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2019 Convention Committee Report, November/December 2018


©Michael KeatingVietnam Veterans of America will conduct its election of all National Officer and Board positions during the 19th National Convention to be held July 16-20, 2019, in Spokane, Wash.

Fellow veterans: The Elections Committee invites you to think about your future role in the leadership of VVA. The committee encourages all those who are considering running for office in 2019 to think about and evaluate whether you are willing to take on the responsibilities of an Officer or a Board member. Take time now to consult with your family, friends, and those whose opinions you value to determine if this is the next step you are willing to take in your involvement in VVA.

Remember: The election process begins January 1, 2019, when the committee starts accepting Letters of Intent. So be ready, be committed, and be sure. The future of VVA could be in your hands as a representative of this organization. The Elections Committee welcomes all those who wish to be a part of the elections process and who aspire to be the leaders of VVA.


VVA National President
VVA National Vice-President
VVA National Secretary
VVA National Treasurer
VVA National Board of Directors (At-large) [All Ten Seats]
VVA National Board of Directors (Regional) [All Nine Seats]


All National Officer and Board positions are for terms of two years, beginning at the close of the 2019 National Convention, through the close of the 2021 National Convention.


Candidates for all positions open for election must be individual members of VVA in good standing.

Candidates for National Officer positions must meet the requirements to hold office as set forth in the VVA National Constitution under Article I, Section 5, Paragraph A, as revised August 12, 2017.

To wit: “To qualify for election… to any of these offices a candidate must have been an individual member of the Corporation, in good standing, (1) for a continuous period of not less than twelve months immediately preceding the opening of the National Convention at which such candidate seeks election;… and (2) such candidate must have held a position as an officer or board member at the national level or as an officer at the state council or chapter level, during any continuous period of twelve months prior to the date of the opening of the National Convention.”

Candidates for At-large and Regional Board of Directors must meet the requirements to hold office as set forth in the VVA National Constitution, Article I, Section 4, Paragraph B (1 and 2) for Regional Directors, and Article I, Section 4, Paragraph B (1 and 3) for At-large Directors as revised August 12, 2017.

To wit: “To qualify for election, a candidate must have been a member of the Corporation, in good standing, for a continuous period of not less than the twelve months immediately preceding the opening of the National Convention at which candidate seeks election…. The candidate must have held an elected position at the national, state, or chapter level, for any continuous period of twelve months prior to the date of the opening of the National Convention.”

In addition, candidates for Regional Board positions must reside within the region they wish to represent.


The time period this election announcement covers is January 1 to March 31, 2019. Please pay special attention to the deadline of March 31, 2019. This is a 90-day window to submit your Letter of Intent.


Prospective candidates must submit a Letter of Intent to the VVA Elections Committee postmarked no later than March 31, 2019. Starting with this election cycle, prospective candidates considering running for positions will need to include their telephone numbers, email addresses, and physical mailing addresses in the body of the Letter of Intent or on a separate sheet of paper. Prospective candidates also must include the position they seek. A prospective candidate may run for only one position. The Elections Committee will send the Candidate’s Packet by email unless otherwise requested by the candidate.

The Elections Committee will begin accepting Letters of Intent on January 1, 2019, at the following address: VVA ELECTIONS COMMITTEE, c/o Adolph Gardner, 7 Crum Road, Walkersville, MD 21793-8018


All Letters of Intent must be postmarked on or before March 31, 2019, and must be sent to the Elections Committee’s Walkersville, Md., address. Any Letter of Intent that does not meet the postmark requirement or is sent to any other address will be considered invalid and will not be accepted by the Elections Committee.

The Elections Committee encourages everyone considering running for office to send in a Letter of Intent. If you decide not to run after sending in your Letter of Intent, you can simply submit a signed and witnessed letter stating that you are withdrawing.


Candidates running for office must abide by certain restrictions. Those who plan to run for an elected position from the floor cannot announce their intent to run for office either publicly or privately, cannot campaign in any way or distribute any campaign materials, including on the Internet, and cannot accept any contributions prior to being approved as a candidate by the Elections Committee at the Convention. Any violation of this rule will result in disqualification.


