By Mark Richert, ACB Resolutions Committee Chair
It’s hard for me to believe it, but this coming July will mark the seventh year in a row in which I have had the privilege of serving as ACB’s resolutions committee chair. I am so grateful to ACB presidents Mitch Pomerantz and Kim Charlson for appointing me to this role. We are so very fortunate to be part of an organization that actively encourages each of us as members to exercise leadership in formulating our organization’s positions on critical issues and, thereby, to nurture the democratic spirit that is what ACB is all about.
In preparation for the important resolutions work we will be undertaking this July at our annual conference and convention, here are a few things to know and some tips on getting involved in the process.
The resolutions committee will be meeting in person during the convention for five consecutive nights, Saturday, July 6 through Wednesday, July 10. Please consult the convention program for the meeting location and each night’s start time. To have your resolution considered by the committee, I must receive it from you no later than 9 p.m. Sunday, July 7, but I strongly encourage you to submit it to me well in advance of that deadline.
Any ACB member is welcome to submit a draft resolution to me at any time up to and including during the convention, so long as I receive your submission no later than 9 p.m. Sunday, July 7. Drafts that are not received in a timely manner will only be considered at the committee’s discretion. In the event that a special-interest affiliate or similar group needs to formally approve the text of a resolution prior to its submission, and assuming that the affiliate or group must meet after the Sunday, July 7, 9 p.m. deadline, the resolutions committee will certainly entertain such resolutions. However, we will consider them if, and only if, the affiliate’s or group’s leadership lets me know before the deadline that the affiliate or group may be submitting a resolution. We ask this of you because it is critical that the committee be able to manage its work flow throughout convention week. Resolutions that are submitted outside of these parameters will only be considered at the committee’s discretion.
Now, I’ve said what I’m about to say to you bunches of times in the past, and while I hope it makes you smile just a bit, this is pretty important. A draft resolution will only be regarded as having been received if I myself have received it. Rumors of drafts, drafts merely existing in someone’s imagination, drafts that are merely a couple words scribbled on a cocktail napkin and shoved in someone else’s pocket, drafts distributed via WikiLeaks, drafts that may have once existed on Hilary Clinton’s private email server, drafts that Donald Trump may be discussing privately with Vladimir Putin, or anything in any form whatsoever that is transmitted to another person other than me will not be considered received. Moreover, simply telling me that you want to do a resolution about something isn’t sufficient. My favorite example of this is when an ACB member wrote to me saying that she wanted to do a resolution about canes, not about how important they are, or what they should look like, or how they are to be used, or what ACB should do about them — just that she wanted a resolution about canes. I prepared a response to her with a draft of a resolution about candy canes, which I rather enjoy each year around the holidays.
While you need not worry whether your resolution is in proper, formal resolution form per se when you submit it to me, the thing you submit to me must clearly be a communication that says that you want the communication to be considered as a resolution by the resolutions committee, and it must be written so that it plainly declares what you believe ACB should say or do.
You may submit your draft resolution to me via e-mail at email@example.com. Please make it clear in the subject line and/or the body of your message that you are submitting a draft resolution for consideration by the committee. I will also accept brailled copies of draft resolutions that you may hand to me during the convention, as well as commonly used word-processed electronic files shared with me directly on some sort of ordinarily available digital medium.
Please do not ask another person, even someone whom you believe to be on the resolutions committee, to turn in your resolution for you. Between my email address, my general availability during this summer’s convention, and the regular hours during which the committee will be meeting, you should have plenty of opportunities to convey your draft. If none of these means for communicating your draft resolution meet your needs, I’m sure the ACB national office would love to hear from you and help you out.
If you have any questions about the preparation of your draft resolution or about the resolutions process, please contact me via the email address above, or call me on my cell phone, (571) 438-7895. I look forward to working with all of you.