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Author Topic: Is ARRL Life Membership Worth It?  (Read 64309 times)

Posts: 355

« Reply #60 on: March 05, 2011, 11:22:48 AM »

When you take the time and the patience to contact your section management or his staff about something, and all they do is either acknowledge your query and say they'll get back to you--and never do, or they just ignore you entirely, then there is a definite problem.  I have, more than once, been forced to contact Newington for questions and information that the section should have supplied--but didn't.  I've been asked whether I had contacted the section management--and I've had to tell them that those people were unresponsive to the point of ignoring ARRL members in their section.

Face it.  When you belong to an organization and are forced to jump through hoops because you can't get a decent answer from local representatives, why bother being a member at all?  THAT is my complaint--my ONLY complaint--and has been from the start of my holding a ham license and joining the ARRL.  I haven't been an ARRL member for the past two years now, and I really don't miss it either.

Hey Chris, don't take this wrong, I do understand your frustration.  Noting is more frustrating than no response.  As a matter of courtesy, you do deserve a response even if it is no. But lets face it, there are incompetent, lazy, ideological, busy people in every organization.  I don't know all of the details of your situation, but I would advise you to just be persistent.  Contact them again, and again, and again, until they either tell you to go away because your issue is not a priority in the big scheme of things or they give you an adequate response.  Don't feel that they owe you something.  If the issue is really that important to you, then take it by the horns and fight for it.

Borrowing some words from John F. Kenedy, "Ask not what your organization can do for you.  Ask what you can do for your organization."  It sounds like the situation you are in is a good opportunity to get involved and make some positive changes.  That section manager is only the section manager because he/she garners enough votes to stay in that position.  Apparently there are enough hams that approve of the priorities this section manager is setting...or at least are not unhappy enough to make a change. Or are at least involved enough to get enough votes for the guy/gal. More than likely it is because few people care enough to take the time to make a change.  We see the same thing with local, state, and federal government, although I will say that I am encouraged to see so many people in the silent majority standing up to be heard.

So don't run away from the fire, run into it.  Find a way to make the organization better.

I am not a big emcomm person myself, and personally I don't see that the value of ham emcomm is all that great.  But apparently some do and it at least provides a reasonable rationalization for our existence as we fight to keep our band share.  So if that is what it takes, I am OK with it.  I just kind of accept it as the way it is and go on about my business looking for what the league has to offer that does interest me.  Heck, if nothing else, they run a pretty good buro so that in itself should be worth supporting.  Yes hams can use it without being members, but someone has to pay for it.  And it isn't like they are asking for an arm and a leg.  Just $40 a year.  Heck, I spend more than that when we eat out or go to a movie.  Even if you get absolutely nothing out of it, which I doubt would happen, support the league simply to support ham radio and to give us a united voice in legislative matters.  If you look at it as expecting nothing in return, then you will surely come out ahead.

When we look for organizations to cater to our needs, we are sure to be disappointed.  If we look to them as a vehicle through which our hard work and involvement can effect some of the changes we would like to see, then we will begin to understand how organizations work.  Being a player at least allows you to influence the agenda.  Being out of the game provides no opportunity to change anything.

Good luck to you!  I hope you can find a club to which you can feel a belonging and can find a way to support the league and amateur radio as a whole in spite of the issues you are facing.


Posts: 6224

« Reply #61 on: March 05, 2011, 04:11:42 PM »

Tom, I WAS involved--on the staff of a past section manager no less.  Making a long story short, politics reared its ugly head one too many times.  I was told that I was not wanted around because of the support I showed the old section manager.  Now, tell me, how do you get involved when section management doesn't want you involved?

Politics is one thing that shouldn't affect things in section management, but most of us know that it does, whether it should or not.


Posts: 355

« Reply #62 on: March 05, 2011, 07:53:39 PM »

Chris, politics is a part of every organization it happens and won't go away.  Even if you decide to become a part of the system.  Obviously, your ideas are contrary to those of the current regime so they are not supportive of you...sound familiar?  That pretty much describes what is going on at the national level today.  The answer is not an easy one.  They will not accept you with open arms.  You will need to take charge and organize with those with similar mindset.  If your ideas are sound, find someone who wants to run for office and hit the pavement and convince those in your area that a change is needed.  I know that is easier said than done, but that is exactly why I ran and became a member of my HOA.  I know the very thought turns people off, but I can do more good inside than out. I am working hard to change things, but change comes slowly. Don't give up. Good luck to you!  In the meantime, please find it in your heart to support the ARRL as a whole.  It really is a good organization.

Posts: 10

« Reply #63 on: September 28, 2011, 05:04:52 AM »

I have been a ham since 1982, 29 years. I am now 59. About a year ago, I became a life member. Why? Well, number one, because I believe in Amateur Radio. Two, I have always wanted to do it...even when I first started out. I have been fairly active since I got my license, owning and building several repeaters over the years. My wife also is a ham, as is my oldest son. The two younger kids have even expressed interest when they saw my plaque. while I don't agree with the league, on everything, I DO believe they have our best interests at heart, and lets face it, we are sitting on very valuable frequency space. Space I'm sure the powers that be would love to sell off to the highest bidder, ala UPS and 220. Without the league, we would be in much worse trouble. To me, it wasn't an issue of was pride in our public service, and the organization that enables us to do it.

Paul Dallard, jr

Posts: 133

« Reply #64 on: September 28, 2011, 06:41:24 AM »

BTW, if your better half is a ham you can purchase a life membership for them as well at a very reduced second issue of QST but I thought it was worth it to support the League.  Think it was just over $200 a couple of years ago when I found out about the program.  Been a life member since the early 1980's so I'm pretty sure I've gotten my $$ worth.

Dino KL0S
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