Addendum NOW ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY MANUAL 1997 – July 2018

Addendum

 NOW

ADMINISTRATIVE

 POLICY MANUAL

 1997 – July 2018

 

NOW Administrative Policy Manual

Addendum 1997 – July 2018

 

 

The following is a comprehensive addendum to the Administrative Policy Manual for the National Organization for Women. This addendum runs from 1997 through the present. For policies adopted prior to 1997, please see the original Administrative Policy Manual (1966-1996).

Conference-adopted policy is identified by the year of adoption in bold type; policy adopted by the National Board is identified by the month and year of adoption.

This addendum contains the following categories:

Affirmative Action/Diversity………….. 3

Budget……………………………………….. 4

Committees/Task Forces………………… 6

Communications/Publications/Technology…. 13

Conferences/Summits………………….. 16

Consciousness Raising…………………. 30

Elections…………………………………… 31

Expense Reimbursement………………. 33

Fundraising……………………………….. 34

Grievances………………………………… 36

Internal Structure Review……………… 39

Membership………………………………. 41

NOW Foundation……………………….. 45

National Board…………………………… 47

National Mobilizations………………… 56

Nonviolent Civil Disobedience………. 57

Officers……………………………………. 58

PACs / Political………………………….. 59

Personnel………………………………….. 61

Resolutions……………………………….. 62

Statement of Purpose…………………… 64

Subunits: Chapters, States, Regions… 65

Questions regarding the formatting and accessibility of the policy manual may be directed to online@now.org

The policy manual is available on the chapter leadership website (password-protected) at  http://now.org/for-now-leaders/

3/14

MOVED that resolutions from the 2014 National Conference should be pertinent to the theme/goal of the Faces of Feminism: Strength in Diversity Conference.”

5/11

Moved that NOW include collecting diversity information when we renew and get new members and that we do a survey to collect this information from the current membership.

 AFFIRMATIVE ACTION WITHIN NOW

10/03

WHEREAS, NOW has a long history of fighting for affirmative action in the public and private sectors, most recently including a national march against the anti-affirmative action Proposition 209 in California, demanding affirmative action from our Merchants of Shame in our “Women-Friendly Workplaces” campaign; and supporting the University of Michigan in Grutter v. Bollinger, in which the Supreme Court in June 2003 upheld affirmative action in higher education; and

WHEREAS, NOW has long recognized the traditional methods of electing, appointing and hiring women in predominantly white institutions have historically benefited white women at the expense of women of color, and that the mainstream media is not an effective way to reach potential NOW activists in communities of color; and

WHEREAS, NOW should be in the vanguard of all feminist organizations in its internal affirmative action policies; and

WHEREAS, Article IV, Section 4 of NOW’s bylaws states “subunits shall have an affirmative action plan aimed at increasing diversity of participation at all levels of NOW;”

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that at least one co-chair of the National Advisory Committee shall be a woman of color and that at least one-half of the National Advisory Committee members shall be people of color; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all committees appointed by the President and/or National Board, including the NOW/PAC, the permanent Young Feminist Task Force, the bylaws, resolutions, and conference implementation committees, and any ad hoc committees, shall consist of at least one-third, but preferably one-half, people of color; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NOW Executive Committee shall make every effort to advertise any open positions at the National Action Center in media run by and for communities of color and make every effort to hire people of color to achieve the goal of at least one-third people of color, but preferably one-half, people of color at all levels of responsibility.

USE OF NOW FUNDS 2009                                                                                                                                        

WHEREAS, donors and members of the National Organization for Women (NOW) give to NOW to support the multi-issue, unique, and uncompromising approach to women’s rights that has made NOW the largest and strongest women’s rights organization, and these donors believe their dollars are being given to support NOW; and

WHEREAS, NOW has made a long-time commitment to share renewal dues with chapters and states, and many chapters and states depend upon these rebates for their operating expenses; and

WHEREAS, most chapter and state bylaws state that when deconvening a chapter, any remaining treasury should be given to another entity of NOW; and

WHEREAS, the National NOW Action Center and state organizations have received reports from chapters that they have given large donations to other non-profit organizations;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that a deconvening chapter must give any chapter funds to another entity of NOW; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW encourage any chapter that wishes to make a donation to make that donation to National NOW or to a state or local NOW chapter.

 1/05

The Budget Committee moved changes to the 2005 budget.  NOW will receive a grant of $145 thousand from the Command Trust, which distributes funds for education and advocacy about the dangers of breast implants, so the budget would reflect an increase of income of $145 thousand.  O’Neill noted that staff had already been spending time on the issue, and now it would have specific funding for NOW, Inc.  The proposed changes to the budget would increase expenses by $180 thousand, which includes hiring two new staff people.

4/02

Moved: A fiscal impact standard form shall be developed by a committee of the National Board to be attached to any resolution, and completed by the author of the resolution, stating anticipated major resources or expenditures necessary for implementation based on Board-developed action pricing guidelines to be distributed at the conference.   See related resolution below, dated 9/01.

FINANCIAL CRISIS

11/01

WHEREAS, the world events beginning on September 11, 2001, have created a fundraising crisis for the National Organization for Women and other non-profit agencies; and

WHEREAS, a fundraising mailing scheduled to be sent the week of September 11th was halted as its content was no longer appropriate post 9/11, but nearly all of the expenses for that mailing, totaling nearly $150,000 had already been incurred, resulting in a significant loss of revenue; and

WHEREAS. a membership reinstatement mailing was sent to former members in the week prior to September 11th, in the unfulfilled expectation of receiving responses from late September to mid-October; and

WHEREAS, in early October the Brentwood postal facility where NOW’s mail is processed was contaminated with anthrax and has been declared a federal crime scene, with at least one million pieces of mail being held at that facility indefinitely; and

WHEREAS, due to the anthrax-related disruption of mail service beginning in October, including the quarantining of at least 2 weeks worth of business reply mail and a significant delay in delivery of subsequent mail, NOW has experienced a dramatic drop in income, affecting our ability to operate; and

WHEREAS, the NOW Action Center is operating with a substantial reduction in staff until the crisis abates, and is actively seeking new sources of income,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National NOW Board urges chapters and states to work with the Action Center to resolve this unforeseeable and unprecedented crisis; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National Board urges chapters and states to consider assistance in one of the following ways, according to their need and abilities:

  • Forgo rebates, in whole or in part, until this crisis abates, or
  • Give or raise additional funds to help NOW weather this crisis; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that these requests be contained in a letter that can be e-mailed or faxed to chapters and states and that Board members divide up the list of chapters and states and make this request personally on behalf of the National Board no later than November 15, 2001, the date rebate checks are due to be mailed, also letting chapters and states know that anticipated rebates for the next couple of months will most likely be lower than usual, and report the responses to the Membership Vice President.

 11/01

Moved that “the Action Center staff provisionally release to Board members via e-mail the resolutions on Economic Justice After 9/11/01, Terrorism, and Civil Rights, as well as the resolution on Financial Crisis, to be shared with NOW chapters in presenting the situation.”

 9/01

Moved “that the Board, staff, and officers create a fact sheet on our more common activities with cost estimates to help the board determine the fiscal impact of our proposals.  The list should include, but not be limited to, the following activities: mass actions; one-day summit; first-class membership mailing; leadership mailing; production of two-color brochure (per 100,000); filing an amicus brief; new campaign [large and small]; new staff; Board meeting; organizing tour; and a conference.  Further, move that this list be available to the Board by the time we adopt our annual budget and be available at the conference.”

See related resolution above, dated 4/02.

2/17

Moved that the 2017-18 proposed NOW National Action Program add voting rights and sanctuary restaurants and/or other immigration rights campaigns to the three existing campaigns, ERA, reproductive rights and justice, and dismantling the sex-abuse-to-prison pipeline.

CONFERENCE IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE 2012

WHEREAS, feminists from all over the United States come to the National Organization for Women (NOW) conference every year; and

WHEREAS, the principal business of the conference is to determine the actions and policies of NOW through resolutions; and

WHEREAS, the NOW membership works very hard on the resolutions to make sure they say exactly what we want them to say; and

WHEREAS, the NOW membership takes these resolutions very seriously; and

WHEREAS, there are times when a resolution is passed and nothing is ever heard about it again;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW create a Policy Oversight Conference Implementation Committee; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that said committee will consist of at least two board members and three members from the general membership; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the committee will give quarterly status reports to the board and to the membership on resolutions passed at the conference and those that are referred to the board; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the committee’s main purpose will be to ensure that all resolutions passed at a NOW conference be implemented in a timely manner.

 THE COMBATING RACISM BOARD/AD HOC COMMITTEE’S INVOLVEMENT
IN THE 2014 NATIONAL CONFERENCE 
2012

WHEREAS, there is a very active Combating Racism Board/Ad Hoc Committee invested in the success of the diversity-inclusive themed 2014 National NOW Conference;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that this committee shall work closely with the national officers and staff, as well as the local organizing committee, to prepare and execute all phases of the 2014 National Conference; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this committee be tasked with selecting speakers that impact feminists of color, addressing issues around combating racism and addressing the meaning of white privilege; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that every workshop shall have a component that is reflective of the perspective of feminists of color; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this committee shall call for workshop proposals; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this committee shall have input into creating the conference theme title.

 VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS WITH DISABILITIES 2012

WHEREAS, while all women and girls are at some risk of experiencing violence or abuse, this violence occurs more frequently in the lives of women and girls with disabilities, and researchers attribute this heightened vulnerability to the complex intersection of disability with gender, poverty, isolation, reliance on others for support, discrimination and stereotypes that they are dependent and asexual — all issues that restrict their violence awareness, safety-promoting behavior and access to resources; and

WHEREAS, women and girls with disabilities are more likely to experience physical and sexual violence and to arrive at adulthood having already been sexually assaulted as girls than are their non-disabled peers; and

WHEREAS, women and girls with disabilities are less likely to receive sex education or participate in personal safety or abuse awareness programs, and they are often socialized to be compliant or have a disability that may impede their ability to assess situations of risk, resulting in their not knowing that what they are experiencing is abuse or a crime; and

WHEREAS, predators often specifically target women with disabilities because of their vulnerabilities and the perception that this puts abusers at lower risk of discovery; and

WHEREAS, women and girls with disabilities experience disability-specific forms of violence, such as withholding, damaging or removing medical equipment and/or communication devices; physical, emotional and social neglect; unwanted sexual touching during dressing and bathing; financial exploitation and abuse by caregivers — situations that have no analog among non-disabled women; and

WHEREAS, women and girls with disabilities are also more likely than their sisters without disabilities to experience multiple forms of violence, violence of greater severity, and violence that continues for a longer period of time, but when they reach out for assistance to heal they are met with little to no support, resistance, and insensitivity by law enforcement, social services and the healthcare systems;

Therefore be it resolved, that the National Organization for Women (NOW) continue supporting reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), including specific recognition that women with disabilities are more likely to be survivors of sexual, domestic and stalking violence than are their non-disabled sisters and that VAWA should promote the need for barrier-free and inclusive services by rape crisis centers, domestic violence service providers, law enforcement and related healthcare systems; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW urge collaboration between its Disability Rights ad hoc Committee, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) and OVW’s Disability Program grantees to develop a simple, effective guide that includes training for evaluating and enhancing the accessibility and inclusivity of services and supports offered by publicly funded rape crisis centers, domestic violence programs and shelters; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW encourage state and local chapters to engage their publicly funded, local and statewide rape crisis centers, domestic violence programs and shelters in a dialogue around eliminating barriers to and increasing access for women and girls with disabilities who are survivors of sexual and domestic violence and stalking, through the use of the previously mentioned guide; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW advocate and lobby all states and the District of Columbia to ensure that all services, law enforcement and healthcare systems involved in supporting survivors of sexual and domestic violence and stalking are barrier-free and inclusive of women and girls with disabilities.

