Decentralization - This is a hard question to answer in short-form text. In short, we must first measure decentralization, then plan and implement measures to trends towards more decentralization. To measure decentralization, you must first acknowledge centralization is not binary and it is actually a multi-dimensional map of a spectrum of decentralization. I believe centralization dimensions are both technical / functional and social.
Technical Centralization - Jackson Palmer put together an open-sourced project (https://arewedecentralizedyet.com/) that attempts to quantify elements of decentralization which interestingly does not have Zcash listed (Side Note: We should contribute Zcash stats to it here - https://github.com/ummjackson/awdy. I started the conversation here - https://twitter.com/lwsnbaker/status/1008407781680996352). The cryptocurrency community seems to be obsessed with centralization of miners but I think this is generally (a) over-hyped and misunderstood due to incorrect measurement mechanisms; and (b) ignores other very important technical and social dimensions of centralization.
Balaji Srinivasan wrote a great piece on quantifying decentralization (https://news.earn.com/quantifying-decentralization-e39db233c28e) in five dimensions: mining, client, developer, exchange, node, and owner subsystems. By measuring these five dimensions for Zcash, we can plot what Balaji calls the “Nakamoto Coefficient” with the end goal of seeking minimization in the Zcash network. Having not measured each of these myself, I think we can all agree that the current developer community and number of clients are key centralization constraints which need to be addressed.
If elected, I will push for implementing measuring Zcash’s Nakamoto Coefficient and set defined goals to trend towards decentralization.
Social Centralization - While many of the fields noted are not purely “technical,” I believe there are a number of other elements of centralization which are the building blocks of these elements. For example, the Foundation and the Zerocoin Electric Coin Company, and their executives and beneficial owners can also lead to centralization of planning and, as a result, network features. I am very sensitive to this idea and will work to minimize by diversification and other mechanisms.
With all this being said, centralization only measures control. I think it is very important to not forget about actual usage. Personally, I think Zcash, like many cryptocurrencies, is severely deficient in usage. I will push the board to define how we will measure usage and set goals to trend towards more usage.
Re: Opportunistic nominees + Lack of Experience -
This is a valid concern which frankly I share. I don’t know you and you do not know me. Ditto most of the rest of the community. I have been critical to the Foundation’s approach to nominations and discussion here - https://twitter.com/lwsnbaker/status/1006580838568300546. Generally, this all comes down to access and distribution of information. I believe the best approach is to have recorded AMA video chat sessions or some similar mechanism to let people ask questions and actually get to know candidates.