Incumbent Officers and Board members should refer to the VVA Board Policies Reference Guide, under Strategic Documents, Travel Policy, Additional Criteria, page 69: G(2)(a-b). Once you have announced your candidacy, this policy applies to your travel and budget expenditures.


Once the Elections Committee has received a candidate’s Letter of Intent, the Candidate Packet will be emailed, unless requested by U.S. postal mail. These packets contain further important information, instructions, and rules regarding the conduct of the election process that are of vital importance to every candidate. Included in these packets will be all necessary forms. Candidates are required to complete the forms and return them to the Elections Committee.

Please remember to let the committee know if you need the Candidate Packet sent to you by U.S. mail instead of email. When the packet is sent by email, it will be in PDF format and the forms will be fillable and printable, with the exception of the signature block. We also will request a delivery receipt and read receipt for our records to ensure that the candidate has received the packet.

All forms must be sent back to the committee by U.S. mail (return receipt requested) since we require the candidate’s signature on all documents. For candidates requesting that physical packets be mailed, they will be sent via Certified Mail-Return Receipt Requested to ensure proper delivery. Questions should be directed to Adolph Gardner at 301-845-4296 or by email at adolphgard@aol.com

NOTE: The Candidate Packet will include a Deadline Calendar that lists events and dates that are very important to each candidate’s campaign for office. Failure to meet any of the deadlines will be grounds for disqualification. Please pay special attention to the deadlines this year, as they are different from past election years.


Candidates may use the national flag of the United States, the VVA national logo, and the VVA national flag on their campaign material. No VVA, state council, or chapter letterhead may be used. Campaign materials are considered to be (but are not limited to) buttons, pins, brochures, posters, pictures, emails, and websites. A photograph of a candidate wearing his or her VVA national, state council, or chapter lapel pin is acceptable. Additionally, a photograph of a candidate who is wearing a jacket, shirt, or hat that has a VVA national, state council, or chapter logo or patch on it is also acceptable.

Candidates may not solicit or accept campaign contributions in any form from VVA or from any VVA state council or chapter. Campaign contributions are considered to be (but are not limited to) money, paper, envelopes, postage, free printing, free phone calls, use of websites, and use of emails.

Candidates may not solicit or accept any campaign endorsements from VVA, any VVA state council, chapter, or VVA newsletters, newspapers, web, or electronic mail sites.

A candidate’s own website or email may be used to campaign, but the restrictions mentioned above remain in effect. The Candidate Packet has more detailed instructions regarding this matter. So, we recommend that you wait until you get your packet before you start campaigning.

It is neither the wish nor the intent of the VVA Elections Committee to make it unnecessarily difficult to run on the 2019 VVA National Election Ballot. There are, however, certain steps that must be followed by all candidates in order to keep the election process within the guidelines of the VVA National Constitution and to ensure a fair election.

Failure to abide by all rules, instructions, and requirements set forth in this announcement and the Candidate Packet will result in disqualification from the election.



©Michael KeatingThe nineteenth National Convention in Spokane will begin on July 16, 2019. You can now submit proposed constitutional amendments. Any VVA member, chapter, or state council may submit a proposal for a constitutional amendment. They may be submitted electronically using the online form on the VVA website (under “Events”) or may be mailed to the VVA national office using either a printed copy of the online form or the form below.

The deadline for submitting proposed constitutional amendments is March 17, 2019 (“at least 120 days prior to the commencement of the National Convention,” per the VVA Constitution, Article IV, Section 5). No proposals will be accepted after midnight, March 17.

The Constitution Committee will meet on April 12 during the National Board of Directors meeting in Silver Spring. During this session the committee will review all proposed amendments and prepare its report to the membership. The committee’s report will be mailed to state councils and chapters. It also will be available on the VVA website no later than May 17.

The committee will hold an open hearing at the Convention before the amendments are presented to the delegates for action. We encourage everyone to attend this hearing to learn about the amendments and voice their opinions.





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