The Constitution Committee
Convention Committee Reports, September/October 2014
BY LESLIE DeLONG, CHAIR
September 1 marked the opening of the constitution amendment process that ends at the seventeenth National Convention in Springfield, Illinois, next July. Any member, chapter, or state council may submit a proposal for a constitution amendment. Constitution amendments may be submitted electronically using the online form on the VVA website (instructions below) or may be mailed to the VVA national office using either a printed copy of the online form or the form that will appear in the next issue of The Veteran.
The deadline for submitting proposed constitution amendments is March 22, 2015 (“at least 120 days prior to the commencement of the National Convention” per the VVA Constitution). No proposals will be accepted after midnight on March 22, 2015. The Constitution Committee will meet on April 10, 2015, during the National Board of Directors meeting in Silver Spring, Md., to review all proposed amendments and prepare its report to the membership. The committee’s report will be made available via email and on the VVA website no later than May 22, 2015.
The committee will hold an open hearing at the Convention before the amendments are presented to the delegates for consideration. We encourage everyone to attend this hearing to learn about the amendments and voice their opinions.
The Constitution Amendment Form is located at www.vva.org Fill out the form completely, then click “Submit.” You will immediately receive a receipt.
Be sure to include your membership number on the form. This is the only way we can ensure that only VVA members submit proposed amendments.
Eight constitutional amendments were passed by the delegates at the 16th National Convention in Jacksonville, Florida. A description of the changes and their significance follows:
1. Article I National Provisions, Section 3 Membership. The following has been added:
Significance: The amendment establishes constitutional authority for honorary life memberships. The honorary memberships would be given to an individual not otherwise eligible for membership and only after request by one of the listed entities and approval of the National Board of Directors.
2. Article I National Provisions, Section 4, National Board of Directors, Paragraph B, Sub-paragraph 1, Clause a. Strike out “the greatest number of votes” and replace with “plurality.” The clause now reads as follows:
Significance: This amendment eliminates confusion and standardizes the language used for this type of voting process throughout the section.
3. Article I National Provisions, Section 4, National Board of Directors, Paragraph K. Strike out “In the event of illness or injury to the regional director” and replace with “Upon request by a regional director and approval from the board.” The paragraph now reads as follows:
Significance: This enables the seating of the alternate director for any Board-approved absence such as family emergencies, among others.
4. Article I National Provisions, Section 5, Officers, Paragraph A. Insert “by a majority vote” in the first sentence. The sentence now reads as follows:
Significance: The additional wording clarifies and prescribes the vote necessary for the election of national officers.
5. Article II State Provisions, Section 4, Officers, Paragraph B. Insert the following language at the end of the paragraph.
Significance: This amendment enables the state council president to appoint an individual to a vacant officer position, other than president, if no one can be found to run for election at the next meeting after the vacancy occurs. The appointment is subject to approval by the state council delegates at the next meeting.
6. Article III Chapter Provisions, Section 5, Board of Directors, Paragraph A. Strike the word “five” and replace with “three” in the first sentence. Strike the words “at least two” and replace with “any” and insert “at a minimum” after “shall consist” in the second sentence. The paragraph reads as follows:
Significance: this amendment enables small chapters to have a small board of directors consisting of, at a minimum, the president, vice-president and the secretary/treasurer.
7. Article III Chapter Provisions, Section 7 Committees, Paragraph A. Strike the entire paragraph and replace with the following:
Significance: This amendment standardizes the language related to the election process and clarifies the duties of the committee on the chapter level.
8. Appendix II Standing Committees. Add a new paragraph, Paragraph P.
Significance: The amendment establishes the PTSD and Substance Abuse Committee as a standing committee of the organization.The Constitution Committee thanks all of the members who submitted proposed amendments and the convention delegates for their participation and support throughout the amendment process.