Protocol For Emergency ZOMG Updates

Apparently the composition of the @ZcashGrants might abruptly change.

What (if anything) does ZIP 1014 say about that?

Even if there’s a clear protocol in the ZIP, the community needs to have a space to discuss the (sudden) shift. That’s why I propose this fresh Governance Topic.

Apologies in advance if 1014 is superseded.

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Thanks for bringing this topic up @zancas , I was just thinking the same thing.

I spent some time reading through ZIP-1014 to see if a member of MGRC (now ZOMG) leaving prior to annual election is addressed in the ZIP, I didn’t find anything. There is a lot about accountability, COI, seats, etc… but not this specific situation.

In my opinion there are a few options:

  1. The ZCAP has the option to replace a departing member of ZOMG by a holding new ZCAP vote/election.
  2. The ZOMG itself has the ability to vote to replace the departing member of ZOMG.
  3. The results of the last ZCAP election are taken into consideration, (ie: members who ran for a spot on ZOMG with highest support from the community would be asked to replace a departing ZOMG member)

Option 1 seems fair but would likely take the most time to resolve, ie: a whole new running and election. I’m not sure what ZOMG is supposed to do about pending Grants in the meantime.

Option 2 Seems un-democratic to me, I personally would not be in favor.

Option 3 seems like a quick resolution, but may not take into account recent calls for more diversity on ZOMG (which could potentially be addressed by option.1, but is not guaranteed).

In the case of option 3 that would put @alchemydc at having 6th highest ZCAP votes and @ml_sudo at 7th.


I think I heard @holmesworcester propose an algorithm whereby members of the @ZcashGrants resign (in order to facilitate diversity along some dimensions that He selected).

It’s my opinion that being elected to a position on the ZOMG, and accepting that position, is an assumption of responsibility. Clearly, anyone can step down at any time, but in doing so they are abdicating responsibility.

I understand that ires are raised, and tempers piqued, nevertheless, I believe that abdication of ZOMG responsibility really constitutes a betrayal of My Trust (I can’t speak for the wider community, but I bet a few others would agree).

I think @alchemydc is rad, but he is not representative of unheard voices in almost any dimension that I can think of.

So, anywho with my position on the ZCAP (oh wait jk I don’t have one), and the authority vested in me by my irreverent personality, I vote that we go with option 2 from @Shawn’s opinion.

So, now that I have ratified Shawn’s Opinion, shall we move forward?

But seriously, perhaps we could open a discussion/nomination forum, where the community gets to be heard, and then the ZOMG rules by fiat? I am with @Matthewdgreen on the whole “interminable conversation”, let’s get this boat in gear Go, Go, Go, issue.

How about a straw poll of the current @ZcashGrants ?

If you were to pick a replacement by fiat who would it be?

Why not @ml_sudo? I don’t think she needs @holmesworcester or @Souptacular or another woman to protect her.

Though, to be clear, I don’t claim any particular right to speak for @ml_sudo, nor do I know if she’s even available anymore.


And… while we’re at it… should we name an alternate to rotate in, in the event of the next emergency?

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To go with the flow of @zancas and @Shawn’s option 2, we can brainstorm a “thin spare tire” interim solution:

The ZOMG committee can continue operating with 4 voting members until the next elections, but invite a 5th non-voting member of its choice to participate in the deliberations.

This will bring in the requisite knowledge and spread the workload, and assuming that decisions are mostly done by consensus anyway, it may in practice not be very different from 5 voting members. In any case, this isn’t any worse than not having the non-voting member, and it hews close to the letter of ZIP 1014 by not granting voting power to unelected members.


Intriguing, this seems like a neat hack! Maybe the spare could have a tie-breaker vote, in the event that it becomes necessary?

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My proposal is to stop the failed experiment and make the fund simply as a repository of funds, and let the funding go according to the classic scheme of ZF and ECC, let the fund act as the voice of the community, let the two technically secured organizations decide where to increase funding, look for partners and make proposals. ZOMG on behalf of the community through forum discussion whether or not this funding is available. Also, if desired, supports proposals from the outside, but only if ZF and ECC undertake this proposal in terms of security and compatibility, as well as further support.
For 2 months there was nothing that would justify the creation of a fund, on the contrary, the work began to go slower and did not accelerate and diversified as expected, I express my fears that due to ignorance of long-term development, the committee will agree and finance a lot that will simply be useless or simply lose money due to the absence of a verification and testing mechanism, I urge everyone who has experience of working in organizations in which there is a valid development financing scheme to support my proposal to switch to the classic model for ZF and ECC, because in more than one organization a department that has no idea is involved in allocating funds what engineers do. Security is involved in the verification of suppliers, the work is accompanied by technical specialists and lawyers are watching everything for a reason, what is happening here is a total mess, the community has chosen people who spend money on what they want and not what they need and will work, while creating problems for everyone (example with yesterday’s refusal to finance). Now everyone will be busy how to make the committee make up for the loss, but you need to work, a few more months of downtime and then again disputes and again solving the committee’s problems?


I agree. The MGRC acting as an democratic check/ fiscal branch with its current composition is compromised. Let’s accept that and focus on operation. Accordingly, I think @alchemydc is excellent for the position.


Actually, what I proposed was resigning and putting my faith in voters on the ZCAP to choose the best replacement for me. Subtle difference, but important for democratic principles I think, so noting here!

