It is with a mix of emotions that I write to you this last message from me as your 2013 President. You might expect me to feel some relief at being able to pass on the responsibilities of the role to the extremely capable Doug Zenn, and while I am certainly confident in Doug, I also feel a pang of sadness stepping away from a role that has meant so much to me personally and professionally.
To that end, I hope you will take the opportunity to share with me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (512-974-6004) any feedback on the past year; I know it will benefit Doug and our new Board to know how you think the Board can best serve the members of our organization and the field as a whole. I welcome your comments. Most importantly, I appreciate your support during my term–no matter how zany my antics.
And speaking of the new Board, I hope you will participate in our upcoming Board elections. Several seats are open, and several great candidates have stepped forward to stand for election. Unlike many organizations, we allow our members to vote on individual candidates (rather than a slate), so I hope you’ll take a look at our candidates and cast a vote for a great, diverse national Board.
Speaking of national endeavors, the Board is supporting an initiative I am spearheading to get Mayors from around the United States to publicly support IAP2 USA–our Core Values and our work in general. I would very much appreciate hearing from you about Mayors whom you think we could call upon to support this work. Additionally, IAP2 USA, the Deliberative Democracy Consortium, and several other groups have been supporting an effort to bring model ordinances and statutes for public participation to cities and states around the country. If you’re interested in working on that project, visit the “Making Public Participation Legal” section of the DDC website. We would love your help in meeting with local and state officials to bring these templates to fruition, which will help lay the groundwork for more public participation that aligns with our Core Values.
Our webinar series in partnership with IAP2 Canada continues to go well–November’s was a near sellout–and we will announce upcoming dates shortly. For our December webinar, we asked you for suggested topics, and we picked one of yours–managing disruptions to public meetings. Please continue to send us topics you’d like to see us explore in future webinars; this is a key part of our portfolio of offerings to you, our members.
I hope you’ve already saved the date for the next North American conference, September 28-30, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It should be an outstanding event that will give you numerous opportunities to learn, grow, and be recharged and inspired.
I want to encourage you to keep up with the Creating Community Solutions national dialogue on mental health–they rolled out a new initiative the other week called Text, Talk, and Act that I’ll hope you’ll share with your networks.
As you can see, there is a tremendous amount of work going on within IAP2 USA, including our Membership Task Force and our Communications Committee. Please be in touch with us to get more involved and help shape IAP2 USA into the organization that best meets your needs.
I will close this final message with a line from my favorite movie trilogy, Back to the Future, when the “inventor” of the “time machine,” Dr. Emmett Brown, told Marty McFly: “Your future hasn’t been written yet. No one’s has. Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one.”
I know you will make IAP2 USA’s future great. I’ll be there to support you as a proud member of this growing organization.
My best to you.