INTRODUCTION to the MRF White Papers Volume 2
by Rick Gray
The MRF is pleased to present to you the Second Edition of White Papers. Unlike the First Edition, this year’s edition of White Papers has topics suggested by the writers rather than assigned topics. Therefore, though there is no overall theme, the nature of the papers can be categorized into three major groups. The MRF gives permission to reprint the contents so long as credit is given to the author and the MRF in so doing.
Initially, we have that group of papers which offer practical advice on “The Operation of a Motorcyclists’ Rights Organization.” Included in this group is ABATE of Oregon Coordinator Rich Benson’s paper on “Business Management for Motorcyclists’ Rights Organizations.” Next, Mike Lewis of United Bikers of Maine gives us advice on where to get the information to support the views we know are right in “General Research.” Mara Crosby, also of UBM, gives us directions on getting the information out to members in “Newsletters for MROs: Creating, Budgeting and Writing Tactics.” Dave Lynch of ABATE of Illinois addresses “The Effective use of Computers in Motorcyclists’ Rights Organizations.” Finally, Jack Goodman, also of ABATE of Illinois, gives some personal refections on his life experiences in “Safety and Education.”
The second group of Papers falls into the category of “Substantive Issues Addressed by MROs.” This group of Papers deals with some practical experiences of motorcyclist rights activists in addressing current issues. Wayne Curtin’s prepared testimony before the House of Representatives Public Works and Transportation Committee’s Surface Transportation Subcommittee effectively deals with the current issues in Congress and gives one the flavor of what is happening on the national level. Next is Bob Higdon’s paper on “The Fight to Open Virginia’s HOV Lanes” to motorcycles. Bob is Vice-President of the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America, active in numerous rights groups and a contributor to last year’s White Papers. So too was Iowa’s Lee McCubbin, who this year addresses “Mandatory Motorcycle Rider Education Legislation: The Iowa Experience.” Finally, Ms. Kris, now of Idaho, gives her annual review of the statistics collected by the Motorcycle Industry Council in “Contributions of Motorcycling to the U.S. Economy, 1992.”
The last category of the Papers touches on philosophical issues: Gail Gray of ABATE of Pennsylvania and my home, explores the meaning of freedom and questions surrounding it in, “Thoughts on the Road.”
As the coordinator of this project, I would like to thank all those who submitted Papers for publication this year. Due to space limitations not all papers submitted could be printed, and I am sensitive to the fact that certain judgments had to be made as to what would or would not be published. To those of you who promised papers, but never got around to it, we expect them next year!
NOTES FROM THE EDITOR
One recurring concept I notice in this year’s White Papers is, “Sto reinventing the wheel.” That is precisely what the MRF is trying to help you avoid by publishing the White Papers.
Many of you have already experienced the pitfalls waiting for us in the world, and devised ways to keep from falling in again. You’ve invented new plans and strategies, learned to deal with the intricacies of state and federal legislative and bureaucratic institutions, and found ways to work with diverse groups of people. Your knowledge is what we want to communicate to others. Your research — your business savvy — your successes and failures — all are tools to be shared with your comrades in arms.
This year, we returned several submissions to their authors. Some turned out to be simply inappropriate to this year’s goals. Some contained ideas and thoughts that hold much potential value but were incompletely researched and prepared. To those authors, we ask that you spend a little more time on your subject and submit again next year. You’ve got a good idea. Dig deeper, find the evidence to support your theory, and draw the picture more completely.
The White Papers is one of the ways we can share our expertise and thinking processes, and avoid work already done by someone before us. Let’s be as thorough and dependable as we can when we provide information to each other.
Thanks to all of you for your contributions. In joining together to reach common goals, we find the strength and the backing to succeed.