33RD ANNUAL NCOM CONVENTION
The 2018 National Coalition of Motorcyclists was held at the Riverview Plaza Hotel in Mobile Alabama.
Animal, who is Chairman of the Alabama COC, and on the board of NCOM, provided transportation to the BOD and Legislative Task Force (LTF), of which I am a long time member.
Every NCOM convention has the ‘standard’ break out sessions.
This one was no different.
Registration started on Thursday, along with a closed and open BOD meeting for anyone who arrived early.
The convention took off Thursday with the AIM Attorney Conference.
They discussed the WACO tragedy and the effects of RICO on your organization.
The AIM Attorney and LTF member lunches for those of us that belong followed this.
AIM Attorney Conference – We were given an update on WACO. Originally 177 bikers were arrested and charged with engaging in organized crime and held on $1 million bonds.
All but a few cases have been dropped.
In early February, 73 indicted bikers had their cases dismissed and eight un-indicted bikers had their charges dropped.
Various defense attorneys say that with each new dismissal that may come, the public will see clearly what they have known for almost three years – that DA Abel Reyna arrested, charged and indicted a very large number of these men for purely political reasons, apparently without any intent to take them to trial.
We can all savor the fact that Reyna recently lost his bid for re-election.
Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) – In reality, RICO acts as an arbitrary penalty enhancer and prosecutorial bargaining tool! In order to protect your clubs, you need to know your rights and assert them in the proper manner. Your COC’s need to have honest discussions, on a regular basis, on your civil rights.
Stops – When stopped by law enforcement, you need to assert/express your desire to leave. You can do this by stating, “Am I being arrested or am I free to go?” You may have to repeat this numerous times.
LTF Meeting – LTF members talk about what is happening in our states.
We discuss our purpose and what the LTF has to offer in the way of legislative assistance to all states when asked.
This year was special for me.
As a motorcycle rights activist for 27 years and a lobbyist for 19, I have vast experience in the legislative process.
I continually document steps of this process and what works the best.
Last year I offered up this information to possibly produce a brochure for NCOM on the running of bills and how to make or revise laws.
Earlier this year, Frank Ernst the chairman of the LTF, approached me and asked if we could possibly accomplish this by the May convention.
So with the help of Frank, minimal critiquing by the LTF members, its production by LTF member Bill Bish, and printing by Sarge, we did just that.
I was asked to go over the brochure during our LTF presentation and discuss it in depth for those in attendance.
It couldn’t have been better.
We received a lot of praise on its content and many others from around the states plan to use it when running legislation. We titled it, “A Biker’s Guide to Making Law”.
The Special Meetings consisted of, The Women in Motorcycling, Clean and Sober Round Table, Veterans Affairs –Your Rights as a Veteran, and the Christian Unity Conference.
What Successful People Do – This presentation, put on by my good friend Slider Gilmore, was great as usual.
He discussed knowing about power and how to use it productively.
He talked about creative thinking and how to think outside the box.
He described how goal setting is a 7 step system and how 20% of what you do can make 80% of the difference.
We need to say NO to people who do not energize us.
We need to ignore those that are negative and be sure to surround ourselves with the right people.
We need to remember that we are the average of the 5 people we hang with and pick carefully what we do, depending on our focus.
We need to think before we speak.
We learn from most difficulties but need to think about how we view our setbacks.
He said to remember that Intelligence needs guidance and that enthusiasm needs direction
COC General Patch Holder Meeting
– OR Their states population is growing by 100 a day. It is too crowded and along with that, the constant road construction makes it bad for motorcycle riders. Motorcycles are being pinched off the roads. They are looking at lane splitting and aim to work on a driver accountability act.
– CA – Tombstone commented on the fact that there were too many empty chairs. He thanked those in attendance for doing what we all do best. He said its all about Respect / Communication / Participation.
– CA – Hollywood talked about the COC in his area and how they have come to include sport bikes. They are working on getting an author for their Profiling bill. He encouraged everyone to get their congressmen to sign on to the federal level Profiling Resolutions SR54 and HR318.
– AZ – It was talked about how we all work together. Our Profiling Memorial never got heard this session and there were two lane splitting bills. One included a helmet requirement which we squashed and the other for which we held a stakeholder meeting, never got heard. We also squashed the original version of a penalty for wearing a mask bill that was unconstitutional as written.
– MI – Working on Anti Profiling and Discrimination. Their helmet choice in their state is going well. COC and ABATE working together.
– TX Region 2-5-7-9 – Legislative session is only every other year. Many riders have gotten video cam for their helmets. Law enforcement is fighting them on this. They have been doing what they can to continue to help WACO victims. Finally got motorcycle awareness proclamation. They believe that it was that the fact that it was a COC asking, was overlooked and therefore it went through! They are learning they nee to corral the independents and bring them into the fold. They believe these riders are also being profiled, but just do not know it.
– LA – Have 48 members in their COC. They have stopped checkpoints and with the help of Dixie ABATE, the stopping of motorcyclists for wearing face masks has been squashed.
– MS – Had a National meeting in Gulf Post. They have started a medical program to cut the rates of insurance to those who cannot afford it. They will be going for dental as well.
– ND – Said its all about communications. Working on Profiling issues by getting documentation. Talking to the MRO’s and independents on this topic.
– AR – Working on anti-profiling again and on Autocycle.
– SD – A bill was introduced regarding street gang penalty enhancements. It was to make them more effective. However the description of a gang looked way too much like the description of a motorcycle club. The motorcyclists showed up against this bill and offered to work with legislators on revisions for next year.
– KS – Not a lot going on legislatively. They have a lobbyist working on an APP to record stops at the local level. It will upload to the ACLU server.
The last thing prior to the Saturday night banquet was the NCOM Legislative Task Forces Mock Legislative Session.
This was talked about during the 2017 LTF meeting and attendees agreed that it could benefit them.
We had members from the BOD sitting in as legislative committee members and various members of the LTF testifying.
We handed out a bill that we were arguing.
It was to allow adults over the age of 21, freedom of choice in having to wear a helmet in that state.
It was great fun and those that attended were impressed with the professionalism of the mock session.
It helps them to see and understand exactly what their lobbyists go through when arguing for or against a bill in their state.
MMA Designated Lobbyist