Thinking about it further, there's a very good parallel between having a developer in $project and having a seat on the panel deciding things. They'll speak up for your interests and ensure (to the extent that they can) that future decisions don't negatively impact you (and hopefully that the decisions help you). And as always, having more seats at the table is better for you than fewer.
Speaking up is like sitting in the audience where a decision is being discussed. You can say your piece, but have little leverage in the active decision.