CIP-145 - CityDAO Elections (Multi-Sig)

TL/DR: This is a proposal that seeks to:

  • Establish a formal election process (“CityDAO Election Process”) to be used initially for the CityDAO Multisig (“Multisig Election”),
  • Establish compensation for the Elected Multisig,
  • Empower Walter Clapp as the Election Facilitator (@wdclapp Discord handle) to administer the Multisig Election and all related aspects of the election process,
  • Provide suitable compensation to Walter (and any team members, as may be determined by Walter in his discretion) for the efforts and undertakings relating to #1, 2, and 3 above (total target compensation = $9,000 (the “Election Comp Pool”); which includes Walter’s compensation plus money available to compensate assistant(s) at Walter’s discretion Such assistants shall be chosen by Walter.)


Fellow CityDAO Citizens: The time has long come for CityDAO to explore adding to the democratic process in furtherance of decentralization and distribution of power and authority – and this to the civilized world means only one thing: Elections. According to Chap GPT:

Here are some reasons why DAOs might use elections:

Representation: Elections allow DAO members to choose representatives who can make decisions on their behalf. This can help ensure that the decisions made by the DAO are aligned with the interests of its members.
Accountability: Elections can hold representatives accountable to the DAO members. If representatives fail to perform their duties or act in a way that is not in the best interests of the DAO, they can be removed from their positions through a vote.
Transparency: Elections can provide transparency in the decision-making process. All members have the opportunity to participate in the voting process and have a say in the direction of the DAO.
Efficiency: Elections can help DAOs make decisions more efficiently. By delegating decision-making to elected representatives, the DAO can avoid delays and inefficiencies that might result from a more decentralized decision-making process.
Legitimacy: Elections can help legitimize the decisions made by the DAO. When decisions are made through a transparent and democratic process, members are more likely to accept and support them.

So to start here at CityDAO, we invite you to discuss one of the most critical, yet unanswered, questions around CityDAO – how does someone get onto the Mulitisig? We invite the DAO to explore using the Multisig as an MVP for a new CityDAO Election Process.

What is the Multisig?

Currently - The “Multisig” is a body of eight (8) individuals who own private keys that own and control the CityDAO Main Safe Treasury. There are a few ways to manage a DAO Treasury and in the early days CityDAO chose the centralized manner of establishing a Multi-signature Smart Contract. Currently, 5 of 8 signers must sign a transaction to use money from the DAO’s treasury.

Recently, the CityDAO Multisig received multiple opinions from outside counsel relating to Multisig responsibilities at CityDAO. The Multisig now understands that it is intended solely to sign any transactions that move through the established governance processes (CIPs) as defined by the CityDAO Charter and Operating Agreement and applicable law, and no other powers or duties.

Why should the Multisig be elected?

The Multisig was initially established by Scott Fitsimones as the Founder & Organizer of CityDAO. The initial members consisted of the most active or interested participants in the CityDAO early days, but ultimately there was no process to select these Signers other than being known / liked by other Signers.

As of today (and over a year and a half later) this is still the process CityDAO uses – despite the Multisig’s ability to steer projects with soft power and “clout” - whether or not they are authorized to do so. Some signers have never been replaced while others use the role for political purposes.

Another issue arising from the current Multisig process is a backlog of transactions, or lengthy delay in executing transactions, due to Multisig apathy. Many times, transactions will sit for weeks going unsigned or unexecuted. The signers sometimes may play “hot potato” with the execution of a valid transaction simply since a gas fee is incurred and rarely reimbursed. Worse yet signers sometimes drag their feet to execute a transaction due to personal opinions or other political factors. On many occasions, while the treasury management team was attempting to sign swaps of ETH to USDC, the signers would not show up or collaborate in a meaningful fashion, and several of these transactions ultimately failed – costing the DAO money as the price of ETH continued to fall throughout 2022.

Last and perhaps most importantly, the Citizens of CityDAO have no meaningful way to participate on the Signer team, nor to express their opinion over the composition of the Signer group. Most Citizens have expressed some expectation that Signers should be cycled out, and that there should be a fair and transparent process for determining who is on the Multisig, but those calls have gone unsatisfied.

