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RE: SEAOSC Board Inquiry from Warren

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When the Shafat and I discussed what we perceived as goals for this List and
Web, it was our intention to provide the tools that were needed to unite the
profession, not segregate it. Our professional discussions are not regional
issues, but have received opinions from around the world. Those who need
answers to work related problems need responses and dialog in real-time. For
this same reason, we have repeatedly promoted the List and WebPages to be
used in the code and methodology development process.  It is, therefore,
important to include any of the 6,000 list members, who will rely upon the
forthcoming IBC, in the development process.

It is through the devotion and work of willing volunteers that propel
accomplishments. As Rick pointed out:

"It is volunteerism which made SEAOC what it is--we now have the opportunity
to
bring engineering issues right to the members at their home or office.  More
members will be able to participate.  This is not isolationism, this is
increasing
our voice on the national and international levels through more
participation at
home.  More opinions, stronger positions!"

The same philosophy should apply to the global community.  If we are to work
together for the development of globally accepted codes, we need to adjust
our interpretation of who is working on the problem. The ownership and
maintenance of this list belong to California - and in my opinion, Southern
California chapter. This is who deserves credit for its creation.
The credit for the success and evolution of this list belongs to those who
use it (whether actively or as part of the silent majority) and is shared by
the 6,000 List members.  Rick's statement can easily be modified to read;

"It is volunteerism which made the global engineering community what it
is--we now have the opportunity to bring engineering issues right to the
home or office of every engineer - worldwide.  More engineers will be able
to participate.  This is not isolationism, this is increasing
our voice on the international levels through more participation at home and
in the professional workplace.  More opinions, stronger positions!"

Isn't this what we really hope to accomplish?  I reread Fred Turners
comments numerous times and feel that they are not diametrically opposed to
Rick opinions, but suffer the same short-sightedness. Fred draws a parallel
between the accomplishments at local levels to the hardships of State's
activity in a field of competing national affiliations.

It is my opinion that there is merit to Fred's comments that we need better
integration with other professional affiliations. For this reason, the
availability of this List to every independent and affiliated engineer is
immensely important. If SEAOC has lost its clout, as Fred suggests, then it
is due to narrow interpretation of who owns the "clout".  The greatest
"clout" comes from the unity of individual engineers from around the world.
We need to stop thinking of organizations as autonomous, but rather as
representatives of the unity of individual ideas. It took engineers to
create organizations, not the other way around.

This list was always intended to give strength to the structural engineering
community by promoting unity among individuals of any affiliation. Although
it is used globally, it remains, unfortunately,  under the shadow of
California's Structural Engineers Association which has done nothing greater
than to isolate California from their deservedly international professional
brethren.  If the snowball of power is to grow and gain strength, it must be
done through the unity of individuals around the world who will benefit
equally. There can be no better place, today,  for these ideas to merge than
the Internet.

Dennis S. Wish PE


-----Original Message-----
From:	raranous(--nospam--at)pacbell.net [mailto:raranous(--nospam--at)pacbell.net]
Sent:	Wednesday, June 03, 1998 10:06 PM
To:	seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org
Subject:	Re: SEAOSC Board Inquiry from Warren

Fred,

I'm sorry you perceive our desire for strong local sections as isolationism.
We
certainly do not see it that way.  Why do we have to forsake what has made
us
strong to move into the national and international arenas?  We are where we
are
today because of the membership.  Strong local sections allows those members
to
participate in the various committees.  Those committees then have
representatives
that sit on the State committees.  With the internet we have the ability to
solicit comments from all our members on all engineering issues.  We simply
need
to be more diligent in getting that information to the web and available for
those
member who want to comment but are unable to participate in committee
activities.
It is volunteerism which made SEAOC what it is--we now have the opportunity
to
bring engineering issues right to the members at their home or office.  More
members will be able to participate.  This is not isolationism, this is
increasing
our voice on the national and international levels through more
participation at
home.  More opinions, stronger positions!

Fred, I hope this explains where I am coming from.  I don't feel I can speak
for
the SEAOSC board but I can say that they would disagree with you on the
isolationism issue.  On the other issues you raise, I believe they would
agree
with you.

Rick Ranous

FredT5(--nospam--at)aol.com wrote:

> Bill Warren asked: "Is this a proposal to centralize the four existing
> operations of the FOUR members of SEAOC, which are SEAONC, SEAOSD, SEAOCC
and
> SEAOSC. I am interested in membership opinion. "
>
> We can have more effective organizations in several ways if you all want
them.
> Issues at the state level demand a stronger, more coordinated level of
> activity than SEAOC currently supports.
>
> As SEAOSC repeatedly demonstrates, much is accomplished working with local
> governments and engineers at the regional level. But we shouldn't have to
> compromise our regional capabilities by the demands at the state and
national
> level.
>
> In a similar vein, while SEAOC accomplishes remarkable feats at the
national
> levels, our clout has clearly been diminished recently. SEAOC needs to
change
> with the times. To be effective in the national arena, engineers should
become
> more organized and increase participation under different umbrellas such
as
> BSSC, NMMC, ASCE/SEI, NCSEA, ICC, and the narrower venues ACI, AISC, MSJC,
and
> NDS.  (I'm not sure I've got all the alphabets in the soup.) It takes
serious
> resources - time and money - to participate in a coordinated fashion in
these
> groups. There are currently many outspoken, influential California
engineers
> participating at the national level. One key thing we need is better
> coordination and communication between these individuals and local and
state
> concerns. The internet will help immensely- if we learn how to use it
wisely.
>
> With the July SEWC world conference in San Francisco, we may find it
> increasingly relevant to have delegates participate at the worldwide level
on
> structural engineering issues.
>
> In all these arenas, there's no equal substitute for direct personal
contact
> in meetings and by phone.
>
> So it comes down to two choices for future direction: We can isolate
ourselves
> or expand our spheres of influence. Expansion is our only practical choice
if
> we want to have a say in most future policies. That'll probably mean
higher
> dues.
>
> I don't understand the isolationist rumblings in the South. What gives?
Fred
>