I would like to share with you the development of our initiative which has the aim of maintaining healthy and welcoming Perl and Raku communities.
The Perl Foundation is supporting the creation of a Community Affairs Team known as the CAT (we like our TLAs).
This initiative has developed through many conversations with members of the community via on-line chat and in person at various events over the last 9 months.
It has two parts: the CAT committee whose job it is to maintain the rules, and CAT moderators who respond to incidents at events or otherwise.
## Objectives and accountability
The CAT has two objectives:
1. Managing a community led set of rules on behalf of our communities
2. Being able to professionaly respond to issues raised during and outside events and conferences in a timely and appropriate manner
CAT moderators are accountable to the CAT committee and the CAT committee is accountable to TPF board.
We are not looking to create control or power structures. The principle of the CAT is to foster a positive and safe place for anyone who shares an interest in Perl and Raku, and associated supporting activities (many valuable members of our communities are not coders or techies).
We expect our members to think of the people receiving their messages and construct them accordingly. If something is not right, help your colleagues constructively to improve their message.
If we behave considerately and respectfully, and work together to help each other improve how we communicate, it is unlikely that we will even notice the rules.
We need to support each other and work together but we can no longer welcome those who are unable to work within the standards set by our community.
Our community needs rules to set the tone and guide behaviours. These rules will develop over time and suggestions from the wider communities are welcome.
We know that rules will always draw debate and we don't expect them to be perfect for everyone. However, they need to be specific enough that unacceptable behaviours can be measured against them and appropriate resolutions found.
A more stringent set of rules and guidance will apply to people who represent our communities, for example provide talks or leadership activities. We would not expect there to be anything surprising or objectionable in these rules. We hope that anyone who is seen as a leader would understand why they need to uphold a higher standard.
## CAT committee
Responsible for managing the rules and maintaining the Moderators, the CAT committee includes members of TPF board, event organisers, members of the community, both new and long-serving.
The CAT community currently has around 15 members registered on the Slack channel. We expect the CAT to represent our diverse community. If you feel that you are not represented, then you should nominate someone to join or get involved yourself.
## CAT Moderators
Rules are only useful when they are maintained and where contraventions are managed.
To help the CAT committee manage implementation with confidence and authority, CAT moderators will be selected.
Moderators will have professional training to enable them to qualify incidents and make appropriate responses on behalf of the community.
To provide an on-the-ground presence at the various Perl and Raku events, we are looking for applications for moderators in the following regions:
- North America x 2
- Mainland Europe x 2
- UK x 1
A moderator is expected to be a good communicator and able to travel to key community events in their region where they will be easily identifiable. They should not be seen as having polarising views and must not have been the subject of previous complaints.
The Moderator should have no other roles apart from being a moderator and member of the community to remove conflicts of interest and allow time to focus on the role. Event organisers and community leaders are welcome to join the committee, but may not take the role of Moderator at events they are organizing.
TPF will fund the training, as well as providing a contribution toward event attendance costs.
The first on-line training sessions for moderators will take place on 7th May and 2nd June.
## Get involved
If you would like to be part of this, please join the CAT committee. If you feel that you are able to support the committee as a moderator, then make that known to the committee.
### Have your say
This initiative is for the purpose of supporting a healthy community.
It doesn't mean that it is perfect, but we hope it feels like it is heading in the right direction and we are open to your input.
Please provide your constructive comments here or join in the conversation on the [CAT Slack channel](https://join.slack.com/share/IUWJJFJUT/CrZs1QwknylDXEUQKA8Qdf5h/enQtOTgyNjMwNTI4OTc5LWYzYjUxZGQwZjcwZGQ3MTgwOTc2M2Q0MDA2NDE4OThjNzY5NWI0YjljZmEzNDFlZDRlNjc5YjM5MWZmMTljYTk).
Stuart J Mackintosh
President - The Perl Foundation