An open letter to the PASS community (2017)

PASS is our community.

It may sound a little cliche, especially with the current political climate in the US and other nations, but it’s absolutely true. PASS is our community. It’s made up of data professionals from around the globe. All of us are volunteers, from the attendees to the speakers, from the chapter leaders to those that sit on our board of directors. We all have our part to play in continuing to make this the best technical community on the planet. And right now, today, it’s time to play your part.

On September 13, the annual election for our board of directors officially opened. PASS announced the slate of candidates, and campaigning began. The nominees are all data professionals, just like you and me. They have all volunteered their time to the community in the past, and they all want to volunteer their time to help steer the community through the challenges that await us in the next two years. All of them have different ideas on how to do that, though.

Your part is a simple one. Visit the election website. Read the candidates’ bios, platforms, and blog posts. Talk with them on social media. Then, between September 20 and September 26, vote. It’s a very small investment of time in our future. It’s our privilege to be able to participate, even in a small way, in the governance of our community. It’s our responsibility as members of our community to do so.

PASS is our community. It’s up to us to set the direction of our community for the next two years. We do that through our votes.

If you don’t, who will?

This is an updated version of an essay originally posted in September 2016.

Disclosure: I am a candidate for the PASS Board of Directors this year.


Ed Leighton-Dick helps small and midsize businesses solve their most challenging database performance, resiliency, and data security issues at Kingfisher Data, the consulting firm he founded in 2014. He has taught thousands of people at over 200 events, including the world's largest Microsoft data platform conferences, and he has been a leader in the Microsoft data community since 2008. Microsoft has recognized Ed seven times as a Data Platform MVP for his expertise and service to the data community.