(From Michael Ginsborg’s statements to the Caucus email list, as edited by Jamie Marie Keller. Marie S. Newman has also posted on our recognition here.)
On November 5th, with Michael Ginsborg in attendance, the AALL Executive Board unanimously approved a motion to recognize the AALL Caucus on Consumer Advocacy with a slightly amended purpose. The approved purpose is “The AALL Caucus on Consumer Advocacy will recommend to AALL the AALL Executive Board that it petition appropriate government bodies for specific remedies to anti-competitive and unfair business practices by legal information sellers.”
There were two main concerns about the Caucus from the Executive Board. First, the Executive Board was concerned about the undefined relationships between the Caucus and the Vendor Liaison and CRIV. Margie Maes, Vendor Liaison, considers it her responsibility to develop a policy under which AALL would pursue consumer advocacy, and hopes to define the role of AALL in consumer advocacy with a policy ready for the Spring Board meeting. CRIV’s purpose, to facilitate communications between AALL members and vendors, was also brought up. This is not what the Caucus proposes to do.
The second concern the Board had was that the Caucus would end up speaking on behalf of AALL, or otherwise risk AALL liability, and would lack sufficient oversight. One board member responded by underscoring the limited nature of the Caucus’ purpose. Another board member stated that the Board can address that contingency if it arises.
Our member-driven Caucus was held out by a board member as an example of spurring grassroots interest, which AALL President Darcy Kirk agreed was important to AALL.
Michael Ginsborg sent the following to the Caucus’ email list: “I am grateful for your kind thoughts. Of course, I am just as grateful to you [our members]. Our recognition owes to your persistence, dedication, patience and hard work. I told the AALL Board how amazed I was at your level of enthusiasm, energy and engagement. I said that I had never seen anything like it. Our message here was even more compelling due to support from PLL-SIS and petition signatories. (For helping gain PLL-SIS support, we owe a special thanks to Steve Lastres.) In fact, the combined effect may have been decisive.”
Having matched our vision with a new opportunity, we now have the challenges ahead of using the opportunity to AALL’s best advantage. You can help us by joining! If you want to follow our listserv, contact Sarah Glassmeyer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Even if you cannot join us, we welcome your suggestions and insights.