2009 AFSA Elections: End Words and Such

Five days after the AFSA election results were supposed to be sent out, and three days after it actually went out on AFSNet, all I could find from the Team AFSA website is this short message that needs either grave editing or translation …

AFSA Voters

Great results. a great finish for TEAM AFSA 2009 and a long and worthwhile journey!

As of late, yesterday evening the results are in, and will be officially declared as of this Monday. While the election committee still has a few issues to resolve, the basic fact is clear- the 2009 AFSA election is over.

It’s important to note that while many bask in the glory of the results, one candidate who fancies himeself student of Churchill, let’s allow the days and weeks to play out out before declaring victory.

A Diplopundit reader suggested that Churchill was a reference to Daniel Hirsch who won the State VP seat. Meanwhile, a check on the CLEAN Slate website has this message from David Firestein and his slate-mates.

Dear Fellow AFSA Members,

After one of the most intensely contested elections in modern AFSA history, the 2009 election is over and we have a split decision:

CLEAN Slate has won the active-duty vote and Team AFSA has won the retiree vote.

When the 2009-2011 AFSA Governing Board convenes its two-year term on July 15, nine members of CLEAN Slate and ten members of Team AFSA will join six independents (all of whom were endorsed by CLEAN Slate) to set about the business of strengthening the United States Foreign Service and defending the professional interests of AFSA’s 14,000 members.

The eighteen members of CLEAN Slate congratulate all those who will take office next month and wish them only the best in the important work ahead. Those of us who were not elected stand ready to pitch in whenever needed.

Just 23% of AFSA members voted in this election (46% of retirees and well under 20% of active-duty personnel cast ballots) — a turnout that, while certainly not what we would have hoped, nonetheless is the highest AFSA has seen since 2001. CLEAN Slate thanks all of those who voted for helping to shape the future of AFSA and the Foreign Service, and we encourage all those who did not vote in this election to get involved in 2011 — and, as importantly, to engage with AFSA in the interim. Your voice is important and we want it to be heard.

The campaign is now over. Starting today, we work together, in common cause, to address the challenges confronting our Foreign Service.

The work ahead will not be easy, but we have every confidence that the experienced, capable, diverse and “bipartisan” team you have chosen to assume AFSA’s reins on July 15 will work tirelessly for all of us and deliver the results AFSA’s members deserve and pay for.

To all of those who supported CLEAN Slate in this election — active-duty colleagues from State, USAID, FCS, FAS and IBB and retirees — we say: THANK YOU! We are deeply grateful for, and humbled by, the trust you placed in us.

To those who supported our opponents, we say: the members of CLEAN Slate who have been elected to the next Board will represent you, too, and we will strive to earn your support and your confidence.

Again, thank you to all those who answered the call to run, congratulations to the candidates who won, and best of luck to the members-elect of the 2009-2011 Governing Board!


CLEAN Slate 2009

David Firestein
Louise Crane
Nancy Brannaman
Daniel Hirsch (State Vice President-elect)
Ambassador Shirley Barnes
Rebecca Balogh (FCS Representative-elect)
Carleton Bulkin (State Representative-elect)
Jorge Delfin (State Representative-elect)
Les Hickman (State Representative-elect)
Michalene Kaczmarek
Joyce Namde (State Representative-elect)
Julie Stewart (State Representative-elect)
Mike Unglesbee (State Representative-elect)
Sharon White (State Representative-elect)
David T. Jones
Bill Savich
Sonja Sweek
Pete Wood

has some post-mortem on the AFSA elections, read the comments section, too. I’ve written previously that the AFSA election engagement needs a makeover. I’ve now come to think that the AFSA election guidelines also need some work. I think it would also be useful to the membership if minutes of the AFSA meetings are posted online so that their deliberations are transparent. The truth of the mater is people won’t care until they realize what are at stake. But people won’t realize what are the stakes if everything is done behind closed doors.

Do stay around and watch and don’t be shy about sending the new Governing Board your thoughts …. especially if you are in the active-service. I’ll be watching ….