Hello again. As you know February 15 was our annual Motorcycle Day at the Dome. We had a good turnout. The sun was out and it was a perfect day to ride. Many legislators came down to meet us. If you missed it, too bad for you. It was good to see so many friends come out to enjoy a great day. We were able to inform our representatives about the issues we in the motorcycle community are dealing with.
There have been questions about Senator Judy Burges. After five years of working with her, she turned her back on the motorcycle community. She claims that the Department of Public Safety (DPS) gave her a briefing on motorcycle gang activity in Arizona. She also returned the campaign donation from the Arizona Motorcycle Riders Political Action Committee.
Over the Summer, Steve Yarbrough was elected as the President of the Arizona Senate. He is a former prosecutor and he hates motorcycle clubs, and bikers in general. Frank Milstead was appointed by Governor Ducey to head the DPS in 2015 and has turned up the harassment on bikers. After the last election, law enforcement agencies nationwide are expecting more funding and coordination with federal agencies to go after gangs. In Arizona, the number one type of gang listed in their training is “Motorcycle”. We need to work more with our elected representatives to ensure that our rights are not trampled in the name of Law and Order.
I wish I had better news but for now this is it. In 2018, we need to find a way to elect people who are more sympathetic to our issues. Right now, please call your state representatives and ask them to support SB 1082, the bill to recreate the Motorcycle Safety Fund. This is from a tax we imposed on ourselves to promote motorcycle safety. In recent years the money has been used to fund rider training scholarships through AMSAF. There is some evidence that these training courses are saving lives. Until next time, enjoy the sunshine, ride safe out there.
Johnny D ALMA MC
ACMC Designated Lobbyist
ABATE State PAC Officer