Letters to the Editor, Feb. 25

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Boy Scouts, it’s time to let girls in

The Boy Scouts of America is the greatest leadership training for our youth, and that is why the organization must allow girls to fully participate now! Fortunately, we have a Scout leader with a proven record and the courage to end discrimination. We applaud the efforts by Eagle Scout, Boy Scout President, former Secretary of Defense, Dr. Robert Gates, for his success in providing opportunities for women and in ending the “don’t ask, don’t tell,” policies for LGBT members of our United States armed forces. Dr. Gates’ legacy was further secured by his support to end the discriminatory ban against gay Scouts and adult leaders in the Boy Scouts.

Dr. Gates, there is still much more work that must be done to support our girls and young women in Scouting. In nearly all countries the programs are co-ed. Unfortunately, in the U.S., girls and young women are permitted into the Boy Scouts only in limited programs, and young women are completely forbidden to join Scout Troops. With membership in decline and girls and young women clamoring to join, we need to ensure that the Scouting in America serves all of our youth to grow into responsible leaders. As Scouts, we need to be the change that we want to see in the world.

As a female, it is unjust that I am barred from joining the Scout Troops in the US. The Boy Scouts is largely ignoring and discriminating against 50 percent of our youth in denying girls the opportunity to join and earn the Eagle rank, Scouting’s highest honor. Scouts, particularly Eagle Scouts, are highly sought after by colleges (58 percent of West Point Cadets were Boy Scouts and 16.3 percent are Eagles) and the most competitive employers. Without access to the training and Eagle rank, options for young women are limited.

We have co-authored and passed resolutions before the New York City Presbytery, the National Organization for Women and have support for inclusion from Scouts around the world, from Canada to South Africa.

I, Sydney, have joined the Canadian Scouts, Troop 80, out of London, Ontario, and have earned the highest award in my age group, the Chief Scout’s Award. I am so grateful to the Canadian Scouts and particularly my Scout Leader, Steve Lindsay, for working with me. We also appreciate the camaraderie of Troop 414 in Manhattan.

We now ask for your help to open up Scouting. Please go here and sign our petition asking the Scout leaders to end the discriminatory ban against young women and also post the petition on social media.

We are approaching nearly 5,000 supporters! We both hope young women (like me, Sydney) will be accepted as full members of the Scouts and eligible to earn the Eagle rank (like me, Bryan).

Contact us at: ScoutingLetMeIn@gmail.com

Yours in Scouting,

Sydney Ireland, ST
Chief’s Scout Recipient,
Venture Scout, Troop 80
London, Ontario, Canada

Bryan Ireland, ST
Eagle Scout, New York, New York

TA should end staggered board election

Re: Letter: “An election closer to home” by Susan Steinberg, T&V, Feb. 18

To the Editor,

TA President Susan Steinberg’s letter illustrated a fundamentally undemocratic element in the governance of the Tenants Association. She noted that directors of the TA serve “rotating four-year terms.” This is a new development for the TA, and it cuts against the spirit of democratic representation.

For decades in the past, directors of the TA served one-year terms. Then, in 2010, the TA said it was supporting a non-eviction condo conversion. Suddenly the TA feared that it would be taken over by residents who had different priorities than fighting management over the farmers market and the ice skating rink.

On the advice of the TA Board’s pro bono counsel, Paul Weiss, the board converted from one-year terms, in which all directors stand for election each year, to four-year terms. This meant that only one-quarter of the board would be up for election each year. As a consequence, the other directors could sleep their way through three years and generally disregard the ideas of the rank and file residents who live here.

Many, many academic sources cite this kind of “classified directors” structure as antithetical to good governance. In the corporate context, the Delaware Court of Chancery “severely disfavors” classified directors, and recently ruled that they can be removed with or without cause.

In the non-profit sector, New York law views the classification of directors as very serious matter. Under section 704(a) of the not for profit law, the provision must be set forth specifically in an organization’s Certificate of Incorporation.

Regrettably, the TA’s Certificate of Incorporation (from 1993) is not publicly available, so we do not know if the classified director structure is validly authorized. This lack of transparency is both disturbing and highly unprofessional.

Fundamental democratic principles require that the TA act now to reverse its classified director provision, and to make its certificate of Incorporation fully visible to residents. All of the TA directors should be subject to a vote by the members once per year.

Name withheld, ST

Trickled pink

Re: Story, “Sperm donations from ST trickle in,” T&V, Feb. 18

Not quite “Headless Body in Topless Bar,” but one of the great headlines for a community newspaper.

Brought me a giggle. Kudos.

Very truly yours,

J.G. Collins,
Managing Director,
The Stuyvesant Square Consultancy

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