One of the bylaws changes is to have members be able to vote on issues between conventions. This would lead to “one member, one vote” with folks returning USMail ballots or voting electronically without regard to their branch membership or any “delegate” status.
This is the norm for many other national associations.
I’ve heard that this is the point where the leadership expects to see the most opposition to the changes. While it’s needed for flexibility, folks seem to be having heartburn with the idea of passing such decisions off to the membership as a whole without the chance to have floor debate, hallway discussions, onsite campaigning and such that has been an important part of conventions. I, for one, who was part of the small group that pushed the change in the degree requirement at the 2005 convention, certainly understand the benefit of this campaining — it was MUCH easier to change the minds of the folks who were at Convention and were made aware that many members cared passionately about this issue (THANK YOU Frieda Schurch; may you rest in peace Cindy Hebert). On the other hand, the VAST majority of our members just DO NOT CARE about the details of governance.
So, I think we’re struggling with
- How do we strengthen the board so it can make more decisions without going to the membership for approval
- How do we make the membership comfortable with that strengthened board.
In the words of Good to Great, I think we need to address the “get the right people on the bus” at the time the board is selected. And our current process just will not continue to work as fewer and fewer members want to spend any time dealing with the picky details of the organization.