Who is Currently on CityDAO’s Multisig? (Discord Handles)

scottfits, Lyons800, Bpetes, Tuncay, kkopczyn, fugyeah, Da3vid, Blackacres

Note - One corollary issue echoed frequently with respect to the current Multisig is that some members of the Multisig also have control (in many cases exclusive control) over the remainder of the DAO’s tooling, including without limitation: CityDAO’s twitter, Notion page, Discord, Forum page, Snapshot, Google Domain and associated emails, the official calendar, and website, among others. All of these permissions should be decentralized as much as possible (this is a DAO after all) and an election would further help illustrate the need for distribution of power and authority, while enhancing access to participation on the Multisig itself. The CityDAO Election Process also could be used later, should CityDAO wish to explore the opportunities that may come along with converting its legal structure to a Co-Op model.

An elected Multisig with clear responsibility and clear compensation would help to alleviate all of the above-mentioned pain points while enhancing access to participation and promoting overall fairness in the Multisig selection process. Signers need to promptly sign and execute transactions and this Election Process seeks to result in a Multisig that acts with promptness and certainty in their roles and responsibilities.

Why Walter Clapp and what powers will he have?

Currently the Multisig consists of the eight (8) individuals listed above. The end output of this Multisig Election is to guarantee that the Signers have been elected, and to establish appropriate compensation for this Elected Multisig. It is possible that current Signers may be elected, but this outcome is not guaranteed, and the goal is to promote fairness and decentralization. Therefore, this CIP is intended to vest as much discretion, power, and authority in Walter Clapp as is necessary to allow him to undertake and conclude a process that brings CityDAO an Elected Multisig.

Walter makes sense given his background as political scientist and as an attorney, and his interest in revolutionizing the elective process in America, including a vision for a Constitutional Convention. Walter can achieve the goal of getting CityDAO from the appointed Multisig of today to the Elected Multisig of CityDAO’s future.

Your full support in this proposal is hereby requested in the name of enhancing CityDAO’s own best interests, and fairness for all participants.

If this CIP passes, Walter will have authority to conduct the Election Process as he sees fit. Currently he expects the process to include implementing and hosting a virtual synchronous election over a 24-hour period. The final election process will be determined by a taste and preference “temperature check” prior to the Election. He will work with current moderators and administrators to publish advance notice of the election, and the rules of the Election. Walter will later publish a CIP to ratify the election and to establish Multisig compensation moving forward.

Miscellaneous Terms of CIP-145

  • Term/Date of Completion no later than July 1, 2023 (note – anticipated ASAP but providing this outside date)
  • The Facilitator role for this Election is a non-replaceable role, meaning that the CIP is formally terminated if Walter not able to complete the election. Only a new CIP can establish a different or alternate election procedure.
  • As stated above, the process will be finalized using a temp check CIP. Other CIPs relating to election considerations or compensation for elected Multisig members may follow depending on the nature of the process itself or its outcomes.
  • Walter may use the assistance of others as he deems necessary, including the discretion to provide compensation from the Election Comp Pool in his discretion.
  • Non-material adjustments and amendments allowed by Proposer or Walter prior to Snapshot, will be tracked, and kept transparent in this Forum page.
  • Payment of any amounts hereunder will be made from the Main Treasury within five (5) days of submission of Utopia payment request with reasonable supporting documentation as necessary.
  • This CIP-145 will be incorporated by reference into the Charter and included in any future versions or restatements.

would love to hear from Mr. Clapp on what the process would look like


In addition to addressing @cardfarm’s question above @wdclapp, I also want to formally extend an invitation to those who spoke up about this CIP on the community call - @lyons800 @Da3vid @Fugyeah @Blackacres

Your feedback and opinions are valued so please also ask any questions you have here - I am confident we can arrive at an election process that best serves the overall intent of this CIP by working together! :pray:

UPDATE 2/23 - After recieving some feedback from new Multisig members, it is important to note that @Da3vid @Fugyeah and @Blackacres all came onto the Multisig quite recently and have nothing to do with any problems described regarding the past Multisig challenges. I myself was on the multisig previously, and I just feel it is important to to be clear about that in fairness to the newly added signers. Also, some signers and former signers really did a nice job of being available, showing up, and executing transactions during their time on the Multisig. The key to keep in mind with this CIP is not about any one person’s fault or failure - it is about establishing accountability, clarity of role/expectation, and decentralizing the opportunity to meaningfully participate.

