ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

November 5, 1999

1999.11.05: After the Elections

Download in PDF format: 1999.11.05- After the Elections

M E M O

To:    ALAA Members

Fr:    Michael Letwin, President
George Albro, Secretary-Treasurer
Charlotte Hitchcock, Recording Secretary

Re:    After the Elections

Da:    November 5, 1999

We wish to thank everyone who ran for union office in last week’s elections, and all members who came out to vote for the candidates of their choice.

Like other aspects of ALAA’s participatory democracy, the election process that has just ended contrasts sharply with too many unions in which elections are routinely poisoned by unfair rules, personal attacks, intimidation, low membership turnout, and/or stuffed ballot boxes.  

In ALAA, each candidate has had full opportunity to address the membership.  With few exceptions, our contested presidential race has generated constructive, issue-oriented discussion, in which members and candidates alike were free to speak their mind.  Balloting in the offices, held for the first time pursuant to new ALAA’s new bylaws, has achieved its intended effect by boosting voter participation to an unprecedented 70%—a figure matched by few elections of any kind, anywhere.  Our scrupulously-fair Election Committee has rendered outstanding service.

We now ask you to help maintain this high level of membership participation.  One such opportunity is the impending election of delegates, whose much larger number is designed to make the Delegate Council (formerly Executive Committee) more representative of the members.  The new Council, in turn, will elect seven issue/constituency Executive Board members (Affirmative Action, Attorneys of Color (ACLA), Gay & Lesbian, Health Benefits, Health & Safety, Junior Attorneys and Senior Attorneys).  (Details about these elections will be forthcoming).

More than ever, these scores of additional representatives can help ensure that all voices are heard.  Whether you are a veteran or new member, please consider running for one of these positions, for which comprehensive training will be provided.

We also reiterate an invitation to participate in the campaigns to restore and/or increase funding for all of our divisions, in the work of the Joint ALAA Affirmative Action Committee, in decision-making at all Legal Aid offices and divisions, in negotiating the Y2000 collective bargaining agreement, in the Attorneys of Color of Legal Aid (ACLA), in political action, and in numerous other activities.

To facilitate greater direct communication with the membership, we hope to visit offices more frequently.  As always, please contact us with your questions, comments and concerns.

In these ways, we can all help strengthen ALAA and the mission of The Legal Aid Society in the crucial period ahead.

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