Disclaimer: I am never going to run the planning departments of LA, SF, Chicago, or even Carson City for that matter. I know that Ė Iím fine with it. I know Iím not an APA prototype. I donít want to grow up to be a planner in a $1000 suit. I donít have visions of rising to APA leadership or being exalted as an example of planner greatness. Iíll admit I joined APA just because I had reached the point in my career where I had to join or otherwise suffer the consequences. APA and I donít see eye to eye on more issues than I care to mention. Thatís OK. I donít have to march in lock step with an organization to be a member of it. But what do I get out of APA membership?
I was reading an article today about sprawl in a state rural water association magazine. At the end of the article they had a list of contacts Ė the author never mentioned the APA. That is telling. He probably never heard of them. I have never seen a staff member or elected official of APA in the national news giving spin on any subject. I search the media thoroughly when it comes to planning.
In this monthís APA magazine there is a little presentation by a candidate for the APA presidency where he mentions that he canít find ďAPAĒ in a search engine. Heís right. We have the national visibility of the American Potato Association. As far as getting out and spreading the gospel you are going to find the American Podiatry Association has more media savvy and intensity. (They have also done more for pedestrians overall than our profession in my estimation) So, what am I paying through the teeth for? I sit here and I wonder why I provide support something I donít believe in and something that has been of very little assistance to my career or my ability to perform my job.
PS I pay my dues, not my employer Ė that may be the root of the problem. If APA felt they had to be responsible to their members perhaps things would change. And I canít stand this sliding dues scale based on your salary Ė thatís Socialism! It is not their business what I make. I donít feel someone making more than me owes me to pay a portion of my share. I can either pay my share or not. I pay my APA dues based on what I make AFTER taxes. Maybe that is cheating Ė I feel perfectly fine with it. I donít know why I belong anymore - Why do you belong to the APA?
Whew! I feel so much better now. Thanks