Version 42 (modified by Jamie McClelland, 8 years ago) (diff)


Support Team 2014 Work plan and Budget


The Support, Infrastructure and Data Sovereignty (Support Team) team is responsible for ensuring that our members have access to a reliable technology infrastructure that is designed and implemented based on the values of freedom, transparency and democracy.

Goal for the Year

In addition to our on-going goal of ensuring the data sovereignty of our organization and members, this year we are focusing in particular on member communication: we have lots of great tools that nobody knows about. We want to improve our communication to our members of what we have and how to use them. The benefit to our membership is not only knowledge and ability to use these tools, but also a strengthened sense of their membership in our organization and what that membership means. By communicating what we have, we also have the opportunity to communicate who we are and why we exist.


We have a special opportunity this year since Ross, one of the critical members of our team, is moving to Mexico City. We plan to take advantage of this move to help build the support team in Mexico City. By the end of the year, we would like to have an established core team in Mexico City, meeting monthly.

Ongoing Tasks

The Support Team team performs many on-going tasks, which include:

  • Answering support tickets
  • Performing routine maintenance, backups and software upgrades
  • Documenting features and support tips
  • Meeting once a month, face-to-face in NY and Mexico, connected by a conference call to:
    • Welcome new volunteers
    • Have a two hour meeting to discuss progress and methods for implementing our work, that includes at least one topic that relates to a political issue facing another work team, with a summary of the discussion reported in the following coordinators meeting
    • Have a multi-hour (sometimes late into the night) work session

Special Projects for 2014

In 2014, the Support Team team will work on our on-going tasks as well as many other tasks that will come up over the course of the year.

In addition to these tasks, we will make a special commitment to completing the following tasks in 2014.

First half of year

  • WordPress auto installer via the control panel. Ticket: #1608
  • Collaborate with Membership team to heavily promote, our file sharing site and make improvements to integrate it with our other services (#8374)
  • Shared Styles across domains: #8373
  • Upgrade all servers to Debian Wheezy. Wiki page: squeeze wheezy MOSH upgrade.
  • Organize Association for Progressive Communications members in an international meeting on fighting Denial of Service attacks and legal threats to our members. Planning Page.
  • Upgrade web site to Drupal 7, collaborate with other teams on re-design. Ticket: #8171
  • Collaborate with Membership team on installing CiviCRM (and sync'ing with our control panel) to improve membership communications): #8341 and #8357
  • Purchase and install one new physical server: #8375
  • Establish two new on-going sub-teams:
    • Infrastructure Audit team: to pro-actively analyze our services to ensure they are deployed in ways consistent with our data sovereignty goals (dkg, steve, kendra)
    • Comms team: ensure we maintain consistant communications about our services with our broader membership (kendra, jamie, dana, thiago)
  • Collaborate with membership team to recruit more women and people of color through targeted outreach to our membership
  • Based on our experiences with the Techie of Color training program, develop and pilot a free software systems administrator training curriculum geared toward addressing racism and sexism (and other forms of oppression) as they operate specifically in the tech world, that can be used in both the US and Mexico (this item has a $3,000 additional budget line attached to it)
  • Together with Membership and Outreach teams, develop a "harm reduction" approach to the use of corporate social media, that both firmly addresses the security and other risks of using these services, while also providing an inviting path for joining May First/People Link.

Second half of the year

  • Purchase and install one new physical server (dkg)
  • Participate in at least 3 People Links sessions, organized by the Membership team, that are specifically about learning how to us MF/PL technology (Comms team)
  • Launch a Tor node (exit node or relay node?) (gdl)
  • Automatic https-enabled web sites for all members. Currently, all of our members have easy access to http (non-encrypted nor authenticated) web sites. Every member can add an https (encrypted and authenticated) web site, however, it requires many cumbersome steps. By the end of 2014, we would like to streamline this process so that all members automatically have an https site that is signed with an MF/PL certificate and can easily be modified to be signed with a corporate provided certificate. Ticket: #407.
  • Begin developing relationships with hardware specialists to explore our vulnerabilities from using potentially compromised hardware (specifically to address the revelations that the Snowden NSA leaks suggest that the US government may be intercepting hardware shipments and changing out shipped components with compromised ones)
  • Begin participating, as MF/PL, in more mainstream technical bodies (like standards bodies) that are often dominated by corporations, in order to ensure our political vision is heard
  • research sustainable computing options such as servers, other rack hardware, even green rack spaces.
  • supporting the forensics assessment of the riseup server previously seized by the FBI.

Paid Staff

The Support Team team has two paid staff people. Each started at $1,000/month and have received 5% raises after every year they have worked.

