Flock 2024 is coming to North America. Help us decide where to go?

As a midwesterner, I guess I’ll throw out some cities in that region. The Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul) in Minnesota are an option. I know we also considered Detroit for Flock 2020. Chicago is too expensive, and St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Indianapolis are no-gos due to their misogynistic and transphobic state laws.

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This is not about politics. As per our Friends value, we try to foster an inclusive community. Hosting our contributor summit in an area that threatens the human rights and safety of our contributors is not in line with that.

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If a Flock attendee is pregnant and goes into premature labor or has another complication, they may not be able to receive necessary medical care. This isn’t a hypothetical, there are already examples of this happening in Kansas, Missouri, and Texas, just with a quick search.

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I’m in Wiarton Ontario, which funny enough has an International Airport just up the road (3km away from my place). I would be up for helping in TO or Ottawa, or even Wiarton where I can guarantee the motel prices will be affordable, but the nightlife is, nearly non-existent. I guess you could nature it along with all the Fedora Friends who came.

TX is always a good one, have always enjoyed trips there…and direct flights for me help :smiley:

I’ve been to say hi to your groundhog :slight_smile:
The Bruce peninsula is gorgeous (and random side note - my avatar is the baby mammoth from brucemuseum…)

Very cool.

Yeah Willey died a couple of years ago, I don’t know if you’re aware. The township took over care from the motel owner who’s family originally started keeping an albino rodent to predict the coming of Spring. Apparently they built a really cool series of “tunnels” for the family of ground squirrels to live in out of PVC piping. However, the design lacked a drain at the lowest point, which also happens to be where they like to sleep when in actual borrows I think. Anyway, it rained, the tunnels flooded, and the family of ground squirrels didn’t make it out. So last year, our mayor wore a fur hat while predicting the start of Spring, I don’t think any ground squirrels attended, and I know the municipality isn’t keeping any for the purpose.

Ok here’s a bit of a different idea…

What about Portland…Maine? It’s more outdoorsy focused and less “big city” type, but beautiful.

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I would second this - Toronto or the Kitchener-Waterloo region are incredibly inviting and accessible options that would be ideal for this purpose in my opinion. Together, these areas are called the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor and are considered “Canada’s Silicon Valley”.

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Current Texan and former Floridian here. I understand and fully support people not wanting to go to these states due to politics, feeling safe, and laws passed there. TN also has some DEI related issues though I think Nashville could be a decent choice over Chattanooga.

I’m liking the CA suggestions a lot especially if there’s local support to help out in Toronto or Montreal.

Portland, ME is a beautiful area and the airport is nice but not sure how good it is for International flights or if there is good transportation to and from Logan to fly in and out of Boston instead.

Philly definitely has the airport for it but I’ve only been in the more historical areas of the city so not sure on overall costs there and the rest of the city.

Savannah I think is a lot like Portland in that it’s a nice city but it’s airport might not be up to the task and the nearest one(ATL) may not be feasible to use due to transportation between it.

Atlanta might be an ok choice. Hotels in the city itself might be a bit expensive though, but the airport can definitely handle it.

The question is also do we have local folks willing to help, it definitely seems like it at least for the Toronto, Ottawa and maybe Montreal suggestions? Are there folks in any of the other suggestions?

If San Antonio were to be chosen I’ll definitely help with the planning and scouting, I just don’t think we should choose it.

Amy(spotz)

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Portland ME is a fantastic idea. My family goes there for summer vacation almost every year. It is a beautiful area surrounded by water and it’s wonderful in the summer. The food there is veggie and vegan friendly. A lot of activities to do - there’s ferries to the islands and a small gauge rail and a lot of parks and a very walkable downtown. The lodging is not as expensive as other areas.

There is a frequent (5x/day) and very affordable train from Boston to Portland called the Amtrak Downeaster. It leaves from North Station.

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We have the Downeaster train out of North Station as well as the Concord express Logan Airport to Portland shuttle

I’m using your nice summary, Amy, for adding my own :eu: citizen perspective, even though chances of me traveling to North America are rather slim.

:bluethumb: Flock should be held in a place were everyone from the community feels save and has indiscriminate access to facilities if needed.

That should be CAN or Canada, since CA refers to California. I just looked at visa requirements for :canada: and compared them to the :us:. Most :eu: citizens can travel to either country without requiring a visa. Canda has electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). In the United States its called Visa Waiver Program.

However, I looked further. Canadian visa’s appear to be easier to obtain and less expensive. Voor :india: the processing time is given as 29 days and it costs CAD 100.00. For the US the appointment wait time, if no interview is required, is 31 days. When an interview is required the wait time is 570 days and it will set you back USD 185.00.

So for giving more people a chance to visit, Canada appears to be easier to enter then the United States.

I’d love to go back to Maine. That’s where it all started for me some 25 years ago. It’s beautiful up there. I traveled by coach from New York back then.

How about Halifax on the Canadian side of the border? I’d definitely sign up for that.

Purely personal interest: Baltimore, MD

I prefer a moderate climate. So, any of the sunshine states where the thermometer goes above and beyond 80° F, I’d likely skip.

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Baltimore, like next door Washington DC, is hot and humid in summer! 88F average in July, 86 (30C) in August

Note: the 570 days is the wait time for a visa appointment in Mumbai. Other locations are generally faster (Manila, which is also famous for long wait times, is 186, Singapore only 8 days, Jakarta 21).

There is unfortunately processing time on top of that, though that is normally a matter of days at least pre pandemic. Supposedly wait times are down and it’s hard to know when the data was collected - the estimated time for immigration (a different department) was certainly still more pessimistic than the reality

Still, if we are planning for the worst case scenario, this might tip the balance towards Canada. Unless there are organizers on the ground, Halifax is … likely too far for people from Boston to help out with though.

It’s also perfectly fitting that the first US state that any foreign developer visits is Maine()

“Finest Kind”

When we looked into Canada awhile ago, we were told it was difficult for Indian citizens to get visas. Is that still the case?

It says 29 days now, so I guess it’s back to normal?

We shouldn’t run Flock in a US state with anti-trans laws, mainly to be a safe space for LGBTQ+ Fedora users/devs.

While I live in Seattle, NYC could be a good option due to very good public transit. SF is another option, as can Boston, Chicago, et al. Seattle isn’t as strong as NYC/SF in public transit but could be another option.

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As a Canadian who is involved in tech sector hiring from India, as well as education guest speakers and intakes, I can definitely say that this hasn’t been an issue for a long time now - processing times are often a lot faster than what the government website advertises too :slightly_smiling_face: