As we come to the end of the skydiving season at many locations in the U.S., the reports from our Group Member drop zones are amazing. What a spectacular season this has been! All summer, I heard about the return to the skies of USPA members after long hiatuses and listened to amazing stories of those who took their first steps from aircraft doors to experience our amazing sport. What a great year!
And now ... it is election time! As we round out the end of our 2019-2021 USPA Board of Directors term, I’ve been reflecting on some of the changes that have occurred over the last three years. We’ve worked hard on so many fronts to support skydiving. Our organization survived the turmoil of the pandemic in 2020, a challenge many other organizations were not able to overcome. This board ends its term with USPA’s largest membership in history, and USPA continues to actively promote skydiving’s growth and stability.
With that said, I also look to the future. We have a mission and the means to carry it out. This is the election issue of Parachutist, and it houses the bios of the 36 members running for the 22 available board seats. Eleven of the 14 incumbent regional directors are running unopposed, and there are 19 members vying for the eight national director seats.
With 328 million people living in the United States, some may argue that their vote doesn’t make a difference in nationwide elections. However, that is a very difficult argument to make when it comes to USPA. You are one of about 40,000 possible voters, making your vote extremely powerful in the outcome. And when you consider that in the last USPA election only 5,899 of those 40,000 members voted—and some of the seats were decided by fewer than 20 votes—you can be assured that every vote really makes an enormous difference in who will sit on our board.
For some of you, skydiving is the sport you love and how you spend every weekend, for others it is your livelihood and how you feed yourself and your family. So, who will create policy for your favorite pastime or for your profession is something you very much have a personal stake in. The outcome of the USPA election will make a significant difference for you and has a huge impact on your day-to-day life—arguably more than those who hold political office in D.C.—and you have a powerful voice. I strongly encourage you to use it by voting. While we continue to include a paper ballot in this issue, 99% of members vote electronically through uspa.org. If you are a member in good standing, you can log into your account any time between October 1-29 to cast your vote.