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President's Reports

May 2017

Greetings to all my Brothers & Sisters of ABATE of Arizona.

May is upon us as this issue comes out. May is a busy month with celebrations including Cinco de Mayo, Mothers Day, the traditional May 1st spring festival, many graduations and weddings. May is also the month that we celebrate our Moms! Mothers Day is May 14th. I would like to express ABATE’s best wishes to all of the Mothers out there in our ranks. I hope all of our Mothers have a very special Mother’s Day!

The month of May is also very significant because it is also the month that we honor our Veterans! It is the month we observe Memorial Day! Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day, a day of remembrance for those who have died in service to our great Nation. Many of our members are veterans and we thank those veterans for their service. We also have several members who are still serving. Please keep these brave men and women in our thoughts and prayers. Without these brave men & women we would not be able to enjoy all the freedoms we enjoy today.

May is also Motorcycle Awareness Month, throughout this great country of ours organizations and municipalities are issuing proclamations and holding events to increase awareness of motorcycles on our nation’s roads and highways. Our own Governor Doug Ducey has signed a Proclamation declaring May 2017 as Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month! It is important that all of us help to spread the word and ask everyone to “Look Twice for Motorcycle”! As always if you attend any of the many events being held please take some photos and share them with us.“

This year the message to “Look Out for Motorcycles” really hits home. We just lost a very special member of our community due to a right of way violation. Steven Jay “Stubby” Teunissen was taken from us on March 30th, 2017. He was a long time member of ABATE and served as Coordinator of the East Valley Chapter, a H.O.G. member and also was a member of the MRF. I wish to extend our sincerest condolences to his wife Linda and to the entire family. I was privileged to attend the Celebration of Life for Stubby, along with many other ABATE members. The stories that were shared and the number of folks who came out really showed the man that he was. RIDE FREE Brother! The first weekend in May is also when our High Country Chapter up in the Payson area, hosts “WILD IN THE WEEDS”! This year is the 13th year that this event is being held. The dates are May 5th, 6th & 7th. It is being held at Punkin Center Bar & Grill, which is located at mile post 262 on Hwy 188 in Tonto Basin, Arizona. Weekend Admission for this event is $15 single/$ 25 couple for ABATE members, and $25/$35 for non-members. It also includes FREE camping for both RVs and Tents! This is the first year that I will be able to attend this event and I am really looking forward going. I hope to see many of you there. Please come out and support HIGH COUNTRY CHAPTER The month of May is also the month that the MRF hosts Bikers inside the Beltway. This is a day when motorcycle rights activists from around the country gather in Washington DC to meet with our Congressmen and Senators to discuss issues important to all of us who ride. Our Lobbyist Mike Infanzon will be attending. And I am trying to adjust my schedule so it allows me to attend also. Please everyone contact your Congress men and Senators Flake & McCain and let them know that even if you are not able to attend this event that these issues are important to you.

I look forward to seeing ALL of you at Too Broke for Sturgis in June!! WE NEED YOUR HELP! Please sign up and volunteer a few hours to help make this year the best yet. Our committee has been hard at work and it is now almost time for the big show to begin! Start making your plans and checking your camping gear, come on out and “Party in the Pines!” up at Mormon Lake with your closest friends who you will meet when you get there!

Until next month!

RIDE FREE!!

Jim Butsback
State President
ABATE of Arizona


April 2017

Hello to all my fellow motorcyclists and motorcycle rights supporters! Last month I had sat down to write my report after coming back from Phoenix and Motorcycle Day at the Dome. Due to the deadline being that same day I was in a hurry to get my report done and off to our editor. Well in my haste to get it filed I failed to give credit to the folks who helped make it the success it was.

A.B.A.T.E. of AZ will be at AZ Bike Week, March 25th – 29th, 2015 at Westworld of Scottsdale.

I would like to thank Vic “Top” Grady our State Sgt. at Arms who took the lead on this event. I would also like to thank Mike Infanzon our State Designated Lobbyist who also served on the committee along with John “Johnny D” Dreyfus who is our State P.A.C. Officer and also serves as Lobbyist for the ACMC. These folks put in a lot of time and effort to help make this a huge success. They worked hand in hand with representatives of the ACMC, MMA, MMAA and VAMR. There was a flyer designed and printed, positions papers written and invitations sent to all of the Representatives and Senators. Permits for blocking off the street for our bikes and arrangements made for the tents, tables and chairs. Someone had to order the food and coordinate with the caterers. Crews had to be organized to set up and to take everything down. They worked with the various MC’s who volunteered to help with traffic and parking control etc. There were also many, many ABATE members who took time off of work and out of their day to come down and help with working our booth and bring supplies from the State office etc. I cannot even attempt to name everyone so I apologize for that. I just want to let every member know that I am very humbled and proud to be able to represent such an amazing, hard working group of dedicated people. Thank you again to everyone who helped to make this year’s Motorcycle Day at the Dome a success!

So far this year it has been a very good year for our legislative efforts and for getting our message out to the motorcycling community. As most of you know by now the helmet tax bill, as I call it, was defeated earlier this session. It was a strong victory for our efforts. I am sure it will raise its head again in some future date but our Lobbyists and our members who responded to the “Calls for Action” made our voices heard. Most of the folks that I have talked to did not realize that this is the third year in a row that this type of bill has been introduced. It received more notice this year due to our efforts to publicize it and the fact that it went to a vote in committee. Also the Motorcycle Safety Fund bill which had previously passed the Senate has gone over to the House and has passed. Hopefully by the time you read this it will have been signed by our Governor and be on the way to being in affect. These small successes have also had another positive effect on us as a Motorcycle Rights Organization. We have been receiving more inquires as to membership and offers to let us promote our organization at other’s events. We had a very busy information booth/tent at “Riding for the Long Haul” which was put on by our friends at AMSAF. Thank you to all the members who gave up their day to come out and work our booth at this event. After the February ACMC meeting Mike Infanzon and myself were approached about the possibility of ABATE expanding to open a Chapter in the Casa Grande area.

Let us all, ABATE of Arizona members, try to continue this positive momentum and do all we can to help promote Motorcycle Rights and Awareness and the benefits of membership in ABATE of Arizona. There are many events coming up in the next couple of months where we can spread the “gospel” of our great organization. If every member could recruit just one new member or one new Business member by the end of the year we would double in size. Think about whom you know or who you may encounter while going about your daily business or when you are out riding that would be an asset to our organization. ASK THEM to join! Many people say when asked why they are not members, that they were never asked. When you are attending Bike Nights and other organization’s events and runs, PLEASE wear your ABATE shirts and paraphernalia. Let them know that you are an ABATE member and that we are supporting their event. We cannot expect other groups to support our events if they do not realize that we are supporting their event because we are not advertizing who we are. Make sure that every time you go to any of these functions that you have several ABATE membership flyers with you so if someone expresses interest in what we do you can leave them with the Information.

In closing I just want to encourage everyone to keep up the good fight! Our efforts really do pay off and our voices do get heard. It is a long process so do not get discouraged if a bill does not pass or if it feels like you are not getting through, YOU ARE! Keep on writing those emails and making those phone calls. It is not only your right but I feel it is our obligation to let our elected officials know how we feel and that we are paying attention to what they are doing. It is important that you know who your elected officials are both here in Arizona and also in Washington D.C. And it is also important that because of your efforts and calls etc. that they learn who you are!

Remember always that we are not a just a motorcycle group, WE ARE A FREEDOM ORGANIZATION!

As always, until next month!

RIDE FREE!!

Jim Butsback
State President
ABATE of Arizona


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