Jan 22 2020 – Miuntes

CAGDU Conference Call Minutes

January 22, 2020

The meeting started at 8:05 with prayer by president Rev. Ray Raysor.

In attendance aside from the president were Cindy Labon, vice president, Gary LeGates,secretary, and Sue Bowmaster, treasurer. In addition, Jane Carona, Charlie Crawford, Denise Decker, Howard Della, Joyce feinberg, and Penny Reeder were in attendance.

Ray stated the purposes of the organization: (1) to support guide dog users, (2) to build good relationships between us as guide dog users and the community by encouraging guide dog users to maintain their dogs properly and use them responsibly, (3) To assist users with medical expenses where possible, and (4) to advocate for guide dog protection.  Jane said that $8,000 was raised by Cecilia Warren with the expectation that this money would be used to assist members of Maryland Area Guide Dogs who had a medical emergency with their dogs. Our organization has never set up criteria to deal with that.

Penny said that she thought that Maryland already had a guide dog protection law, Langer’s law. Charlie thought that it was in chapter 33 of the Maryland General Laws. Ray urged the organization to research to see exactly what the provisions of the law are. Cecilia Warren and Gary Norman would both have more information on this law. Charlie offered to get a copy of the law from the Maryland Web site. Penny said that the University of Michigan had a comprehensive list of all the Guide and service dog laws for all the states.

Ray said that we should have a web site. Ray said that he would explore other guide dog organizations with web sites and see what it would take for us to have one. When asked who would maintain it, Ray felt that once it was in place, we would find people who could run it. We should also get a palm card with the web site information on it to share with interested people.

To be able to offer some face-to-face meetings, Ray explored the idea of having a meeting every other month for any members who could attend after the NCAC chapter meetings and including call-in possibilities so that people out of the area could still be involved in these meetings. This would help members to keep continuity. Sue suggested that we try having these bi-monthly meetings to keep the group interested. This will begin in February. Jane said that February would be a good time to promote the meeting as that is gadget night at NCAC and that might bring people to that meeting who would stay for our meeting.

Ray also wants to establish a virtual CAGDU number. He said that if the expense is a problem for this number which would be about $15 a month, that his radio show Sight and Vision would donate that money. The group voted to establish a virtual CAGDU number and Ray said that it would be in place by the next meeting.

Ray next established some committees. He established an advocacy committee with Charlie as Chairman. He next established a public relations awareness and outreach committee. Ray will ask Cindy to chair that committee. The last committee to be established was the membership and recruitment committee. Ray asked Penny to be chairman of that committee. Ray said that he felt that there are plenty of people who would be interested in the organization, but that we have to market ourselves better. Penny suggested that we include puppy raisers in our consideration for membership. Jane reminded us that any one can be a member whether or not they use a guide dog.

Sue said that the membership list which we have needs to be purged as some of the people on it are dead. Ray said that he, Charlie, Jane, and Sue would have a conference call to look over the list and bring it up to date.

Sue asked that Gary send out a notice telling people her contact information so that they can pay dues. He agreed to send that message out that evening excluding the six members who have already paid. Jane reminded us that of our $25 paid for dues, that 15 of that goes to GDUI. People who are life members of GDUI only pay CAGDU $10. Jane said that maybe we should revise CAGDU’s constitution to allow CAGDU life membership. Since there are several versions of the constitution, Sue offered to look at them and report back at the next meeting which one is the current one. For the information of new members, we were reminded that all they need to know is that their $25 makes them a member of CAGDU, of GDUI and of ACB.

Sue said that we currently have $11103.17 in the treasury. We have six paid-up members.

Penny announced that on January 22, the Department of Transportation released a notice of proposed rule making reauthorizing the Air Carrier Access Act. This is the act that lets us fly on Airplanes with our dogs. She said that the new regulations look good. We have six days in which to comment on the regs. She urged all members of CAGDU to comment. She said that one of the good things about the regs is that they are redefining dogs which can fly in the cabin with their partners as service dogs, and they are defining service dogs as dogs that are trained to mitigate a person. This means that emotional support dogs which get no training will not be able to fly in the cabin. The negative thing she saw was that the regs might require people using guide service dogs to get to the airport early, but Penny thinks that we can alter that. This topic will be discussed at the ACB Legislative seminar at the end of February when people from the department of Transportation will be there. She urged members to thank the DOT for doing what we had wanted.

Penny also reminded us of the GDUI Board meeting at 1 P.M. All information is on the GDUI Web Site which is GDUI.org, or guideusersinc.org.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:05 with prayer.

Respectfully submitted,

Gary LeGates, Secretary