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Re: Access to TSA members

Feb 21, 1997 04:12 PM
by ramadoss

At 06:02 PM 2/21/97 -0500, you wrote:
>> From: M K Ramadoss <>
>> Everyone is fully aware of the "sacred" and "secret" membership list of TSA.
>> Keeping the membership list out of access of members is, it appears, an old
>> game played not only by TSA but very many organizations around the country.
>> A few days ago I noticed that the Texas Non Profit Corporations act was
>> recently changed to specifically provide member access and copying of the
>> membership list by any voting members. The organization is also explicitly
>> required to provide copies at a reasonable copying cost to any member
>> requesting it. These are very explicitly spelt out with no ambiguity
>> whatsoever. I am sure these changes were put in as a result of one or more
>> organizations in Texas trying to prevent member access and copying
>> membership list.
>> It appears that we need to look forward to changes in Illinois law as well.
>> I will not be surprised to see such explicit requirement being made part of
>> non profit corporations act in all 50 states.
>> We are moving into next century and changes are going to take place which
>> will change organization.
>> Is there anyone out in Illinois who has access to a law library who can
>> check the latest in Illinois Non Profit Corporation act on this issue? Once
>> we see such a change, TSA will have no grounds for keeping the list as
>It's my understanding that some the state's laws regarding mailing lists of
>non-profit organizations have to do with the selling of those lists.  For
>instance, XYZ Mahatmas Ltd. could have a large mailing list that would
>then be sold to various companies selling massage oil, incense, New Age
>magazines and books.  Then any voluminious number of their catalogs
>would show up in your mailbox.
>If one is going to make a law releasing mailing lists to the general public,
>then there is going to be a danger of commercial abuse.

The practical issue is access by members -- not public -- to the membership

The present problem is that organizations have taken the stand that the
membership list is secret except for those purposes the Board of Directors
think it can be used.

The current interpretation of the secrecy is counter productive and
sometimes ridiculous. In addition, any member or a candidate cannot get
across their viewpoint to the membership. The only means of communication is
via AT, The Messenger and any direct mailing that BOD sends to members.



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