Talk:Governance Architecture

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Here are some of the governance challenges and questions we’ll start to address at the November 10 Founders Meeting at the Renaissance school (we'll start it off with bagels at 9 AM).

Challenges / Questions

  • Privacy… Is it ok to name a Jackson Heights neighbor on posts you make on
  • Privacy… When and what’s ok to post about them? (Click here to see how Wikipedia handles the “Biographies of Living Persons“ question. And see this first take about a policy.)
  • Privacy… More broadly, what should be included in our privacy policy?
  • Posting privileges… Should we restrict participation privileges (posting/editing/voting) to real residents (i.e. postcard confirmed)?
  • Posting privileges… If real residents only, what are the neighborhood’s border?
  • Posting privileges… What about former residents?
  • Content… What type of posts are allowed and not? For example, how do we differentiate between an advertisement or promotion and neighborhood boosting?
  • Should we create a digital neighborhood currency? This is an ambitious project that would come within the board’s purview.
  • Create a positive Terms of Use agreement. (See here for things to avoid.)

Standard Startup Tasks

  • We need to settle on a name: Inc. seems obvious, but the founders might think otherwise.
  • We need to decide how the new entity will be recognized by government - NYS and the IRS. (It will likely be a 501(c)(3), but there are oodles of choices, see
  • By-laws must be drafted.
  • Should be governed using a membership model or have a self-sustaining board?
  • As a governance body, how complete does the board need to be before making significant, long term decisions?
  • Assuming membership is limited to neighborhood residents, which borders are we recognizing? (See border maps.)
  • Do we want an advisory board? If so, what are the qualifications and duties?
  • How do we choose a pro-bono lawyer?
  • If a membership model, who qualifies as a member?

Send me your questions/suggestions. And for the latest details on the meeting and the agenda, see this page on the Jackson Heights wiki.

Hope to see you next Saturday, November 10th, 9 AM at the Renaissance School (81st Street at 37th Avenue). Please RSVP to


Tom Lowenhaupt, Governance Facilitator

P.S. If doesn’t ring a bell, go here.

...The below is from an earlier letter of invitation...


We need to establish the policies governing our newest neighborhood asset, the domain. (Doesn’t ring a bell? See it here.)’s role is to facilitate civic engagement and help improve the quality of our lives. It’s a Swiss-knife of sorts, able to maintain a resident directory of civic, social, and business resources, improve local input to civic and government processes, keep an eye on our children’s education and cultural advancement, encourage “neighborly networking,” and more. But it only works if governed properly.

If you’d like to help establish policies to govern, come to a Founder’s Meeting at the Renaissance School (81st Street at 37th Avenue) on Saturday, November 10th, from 9 AM to 12 PM. Breakfast will be available from 9, with a formal program beginning at 10.

We’ll have a speaker or two from different neighborhood sectors - education, civic, government, business - to spark a conversation on shaping the governance scope and process.

With neighborhood support, will be something magnificent, adding a digital foundation that will help facilitate our wishes for decades.