  • Ross Glover
    • Began: October 2011
    • Job: Performs day-to-day server administration tasks
    • Political Bio:
  • Dana Skallman
    • Began: January 2013
    • Job: Responds to all support requests, ensures each requests is answered or assigned to a support team member
    • Political Bio: Prior to becoming part of the support team, Dana has freelanced with a variety of organizations. Her work has been geared towards making technology more accessible to a variety communities and individuals, through two distinct focuses: organizing data, and software training. This work affords Dana opportunities to teach about the politics of proprietary versus non-proprietary software. Dana has also taught folks with little or no computer literacy, which includes people who are homeless or formerly homeless, senior citizens and kids as young as three. Most recently, Dana has participated in the Occupy Tech teams. There she works on developing and supporting free/open tools to meet activists and organizers' needs, as well as providing guidance on use of software to organizers involved in Occupy Wall Street. During Occupy Sandy, Dana managed CiviCRM for relief efforts. Lastly Dana has been intentional about working in collective structures, with horizontal decision-making processes. She is a founding member of Tadpole Collective, and Glocal, a techie/organizer collective born of Occupy


  • Note: 2013 items are not for the full year nor are the fully reconciled
  • Hosting charges:
    • Highwinds: $2000/month (includes overage)
    • Telehouse + Hurricane Electric: $2000/month (includes overage)
    • Extra (chun and front-line servers): $300/month
    • High speed Internet via our Elisa location in Mexico City ($1200)
  • Servers: 2 servers at $4500 each (not including hard drives)
  • Hard drives: 8 hard drives (for the new servers) + 4 spares
  • Travel and lodging: We will have the costs covered for one team member to attend the APC gathering in Spain. I think we should budget for a second person to go as well.
  • Payroll-related: I'm trying to estimate our costs at 3/4 of the total for last year (since in 2013 we paid Ross and Dana about $1,000/month and Hilary was paid about $650).
  • For salaries - I'm calculating based on 5% raise (Ross: two years, $1,102.50/month, Dana: one yar, $1,050/month)


Item 2012 2013
Donations 247 495
      AMC Donations 2736 0
Grants 4500 0
      AMC Grants 1600 0
      POC Grants 4000 0
Infrastructure Income 4911 3418
Interest Income 14 16
Membership Dues 126797 122497
Program Related Income 1123 0
POC Training Program 11190 6667
Total Revenue 157119 133093


Item 2012 2013 2014 For
Bad Debts Expense 0 6600 member
Bank Service Charge 2086 2003 member
General Conference Registration 250 210 outreach
      AMC Conference 700 210 outreach
Depreciation 0 0 support team
Dues and Subscriptions 500 500 internat
Equipment Rental 0 100 member
Event/Meeting Space Rental 150 970 out/mem
      AMC Fundraiser 360 0 all
      POC Space Rental 530 0 special
Food and Entertainment 913 674 o/m/s
      AMC Food 827 0 outreach
      LC Food 0 364 member
      POC Food 800 1499 special
Hosting Expenses 0 0 support team
      Colocation Fees 55611 47474 52800 support team
      Domain Name Registration 640 363 500 support team
      TLS Certificates 519 506 500 support team
      Disability Benefits Insurance 60 149 100 support team/mem
      Workers Compensation 677 325 500 support team/mem
Miscellaneous 1038 550 special
POC Miscellaneous 0 45 special
Postage and Delivery 615 319 member
      Printing and Reproduction 296 0 out/mem
      AMC Printing 54 0 outreach
      POC Printing 0 0 special
      POC Trainer Consultants 7200 0 0 special ($3,000 pulled out to be raised using additional fundraising)
Rent and Utilities 4200 4150 special
Repairs 0 0 support team
      Computer Repairs 0 0 support team
      Equipment Repairs 0 0 support team
Supplies 0 0 support team
      Hard Drives 2382 392 2400 support team
      Misc. Computer Hardware 7767 3524 500 support team
      Office Supplies 94 469 member
      POC Books 166 0 special
      POC Hardware 2100 0 special
      POC Misc Supplies 0 0 special
      Servers 0 1600 9000 support team
Telephone and Fax 300 127 all
Transportation 0 0 all
      AMC Lodging 1714 0 outreach
      AMC Out of Town Travel 3186 0 outreach
      Car Rental 436 0 outreach
      Fees 11 0 outreach
      Gas 50 34 outreach
      LC Local Travel 0 127 member
      LC Out of Town Travel 408 2701 member
      Local Travel 128 0 member
      Lodging 381 181 outreach
      Out Of Town Travel 5379 843 outreach
      Parking 0 163 outreach
      POC Local Travel 293 142 special
      POC Lodging 857 316 special
      POC Out of Town Travel 3530 5094 special
      Travel Meals 0 0 outreach
      Travel Misc. 120 0 outrach
Payroll 0 0
      Payroll Taxes 2275 3527 2500 support team/mem
      Salaries 21909 30375 25830.50 support team/mem
Total Expenses 131510 116627 94630.50