 NOW SUPPORTS “PLAN B” EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION ACCESSIBILITY
AT ALL INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE (IHS) UNITS AS AN OVER-THE-COUNTER (OTC)
FOR ALL NATIVE AMERICAN WOMEN 17 AND OLDER 
2012

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has committed to diversifying its membership, condemned the racism that inflicts a double burden of race and gender discrimination on women of color, and formed a Native American Women’s Task Force to join with its indigenous sisters to fight for equal opportunities, rights and justice in all areas, including reproductive rights and health; and

WHEREAS, in the United States, women age 17 and over have the legal right to obtain emergency contraception or Plan B OTC and without a prescription at their pharmacy; and

WHEREAS, 92% of Native girls who have had sexual intercourse report having been forced against their will to have sex, 62% of whom report becoming pregnant before the end of the 12th grade; and

WHEREAS, the Bureau of Justice Statistical Profile indicates that violent victimization among Native American women is more than double that among all other populations of women in the United States, and Native women are more likely to be victims of rape/sexual assault committed by a stranger or acquaintance than by an intimate partner or family member; and

WHEREAS, because the IHS is the primary health care provider for Native American women, and IHS does not provide consistent access to Plan B, requiring Native American women to wait to undergo an exam and receive a prescription for it, their human and sovereign rights are being violated by the policies of IHS since they are the only race of women denied this service based on race;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW will partner with the indigenous members of its Native American Women’s Task Force to provide the necessary support and advocacy for the inclusion of Plan B as an OTC at all IHS Service Units; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW will urge the director of IHS, currently Dr. Yvette Roubideaux, to issue a directive to all service providers that emergency contraception be made available on demand, without a prescription and without having to see a physician, to any woman age 17 or older who requests it, as well as to provide notice of its availability posted prominently at all IHS Service Units.

 6/11

Moved that the Strategic Planning committee, the Virtual Chapters Task Force and the Structure and Process committee, in conjunction with any other committee they see fit, take on the issue of utilizing technology to make us more accessible to our members. Moved that the three committees deliver an initial report to the board within 6 months of the June 2011 board meeting.

 10/10

Moved the creation of 5 standing [board] committees: Structure and Process; Budget; Audit; Fundraising; and Membership. Moved to create another standing committee, the Ending Racism committee of the Board, which would be charged with interacting with the Board Membership Committee and the National Ad Hoc Combating Racism Committee to end racism in society and in NOW. Moved to form a Strategic Planning Committee of the B10/10

Moved to appoint 1 or 2 representatives of the National Board to each Ad-Hoc Committee to act as liaisons between the committees and the National Board.

 PROMOTING THE USE OF VIRTUAL ORGANIZING TOOLS WITHIN NOW CHAPTERS AND THE NATIONAL OFFICE 2009                                                                                                                                          

WHEREAS, the process of grassroots organizing and activism is constantly evolving as new technologies become available; and

WHEREAS, virtual technologies are essential tools for connecting activists and allowing them to coordinate production of effective action campaigns; and

WHEREAS, many National Organization of Women (NOW) entities are not taking full advantage of virtual technologies like content-management website software, message boards, wikis, blogs, chat rooms, webinars, web conferences, podcasts of both audio and video material, Google or Yahoo Groups, Google Docs, Constant Contact, Twitter, and social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Linked-In, and others; and

WHEREAS, these and other communications technologies, when combined with traditional activist methods, can be invaluable tools to help chapters reach political figures, conventional and new media sources, potential new members, existing members, and other community leaders and organizers;

BE IT RESOLVED, that the national officers of NOW make the teaching of virtual technologies a priority for all state and chapter leaders; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NOW President appoint a national “Technology Empowerment Team” consisting of activists with expertise in these kinds of virtual technology tools. This Tech team will be responsible for producing a report that will be available on the website and sent to all chapters detailing the kinds of virtual tools available to assist activists with their organizing work; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National NOW Action Center provides simple, user-friendly instructions for the use of such tools, along with recommendations for which company’s tools to use if there are options; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National NOW Action Center, including the officers, model the effective use of these virtual organizing tools for chapters and be ready to assist chapters with implementing and using them if needed.

11/08

Moved that the Board have five Committees:

1) Budget;

2) Chapter and State Development and Structure (to include as one of its primary goals outreach to women of color and increasing the racial and ethnic diversity of NOW’s chapters and grassroots efforts and to include accountability and support of states and chapters);

3) Membership, Fundraising, and Alternative Fundraising;

4) Action/ Policy  Development with Mission and Message (which will have as its first task to consider NOW’s action agenda for its equal marriage campaign);

5) Bylaws, Policy, and Rules (including virtual chapters).

 GLOBAL FEMINIST ACTION RESOURCES 2008

WHEREAS, the Global Feminist Issues Track at the 2008 National NOW Conference reaffirmed our membership’s commitment to global feminist activism, and activists are calling for more resources to assist in global feminist work; and

WHEREAS, the United States has neither ratified nor acceded to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the National Organization for Women (NOW) repeatedly has pressured the United States to do so, while the NOW PAC is working to elect progressive feminist candidates to the U.S. Senate, which would increase the possibility of U.S. ratification and accession; and

WHEREAS, a number of U.S. communities have organized to endorse and implement CEDAW obligations and opportunities—including gender responsive budgets—on the local and state levels in parallel with a national ratification and accession strategy; and

WHEREAS, NOW made a thorough presentation in Geneva in June 2006 at the United Nations Human Rights Committee on the human rights of women in the United States under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other international mechanisms such as the Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), while venues for activism to advance women’s rights in the U.S. and globally are available and activists want to utilize them;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NOW Feminist Global Issues and Strategies ad hoc committee (the Committee) work with the NOW Executive Committee and staff to develop educational tools and organizing kits for its members, state leaders, and chapters about CEDAW’s and CERD’s provisions and opportunities for endorsement and implementation at the local and state levels; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Committee will work with the NOW Executive Committee and staff to develop educational tools and organizing kits for its members, state leaders and chapters on utilizing international mechanisms to advance the rights of women regardless of status in the U.S. and globally; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NOW Conference urge the Committee to explore with the NOW PAC ways to incorporate support of feminist global issues, drawing upon NOW’s priorities, as part of the criteria, for NOW, PAC endorsement of candidates for national offices.

 COMBATING RACISM 2008

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is committed to ending racism, both individual and systemic, in our society as a key element of bringing full equality to all women; and

WHEREAS, women of color continue to face the double discrimination of sexism and racism and experience great disparities in access to health care, education, and jobs.

WHEREAS, issues important to women of color that may improve their quality of life are sometimes different from those of white women and may not be included as priorities in the drive for equality, resulting in their not gaining the same attention and the resources needed to address them; and

WHEREAS, it is important for NOW to engage with women of color in a dialogue to understand and articulate the plight of women of color in the United States in order to improve their quality of life and that of their families and to promote policies that will address the pervasive discrimination that inflicts pain and suffering; and

WHEREAS, having at all levels of NOW active task forces to combat racism helps to develop leadership  among women of color; and

WHEREAS, as long as one woman remains oppressed by the evils of discrimination, racism, homophobia, and xenophobia, equality will never be reached;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW recommit itself to eradicating racism in our society and to working toward full equality for ALL women by developing an action agenda that specifically reflects the work needed to bring equality and justice to women of color; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that these action agenda be developed by a newly formed committee dedicated to combating racism, the majority of whose members are people of color who are NOW leaders, and that encourages the growth at all levels within NOW of multiracial task forces to combat racism; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this committee’s work include soliciting input from women of color organizations and political leaders, both national and local, through face-to-face meetings, e-mail and other means of communication, and that the results of these conversations be the basis for committee discussions aimed at producing recommendations for an action program.

 NATIONAL AD HOC COMMITTEE TO STUDY CHAPTER ISSUES

3/07

WHEREAS, NOW’s national bylaws state, “The local, grassroots chapters are the building blocks of NOW, serving as the focus of feminist action;” and

WHEREAS, the responsibilities of chartered chapters to the organization are described in internal NOW documents to include adherence to bylaws, the election of officers, the holding of meetings, the taking of action, the implementation of member education, acting in a financially responsible manner, and preparation of an annual written report; and

WHEREAS, changing times have presented new opportunities and challenges for the organizing of chapters, activists, and Campus Action Networks (CANs), all of which are often discussed at all levels of the organization; and

WHEREAS, functional, active chapters are essential to the future of NOW; and

WHEREAS, at the 2007 State Coordinators’ winter caucus, NOW State Presidents discussed some of the opportunities and challenges related to chapters, and expressed a serious desire to have the definition and responsibilities of NOW chapters critically reviewed; and

WHEREAS, at the 2007 State Coordinators’ winter caucus, NOW State Presidents voted to send a recommendation to the National Board related to chapter issues,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National NOW Board form a national ad hoc Chapter Study Committee comprised of a chapter, state and national activists with the specific task of exploring chapter issues; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this committee include in their effort an exploration of such topics as chapter structure, rebates, inactive chapters, leadership, Campus Action Networks (CANs),  community organizing and engaging at-large members; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this committee include in their effort an exploration of how people today define grassroots activism; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this committee work closely with the National Bylaws, Process, and Rules Board Committee; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this ad hoc committee present any finding and recommendations to the National Board at a National Board meeting at least 120 days in advance of the 2008 National Conference.

 9/06

Moved that the Board have the following committees, and that all committees include fundraising as a component of their recommendations and goals:  1) bylaws, process, and rules; 2) chapter/membership development and diversity; 3) long-range planning, organizational development, and structure; 4) fundraising and budget (with fundraising as a priority); and 5) issues, legislation and action.

 4/06

Moved that each committee chair as they term off the Board write a short synopsis of any unfinished business and submit the report to [the president] to be given to a new Board committee.

2/06

Moved to authorize the ad hoc committee and the national officers to move forward with planning for a Women with Disabilities Feminist Activist Strategy Caucus and to allocate an amount not to exceed $10,000 from the NOW, Inc. budget to cover costs to include payment for expenses of the committee members and one additional person from each region, with the intent that other funding sources or subsidies be found if possible.

 2/06

Moved that the NOW Board develop a Board committee that will address the potential of paid internships within NOW and a scholarship fund, named after Wanda Alston.  This internship committee shall consist of Board members, officers and past NOW interns and others, and shall provide a summary of objectives and suggestions at the April 2006 National Board meeting.”

4/05

Moved that a Women of Color and Allies ad hoc Committee be appointed to propose next steps in following up on the just-completed WOCA Summit.

3/04

Moved that the standing CIC [Conference Implementation Committee] format be replaced by an ad-hoc format.  The need for a CIC will be identified at the time of passage of the resolution.  Volunteers will be solicited at the time of passage and through other means of communication.

Moved that the National Board propose and recommend passage of a national bylaws amendment to Article IX, Section 5 of the current bylaws.

Note: a proposed bylaws amendment deleting the third and fourth sentences from Article IX, Section 5 passed at the 2004 national conference.

 2/04

The Committee provided a list of suggestions of women of color to serve on NOW’s Advisory Committee, which included suggestions from Gandy of women who had connections with NOW.  Gandy asked for the Board’s confirmation to appoint Carol Moseley Braun as a co-chair of NOW’s Advisory Committee, pending her acceptance.

 9/97

Moved that a listing of the CIC’s with their members, and board committees with their members be added to the web site on the “chapters only” page.

CREATION OF POVERTY/WELFARE CIC

1997

WHEREAS, Congress and President Clinton repealed the safety net, forcing many women and children into deeper poverty in the United States; and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has been working in coalition with  local and national groups to fight back against this backlash; and

WHEREAS, the underlying causes and many net effects of poverty are related to all the issues NOW works on;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW create a Poverty/Welfare Conference Implementation Committee (CIC) and appoint its members at the next National Board meeting; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the CIC develop working relationships with other organizations similarly committed to advocating for full employment and universal living incomes as a permanent solution to ending poverty; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the CIC develop an educational campaign including the creation and distribution of relevant materials and activist training and because poverty and welfare issues are of immediate and pressing concern to all women, NOW continue to hold these issues at the forefront of all National NOW events and conferences.

