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Print editions of the Bulletin, Headlights and trip notices sent via mail.
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The board of directors of the Electric Railroaders’ Association, Inc. would like to express our sincere gratitude for your loyal support of the ERA over the years. In 2021, we greatly expanded access to our monthly meetings to viewers and presenters anywhere in the world by continuing live, online Zoom presentations and by posting the recordings of these events to our website and YouTube. Under the leadership of Editor-in-Chief Jeff Erlitz, The Bulletin continues its high quality and on-time standards, with the e-mail edition in color. We have successfully published Volume 1 of Eric Oszustowicz’s new book series, The Elevated Railways of Brooklyn, and distributed it to all members. We are planning to resume publication of Headlights this year and publish Volume 2 of The Elevated Railways of Brooklyn during 2022. We also have an ongoing ambitious project to scan and post free PDFs of all pre-digital issues of The Bulletin, Electric Railroads and Headlights to the ERA website. This new online content advances our founding principles of educating and informing the public about electric traction. These archives are truly a wonderful trove of information spanning decades that cannot be found anywhere else.
Thanks to our members’ unprecedented generosity in providing substantial tax-deductible contributions during 2021 and the hard work by members Noah Caplin and Jeff Erlitz decluttering and downsizing our high expense storage units, our financial picture, while still difficult, is on a better path than last year. In addition, as improving health conditions allow, we are planning to re-launch our popular national convention in San Diego, and an international tour to Greece and the Balkan countries in 2022. These events, besides being enjoyable and educational for our members, also assist with our bottom line.
During 2021 we moved entirely to very well-attended Zoom meetings which, among other things, has helped increase our membership base. Unfortunately, during 2020, the Roosevelt Hotel closed. We are actively seeking another meeting room for quarterly in-person meetings, while also continuing the Zoom meetings each month (including the in-person meetings).
How can you help? First and foremost, please renew your membership, and select the e-mail option if you can. Over 65 percent of our members already opt for receiving The Bulletin this way. Printing and mailing The Bulletin costs nearly $14,000 per year.
Second, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the ERA and, again, thank you for your generosity this year. Any amount is welcome and can easily be added to your membership renewal payment (online at erausa.org/renew, or by mail). The ERA is a 501c3 non-profit organization.
Finally, you can remember the ERA by making a significant donation as part of your estate planning at any time. We would have been in an impossible financial situation several years ago if the late James Mattina, our long-serving office manager, hadn’t generously donated $157,000 to our organization in his will.
This will be our only notice requesting renewal. Please take a moment now to complete our 2022 Dues Renewal Form and submit by January 31, 2022. We look forward to your continued support of the ERA’s long record of traction education and entertainment. Please be aware that a renewal for 2022 is necessary to be entitled to Volume 2 of The Elevated Railways of Brooklyn series.
And a note about our long-term subscription relationship with LRTA of Great Britain: They operate on a strictly calendar-year basis and set their next-year’s mailing list by December of the current year. So, if you are subscribing to either Tramways and Urban Transit or Tramway Review, it would be appreciated if you renewed by November 30, 2021.
The Board of Directors
Electric Railroaders’ Association, Inc.
August 26, 2021