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Digital Bazaar corporate position on upcoming election

From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Jun 2020 13:55:22 -0400
To: Credentials Community Group <public-credentials@w3.org>
Message-ID: <c7639cae-fa7a-4cd3-9454-9b8ff82395e1@digitalbazaar.com>
Dear W3C Credentials Community Group,

I'm sending this email as a representative of Digital Bazaar based on
our concerns related to allowing multiple individuals per company to
vote. As some of you know, W3C Member voting polls (a different process)
limit voting to one vote per company. This ensures that organizations
cannot pack a room with employees and skew the outcome of a vote. The
CCG has chosen to do individual votes, which we believe is a fitting way
for a community group to pick its leaders.

This triggered an internal ethics discussion at our company, which we
are sharing in the spirit of being transparent about the guidance that
we've given our employees.

The question raised in the company was whether or not we were voting on
our personal behalf or on behalf of the needs of our company. We
explored voluntarily restricting our organization to one vote, which
almost immediately led to concerns around vote suppression among
employees. We explored voluntarily restricting our organization to only
the people that are actively involved in the work here, which led to
concerns around inclusion.

Ultimately, we decided that the only choice aligned with the morals of
our corporate culture is to publicly state that Digital Bazaar (the
corporation) will not be participating in casting a vote in this
election. Our employees and contractors, however, are urged to make
their own decision on whether or not to vote and, if they choose to
vote, to do so according to their personal conscience, with no direction
from Digital Bazaar.

We are stating this on this mailing list to ensure that it is in the
public record. I realize that this may come across as being overly
concerned about a simple community vote. Nevertheless, this vote is
setting a precedent and we want to make sure that we are being
upstanding citizens in all communities in which we are involved. We also
recognize that other corporations in this group may not choose to do
this, and that is their choice.

On behalf of Digital Bazaar in my capacity as CEO,

-- manu
Received on Wednesday, 10 June 2020 17:55:36 UTC

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