The following letter comes to us from one of our members (Thanks, Jack!). It has been used here with his permission, and is addressed to the membership manager of AAA Mid-Atlantic.
“Let me begin by congratulating you and AAA Mid-Atlantic President and CEO Don Gagnon on achieving one of your major legislative goals. President Gagnon has been clear in advocating that the federal highway trust fund should be used only for highways. The US House of Representatives has ratified his position in its proposed reauthorization of the surface transportation act.
Mid-Atlantic AAA has pursued this goal relentlessly. Your association has every right to advocate forcefully for public policy it favors. In this case, the association advocates that funds from the gasoline tax should support highway construction and maintenance to the exclusion of funds for public transportation, bike lines, and improved pedestrian access.
I drive a car, and I want to see improved roads. I also take the Washington DC Metro to and from work and use it frequently for other purposes. When I travel to other cities, I often use buses or subways. I enjoy occasionally riding my bicycle on city streets and appreciate having safe spaces for riding and for walking. I work for an organization that supports improved public transportation.
So, while AAA Mid-Atlantic and its CEO have a free speech right to advocate for terrible public policies, I don't have an obligation to support your advocacy. That's why you will not be receiving a renewal from me now or in the future.Your recent mailing reminds me of many benefits AAA membership confers. I have found another organization, the Better World Club, which provides many of the same benefits. The Better World Club actively advocates for improved public transportation, better bike lanes and more pedestrian-friendly policies. You may be interested to know that when I used services of the Better World Club recently, the tow truck driver who came told me that it was a relief for him not to be dealing with AAA. Perhaps, AAA Mid-Atlantic needs less attention to promoting poorly conceived policies and more work listening to members and vendors.”