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Re: SEAOSC Board Inquiry from Warren

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Dennis,

To a certain degree you are mixing apples and oranges.  In the global
perspective I could not agree with you more!  But, from the California
perspective, we need the autonomy of the individual sections to be able to work
on a regional basis with local governments.  For them, their concerns are
specific to their jurisdiction.  Without a strong local section we leave these
jurisdictions on their own to interpret international provisions for application
in their own back yard.

We need to be responsive locally as much as we need to be responsive nationally
and internationally.  This concept does not have to detract from either, but we
can not forsake one for the other!

Dennis S. Wish wrote:

> 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
> >
>
>