For those who have not yet voted for Secretary in the AILA election, I strongly urge you to do so. We are not only determining the direction of the Executive Committee, but we are also choosing a future President of AILA.
This year we have two very competent candidates, but with a clear difference in philosophies and visions for the future of our organization. I want to let you know why I (and many other Past Presidents) are voting for Bernie Wolfsdorf.
First of all, Bernie has those special qualities of leadership, charisma, and diplomacy that we have rarely seen in one person. He is the type of person who can represent our organization to the government and the media and who can inspire our membership to take on new challenges.
Bernie has an inclusive philosophy. He is opposed to the efforts that have been made to restrict membership in AILA (including to public defenders) and to create a "closed club" type of atmosphere. He is also opposed to efforts to limit AILA's leaders from contributing to other pro-immigration organizations and other organizations that disseminate information on immigration issues.
I also agree with Bernie's attitude toward liaison. I share his concerns with how little liaison has accomplished in recent years. I agree with him that we need to take a more aggressive approach to resolving issues for which no progress has been made with business-as-usual approaches.
Finally, I believe the time is overripe for having an Executive Committee that is representative of our national constituency. All members of the present Executive Committee are from the central or eastern part of the country. There is no representation from the western half of the country. In fact, there has not been a member of the Executive Committee from a California Service Center jurisdiction in over ten years. We are lucky to have such a qualified candidate as Bernie Wolfsdorf from California to fill this void. I appreciate the opportunity to share my views with you on this important election.
H. Ronald Klasko
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