Every AMA member belongs to a state chapter, just by virtue of their AMA membership, Wuelleh says.
“The State Chapter program provides a way for people to come together locally,” she says. “In such a large national organization, too often people get the idea that we are not interested in what’s going on at the state or local level. That has never been true.”
The program represents an increased commitment to recreational and commuting road riders, while continuing the AMA’s strong support for off-road enthusiasts, Wuelleh says.
The three keys to the program are Advocacy, Altruism and Activities.
Each chapter will start with a volunteer state coordinator, who will work with AMA clubs and individuals to determine what their goals and interests are. Then, the coordinator will work with the members to determine the best way their interests can be served by the AMA.
All state coordinators must complete EAGLES training.
The state coordinator will be asking which advocacy messages are needed, which charity events are supported and how far members are willing to travel to participate in events.
“We want to help the efforts that are already under way, and we want to help them get new ideas off the ground,” Wuelleh says. “We are looking for state coordinators who will make the AMA presence known and felt.”
The AMA can help clubs by sanctioning events, arranging insurance and assisting with publicity and communications.
“Eventually, we would like to have more AMA activities, more AMA rides,” Wuelleh says. “We want to keep the passion alive.”
But the help will flow in the other direction, too.
“When we need people at meetings, writing letters and making phone calls about important local issues, we’ll be looking to the state chapters,” Wuelleh says. “Local voices carry more weight with elected and appointed officials.”
The revitalized program remains “in its early stages,” she says.
“The State Chapter program will grow over the years with a great deal of patience and nurturing,” Wuelleh says. “We are not going to have all the answers right away.”
The AMA currently is recruiting and training state chapter coordinators.