Someone on Nextdoor.com posted “FAN was started because some people felt ANC (Austin Neighborhood Council) was not being inclusive enough. But the reason organizations like Friends of Hyde Park were refused membership is because ANC requires any member organization to show a clear democratic process in their bylaws.”
Below was my reply:
According to the Friends of Hyde Park website their bylaws state “All voting involving the membership will be done online based on the voter database maintained by the membership committee.”
The Friends of Austin Neighboods website says “Rights of Represented and at-large FANs: All Members have full rights to participate in the communications forum, receive news digests and other communications from FAN leadership, participate in all committees at all levels including as an officer or chair, attend all meetings, whether of the general membership at the City or District Level or of the executive committee (unless closed for executive sessions). For matters requiring a vote each FANNA will be casting a single vote. Represented FANs would vote through their respective FANNA at the neighborhood organization level. At-large FANs will vote online, the results of which will determine a single vote for the at-large FAN membership.”
I am a member of FAN. I think it is a mistake for people to think it is anti ANC. It is pro neighborhoods. Its goals are not reactionary they are visionary. It’s goals are to be inclusive and embrace change, that will create affordability, mobility, and quality of life in our neighborhoods. Using the latest technology to allow members to communicate, share ideas and strategies, FAN is focused on giving neighborhoods a banner of inclusivity to rally around and tools to realize their individual goals.
I joined because I want to support that ideal. I joined because I was welcomed and embraced as an at large member, I joined because I can speak my mind. I joined because I want to do my part to further the stated goals. I will remain a member as long as I feel the stated goals are being actualized.
There is too much to do to spend time reacting to the perception of others. There is too much to do to expend energy on negativity. The focus of FAN members has to be on recruiting, teaching, and supporting individuals and neighborhood interests. Those that would spend time stirring the shit of others will find FAN a poor place to do that.
Friends of Hyde Park applied to be ANC members and they did reject us, but they never told us why. We sent them several followup emails asking them why we were rejected because they never gave us a reason, but they still never responded. I think that says everything.