6/11

Moved that the Strategic Planning committee, the Virtual Chapters Task Force and the Structure and Process committee, in conjunction with any other committee they see fit, take on the issue of utilizing technology to make us more accessible to our members. Moved that the three committees deliver an initial report to the board within 6 months of the June 2011 board meeting.

REACHING AND RECRUITING MEMBERS THROUGH ONLINE STREAMING

2011

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) holds an annual conference where policy for the organization is set; and

WHEREAS, the National NOW Conference provides important opportunities for both members and non-members to learn about the priority issues of NOW; and

WHEREAS, attendance at the conference is difficult or impossible for many members; and

WHEREAS, NOW is committed to reducing barriers to participation in NOW events; and

WHEREAS, the June 16, 2011, PEW Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project report titled Social Networking Sites and Our Lives said, “even when we control for demographic characteristics, we found that internet users and Facebook users, in particular, were more likely to be politically involved than similar Americans…78 percent more likely to have attempted to influence someone’s vote, and 53 percent more likely to have reported voting… than non-internet users”; and

WHEREAS, politically motivated people are an important demographic for NOW to reach in order to educate and recruit members to NOW; and

WHEREAS, the 2012 conference will be held in Washington, D.C., five months before the general election; and

WHEREAS, the ability to watch plenary sessions at the conference would give more people an opportunity to participate in the conference;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that two or more plenary sessions at the 2012 National NOW conference be streamed live.

 SHARING NOW RESOURCES ON WWW.NOW.ORG

2010

WHEREAS, the publications of chapters, state, and regions of the National Organization for Women (NOW) are often useful resources for other subunits;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National NOW Action Center facilitate a process to post electronically submitted resources, including articles and publications, on the chapters-only section or public section of the NOW website as appropriate; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the President of NOW designate a National NOW Action Center staff person to receive and post such resources; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National NOW Action Center shall have full discretion as to determining whether posting these resources is in the best interests of the organization and does not violate NOW policy.

2/10

Moved that the National Action Center revise the existing materials for non-violent civil disobedience, reintroduce non-violent civil disobedience training, and begin such training with workshops at the National Conference and that these materials, training and non-violent civil disobedience actions shall follow the NOW guidelines for non-violent civil disobedience.

PROMOTING THE USE OF VIRTUAL ORGANIZING TOOLS
WITHIN NOW CHAPTERS AND THE NATIONAL OFFICE

2009                                                                                                                                          

WHEREAS, the process of grassroots organizing and activism is constantly evolving as new technologies become available; and

WHEREAS, virtual technologies are essential tools for connecting activists and allowing them to coordinate production of effective action campaigns; and

WHEREAS, many National Organization of Women (NOW) entities are not taking full advantage of virtual technologies like content-management website software, message boards, wikis, blogs, chat rooms, webinars, web conferences, podcasts of both audio and video material, Google or Yahoo Groups, Google Docs, Constant Contact, Twitter, and social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Linked-In, and others; and

WHEREAS, these and other communications technologies, when combined with traditional activist methods, can be invaluable tools to help chapters reach political figures, conventional and new media sources, potential new members, existing members, and other community leaders and organizers;

BE IT RESOLVED, that the national officers of NOW make the teaching of virtual technologies a priority for all state and chapter leaders; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NOW President appoint a national “Technology Empowerment Team” consisting of activists with expertise in these kinds of virtual technology tools. This Tech team will be responsible for producing a report that will be available on the website and sent to all chapters detailing the kinds of virtual tools available to assist activists with their organizing work; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National NOW Action Center provides simple, user-friendly instructions for the use of such tools, along with recommendations for which company’s tools to use if there are options; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National NOW Action Center, including the officers, model the effective use of these virtual organizing tools for chapters and be ready to assist chapters with implementing and using them if needed.

 1/03

Moved that one workshop in each bank at the 2003 national NOW conference be a skills-building session to enhance the technological skills of NOW’s activists. These technology workshops might cover topics that include PowerPoint presentations, web design, e-list services, e-zines, mail merge database management, etc.

YOUNG FEMINIST RESOURCE KIT

1997

WHEREAS, young feminists are a valuable group within the National Organization for Women (NOW) and a powerful voice in society; and

WHEREAS, one of the long-standing goals of the Young Feminist Conference Implementation Committee (CIC) has been to develop a resource kit to assist young feminist activism;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW and the Young Feminist CIC work to produce a Young Feminist Resource Kit; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this kit provide resources for both campus and community young feminist organizers; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Young Feminist Resource Kit, similar to the Racial and Ethnic Diversity and Lesbian Rights Resource Kits, will include written materials previously generated by the NOW Action Center as well as newly-produced materials; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this kit is completed in time for the 1998 NOW Conference which will concentrate on the vision for NOW’s future.

 4/97

Moved that the Board strongly encourage the NOW Action Center and the CIC on Racial and Ethnic Diversity if at all possible to complete the revision of the “Valuing Diversity” brochure prior to the National Conference with the recommendation that it be entitled “Ending Racism.”

BYLAWS CONVENTION 2015

10/14

WHEREAS, National Organization for Women (NOW) activists have been working since 2012 to modernize the structure of our organization; and

WHEREAS, fundamental bylaw issues need to be addressed in addition to the proposed amendments brought forward to this 2014 conference; and

WHEREAS, to complete the modernization project in a holistic way and to give it the focused attention it needs and deserves;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW shall hold a bylaws convention concurrently with the 2015 conference for the purpose of revising the bylaws.

STRUCTURE AND PROCESS FOR THE 2015 STRATEGY SUMMIT AND BYLAWS CONVENTION

10/14

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) National Conference in 2015 will be a Strategy Summit and Bylaws Convention, and the usual conference agenda will be set aside as it was for the 1998 Vision Summit; and

WHEREAS, the National NOW Board has been charged and is committed to developing the process for conducting the Strategy Summit and Bylaws Convention, seeking input from NOW activists at all levels of our organization;

Therefore be it resolved, that the following NOW modernization Board committees are created to guide the process for the NOW 2015 Strategy Summit and Bylaws Convention:

Statement of Purpose,

Conferences and Committees,

Officers, National Board, & Elections,

Money & Members,

Subunits: Chapters, States, & Regions; and

Be it further resolved, that between November 2014 and May 2015, each modernization committee will conduct online and telephonic convenings, reaching out to the membership at all levels of NOW to discuss proposals for structural modernization relating to their respective topics; and

Be it further resolved, that each modernization committee will ensure that the following self-identified membership constituency groups are engaged in the aforementioned convenings:

Activists of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds,

Activists who identify as LGBTQIA,

Young Feminists (members under 35),

Low-income activists,

Activists with disabilities; and

Be it further resolved, that each Board modernization committee will ensure that they engage with NOW’s elected leaders representing the following constituencies:

Large States,

Mid-size States,

Small States,

Rural areas, and

Major metropolitan areas; and

Be it further resolved, that the chairs of the Board modernization committees will report on their work to Executive Committee through the Vice President Membership and will communicate the information gathered from their consultations with activists to the NOW Structure Modernization Working Group, which will advise the committees as to any proposals that require bylaws amendments and the proposed language of any such amendments; and

Be it finally resolved, that the National Action Center will provide logistical support for the convenings and work of the Board modernization committees and the Working Group.

3/14

MOVED  that NOW institute the Annual Olga Vives Award, in memory of our bold sister, presented in the Conference (beginning in 2014) to a woman who has shown leadership on issues specifically impacting women of color, immigrant women, women with disabilities and/or LGBTQIA individuals and communities.

 3/14

MOVED that resolutions from the 2014 National Conference should be pertinent to the theme/goal of the Faces of Feminism: Strength in Diversity Conference.”

SUPPORT FOR FEMINIST FLICKS

10/13

In order to consider organizing a Feminist Flicks film program at each NOW Conference, conference coordinators will include the requirement of a screening room and equipment as part of each NOW Conference bid. Also, by having the Feminist Flicks schedule and descriptions in the NOW Conference book, website, Facebook and other communications methods, participation and use of the films and other media can expand our organizing tools and victories.  If determined to have Feminist Flicks, NOW’s Global Issues and Strategies Committee will work with National Action Center staff to determine date(s) and time(s).

ENFORCING ACCESSIBILITY at NOW Meetings and Conferences

2013

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is a radically diverse organization that is dedicated to including persons with disability and mobility issues; and

WHEREAS, in 1978 NOW passed its original disability rights resolution “urging chapters to provide barrier-free facilities, assistance for the blind, and interpreters for the deaf”; and

WHEREAS, in 2002 and 2009, NOW passed resolutions calling for accessible conferences, forums, summits, and meetings at all levels of the organization, with a mandated use of NOW’s accessibility checklist; and

WHEREAS, with regard to conference facilities and issues of mobility, attendees at the 2013 Conference had issues with accessibility due to long corridors at the hotel; and

WHEREAS, the accessibility checklist has a specific requirement for regular seating in long corridors; and

WHEREAS, this checklist is currently available online in the “CHAPTERS ONLY” section of the NOW website; and

WHEREAS, attendees with disability have experienced some difficulty in accessing workshop and issue hearing rooms, plenary sessions, guest rooms, restrooms and food facilities;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW redouble its commitment to using venues that fully accommodate persons with disability and mobility issues for all NOW meetings and conferences; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that leadership at all levels of NOW fully utilize NOW’s accessibility checklist to ensure full inclusiveness for all; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW leadership at all levels include every relevant section of the accessibility checklist, including the long corridor section.

CONFERENCE IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE

2012

WHEREAS, feminists from all over the United States come to the National Organization for Women (NOW) conference every year; and

WHEREAS, the principal business of the conference is to determine the actions and policies of NOW through resolutions; and

WHEREAS, the NOW membership works very hard on the resolutions to make sure they say exactly what we want them to say; and

WHEREAS, the NOW membership takes these resolutions very seriously; and

WHEREAS, there are times when a resolution is passed and nothing is ever heard about it again;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW create a Policy Oversight Conference Implementation Committee; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that said committee will consist of at least two board members and three members from the general membership; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the committee will give quarterly status reports to the board and to the membership on resolutions passed at the conference and those that are referred to the board; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the committee’s main purpose will be to ensure that all resolutions passed at a NOW conference be implemented in a timely manner.

MODERNIZE NOW’S STRUCTURE FOR THE 21st CENTURY

2012

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) was formed in 1966 and remains the largest organization of feminist activists in the country; and

WHEREAS, in commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the 1848 Declaration of Sentiments, which launched the women’s rights movement, NOW dedicated our entire National Conference to the creation of a restatement of purpose, the 1998 Declaration of Sentiments of the National Organization for Women; and

WHEREAS, despite the major advances and changes in society since 1977, the last time NOW held a bylaws conference, NOW has not undertaken a similarly focused, comprehensive examination of the structure of our organization to ensure that NOW is a vibrant and effective organization in the 21st century; and

WHEREAS, the words of NOW’s Declaration apply as much today as when we adopted them, “Today, we fight the same reactionary forces: the perversion of religion to subjugate women; corporate greed that seeks to exploit women and children as a cheap labor force; and their apologists in public office who seek to do through law what terrorists seek to accomplish through bullets and bombs. We will not submit, nor will we be intimidated. But we will keep moving forward”; and

WHEREAS, to continue “moving forward and fighting back,” NOW activists wish to give concentrated time and attention to modernizing our organization’s structure in order to optimize our strengths and improve our effectiveness;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW acknowledge the efforts of the ad hoc Working Group to Modernize NOW’s Structure to continue the process begun by the NOW Board at its weekend brainstorming retreat in February 2012 on revitalizing NOW’s structure, by initiating discussion at regional conferences this spring, distributing a member survey and facilitating brainstorming workshops at this conference; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Working Group continue, and is charged by the membership with, organizing online and in-person meetings of NOW members to consider the ideas generated by the NOW Board, the Regional Conferences and this National Conference, and to develop proposed revisions to NOW’s bylaws and policies; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW organize a national forum, open to all NOW members, to be held before January 31, 2014, to discuss and debate proposed revision(s) to NOW’s structure under the bylaws and policies; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that proposed revision(s) be submitted to NOW members for a vote, in accordance with the procedure set forth in the current bylaws, at the 2014 National Conference.

