|Vietnam Veterans of America|
|Constitution Committee Reports, September/October 2021|
Presenting Amendments to Delegates
BY LESLIE DeLONG, CONSTITUTION COMMITTEE CHAIR
As mandated by the Constitution of Vietnam Veterans of America, Article IV, General Provisions, Section 5, Amendments, the VVA Constitution Committee has reviewed the nineteen proposed amendments received by the June 30 submission deadline. The Constitution requires that any proposed amendment be submitted to the Constitution Committee at least 120 days prior to the commencement of the National Convention.
The committee met electronically several times in July to review the proposed amendments and recommend actions for each. The 2021 Constitution Committee Preliminary Report to the Delegates includes copies of all the proposed amendments we received, along with recommended actions. The report was forwarded to chapters and state councils and posted online at www.vva.org the end of August.
The Preliminary Report to the Delegates is subject to change after the proposed amendments are fully discussed by the delegates during the Constitution Committee hearing at the Convention. Following the hearing, the committee will review all comments and may revise the report and the committee’s recommendations. All chapters and state councils are invited to have representatives at the Constitution Committee hearing to present the thoughts and opinions of their members.
There were nineteen proposed constitutional amendments. Ten were reported out of the committee for full discussion and consideration by the delegates. The others were not reported out. The proposed amendments reported out of the committee are numbered and presented in the order of their positions in the Constitution, except for proposed amendment -01, which will be considered first because the final vote on this amendment will affect four of the other proposed amendments.
We look forward to seeing you in Greensboro.
Becoming a Delegate
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 (see the cover). 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.
Copies of state councils’ and chapters’ annual Finance Reports must be submitted to VVA national for delegates to be credentialed. A delegate will not be permitted on the Convention floor until an annual Finance Report has been received. The report may be turned in at the Convention. Even if the report has been filed with VVA national, it’s a 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.
The Credentials Committee is responsible for setting up the delegates’ chairs on the Convention Floor by region, then by state according to the number of delegates each state is allotted.
Delegate seating will be assigned by the following procedure: The host region will be assigned the center front section, with the host state seated in the front rows. The Credentials Committee Chair will draw numbers to determine the seating for the other regions.
The first region’s number will be seated behind the host region, the second region drawn will be seated behind the first, and so on. As soon as one section is filled, the seating will move to the right section of the Convention hall (stage left) and continue as before, and then to the left section.
All efforts will be made to keep region seating intact. Adjustments may have to be made depending on the size of the region versus the available space. Resolving this issue is the responsibility of the Credentials Chair.
Unassigned seats may be added at the end of each region or state to accommodate delegates who are expected to be added following the opening session.
THE BUSINESS MEETING
The Credentials Committee is responsible for establishing and certifying absences of delegates during the business meeting. To this end, Credentials Committee members will maintain an easily identifiable presence on the main floor of the Convention hall while the delegates are in session.
In the event that a delegate is unable to attend the Convention or is excused during the Convention, the affected chapter or state council may register an alternate to be credentialed and seated as a delegate with full power to act in the stead of the absent delegate.
Finally, I once again remind everyone coming to the National Convention to pre-register. Pre-registering allows the VVA Membership staff and the Credentials Committee to quickly and easily certify everyone and get them seated. See you in Greensboro.
The deadline for submitting proposed Convention resolutions was June 30. The proposed resolutions were reviewed by the appropriate VVA committee chairs, after which the Resolutions Committee sent them to all state council and chapter presidents by first-class mail. They also are 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.
Cast Your Votes
BY SCOTT DeARMAN, ELECTIONS COMMITTEE CHAIR
The delegates to Vietnam Veterans of America’s Twentieth National Convention will cast their votes for VVA’s National President, National Vice President, National Secretary, National Treasurer, all ten At-large National Board members, and all nine Regional Board members on Friday, November 5. All positions are for two-year terms, beginning at the close of the 2021 Convention, through the close of the 2023 Convention.
In this issue of The VVA Veteran you will find the statements and photos of all registered candidates for national office. I encourage all delegates to read the statements carefully. These are the men and women who would like to lead this organization through some of its most difficult years. The election of officers and board is a heavy and happy burden that falls on the delegates.
CONDUCT OF CAMPAIGNS
Registered candidates may use the national flag of the United States, the VVA national logo, and the VVA national flag in their campaign materials. Although the appearance of endorsement by any part of VVA is forbidden, photographs of the candidate wearing VVA state and chapter logos, patches, or insignia are acceptable.
Candidates may not solicit nor accept endorsements or campaign contributions in any form from VVA or from any VVA state council or chapter. But they may receive contributions and endorsements from VVA members if the endorsements are on personal stationery. All of these regulations are outlined in full detail in the official Candidate Packet.
RUNNING FROM THE FLOOR
Prospective candidates who did not register by the June 30 deadline have one last option: They can run from the floor. However—
At the Convention those prospective candidates must complete a Declaration of Candidacy and Eligibility, and they must produce a DD-214 and sign an SF-180. (Only current and former National Officers and National Board members may disregard the DD-214 and SF-180 requirement.) Then they will receive petitions to be signed by delegates. The minimum number of signees will be determined by the committee.
Each candidate must return the petition with signatures no later than noon on Thursday, November 4, along with all required paperwork, the financial statement form, a copy of the DD-214 (if required), and a signed SF-180. Once certified by the committee, the candidate can begin campaigning.
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