Dear Candidates: We Want to Meet You!

by Ron Brooks

We have all witnessed as many, if not most, of the U.S. presidential candidates have engaged in lively debates, verbal brawls and incredibly entertaining attack ads, and while these may be staples in many election cycles, they are not part of our ACB culture. Instead, ACB elections thrive on two basic commodities: great candidates who care deeply about ACB and its members, and a couple of great tools for gathering and sharing information that our members can use to decide which candidates to elect.
 
At the 2016 convention, ACB members will be electing five members of the board of directors and three members of the board of publications. The board of publications can’t recruit the candidates, but we will be doing our part to ensure that every ACB member has the best information available about each candidate so that you can make informed decisions about who will serve as the future leaders of ACB. This article describes the two tools the BOP will use to help you get to know your future ACB leadership team.

The Candidates’ Page

The Candidates’ Page is a place where individuals can introduce themselves and share their answers to several questions crafted by the BOP to inform the ACB electorate about each candidate and his or her points of view on issues of importance to the organization. Candidates are not required to post information on the Candidates’ Page. However, those candidates who do introduce themselves on the Candidates’ Page are entitled to be interviewed on ACB Radio in June. More importantly, candidates who participate on the Candidates’ Page are contributing to the quality and quantity of information which ACB members and affiliates can use when making voting decisions at the conference and convention.
 
BOP and board candidates who post on the Candidates’ Page will be asked to answer each of the following questions — using 300 words or less.

Questions for Board Candidates

  1. Introduce yourself and explain why you wish to serve as a board member of ACB.
  2. Summarize any experience, knowledge, skills and/or abilities you have which will strengthen and enhance our board.
  3. What do you consider to be your strongest contribution to ACB at either the national, state, special-interest affiliate or local chapter level and why?
  4. What do you consider to be the most important challenge facing ACB? How will you work to address it?

Questions for BOP Candidates

  1. Introduce yourself and explain why you wish to serve as a member of the BOP.
  2. Summarize any experience, knowledge, skills and/or abilities you have which will strengthen and enhance our board of publications.
  3. How have you used printed or electronic information to contribute to a positive image of ACB, an ACB affiliate, a local ACB chapter or blind/visually impaired people in general? How can you use this experience to help the BOP do likewise for ACB?
  4. What do you believe the BOP can do to strengthen the appeal of ACB’s message within minority communities and with blind and visually impaired people under the age of 40?

Candidates for both board and BOP positions are invited to provide contact e-mail addresses and links to web sites or social media sites where ACB members can obtain more information about the candidate and/or engage in a dialogue with the candidate about these or other issues. Web site links and e-mail addresses will not be live and will not count toward the 300-word limits described herein.
 
Please note: The BOP will not edit for spelling, punctuation, grammar or any other conventions of language. The BOP will cut off any response at 300 words.

Instructions for Candidates’ Page Submissions

  1. Any individual wishing to post information to the Candidates’ Page must be a member in good standing. Entries from individuals who are not in good standing will not be posted.
  2. Submissions may be made in typed print (no handwritten submissions), braille or electronic format. Acceptable electronic formats include Microsoft Word, ASCII text file, or e-mail.
  3. Print, braille or electronic submissions on thumb drives may be mailed to: American Council of the Blind; Attention: Candidates’ Page; 1703 N. Beauregard St., Suite 420, Alexandria, VA 22311.
  4. E-mail submissions may be sent to slovering@acb.org. Include the words “Candidates’ Page” in the subject line.
  5. Without exception, the deadline for Candidates’ Page submissions is 4 p.m. Eastern, Wednesday, June 1, 2016.

ACB Candidates’ Forum

The BOP’s second tool for connecting candidates with voters is the ACB Candidates’ Forum. The Candidates’ Forum is a live, unscripted meeting where candidates are invited to introduce themselves and to answer questions from a BOP moderator and from the audience — including those people tuning in via ACB Radio. This year’s Candidates’ Forum will take place at 5:45 p.m. Central time on Tuesday, July 5, at the ACB conference and convention in Minneapolis, Minn. ACB members who wish to submit questions may do so by dropping them off at the communication center or by e-mailing them to slovering@acb.org by June 27th.