3/12

Moved: When at-large conference voting delegates are appointed at the state conference in accordance with the bylaws, the current state president is the correct person to sign the credentialing forms.

RACIAL INCLUSION ACTION PLAN NOW

2011

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has a herstory of passing multiple resolutions on racial diversity and immigration but not fully implementing them for varied reasons;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Combating Racism Ad Hoc Committee and the board committee on Ending Racism create a toolkit, by the 2012 National Conference, which will emphasize racial and ethnic inclusion, immigration issues, and the dismantling of white privilege, and include, at a minimum:

  • the three articles that were recently distributed to the NOW National Board — i.e., Peggy McIntosh’s White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, Latoya Peterson’s On Being Feminism’s ‘Ms. Nigga,’ and Hepshiba’s White Privilege Diary Series #1 — White Feminist Privilege in Organizations; and
  • a model racial inclusion plan that contains cultural communication dynamics education; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW hold a diversity-inclusion-themed national conference in 2014 and explore the provision of conference scholarship funds to ensure the attendance of economically disadvantaged feminists of color.

ENHANCING GLOBAL FEMINIST STRATEGIES IN NOW’S ORGANIZING AND ACTIVISM

2011

WHEREAS, the mission of National Organization for Women’s (NOW’s) Global Feminist Strategies and Issues Committee (GFC) is to work transnationally with women’s non-governmental organizations, the United Nations (U.N.), and international human rights organizations to advance the status of women and gender equity worldwide as well as at home, linking our struggles, resistance and accomplishments; and

WHEREAS, GFC, since its founding in 2006, has been organizing and activating NOW members and allies on a range of issues to advance women’s human rights globally and locally, with actions such as the Ratify Women! CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) Campaign, participating at the United Nations and international conferences and co-organizing international feminist delegations; and

WHEREAS, NOW is committed, through our Ratify Women! Campaign, to achieving the U.S. ratification of CEDAW, the most comprehensive international agreement on the basic human rights of women and girls, which would lend weight to the treaty and the principle that human rights of women are universal across all cultures, nations, and religions and are worthy of being guaranteed through international human rights standards; and

WHEREAS, the “war on women” is global in scope, resulting from numerous social, political and economic forms of oppression and increasing fundamentalisms, whose backlash regularly and most negatively impact women, especially in the Global South; and

WHEREAS, the need to expand our understanding of the disparate impacts of United States (U.S.) policies on women globally and nationally is required to achieve the feminist goals of peace, equality, justice and sustainable development; and

WHEREAS, the women of the U.S. have much to learn from and share with women of the world who have developed responses to poverty, militarism, sexual and other violence, gender discrimination, racism,  homophobia, disability discrimination, environmental degradation and other intersecting realities of oppression; and

WHEREAS, access to the highest standard of reproductive health, including family planning, is defined by the United Nations as a human right, but access to legal and safe abortion is left up to the various nation states and is not considered to be a universal human right; and

WHEREAS, transnational feminist solutions at both the grassroots and international law levels offer the broadest prospects to achieve our deserved and basic human rights;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the GFC work with NOW’s board, committees, task forces, chapter and state leaders and members to bring global, multicultural gender perspectives and educational resources to the recognition that sisterhood is indeed global; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW formally thank U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her inspired leadership to prioritize the needs of women and children globally in our U.S. diplomatic and development work and urge her to further advocate at the top levels of U.S. government for U.S. ratification of CEDAW and for more inclusive women’s programming; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW recommends to the National NOW PAC that the endorsement process ensure that criteria for international aspects of NOW’s core priority issues are included; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW add a Global Feminist Issue Hearing to National NOW conferences in odd-numbered years to enhance NOW’s commitment to increase global feminist organizing and activism.

REACHING AND RECRUITING MEMBERS THROUGH ONLINE STREAMING

2011

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) holds an annual conference where policy for the organization is set; and

WHEREAS, the National NOW Conference provides important opportunities for both members and non-members to learn about the priority issues of NOW; and

WHEREAS, attendance at the conference is difficult or impossible for many members; and

WHEREAS, NOW is committed to reducing barriers to participation in NOW events; and

WHEREAS, the June 16, 2011, PEW Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project report titled Social Networking Sites and Our Lives said, “even when we control for demographic characteristics, we found that internet users and Facebook users, in particular, were more likely to be politically involved than similar Americans…78 percent more likely to have attempted to influence someone’s vote, and 53 percent more likely to have reported voting… than non-internet users”; and

WHEREAS, politically motivated people are an important demographic for NOW to reach in order to educate and recruit members to NOW; and

WHEREAS, the 2012 conference will be held in Washington, D.C., five months before the general election; and

WHEREAS, the ability to watch plenary sessions at the conference would give more people an opportunity to participate in the conference;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that two or more plenary sessions at the 2012 National NOW conference be streamed live.

2/10

Moved that the National Action Center revise the existing materials for non-violent civil disobedience, reintroduce non-violent civil disobedience training, and begin such training with workshops at the National Conference and that these materials, training and non-violent civil disobedience actions shall follow the NOW guidelines for non-violent civil disobedience.

REVISION OF ACCESSIBLE NOW CONFERENCES, FORUMS, SUMMITS,
AND NATIONAL BOARD MEETINGS POLICY

2009                                                                                                                                        

WHEREAS, in 1978, the National Organization for Women (NOW) passed its original Disability Rights resolution “urging chapters to provide barrier-free facilities, assistance for the blind, and interpreters for the deaf”; and

WHEREAS, in 2002, NOW passed a resolution calling for Accessible NOW Conferences, Forums, Summits, and National Board Meetings that mandated the use of an accessibility checklist at the meetings listed therein but that was unclear whether states and local chapters should use this checklist and associated procedures; and

WHEREAS, this accessibility checklist does not cover access for women of size;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the accessibility checklist be reviewed and amended to include issues of accessibility for women of size; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all state, regional, and national meetings, conferences, forums, and summits use and follow this checklist and procedures as described in the 2002 resolution; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that local chapters be strongly encouraged to use this checklist in selecting their meeting and event sites.

2/09

Moved to have the 2010 national conference in Boston.

1/08

Moved that the National NOW Board commend Karen Godshall for her exemplary service as chair of the Registration and Credentialing Committee for numerous national NOW conferences. Her patience, civility, and generosity have been without measure and have made this important task a great success.  Thank you, Karen.

1/08

Moved to hold the 2009 conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.

12/06

Moved to hold the 2008 conference in Washington, D.C.

4/05

Moved that a Women of Color and Allies ad hoc Committee be appointed to propose next steps in following up on the completed WOCA Summit.

CALL FOR A WOMEN OF COLOR AND ALLIES SUMMIT

2004

WHEREAS, one of NOW’s priority issues is the commitment to eradicating racism in all of its forms; and,

WHEREAS, women of color, in particular, suffer the negative effects of inequality based on sex, race, class, sexuality, and ethnicity; and,

WHEREAS, the March for Women’s Lives articulated a message regarding the right to reproductive health and access for all women, resulting in an impressive participation of women of color, both in the organizing of the March and in their attendance; and,

WHEREAS, NOW, as one of the organizers of the March for Women’s Lives, is committed to continuing to build stronger relationships with women of color organizations; and,

WHEREAS, NOW’s national platform provides a forum for women of color to support and organize for social, political, economic and reproductive justice.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Organization for Women along with allied Women of Color organizations that participated in the organizing of the March for Women’s Lives call for a National Women of Color and Allies Summit in the Spring of 2005 in order to develop a common agenda to further the cause of equality.

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW will support the creation of a collaborative steering committee to organize and implement the Women of Color and Allies Summit; and

FINALLY BE IT RESOLVED that the National Women of Color and Allies Summit, at its conclusion, articulate a strategic plan of action developed by women of color activists, women of color organizations and allies, that will be reported at a plenary session devoted to issues of expanding diversity within the organization for the purpose of fulfilling on NOW’s commitment to ending racism in all its forms at the 2005 National NOW Conference.

2006 NATIONAL CONFERENCE

2004

WHEREAS, our foremothers have provided us with unprecedented opportunities and tools to pursue lives of equality; and

WHEREAS, young feminists honor the victories of activists who inspire them to continue the movement; and

WHEREAS, NOW continues to make a concerted effort to incorporate the views and energies of young feminists, including the creation of a permanent young feminist task force to advise the Board of Directors and National Conference on matters of agenda, leadership recruitment, and issue prioritization regarding young feminists in NOW; and

WHEREAS, NOW has a made a commitment to diversity in the organization through the outreach and retention of young women; and

WHEREAS, a third of the participants in the 2004 March for Women’s Lives were under the age of 25; and

WHEREAS, there is an intergenerational interest in making NOW accessible and relevant to younger generations; and

WHEREAS, by the year 2006, the last young feminist issues summit, which was an overwhelming success, will have taken place nearly a decade ago; and

WHEREAS, Article VIII, Section 1, paragraph D of the NOW Bylaws states that in even-numbered years, the National Conference shall include a special issue or constituency summit;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, that the 2006 National Conference addresses issues of particular importance to young women and develops future women leaders; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the issues conference addresses and confirms the commitment to all issues of diversity in our organization; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the national NOW Young Feminist Task Force, as well as state committees of young feminists and the Intergenerational Partnership Committee of the National Board, play a central role in planning the 2006 National Conference.

10/03

Moved that the 2005 National Conference be held in Nashville.

 1/03

Moved that one workshop in each bank at the 2003 national NOW conference be a skills-building session to enhance the technological skills of NOW’s activists. These technology workshops might cover topics that include PowerPoint presentations, web design, e-list services, e-zines, mail merge database management, etc.

LEADERSHIP FOR THE 21st CENTURY

A PLENARY SESSION FOR THE 2003 NATIONAL NOW CONFERENCE

1/03

Because NOW sees and values leadership in all its diversity, we move that the 2003 National Conference include a plenary session devoted to leadership in the 21st Century that includes a panel of NOW leaders — representing age, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability.

The Inter-generational and Diversity Board Committees and related CICs (Young Feminist, Diversity, Disability) will be an integral part of planning the plenary session and selecting its speakers.

There will also be a follow-up workshop to spark a dialogue about how we use issues of inter-generational, diversity and disability perspectives to strengthen NOW leadership for today and the future.

ACCESSIBLE NOW CONFERENCES, FORUMS, SUMMITS

AND NATIONAL BOARD MEETINGS

2002

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is an inclusive organization that seeks to maximize participation of and equality for feminists in its events; and

WHEREAS, feminists with disabilities have taken a leadership role in NOW throughout the years; and

WHEREAS, accessibility is essential to enable full participation by feminists with disabilities at NOW conferences, forums, summits and national board meetings; and

WHEREAS, accessibility at public accommodations at which NOW conferences have been held in the past have presented issues of concern for some people with disabilities;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Disability Rights Conference Implementation Committee (CIC) shall assist the National Action Center in developing an “Accessibility Check List” to be used for site inspections before any conference‑, forum‑, summit‑ or national board meeting‑facility location is chosen; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this “Accessibility Checklist” shall be appended to any contract with a facility at which a conference, forum, summit or national board meeting is held and shall become an essential part of such contract; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that each such facility shall be inspected by a member of the executive committee or their designee, in consultation with the Disability Rights CIC, to ensure that the facility meets the accessibility requirements of the “Accessibility Checklist” before NOW enters into a contract with any such facility.

