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A Space Election Year

Miles O'Brien and Jim Plaxco at the 2008 International Space Development Conference
Miles O’Brien (l) and Jim Plaxco (r) at the National Space Society’s 2008 International Space Development Conference

I received my National Space Society Board of Directors election ballot in the mail yesterday. So why am I writing about this? Basically because I am one of the candidates vying for an At Large seat on the NSS board.

Of the many non-profit organizations that I’ve been involved with – whether as an officer, director, or just plain member, the National Space Society strikes me as being the most democratic. Members elect the directors and directors elect/approve the officers. The large number of directors – 32 – provides for a variety of perspectives.

To get on the ballot, candidates are either nominated by the NSS Nominations Committee or circulate petitions and receive the required number of signatures from NSS members. One thing is certain: this will be a competitive election with 17 well qualified candidates competing for just 12 At Large seats. The At Large directors serve four year terms and are voted for by the general membership. The other class of directors are the Regional directors who serve two year terms and are voted for by members that reside in the associated geographic region. In this election there are 9 candidates for 8 regions. Looking over the list of candidates, I’m pleased to say that I’ve had the opportunity to work with many of them in the past.

On the candidate list are three At Large candidates who were nominated by both the Nominations Committee and by petition. They are Jim Plaxco (that being me), Jeffrey Liss, and Ken Money. There are another 11 candidates who were nominated by the Nominations Committee but not by petition: Larry Ahearn, Dale Amon, Amara Angelica, Gary Barnhard, David Brandt-Erichsen, Anita Gale, Peter Garretson, Ed McCullough, Joe Redfield, Yvonne Spenser, and Jay Wittner. There are another 3 candidates who were nominated by petition only: Kim Elm, Anntonette Joseph, and John Strickland. In the mix of candidates we have an astronaut, a lawyer, a US Air Force officer, a science journalist, a bank vice president, some entrepreneurs and engineers, et. al. – and I haven’t covered the regional candidates.

Unfortunately the candidate statements for the 17 At Large and 9 Regional candidates are not available online. However you are welcome to read my candidate statement. I confess that I had a hard time getting my statement down under the 400 word limit.

And just what does the National Space Society’s Board do? According to the NSS Bylaws, the Board is … responsible for the overall supervision, control, direction and governance of the property, activities, and affairs of the Society, its committees and publications; shall determine its policies or changes therein; shall actively prosecute its objectives and supervise the disbursement of its funds;… and the list goes on.

So for all of you NSS members out there, please take the time to read over all the candidate statements and vote in the election. After all, these are the people who will be deciding how to best use your membership dues and donations and deciding on the National Space Society’s priorities for how best to promote human space exploration.

Ad Astra, Jim

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