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President's Reports

September 2017

Greetings to all my Brothers & Sisters of ABATE of Arizona.

Well by the time this article goes to press and The Masterlink is printed and available it will be September! Our great country will be celebrating Labor Day with a National Holiday. The kids will all have been back in school for a couple weeks and hopefully everyone who was lucky enough to go to South Dakota for the rally will be home safe!

ABATE of Arizona will be planning our annual membership meeting and the State Officer elections. The Chapters will be planning their elections and everyone will be working on our budgets for the next year. The State officers have been working on several new programs and we are always open to ideas from our members. If you or your chapter members have an idea for a program you would like to see ABATE sponsor please put your ideas together WITH AS MUCH DETAIL AS POSSIBLE and bring to the attention of the state officers. We will be happy to review it and see if it is something that we can do as an organization! One of the issues that keep coming up is the amazing numbers of motorcyclists here in the state of Arizona who ride without a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license. We work with the folks at AMSAF who offer scholarships for the rider’s education classes and we promote these to our members to share with all riders they know so there is really no reason to ride without the endorsement. Many folks do not realize that if they are stopped by law enforcement and they do not have the endorsement their bike can be towed and impounded and this can cost hundreds of dollars just for towing and storage fees.

ABATE of Arizona is going to get much more vocal and proactive in pushing for all motorcyclists to ride endorsed. Look for much more on this is the coming months.

Until then I challenge every Chapter in the State to check all your members at your next meeting and see who has the endorsement on their license. This is not to tease or ridicule those who do not, but to serve as an illustration to us all. If one of our members does not have an endorsement it is in OUR best interest to help them to obtain it. Not only is it illegal but insurance companies have been known to deny claims because of the lack of a valid endorsement. We cannot push for all riders to have one if we all do not also have one. SO next meeting have everyone show their license and maybe make a game of it like you cannot win the drawings if you don’t have the endorsement!

Another point that has come up is motorcyclists being register to vote! We have all seen in recent years the push to register voters from many special interest groups across the country. Many of them have used questionable tactics and have played loose and fast with the rules. But the politicians take notice of those who are actively recruiting folks to their causes by registering voters. Our designated Lobbyist Mike Infanzon has completed the training to be able to register voters and is looking to help spread the program across the state. WE NEED TO REGISTER MORE BIKERS!! If you are not registered or have moved since you last registered Mike can help you get properly registered to vote. If you have had your voting rights suspended, and need to know if they can be reinstated, Mike can help.

We will be trying to roll a program across all our Chapters to put on a voter registration drive at every event we can. By showing that we are actively pushing for more registered motorcyclists, the politicians will take notice and our voices will be heard that much clearer in the halls of government.

Several of us will be traveling to Virginia this month to attend the Motorcycle Riders Foundation’s convention which is called THE MEETING OF THE MINDS! This is held every year and motorcycle rights advocates from all around the country come together to meet and discuss what is happening in their states and on a national level. There are many different seminars and meetings and an amazing amount of knowledge is shared. I look forward to attending and those of us who will be there also look forward to sharing what we can with our membership when we get back. We are looking into putting a “mini” event in conjunction with the officers training to share with Chapter officers. Look for more on this in the coming months.

Until next month PLEASE ride safe and look out for the kids who are back in school. The universities are back in session with many out of state students. Also be attentive because this time of year our winter visitors start coming back and tourism is up. These folks are not always familiar with our streets and roads and may not be very attentive so be careful out there!!!

Until next month!! RIDE FREE!!

Jim Butsback
State President
ABATE of Arizona


August 2017

Greetings to all my Brothers & Sisters of ABATE of Arizona.

Well as I sit to write this monthly report, I cannot help but think about some of the meetings and events that I have attended this year. Starting in January with the Officers training, then Motorcycle Day at the Dome, the many ACMC meetings as well as several chapter meetings, I have attended several motorcycle awareness events and town halls and various meet & greets for local and state elected officials. One of things that strike me throughout all these events is that it seems to be the same faces from the various organizations and from our chapters that I see at these functions.

When I sit in meetings or talk with riders about the various issues that are affecting the motorcycling community, there are always those who are quick to ask why something cannot be changed or how come a certain issue has not be resolved. They often are very adamant on the issues that are important to them. They can get loud and pound their fists. They ask what are “WE” doing to solve this problem or change this law etc. BUT when it comes time to stand up with their brothers and sisters to fight the good fight, they are never to be found.

When the call is put out and we say we need to fight, all we are asking is a few hours of your time to let your legislators know that you support our cause. To take a few minutes out of your day to send the emails, make the telephone calls; show up with you brothers and sisters, maybe sit in a meeting room and show your support with your presence. Stand on a street corner for an hour or two holding up a “Lookout for Motorcycles” sign and help be part of a big crowd so that when the media shows up they see a large impassioned group.

Our designated lobbyist, Mike, has been hard at work representing all of us at the State Capitol. He has been writing a blog and sending out emails to keep us all updated. He has done a tremendous job rebuilding bridges that have been burnt in the past. As of late, he has put together a survey and emailed it to our entire membership. He has asked everyone to take just a few minutes to fill out the survey so he can have the information to better serve YOU! PLEASE, if you have not yet done so, take the time and complete the survey. When a call to action or some other request is made, try and make the effort to respond to the request and take the steps needed.

We also understand that every member has a different level commitment. Some of us are very passionate of our cause, others are clearly not as interested. Many riders are not interested enough to even pay a small fee in annual dues to protect their right to ride free.

Organizations such as ours need individuals who are able to take maybe a little more of their time to work for our cause. We need folks to step up and fill positions as officers of their local chapters, as well as folks to step up and be state officers. The Too Broke for Sturgis committee needs people to fill several positions as many of the committee members have been doing this for many, many years and need to step away. It is also very important to get new members involved, as they can bring a fresh perspective to the table and new ideas on how to improve what we have been doing for years. If you are passionate about motorcycling and protecting your freedom, please try to commit to just that little bit of time out of your day to do something to protect those rights. Attend a few more motorcycle awareness events, make a few more telephone calls, send a few more emails and maybe get to know your local politicians in the city and county where you live. Show up at that town hall meeting in your district. Spend a couple hours working an information booth for your chapter at a local event. Show the world that you are proud to be a motorcyclist and that your right to ride free is important.

And no matter what, when you are out in public riding, you are representing the motorcycle community, please be sure to conduct yourself with dignity and show respect to other citizens around you. They make judgments on the whole biker lifestyle based one or two interactions.

Until next month!! RIDE FREE!!

Jim Butsback
State President
ABATE of Arizona