The story behind 1Member1Vote.org
1Member1Vote is not a new concept. It is the backbone of any democracy. The reasons why 1Member1Vote.org was created and the overall goals of 1Member1Vote.org are explained on the page titled Learn more about 1Member1Vote.org.
This page provides a running history of the genesis and evolution of the 1Member1Vote.org movement. We hope you'll join us in shaping a better AVMA and profession FOR the membership, BY the membership.
(in reverse chronological order)
July 27, 2010
Three large, backlit signs go up in the Atlanta airport bringing the message to colleagues arriving for the annual AVMA meeting.
July 20, 2010
The VIN Foundation Board approves a motion to support the initial launch of the 1Member1Vote.org movement to include:
- This website
- Buttons to be the main communication tool to spread the message
- Placement of the message in places colleagues will see the message.
July 14-16, 2010 - Las Vegas, NV
At the NAVMEC III meeting, VIN Foundation Board members Carl Darby and Paul Pion are encouraged by attendees (young and not so young) to pursue the One Member One Vote concept.
GENESIS of 1Member1Vote.org
(a brief summary by Paul D. Pion, DVM, DipACVIM, co-founder of VIN)
Like most veterinarians, I focused upon my career and serving the needs of patients, clients and colleagues -- and left politics to others. AVMA was a place to get health or liability insurance and where they printed JAVMA. It didn't receive much more thought.
That began to change in the late Spring of 2007 when AVMA GHLIT partnered with a single pet insurance provider and AVMA responded to member protests by claiming that although ultimately governed by AVMA, AVMA-GHLIT operates autonomously from AVMA.
Disenfranchisement of members and a pattern of hiding behind the excuse that AVMA related entities are autonomous crystallized when AVMA members expressed concern about the AVMA's growing accreditation of foreign veterinary schools -- particularly those in countries, like Mexico, where the practice of advanced small animal medicine is not yet a part of the culture.
The response by AVMA includes that they are working on better communication (Facebook, Twitter, newsletters, townhall sessions) -- laudable efforts! The problem remains that the membership feels that AVMA doesn't represent them or understand their issues. Although AVMA leadership is correct that the membership should get more involved, it is unclear to most members how to accomplish that -- or be heard -- without committing years to the process of working up the chain of command at their state organization and AVMA.
After some very heated exchanges between AVMA and AVMA members, it is clear that there was little to be gained by further division between colleagues. Yet there seems no way for members to feel that they are heard. At the same time, AVMA leadership express sincere frustration that they have process and members don't appreciate it or their recent efforts, nor do they get involved.
Stalemate! How to move forward in a positive manner?
A small group began talking about a concept that emerged during the above discussions. One Member, One Vote!
They brought this concept to the VIN Foundation, a 501c3 committed to helping colleagues through transitions in their careers with the overall goal of supporting efforts to make certain that our future includes a strong and independent, veterinary-owned profession. The VIN Foundation is committed to ensuring that our future is different from that which has become reality for pharmacists and several other professions who thought "it couldn't happen to them."
The VIN Foundation agreed to fund this website and an initial communications effort to bring the message One Member, One Vote to the profession in hopes that the AVMA will heed the call and evolve into a better AVMA that represents its members in a more democratic and open fashion.
Why? Because the VIN Foundation believes that a strong AVMA that is in alignment with its membership, serving as the chief advocate protecting the value of a veterinary degree and the image of veterinarians within society is both what AVMA members want from AVMA and that AVMA acting as that advocate for colleagues is critical to sustaining and building a better life for colleagues today and in the future -- goals that are fully in alignment with those of the VIN Foundation.
It is hoped that in a short time, leaders for this effort will emerge (are YOU interested?) and that colleagues will support the effort. The time has come -- Help build a better AVMA -- 1Member1Vote.org.