Responding to the North Carolina General Assembly

Thu, 2016-03-24 17:27

Dear FOSS4G NA 2016 Attendees and FOSS4G community,

My name is Andrea Ross and I am the producer of FOSS4G NA 2016. On behalf of the team organizing this year’s conference, we would like to respond to the recent legislation passed in North Carolina related to transgendered people’s rights to use the bathroom of their choice. This kind of legislation runs counter to the principles and community code of conducts adopted by the FOSS4G community such as the one by LocationTech hosted by the Eclipse Foundation, and OSGeo. As such, we simply cannot condone it.

We are unable to relocate the event with just 39 days to go. I want to personally assure attendees that the conference is open and welcoming to everyone, and this includes transgendered people. If you did not already know, I am a transwoman myself.

We have approached the venue to ask for their help to ensure our guests will be accommodated in light of this new legislation. They understand why this matters a great deal. We will share more details about what we are able to offer soon.

We humbly ask that you please do not protest the North Carolina legislature’s decision by boycotting FOSS4G NA 2016. Doing so hurts our conference, the not-for-profit organizing it, and our community. Each of which have a clear policy of inclusiveness.

Also, we feel it is important to assure you that the absence of legislation such as this was considered before we planned to host the 2016 conference in Raleigh, and it will be carefully considered in decisions of where to host the conference in the future. We regret the decision taken by the North Carolina legislature, and hope they will rescind this legislation quickly, in order for North Carolina to be considered as a potential location for future events.

This year’s conference looks even bigger & better than 2015’s, which was outstanding. You won’t want miss 2016! Thank you one more time to the countless incredible speakers for stepping up. We hope to see you there!

If you would like to contact me, or a member of the team, my email is below, and the team can be reached via. foss4g@locationtech.org.

Kind regards,

Andrea Ross, FOSS4G NA 2016 Producer

andrea.ross@eclipse.org