 STRUCTURAL REVIEW

2002

WHEREAS, as a follow‑up to the adoption by the National Organization for Women (NOW) of a new vision statement (the “Declaration of Sentiments for the 21st Century”) at the 1998 National NOW Vision Summit in Rochester, NY, the NOW National Board of Directors in September 2000 passed a resolution entitled “A Process for Structural Review,” which created a Structural Review Task Force to review NOW’s structure; and

WHEREAS, in reviewing the structure of NOW including a consideration of chapters, states, regions, Conference Implementation Committees (CIC), the national board, the officers, and the Action Center as well as the bylaws, processes, procedures, practices, and policies, the task force has developed a questionnaire and mailed it to chapters, states, and regions, distributed it at state conferences and council meetings, and circulated it at the 2001 National NOW Conference in Philadelphia where two workshops were held for the purpose of gathering additional information via small groups; and

WHEREAS, the task force has conducted two forums at the 2002 National NOW Conference in St. Paul and will complete a report of recommendations for changes to NOW’s structure by January 2003 and present it for review and approval to the NOW board at the first board meeting of that year; and

WHEREAS, a review of NOW’s structure requires ample time for discussion and debate among the NOW membership;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Sunday, July 13, 2003, at the 2003 National NOW Conference in Arlington, VA, be devoted exclusively to resolutions and bylaws affecting NOW’s structure, provided that resolutions responding to emergencies (such as a vacancy on the Supreme Court) may also be considered, provided that such emerging resolutions come out of issue hearings.

6/02

Moved that NOW issue a statement written by the Disability CIC to the Radisson Hotel Riverfront and Radisson Hotel Administration (National Office) regarding the lack of accessibility in this hotel [location of the 2002 National NOW Conference in St. Paul, Minn.].

4/02

Moved:

  • Pursuant to the request of the Disability Rights CIC, that the Women with Disabilities and Allies Forum be moved to 2003.
  • Pursuant to the recommendation from the Disability Rights CIC, that the NOW Foundation be urged to consider sponsorship of the Women with Disabilities and Allies Forum.

9/01

Moved: “Whereas no chapters have offered to host the 2003 national conference, despite two opportunities, that the National office takes over the organization and hold the conference in the greater Washington/Baltimore area.”

SCENT FREE CONFERENCES

2001

WHEREAS, many cosmetics, toilet articles, laundry products and, of course, perfumes, contain scents; and

WHEREAS, there are people who attend or wish to attend local, state, and national meetings and conferences of the National Organization for Women (NOW) who have adverse reactions to these scented products; and

WHEREAS, NOW wishes to ensure that the National Office and Board and all members and state and local chapters are educated regarding the hazards of scented products to some individuals; and

WHEREAS, NOW wishes to make all its meetings and conferences on a local, state, and national level as welcoming to all regardless of disability; and

WHEREAS, many people have Environmental Illness (EI) or Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) and for some of these individuals, the entire world has become an allergen.  No one knows the ultimate effect of the four million chemicals created since 1915. For many, it manifests in EI/MCS. The bodily immune system weakens and one’s entire body becomes hypersensitive to foods and surroundings. In effect, environmentally ill people are like the miners’ canaries – the first to alert others to the hazardous environment; and

WHEREAS, the reactions of people with EI and MCS can include traditional allergic reactions or toxic chemical responses and such reactions can last for days or be life-threatening.   Symptoms also can include headaches, migraines, respiratory reactions, fatigue, gastrointestinal disturbances, arthritic pain, mental confusion, memory loss, and mood swings; and

WHEREAS, for those who are affected by chemicals, perfumes and scented products are some of the hardest airborne toxins to avoid; and

WHEREAS, what seems like a mild fragrance to one person can be an excruciatingly toxic scent to a sensitive person. That mild scent may result in an ambulance ride to the hospital; and

WHEREAS, numerous organizations, including the Sierra Club and the federal Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, have recognized the necessity for a scent-free meeting policy; and

WHEREAS, the National Board of NOW has resolved to educate the NOW membership of the importance of holding NOW conferences as scent-free events and has done an excellent job educating the NOW membership and the hotel for the 2001 National NOW conference;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that for all local, state, and national meetings and conferences of NOW, people be requested to refrain from wearing or using perfumes and colognes, essential oils, scented body lotions and soaps, scented deodorant, scented hair products, and scented laundry soaps and fabric softener in clothing; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that rooms that have new carpeting and/or are freshly painted shall be avoided for meetings and conferences since such rooms can be extremely toxic to individuals with EI or MCS; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National Office shall distribute this policy statement to all state and local chapters and the National Board by November 1, 2001.

4/01

WHEREAS NOW staff members who have their conference travel paid by National NOW are prohibited from voting; and

WHEREAS this policy sets up a two-tier system that disenfranchises NOW members who happen to be working conference staff; and

WHEREAS the National Board is committed to the fair, equitable and respectful treatment of staff;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the voting rights of essential NOW staff who have their way paid to the conference be reinstated.

4/01

Moved to make all NOW conferences a scent-free environment, such as no perfume, scented hair products, scented laundry products, etc. Information should be included with conference registration confirmation.

2/01

Moved to increase the base price of National NOW conference registration from $85 to $110, maintaining the sliding scale for members and the early registration discount. The sliding scale fee statement shall be in the clear language, bolded, and prominently displayed on all conference registration forms both in hard and cyber copies.

12/00

Moved that NOW endorse the National Conference on Gender.

3/00

Moved to amend the elections site Selection Policy to delete the current language in Section B regarding time zones and substitute: “B. Election Conferences:  National Conferences which include the election of national officers shall rotate through the regions, in any sequence, provided that no region shall host two successive elections conferences unless all suitable sites (see sections D & E, policy 1/82) in the other regions have waived their opportunity to do so.”

CHAPTER LEADERSHIP TRAINING

11/99

RESOLVED, that beginning at the 2000 conference a bank of workshops on chapter leadership training be presented at national conferences and that the importance of attending these workshops be emphasized from the podium;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the regions be encouraged to present full-day workshops on chapter leadership training at the regional conferences;

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that weekend training of chapter leaders similar to the state presidents/state coordinators’ training be organized at the national office.

4/99

Moved that transportation and travel reimbursement to the National Conference Board meeting shall be reimbursed in the same manner as other Board meetings. Transportation reimbursed or provided by NOW shall not preclude National Board members from serving as voting delegates at national conferences.

4/99

Moved that NOW Action Center staff who have substantial and essential employment duties at NOW National Conferences be eligible for expense reimbursement. Claiming such reimbursement shall not preclude any staff member’s right to be a voting delegate except during elections Conferences during which time reimbursed staff may neither vote nor campaign. Amended by 4/01 resolution.

4/98

Resolved that the Regional Directors are the review committee that makes recommendations to this board of what resolutions go to the [1998 National] Conference.

RESOLUTION ON REDUCED CONFERENCE REGISTRATION FEES

2/98

WHEREAS, the purpose of NOW includes achieving political, social, and economic justice for all women; and

WHEREAS, the dues structure of NOW reflects a long-standing policy to reduce the economic barriers to membership in the organization; and

WHEREAS, NOW’s national bylaws effectively eliminate the economic barrier that conference registration fees may present to full participation in conferences where NOW business is conducted or NOW policy set; and

WHEREAS, reducing the economic barriers that can reduce NOW members’ access to educational or training programs offered by NOW, Inc. is consistent with NOW’s philosophy and crucial to achieving NOW’s goals;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW reaffirm its policy of offering a sliding scale registration fee at all policy-making conferences, and that reduced registration fees be made available to NOW members in good standing at any meeting, conference, or convention that is sponsored by NOW and that offers education about feminist issues and/or training in leadership or activist skills; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all conferences called, organized, or coordinated by NOW, Inc. be financed in a way that allows offering reduced fees to NOW members.

RESOLUTIONS AT THE 1998 NATIONAL CONFERENCE

(WOMEN’S RIGHTS CONVENTION & VISION SUMMIT)

2/98

Resolutions will be handled at a pre-conference board meeting.  The board will refer resolutions to the body based upon the following criteria:

– Proposed resolutions will be pre-submitted, with Regional Conferences suggested as possible pre-conference forum.

– Prior to the July Board Meeting, a review committee will consider resolutions proposed, and make recommendations concerning those requiring action at the pre-Conference Board Meeting.

– The Board may refer a resolution to the 1998 Conference if:

  1. a) it is of a critical, time-sensitive nature
  2. b) it requires a major shift in policy direction

– If passed by the Board, resolutions nonetheless will be considered to have been passed in concept and subject to non-substantive editorial changes.

– Those resolutions not dealt with at the 1998 Conference or the July Board Meeting will be remanded to the Board for consideration.

11/97

Moved to select Los Angeles as the site for the 1999 conference and Miami as the site for the 2000 conference.

9/97

Moved that during the November 1997 National Board meeting the sites of the 1999 and 2000 National Conferences be chosen; that at the fall 1998 Board Meeting the site of the 2001 and 2002 National Conferences be chosen; that at the 1999 fall Board Meeting, the site of the 2003 National Conference be chosen, and that the subsequent National Conference site be chosen each fall thereafter.

1998 WOMEN OF COLOR AND ALLIES SUMMIT

1997

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has an uncompromising investment in working to dismantle racism; and

WHEREAS, NOW has planned a Vision Summit as part of the 1998 National Conference in Rochester, New York, to create opportunities and respond to the challenges of the 21st century; and

WHEREAS, NOW recognizes the essential need for continued dialog on issues of race, class, and gender in order to successfully move forward in the new millennium;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW sponsor or  participate in a “Women of Color and Allies Summit” to bring together women of color and supportive allies from across the country to discuss racism, classism, and feminism; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this Summit will celebrate our commonality, share our ideas, and create a framework to ensure the value, vision, and inclusion of women of color in NOW; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that chapters be encouraged to support activist attendance through scholarships, fundraising, and philanthropy; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this Summit be held preferably preceding, but no later than 1998, to be determined by the Racial and Ethnic Diversity CIC, the National Board, and the Executive Officers

LESBIAN RIGHTS CONFERENCE

1997

WHEREAS, lesbian rights is one of the National Organization for Women’s (NOW) five priority issues; and

WHEREAS, 1998 marks the tenth anniversary of the last lesbian rights conference; and

WHEREAS, lesbian issues are at the forefront of political debate; and

WHEREAS, NOW must remain on the cutting edge of the lesbian rights movement; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW hold or participate in a Lesbian Rights Conference by the end of the year 1999; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Lesbian Rights Conference Implementation Committee (CIC) will function as the conference organizing committee working closely with the NOW Action Center staff and the National Board.

4/97

Moved that the program book should include descriptions/explanations of the conference events, for example, “Plenary Session,” “Special Constituency Caucuses,” and “Issue Hearings.”

4/97

Moved that NOW conference orientation sessions be held with a focus on educating new attendees to NOW conference structure, culture, and process.  These sessions would be held on Friday at 10:00 am immediately following the Plenary, and on Saturday at 9:00 am immediately proceeding the Plenary.  It is envisioned that these sessions would take place in the Plenary room.

1997 NATIONAL CONFERENCE RESOLUTIONS

2/97 

Moved that a one-day non-member registration fee of $35.00 be instituted for the 1997 National Conference.  Moved that the chair(s) and/or facilitators for special constituency caucuses and issue hearings be appointed and notified at least 30 days prior to the national conference and that a training session is provided for them on Thursday evening prior to the conference.

Moved that the chair(s) of all issue hearings open the issue hearings with a review of the work of the Conference Implementation Committee on the issues and resolutions on the issues passed by prior conferences and the National Board.

Moved that a brief description of special constituency caucuses and issue hearings, including their

purpose, be included in the national conference program book.

Moved that:

1)    photographs on conference registration/delegate/name cards be eliminated during elections conferences;

2)    conference name tags be of two types:  one for members and one for new members who join at the conference, and that delegates be designated by a prominent neon delegate sticker on the back/flipside of the name tag;

3)    in order for an individual to be credentialed as a delegate at a national conference, they must provide proof of membership for the requisite time frame such as an NNT label, canceled the check or a money order receipt, but a letter from chapter president or treasurer will not suffice for such credentialing.

