There has been a great amount of talk and pandering around the upcoming vote by membership for the USCF Executive Board. Any attempt to summarize the past 4 years on this blog would require weeks of due diligence and hard work, and would serve to only infuriate current board members of the USCF, should I be so lucky they read this. I think it is sufficient to state that the membership has reaped what it has sowed in the election of certain board members and the (perhaps not) unanticipated behavior said members have engaged in the past 4 years. A quick perusal of the usenet news groups and USCF boards paints a broad picture of the real trouble our federation is in. Recent troubles with sponsorship of the US Championship only highlight a small portion of the underlying problems the USCF has endured recently.
In short, it's time for a change across the board, 'board' being taken in a literal and figurative sense here.
We, as the Voting USCF membership, have a great opportunity to put into power a new set of Executive Board members that bring to the table a long list of previous experiences in finance, organization, scholastic education of chess, and a great love for the game that the current Executive Board seem to not possess and act in an indifferent manner towards. How else could one rationalize some of their actions over the past few years, actions that hurt the USCF and it's membership directly and indirectly, and financially strapped the federation?
I have been involved, as a member on and off, with the USCF since I was in my mid-teens, which makes that somewhere around 30 years. I have personally seen the USCF go through the ebb and floe all businesses go through due to economic circumstances generally beyond their control. As members, we feel for the corporation in those times of financial and 'chess environmental' difficulties. But to see an organization self-destruct from the inside, as has been the case over the past several years with the USCF, is something that we, AS VOTERS, need to step forward and make our voices be heard and make a much needed change.
There is much talk about the current failings of the executive board; the mistakes they have made, the (few) good things they (some would say) fell into. Being objective, it would be hard to hold them accountable if the reasons behind the current state of the USCF were out of their hands. But no matter how you spin, slice, dice or talk it in a Clintonesque manner, it IS their fault. They should be responsible, and it is up to us to speak loudly together with single votes and bring in a new group of administrators who possess a vision that is, at worst, fresh and restorative in nature to the USCF, and hold the current Executive Board responsible for their actions in the only way we can: removal.
If you are happy with the way the USCF has been run, then go ahead and vote to keep the current Executive Board in power. That is your right, your privilege, your responsibility as a member.
If you, like many, many members, are disgusted with the soap opera that has continued on and on, the bickering, the back-stabbing, the poor decision-making, the politicizing of those decisions, regardless of the damage it does to the federation, regardless of the damage it does to the membership (YOU), then I strongly urge you to cast your vote for any candidate that is currently NOT on the Executive Board.
There comes a time when change is something that is necessary, good and the right thing to do.
That time is NOW at the USCF.
I'll be back with a mixture of chess and USCF E.B. candidate statements over the next several weeks.
Let's tell them what we really think.