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President's Reports

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

July 2017

Well another great party is now in the books as they say. The 26th edition of Too Broke for Sturgis was this past month. As I sit to write this we still have not had a final accounting and the debriefing meeting is set for next week. By the time this edition of The Masterlink is published we should have firm numbers to tell us how we did this year. Preliminary numbers put us at about 10% increase over last year in attendance and I believe everyone had one heck of a good time!

I want to congratulate JR Rosen and the entire Too Broke Committee on a terrific job that they did this year. This group of dedicated ABATE members have donated hundreds of hours for the betterment of our organization and the entire motorcycling community. Not only did their hard work make for a profitable event that helps fund all of the work we do around our state, they did everything they could to make sure that everyone who attended had an amazing weekend and a memorable time at TBFS!! Well done guys! If you did not have the opportunity to attend this year’s TBFS event please mark your calendars for next year! This is ABATE of Arizona’s one state wide fund raising event and every ABATE member should try to attend and dedicate themselves to volunteer and work this event for the good of our organization. I understand that sometimes it is not possible for everyone to make it to these events, BUT an organization such as ours with HUNDREDS of members, should not be as shorthanded as we were. If not for the hard work and dedication of a small group of our members and the support of several other clubs and volunteers we would not have been able to accomplish this.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Christian Motorcycle Association for all of their support and the hours of volunteering put in by their members. I do know that many of the CMA chapters are club members of ABATE and many CMA members are individual members of ABATE but they have been there for us for many years and besides supplying coffee and water and serving a no charge breakfast every day, CMA members helped with registration, traffic control and generally anywhere they were needed. If you were in the arena on Friday you may have been present when I was honored to present the CMA with a custom trophy in appreciation of all they have done for us and the motorcycling community. THANK YOU ALL!

I also would like to thank the members of the Gatekeepers MC and all the others who volunteered their time to cover the first-aid booth. This is a very important job that needs to be covered by folks who are properly trained and know what to do in an emergency. Luckily we did not have more than a couple incidents which needed to be attended to besides the normal cuts and bumps. Thank you for keeping us safe and healthy.

I could keep on listing those individuals and Clubs that stepped up and volunteered their time and efforts in support of our great motorcycling community but I would miss some and I do not wish to lessen their importance or our appreciation of them. SO to everyone who worked to make this event great, no matter what you did or how long you worked, THANK YOU!!!

There were so many clubs who belong to the ACMC that I cannot mention them all for fear of missing one. I had the pleasure of seeing several members of the MMA and the MMAA. These groups along with ABATE of Arizona are working to protect the rights of ALL riders across the entire state of Arizona. If you are not a member of a SMRO and you ride a motorcycle in Arizona or are interested in the Motorcycle Rights Movement, I encourage you to seek out a SMRO in your area and join. There are groups all across our state and I am sure there is one near you.

I would also like to take the time to thank all of our Sponsors and Partners in “Too Broke for Sturgis”. Without the sponsors we would not be able to host this event and without this event we could not do most of what we do for the motorcyclists of Arizona! All the proceeds go towards continuing the fight for “Freedom of the Road”. This helps pay for our newsletter The Masterlink. It funds our lobbyists and our delegations to Bikers inside the Beltway in Washington D.C. It allows us to send participants to conferences such as “The Meeting of the Minds” put on by the MRF and to the National Coalition of Motorcyclists convention. The information and knowledge gained by attending these seminars and workshops is extremely valuable in dealing with issues here in Arizona. It also makes it possible for ABATE of Arizona, along with the ACMC, MMA and MMAA are able to fund our annual “Motorcycle Day at the Dome”.

I know several members of the Too Broke for Sturgis committee have been doing this for many years and are looking to step aside and let some new blood take over. I would like to see more members from other chapters outside of the Phoenix metro area become members of the TBFS committee. It is time to start teaching others what is done and how this event comes together. It is also important that we get fresh ideas. Just because we have always done it one way does not mean there isn’t a better way. Please talk it over amongst your chapter members. We are also interested in any ideas you may have to help make this event bigger and better. Please write down your ideas and share them with the Too Broke committee. Remember that this is your organization and therefore TBFS is YOUR event. Please let us try and make it the great event we all know it should be!

Until next month!! RIDE FREE!!

Jim Butsback
State President
ABATE of Arizona