by Mark Richert
As always, it is such a privilege to continue to serve as your resolutions committee chair; thank you. We are so very fortunate to be part of an organization that actively encourages each of us as members to exercise leadership in formulating our organization’s positions on critical issues and, thereby, to nurture the democratic spirit that is what ACB is all about.
I am, of course, talking about ACB’s resolutions process, undertaken at each year’s conference and convention. In preparation for that important work this summer, here are a few things to know and some tips on getting involved in the process even before July.
The resolutions committee will be meeting in person during our July convention for five consecutive nights, Saturday, July 1 through Wednesday, July 5. Please consult the convention program for the meeting location and each night’s start time. To have your resolution considered by the committee, I must receive it from you no later than 9 p.m. Sunday, July 2, but I strongly encourage you to submit it to me well in advance of that deadline.
Any ACB member is welcome to submit a draft resolution to me at any time up to and including during the July conference and convention, so long as I receive your submission no later than 9 p.m. Sunday, July 2. Drafts that are not received in a timely manner will only be considered at the committee’s discretion. In the event that a special-interest affiliate or similar group needs to formally approve the text of a resolution prior to its submission, and assuming that the affiliate or group must meet after the Sunday, July 2, 9 p.m. deadline, the resolutions committee will certainly entertain such resolutions. However, we will consider them if, and only if, the affiliate’s or group’s leadership lets me know before the deadline that the affiliate or group may be submitting a resolution. We ask this of you because it is critical that the committee be able to manage its work flow throughout convention week. Resolutions that are submitted outside of these parameters will only be considered at the committee’s discretion.
Now I’ve said this to you before, but I hope this not only sinks in but also makes you smile just a bit. A draft resolution will only be regarded as having been received if I myself have received it. Rumors of drafts, drafts merely existing in someone’s imagination, drafts that are only titles of resolutions, drafts that are merely a couple words scribbled on a casino napkin, drafts written in Russian and smuggled out of Moscow or even out of the White House, or anything in any form whatsoever that is transmitted to another person other than to yours truly or that isn’t obviously something resembling a resolution will not be considered received.
While you need not worry whether your resolution is in proper, formal resolution form per se when you submit it to me, the thing you submit to me must clearly be a communication that says that you want the communication to be considered as a resolution by the resolutions committee, and it must be written so that it plainly declares what you believe ACB should say or do.
You may submit your draft resolution to me via e-mail at MRichert@afb.net so long as you make it clear in the subject line and/or the body of your message that you are submitting a draft resolution for consideration by the committee. I will also accept brailled copies of draft resolutions that you may hand to me during the convention, as well as commonly used word-processed electronic files shared with me directly on some sort of ordinarily available digital medium.
Please do not ask another person, even someone whom you believe to be on the resolutions committee, to turn in your resolution for you. Between my e-mail address, my general availability during this summer’s convention, and the regular hours during which the committee will be meeting, you should have plenty of opportunity to convey your draft. If none of these means for communicating your draft resolution meet your needs, I’m sure the ACB national office would love to hear from you and help you out.
If you have any questions about the preparation of your draft resolution or about the resolutions process, please do not hesitate to e-mail me or to call me on my mobile phone, (571) 438-7895, including during convention week this July. My hope is that by the time you read this article, your resolutions committee will have already met at least once by phone to get organized for this summer’s work and to begin discussing resolutions. I look forward to working with all of you. Light up your ideas, and let the sparks fly!