By Paul and Sandy . . . It is with pleasure that the Executive Committee of NARSOL officially announces that Richard Earl has been elected to a new three-year term on NARSOL’s Board of Directors. We send our congratulations to you, Richard, and our thanks for all the work you have done on behalf of NARSOL.
This was NARSOL’s inaugural election for members of its board of directors. As the preeminent national organization advocating on behalf of persons required to register on a sexual offense registry, NARSOL leads the way in being the first, and at this point only, national organization of its kind to solicit applicants from all of our public supporters and to hold open elections for its board members, making us unique among our sister organizations.
Over a year ago a nominating committee was created, and after many months of hard work in creating and refining the process and recruiting, interviewing, and screening applicants — including incumbents whose terms are expiring — for board positions, we have our first membership-elected director.
As established in NARSOL’s bylaws, each year the board of directors has three directors whose terms are ending. NARSOL’s Nominating Committee screened 17 interested persons, and three made it through the approval process. However, only one candidate, Richard, ended up standing for this year’s election.
Ideally, we would have more candidates than seats to offer in an election, and members would select their top candidates. But with only one approved candidate, the board decided to hold a referendum, and NARSOL members were asked to vote Yes or No for that candidate. The Executive Committee has the responsibility of organizing and supervising the election, as well as certifying the final vote.
35% of eligible voters cast a ballot. Of these, 93.6% voted affirmatively for Richard. We wish to thank all those who took the time to cast a vote. We are hoping that, as our members become more aware of the process by which board members are chosen, each year more and more of our members will participate in this annual election and that we will have three or more new candidates standing for election each time.
NARSOL’s bylaws also stipulate that when vacancies on the board exist and no viable candidates are available to stand for election, the chair of NARSOL will appoint a director to fill the term; such appointments must then be ratified by a majority of seated directors. In fulfilling this directive, Chairperson Paul Shannon appointed Philip Kaso to fill a vacant three-year term; board members ratified this appointment unanimously.
Brenda Jones, NARSOL’s E. D. said, “The NARSOL board is enthusiastic in reseating Richard and Philip. As a working board, we are grateful for the contributions they have each made to NARSOL in the past, knowing they will serve well on the tasks that face us in coming years.
For almost all of Paul’s adult life, he has been an activist, writer, and speaker in various peace, union, prison reform, human rights, and social justice movements. In the late ’90s he helped organize a broad coalition for hearings to oppose the original sex offender registry and lifetime civil commitment legislation in Massachusetts, and in 2007 he was a founder of the original Reform Sex Offender Laws (RSOL). Paul is currently chair of the NARSOL Board of Directors.