I know, two consecutive Amateur Radio posts, I hardly ever do that any more. What’s gotten into me!? But seriously….
Yesterday, I renewed my ARRL membership and I believe that you should as well. If you’re an amateur radio operator and not an ARRL member, I recommend that you become a member. I’m not always happy with the ARRL. In particular, I was not happy with last year’s controversies over the ARRL Board of Directors. At that time, I was seriously considering not renewing my membership, but ultimately I did. The ARRL is still our national representative body and I don’t see any other organization that can do what the League does. I don’t always agree with the ARRL’s stance on issues, but the positions they take are taken with the best interests of the hobby in mind.
If anything convinced me that maintaining an ARRL membership is important to the hobby, it was this summer’s potential threat to the 2-Meter band at WRC-23. A recurring theme was the necessity of a common voice in representing the interests of amateur radio operators and doing so through national representative bodies and the IARU. Our channel to the IARU is through the ARRL. The easiest way to support that channel is through paying ARRL membership dues.
Additionally, the ARRL is best way to represent Amateur Radio to our local, state, and national governments. Just as the ARRL works with the IARU to present a common voice with international regulators, the ARRL is our common voice to city councils, county commissions, state legislatures, and the Federal Government on matters such as covenants and antenna restrictions and with the FCC on regulator matters. The League has the size, the contacts, and the reputation to be heard where smaller groups and individuals probably wouldn’t be able to get through the door.
Additionally, the League does more than just advocate for us. The ARRL keeps us informed through their news service about matters of importance to Amateur Radio. They sponsor and help coordinate contests and on the air activities. They do technical reviews of equipment and offer technical support through the ARRL Lab. Through Amateur Radio Emergency Services they help coordinate amateur radio’s response to disasters and emergencies. They do all of this and more. I believe it’s important to be an ARRL member and support them through my membership dues and I urge you to do the same.