ATX Hackerspace Responsibilities During COVID-19 Orders

This Proposal:

  • acknowledges the seriousness of the pandemic

  • requires behavior consistent with what is wildly recommended by public health experts (hand washing, face mask wearing, limiting to 25% capacity, social distancing, sanitize tools, etc)

Official Reopening Plan (Phase 2) does everything this proposal does and:

  • requires reserving on Skeda for everything and limits hours

  • doesn’t allow guests

  • closes midnight to 7am

I’m opposed to the Official Reopening Plan and in favor of this proposal because those additional measures in the Reopening Plan don’t provide much reduced risk compared to the reduced benefit to members.


Could we please limit the over-the-top doom-and-gloom or implications that anyone who supports this proposal doesn’t recognize the seriousness and danger of the pandemic?

The larger issue to me is the cultural issue of how to balance freedom+trust vs limitations+controls. I believe the Reopening Plan goes too far towards limitations+controls and erodes freedom+trust. Hacker culture has historically strongly favored freedom+trust. To see the culture go toward limitations+controls makes me a little sad and is demotivating.

You’re right about these things you pointed out @Jon. Another thing to note is that the opening statement regarding the meeting minutes for the emergency board meeting on 3/13/20 is not factual – those minutes do exist at the link provided (direct link is

I can’t and won’t speak directly for the authors of this proposal, but I will speak on my understanding of the intent. This proposal seeks to undo current policies in place around access that make sanitation, masks, and scheduling time clearly defined requirements. I’ll let one of the authors of the proposal give a more definitive answer, but that is how I understand it.

It’s important to note that the wording of this proposal was changed in the Resolved statement to add the line “it is the sense of the majority of the class B members” because it has been clearly noted that what this proposal seeks to do is not within the rights of B-share members.

I am very uncomfortable with this sort of vote being put out. It undermines what voting is supposed to be, and sets a harmful precedent for our org.

If “symbolic”, my viewpoint is it serves to create a division, disruption, and undermines the professional structure of management we are trying SO hard to finally establish. Thus for “symbolic” purposes, it should still be a “no”.

As far as intent goes, let’s be clear- of course no member wants to be limiting access in principle, and least of all the volunteer Board responsible for our community and providing that access. They have been putting in great effort to create a system from scratch to provide safe access without precedent, at a time when other makerspaces are closed entirely. It is already understood that all involved want full access restored as soon as possible, and that has always been the case.

We all want things open. I can’t support a symbolic, if ineffective, “in principle” gesture that the Board should be restricted from making measures to regulate heath and safety and still confused how this is up for a vote. It does not seem healthy for our community.

1 Like

I really do believe that you believe that all members are responsible adults. The problem is that I believe they are responsible to themselves but not responsible to the community.

A 96% effective rate is terrible protection when magnified across a community. With 96%, the chance of any single person getting the virus is low, but the probability of someone getting community spread is very high. So individuals can rightfully make a call, “Hey, this seems safe,” and still be doing the wrong thing. THAT is why I think the community as a whole has to make a broader stand than “every person evaluate for themselves”.

I don’t believe that everyone will willingly sacrifice their own self interest for the community. We already know that there are people who have knowingly and deliberately broken the rules of the space as far as bringing guests, among other violations. They made a responsible adult evaluation and decided that their actions weren’t a big threat. And they might be right. Individually, each of us can take a very low risk action that still results in a huge collective threat. The math is really far against this proposal.

I’m not sure which is more of a harmful precedent? Not voting after a meeting and a legitimate proposal would be LESS harmful? The proposal has been defanged. Gunner put that addition into the proposal to give the board an out in not implementing the B-Share vote. No one complained. I’m not going to complain. It has been made clear that the board is likely to ignore this if it passes. I’m ok with that.

Basically refusing to even do the symbolic vote is far more damaging IMO than taking the vote and ignoring it like agreed upon.

I see very few people who feel strongly about this. Even as loud as I am I have tried to find common ground.

And much like Jon Ecklund, I don’t see this really changing that much, and it has been made symbolic. It is no worse than Flip wanting to take a vote from all the members and have that somehow have more weight. How can that be ok then B-share vote is not?! Now that’d be a far stranger precedent. I’m not stuck on the B-Share system., but that is how the governance is laid out until it is corrected.

At this point I’m simply curious.

The vote is taking place, the ballots have been sent out. I placed my votes already and this item was on the ballot to be voted upon.

If it passes. More would need to be done to see how the matter will be addressed. If it fails, we can put this matter behind us.

1 Like

The results of the vote have been posted in a mailer that was just sent out. We are still waiting for the results to be released through the helios system.

This proposal failed to pass with the following results.
For - 13
Against - 25
Abstain - 2

Well good - at least it was a clear outcome.

All that effort and the proposal basically lost at 2 :1.

I’d like to give a shout-out (?) to Valerie for actually sending a reminder that I hadn’t voted. I must not have fully clicked through the original time.

B-Share members have clearly spoken.

1 Like

Thanks for the shoutout @BrianBowles! I certainly wanted to make sure everyone who wanted to vote got the chance.

Glad to put this to rest and will continue asking - as we have been from the start - that if people have specific needs not being met by our current plan they bring them to the reopen team so we can take a look and see where we can readjust. You can find an example of this in this thread about the current guest policy - Guests in the Space? Your thoughts appreciated. Feel free to reach out over Discourse using @safety or over email to