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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!

-Mark


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
> State.
>
> 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
> database.
>
> 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
> databases.
>
> 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.
>
>
> Sincerely,
>
>
> /s/
> Henry House
> Vättar Group http://www.vattar.com
>
>
> /s/
> Gregory A. House
> House Agricultural Consultants
> http://www.houseag.com
>
>
> /s/
> 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)
> http:/www.lugod.org
>
> --
> Henry House
> Please don't send me HTML mail! My mail system will reject it.
> The unintelligible text that may follow is a digital signature.
> See <http://hajhouse.org/pgp> to find out how to use it.
> My OpenPGP key: <http://hajhouse.org/hajhouse.asc>.
>
>

-- 
Mark K. Kim
AIM: markus kimius
Homepage: http://www.cbreak.org/
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