Please Vote: FCAS Name Change Referendum
by John Shenot
Last month I notified members that the FCAS Board of Directors had decided, unanimously, to recommend a change to our chapterís name to something that isnít specific to Fort Collins and doesnít include the name Audubon. The reasons we are considering this big step are twofold: 1) almost half of our members (45 percent) donít live in Fort Collins; and 2) John James Audubon was a slave owner and defender of the institution of slavery, and some people may feel that an organization named in his honor is not a place where they belong or would feel welcomed. The Board adopted a resolution, available at www.fortcollinsaudubon.org/namechangeresolution, that provides a formal statement of the rationale for this recommendation. We also have collected links to additional information on the Audubon name controversy and answers to frequently asked questions, which you can review at www.fortcollinsaudubon.org/namechangeFAQs.
Importantly, the Board decided that we should not and wonít take this big step unless a substantial majority of our members support the resolution. Members in good standing will now have the opportunity to vote on whether to drop the old name and begin the search for a new name. (The Board does not have any alternative names in mind at this time.)
On or about October 1, members for whom we have a current email address will receive an email with these headings: On or about October 1, members for whom we have a current email address will receive an email with these headings:
From: OpaVote Voting Link
Subject: Resolution expressing the need to rename the Fort Collins Audubon Society
The email will include a link to a secure webpage where each recipient can vote yes or no on a single question: do you or do you not support the resolution and a name change? The vote will remain open until October 19, but members will only be able to vote once. Non-members cannot vote. The Board of Directors will be able to see who has and has not voted, but not how anyone votes. If you donít vote right away, you may receive reminder emails. If you do not receive an email by October 3 and want to vote in the referendum, contact President John Shenot no later than October 18.
In other news, I want to encourage any FCAS member who might be interested in serving on the Board of Directors in 2024 to contact me at your earliest convenience. Weíre once again starting the annual process of recruiting volunteers and will announce the members of our nominations committee at the chapter meeting on October 12. Iím always happy to bring new faces to the leadership of FCAS and will gladly answer your questions about the roles we need to fill and what it takes to serve. The most important thing for any potential Board candidate to know is that FCAS is financially strong, has stable membership numbers, and has a superb Board of Directors sharing the load of running the organization. Also, rest assured that you donít have to be an expert birder or have experience leading any type of organization. New Board members will get a lot of coaching and help in whatever role they assume.
Please note that in keeping with our bylaws, the position of president is the only position on the Board that serves two-year terms. I was elected last year to a term that runs through 2024, so that position does not need to be filled. All other officer and director positions serve one-year terms and will be up for election at our annual meeting in January.