Over the past several months there has been growing discussion relative to our affiliate, Guide Dog Users, Inc., and the involvement of the ACB board of directors. By motion of the board at a teleconference meeting held on Dec. 17th, I am providing a brief update on where matters stand at the present time.
Prior to our fall board meeting in Columbus, Ohio, Jenine Stanley and other past GDUI presidents including first vice president Kim Charlson formed a group to attempt to resolve differences within that affiliate. It was generally believed by the board that this group was acting as a neutral party; and therefore, I invited Jenine to speak to us about events up to that point.
Jenine did so and after lengthy and serious deliberation, the board chose to take no action. We took that position because one of ACB's founding principles is that our affiliates are autonomous entities, with the power to set their own agendas and policies. While a thorough review of our constitution and bylaws reveals no specific provision prohibiting board intervention in affiliate business, such a prohibition is one of the strongest tenets of ACB governance and culture.
Subsequently, the GDUI president, Laurie Mehta, and I exchanged correspondence in which, among other things, she requested an opportunity to address the board of directors. By another board motion, I have tendered such an invitation to Ms. Mehta to speak to us in early January. It is our sincere hope to gain a better understanding of where matters currently stand within GDUI and it is further our belief that Ms. Mehta will help us to gain that understanding.
The ACB board of directors has every expectation that the leadership and membership of Guide Dog Users, Inc. can and will resolve whatever differences exist and continue to be one of the strongest organizations within the American Council of the Blind.
Mitch Pomerantz, President
American Council of the Blind