HR 4969 UPDATE
As we start the New Year, I’d like to bring you up to date on the
progress of HR-4969.
To say that the legislative/political process is complex and slow is an
We entered the fray this time with the introduction of HR-4969, The
Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014, late in the 113th Congressional
session. Our original strategy called for obtaining 30 co-sponsors for
the Bill. We were concerned that getting support might be difficult
thinking that the perception on the Hill is that Amateur Radio is
either old technology, or worse, gone and lost forever.
Were we wrong! We found instead that many were very aware of Amateur
Radio, both as a service in time of need and as a valuable training and
experimental ground for the future of telecommunications. With
face-to-face meetings along with some well written materials used to
provide supporting documentation of our position, we were able to start
to re-establish the branding of Amateur Radio.
Our early string of successes on the Hill, buoyed later by the
concerted efforts of many members locally meeting with their
Congressional members face to face, culminated in nearly 70 co-sponsors
on the Bill.
However, because of the late start on the legislative effort last June,
caused by the need to get a minority cosponsor to make HR-4969 a truly
bipartisan bill, we found the Session ending just as we really started
to hit our stride.
But the news is still good. Due to the this exceptional and surprising
level of support for the Bill, we believe that this will give us a big
head start in the 114th Congress beginning this month. We have in mind
reassembling most, if not all of the co-sponsors, who are returning for
the new Congress. This should give us momentum to obtain a much larger
list of cosponsors for the reintroduced Bill. We have also have had
expressions of interest from some Senators interested in sponsoring a
Senate version of the Bill.
So far, opposition from the one association representing HOAs has been
minimal, and their attempts to oppose the Bill have been unsuccessful
in part due to their misstatements of fact and mischaracterizations of
the actual effect of the Bill.
We were well-aware that there was likely not enough time to pass
HR-4969 in the 113th Congress, but it was important that we begin the
process and obtain the largest showing of support for the good work of
Amateur Radio that we could. This will build momentum for the
continuation of this process in the 114th Congress. So far, we are way
ahead of where we hoped to be by this time.
You know how active I’ve been in this effort. With your help, the
Hudson Division was responsible for 28% of the co-sponsors. This is
just the beginning in our battle to obtain land-use parity. To get the
protections afforded to Amateur Radio by PRB-1 extended to include all
forms of land use. To get the reasonable accommodation we need to
negotiate fairly and in good faith.
Many thanks to all of you. To those who wrote, called, and visited
your Congressional representatives. As we begin our efforts in the
maze that’s called the American political process government; your
efforts have not gone unnoticed. Together we have built a strong
foundation for this next phase.
I look forward to working with you as we move forward.
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This week the ARRL Board of Directors meets to discuss many issues that
concern Amateur Radio. I will be meeting with the Hudson Division
Cabinet in the weekends after the Board meeting to discuss what
transpired in Newington. What follows is my “Hudson Division Annual
Report to the ARRL Board of Directors.”
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Hudson Division Report to the ARRL Board of Directors
A look back at 2014, a look forward to 2015
2014 was a magnificent year. The ARRL Centennial Celebration was truly
a multi-tiered event that was enjoyed throughout the year. January 1st
began with an explosion of sound on the air as we started the year with
the Centennial QSO Party, including the W100AW and W1AW portable
operations. That melody continued throughout the year, culminating in
an unbelievable “Red Badges Day” with literally thousands of QSOs
on December 31st.
The Centennial Convention which took place in Hartford in July, along
with the Regional events, saw the participation of thousands of members
throughout the United States. And the July event was truly international
in scope as we saw visitors from around the world join us in our
Throughout the weekend, every forum saw capacity crowds. The Centennial
Banquet had over 900 guests. The Wouff Hong event was the largest such
event ever held, with around 600 participants pre-registered. The
signing of a new Memorandum of Agreement with FEMA, and the stirring
key-note speech by Craig Fugate KK4INZ, FEMA Administrator, signaled a
new and stronger relationship between our organizations.
The new, activist approach to have PRB-1 protection extended to those
who live in deed-restricted communities took a remarkable turn when,
with the concerted and dedicated efforts of so many members – from
the Board through the rank and file – began to see results first with
the introduction of HR-4969, then with the visits to Congressional
representatives and their staffs in Washington, through the in-District
visits to local offices, through the letter writing/email campaigns.
Thousands of constituent letters were hand delivered, which sent a very
loud message. Working in concert, these efforts allowed us to get nearly
70 co-sponsors of the bill in a matter of weeks. Unfortunately, the
session ended as we fully hit our stride. However, bolstered by our
successes, the quest begins anew in the new, 114th Congress. I am proud
of the work done by those who participated in this quest and honored to
have worked with them. I look forward to the challenge of the New Year.
Here are some highlights from 2014 and goals for 2015.
* Keynote Speaker at Ham Radio University, NLI Section convention.
* Began second year as Director.
– Elected to Executive Committee.
* Continued participation on ARRL Centennial Steering Committee.
– Attended monthly meetings at ARRL HQ.
– Participated in the ARRL Centennial Celebration.
. Master of Ceremonies for Banquet
. “The Novice” in the Wouff Hong ceremony
. Helped obtain 5,000 letters of support for HR-4969
. Awarded ARRL Centennial Celebration Medal of Honor.
* My grass-roots pilot program becomes ARRL Legislative policy.
– Numerous trips to Washington, D.C. to obtain support for HR-4969
– Many days in meetings seeking support.
– Met with Congressional representatives in the Hudson Division.
. Traveled throughout the Division obtaining support.
– Responsible for obtaining 28% of all co-sponsors on HR-4969
* Participated as member of the HF Band Planning Committee.
* Continued Hudson Division Cabinet meetings in each Section.
– Less travel for members.
– More participation per meeting.
* Continued rotation of the Annual Hudson Division Awards.
– Rotated venue to NLI Section, 1st time hosted there in 10 years.
– Raise over $4,500 for ARRL legislative issues advocacy.
* Travel nearly 7,000 miles attending meetings and hamfests.
– 300 miles alone on Field Day.
* Continue participation in ARRL Legislative strategy.
– Visit Congressional and Senate offices.
– Obtain support for new Congressional and Senate Bills.
– Continue efforts within the Division for updated Bills.
* Seek Board support for a Legislative Issues Advocacy Fund.
– Start new fund to raise monies for issues advocacy.
– Raise funds.
– Offset costs from national legislative advocacy effort.
* Continue efforts within Division to increase ARRL membership.
* Hold general membership meeting for Hudson Division.
– First time ever in Division.
– Webinar format.
Respectfully submitted, Mike Lisenco, N2YBB
Director, Hudson Division
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In closing, a thank you and a welcome.
Dr. George Wilner, K2ONP, the long time Hudson Division representative
to the Contest Advisory Committee has informed me that he is retiring
from the position. The C.A.C. is charged with conducting reviews of,
and changes to, the ARRL Contest Rules for the approval of the Board of
Directors. George has been a marvelous asset to the ARRL in general and
to the C.A.C. in particular. I sincerely thank him for his long
service, and I wish him well.
To replace George I found another George.
I am pleased to appoint George Tranos, N2GA, as the new representative
for the Hudson Division to the ARRL Contest Advisory Committee.
George is a Life Member of the ARRL, is a former Section Manager for
NLI, and for the past nearly 4 years has been the Contest columnist for
CQ Magazine. George is an active contester, a member and officer of The
Order of Boiled Owls of New York contest club, has served as an umpire
for WRTC, and has won numerous awards as a contester.
George will be an asset to the C.A.C., and I am pleased to appoint
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That’s it for me. Have a great week!
73 de Mike N2YB