Moved that the chairs of all-conference implementation committees should:

1)    Provide written reports to the National Board at the last full board meeting prior to the National Conference addressing the accomplishments of the CIC during the past year and goals for the coming year;

2)    Provide brief synopsis addressing the purpose of the CIC and the work of the CIC for publication in the national conference program book.

Moved that the conference rules proposed to the National Conference for adoption contain the requirement that resolutions relying on signatures to reach the conference floor for consideration must have a minimum of 200 signatures.

2/97

The board voted to accept the bid from Rochester (NY) for the 1998 national conference, with special attention to the fact that 1998 is the sesquicentennial of the first women’s convention in the US, held 30 miles from Rochester in Seneca Falls, which would help draw members to the conference.

CONSCIOUSNESS RAISING

2011

WHEREAS, consciousness-raising (CR) was a successful action strategy and tool utilized by the National Organization for Women (NOW) in the 1970s and early 1980s to give voice to women’s experiences and oppression, which led to the recognition that the personal is political; and

WHEREAS, there is a need to connect multiple generations of feminists through a mutual understanding of sexism in order to strengthen NOW’s membership base and activities; and

WHEREAS, NOW continues to pursue ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) as a meaningful guarantee of women’s right to equal protection under the law; and

WHEREAS, achieving full citizenship and equal protection under the law is a priority on NOW’s agenda in order to end sex discrimination; and

WHEREAS, resolutions to update CR have been passed at previous NOW Conferences;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW develop, produce and distribute materials to facilitate the establishment of the Feminist CR Project; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that such materials include, but not be limited to, the former Feminist CR Manual leadership guidelines, as well as creative materials and format for today’s electronic and social media; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW provide leadership and assistance to all NOW state and chapter units, as requested, to implement the Feminist CR Project under the guidance of the National CR committee.

NOW ELECTION CODE OF ETHICS FOR NOW OFFICER ELECTION POLICY

1/08

MOVED that the following Code of Election Ethics statement be a required component of all NOW Election Rules for National Officer elections, that all candidates for NOW National Officer positions must sign the Code of Election Ethics statement, and that this election rule be enforceable by the Election Committee in the same manner as all other Election Rules for the year in which the election is taking place.

Code of Election Rules for NOW Officer Elections

As a candidate, I support NOW’s commitment to truthful, fair and clean campaigns for elected office.

Assumptions: I understand the importance of free, open, sincere and intense debate in maintaining exemplary representative leadership.  I believe that electoral campaigns are subject to unacceptable levels of negativism, attack advertising, and other practices which demean civil society.  I understand that each candidate is fully responsible for fair and ethical practices by or on behalf of his or her campaign.  These core values are fundamental to our members and are widely shared throughout NOW:  honesty, fairness, respect, responsibility, and compassion.

Principles of Fair Campaign Practices: My campaign will be committed to the principles of honesty, fairness, respect for my opponent(s), responsibility, and compassion.

Honesty and Fairness: I shall emphasize my views, beliefs, and experiences.  I am committed to an open and public discussion of issues and presenting my record with sincerity and frankness.

Respect: I shall behave in a respectful manner toward my opponents and their supporters.  I shall not use, or allow to be used, personal attacks, innuendo, or stereotyping.

Responsibility: I shall not knowingly or recklessly misrepresent my record or that of my opponents.  I shall ensure that my campaign staff and campaign supporters will observe these principles of fair campaign practices.  I take full responsibility for all advertising or other statements created or used on my behalf by members and supporters.  I shall conduct my campaign with an open and public discussion of the issues as I see them, presenting my record and policies with intensity, sincerity, and frankness, and criticizing without fear and without malice the record and policies of my opponents.  I will not condone or allow outside party advertising which does not meet the principles contained in NOW policy.  If such practices are used by outside parties without my approval, I shall repudiate it immediately and publicly upon my knowledge of its occurrence.

Compassion:  In the conduct of my candidacy, I shall show compassion at all times for my opponent(s).  I shall remember that the campaign process is fundamental to representative democracy and that my behavior in the campaign affects the integrity of our organization.

 

Signed: ____________________________  Running for______________________ Date___________

 4/01

WHEREAS NOW staff members who have their conference travel paid by National NOW are prohibited from voting; and

WHEREAS this policy sets up a two-tier system that disenfranchises NOW members who happen to be working conference staff; and

WHEREAS the National Board is committed to the fair, equitable and respectful treatment of staff;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the voting rights of essential NOW staff who have their way paid to the conference be reinstated.

 3/00

Moved to amend the elections site Selection Policy to delete the current language in Section B regarding time zones and substitute: “B. Election Conferences:  National Conferences which include the election of national officers shall rotate through the regions, in any sequence, provided that no region shall host two successive elections conferences unless all suitable sites (see sections D & E, policy 1/82) in the other regions have waived their opportunity to do so.”

 4/97

Moved that for the purposes of interpretation, the Elections Rules policy passed in 1987 prohibiting NOW from paying expenses associated with travel of “others” within 30 days of an elections conference, does not prohibit newly elected state coordinators from being transported to DC for the standard State Coordinator’s Training.

 4/01

Moved to change NOW’s per-mile reimbursement policy to 28 cents.

4/01

WHEREAS NOW staff members who have their conference travel paid by National NOW are prohibited from voting; and

WHEREAS this policy sets up a two-tier system that disenfranchises NOW members who happen to be working conference staff; and

WHEREAS the National Board is committed to the fair, equitable and respectful treatment of staff;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the voting rights of essential NOW staff who have their way paid to the conference be reinstated.

4/99

Moved that NOW Action Center staff who have substantial and essential employment duties at NOW National Conferences be eligible for expense reimbursement. Claiming such reimbursement shall not preclude any staff member’s right to be a voting delegate except during elections Conferences during which time reimbursed staff may neither vote nor campaign. Amended by 4/01 resolution.

 4/99

Moved that transportation and travel reimbursement to the National Conference Board meeting shall be reimbursed in the same manner as other Board meetings. Transportation reimbursed or provided by NOW shall not preclude National Board members from serving as voting delegates at national conferences.

4/97

Moved that for the purposes of interpretation, the Elections Rules policy passed in 1987 prohibiting NOW from paying expenses associated with travel of “others” within 30 days of an elections conference, does not prohibit newly elected state coordinators from being transported to DC for the standard State Coordinator’s Training.

6/11

Moved that NOW Foundation pursue a residual fundraising plan with Viridian Energy.

2/09

Moved that a working group of Board members explore the available models of corporate partnerships and relationships with NOW and the possibilities therein between now and the 2009 conference.

10/07

Moved that every board member shall pledge to make every effort to raise $1000.00 by Thanksgiving.  Duchy Trachtenberg will raise money to match the funds raised (with a minimum of 90 days to match).

9/06

Moved that the Board have the following committees, and that all committees include fundraising as a component of their recommendations and goals:  1) bylaws, process, and rules; 2) chapter/membership development and diversity; 3) long-range planning, organizational development, and structure; 4) fundraising and budget (with fundraising as a priority); and 5) issues, legislation and action

1/03

Moved that the Board empower the National Officers to seek corporate and Foundation contributions for the [2003 Intrepid Awards Gala]. These contributions will be used to kick off the ‘Drive for Women’s Equality’ and will not affect NOW policy.

NOW DONOR GUIDELINES

1/00

NOW officers will make every effort to use the following guidelines when accepting or soliciting donations:

WOMEN’S/HUMAN RIGHTS

NOW will not knowingly accept donations from companies that contribute to the oppression of women/human rights through their business relationships, operations, or products.

EMPLOYEE RELATIONS

NOW will not knowingly accept donations from companies that do not provide equal promotion opportunities for all employees, fair wages, opportunities for professional development, and employee benefits.  We avoid companies that have an unaddressed history of discrimination practices, anti-labor practices, or violations of health and safety regulations.

PRODUCTS, SERVICES, AND ADVERTISING

NOW may accept donations from companies that create products or provide services or advertising that enhance the quality of life for women.

ENVIRONMENT

NOW may accept donations from companies that conduct their business operations with respect for the environment and animal life.  We favor companies that have shown leadership in addressing the environmental challenges faced by their particular industries.  We avoid companies that have demonstrated a consistent disregard for the environment or animal life.

DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINTS

If a company has been identified as a Merchant of Shame, NOW will wait two years after these complaints have been satisfactorily resolved before considering a donation from that company.

PROMOTIONAL USE

No donor will use NOW’s name or logo for promotional purposes without an agreement with NOW regarding appropriate use.

DISCLAIMER

NOW receives many contributions from corporations and foundations in support of our work with women.  We accept these donations with the clear understanding that we retain full responsibility for and control of the shape and substance of our programs and activities.  Our supporters may not in any way alter or dictate the content of our work.

NOW NATIONAL BOARD’S ONGOING COMMITMENT TO FUNDRAISING

9/97

WHEREAS all members — and leaders — of NOW bear a responsibility for making sure that NOW is financially equipped to pursue its goals and continue its important work;

WHEREAS the National Board is committed to working for NOW’s financial well-being;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that NOW’s National Board members commit themselves to:

(1)   Calling all state organizations and chapters within their region to talk about the need for co-ordinated grassroots membership recruitment — as part of an effort to ensure NOW’s financial health at all levels of the organization;

(2)   Setting a personal fundraising goal to be submitted to the Vice President-Executive Kim Gandy and be fulfilled no later than the beginning of the next Board meeting;

(3)   Identifying at least one local sponsoring organization for the Women of Color and Allies Summit; and

(4)   Coming to the next meeting prepared to set another fundraising goal for the following quarter.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW create ways of acknowledging the contributions of its members.

9/97

Moved that the Executive Committee working with the Advisory Committee create a proposal to be presented to the National Board at the November 1997 meeting to expand the Advisory Board and establish a primary focus of the Advisory Board be major donor fundraising.

7/2018

Moved that parties to the grievance may choose to conduct the filings by email and the meetings/hearings by video conference.

7/04

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

Article XI, of the National Bylaws:

“Grievance procedures shall be determined by the National Board.”

[Grievance procedure as amended by the National Board, July 2004]

1)    All grievances brought to the NOW board shall be in writing. Grievances shall contain a statement setting forth the nature and basis of the grievance, specifying who or what unit(s) of NOW have violated what specific policy, procedure, bylaw, or regulation of NOW or its various sub-unit(s); the remedy requested; and shall indicate whether, and the manner in which, all available remedies at the local, state and/or regional levels have been exhausted. All local, state and/or regional remedies must be exhausted before invoking this article unless good cause is shown why the grieving party has not done so. A copy of the grievance shall be mailed by the grievant to the party or parties against whom the grievance is filled at the same time that the grievance is filed with the national office.  Grievances must be submitted within six months from the date of the incident or within six months from the time that the member involved first knew or should have known of the incident or from the date that all attempts at local resolution have been exhausted. Grievances shall be filed by certified mail with the Executive Committee which shall determine within 30 days after the date of receipt whether the grievance meets the requirements set forth in this paragraph. A decision by the Executive Committee not to invoke the grievance procedure for failure to meet these requirements may be appealed to the National Board. If a national officer is involved in a grievance, that grievance will go to the National Board in executive session to determine if the grievance meets the requirements set forth in this paragraph.

2)    If any part of the grievance is accepted, within 7 days thereafter the Executive Committee shall serve copies of the grievances upon the sub-unit officer(s) or individual member(s) about which the grievance complains advising them that the grievance has been accepted. Service shall be by certified mail to the last known address. The grieving party or parties must be current members of NOW at all times during the grievance procedure. Should the membership of any grieving party or parties expire at any time during the grievance process, that party shall no longer have the standing to utilize the grievance process nor shall any further steps of the grievance process be necessary with regard to the non-member party. (Party to be defined as an individual or group where multiple individuals are involved in a “side.”)

