Technology

Annabelle Backman

Hello, 43rd Democrats!

I am posting to announce that I am running for re-election as Vice Chair for Technology. I told you about my background and interests back in September, so I’m not going to waste your time with that now. Instead, allow me to share with you what I’ve been up to in the past four months, and what the roadmap looks like for 2019.

Getting our House in Order

I have documented processes as I’ve taken on the role’s day-to-day tasks, with the goal of producing references both for myself, and whoever eventually picks up the reins after me. Thus far I have completed an inventory of services and accounts in use by the LD, a troubleshooting guide for technical issues members have experienced, instructions for onboarding new Executive Board members, and policies for managing passwords for organization accounts.

Security Improvements

On the subject of passwords, I have set up a 1Password Business account to hold and our organization account passwords, and will instruct board members in how to access and use them following the Reorg elections. This account would normally cost $7.99 per member per month, or about $1,000 a year for 10 users. However, in October, 1Password announced that they would be offering free accounts to people and organizations that are “running for office, ensuring elections are run fairly, or protecting people’s rights.” I established the account and got it approved for the program, allowing us to securely store and share passwords with an unlimited number of users for free.

Website Updates

I made several significant additions to the website, most notably redesigning the donation form to support Ryan Whitney’s plan to offer t-shirts as thank you gifts (12 days from proposal to delivery). I also added Executive Board job descriptions to the website, and most recently added a page for candidate statements from those running for positions at Reorg. Delivering these items has required me to postpone the website platform migration I spoke about at our October meeting, and I now expect to complete that project by March. When completed, it will save the LD approximately $300 per year.

Remote Participation

I have completed initial research into technical requirements and possible solutions, and drafted a bylaws change that will allow us to support voting by remote participants in the future. The next steps for this project will be to:

  • Solicit input from the community to understand what people expect and want from a remote participation system and what concerns they have, and to identify a willing group of alpha testers.

  • Pursue adoption of the bylaws changes necessary to allow full remote participation.

  • Begin limited trials to evaluate possible approaches.

I hope that my efforts these past few months have earned your trust and support, and I look forward to continuing this work and helping realize the https://43rdforward.com vision of an inclusive, activist 43rd Legislative District.