In his October 29, 2018 letter to Academy members, Steve Alpert states:
“The two potential amendments…offer starkly different fundamental visions for the future of the Academy. Your vote matters because a minimum two-thirds majority vote is required to pass either one, and larger majorities will clarify and emphasize the mandate for the future.”
I would have not framed the issues quite so melodramatically, but since the Academy wants to take that tack, let’s follow it. Let’s treat the bylaw amendment vote as a vote of confidence for Academy leadership and the proponents of the Sunshine Amendment.
Amendment 1 passes, Sunshine Amendment fails
If the Board-backed Amendment 1 passes and the member-proposed Amendment 2 fails, then as a leading proponent of the Sunshine Amendment, I should take that as a mandate that other Academy members do not agree with me. I made my case and could not persuade people. Of course, the odds were stacked against me because the Academy controlled the messaging, operations and timing of the election, but I knew that one I took up this battle so I should not complain about that now. If Amendment 1 passes and the Sunshine Amendment fails, I should not persist in my efforts. I should quietly let the Academy proceed with its work. I can resign from the Academy etc. as a protest, but I should not be an ongoing thorn in the Academy’s side. I am prepared to accept this.
Amendment 1 fails, Sunshine Amendment passes
If Amendment 1 loses and the Sunshine Amendment passes, what are the Academy Board and officers will doing to? They have all of the advantages in the election and presumably they would not have scheduled Amendment 1 to go to a vote if they did not think they would win. If Amendment 1 fails, members will have made it clear that they are unwilling to hand unchecked power over to the Board. So, if Amendment 1 loses and the Sunshine Amendment passes, are Board members or officers willing to resign? Is the Board willing to re-evaluate the leadership of the current Executive Director? Is the Board willing to refocus on members? Having framed the vote as a “mandate for the future” are they willing to accept the mandate either way? In the event they lose, I hope current Academy leadership will calmly look inward and reflect on the meaning of the vote instead of making excuses.
What about other outcomes such as both amendments failing? I am not sure what I will do. I don’t really want to make this into a permanent, ongoing battle. I would love to see the Board adopt a rational meeting policy that actually matches the way they say they intend to administer the draconian, poorly-conceived meeting policy the Board adopted. As for the Board, given all of the advantages the Board has in the election, I would hope that it would give the Board some pause that they could not get Amendment 1 passed – maybe something in their approach is not quite right…maybe there is something lacking in the advice they are getting. I am not optimistic they will be self-reflective, but let’s hope for the best!
Deadline to vote is Friday, November 9, 2018!