Re: [vox-outreach] CPR meeting report
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Re: [vox-outreach] CPR meeting report
That's awesome! At the LA meeting, they were very clear about having
everyone speak in the order the cards were submitted, but I guess since
this was the last day they were going about things a different route.
It's too bad LUGOD didn't get the 3 minutes of time as planned, but I'm
glad we did get to be heard and it was paid attention to. Thank you
Henry, Emily, Joe, Jonathan, and Greg!
On Tue, 28 Sep 2004, Henry House wrote:
> Emily Stumpf, Joseph Arruda, Jonathan Stickel, Greg House, and I went to the
> Calfornia Performance Review (CPR) meeting yesterday at the UC Davis
> Recreation Hall to show support for the pro-open-source-software
> recommendations in the CPR report. (See the end of my message for that.) We
> arrived well before the doors opened and I was one of the first to submit a
> comment card to obtain a 3-minute speech to the commission. I also turned in
> a written comment (in letter form), signed by myself, Emily on behalf of
> LUGOD, and Greg House.
> The meeting got off to a slow start. The topic of the day was State boards
> and commissions. The CPR report proposes dissolving about a third of the
> State's boards and commissions. Since the public comment-period was not
> scheduled until 16:00, we left to do some work.
> Emily, Jonathan, Greg, and I returned at 3:30. The public-comment period
> began late, around 4:20. The CPR commissioners made no effort to call
> speakers in the order that they submitted their comment cards, instead
> choosing particular issues, starting with State boards and commissions.
> Nearly all the speakers were members of the boards that were recommended to
> be dissolved.
> It quickly became clear that the CPR staff had not done a thorough job
> researching their recommendations. They did not talk to the members of the
> boards and commissions that they recommended dissolving. In many cases they
> made gross factual errors in their analysis, such as mis-reading the
> statutes that governed a board, failing to understand the purpose of a
> board, or attributing a cost savings to eliminating a board that was
> actually funded privately or by the federal government. It appears from this
> that the CPR staff rushed their work and as a result did an unmethodical and
> in some cases completely faulty analysis.
> This went on until about 17:45, by which time most of the CPR commissioners
> and audience had left. (Probably they despaired of ever being called to give
> their comments.) The closing time was 18:00.
> By then it was obvious that the members of the public who came to speak were
> not going to be called at all, so people started lining up behind the
> microphone unbidden. By this time speakers were being given only four
> sentences to make their points rather than three minutes.
> I was the very last speaker and all I got to say was: "I am representing the
> Linux Users' Group of Davis, reresenting over 200 open-source-software users
> in Davis. We strongly support recommendation SO10 in the CPR report. Using
> open-source software can save the State a lot of money."
> To our great surprise, several members of the CPR staff came up to us after
> I spoke and thanked us for voicing our support for the OSS recommendation.
> They said that it is one of the most controversial recommendations in the
> entire report. They collected a copy of my 3-minute speech that I was not
> able to deliver and encouraged me and LUGOD to submit detailed written
> comments using their website. They also mentioned that they build their web
> comment-taking system using open-source software.
> This really cheered us up after an otherwise dissapointing day. I want to
> urge all of you to submit written comments of any length expressing your
> support for OSS before the 30 September deadline. Feel free to base your own
> letters on ours.
> OUR COMMENT LETTER TO CPR
> Linux Users' Group of Davis
> PO Box 837
> Davis, CA 95616
> Dear California Performance Review Commission:
> We are here today to show our support for recommendation SO10 of the CPR
> Report, titled, "Explore Open Source Alternatives".
> This recommendation asks the State to consider software solutions that are
> open-source in cases where open-source products show a better
> cost-effectiveness and meet the technical and usability requirements of the
> We use open-source software in our businesses and research, both in the
> back-office and on the desktop. We can personally testify to the reliability,
> robustness, and cost-effectiveness of open-source software.
> Open-source software has already clearly shown a superior capability for
> back-end areas, such as mail and web services, the Internet's domain-name
> system, and high-level computing for scientific research. The number of
> applications for regular users has grown immensely over the years as well, and
> now includes adequate and sometimes-superior alternatives for major office
> programs such as word processing, graphics, analytical tools, and even web
> browsing. All of these areas were until recently believed to be exclusively
> owned by proprietary closed-software vendors.
> Alternatives to Microsoft Windows, such as Linux, the BSD system, and Sun's
> flagship operating system, Solaris, are industry-tested platforms that are used
> as a mission-critical part of major industry players like IBM, HP, Sun
> Microsystems, Oracle, Google, Yahoo, E-Trade, Apple, Pixar and many others; as
> well as government entities such as various National Laboratories, the NOAA,
> the DoD, NSA, NASA, the DOE, FAA and large government contractors like
> Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, and MITRE.
> These companies and agencies all use open-source software because it is
> reliable and the most cost-effective tool for the job.
> An alternative to Microsoft Office, called OpenOffice, is part of a normal
> business day at Verizon and backed by Sun Microsystems, and it's in use in many
> public schools and even in some government entities such as the City of Austin,
> Texas. We wish also to mention the database program PostgreSQL, written at
> U.C. Berkeley, which has been hailed as the open-source answer to an enterprise
> These are only a small sample of the many open-source programs that are
> available out there today, many of which are solid foundations that make up the
> Internet and run the majority of our Universities and corporate environments.
> We use open-source software everyday, when we run web searches through Google,
> when we write e-mails through Yahoo, and when we order books from Amazon.com.
> It's time to bring much of these time-tested and proven programs into our
> State, where they will serve us well and provide savings that can be passed to
> the taxpayer.
> In fact, some forward-thinking State departments, like the Franchise Tax Board,
> are already using some open-source software and saving money.
> Open-source software excels in resistance to viruses and hackers, flexibility.
> and support. Many enterprise-ready open-source products are available from
> multiple vendors, which means that the State can get multiple bids to keep
> costs down. Companies that offer open-source products include big names like
> IBM, HP, and Sun, as well as many smaller businesses.
> Lastly, I wish to note that Open-source software can be used with proprietary
> software to combine the strengths of both where appropriate. For example,
> State agencies could save money by running Linux on their database servers
> instead of Microsoft Windows while continuing to use their existing Oracle
> In summary, we strongly support recommendation S010 ("Explore Open Source
> Alternatives") in the CPR report. Open-source software offers options that are
> robust, secure, and highly cost-effective. Using open-source software widely
> will directly save the California government money, while also helping to
> accomplish the other goals in the CPR report of modernizing and overhauling the
> State's information technology.
> Thank you for your time.
> Henry House
> Vättar Group http://www.vattar.com
> Gregory A. House
> House Agricultural Consultants
> Emily Stumpf
> Linux Users' Group of Davis
> (representing over 200 private, academic, and business users of open-source
> software in Davis, Sacramento, and the surrounding region)
> Henry House
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Mark K. Kim
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