3)    Upon receipt of a grievance which meets the requirements set forth in paragraph 1, a grievance committee consisting of three members of the National Board shall be selected to hear the grievance. Once selected, the members shall have continuing authority to serve on the committee, notwithstanding the end of their terms on the National Board. The Grievance Committee shall have full authority to hear and resolve the grievance. Each party (“side”) to the grievance shall select one member of the grievance committee and one alternate within 14 days of notification by the Executive Committee. Those Board members who are also Executive Committee members shall not be selected as members of the Grievance Committee.  For purposes of this section, a party shall be deemed notified on the date actual notice is given or if notice is by certified mail, on the fourth business day following the date notice is mailed. If the grieving party fails to select a member and/or an alternate, their grievance will be dismissed. If the party being grieved against fails to select a member and/or alternate, the Structure and Process Committee of the National Board (or its successor committee responsible for bylaws issues) shall select a member and/or an alternate.  The two members selected by the parties are not to function as representatives of the parties by whom they are selected but as impartial members of the committee.   The two members shall select the third member within 14 days of being notified of their selection as committee members.  If the committee members are unable to reach an agreement as to a third member, the National Board may select the third member, either by drawing lots or by another appropriate means.  Alternates may be present at the hearing as observers. If an alternate must fill a vacancy, she/he shall have 7 days to review any/all grievance documents, minutes and/or transcripts and take up her/his duties. If necessitated by a vacancy, a new member and/or hearing date may be chosen using the procedures described herein. A vacancy may be declared by two members of the Grievance Committee or by the Structure and Process Committee or its successor if a member is unable to or fails to participate in the grievance process as outlined. Members of the Board shall disqualify themselves from the committee should they feel they have a conflict of interest. The selecting party has an additional three days to select a replacement should a member who has already been selected to disqualify her/himself.  The Executive Committee shall mail notice to all parties that a Grievance Committee has been selected, within 7 days of the selection of the third committee member.  All of the deadlines for action within this grievance procedure may be waived by agreement of the parties.  The deadlines may also be waived by a vote of the National Board, upon request of the Grievance Committee.  Any such waiver shall be communicated to the Committee, to all parties, and to the National Board.

4)    The committee shall select a chair from its members within 7 days of the selection of the third committee member. The chair shall notify all parties of the following steps which must be followed.

  1. The chair of the Grievance Committee will meet with the parties involved in person or by other appropriate means to determine if the grievance can be mediated and then attempt to mediate it. The chair shall complete the mediation attempt no later than 90 days following notification that the grievance has been accepted. If no agreement can be reached by the grievance chair and the parties involved, the Grievance Committee will proceed with a hearing.
  2. The Grievance Committee shall after consultation with the parties set the site and time and conduct a hearing on the grievance at the earliest practicable date. The Grievance Committee shall act to set a date for the hearing no later than 30 days after the end of the attempted mediation period. The hearing shall be held in the state from which the grievance originates or in some other place acceptable to the parties to the grievance. If a date and/or site cannot be agreed upon by the parties, then the committee will notify the parties of three (3) dates/sites and will then choose the date and site based on the response by the parties. For purposes of this section, a party shall be deemed notified on the date actual notice is given or, if notice is by certified mail, on the fourth business day following the date notice is mailed. If after these procedures have been followed, a party refuses to accept the chosen date or site, the committee may deem the party to have defaulted on the grievance. The parties shall be given notice of the date and place of the hearing at least thirty days prior to the hearing date. Changes in the hearing date may be granted by the Grievance Committee for good cause shown. Each party must bear its own expenses. Any NOW member may attend a grievance hearing as an observer.
  3. All parties may submit documents and other materials. These documents and materials must be sent by the submitting parties to each member of the committee, each party and the Executive Committee. Documents and other materials postmarked fewer than 14 days prior to the hearing (or not submitted to the committee, each party and the Executive Committee) may be excluded from the grievance proceedings at the discretion of the Grievance Committee.
  4. The Grievance Committee must notify all parties if additional documents, materials or clarification are needed. A request for additional materials by the Grievance Committee may be made prior to and/or at the hearing. This material must then be submitted to the Committee, each party, and the Executive Committee and bear a postmark within 14 days of notification by the Grievance Committee. For purposes of this section, a party shall be deemed notified on the date actual notice is given or, if notice is by certified mail, on the fourth business day following the date notice is mailed.
  5. Each party is responsible for presenting its own case. The failure of any party to provide evidence or testimony under its control, which is requested by the committee, may be considered as a factor by the Grievance Committee in reaching its determination.
  6. The Grievance Committee must issue and mail a written decision within thirty days of the hearing or within thirty days of the expiration of the two-week notification for submission of additional materials, whichever is later. The decision will be mailed to each party and the Executive Committee.
  7. The Grievance Committee may recommend to the Board removal pursuant to Article XIII, Section 2.
  8. Grievance committee decisions shall be made available to the National Board and shall be retained on file with the national office for the use of future grievance committees.
  9. This procedure can only be amended by 30 days’ notice of the proposed change and a 3/5 vote of the National Board.

MODERNIZE NOW’S STRUCTURE FOR THE 21st CENTURY

2012

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) was formed in 1966 and remains the largest organization of feminist activists in the country; and

WHEREAS, in commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the 1848 Declaration of Sentiments, which launched the women’s rights movement, NOW dedicated our entire National Conference to the creation of a restatement of purpose, the 1998 Declaration of Sentiments of the National Organization for Women; and

WHEREAS, despite the major advances and changes in society since 1977, the last time NOW held a bylaws conference, NOW has not undertaken a similarly focused, comprehensive examination of the structure of our organization to ensure that NOW is a vibrant and effective organization in the 21st century; and

WHEREAS, the words of NOW’s Declaration apply as much today as when we adopted them, “Today, we fight the same reactionary forces: the perversion of religion to subjugate women; corporate greed that seeks to exploit women and children as a cheap labor force; and their apologists in public office who seek to do through law what terrorists seek to accomplish through bullets and bombs. We will not submit, nor will we be intimidated. But we will keep moving forward”; and

WHEREAS, to continue “moving forward and fighting back,” NOW activists wish to give concentrated time and attention to modernizing our organization’s structure in order to optimize our strengths and improve our effectiveness;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW acknowledge the efforts of the ad hoc Working Group to Modernize NOW’s Structure to continue the process begun by the NOW Board at its weekend brainstorming retreat in February 2012 on revitalizing NOW’s structure, by initiating discussion at regional conferences this spring, distributing a member survey and facilitating brainstorming workshops at this conference; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Working Group continue, and is charged by the membership with, organizing online and in-person meetings of NOW members to consider the ideas generated by the NOW Board, the Regional Conferences and this National Conference, and to develop proposed revisions to NOW’s bylaws and policies; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW organize a national forum, open to all NOW members, to be held before January 31, 2014, to discuss and debate proposed revision(s) to NOW’s structure under the bylaws and policies; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that proposed revision(s) be submitted to NOW members for a vote, in accordance with the procedure set forth in the current bylaws, at the 2014 National Conference.

STRUCTURAL REVIEW

2002

WHEREAS, as a follow‑up to the adoption by the National Organization for Women (NOW) of a new vision statement (the “Declaration of Sentiments for the 21st Century”) at the 1998 National NOW Vision Summit in Rochester, NY, the NOW National Board of Directors in September 2000 passed a resolution entitled “A Process for Structural Review,” which created a Structural Review Task Force to review NOW’s structure; and

WHEREAS, in reviewing the structure of NOW including a consideration of chapters, states, regions, Conference Implementation Committees (CIC), the national board, the officers, and the Action Center as well as the bylaws, processes, procedures, practices, and policies, the task force has developed a questionnaire and mailed it to chapters, states, and regions, distributed it at state conferences and council meetings, and circulated it at the 2001 National NOW Conference in Philadelphia where two workshops were held for the purpose of gathering additional information via small groups; and

WHEREAS, the task force has conducted two forums at the 2002 National NOW Conference in St. Paul and will complete a report of recommendations for changes to NOW’s structure by January 2003 and present it for review and approval to the NOW board at the first board meeting of that year; and

WHEREAS, a review of NOW’s structure requires ample time for discussion and debate among the NOW membership;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Sunday, July 13, 2003, at the 2003 National NOW Conference in Arlington, VA, be devoted exclusively to resolutions and bylaws affecting NOW’s structure, provided that resolutions responding to emergencies (such as a vacancy on the Supreme Court) may also be considered, provided that such emerging resolutions come out of issue hearings.

PROCESS FOR STRUCTURAL REVIEW

9/00

WHEREAS, the structure of the National Organization for Women (NOW) was created during the 1960s and 1970s when the demands for our time were different and when sexism was more overt and therefore easier to identify; and

WHEREAS, it has been almost 25 years since the structure of NOW has been reviewed and updated by the membership in a comprehensive way; and

WHEREAS, a new vision for NOW was created at the 1998 National NOW Vision Summit in Rochester, New York; and

WHEREAS, this process led to increased dialog among NOW members and activists at all levels and provided opportunities for input through the chapter and regional meetings; and

WHEREAS, this new vision statement and the process leading to it highlighted the need to reexamine and revisit NOW structure;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that a national task force be created by the NOW Board of Directors to study the structure of NOW and that such task force be composed of three members from the National Board, three state coordinators, three chapter presidents and three committee members-at-large;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the task force shall be appointed at a National Board meeting prior to the end of 2000 and shall immediately begin creating and implementing a process to gather information from all levels of NOW; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the task force shall complete a report of recommendations for changes to NOW’s structure by January 2002 and present it for review and approval to the NOW Board at the first board meeting of that year; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that National NOW send notice of any and all proposed changes to NOW’s structure in an every member mailing, at least 90 days prior to the 2002 National Conference in Minneapolis, the purpose of which shall be to debate the proposed changes to NOW’s structure.

REACHING AND RECRUITING MEMBERS THROUGH ONLINE STREAMING

2011

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) holds an annual conference where policy for the organization is set; and

WHEREAS, the National NOW Conference provides important opportunities for both members and non-members to learn about the priority issues of NOW; and

WHEREAS, attendance at the conference is difficult or impossible for many members; and

WHEREAS, NOW is committed to reducing barriers to participation in NOW events; and

WHEREAS, the June 16, 2011, PEW Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project report titled Social Networking Sites and Our Lives said, “even when we control for demographic characteristics, we found that internet users and Facebook users in particular were more likely to be politically involved than similar Americans…78 percent more likely to have attempted to influence someone’s vote, and 53 percent more likely to have reported voting… than non-internet users”; and

WHEREAS, politically motivated people are an important demographic for NOW to reach in order to educate and recruit members to NOW; and

WHEREAS, the 2012 conference will be held in Washington, D.C., five months before the general election; and

WHEREAS, the ability to watch plenary sessions at the conference would give more people an opportunity to participate in the conference;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that two or more plenary sessions at the 2012 National NOW conference be streamed live.

5/11

Moved that NOW include collecting diversity information when we renew and get new members and that we do a survey to collect this information from the current membership. 

NOW FEMINIST MENTORSHIP PROGRAM

2008

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is one of the greatest networking organizations for newer and experienced feminists via chapters, task forces, and other resources and tools; and

WHEREAS, NOW has expressed commitment to engaging and recruiting new feminists and providing them with useful resources to further develop their skills as feminist activists; and

WHEREAS, mentoring programs in the feminist movement will help to create a pipeline for feminists both professionally and personally as well as helping to grow and strengthen NOW chapters and activism; and

WHEREAS, NOW already has an excellent base of newer and experienced feminists committed to achieving the same goals for women and society; and

WHEREAS, the 1996 National NOW Conference resolved to support feminist mentoring programs for young feminists;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW create and develop a feminist mentoring program between newer and experienced members; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a prototype of the mentorship program be developed by a group of volunteers coordinating with the Young Feminist Task Force to be implemented at the state and local levels; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the mentoring program be structured in a circular manner so that both newer and experienced feminists benefit from it; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the program includes both online and in-person events and connections to help foster national mentoring goals.