I frankly don’t want to engage because this is an obviously inflammatory CIP that seems to be a personal vendetta. I believe this was again an unhelpful CIP to put up while you know others are working collaboratively on this process - a process you have quit now twice. It’s either an inefficient use of our time or a vindictive effort and I’m not really interested in participating in any more shannanagins like that. It’s not the direction I want this DAO to go. I want to build not spend more time on debate club. We need strategic direction and focus, not confusion, a learning curve and debate.

That being said - as you have known for at least a month, there are clearly several folks who will be rolling off the multi-sig soon and no doubt we would benefit from the addition of trusted citizens who participate and haven’t yet had a chance to be on the multi-sig. this would maintain the staggered seats to prevent a malicious group from getting control in one swoop. How this replacement process looks, I don’t have a strong opinion - but I do feel strongly that it should be 1. Someone who hasn’t yet had a chance to be on the multi-sig and 2. Staggered terms so that no totally untested group can get control in one swoop and cause issues with learning curves, mismanagement or even fraud.

I feel like your posts often need a translator and an episode of mythbusters. Lets unpack:

Whoa. First off - you are engaging. :laughing: Second off, how is this “obviously inflammatory”? …Its a post calling for democratic process within our DAO…

Second whoa. Despite you thinking its unhelpful, it already has significant support here in terms of “likes” as well as within the broader community who seek to have an opportunity to fairly participate in CityDAO. I do not know “what others are working on”, because this group you are speaking of clearly is not building in public!

Most importantly - I did not quit twice (or at all since you can see me still participating!) - I voluntarily gave up my seat on the Multisig - not once but twice. To you and Blackacres.

Its neither actually. What would I be vindictive about, anyway? I am trying to help institute fair and transparent democratic processes at CityDAO. How is that inefficient or vindictive?

I understand you have an opinion. Do you understand that I have an opinion? Do you understand that the rest of the community has an opinion? Did you even ask them?

Also - I may be mistaken, but haven’t you spent your career in politics and elections? How can you possibly stand here today and say elections are a debate club or inefficient? Seems strange and hypocritical - but I do understand you have an opinion.

I have not “known” anything. All I see is what is happening. People retain seats on the Multisig unless they are forced off (with the single exception of me giving my seat up twice)

Web3 itself is a learning curve so that one is simply not a valid reason. Signing transactions is easy and there are plenty of helpful resources in house and in the web3 ecosystem.

“Issues with Mismanagement” - maybe we should talk about the current Multisig instead of a hypothetical future?

“even fraud” - you mentioned this on the Community Call. Your logic makes absolutely no sense and the social engineering issue that happened to CityDAO last winter has nothing to do with having an election for Multisig Signers (or the Multisig at all).

Also - I have only ever met one person who has ever confirmed to me that they have worked directly with a hacker. Do you know who that person is @Fugyeah?

I understand @Fugyeah 's reasoning to not engage but there is definitely some thing I would like to point out for people to see and present some facts here:

You should really stick to one argument here. One minute you are arguing that the multisig is "intended solely to sign any transactions that move through the established governance processes (CIPs) as defined by the CityDAO Charter and Operating Agreement and applicable law, and no other powers or duties." and then you are claiming that they “control” the main safe treasury ? Either you are using incorrect terminology or you seem to be repeatedly contradicting yourself. Which is it?

CityDAO Multisig has received TWO opinions from outside council “relating to responsibilities”. One of these was not even an opinion as to the exact role of the multi-sig so your statement is misleading.

I am not really sure whether or not this was intended to be privileged information or not but to clear up your statement. And shine some light for people that may be mislead; one opinion was in favour of the above statement, and another had a completely opposite conflicting statement.

Can you give some examples of this ?

This has only happened with some project proposals which i will speak to below.

This is false, as a signer who regularly checks gnosis, the reasoning here is false. I have also incurred 100’s of dollars worth of gas fee expenses for which some HAVE been reimbursed but this does not effect whether i execute or not.

The only time this has happened was with 2-3 projects which were all instigated for the same reason, and by YOU when you were a signer. There was concerns relating to the projects being external to CityDAO and were not due to personal opinions. There was legal memos written up that expressed concerns over the signing of these transactions. Which, again to highlight, were requested by YOU when you were a signer.

