Alaska CHARR - The Magazine November/December November/December 2020 - Page 4

WELCOME

Letter from the Chairman

AFFILIATE STRENGTHS
BY PAUL THOMAS | CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD

Alaska State CHARR ’ s strength , its impact on

state issues , its recognition by state leaders and their willingness to talk with us before implementing actions that effect our industry come not only from our office , lobbyist , and staff connections but more importantly from our affiliates and their members .
Our Affiliates and their individual strengths and knowledge of local and state representatives is crucial to the work CHARR does at the state level . The organization of our affiliates allows for quick response for local issues and effective response when CHARR issues a call for action for the industry .
To strengthen CHARR , and its muscle as a state organization , we as members and officers of our local affiliates need to increase recognition of our local affiliate organizations with our local officials . When there is a local issue , officials need to be aware of who the local CHARR affiliate is and how to contact them . State CHARR can always point officials in the right direction of a local affiliate , but if someone in the local affiliate hasn ’ t made that connection of being the voice for the industry in that area , the local officials are probably not going to call State CHARR .
The way Alaska CHARR is setup is for local affiliates to take the lead , provide the manpower , and be the main point of contact on any local issues and provide input on state issues and the inverse for State CHARR to take the lead on statewide issues and offer input on local issues to the affiliate . We have incorporated this into our affiliate agreements to make it clear who will be the lead on issues and stay out of the pitfalls of opposing positions dividing us .
“ The local affiliate will be the definitive voice of the industry on local issues and Alaska CHARR will not take a position contrary to the local affiliate on local issues . Alaska CHARR is encouraged to provide input on local issues to the local CHARR affiliate .
Alaska CHARR will be the definitive voice of the industry on statewide issues and no affiliate will take a position contrary to Alaska CHARR on statewide issues . Local affiliates are encouraged to provide input on statewide issues to Alaska CHARR .”
While this is a busy and tense time for all of us , it is also a great time to build participation for local affiliates . Often we see that affiliates have the most participation and closest connections during a crisis . The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has definitely illustrated that and created increased communication with our neighbors . I urge local affiliates to build on that and to meet with your local city representatives . Even when this article comes out next month , I am sure there will still be opportunities to meet with your local governments and let them know what issues you are facing . At the writing of this article , our Juneau / Lynn Canal affiliate members are working with local government trying to get more clarity if or when there is another spike , passing on the problems created by weak communication of local events , and requesting financial help for those hardest hit by city imposed shutdowns where there wasn ’ t a clear reason or result . I ’ ve seen a social media video Mat-Su CHARR produced which will increase recognition of the Affiliate and what its members are doing to provide a safe and fun environment to their customers and employees . I know other affiliates have and are taking similar action too from supporting local sports , safe ride programs etc . All of these local actions strengthen the local affiliate , their recognition in the community , and consequently Alaska State CHARR .
Each of our local affiliates should be ready and willing to take on their local issues . State CHARR will always be there with support but that lead role needs to be held by the local affiliate organization , their members , and their local board . Freeing Alaska State CHARR to handle the State issues , legislation , member services , training programs , premotion of the industry , and coordination is an added benefit of our strengthening our local affiliates .
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