Members: Proposal One


Watch the webinar recording for Money & Members.

We encourage you to use the PowerPoint presented at the webinar and the Structure Modernization Discussion Guide to help facilitate conversations in your networks. 

 Members: Proposal One

  • Change from delegated to undelegated voting system, and
  • Change membership qualifying time from 90 days to 180 days

Posting Instructions

1. If you want to share your thoughts on a proposal (remember these are just concepts, the actual language will be developed later), write your reply in the text box bellow the words Leave Reply, and in the box “Enter your comment here…”

2. If you want to respond to a comment that another NOW member has left regarding a proposal, click the small blue link that says “Reply” underneath said comment. It is very important that you click this reply button and not start another comment so that the conversation is easily followed and clear!

3. You MUST put your full name and chapter affiliation before every comment you leave. If a comment does not have a name and chapter affiliation it will not be approved. This is to ensure that only NOW members are commenting.

4. Remember be respectful and friendly! All NOW members want to work to improve the organization and it takes collaboration and patience on our part as a grassroots organization to make sure that all of our members voices are heard – even those with whom we may disagree with.

5. Be creative and don’t be afraid to say what you think! It is vital that you share your opinions — in order to create the best proposals possible we need to know what all of the members think! This site is for YOU to have your voices heard.


14 thoughts on “Members: Proposal One

  1. If we keep delegated conferences, I believe we need to fix the at-large situation. Right now the only way at-large members can be official delegates of their state chapter is if they attend a state conference in the three months before the national conference. And then the number of delegates is determined by the number of people who show up at that state conference – NOT by the number of members listed as at large members of the state. So there are at least three problems that I see:
    1. Any state that holds their conference outside of the 3 month window gets no at-large delegates. That’s true for Pennsylvania whose bylaws require our conference in the last quarter of the year.
    2. Any state that holds conference every other year, even when the conference is held during the window of opportunity, loses a chance to have delegates in the year they don’t have a conference. True again for PA NOW which changed their bylaws 8 years ago to only hold biennial conferences due to cost.
    3. Even if you are within the window of opportunity, at-large members are treated as 2nd-class members because they do not get an equal access to the proportional number of delegates that local chapters get.

    And here’s another issue, if we go with the task force idea, people who are now in chapters would be moved over to being members of the state chapter – i.e., they become at-large members – and thus would lose their delegate slots unless either we 1) fix the at-large delegate issue (my first choice), 2) clearly state that task forces = chapters, or 3) go to an undelegated conference.

    I think we can fix the at-large delegate problem and keep the delegate selection and voting process that helps ensure that the area of the country where a national conference is held doesn’t overwhelm the voting members of the rest of the country. It would also help prevent outsiders who have the presence to get their contingents to join NOW in time from mucking with our organization.

    All we need to do is keep our current delegated conference requirements with one change. We would remove the requirement that states hold a state-wide meeting for the purpose of electing delegates. Instead, at-large delegates and alternates representing state chapters would be selected in the same manner as local chapter delegates with the decision as to how to select state delegates being decided by each state chapter.

    Joanne Tosti-Vasey
    Ni-Ta-Nee NOW (PA0555)


  2. I recall that this expansion to 180 days came about because the PAC can only solicit donations from members, so the idea was to keep members on the roster for a longer period in order to be able to get their donations to the PAC. If I’m wrong about this, someone can correct me. But that was my understanding of the conversation at the time. I disagree with the proposal because it would also apply to voting rights, running for office , etc. 90 days, roughly three months, is enough grace time for members to renew and remain eligible to vote, etc.


  3. I see no reason to change the membership qualifying time from 90 to 180 days. I think there are some members who may have actually joined when they did because they wanted to attend the national conference, and since they were going, to actively participate as a member. It is doubtful that anybody (except some of us who are more active) is even thinking about the conference and needing to join more than about 90 days in advance of conference, and certainly not 180 days. 90 days is good.


  4. I think it is important to maintain the delegate system as it lessens the chance of members being brought in by a state that has the money to do so to “stack the deck” on a vote. Also, members close to the conference location are much more likely to attend than members farther from the conference sight, which means the members near the conference location have much more “weight” as members than members who are farther away, Perhaps when we can go to online or the AAUW method of voting then we can drop the delegate system, which I admit is confusing and sometimes seems unfair to those who have come to conference but can’t get a delegate slot. Until we can have a voting process that eliminates the requirement to be at the conference in person to vote I think we should keep the delegate method.


  5. All great thoughts, I think NOW would improve member involvement if on-line voting was implemented. How to do it, can be determined, some how. Leave it to the techies at the direction of officers and board???

    Delegate or not, i seem to always explain the delegation process to new members at National conferences who want to vote, but can’t. Sometimes, we can offer a delegate spot, to them. Not all delegate slots are filled at all conferences. Sometimes we can’t. Clearly, i feel like am dis-empowering them when they can’t vote.
    I’m for moving the process forward, and having full member involvement. But being on the rules committee,
    I will not have a opinion on; to delegate or not.

    I like having 180 days for member qualification, for conferences, national election, and regional voting.


  6. But UNTIL we “figure out” online voting (and that should apply to elections AND passage of resolutions, changing by-laws, etc) we shouldn’t change the delegate system to non-delegated. That’s putting the cart before the horse.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think this is great – it empowers at large members to vote and allows for more opportunities to have voices heard. I also think we should work to figure out online voting so that the cost of attending the conference doesn’t prohibit members from voting.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Dina S Willner Northern NJ NOW

    I also agree with Susan. Voting should not be determined on physical proximity to the conference or on having the money to attend.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am opposed to un-delegated conferences. This gives an even greater advantage to those living closest to the conference site. I do not believe that it would result in greater attendance, as the difficulties of travel and costs would still exist. Delegates are supposed to represent their chapters, voting on behalf of the many more who are unable to attend. Members voting at an un-delegated conference would represent only themselves.
    I do think there should be a way for at-large members to select their own delegates.
    I agree with proportional representation. And I think that even if only one delegate can be present, she or he should be able to cast the number of votes to which the chapter (or group of at-large members) represented is entitled.
    Until/unless one member-one vote democracy is considered feasible, delegated conferences are the fairest available method.

    Liked by 1 person

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