This is also blatantly false and misleading. If you check the dates of the proposed swaps, as well as the reasoning, ETH was actually at a lower price than it is now, as well as these swaps failing for technical reasons with the DEX we were interacting with through gnosis.

For this, citizens can easily use the forum to express discontent with the current process or group, just like you have done here.

You have used the words “Most Citizens”. Two problems with this. One is that most citizens indicates a majority of citizens or “more than half”. The second: even (what I’m sure was meant to be) the intent behind this statement, is misleading. There has been VERY little expressed interest in the expectation that signers should be cycled out. Nor is there any evidence to suggest that the current process has not been fair or transparent. Majority of those that expressed any interest in becoming a signer, have had their wish fulfilled.

Nobody has exclusive control over any of these platforms for starters. And nobody has control over all of those platforms at once. And finally, YOU have administrative access over majority of these platforms, FYI.

Finally I would like to mention that an election process was completed (rather successfully) before when we were in a bull market with much more engagement and contributors.

We had 14 people apply, we held debates etc. and in the end ALL 14 people were elected to be the City Council. What makes you think that this process will not happen the same way again and we will not just have the regular contributors (Not many) voting on the process.

Due to the lack of activity in the DAO currently, this could actually be a dangerous/risky process due to the lack of engagement and context people have when voting.

Overall this CIP is very misleading and often completely wrong. Which brings me back to highlight and agree with each of @Fugyeah’s points above.

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@lyons800 your antics (like these), in addition to some of the exchanges you and I have had, are precisely why elections are needed!

Noting - the proposal currently has 8 likes and two objectors (Both of whom are closely aligned and also happen to be on the Multisig wink wink)

What is it about an election process that scares you?

Why are you arguing so vehemently against decentralization?

My initial plan (subject to revision after input from the community):

-Nominations via CIP in Forum (20+likes) and Snapshot (no quorum). Open for 30 days from passage of this CIP. These can be individual nominations or multiple - each person will be on the ballot as an individual.

-Rank choice voting via Citizen gated Discord channel. Occurs over 5 business days after close of Nominations. 1 Discord user per vote. This allows Sibyls but not sure how to avoid.

  • Election cycle repeats when there is a vacancy, and 60 days prior to the 2 year anniversary of any member.

I welcome constructive criticism/ideas for better methodology.


Bumping this Mission-Critical CIP for further feedback! I know people have a lot of questions and this is the point in time where we can all talk about them openly to resolve on an aligned community-driven process!

Ask your toughest and stickiest questions and lets work through this! I will start it off :grinning:

I for one think the “likes” process is arbitrary/political and 20 is hard to get these days. Maybe we do a smaller number of likes to get on ballot? Or we could allow anyone who is interested, and if the number is immense, we could do a runoff style election?

Absolutely how it should be!

Instead of rank choice, could be that each Citizen has the same number of votes as the number of open seats? So if 20 candidates and 4 open seats, each voter has 4 votes to be used one time per chosen candidate? I personally find rank choice to become unhelpful when you have more than 4-5 choices max.

Also, given the organizational importance - I would say it should be longer than 5 days. Having a single “day” election is already one of the biggest current barriers to voter participation in real US elections, so we could lead by example and have the vote period be open longer? Maybe 2 calendar weeks?

For sybil resistance, this continues be a known problem at CityDAO. Maybe we could find some way to build resistance into the process - we have a lot of smart minds around the project!

I would propose that alternates be in place in case a vacancy opens up, say due to a member leaving the project voluntarily. No reason to disrupt the DAO with an election every time, could just have alternates pre-elected.

I also think 2 years is a long time in terms of web3 and CityDAO. Time is like dog years in Web3 and my one year at CityDAO feels like 9. So maybe we say every 6 months?

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I like the idea of CityDAO transitioning to elections - it will encourage more participation and create incentives for people to work for the best interest of the community.

Some feedback:

  • I would love for this CIP to clearly articulate how the elections process will work** instead of saying leave it to Walt - it’s not fair to the community and Walt.

  • It’s important the folks elected have the power to actually do things. Right now, the DAO moves very slowly because every action must be proposed, debated, and voted on. For example, we could have a Council that allocates a budget independently.

  • A small number of people can move faster. For example, if the council is 7 people, 4 aligned people can make decisions. Of course, this group should not have unlimited access to the treasury etc but should have power to allocate enough funds to start projects, reward contributors, etc

  • We should consider lowering quorum for elections so that things are not killed by abstaining. If people know that a proposal will either pass or fail, they will vote more.


