by Douglas Miller, CAS Membership Committee

Reviewing membership subscriptions over the last decade, we’ve seen our members becoming increasingly generous with their support. As time has passed, the bulk of the local membership dues shifted from mostly $15 and $25 levels up to the $25 and $50 levels. Because of that — and also because these tiers have not been reviewed in at least a dozen years — the Membership Committee is discussing a few possibilities for updating and streamlining the dues categories.

The current membership levels are:

  • $10 Student
  • $15 Individual
  • $25 Family
  • $50 Donor
  • $300 Friend
  • $300 Business Sponsor

A few of the items on the agenda:

  1. There have been requests to add a Senior membership level, given some people are on a fixed income.
  2. The $25 level seems to have become the default giving level.
  3. The CAS bylaws do not specify exactly how the Family membership works when it comes to voting. Does it encompass exactly two votes for a person and their partner? Would a member be entitled to cast votes for all of the family members in their household? Although CAS rarely holds contested votes where these questions would come into play, the Bylaws Committee will be settling this question and should provide suggestions in the near future.
  4. We have two separate $300 memberships: one for business and one for individuals. The business membership has received advertising space in the newsletter and on the website, while the individual membership is not publicly unrecognized. Question arise from time to time whether business sponsors are entitled to extra advertising access to the membership, and if that effectively comes into conflict with our rule that we never provide our members’ contact information to a third party.

Proposed membership level revisions:

  • $15 Student (through college)/Senior (65+)
  • $25 Basic
  • $50 Donor
  • $300 Friend

Proposals being discussed include:

  1. Changing the $15 level to a combined Student/Senior rate.
  2. Increasing the “basic” — for want of a better title — level of membership support from $15 to $25.
  3. Folding the Family membership into either the $25 level or the $50 level — depending on the suggestions of the Bylaws committee.
  4. Bringing the two $300 levels together, and recognizing these supporters (if they wish) in the newsletter and on the website with wording such as “CAS activities are made possible through the generous support of friends like you, including… [the list of $300 supporters].”

We will discuss these issues and proposals at our next membership meeting. If you have thoughts, opinions or suggestions please be sure to join us then — or drop a line to the Membership Committee care of chair Shelby Thomas ( After receiving feedback from the general membership and the Bylaws Committee, the board will review these proposals and decide whether to make any changes.