Government Affairs Accomplishments

The Convention Edition gives me the chance to recognize those individuals who were put forward by you, the members of AANR, in recognition of their work for government action. 
Each year, there are many nominees for the Alonzo Stevens Jr. Memorial GAT award. The award recognizes the regional heroes who step forward to alert us to issues, or take on the hard work of contacting the local government involved, and start the process of educating them to an issue as nudists see it. 
Thanks to the staff and Executive Director in the AANR office, we have the support necessary for advocating with proposed rules in a civil and informative manner. We strive to educate, so decisions can be made with information on the ramifications of a proposed bill or regulation, and what it would mean to law-abiding nudists visiting the area affected. 
Again this year, the GAT chairs and team members proposed honoring many people, not necessarily AANR members, but those who stood up and took action to protect your ability to be nude and use public facilities unmolested. GAT awards can also recognize work that, while not directly affecting regulations, furthers the efforts to normalize nude recreation or promotes nudity as wholesome and normal. Past winners have included the Bare Necessities Cruise owner for her support of GAT with a cruise as a prize in the GAT Challenge, legislators who have authored bills that could have been used against nudist venues if not specifically excluded, and other efforts to support normalizing nudity.
This year’s winner of the Alonzo Stevens Jr. Memorial GAT award was Bob Morton. Bob has been the AANR-Southwest GAT Chair for many years. He was also an integral part of the Naturist Action Committee. Bob’s knowledge of elected officials, and the history of certain bills that repeatedly get introduced in numerous municipalities, and his willingness to share the history of those efforts, has been very beneficial to how we approach attacking such bills. Bob has joined our monthly GAT chats, and offers his knowledge of bills and who introduced them, as well as provides a valuable history of fights we have had over the years that match or parallel new issues as they arise. Congratulations Bob for your work. 
We also have an opportunity at the annual Convention to raise funds for the GAT team. This year the Single Malt Scotch (SMS) party and the auction were presented with a new and different incentive to try and raise more funds. It was suggested that if they raised $5,000, I would shave off my mustache. Well as you can see by the byline photo next to this column, we were able to raise $5,000. Thanks to everyone who participated in the fundraisers, and let’s see what we can do next year in Texas.