By Rick Otterstrom, The President Speaks
I want to thank AAGLA Directors and Members for electing me as their 2012 President. It is my honor to serve AAGLA this year.
I’ve been an AAGLA member since 1975 and served as a Director for the past 10 years. I have been Chair of the Los Angeles Governmental Relations Committee, and served as Vice Chair; and Chair of the State Governmental Relations Committee. I was and continue to be heavily involved in the political and legislative issues that affect us and our industry.
I am now deeply involved in all aspects of AAGLA’s business. My political and legislative involvement is now cut back as I make room for my duties in the decision- making and running processes of AAGLA. I will not be managing the day-to-day operation of the Association. We already have a very capable staff and leader in the person of Executive Director Jim Clarke to do that job.
As leaders we are here to serve our members and the industry, to the best of our ability, with honesty and integrity. I follow a great line of AAGLA former Presidents and Directors. I particularly want to give my thanks to our outgoing President, Earle Vaughan, for where he has brought AAGLA during his tireless two-year tenure. Earle is a hard act to follow.
In legislative news, this year we face the beginning of the second year of a two-year state legislative session. In 2011, our Sacramento lobbyists, Steve Carlson and Tim Coyle, and AAGLA had a good legislative year. We defeated many bills that would have made doing business in California much more difficult for all of our owners, big and small.
Some of those defeated bills can be brought back to the Legislature for new hearings. There will also be new bills that we will have to fight. It seems that state legislators never run out of bad ideas. As a result, we can’t rest on our laurels just because we had a successful 2011.
We need to work hard again this year. And we must remember to continually thank and support our friends in the Legislature who made our successes possible. We will keep you up to date on new legislation and on when we need you to act.
That said; while this magazine is a great way to get ongoing information about our industry, we also would like a more direct way to communicate with you. If you have not already done so, PLEASE SEND US YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS so Jim and I can more quickly contact you with late-breaking news and our need for your help on critical issues.
In another vein, politics and legislation aren’t the only things I’m concerned with. We have started many new internal AAGLA programs in the last two years. I intend to devote much of my AAGLA time to furthering and completing these.
May you all have a Happy and Prosperous New Year.