My concern is just that I don’t think our time and money are best spent right now focusing on the multi-sig. I want elections, but let’s get elections for what we really need.

This really encapsulates what we need IMO. What if we spend a fraction of the above money, say 2000$ or so, to hire someone to review CityDAO and recommend how many roles we should have and what is reasonable compensation and budget for a core team? I can think of many people off the top of my head that could be ideal for this. @DAOvolution you just posted an article by Samantha Marin the other day.

Then if it’s reasonable we vote for who should have those roles. If we move quickly in a month we could have core positions covered. Let that team figure out who should be on the multi-sig. Of course, it is important, but not that critical at the moment. We need a core team that is competent and can get things done.

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Generally agreed, with two qualifications:

The idea was to use these forum feedback posts to define/enhance and align on the proposed process, but the idea was to give Walter enough discretion to complete the process without a bunch of meddling/steering. As you noted below, a small number of people can move faster.

Also - Walter assured me that he feels comfortable with the task but I do not want to speak for him. I will just say I think he is a good choice for the role for a variety of reasons - most importantly his distance from the day to day CityDAO “stuff” and politics.

Agreed, and any group with power absolutely needs to be elected. It also reminds me of a saying - If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far - go together".

So without sounding hypocritical, I think a small group managing the election process makes a lot of sense, but a small group managing CityDAO broadly needs to be more fully defined, considered, appreciated, and understood - before proceeding on any such course.

I will also note that I do not think anyone who might seek to run for an elected position should be (in any way) associated with administering the election, to avoid any misunderstandings,

I think the idea is that the multisig is the start. Easiest because it is the only positions that are required by the OA/Charter. Agree we need more elections for all roles. We also need to define roles and goals…

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Agreed I would prefer to have a clearly laid out method - in the Charter or OA. Instead of seeking to Amend the OA/Charter, I am being provided discretion to hopefully get us on the path of amending the OA/Charter to address your other three points.

After talking with several folks, it seems there is some interest in me staggering elections out so that there is not a possibility of 100% new people on the multisig. Do you have thoughts on this?

Other thoughts on the outline of elections provided above? Debates? Technical requirements?

@wdclapp - thanks for your work on this, I think elections have potential to transform CityDAO and make it more democratic and productive.

Some thoughts:

  • There should be one election imo. Staggering the elections is an idea with good intentions but will probably slow things down a lot and reduce voter turnout and increase voter fatigue.
  • Frequent re-elections. I recommend we run an election every 6 months to create a feedback loop with incentives for people to work on behalf of the DAO and get re-elected.
  • Define the number of people and details but keep it simple. I recommend we elect a 7 member multisig and call it the City Council. The first CityDAO council was far too large and chaotic. 5-7 is plenty.
  • Give a budget to elected representatives. I think it’s important that the City Council have power to fund projects and pay contributors without constantly going to the DAO. I recommend the council gets a budget of up to 10k / mo for projects, pay bills, and pay contributors. This is very important because it helps cut through the molasses of running a CIP for small work / projects.
  • Add a Chair role - The person with the most votes is still on the council but has the title of Chair, and they are responsible for calling meetings and setting a roadmap for the DAO each 6 months.

Looks like we are at 20+ likes so excited to talk more about this moving forward!


Just confirming two important updates here:

  1. This CIP has achieved 20 citizen likes within its 21-day window, which means big news - Elections are coming to CityDAO!!

I am screenshotting this to ensure there is no argument later as to the timing of the 20 likes, since I understand that currently it is impossible to track time-stamps on these likes. Given this CIP’s importance and the related efforts to try to block it, I’d like to also use this post to avoid any grounds for later argument, by documenting that all 20 likes were achieved on time.

  1. @scottfits @wdclapp and I will be jamming tomorrow morning (March 14) with the intent of aligning on process and procedures. More to follow soon.

Thanks to all who believe in the democratic process! This is going to be a huge win for CityDAO!!

Sorry - I put the cart before the horse, we still need to have a Snapshot vote. My apologies!

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@wdclapp just checking in on this - do you imagine you will have a process draft ready for the community to review soon?


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The draft is ready:

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This google document has access control on it, can you set it to “everyone with the link can comment”?

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