Sunday, April 03, 2011


If you are a member of AFSA, you probably got a ballot in the mail in the past week.

All too often, active duty members are less likely to vote than retiree members. I think you should vote, and I am going to give you my two cents on who to vote for even though you didn't ask.

First, two-time GLIFAA board member Ken Kero-Mentz is running as a state rep. He is smart and committed and I think he will represent us well on the board. Also, because not enough people stepped up to run for State Rep, I hope you will consider writing in Mary Glantz. She had not expected to be in DC this year, which is why she did not run for re-election. But she now thinks she may be here...I hope you will consider writing her in, since she is on the current governing board and makes certain that the needs of the active duty and the future of the Foriegn Service are foremost in the minds of the members of the governing board.

This time, only one position is contested, that of president. Long-time AFSA board member Tex Harris and current president Susan Johnson are running for the position.

I think Tex is a great guy, super committed. But I hope you'll consider voting for Susan.

And here is why: I sincerely believe that we need an active duty person as president.

Of course we need to take care of the needs of our retirees. But Tex once said that we are all retirees, that some of us just are future retirees. And this simply is no longer true.

I think that someone who is not active duty is not in touch with the issues we face. Many of us, far more often than in the past, will leave this career for a variety of reasons. Ours is not the Foreign Service that the current retirees served in. We have far more unaccompanied posts that in the past.

In the past, people could not imagine quitting this career once you got in. And now, plenty leave over a variety of issues. When I was in Jerusalem, every person I served with (including me and my wife) were looking for other jobs. At least three have left the service.

Which is why we need to keep Susan Johnson.

She has, over her past term, proven she understands our issues and deals with them with a deft touch. She has formed alliances with management without forgetting that her job, first and foremost, is to advance the best interests of the foreign service, even when this conflicts with management.

I hope you'll consider voting, and voting for Susan, Ken and Mary.

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