An Opinion By Jan Bergemann 
President, Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc. 

June 1, 2006

The CAI was originally founded as a nationwide educational organization to help understand the problems of association life.   Then during the years this original concept changed dramatically, as it happens with many good ideas.  Some specialized interests -- in this case attorneys, management companies and other service providers -- took over and turned the CAI into something else.

Today the CAI is a de facto trade organization representing the interests of service providers for associations.

Nothing wrong with a good trade organization, if it were honest enough to say so!  But CAI’s claim to represent associations and owners is clearly misleading.  With a membership of 16,000+ in all 50 states, it is obvious that a big majority of the members are specialized attorneys.

Here in Florida some government officials lacked good judgment when they assigned to the CAI the task of educating condo owners.  These CAI “educators” use every possible opportunity to make fun of the condo ombudsman and to ridicule the legislators who try to create owner-friendly statutes.   Did I mention that these condo “education” courses carry a hefty price tag of $500,000 per year?  The fact that these courses are paid by money collected from the condo owners adds gross insult to injury!

Good education would go a long way, but only if that education attempts to make people understand how to live neighborly, not how to "enforce" the rules and create lawsuits!

The fact that some well-known CAI attorneys claim that homeowners in associations have signed away their constitutional rights really shows where this organization is coming from!  In my opinion these are definitely not the kind of people we need to educate association members how to live in harmony with each other! 

Homeowners and condo owners want peaceful communities with nice neighbors, not banana republics run by people who think that the United States Constitution has no place in our neighborhoods!