I just found out that the owner of an organization I'm loosely affiliated with (and pay dues to) has some controversial political opinions that I strongly disagree with. I don't like the idea of my dues money possibly going towards other organizations that endorse these opposing view points, but my organization does such great things for the community that I'm reluctant to pull out entirely. What should I do?
Sometimes it happens that we get involved with things that seem like a good idea at the time but that sometimes aren't quite what we bargained for.
The easiest way to answer this question is by example: a good friend of Gothamist's is a member of Curves, the gym for women with a gajillion locations that basically operates out of a store front. It seemed like a good idea at the time, she says; it's only women, most of whom are middle-aged, there are no mirrors, there's no posturing or competitiveness or any of the petty nonsense that sometimes goes on at other gyms. The workout is repetitive (a 30-minute circuit training routine), but is good enough if you put the effort in. So far so good, until it was revealed about a month ago that the company's owner had some affiliation with anti-choice groups, something our friend was opposed to. So: should she pull out and cancel her membership on priciple, or should she stick around because she likes the community?
We say get all the facts. The controversy over Curves has proven that the media has a way of exaggerating some things; while it is true that the owner is anti-choice, the charities he's funded out of his own pocket are still doing some good work and are not strictly anti-choice. Talk to other individuals within the organization to get their take. Maybe even create your own faction within the organization that opposes the owner's politics. But if you do like the work your organization is doing, don't quit until you know all the details. If, even then, it still makes you queasy to think that your dues money may be going to places you don't approve of, then withdraw and cancel your membership.