Here's the official letter on ITE not accepting online petitions (specifically mine) -
Download Letter to Michael P. Spack 1-28-13.
They also don't allow vice-presidential candidates to have their own blogs, use twitter, linkedin, facebook, or any other online communications outside of having a sanctioned blog within the ITE community system. ITE also doesn't allow active campaign discussions on the community bulletin board. The big campaign communication sanctioned by ITE – 8,000 full color copies of a one page tri-fold brochure for each candidate – WOW!
As far as my campaign – I don't have the time (or the inclination) to pull together a successful hard copy/written petition to be on the ballot so I'm going to drop the effort. Plus there's no way I could win without being able to use 21st century communication tools. And I won't close down this blog to comply with the antiquated rules.
I'd write about lessons learned through this process, but there really aren't any with the current system other than that they're ridiculous and don't ever try to do a petition. Hopefully the campaigning and petitioning rules will be modernized before the next election.
On a positive note – we have grabbed the attention of the current ITE board. About half of the board members have personally reached out to me and I am certain we are impacting the conversation about the future of ITE. Zaki Mustafa, the current board president, put a thoughtful post on the community bulletin board. After these great conversations, I have faith our elected leadership will modernize ITE.
Lastly – thank you so much for your support! Outside of the part about ITE not accepting online petitions, the 250+ signatures on the petition site actually met the criteria for a successful petition according to ITE's legal documents. I am humbled by that.
If you can’t get signatures electronically, how are you supposed to get the reach that you currently have? Even though I’m a member of ITE, I’ve never been to an ITE function because I do transportation forecasting and I rarely see anything from ITE related to forecasting. So to get my signature, you’d have to show up at the TRB Annual Meeting or the TRB Planning Applications Conference.
This is not only an issue of you not being able to be on the ballot for an ITE office, this is also about making it difficult for some ITE members to be able to sign those petitions.
Anyway, hopefully ITE jumps into the 21st century, because the restrictions in the first paragraph are a bit pathetic.