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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB021 (2004)

ARLB021 ARRL Board Okays Volunteer Grassroots Lobbying Effort

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 21  ARLB021
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  July 21, 2004
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB021 ARRL Board Okays Volunteer Grassroots Lobbying Effort

The ARRL Board of Directors has formalized a grassroots
congressional lobbying program with an initial focus on BPL. Acting
July 16 during its second meeting of 2004 in Windsor, Connecticut,
the Board acknowledged the need to "immediately begin a BPL
grassroots lobbying campaign" this year.

To establish a coordinating structure, the Board created the
positions of Division Congressional Action Chair, Congressional
Action Coordinator and Congressional Action Assistant. The Board
authorized the League's 15 division directors to appoint qualified
volunteers to these positions.

Hudson Division Director Frank Fallon, N2FF, who headed the Ad Hoc
Committee on Grassroots Lobbying, sees the creation of a national
"political machine" as a practical way to protect Amateur Radio
spectrum. "We're going to use our members as constituents to talk to
key legislators," Fallon said after the meeting. While the campaign
will zero in on BPL in the near term, it eventually could expand to
support bills dealing with spectrum protection with and deed
covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) and their impact
on amateur antennas.

Fallon said member-constituent contacts can serve to open the door
to later meetings between members of Congress or their staff members
and League officials.

Under the plan the Board adopted, the Division Congressional Action
Chair, one in each ARRL division, would be a cabinet-level volunteer
with some experience in lobbying activities. There would be at least
one Congressional Action Coordinator in each state, ideally selected
in consultation with section managers. These volunteers also would
be members of the director's cabinet. Working with the director, the
Congressional Action Coordinator will designate and develop a number
of Congressional Action Assistants to "accomplish the mission of
getting the ARRL message to legislators," the ad hoc committee's
report explained.

Fallon said the grassroots lobbying effort will fold into a
comprehensive broadband over power line strategy, which the Board
discussed at length but did not make public. The Board expressed the
hope that the lobbying effort could be up and running by fall.


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