Governance: Martha’s Rules

Governance: Martha’s Rules

This project uses Martha’s Rules for making decisions. The first section below describes these rules; the second lists voting members of the project and explains how to become one, while the third lists decisions made to date.

Making Decisions

  1. Before each meeting, anyone who wishes may sponsor a proposal by filing an issue in the GitHub repository tagged “proposal”. Proposals must be filed at least 24 hours before a meeting in order to be considered at that meeting, and must include:
    • a one-line summary (the subject line of the issue)
    • the full text of the proposal
    • any required background information
    • pros and cons
    • possible alternatives
  2. A quorum is established in a meeting if half or more of voting members are present.

  3. Once a person has sponsored a proposal, they are responsible for it. The group may not discuss or vote on the issue unless the sponsor or their delegate is present. The sponsor is also responsible for presenting the item to the group.

  4. After the sponsor presents the proposal, a sense vote is cast for the proposal prior to any discussion:
    • Who likes the proposal?
    • Who can live with the proposal?
    • Who is uncomfortable with the proposal?
  5. If all of the group likes or can live with the proposal, it is immediately accepted with no further discussion.

  6. If most of the group is uncomfortable with the proposal, it is postponed for further rework by the sponsor.

  7. If any members are uncomfortable they can briefly state their objections. A timer is then set for a brief discussion moderated by the facilitator. After 10 minutes or when no one has anything further to add (whichever comes first), the facilitator calls for a yes-or-no vote on the question: “Should we implement this decision over the stated objections?” If a majority votes “yes” the proposal is implemented. Otherwise, the proposal is returned to the sponsor for further work.


  1. The following people are currently voting members of this project:
    • name
    • name
  2. To become a voting member:
    1. A current member must sponsor a proposal to add the candidate.
    2. That proposal must pass as outlined in the “Making Decisions” section of this page.
  3. Voting members may resign from the project at any time, or lose their vote if a proposal to that effect is passed as outlined in the “Making Decisions” section of this page.
    1. A proposal to remove someone’s vote may not contain any other business.
    2. Each person must be the subject of a separate proposal.
    3. The person in question has the right to vote on the proposal to remove their vote.

Recording Decisions

Proposals that have been accepted are listed below in reverse chronological order. Each entry contains: