|Vietnam Veterans of America|
|2021 Convention Committee Reports, March/April 2021|
BY LESLIE DeLONG, CHAIR
The Twentieth VVA National Convention will begin on November 2, 2021, in Greensboro, N.C. You may now submit proposed constitutional amendments.
Any VVA member, chapter, or state council can submit a proposal for a constitutional amendment. Constitutional amendments may be submitted electronically using the online form at https://vva.org/constitutional-amendment or mailed to the VVA national office using a printed copy of the online form.
Members who want a printed copy of the form should contact Sharon Hodge at 301-585-4000, ext. 111. Forms not submitted online should be mailed to the national office at the address below, postmarked no later than June 30, 2021, at midnight or faxed to 301-585-3180 before June 30 at midnight.
The deadline for submitting proposed constitutional amendments is June 30, 2021, “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 June 30. The Constitution Committee will meet virtually in July to review all proposed amendments and prepare its report to the membership. The committee’s report will be mailed to state councils and chapters and will be available on the VVA website no later than September 1.
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 the hearing to learn about the amendments and to voice their opinions.
BY SCOTT DeARMAN, CHAIR
VVA will elect all its National Officers and Board members during its Twentieth National Convention November 2-6 in Greensboro, N.C. The Elections Committee welcomes those who would like to join the organization’s national leadership. The committee encourages all those considering running for office in 2021 to think about whether they are willing to take on the responsibilities of an Officer or a Board member and represent the membership of VVA.
POSITIONS OPEN FOR ELECTION
VVA National President
All National Officer and National Board positions are for terms of two years, beginning at the close of the 2021 National Convention through the close of the 2023 Convention.
Candidates for all positions must be members of VVA in good standing.
Candidates for National Officer positions must meet the requirements in the VVA National Constitution under Article I, Section 5, Paragraph A as revised, July 18, 2019:
“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 at which such candidate seeks election.”
Candidates for At-Large and Regional Board of Directors must meet the requirements 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 July 18, 2019:
“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.”
Candidates for Regional Board positions must reside within the region they wish to represent.
LETTER OF INTENT
Prospective candidates must submit letters of intent to the VVA Elections Committee no later than June 30, 2021. Each prospective candidate will need to include in the body of the Letter of Intent, or on a separate sheet of paper along with the letter, his or her name, current mailing address, home and work phone numbers, email address, and the position he or she is seeking. A prospective candidate may announce and run for only one position. We are going electronic, and the Elections Committee will send Candidate’s Packet to candidates by email (if desired). Please state your preference in your Letter of Intent.
The Elections Committee is accepting Letters of Intent 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 the June 30, 2021, deadline. They must be sent to the Elections Committee’s Walkersville, Maryland, 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.
Three other important documents are due on June 30: the Declaration of Candidacy, a copy of your DD-214, and a signed SF-180. Exceptions are noted in the Candidate’s Packet.
Running From the Floor: 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 these rules will result in disqualification.
Incumbent Officers and Board Members: Please refer to the VVA Board Policies Reference Guide under “Strategic Documents, Travel Policy, Additional Criteria,” page 64, H(2) (a-b). Once you have announced your candidacy, this policy applies directly to your travel and budget expenditures.
The Elections Committee will send Candidate’s Packets to those who submit Letters of Intent. To avoid possible loss or destruction of mailed packets, they will be sent via Certified Mail-Return Receipt Requested. Those who choose to have the packets emailed will receive them shortly after the committee receives the Letters of Intent. Emailed Candidate’s Packets will come in a PDF format and are fillable and printable. Fill in and print each form individually, and you must sign the necessary forms. Committee member Adolph Gardner is the contact person regarding Candidate’s Packets. His phone number is 301-845-4296.
These packets contain information, instructions, and rules regarding the conduct of the election process that are of vital importance to every candidate. Included in these packets are all the forms that candidates are required to complete and return to the Elections Committee.
Note: The Candidate’s Packet includes a Deadline Date Calendar that lists events and dates that are very important to each candidate’s campaign. Failure to meet any of the deadlines will be grounds for disqualification. The deadline dates this year have changed, so please pay special attention to them.
CONDUCT OF CAMPAIGNS
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. A photograph of a candidate wearing a jacket, shirt, or hat with a VVA national, state council, or chapter logo or patch also is acceptable.
Candidates may not solicit or accept campaign contributions in any form from VVA or 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 email.
Candidates may not solicit or accept any campaign endorsement from VVA, any state council or chapter, or VVA newsletters, newspapers, or websites.
Candidates may solicit and accept campaign contributions and endorsements from any member of VVA, provided that the contributions and endorsements are not in violation of the rules and that any written endorsements are on the individual’s personal stationery. It is strictly prohibited for any person to use VVA national, state council, or chapter letterhead, websites, or email for the purposes of writing letters of endorsement.
A candidate’s own website or email may be used to campaign, but the restrictions noted above remain in effect. More detailed instructions are in the Candidate’s Packet. Do not create a campaign website until you have read those instructions.
It is neither the wish nor intention of the VVA Elections Committee to embroil prospective candidates in unnecessary red tape in order for them to have their names on the 2021 VVA National Election Ballot. There are, however, certain steps that must be followed to keep the election process within the guidelines of the VVA National Constitution and to make it fair.
The rules, instructions, and requirements in this announcement—as well as those that will follow in the Candidate’s Packet—are simple and easy to read, understand, and follow. Therefore, the failure of a candidate to play by the rules or to meet the requirements of the VVA Constitution and Elections Committees will cause that candidate to be disqualified and his or her name removed from the ballot.
The VVA Elections Committee welcomes members who are about to take part in a most important part of VVA: the election of its Officers and Board members. If you are unsure or don’t understand the instructions, don’t hesitate to contact the committee for help. The Elections Committee wishes all the candidates the best and please stay safe during these difficult times.
The deadline for submitting proposed resolutions has been changed. VVA’s Twentieth National Convention in Greensboro, N.C., will begin on November 2, 2021. Proposed resolutions may be submitted and must be postmarked no later than June 30 at midnight or faxed to 301-585-3180 no later than June 30 at midnight.
Proposed resolutions must be submitted to the National Resolutions Committee on the official resolution form at www.vva.org/convention-resolution Only proposed resolutions submitted on the official resolution form will be accepted. Forms should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to 301-585-3180 or mailed or delivered to:
All proposed resolutions will be compiled and submitted electronically in July to the relevant committees for their review and comments.
The Resolutions Committee will send the package of proposed resolutions with the appropriate committee’s recommended action for each proposed resolution to all state councils and chapters by first-class mail no later than September 1.
At the National Convention, committee hearings will be held following the opening ceremonies. During the hearings, the committees and delegates will review all resolutions prior to the resolutions being presented to the delegates on the Convention floor. Any subsequent revisions to the resolutions will be printed on color-coded paper for distribution to the delegates.
Resolutions are the goals and objectives for VVA. Many, if not all, have direct and indirect costs related to their implementation. Work toward accomplishing the mandates of the resolutions may take a few hours of staff time or may take a week or a month, and those efforts generate costs. To this end, some resolutions may be implemented immediately, others phased in over a period of time, and some may be impractical or impossible to achieve because of funding restrictions.
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