|Vietnam Veterans of America|
|Convention Committee Reports, July/August 2021|
BY LESLIE DeLONG, CONSTITUTION COMMITTEE CHAIR
The deadline for the submission of proposed constitutional amendments to the committee was June 30. The Constitution Committee will meet virtually to discuss the proposed amendments.
After a full review and discussion, the committee will prepare its report to the membership. The report will contain copies of all proposed amendments, along with the committee’s recommendations for each one. On September 1 the report will be available via email and on the VVA website.
At the Convention in Greensboro the Constitution Committee will conduct an open hearing on the proposed amendments before they are presented to the delegates for action.
Becoming a Delegate
It’s time to begin planning to attend VVA’s Twentieth National Convention in Greensboro, N.C., the first week of November.
The Credentials Committee, consisting of the nine Regional Directors and the Committee Chair, as well as staff support, is charged with ensuring the proper credentialing of all VVA delegates to the Convention and seating them in accordance with the VVA Constitution.
National Secretary Bill Meeks has provided the delegate count for the chapters and state councils for the Greensboro Convention. Transfer of delegates is no longer authorized. However, transfers for the purpose of starting new VVA chapters and transfers into different chapters when members change residence may continue.
A delegate will not be permitted on the Convention floor until an annual Finance Report has been received by the national office. The report may be turned in at the Convention. Even if the report has been filed with VVA national, it’s good idea to bring a copy of the Finance Report with you to Greensboro.
All chapters and state councils also must file all reports necessary to maintain their corporate status as non-profit corporations in good standing with the appropriate agency or office in their state, commonwealth, or territory. This must be confirmed by the State Council President. State council and chapter delegates will not be credentialed until all required filings are current.
Delegates attending their first VVA Convention must attach a copy of their DD-214 to the registration form. And all delegates are encouraged to have a copy of the DD-214 with them at the Convention to help answer any potential credentialing questions.
When a chapter elects not to send delegates, it may transfer the delegate votes to other eligible VVA members in good standing from any chapter in its state or to its state council. If a state council elects not to send a delegate, it may transfer the delegate vote to another eligible member in good standing from any chapter in the state. The transfer authority must be in writing and signed by one chapter officer or, in the case of a state council, by one of the state officers.
All challenges should be brought to the attention of the Credentials Committee Chair. The Chair will then seek out the applicable Regional Director, State Council President, and VVA Membership staffer for clarification of any delegate’s credentials. If the challenge cannot be resolved at that level, the full Credentials Committee will convene and make the decision.
The Credentials Chair will give an oral report each morning on the Convention floor to the assembled delegates notifying them of the total number of delegates seated that day.
Finally, I remind everyone coming to the National Convention to pre-register. This makes it much easier for the Membership staff and the Credentials Committee to certify everyone quickly in Greensboro and get them seated.
So: PRE-REGISTER PRE-REGISTER PRE-REGISTER
Any proposed Convention Resolution submitted after June 30 was rejected. All 2021 proposed resolutions received before the deadline have been emailed to the appropriate committee chairs for their review and recommendations.
Upon completion of those reviews, the Resolutions Committee will mail the proposed resolutions to all state councils and chapters by first-class mail no later than September 1. They also will be posted at https://vva.org/national-convention
The committee encourages all delegates to review the proposed Convention Resolutions prior to arriving at VVA’s Twentieth National Convention in Greensboro, N.C.
The Campaigns Begin
BY SCOTT DeARMAN, ELECTIONS COMMITTEE CHAIR
Vietnam Veterans of America will conduct its election of all National Officer and Board positions during its Twentieth National Convention, November 2-6, 2021, in Greensboro, N.C. Twenty-three positions will be decided: National President, National Vice President, National Secretary, National Treasurer, all ten At-large National Board members, and all nine Regional Board members. All positions are for two-year terms, beginning at the close of the 2021 National Convention, through the close of the 2023 National Convention.
Only those who submitted Letters of Intent and all required forms by the June 30 deadline are considered legitimate candidates. They are free to pursue their election campaign as long as they remain within the parameters outlined in the Candidate Packet.
In addition, those candidates may email a statement and photo to firstname.lastname@example.org Statements for officers may not exceed 1,000 words; those for Board members are limited to 500 words. See the Candidate Packet for details. Candidate statements and bios will be posted within days of submission on the VVA Convention web page, https://vva.org/national-convention/ In addition, those statements submitted by August 12 will appear in the September/October issue of The VVA Veteran.
Conduct of Campaigns
Registered 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, website, or email may be used. However, photographs of the candidate wearing VVA state and chapter logos, patches, or insignia are acceptable.
Candidates may not solicit or accept campaign contributions in any form from VVA or from any VVA state council or chapter. Campaign contributions include 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, websites, or electronic mail sites. But they may receive contributions and endorsements from any VVA member, provided that the rules are not violated and the endorsements are on personal stationery. All of this is outlined in full detail in the official Candidate Packet.
The Elections Committee welcomes those members willing to take part in one of the most important parts of VVA, the election of Officers and Board Members who will guide the organization and represent its members for the next two years.
Running from the floor
Potential candidates who missed the June 30 deadline have one last option: They can run from the floor. However—and it’s a big “however”—they 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 from the election process.
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