Proposal Name: Enable DAO-Wide Voting to Elect Working Group Stewards
Proposal Category: Process
The Ape Assembly was established as a Governance Working Group initiative outlined in AIP-239 that aims to facilitate Working Group Steward elections. However, with only 30-40 active voters, the lack of participation raises concerns about the credibility those elections would carry.
Currently, two Working Groups (Metaverse Working Group and Marketing & Communications Working Group) have received approval to execute critical functions for the DAO. However, their progress is on hold until a suitable Steward election process can be conducted.
To address these issues and enhance overall voting participation, this proposal recommends shifting future Working Group Steward elections from the Ape Assembly to a DAO-wide voting structure.
The Ape Assembly currently confronts a pressing challenge stemming from its limited level of participation, rendering credible Working Group Steward elections difficult to conduct. With only 110 members and just 30-40 actively engaging in voting, the Assembly’s capacity to accurately reflect the will of the DAO is uncertain. Delays in the ratification process, resulting from the Assembly’s current structure, could hinder critical initiatives of the Metaverse Working Group and the Marketing & Communications Working Group.
Working Groups serve a pivotal role in fulfilling essential functions for the DAO. Urgent action is necessary to ensure that qualified individuals promptly assume leadership roles within the Working Groups to drive their efficient operations.
This AIP is in line with the ApeCoin DAO’s values of collective responsibility and boldness.
The current Assembly’s size, with only a fraction of members actively voting, undermines its ability to accurately represent a DAO with a significant number of token holders. With approximately 110 Assembly members, and only 30-40 actively voting, the outcomes of Assembly votes do not accurately represent the DAO’s vast community of ~130,000 token holders. This discrepancy is evident in previous votes conducted on platforms like Discord and Snapshot, highlighting the more immediate need for increased participation and engagement.
This AIP adheres to the DAO’s values of collective responsibility and boldness by taking decisive action to address this issue of representation in Working Group Steward elections.
This AIP benefits the ApeCoin ecosystem by ensuring that Working Groups get up and running promptly, which will allow them to meet their mandates of providing critical functions and services to the DAO.
- Ape Assembly (from AIP-239): “A governing body of highly active governance participants within the ApeCoin Ecosystem. The Ape Assembly is an Initiative to be established within the scope of the Governance Working Group.”
- APE Foundation: From Apecoin.com: “The APE Foundation is the steward of ApeCoin. It is not an overseer, but the base layer on which ApeCoin holders in the ApeCoin DAO can build. The Foundation facilitates decentralized and community-led governance and is designed to become more decentralized over time.”
- DAO Secretary (from AIP-239): “Acts as an oversight and accountability role to enhance inter-DAO communications amongst Working Groups, the Special Council, and with the DAO as a whole. The DAO Secretary role is an Initiative to be established within the scope of the Governance Working Group.”
- Steward (from AIP-239): “Steward: Community members elected to serve the ApeCoin DAO within Working Groups. They have an obligation to facilitate the will of the DAO.”
- Delegations: Vote delegation allows token holders and communities to delegate their votes to another token holder or community. The ApeCoin DAO relies on active participation from its delegate communities.
To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Working Groups, we propose a comprehensive alternative structure for Working Group Steward elections, outlined as follows:
- Governance WG Stewards:
The Governance WG Stewards will continue with their current cadence, aligning with the schedule established in AIP-239 and AIP-137 for Special Council Elections.
- DAO Secretary Position:
- The DAO Secretary role will no longer be subject to the Ape Assembly process. Instead, it will remain an Initiative within the scope of Governance with the following additional rules in place:
At the start of each Term, starting July 1st, 2024, the current Stewards of each working group shall collaborate to appoint an individual who will serve as the DAO Secretary.
The Secretary may be appointed or removed from that role at any time by a majority vote of all elected Stewards in a given Term with the outcome of that vote communicated in the ApeCoin DAO governance forum.
The Secretary will remain in that position, as Secretary of the DAO, from the date of appointment until the end of a given Term or until the date at which they are removed from that position in accordance with rule 2 above.
