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MEETING NOTES: April 15, 2023 Al Alexander Activities Building, Cheaha State Park

In attendance:
Richard Comston
Kris Cook
Rodney Green
David “Animal” Reid
Laura “Sport” Reid
Matthew Schroeder
Leigh Copeland
Paul Hebda
Michael Chamlee
James “Ghost” Johnson
Kerry Jenkins
Ken Palmer
Shane Coker
Mike Wilson

Kris passed out meeting notes from the previous meeting, along with a treasurer’s report. There was a successful motion to accept the notes from the 2/18/23 meeting and treasurer’s report as presented. These documents are approved and are now a part of the records of Dixie ABATE.
Matt reported on HB 8, the hands-free bill. It passed out of committee, but has not yet passed the house. It passed the BIR (Budget Isolation Resolution) vote in the house, however. As far as we know, there has been no companion bill introduced.
No ad valorem tax reform bill has been introduced, nor has Jamie Kiehl introduced a helmet modification bill as he indicated he would at our October 22 meeting, but we haven’t done the research to get him wording from other states, either, as we indicated we would, back in October. So this may be something we can accomplish by the next legislative session.
Matt reported on bills in process that have to do with firearms. There are several. He reported on the breakfast we provided for legislators at the State House on March 22. This was very well received.
There was discussion about aftermarket exhaust kits available and whether they all come with catalytic converters.
Report from products director Richard Comston: He sent a full array of shirts to Fred, for him to sell when he sets up in the southeast corner of the state. We need to get a full inventory from Fred. No sales have been reported.
Matt reported on the MRF’s stance on Biden’s push for all-electric vehicles.
We had no chapter reports.
Life member Michael Stieber is riding in the Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride again this year to raise funds for the Movember Foundation, dedicated to eliminating prostate cancer and to protecting men’s mental health. You are encouraged to go to:
to support Michael.
We had a discussion about how we can be more relevant in the state, and what relevant actually means. The general consensus was that the way we are relevant now is through our legislative work. Legislators are beginning to know us, as we consistently show up to give them breakfast early in each legislative session. We are slowly building relationships and credibility. Animal said we don’t really have any hassles in Alabama so we don’t have anything to fight.
Animal reminded us to always keep our license and registration in a spot that’s easy to get to without having to dig through everything in your bags.
We need to raise funds. The idea of a rifle raffle was brought up. We will take a look at this.
Kris Cook and new members Randy and Devona Stearns are attending Bikers Inside the Beltway on May 16, to speak to our federal legislators on the hill. This is a MRF-coordinated event.
Animal spoke about a change in the rules of the Alabama Council of Clubs, of which he is the chairman. The COC is opening to independent membership, not being confined to MC’s only. They work hand-in-hand with the MRF and with Dixie ABATE. It is best for all motorcyclists if we are united and we work together.
Animal gave a brief history of the advent of personalized tags for motorcycles in Alabama, in which he had a major hand. He gave a little history of ABATE in this state as well. The next COC meeting is in North Alabama on June 24th. We always have a seat at the table there.
Our next meeting will probably be at a public park in Millbrook. Matt and Carolyn want to host a cookout and we picked Millbrook because it is so close to the center of the state. Kris will let everyone know when final plans are made. The August 19 summer retreat and meeting will be at the Secret Bed & Breakfast in Leesburg (Sand Rock), and the October 14 meeting will be at Barber Vintage Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham, and will have a ticket price, as we have a special guest who will be speaking to us.
The December 16th meeting will be in Mobile, probably at Judy’s Place.
All of our meetings are at 2 PM on a Saturday, usually the third Saturday of every other month. The October 14th meeting is the SECOND Saturday, to accommodate the schedule of our speaker, Slider Gilmore.