Lets Have Real Democracy
is abundantly clear from the results of the round table evaluations
of the findings of the Governance Task Force and the consultants
hired by USA-Swimming, that only two items are of “negative
concern” by the existing delegates to the USA-S convention. Those
are; the make-up of the USA-S Board of Directors and the make-up of
the House of Delegates. Predictably, those chosen and selected by
the “present method” support the present method. Duh.
is equally clear that the most important “piece” of the
organization that is USA-Swimming is the Club.
club builds the sport. It’s the entity that recruits new athletes
to our sport. The club promotes the sport, by conducting training,
swim meets and running the education for athletes and parents that
makes our sport popular and growing. The club achieves. The coach at
the club is responsible for the development of the athlete to all
the achievement levels possible in our sport.
govern the sport.
sport is governed by a left over from the old AAU, called the Local
Swimming Committee. The LSC does not recruit athletes, does not
promote the sport, and does not “achieve”. In other words, it is
completely and totally outside the mission of USA-Swimming.
the credit of those at the Dallas round-table (the delegates from
those same LSC’s), they recognize that, and want to change all the
action items of the LSC’s that the governance study recommended.
That support was
overwhelming and gratifying.
we need the clubs involved. And there is a simple and direct way to
do it, proven over 226 years. Its called Democracy. It gives the
little guy and the big guy one vote.
should assign “one vote per member”.
member of USA-Swimming represents one vote.
we have 280,000 members of USA Swimming, there are 280,000 votes in
the House of
has the opportunity to send a representative or
representatives to the national convention. Each club carries the
number of votes equal to its club registration numbers from Sept. 1
of that year.
Some clubs will carry 1,000 votes, some will carry 50 or 10.
club can send one rep with all 1000 of its votes, or they can send
20 reps with 50 votes each. That’s the choice of each registered
each member of USA Swimming is directly representative of a
vote. Every small club can come and express itself and vote.
do one more thing; lets recognize the importance of our top end high
achievers…..they help build the dreams of our sport after all.
(how many young girls wanted to “be Janet Evans”, young boys
“be Josh Davis”?
every Senior National qualifier on your team, you get 5 more votes.
For every National Team member, you get 10 more votes.
club would have direct voice in the decisions of USA Swimming. Some
clubs would chose to exercise that vote. Some would not. Just like
every other American democratic institution.
every club would have direct voice. Real democracy.
athlete, every volunteer, every coach….represented directly by
those they know best…their own club.
national convention would grow. That’s good. More involvement,
more excitement about our sport.
club intending to attend the national convention would name its
delegate and alternates 60 days following the close of the prior
convention, so we’d gain the opportunity (as recommended by the
Governance Commission) to have the most educated possible delegates
to the convention.
I agree, the recommendations of the Governance Task Force are not
strong enough, not democratic enough. Lets do it right. Lets get
this on the floor for the
2003 Convention as an alternate to governance proposal, and
lets get it passed. I recommend we start with an explanation of this
plan to every club in the USA with a direct mail campaign through
USA Swimming and have them ask their LSC delegates to support it.
do you think? Let me know! Jleonard@swimmingcoach.org
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