Let the members decide?

[I really do need to get back to my life, but one more comment before I let this go for a bit.]

This morning I heard that the AAUW CA Convention voted (narrowly) to propose to the AAUW Convention that the decision on the degree requirement be put off until after the implementation of one-member/one-vote.

Now while that may have some appeal, I think it is seriously flawed.

Remember the context of the vote — it is part of the major restructuring that will see AAUW transform from a 501(c)(4) to a 501(c)(3). In that change, we will be dropping some of the trappings of the organization that was founded in 1881 and become much more closely linked with the charitable arm that was founded in 1958.  At the core we are stating that we are to become a public charity.

This is an  important decision with complex ramifications. The decision was discussed at length leading up to the 2007 convention where the members voted unanimously to set this course for the organization.

AAUW’s tradition is that important decisions are made by the delegate body in a face-to-face biennial convention, a meeting with extensive opportunities for questions to be asked and answered. It will take some time before we set up systems of voter education for the many members who view AAUW as primarily a local organization.  We cannot risk derailing the new AAUW before it gets started by pulling out one piece of the change and acting as if it can be decided in isolation from the change to the organization’s purpose and the other related changes.

The delegates in St. Louis must take responsibility for a decision on this change.

2 thoughts on “Let the members decide?

  1. One more thought — continued uncertainty here risks keeping the organization in limbo. Some donors and potential officers are taking a “wait and see” attitude before making a commitment.

  2. I agreed with the CA resolution to “let the members decide”. But after reading Nancy on the subject I see my opinion was based on insufficient knowledge. I now retract it pending more study and thought.

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