Monday, October 31, 2005

Resigned my board position at the Market House Childrens Athletic Assn.

I recently sent in a letter (see comments) to resign from the board of a local youth sports organization.

1 comment:

Mark Rauterkus said...

October 2005

Open letter

To: Market House Childrens Athletic Association
From: Mark Rauterkus

Subject: My board resignation and standing offers.

Hello John, other volunteer board members, and fellow citizens with concerns of wellness for the youth of Pittsburgh,

It is time for me to resign my position on the board of the Market House Childrens Athletic Association for a few important reasons.
First, my children are older and are now headlong into swimming. I'm coaching and on the board for at community team that practices six days a week at Carlynton High School in the winter. In the summer, I've been in similar roles with the Green Tree Great White Sharks.

Second, I'm about to make an application to the Director of Citiparks to use the Market House for a new purpose. This will not conflict with the ongoing activities of the Children's' Athletic Association. But, it will be best if I make those efforts survive on their own and without any tie to the well established efforts. Just so you know, I'm seeking to get a contract to use the facilities on Sundays (afternoons or evenings) for badminton and other activities as part of a new, urban 4-H club. One day we'll be on the web at http://4H.CLOH.Org. By and large, the Market House building has been closed on Sundays. Even if there is men's basketball in the evenings, we'll be able to hold sessions in the afternoons. This will be a one-time per week activity. Local kids will be able to join, of course.

Third, my political aspirations are heating up again, but in a tighter geographic area. I'll be running for city council to take the place of council member, Gene Ricciardi. As you know, Gene is going to be a District Judge and a special election will occur in early 2006. I hope to win this race. Then we'd be able to interact with the organization and make great systematic strides of opportunity for Pittsburgh's overall recreational landscape. Our kids and communities have suffered greatly in certain areas when it comes to the duties and stewardship from elected officials in these and other areas. I've been an outspoken critic of that decline and am sure to continue to raise my voice in these concerns. As I become more of a force, I would not want to expose the organization nor the kids to any backlash that might result. We don't need targets, we need serious discussions and solutions.

I have nothing but great respect for the programs, efforts and people that have been an important part of our community. The Market House is a gem and a vibrant trailblazer in these times. Keep up the great work. I'll still do what I can, but without a board member's role.

Finally, I have four informational tools that I'm willing to share with you: blog, phone outreach, CD/DVD duplication, and a button-maker.

Blog: It might be best to put your activities and new on the world wide web at a no-charge blog. I've secured this:, and am willing to give away the passwords to all of the coaches and board members so they can post freely there. To become a 'contributor' or 'moderator' – just send me an email address and I'll reply with the invite that is generated from the blog server. It is very easy and effective. Plus, it costs $0. My blog is at I get thousands of visitors each week.

Phone outreach: I've set up an auto dialer and some unlimited phone lines at my office, just two short blocks from the Market House. After five minutes of work, I can turn on my system and it can call 100 phone numbers in under an hour without people slaving at their phone – spending ten times as much time. If you have a list of phone numbers (say a directory) and a message (i.e., remember the family fun night is tomorrow night, blah, blah, blah) – we can hook up and use these resources. I could record the message, or one of you could do that here or on your own. In a pinch, this can be a valuable tool. Feel free to drop by and we'll give it a whirl. For example, we could test the system with a phone call to five board members. Or, we could test the system with a call seeking new volunteers for the board, etc.

CD/DVD duplication: Digital photos and digital video are becoming more and more popular. Same too for CD-ROM and DVD players. Many teams and sports organizations have volunteers who do the camera work already. Some teams are now making a collection of photos, snapshots, game highlights and other goodies available to all the players. If you have some content, even as simple as a batch of 50 photos, I'd be glad to use our high-speed burner to rattle off multiple copies to give to each of the kids – for keepsake and PR. I'll be giving out CDs (with both audio and computer data) to all the kids who come to our house for Halloween. It's like 'mind candy.' Mine will have a campaign song or two, some free and open source software (, etc.) and some other goodies (, etc.). You'll need to supply me with a master disk (either CD or DVD) and the disks too. I picked up a batch of 50 CDs at a local office super store and they cost $.10 each. I can't print on the disks yet – but simply use a Sharpie magic marker. Then I pop the disk into a clear or paper envelope and we're done.

Button-maker: I have a button maker at the office. Together, we can build designer buttons, if interested. It might be cool to make up some Market House booster buttons or sportsmanship award tokens or some other clever button with the use of this little device. Allow about $.50 each for the buttons. Just an idea. Just an offer. I'll show you what I'm doing with my buttons. If you want to do something similar, we could.

Have a good season and many more to come in the future.

Sincerely yours,
Mark Rauterkus