming environment before we can code a solution. Eventually, we will have the governance, knowledge and tools. Until then, the community needs to elect TWO people who will always listen to them and fight for what needs to be addressed.
First, it was a pleasure to meet so many of you last night. One thing that I’ve always love the about the tech meetup is that I am ALWAYS meeting new people. Last night’s meetup marked the five year anniversary of meeting my current coworker and fellow open-source hacker / activist buddy, Nathan Freitas, http://openideals.org. If you’re into android, circumvention tools, mobile, tech activism, nook hacking, or how to do really cool shit, check him out. Btw, Happy Birthday Nathan.
Answer? Because we have done a bad job of understanding who is a “member” of the meetup. As someone who works with geeks, in and out of government and from across the state, I know they turn to the NYTM to know what is going on. Additionally, I can take a gander that thousands of you attend more than one meetup a month, and a majority of you attend another “tech meetup” of sorts.
If we are going to move NYTM forward and program for a better tomorrow, we need to take an honest look at who we are today. From my point of view, we are diverse, but we don’t embrace it. We don’t like to talk about the fact the current executive board is fairly homogeneous and most of the most vocal members are too. We have “over 16,000 members” and continue to complain about homogeny. We take for granted that we have an Executive Board and a Community Committee and we have no clue when they meet, what they have said, and what they are willing to do to address our concerns. Do you know where are $10 goes every month? I don’t. BUT I want to AND I want to do more.
Look, I’m not calling for a witch hunt, but a chance to clearly define ourselves.
With over 16,000 people from across who knows where, AND as a 501c6 (read trade association that can ask elected officials to listen to us via votes and/or $$$), we can start to shake things up. Before we can even think about doing these things, we must clarify who we are and what we want to do. We have the tools, passion and brainpower to build a ship and send it to Mars! Yet, we don’t send a tech delegation to Albany! (Sometimes, I get Albany and Mars confused…)
In conclusion, if you really want this community to fight for all the things 13 males, predominately fair-skin, said last night (i’m technical Puerto Rican, but i grew up in Ohio so I’m like egg nog…), we need to speak up and deal with these issues! I created a campaign site, VoteNoNeck.org, to hear your ideas.
I also know that there are fundamental issues to address: tickets, affiliate/related meetups, diversity, short and long term future, etc…
Regardless of the answers or direction, I want the next board to be reactive and transparent, and if I can’t get the whole board, I want the two WE choose to be reactive and transparent. As I promised last night, at least you will ALWAYS have my ear.
Thanks for hearing me out…
Vote Noel Hidalgo at vote.nytm.org
I know that New York City is the best damn city on the planet. I see this meetup and its board as a platform of information and innovation. Our board must embody our best ideals and be it all that it can be. We MUST put our 501c6 status to good use and fight for a better tomorrow.
As a board member, I promise an unprecedented level of transparency. I want us to use our 501c6 status to advocate for tech innovation. I plan to work with you to get “nytm.org/about” to say something meaningful (srrsly, a year and it still has WP.com text?). Like all good 2.0′s, we need a good API. If I can build an API for New York State Senate, you bet I can build one for a network of techies. BUT this API is a bit different…
Association, Participation, Innovation
Association – Let us add diversity to our network by adopting affiliate meetups that represent the diversity in our community.
Participation – Let us participate in creating a more open government. Let us crack the nut that binds us and demand better Open Data. Imagine a world where our tax dollars are a direct investment into our apps. Imagine a city that respects it’s technology community and does not simply placate it. We can do this!
Innovation – Let us fight for lower taxes and innovation credits for our community. Did you know that S4046-2009 is a bill in our State house that would give anyone who contributes to “open source” a $200 state tax credit? NO? Since we are a 501c6, we can do this and more!
Let us dream about the future, and make history today. Let’s build an API for a better tomorrow!