Danielle Strong 2017 Q&A: OTW Changes

[Note: Candidates were limited to 300 words for each answer.]

What do you believe are the 2 most important tasks the OTW has accomplished in the past two years? Why?

I think that the complete overhaul of the Board and the reintroduction of the Finance committee are the most important accomplishments of the last two years.

I feel there was a significant issue with both burnout and lack of accountability with the previous Board, which led to many Org members, staff, and users becoming concerned with the way the Org was being run. Since the previous Board’s resignation in 2015 the new Board have worked towards resolving these concerns, and are vastly more approachable and communicative. Board is now much more transparent about their role in the Org, and they are far more accountable as a result, which also means the Org as a whole is stronger as committees are able to speak and be heard rather than feeling their requests and comments fall on deaf ears.

Reinstating the Finance committee was, in my opinion, an absolute necessity to ensure that the Org’s funds are being utilised in the most cost effective way, and to ensure that other committees have someone they can speak to about Finance issues that isn’t just the Board Treasurer. It has also allowed the Org to show our members where their donations are going in a clearer and more specific way. This allows them to make a more informed decision about whether or not to donate, and offers the opportunity to give feedback on any concerns they may have.

Name one way that you think the OTW needs to change in the next few years. Why is this change important for the organization?

While I know it is something that is, to an extent, already being done, I would like to see the OTW become more international with its work outside of the sites it maintains.

Although it is hosted in the USA, there seem to be very few offline Org-related happenings that occur outside of the USA, despite having a massive international membership. It’s not uncommon for Legal or Org staff to attend US conventions for panels, and of course as you can see from the Newsletters Legal are constantly petitioning the American justice system for fannish related causes. However, it is rare for the same to be true of other countries, even those with Legal or multiple staffers living there. Since we do have such an international membership I feel it is important that they get as much offline representation as they do online. This will allow us to represent the interests of a greater section of our membership, and ensure their rights as creators are as protected as those of our USA members.

This is definitely something the Org is already working towards, in my opinion, but I believe part of the reason it is not as yet achievable is more due to a lack of communication about the resources available for projects such as these. If staff were made more aware of what they can do and what assistance they can expect from the Org, this issue could definitely be reduced significantly. Not all of what I would like to see is viable, but there is definitely more that we can do.