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Monday, June 23, 2014


Dear Members,

Just a quick message to bring you up to date on the FCCJ 2014 Election. We're only four days away. And despite concerns raised by some candidates, the Thurs. June 26 election will go on as scheduled!

As I wrote to the board of directors, preparations for this election have been extremely challenging for all its newness. Our new koeki shadan hojin (public interest association) status has required us to adopt and adapt to new Articles and Bylaws -- the first change of this kind in the nearly 70-year history of the Club. Changes always take time. We've managed so far to navigate the many bumps in the road. We are certainly learning from our mistakes and will be able to apply those lessons to refining the system next year.

Election Committee chair Haruko Watanabe is stepping down, "for peace and harmony at the Club." Committee member Peter Langan will take over as chair. I greatly appreciate Watanabe san's sense of duty but it should be noted the misunderstandings have emerged because of the new rules that we are coping with. Please know that during her 34 years as a Club member Watanabe san has served on the board five times from 1st vice president to kanji, and chaired election committees five times.

In addition, Kanji William Sposato will be working with Watanabe san on formulating a clearer set of guidelines that will fully adhere to our new Articles and Bylaws to help guide future elections. I thank them both for this work in this area.

I have been very grateful to Watanabe san and the great contributions made by the Election Committee and Associates Nomination Committee. Everyone has worked very, very hard toward this. Let's keep our heads above the fray and our eyes on the goal: Electing a great board of directors that will focus on the needs of the membership as a whole -- not their own agendas -- who will lead with wisdom, compassion and fairness.

Respectfully yours,

Lucy Birmingham
FCCJ President


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