Categories
Alliance Council Annual Business Meeting Democracy in Sports Editorials

Statement regarding the 2019 Alliance Annual Business Meeting

3 December 2019

By Martin Buckley

Firstly, as President of the Sounders FC Alliance Council, I would like to personally apologise for the late changes in dates, venue and format of the Alliance Annual Business Meeting.

I would like to take a few moments and give some comments and colour regarding the 2019 Annual Business Meeting; specifically addressing some of the questions Alliance Council has received and to extinguish the speculative, inaccurate and sometimes malicious commentary that has been circulating.

Firstly: Alliance Council took your feedback from the past two Annual Business Meetings to heart. We heard that the streaming worked for many – but that you missed a lot of the connection and contacts that came from a larger in-person event. The two Annual Business Meetings that were held in the Ninety were smaller in size – but the number of RSVPs to attend were small. In addition we supported the Club in setting up the now annual Fan Appreciation event during the Summer – which allowed a lot more of us to celebrate, meet with players and listen to our ownership and General Manager.

Secondly: the Annual Business Meeting is an important review of the year for Alliance members. Our Constitution demands the meeting at the close of the playing season. This requires a partnership with the Club at all levels. Without this partnership it is near impossible to hold a meaningful meeting – you expect and deserve representation from Alliance Council, Ownership, Front Office and our General Manager.

Since December 2018, Alliance Council have been requesting a larger, in-person event. The club was broadly supportive. During the Spring and Summer our working group was meeting to discuss the requirements and logistics for such an event. During the Fall of this year we were jointly reviewing venues that would support this in-person event. Our original preference for a date was before the playoffs, during the international break. Club limitations prevented this. We settled on a date in mid-November. We had a date, a venue and started the communication.

There was a wrinkle. We knew that our strong finish in the West would mean home playoff games. We knew that permutations in the East gave a small chance of a home final. Then we beat LA. We all held our breath while Toronto did their piece. The Front Office went into MLS Cup overdrive – selling out the stadium, preparing for our biggest home game – and also planning for a potential parade in the week following the cup game.

Hosting the cup, celebrating the parade – that meant that the original meeting could not happen on the same day. Complications were added as ownership and our General Manager were being pulled across the continent for league and confederation business. It’s December – and at short notice most venues are not available. This is where we are.

As I said – we listened – and winning our second star got in the way.

Democracy in Sports requires being thoughtful. Our ask for 2020 is that the Front Office work with Alliance Council early – and lock down the Annual Business Meeting for 2020. We ask that the date and venue details are communicated pre-season so we can have the Annual Business meeting that we all expect and deserve.

Categories
Alliance Council Democracy in Sports

Alliance Council Bylaw 3

6 November 2019

By Martin Buckley

During our October and November 2019 Alliance Council meetings, we discussed a set of amendments to Alliance Bylaw 3 – describing how the Alliance Council can make formal statements.

Alliance Council has always had two types of statement that can be formally made:

  • a Binding Resolution – which is sent for Alliance-wide consideration and vote
  • an Opinion Statement – which is voted on by the Alliance Council

The Bylaw 3 amendment clarifies some of the language and intent for this – and also gives a clear outline of a process where the Alliance Council Executive can make a rapid Opinion Statement on behalf of the full Alliance Council. We have seen recently several cases where this would have been beneficial.

BYLAW 3. METHODS OF INTRODUCING TOPICS FOR A BINDING VOTE OR NON-BINDING OPINION STATEMENT
There are three types of statements that the Council may make: Binding Resolution, Binding Resolution for Alliance-wide Vote and Non-binding Opinion Statement. Alliance Members may propose resolutions or statements through an Alliance Council member.

3.1 Procedure for Proposing a Binding Resolution. The procedure for proposing a Binding Resolution is as follows:
a) Provide a copy of the proposed resolution or statement to the Executive Committee;
b) If approved by majority vote of the Executive Committee, best efforts shall be made to schedule the first reading of the proposed resolution or statement on the Council agenda within the next sixty (60) days;
c) At the meeting where the first reading takes place, the Council Member who presented the proposal shall read the proposal and a discussion on the matter shall take place;
d) At the next scheduled Council Meeting where quorum is present, a vote shall be taken on whether to pass the proposal.

3.2 Binding Resolution to be Proposed for Alliance-Wide Vote. To initiate an Alliance-wide vote on a binding resolution by the Alliance, the question must be approved for an Alliance-wide ballot by a two-thirds vote of Quorum. Prior to voting to put an issue to the Alliance, the Council shall invite the Club to attend a meeting and discuss the issue fully. After an affirmative vote to place a binding resolution on an Alliance-wide ballot, and with at least thirty (30) days prior notice, the question shall be considered by the entire Alliance during the next Alliance-wide voting period as established in the bylaws.

3.3 Non-Binding Opinion Statement by the Council. To pass an opinion statement by the Alliance Council, the question must be approved by a majority vote of Quorum. This may be done at any meeting of the Council where the Opinion Statement is proposed.

