Time to Move on to the Election

by Ann O’Brien Ahmad

ASAK. Watching the dynamics of an organization is always interesting. When events are proceeding smoothly, the cracks or weaknesses in the system usually aren’t apparent. But like relationships between people, it is often difficult to discern much about character during the good times. It is during times of crisis that we observe the true character of individuals and organizations. And so, with IAGD facing a serious crisis, we are learning much about the individuals we have elected to lead us as well as the systems in place in the organization.

Unfortunately, much of what we are learning is not very flattering. In my post entitled, “Who Is the Board of Directors Representing?,” I discussed my disappointment in the way the Board of Directors handled the October 7 meeting with the Rekindling IAGD representatives. But despite the feeling of disappointment, many left the meeting with some hope that the Board of Directors understood that a significant portion of the community was opposed to the current expansion plan and that the Board was just struggling to find a way to handle the petition.

Those hopes were quickly dashed by the e-news update sent to the community on Thursday, October 11. Without even the courtesy of informing the Rekindling IAGD representatives first, the e-mail bluntly told the community that “the Board decided to take no immediate action related to the petition.” It went on to say that “the board will continue to consider their comments in any future expansion discussion.” The Board didn’t consider the community’s comments in the present discussion. Why should we retain any false hope that they will consider any comments in the future?

The Rekindling IAGD group has tried numerous times to engage in a dialog about the expansion with the Board members. The group has peacefully brought 400 community member signatures to the Board, offered to assist in verifying those signatures, developed alternative plans by themselves, proposed meeting at the Board’s convenience to discuss the issues, and attended Board meetings when requested. They have always been polite and diplomatic in their interactions with the Board. The group only discusses the issues and refuses to get personal or attack specific individuals. They have tried to work within the system to deal with this major issue.

What did they get in return for all of their efforts? The Board of Directors has essentially told them and the community that they do not care what the community thinks about the expansion plan.

So where do we go from here? It is painfully obvious that we cannot look to our current leaders to represent the community. The Board of Directors is determined to forge ahead with their plan, no matter how much it costs and no matter how opposed the community is to that project, only seeking the approval of the Board of Trustees. Even though one of the Board of Directors’ main duties and responsibilities is to “carry out policies and decisions of the General Body,” this Board has demonstrated their indifference to the membership.

Yet, that is no reason to lose hope. Every year, one-third of the members of the Board of Directors are elected for a three-year term. Ballots for the current election will be mailed out on November 1. We as a community have an opportunity to change the composition of the current Board, if we elect individuals who will carry out the policies and decisions of the community members. How the community votes in this election will determine the future of the organization. In my opinion, this is probably the most important election in IAGD’s history.

We can send a strong message to the remaining Board of Directors’ members by electing individuals who are dedicated to serving the community.

I have been a member of this organization for over 30 years, personally working on the IAGD Newsletter for over 15 years. I have served on the Finance Committee for three years. I have watched my husband serve on the Board of Directors for nine years, three years as Vice President. I understand the dynamics of this organization, and believe it is imperative that the community elects responsible Board members who truly care about the future of IAGD. I have submitted my nomination for the election to ensure that there is at least one candidate who will represent the community.

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Stalwart 1 on October 16, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    ASAK,
    I hope that, INSHALLAH ,this time community will use their conscience as decisive factor instead of relationships ,while choosing the candidates.
    Allah SWT has asked you to stop the evil with your hands, if a muslim can not stop with hands he should use his tongue if this is impossible at least that Muslim should feel bad in his heart and it is the lowest level of IMAAN.
    I know we have passive observers but this is the time that they should practice their right of vote and follow their conscience.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Tabassum on October 19, 2012 at 9:50 am

    When will the list of prospective candidates be avaiable to the community members ?

    Reply

  3. Posted by Anonymous X on October 19, 2012 at 11:57 am

    The list of nominees has already been made available to other nominees. Sunday Oct 20 is the last date nominees can withdraw, meaning that Monday, Oct 21 would be the when the final list of candidates should be available.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Syed on October 20, 2012 at 1:47 am

    I hope the rekindling group should bring their candidates to this election, because there is no other way to solve these issues until the voice of community be the part of the board.

    Reply

  5. What is the possibility that they’ll win ?They don’t have the access to membership data and don’t know how true is it.How many of the BOD & BOT have filled themselves in the name of others(because they have money to throw for their EGO).Community has lost trust on these people that they’ll be fair in theses elections.

    Reply

  6. Posted by Anonymous on October 20, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    you got my vote!

    Reply

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