Local Charters of NCGA
- Subject: [cg] Local Charters of NCGA
- From: "John Quintero" <email@example.com>
- Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001 20:54:55 -0700
Dear CGA Board of Directors:
I have been interested in a different kind of approach than simply sending
in our "dues" and becoming a solitary member of the association; based on
the history of American associations of the national kind, it would seem
possibly more advantageous to all concerned to create a "charter"
organization relationship, as have done other kinds of "charity" or "special
interest" organization. It seems to me that a local lobby backed by the
National umbrella would provide a serious political clout.
I would, with all due respect, formally request, as a representative Board
member of the single largest community garden in the San Francisco Bay Area,
to ask to open discussions about the establishment of such a relationship
with your organization. In other words, I would like permission to recruit a
local Board of Directors that would be willing to enter into and sign a
Charter Membership, representing the goals of the National Organization at
the local level. We would offer memberships for a "district" charter, and
send a percentage of local dues to the National Office.
I think it may be possible that extending "grassroots" out in this
traditional manner might very well be far more effective and self-sustaining
financially than the contemporary modern development of the professionalized
industry of "non-profit" corporations.
We have discussed this at length in our meetings of the Hayward Community
Gardens Sub-Committee on Urban Garden Development; we feel rather naked
entering into tenure seeking relations with the social structures around us
(corporate, municipal and state agencies)and if there existed a tangible
local social structure whose intent was to act as a lobby with national
backing, we might feel far more confident in ourselves. It just seems that a
"charter" arrangement has worked well for other societies, (Audobon, Sierra
Club, the Grange, etc.)that it might provide a deeper sense of belonging for
that set of individuals who are interested in urban (and rural) community
Gardening. We have over 100 gardens in the greater Bay Area, and if each
member of each of those gardens were to have an automatic membership to a
larger organization by the very virtue of their membership to the particular
garden, the National Organization would thus be enabled to raise the
conciousness of untold millions of people, since these "roots" would touch
people exponentially. You could then get the mailing address of thousands of
individuals, rather than handfuls of "institutions."
I hope my vehemence about this strategic political option does not feel
abrasive; it is just that my hopes far outrace the actual demoralizing
experience of a local pro-urban garden activist, and being out here in the
trenches, as thousands around the nation an world are, provides me practical
vision of the entire forest. Yet, because of the lack of a truly unifying
social agency, I seem to be more connected with the "global" picture than I
am with gardeners in nearby cities, and that just doesn't make any sense.
Respectfully and Hopefully Yours
John R Quintero
VP of Public Affairs, Hayward Community Gardens, Inc.
510-727-9924 or 510-538-8901
25052 Whitman Street
Hayward, CA 94541
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