My name is Jon Banafato, and I'm a Python user and community organizer. I've spent the past decade organizing events for the Python community in New York City, including meetup groups, one-off hackathons and educational events, and most notably as a PyGotham organizer since 2014. I've served my local Python communities over the past ten years with a sense of pride and duty and aim to bring that same passion to a Python Software Foundation board position if elected.
- I began contributing to the Python community by hosting a weekly "office hours" meetup under the NYC Python meetup group in 2013. I spent the next several years on the core organizing team for NYC Python and helped found it's partner group Learn Python NYC hosting an average of 3 - 4 events per week across the two communities.
- I was part of the team that brought PyGotham back from a hiatus in 2014 and have served as an organizer of the conference every year since, including as conference chair since 2016. PyGotham has held successful online-only events in 2020 and 2021 and continues to evolve its format to meet the needs of the community while emphasizing attendee safety.
- I volunteer with other Python conferences wherever I can be of assistance leading up to and during events.
- I've spoken at PyOhio, PyTennessee, and PyCon US.
- I host a monthly video call for conference organizers that has regular attendance of meetup, conference, and other community leadership. This call provides a regular venue for community organizers to share experiences and learn from one another, especially during a time when we don't see one another at in-person events as frequently as we used to.
My priorities as a board member would revolve around increasing the PSF's role as a support structure for Python communities in addition to its substantial role in producing PyCon US. The PSF has provided valuable grants to community events to help offset costs, and the expanded fiscal sponsorship program has reduced the barrier to entry for events and open source projects to accept sponsorships and other sources of funding in recent years. I hope to see and will work to expand these support structures in the following areas:
- Operating costs: starting a new event, especially a conference, can incur significant costs such as venue, catering, and other vendor deposits even before a conference is officially announced. In addition to the support the PSF provides via the existing grants and fiscal sponsorship programs, it has leverage and experience in running conferences that new organizers may lack; this experience and the backing of a larger organization can help conferences obtain more favorable terms and pricing with vendors during the negotiation / booking stages. The organization could also expand its grants program to aid events with initial deposits before they're able to raise sponsorship funding or ticket sales to reduce financial burden on individual organizers.
- Sponsorship: sponsorships of meetups and conferences are often facilitated by relationships. An organizer of a new or expanding event may not have the proper contacts at prospective sponsor companies, whereas the PSF has ongoing relationships with large sponsors who often require lead times longer than new or small conferences can accommodate. The PSF can keep these other events on the radar of larger sponsors to ensure that they're prepared to sponsor an event when the time comes and work with events to create attractive sponsorship packages that secure funding for several events at once.
- Other event support and advice: many organizers share their experience and support with each other while together at events like PyCon US. To reach a wider audience and include organizers that don't regularly attend conferences in the US, the PSF should offer additional organizer resources either directly or by connecting new organizers with experienced mentors in the community.
Those that know me in the Python community know that I'm always eager to help others and put the needs of the community first. I hope to earn your vote to continue to support this community at the Board of Directors level. You can reach me at email@example.com or https://twitter.com/jonafato if you have any questions about my self-nomination.