Hah! Yes, this would be bad and totally broken/undemocratic!

I’m 100% with you and Shawn on this one, which is why I’m not crazy about “next in line” since in some ways it gives us more say over our replacement than the community—since we get to decide whether to stay or replace ourselves with the next person in line. I don’t think we should have this power.

I wrote up some more thoughts about replacement mechanisms—any thoughts on these?

I actually agree with this, even though I proposed what I did.

Your vote for me expressed a preference that I’d be on the panel, so by resigning I’d be going against your preference and letting you down.

That’s one reason my preference was to have a random approach to one of us stepping down, so that we (ZOMG) could agree on the goal, but not exercise power in how we achieve that goal, or even whether it’s ultimately achieved, or over which voters get let down—since we’d be choosing randomly and then putting our faith in the ZCAP to elect a replacement.

It’s complicated though.

Another way to look at it is that the ZCAP is “hiring” us to do a job, which is sort of what’s happening albeit as contractors paid monthly and not employees.

And every employer knows that if you don’t create a healthy and productive working environment, your best employees will take their very valuable skills elsewhere.

I’m used to managing teams, so this is how Sarah’s resignation felt for me. It felt like losing somebody good. That is, that as a community, we failed to create a good working environment for Sarah, so we lost her. An employer can think of team members quitting as a betrayal if they want to. But their business will do better if instead they look at the loss of a good team member as some failure of their own, and look at why it happened, and try to address the issues to keep it from happening again. That’s how teams/businesses improve and get stronger as they mature. And I think it’s how anyone who voted for Sarah and supported her work on ZOMG should look at this case.

Also, just for what it’s worth, I think I’ll focus my efforts to address this problem on achieving the “special election” process for people who resign, and some kind of staggered election going forward so that the ZCAP can elect members (say, two at a time) with the rest of the panel in mind. Resigning seems unlikely!

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I was pretty upset (as were many of us, I assume) when I wrote about my feeling of betrayal. I’ve taken some time to think about it since, and I think you’re right that’s probably not the most productive lens to view the situation through.

I hadn’t thought of it as a contractor/employer relationship, but of course, you’re right again, that’s pretty close to what it is…

In any event, I assume we’re all doing our best to deal with the tough situation we’re in. I am eager to read your replacement mechanisms thoughts.

I think I remember you mentioning a simple, but potentially quite critical hack, which was using video communication to connect applicants and ZOMG members. At least in some circumstances that seems like it might be really helpful for conveying emotional information.

Curious to think how such a simple thing might have dramatically shifted so much!

On personal note, I want to (publicly) apologize to you, if I offended you. And again thank you for the thoughtful presence you’ve brought to my perspective.

I understand how losing Sarah might have a personal dimension for the ZOMG folks that’s opaque to the wider community.

I don’t believe there is an option available to the voters that would serve as capably as you.

Also… voting is costly.

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I have a draft post pending on ideas for how and when to convene the zcap and how to choose what gets put on the ballots for the cap. But in general I think convening more new zcap elections too rapidly will lead to zcap fatigue.
For the near term and dealing with this unexpected vacancy I’m pretty sure the best approach favors simplicity and expedience, even if it’s not perfect, and lets the zomg quickly quickly resume function and put the focus back on potential grant recipients rather than more zomg meta process. Since zip 1014 sets the expectation of re-electing zomg members in a year, I think Option 3 of reusing the rank vote outcome is totally reasonable and democratic. Also at some level the zomg was already democratically elected, so even Option 2 isn’t necessarily undemocratic either.


The ranking that approval voting gave us turned out to be really useful.

The only tweak I would make would be requiring a minimum number of votes for candidates to be replacements, just to eliminate noise from results.


Excellent point, I hadn’t thought about it that way.

If other voting methods had only produced the 5 winners, without any runners up, I wonder how much more time it would have taken to go through a process to find a way to fill the open seat?


“Time is the fire in which we burn” (Delmore Schwartz)

…also Tolian Soran, Star Trek Generations

I haven’t seen a lot of processes like this working in the wild, but I’m not sure if ZCAP fatigue is so much of an issue.

For example, a decent number of people expend a lot of energy making their voices heard about this in the forum, and in other online spaces. I think if more of that time was spent deciding who to vote for and making substantive decisions that might be less fatiguing in some ways than just talking about what should be done.

One thing that’s been helpful for ZOMG itself is getting into a rhythm or a habit of biweekly meetings and quick decisions.

I wonder if ZCAP might actually get easier to administer if there was a similar rhythm of more regular elections (say, quarterly)?

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As a member of ZCAP I think governance fatigue is a real concern, this project seems to be more about governance recently than the tech, I know a lot of work is happening but the governance debates seem to constantly overshadow everything else.

I just want to see processes implemented so everyone can get back to focusing on the important work at hand. I don’t want to be voting for something every other month if I can help it.

P.S. Just to add, I think the outputs from ZOMG have been great so far and we’re lucky to have the group of people in place in the current committee. Your hard work is appreciated.


I understand where you are coming from I think a big part of that is due to the fact that these forums pretty much act as a governance feedback mechanism. Add that to the fact that cutting edge crypo is a much slower process which goes through peer reviews, audits, testing, etc… and you get a forum like ours. :slightly_smiling_face: