[nfbmi-talk] Secret Affiliate Board Action & Expenditure

Fred Wurtzel f.wurtzel at att.net
Sat Dec 6 05:29:09 UTC 2014

Hello Dave,

Hear, hear.  We definitely need to work to improve rehab services.  Our
public image must reflect our broad organizational purpose, beyond reforming
state government.  We cannot ignore a state program which spends (or doesn't
spend)   $25 million to provide services which supposedly lead to
employment.  BS4BP reform  cannot be our identity, though.  Reform is very
important, but, must be a part of a larger agenda and public image.  Most of
all, we need to be united and trust those Federationists we elect, otherwise
we should elect someone we do trust.  For my part, I have faith in our NFB
state board.  I have no fear that they will ever do things contrary to
Federation interests or philosophy.

To achieve BS4BP reform we must come together to create an approach which is
long-term, effective and affordable.  I believe our only hope is in the
legislature.  Given the Republican dominance of Michigan government this
will be difficult.  Let me be quick to say that if it were Democrat
dominated the situation would be the same.  There are, presently, no checks
and balances.  So we have the even-more-difficult job of creating a plan
which we can get everyone to back and then be relentless in our presence in
the halls of the legislature until we accomplish our goals.  There is little
hope of protesting via email or other indirect means.  The way we win is
with face-to-face meetings and building relationships.

I was trying to make this point when I reposted the piece about Dale
Carnagie.  It was meant in a constructive way to suggest a shift in our
tactics, not to criticize anyone.  In my view, what we have been doing is
not effective, since things seem as bad or worse than ever. 

Someone said that in war, eventually, it is necessary for opposing sides to
talk.  We need to create dialog, even if it is by getting the legislature to
hold oversight hearings or some other way of leveraging the branches of
government in our favor.  This is a long term job requiring people in the
halls of the legislature every week.  We must be alert to follow every
possible lead which may or may not lead to progress.  This may include
talking to BS4BP staff or administration or LARA Admin types.

I am not so jaded to think there are no people who will help us.  Somewhere
there is someone who can and will help.  We need to meet this person and
then be willing to do the legwork to follow through on the things that must
be done.  Some can be done via email or web posts, but, mostly, it will mean
boots on the ground downtown Lansing or at offices in our home communities,
at town hall meetings or coffee clatches on Saturday mornings where
representatives and Senators come to meet constituents.

I guess I am proposing a specific approach.  This is not the only possible
solution.Whichever thing we do, we need to be united.  If we vote to do
something, we must all be behind it and be willing to show up and
participate.The historic success of the NFB is rooted in our ability to work
together and stay on message.  There is no shame or weakness in standing
together once we have made a group decision.  In fact, it is the only way a
small organization like ours can be successful.  This is why we organize, so
that we can have a stronger voice.

Warmest Regards,


-----Original Message-----
From: nfbmi-talk [mailto:nfbmi-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of David
Robinson via nfbmi-talk
Sent: Friday, December 05, 2014 9:06 AM
To: terrydeagle at yahoo.com; NFB of Michigan Internet Mailing List
Subject: Re: [nfbmi-talk] Secret Affiliate Board Action & Expenditure


   It is true that the board did not discuss this matter at a board meeting,
either via conference call or in person, but it was brought to the board
members attention by the president and discussed.  I am assuming that he
recieved enough support to make such a decision.  The board has a
responsibility to make these decision as part of their duties.
   I would agree that many individuals at the leadership retreat expressed a
frustration regarding BSBP and it was a waste of time and resources to fight
the illegal coruption that exists at that agency, but I am not sure that we
reached an understanding to ignore all situations.  As a board member, my
decision was based on the points in the case, the recommendations from the
attorney and the fact that we are finally moving into the courts.  I don't
know all the details of your case, but I was willing to support your case as
well, but it was my understanding that the case could not be persued for
some reason and the attorney recommended that we or he would no longer act
on it.  I hope I am getting the correct information on this from those who
had discussion with the attorney.
   Anyone who thinks we can ignore the actions of the BSBP is ignoring our
purpose to exist.  I recognize that the frustration level on this issue is
high, but let's go back to basics. We are a civil rights organization, and
yes we do other things such as educate, train, enjoy outings and parties and
give imput at meetings and events, but the bottom line is that we work to
achieve the equal civil rights for blind people.  Unfortunately, that
involves dealing with the BSBP her in Michigan. It was that way when we had
the Commission and no one doubted our involvement, and now the name is
changed, but the NFB purpose has not.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Terry D. Eagle via nfbmi-talk" <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>
To: "'NFB of Michigan Internet Mailing List'" <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Friday, December 05, 2014 12:27 AM
Subject: [nfbmi-talk] Secret Affiliate Board Action & Expenditure

> Is there anyone among the elected officers and board members of the NFB of
> Michigan willing to come forth and explain why the affiliate board is
> engaged in secret action and expenditure of affiliate funds concerning one
> individual?
> I ask this for the following reasons:
> 1. Precedent has recently been set that in similar circumstances the
> board openly discussed such action involving an individual, namely me.
> 2. The affiliate put forth and discussed the merits of expenditure of
> affiliate funds prior any expenditure.
> 3. It is my understanding that based on the November 2013 Baltimore
> seminar, the Jackson February 2014 Board meeting discussions and action,
> and
> wxtensive discussion at the Septemmber seminar this Fall, that the
> affiliate
> had come to consensus that the affiliate would no longer focus resources
> on
> issues and complaints involving the BS4BP, rather expending efforts and
> expenditure of valuable limited treasury to affiliate building through
> chapter expansion in number of chapters and membership, leadership
> development, and assessing and mmeeting the personal skills, talents, and
> dreams of members.  Is this understanding and affiliate action accurate
> and
> correct?
> 4. If the above statement is accurate and correct, then why is the
> affiliate board engaged in such secret action?
> Respectfully inquired.
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