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President's Reports

July 2016

Hello to all my fellow Freedom Fighters!

As I sit down to write this article my heart is heavy. Here in Tucson we have lost two motorcyclists in less than twelve hours both due to drivers running red lights. Unfortunately this seems to be an ongoing problem that is increasing. Riders in Tucson are coming together to hold a night out to increase awareness of motorcycles on the streets of Tucson and Pima County. The Southern Arizona Chapter will actively participate in this event and I hope it is influential in making our plight on the streets and roads of Arizona a higher priority to drivers, law enforcement and our elected officials. Until our lives as motorcyclists are treated with the same importance as every other life we must continue to make our voices heard.

I have just experienced a wonderful week traveling across our state and meeting Mormon Lake to attend Too Broke for Sturgis. Since I was on the road I took a little detour to attend the first meeting of our newly reorganized Yavapai Chapter of ABATE of Arizona! I would like to congratulate the new officers of the Yavapai Chapter, Clyde Brooks has stepped up to be the new Coordinator, Suni Sommers will serve as the Secretary and Terri Lucontro is the new Treasurer. Deborah Butitta will continue to represent Yavapai on the state Board of Directors. There are several open positions and they are looking for some good people to fill those jobs.

The good folks at Addictions Bar & Grill have agreed to host the chapter for their meetings and allow the members to hold events etc. at the restaurant. I was happy to be present when Addictions Bar & Grill became the newest business member of ABATE of Arizona! Look in future issues of the Masterlink for their “Business Member Spotlight”. It looks like the chapter is starting off on the right course and I know I speak for all the State Officers as well as all our members when I wish them Good Luck!! It was great meeting everyone and I will try to make it up there as often as possible. Well the 25th Anniversary of “Too Broke for Sturgis” is now in the books! I must congratulate the entire committee on another job well done. This year’s event went off smoothly with only a very few minor hiccups that were handled quickly and professionally. We do not have all the final numbers in at this time but initially it looks like our attendance was up over last year and once again it looks like it was a profitable event.

It was very encouraging to see members of all the State Motorcycle Rights Organizations (SMROs) in attendance. 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 there was a good size group of riders from 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 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 that 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. I know in the past it has been hard especially when meetings are held on a weeknight in Phoenix. That has kept me off the committee as it is impossible to work all day and drive 100 plus miles for a meeting. Now that we have acquired the electronic capability to hold meetings with those unable to attend able to do so over the internet, I ask each chapter to get at least one if not two members to join 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 all need to work together to make ABATE of Arizona the best organization it can be.

Until next month!!

Ride Free!!

Jim Butsback
State President
ABATE of Arizona