It’s always hard dealing with conflicting emotions, especially when those emotions include distrust, betrayal, loyalty, determination and hope. I’m feeling these emotions toward ABATE of Colorado. Some disconcerting things have been happening there.
I started volunteering 3 years ago, after having been a member of ABATE for a year with the understanding that they needed my help to embrace newer ways of reaching their members in the form of social media. I was excited by the opportunity to become politically involved and get my generation excited about the same thing. I also wanted to become a riding coach, which they graciously helped me do. I was really enjoying being a part of this organization up until August 2014, when some strange things started to happen.
I received Ann Layson’s very disturbing letter Nov 13th, and 2 letters from the Board of Directors Nov 19th , both of which are printed below. Mrs. Layson’s letter spoke of some rather alarming actions taken by ABATE, and the Board’s letters stated ABATE of Colorado is in dire financial straits. I’ve talked to quite a few people in ABATE over the course of these last two months and the one thing I’ve been able to come to a conclusion on is that they are very disorganized.
They’ve sent me cross-ways to different people within the organization to get questions answered, they haven’t been able to come out with solid stances on issues, and they are being very secretive about the financial situation they are in. For the past 2 years they have also been very resistant to some of the new strategies we have presented them, and it seems in most ways that they simply want to stay their coarse, especially so considering their newest call to “invest” in ABATE through a Certificate of Deposit (CD).
Old school thinking is good in some respects, like politics, but new approaches to financial sustainability have to be used. Ask any business, grass-roots organization or any other entity which has survived through the last 2 decades and the change in fiscal practices the internet has forced everybody to go through.
I’m deliberately not mentioning names, titles or positions because I don’t want to point fingers, and I don’t want to place blame. I don’t want to be angry, I don’t want to come to you with this news…. I WANT an organization which I can trust, which I can be a part of to continue watching out for, and empowering motorcyclists. It’s why I joined in the first place and no matter what happens, that’s what I want to do. Thus, I will not perpetuate the rumors I’ve heard, but I will share the correspondence I’ve received and I want to ask a few questions so you can make up your own mind.
1.) Can we trust ABATE of Colorado? If we could, wouldn’t we have known about these financial issues earlier on, and been a part of the solution? If this only came out now, what else might be lurking behind the scenes?
2.) Is the current management structure of ABATE of Colorado conducive to quick and effective membership engagement for grass-roots mobilization?
3.) Is buying to ABATE’s CD a sound financial investment and good idea?
Yes, these seem like tough, cold and hard questions to ask, and nobody wants to see any entity faced with them, especially not one you’ve been supporting for so long but I think its past due.
Please read further on this issue as it’s rather convoluted and follow me for updates: