The contents of this column reflect the letters we had received by the time we went to press, June 15, 2005. Letters are limited to 300 words or less. All submissions must include the author's name and location. Opinions expressed are those of the authors.
In Reply to the Call for Amendments
I read with interest yesterday the constitution and bylaws committee chair Ray Campbell's appeal for submissions from members of amendments for this year's national convention. Last year, hearing similar appeals and the appeals of those saying, "If you don't like something, then submit an amendment," I did just that. In fact, I wrote 10 amendments and collaborated on several others. Two passed unanimously. Three were tabled in whole or part or circumvented from a vote by parliamentary maneuvers. Five more never even had the courtesy of a debate let alone an up or down vote before the convention was moved to be adjourned. This is not opinion but a part of the public record and is archived in the proceedings on ACB's web site.
I must say that, true to his word, Mr. Campbell was very cooperative both by phone and e-mail in providing assistance on the crafting of these amendments and updating me on their status in committee. But apparently things broke down in establishing enough time for consideration during the business sessions.
President Gray was apprised of these items well before the convention in one of his monthly meetings. All amendments were sent out to relevant parties well in advance and posted upon various listservs for comment and input. Ultimately, however, there is no true democracy if there is no vote upon such important items.
It seems to me that before we solicit new amendments, we might just try to take care of old business first. In light of these facts, to state, based upon the record, that we encourage input from the rank-and-file or that we follow good "democratic" order at our conventions is simply Soviet-style revisionism.
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