3.4 Non-Binding Opinion Statement by the Executive Committee on behalf of the Council. If a time sensitive issue arises that demands a Non-Binding Opinion Statement, the Executive Committee may, by majority vote, make such a statement. This may be done only after first conferring with the Council via electronic or telephonic means and providing an opportunity for input from the Council.

3.5 Council Votes on Matters Proposed by the Club. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Club may request the Council make a statement on any issue that the Club sees fit; such a request does not require a sponsoring Council member or second. All requests from the Club shall receive consideration, discussion, and a vote by the Council or Executive Committee and the Club shall be entitled to send a Club representative to the Council meeting to speak on the issue during the discussion. The Club should make requests through the Alliance Council President and provide thirty days of notice for such matters.

 

Categories
2019 Alliance Council Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes: October 2019

Meeting Minutes: October 1, 2019

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL

MEETING MINUTES

Oct 1st 2019 – 7:00 PM

The NINETY

Present (12 of 15): Martin Buckley, Stephanie Steiner, Nicholaus Biela, Ben Slager, Jeff Williams, Todd Cowles, Cameron Collins, Dan Roe, Carmen Hall, Lisa Angeles, Louis Garcia, Duane Nakamura

Absent (1): Alex Eagleton, Jerry Neil, Kelsey Gallo

Via telephone none

I. Call to order:  Martin Buckley 7:00 PM

II. Roll. Martin Buckley:  12 of 15 present at 7.00pm

III. Special Guest

Will Bruin joined Alliance Council for an informal discussion about his career, time at the Sounders and life in Seattle.

IV. Election of Alliance Council Secretary

Lisa Angeles was announced as Secretary by proclamation. Thank you Lisa for keeping our records until the close of the business year.

IV. Proposed amendment to Bylaw 3

Cameron Collins and Dan Roe proposed an amendment to Bylaw 3 to clarify and improve how the Alliance Council and Executive are able to draft and release Opinion Statements. After some discussion the proposed modification will move forward to Second Reading at the November 2019 meeting

V. Proposed amendment to Constitution Article 6.

Cameron Collins and Stephanie Steiner proposed an amendment to the Alliance Constitution to clarify how members of the Executive Committee can be removed. After some discussion this will be re-visited at the November 2019 meeting. Of specific interest were the process around notification, right to reply and the timing.

V. Adjourn

The meeting closed at 9.00pm

Categories
2019 Alliance Council Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes: September 2019

Meeting Minutes: September 10th, 2019

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC ALLIANCE COUNCIL

MEETING MINUTES

Sep 10th 2019 – 7:00 PM

Rave Green Conference Room

Present (14 of 15): Martin Buckley, Stephanie Steiner, Nicholaus Biela, Kelsey Gallo, Jerry Neil, Ben Slager, Jeff Williams, Todd Cowles, Alex EAgleton, Dan Roe, Carmen Hall, Lisa Angeles, Louis Garcia, Duane Nakamura

Absent (1): Cameron Collins

Via telephone none

I. Call to order:  Martin Buckley 7:00 PM

II. Roll. Lisa Angeles:  14 of 15 present at 7.04pm

III. Membership updates

Darla Langdon has asked for Leave of Absence – and will return in December for the new business year.

Chris Urquart and Molly Wagner are deemed to have offered voluntary resignation from Alliance Council by virtue of non-attendance and communication. We thank them for their time and service on Alliance Council

Louis Garcia will be moving away from the area later in the year and will be resigning from Alliance Council at that point. We also thank Louis for his time and service on Alliance Council.

Jeff Williams resigned from the Alliance Council Executive with immediate effect. We thank Jeff for his service as Secretary for this year.

IV. Special Guest: Peter Tomozawa

Peter Tomozawa is part of the the new ownership group at Sounders FC. Peter also joined Sounders FC Front Office as President of Business Operations.

Peter spent over two hours with Alliance Council discussing a wide variety of topics.

Alliance Council thanks Peter for his time – and looks forward to a strong and productive partnership.

V. Adjourn

The meeting closed at 9.05pm

Categories
Alliance Council Annual Business Meeting Democracy in Sports

2019 Annual Business Meeting

Again, we are collecting your questions for the 2019 Annual Business Meeting.

Please spend a moment, enter your question below. Alliance Council will review, aggregate and pose these questions at the 2019 Annual Business Meeting – to be held in November.

[gravityform id=”22″ title=”false” description=”false” ajax=”true”]

Categories
#CallingFowl Alliance Council Editorials

#CallingFowl – our message to Major League Soccer

#CallingFowl

Reign FC and Sounders FC players pose with their EQUALITY jerseys. All images courtesy Sounders FC Communications. Credit: Charis Wilson.

We, the Seattle Sounders Alliance Council, believe that soccer is more than a sport.

With its roots in community and accessibility, soccer brings a diverse range of people together for the sheer love of what we all know as the Beautiful Game.

