As a candidate for District I Director, I want to present what I think is the most important issue facing the ACS at this time. There are many pressing issues, which the ACS faces today, including the Covid-19 situation and how it impacts the Society and our members. However, I have also observed that another major issue is the disconnection between grassroots membership and Society governance.
Our Board of Directors is doing a fine job in the “business” aspect of the Society, but we are a “membership Society” and that connection between governance and grassroots members is where I feel the Society is weak.
I have seen this disconnect in a variety of forms:
- Many decisions are often made “for” Society members by small groups within ACS governance, with little to no time spent on asking members what their needs are and what is important to them.
- Areas of the Society that should be there to aid members, their Local Sections and their efforts to organize and run Regional Meetings are often not meeting the needs of members and with guidance offered in a “one size fits all” response.
- Problems and concerns brought forth are often caught up in a maze of ACS bureaucracy
The District Directors are the “governance” closest to the members within their respective districts and that in itself, could be better cultivated. In my opinion, it is not enough to go on as we have and assume that appearing at a Regional Meeting and holding a Councilor Caucus at a National Meeting is an effective use of District Directors. To this point, here is what I pledge to do to help in this area:
- I will schedule to virtually participate in a minimum of one to two Local Section meetings for each Section within District I per year. I will do this to keep members informed on what governance is doing, but more importantly, to keep my ear to the rail as to what our Local Sections are doing and where they need help. In other words, I would look to have each Local Section within the District as part of an Advisory Council to work with me in making sure the ACS Board of Directors know what our members need and want.
- I will use the position as District I Director to help strengthen the support our local members receive from the Committee on Local Section Activities as well as the Committee on Meetings & Expositions, where ample support and guidance is needed for the organizing and running of Regional Meetings.
- I will work with the Board on what the Society as a whole needs to do to meet the needs of our Local Sections impacted by the pandemic. I already put forth the idea to the Board of Directors for a Covid Relief Fund that would be used to refund to local Regional Meeting Organizing Committees any penalties they incurred by postponing or canceling a meeting.
- I will lead in an effort to “simplify” a Society, which was built on a great 145 year-old foundation, but then added onto and have made membership in the ACS more complicated than it has to be. It is time, not for a Strategic Planning Retreat – but for a Simplification Planning Retreat by ACS governance,
I am not running for a “seat” on the Board – that seat is not mine alone. That seat belongs to you – each individual member within District I.
I am running for District I Director to offer new ideas, simplify Society governance and to bridge the gap between governance and membership. My pledges and promises are backed up by a record of fighting for what I think is right, “coming through” with my pledges and matching my deeds to my words – all built on a solid foundation of good two-way communications. I have always felt that while success gives one confidence, having to fight for success gives one courage.
I am running to stand up for the needs and ideas of the members.
However, running is not enough. I need the help of each member within District I, most who have never voted in a national ACS election, to walk with me by voting this year – and making 2022 the first step on a new path forward for the ACS.
Give me a need…
Give me a problem…
Give me a challenge…
Give me a chance!