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President’s Column – 10/2020

Greetings. Another month has passed since my last missive to you, and…not a lot has changed in terms of the big picture. We remain in the same “holding pattern” that we’ve been in since March, and that pattern looks as though it will remain in place for at least a while longer. So thanks for keeping the faith as we try to follow the advice of the experts, observe best practices, and wait this pandemic out. It seems our best hope for the near future is for the release and dissemination of a successful vaccine or therapeutic, and indications are that those items are getting closer to becoming a reality. But so far, nothing.

While we’ve been unable to accomplish much in the public arena, we have been able to act on a couple of public service fronts. We’ve had two hurricanes strike the Gulf Coast in September: Laura, which had its landfall near Lake Charles, LA, and Sally, which came ashore less than two weeks later near the Alabama-Florida border. Both caused tremendous damage and left many thousands in need.

When Laura struck the Louisiana coast, we responded, as Birmingham always does. We collected funds, we volunteered and helped at the receiving site, and all in all, at least six truckloads of food and other supplies were sent to Louisiana to aid the victims of the hurricane.

Then, lo and behold, less than two weeks later, Hurricane Sally made landfall not far from Orange Beach, AL. And we have swung back into action. As I write this, Don Lupo and I will make a purchasing trip tomorrow to buy food and other needed items to send to south Alabama, mostly with funds our chapter contributed.

So it’s the familiar tale – a crisis occurs, a problem arises, a concern is raised…and Birmingham responds. It makes me very proud to be a part of a group like this – always willing to reach a hand out to assist others. And others notice. When we had this month’s Leadership Call for Region 4, our regional rep decided that she would place the spotlight on Birmingham’s disaster response efforts. We were singled out and congratulated for our work on these projects.

A thought or two: We are approaching the end of 2020, and may I say, good riddance to it. Bur as the year closes, we will begin to negotiate a new Memorandum of Agreement with the FBI Field Office, in which we will set forth the projects and activities we will be tasked with for the coming year, and we will undertake the nominating process for our chapter’s board and officers for 2021. There are several stalwart board members and officers who will be rotating off our board due to term limits. And in this most unusual year, we haven’t been able to spend time with our general membership, so it seems appropriate to ask you this now: if you’d be interested in taking a more active role in the work of our chapter and joining our board, we’d like to hear from you and discuss the prospect in depth. Contact me directly at: president@fbicaaa-bham.org, and we’ll talk about it.

Stay strong; stay safe.

Paul H. Franklin, President

FBI Birmingham CAAA



 


            The FBI Birmingham Citizens Academy Alumni Association (FBIBCAAA) is a nonprofit organization separate and apart from the FBI.


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