Soccer does not care if you are old or young, fit or out of shape, male or female, short or tall.  All soccer needs is a space and something to kick around; bring the people and it will do the rest.  Which is why we believe it is our collective responsibility to uphold the core inclusive values of the sport where we see them threatened.

There is no place more important to the commitment of inclusion than within MLS – the highest professional level of soccer in the US and Canada.

We believe that the proposed league wide Chick-fil-A partnership is in direct conflict with these values.  Chick-fil-A, its ownership and affiliated Foundation, have a demonstrated position that is anti-inclusive in action and words.

We recognize that not every fan is going to be in agreement, and that some will see this as a political position.  Diverse points of view are welcome as part of the community that soccer brings together for a common joy.  However, we believe that respecting individual choices and perspectives doesn’t require entering into financial contracts with organizations that promote inequality and non-acceptance.

Today Alliance Council have sent a letter to MLS leadership which outlines our objections, urging the League to reconsider this possible sponsorship, and to emphasize the message of inclusion that the League has historically promoted.

We feel compelled by our Alliance Council charter and mission statement to speak out in these situations and to amplify the voices of those who desire acceptance and inclusion.

If #SoccerForAll is to truly mean All, there is no room for compromise. Words without action are hollow.

Categories
#CallingFowl Alliance Council Editorials

#CallingFowl our letter to MLS

Categories
Alliance Council Democracy in Sports

Alliance Council Bylaw 9

3 May 2019

By Martin Buckley

An apology and an update.

Back in the summer of 2016 Alliance Council worked to update, clarify and modernise our Constitution and Bylaws. Ultimately the Alliance Constitution was sent out for an Alliance-wide vote for ratification.

Part of this body of work was updating our Bylaws; one of those Bylaws, Bylaw 9, concerned membership of Alliance Council.

During consolidation part of this Bylaw was inadvertently missed from the document published to the website; this recently came to light and in the interests of full transparency the correct Bylaws have now been posted to this website.

The original posted PDF document did not include Bylaw sections 9.3.3 to 9.7.3.

Categories
Alliance Council Democracy in Sports Editorials

Scarves Up! Scarf design contest and vote returns

23 May 2019 By Martin Buckley Alliance Council has worked with the Club since 2013 to offer Alliance members a voice in their choice of scarf for the following season. This summer we are excited to announce that the design contest and vote for the 2020 Alliance Scarf will return. Look for communication on the timeline and entry details soon. I thought it would be interesting to peek behind the scenes of the scarf design contest and vote – and see how your Alliance Council are working to represent you. The process starts in the Spring – when we start discussing the timelines, improvements and process on running the contest. The Club starts the ball rolling with the opening of the design phase of the competition. The designs come in from all kinds of fans – young, old, crayons to professional design. After the close of submissions – then Alliance Council gets really involved. This is where we get to discuss the designs among ourselves and reduce the many dozens of submissions to a final five. In years past we received all kinds of images and documents – and tried to shuffle them by email. Hard work. For the last few years Alliance Council have been voting electronically and reviewing online. That’s a lot easier. We have seen some incredible designs – and getting to that final few involves a few rounds of voting. It’s a lot like the World Cup – I place the scarves in groups (splitting similar designs across the groups) and the Alliance Council workgroup vote for the best of each group. In the past top two from each group have gone on to the final round of Alliance Council review. That’s where we really think hard and vote on the final five. The final five – as selected by Alliance Council – are then passed back to the Club. For 2018 the Club offered to make prototype scarves for each of the finalists, have them available at the Fan Appreciation event, and to give each finalist designer a copy of their scarf. That turned out better than we ever expected. Having scarves to see really helped fans imagine what the scarf would look like – and drove a lot of interest in the fan vote. scarves-from-2015-season The fan voting is where we see a lot of discussion on social media. Everyone has opinions – and right until the close of voting we see a great deal of commentary about the various scarves. The result of the fan vote is kept secret – and is usually revealed at the Alliance Annual Business meeting.
Categories
Alliance Council Democracy in Sports Editorials

Alliance Council Mission Statement

3 May 2019

By Martin Buckley

The Alliance Council has operated since founding under our Charter and our Constitution and Bylaws.

As part of our discussion about the future of Alliance Council – and how to best represent the fans in a full stadium – the 2019 Alliance Council worked during March and April to create a mission statement, or North Star, that works for us today and into the future. Everything we do, every project and working group, should be reviewed through this lens. Are we doing the right thing? Should we place our efforts elsewhere?

Here our guide; our mission statement; our North Star:

The Seattle Sounders FC Alliance Council strives to achieve the best fan experience in North American soccer and to build upon our historical foundation in order to preserve the Club we love.

We do this by being the voice of the fan and by upholding the principles of Democracy in Sports.

Does this bring clarity on what we do? Would you add anything? Comments below – and if you feel passionately consider joining Alliance Council!