- There will be TWO elections needed in order to jump start the Working Group structures with rotating seats. This allows for continuity and turnover, without replacing all three Stewards of a Working Group at once.
The first election, will last for a total of 30 days, to be held over September 2023, in order to elect Seats 2 and 3 for both the Marketing and Communications Working Group, as well as the Metaverse Working Group, a total of four individuals, for terms starting October 1st 2023, until July 1st 2024. The exact details of this election begin in the "Nomination Process:" section below.
The second election, will last over the months of November and December 2023 following the cadence provided for in AIP-137, in order to elect Seat 1 for both the Marketing and Communications Working Group, as well as the Metaverse Working Group, a total of two individuals, for terms starting January 1st 2024 until January 1st 2025.
All future Working Group Steward elections will follow the regular cadence provided for in AIP-137, resuming the regular schedule of DAO wide elections.
The nomination process for Working Group Stewards will be initiated through Nomination Announcements by the Governance Working Group. These Announcements will be published as new topics under the category “Working Group Steward Elections > Announcements” on the forums. Each Nomination Announcement will provide the following details:
- Information about the nomination and election process.
- Timeline for the nomination and election phases.
- Guidelines for the application and candidate submission.
- Instructions on how to apply for the position.
The Working Group Steward nomination process for Metaverse and Marketing & Communications will begin upon the passing of this proposal. This will be signaled by the posting of the Nomination Announcement. Applicants can access the nomination form through the provided link and complete the required information to submit their nominations.
Phase 1 – Application and Verification – Duration: 17 days
During this phase, interested individuals may submit their applications as Applicants for the Working Group Steward position. The Nomination Announcement will contain a link to a form for applicants to provide their details.
Confidentiality of Applicant Information: Applicants’ private information will be treated with strict confidentiality throughout the process.
Application Period: The application period will remain open for 14 days from the date of the Nomination Announcement.
KYC and Background Verification: Upon submitting their nomination profiles and information, all applicants will undergo a KYC (Know Your Customer) and background verification process. The verification will validate the provided details to ensure the integrity and authenticity of the applicants.
Independent Third-Party Verification: To ensure impartiality, the Ape Foundation may collaborate with an independent third-party service provider to conduct the verification. The verification process may take up to 3 days to complete.
Phase 2 – Community Discussions – Duration: 7 days
Upon successfully passing the KYC and background verification process, Nominees will be officially recognized as official candidates for the Working Group Steward position. To provide a platform for candidate information and discussions, the Governance Working Group will generate distinct topics for each Nominee. These topics will be categorized under “Working Group Steward Elections > Working Group Steward Nominees” on Discourse and will encompass comprehensive details about the candidates and their nomination profiles.
- Title: The title will comprise the Discourse ID, Working Group, and nomination cycle or time period.
- Applicant Information: All details that are public or selected to be posted as public by the Nominee will be included in the topic.
- Nomination Profile: All details and information of the Nominee will be presented in the topic.
Topics in the “Working Group Steward Elections > Working Group Steward Nominees” category will be locked for editing but open for comments for 7 days.
Phase 3 – Community Vote – Duration: 6 days
The community will conduct a vote on Snapshot, which will include all the officially recognized candidates. The voting process will entail a single round of weighted voting to determine the newly elected Working Group Stewards. The community vote on Snapshot will last for 6 days.
Note: For this election process, the entire duration will span 30 days, including the phases of Application and Verification (17 days), Community Discussions (7 days), and Community Vote (6 days).
- Working Group Elections will follow the same cadence established for in AIP-137.
- Working Group Seats 2 and 3 will go up for election over the course of May and June for a term starting July 1st.
- Working Group Steward Seat 1 will go up for election over the course of November and December, for a term starting January 1st.
- Once elected, Working Group Stewards will have a term of one year, with 2 term limits. At which point they must wait 1 election cycle before being eligible to run again.
The Nominations Process will begin as soon as possible after this AIP passes.
- No cost