1/08

Moved that predicated on the legality of a joint project, NOW and the NOW Foundation should have a joint member development project.

2/06

Moved that NOW give complimentary renewal memberships to those NOW members who were victims of the Katrina and Rita disasters for one year. 

9/00

Moved that NOW “provide chapters with a list of lapsed members once per year from their chapter for the previous two years for free. (Chapters wishing to order NOW labels for election purposes should always discuss their use with Political Director to avoid FEC violations.) Labels would be provided upon request, not automatically to every chapter.

3/00

Moved that National NOW investigate methods that would indicate chapter presidents whose membership has lapsed, chapter mail that is being returned to the national office, and chapter rebate checks that have not been cashed for three or more months.

STRENGTHENING THE GRASSROOTS

1/00

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women is a grassroots, membership-driven organization, and

WHEREAS, NOW wants to increase the retention of NOW members and increase the activism of members in local chapters, and

WHEREAS it has been proven that new members in active chapters are more likely to renew their membership than new members-at-large, and

WHEREAS, NOW will benefit at the chapter, state, and national levels from higher retention of members, and

WHEREAS, early contact from the chapter level informs at-large members of local actions, meetings and opportunities to get involved and active, and new members in areas where there is currently no chapter or an inactive chapter may be inclined to develop a chapter, and

WHEREAS, the sooner new at-large members are contacted by a chapter, the sooner and more likely they are to join a chapter, and

WHEREAS, new at-large members are more likely to choose to affiliate with chapters than long-time at-large members who may have been contacted before, and

WHEREAS, contacting new at-large members is a good use of chapter resources,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that states are encouraged to mail to all new at-large members at least quarterly to offer chapter membership to new joins.  The state shall include information about the activities of each chapter that requests to be included in the mailing and report on the mailings at a state council/board meeting, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that if the state chooses not to do these mailings, it shall, upon a chapter’s request, make available or authorize the chapter to order lists of new at-large members (as a standing order if requested) in the chapter’s geographic area for the chapter to use in identifying and recruiting chapter activists, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that disputes concerning the geographic area of chapters that cannot be resolved by the chapters involved shall be decided at the state board/council, and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution shall be distributed to states and chapters in the next membership mailing.

MEMBERSHIP RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION VIDEO

11/99

WHEREAS membership recruitment and retention along with training activists are core commitments of NOW;

WHEREAS videos have proved to be an excellent tool for NOW;

WHEREAS videos reduce training expenses, reach a wide audience and provide a consistent message;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that NOW produce one or more videos with study guides to train activists and recruit and retain members that will include: 1) NOW history; 2) NOW organization and structure; 3) NOW issues, and 4) grassroots and electoral training for activists.

7/98

Moved that in reporting membership numbers to the public, NOW will refer to anyone who has contributed to NOW as a “contributing member,” and those with strict guidelines of membership a “voting member.”

1997 NATIONAL MEMBERSHIP DRIVE

2/97

BE IT RESOLVED that NOW will sponsor a twenty-week membership drive/contest from Susan B. Anthony’s Birthday, February 15, 1997, until our National Conference in Memphis July 4, 1997, with a realistic goal of adding a minimum of 5,000 new chapter and state members.

Incentives for the membership drive for chapters/states will include tickets for a drawing with a minimum of the following prizes:

1) $1,000 cash,

2) a laser printer, and

3) a fax/phone/answering machine.

Additionally, two members from each of the top three chapters/states recruiting the most new members will be invited to a luncheon at the National Conference with the National officers, the conference speakers and special guests.  As an individual incentive, the person recruiting the most members will win a lifetime membership valued at $1,000.

Only new members recruited by the chapters and states will be counted for the membership drive.  The only exception to this rule will be that for this 20 week period the recruitment of lifetime renewals from existing NOW members will be allowed.  At-large transfers, transfers from other chapters, and/or renewals other than lifetime renewals will not be counted.  Re-recruitment of former members whose membership expired 1/31/96 or earlier will be counted as equivalent to a new membership.  Chapters have the option of signing up new members for a one-year membership or for lifetime memberships.

In order to be counted for the contest, transmittals to the National Action Center of $15 for each one year membership and $630 for each new lifetime membership or $1,000 for each lifetime renewal (which will be rebated in the usual manner) must be in the hands of the National Membership Vice-President by July 1, 1997

For every ten one-year memberships and for each lifetime new or renewed membership the chapter will receive one (1) ticket for the drawing of the prizes at the national conference.

Each chapter and state will receive an information packet containing

– an announcement explaining the membership drive,

– a copy of the rules and a sheet of helpful suggestions for a successful drive;

– a camera-ready flyer for the chapter’s newsletter,

– special membership and transmittal forms, and

– a sample letter for the recruitment of long-expired members.

Staff members and officers from the National Action Center will be assigned a bank of chapters and will serve as “team captains” to keep in touch with and encourage their bank of chapters to recruit new members.  National board members and state presidents will be asked to encourage chapters in their states and regions to participate fully in this project.  Competitions among individuals, chapters and states are encouraged.

6/11

Moved that NOW Foundation pursue a residual fundraising plan with Viridian Energy.

1/08

Moved that predicated on the legality of a joint project, NOW and the NOW Foundation should have a joint member development project.

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING CHARITABLE GIFT ANNUITIES

3/07

WHEREAS, a charitable gift annuity program would offer individual donors the opportunity to make a major gift to the NOW Foundation, its programs and funds, and receive fixed lifetime payments in return, and

WHEREAS, it is in the best interest of the NOW Foundation to provide prospective donors with the widest practicable array of ways to make contributions to the organization, its programs and funds,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Directors of the NOW Foundation authorizes the establishment of a charitable gift annuity program, which shall be operated in such a manner as to comply with all applicable state and federal laws governing the issuance of charitable gift annuities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NOW Foundation adopts the most recent Suggested Gift Annuity Rates as are issued from time to time by the American Council on Gift Annuities as the maximum charitable gift annuity rates offered by the NOW Foundation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that all gift annuity contracts between the NOW Foundation and individual donors be at all times secured by the corporate assets of the NOW Foundation; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the officers of the NOW Foundation are directed to issue from time to time such policies and procedures as are necessary for the efficient and effective operation of the charitable gift annuity program, and that such policies and procedures be in writing and provided to donors and prospective donors upon request.

RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING THE NOW FOUNDATION’S ENDOWMENT FUND

9/06

WHEREAS, the establishment of an endowment fund would significantly improve the long-term financial stability of the NOW Foundation and generate new revenue streams to support the Foundation’s work; and

WHEREAS, the possibility of making charitable gifts to an endowment fund during the 40th anniversary year of NOW’s founding has sparked a great deal of interest among NOW members and potential donors to such a fund,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Directors of the NOW Foundation hereby directs the establishment of an endowment fund to support the Foundation and its programs; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the President of the NOW Foundation is authorized and directed to appoint an Endowment Committee, whose members shall serve for a one-year term and which shall include at least one member of the Board of Directors of the NOW Foundation, at least one elected officer of the NOW Foundation, and at least one other member of NOW.  The Endowment Committee shall be charged with monitoring the performance of the endowment fund and making periodic recommendations to the Board of Directors of the NOW Foundation regarding reasonably prudent investment policies and practices for the endowment fund; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that appropriate NOW Foundation staff prepare any and all necessary policies and procedures governing acceptance of gifts from donors to the endowment fund and the establishment and continued operation of the endowment fund which shall be presented to the Board of Directors of the NOW Foundation for approval; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the NOW Foundation endowment fund shall be governed by the provisions of the Uniform Management of Institutional Funds Act.

4/02

Moved:

  • Pursuant to the request of the Disability Rights CIC, that the Women with Disabilities and Allies Forum be moved to 2003.
  • Pursuant to the recommendation from the Disability Rights CIC, that the NOW Foundation be urged to consider sponsorship of the Women with Disabilities and Allies Forum.

NATIONAL BOARD TERM LIMITS

1/16

Moved, that a person’s service on the 2012-14 or the 2014-16 National NOW Board will not be considered in determining their term limitation under Article VII, Section 6 of the newly revised NOW Bylaws.

ELECTION RULES FOR THE 2016 ELECTIN OF THE NOW BOARD

1/16

Preliminary note:  The newly revised National NOW bylaws state that Board members will be elected at the National NOW conference or at a district conference, and that:

 “Districts must notify the National Action Center no later than January 1 of an election year that the election will be held at a district conference.  The State Coordinators and National Board members in each district who are not running for election or re-election shall select the site for a district election conference.”  (Emphasis added.) 

This provision will be operational only after the initial election of the newly constituted Board from the six newly drawn districts.  As a result, for the 2018 Board elections and thereafter, the “state coordinators and national Board members in each district” may choose to hold elections in a district location instead of at the National Conference.  However, the 2016 Board elections will all take place at the National Conference. 

I  Roles of Nominating and Elections Committees

The role of the six district nominating committees is to determine candidate eligibility to run for the National NOW Board.  The role of the NOW Board Elections Committee is to oversee the conduct of all Board elections.

II  District Nominating Committees.

  1. The state presidents/coordinators in each electoral district (or their designees) shall serve as the nominating committee for that district.
  2. Nominations for the NOW Board shall be submitted to the National Action Center and the relevant district nominating committee in writing at least 90 days before the first day of the election Conference, (i.e. no later than Thursday, April 7, 2016).
  3. Nominations will not be taken from the floor at the Conference. If a board seat is not filled at the Conference, the vacancy may be filled by the state presidents and remaining board members of the relevant district.
  4. Within twenty (20) business days after the deadline for receiving nominations, each district nominating committee shall notify each candidate in their district whether they are eligible, and notify the Elections Committee and the NOW Executive Committee of the names of all eligible candidates from their district.
  5. No member of a district nominating committee shall endorse a Board candidate, and each member shall maintain strict neutrality regarding all such candidates.

III  Elections Committee.

  1. The NOW Board Elections Committee shall oversee the logistics of the NOW Board elections, including the publication and distribution of information about candidates, review of candidate financial disclosure statements and the conduct of candidate forums and voting at the Conference.
  2. The Elections Committee shall also receive any complaints of violations of these election rules and determine if a campaign violation has occurred. The Committee may assess a fine of up to $100 against either the individual(s) or the candidate(s) committing the violation, depending on the circumstances and the severity of the violation.

IV  Campaign Materials / Information About Candidates

  1. Information published on the NOW website.
  2. Each candidate may choose to submit, at least 60 days before the first day of the Conference (i.e., no later than Tuesday, May 10, 2016), a biographical/platform statement of no more than 500 words, and an electronic photograph to the Elections Committee and the NOW Executive Committee for publication on the National NOW website.
  3. Materials distributed by candidates at the Conference.
  4. Distribution and display of campaign materials may not commence until the candidate has submitted the financial disclosure statement to the Elections Committee.
  5. All written campaign materials shall contain the following disclosure: “Paid for and authorized by [name of individual and/or candidate, street address, email address and phone number].” Any written materials at the Conference not having this disclosure statement will be confiscated by the Elections Committee.
  6. The NOW logo may not appear on campaign literature or material except incidentally within a photograph of the candidate.
  7. No campaign materials shall be placed in the Conference packet other than (1) the Nominating Committee’s list of eligible candidates and (2) the biographical / platform statements posted on the NOW website.
  8. There shall be no electioneering or campaign materials displayed (except on the human body) or distributed either within 30 feet of the entrance to the voting area or inside the registration, credentialing or voting areas.
  9. No one may wear campaign materials while registering or credentialing Conference participants, or while working in the voting area as a member of the Elections Committee or volunteer.
  10. Candidate outreach to NOW leaders and conference registrants
  11. At least 60 days before the first day of the Conference (i.e., no later than Monday, April 25, 2015), the Elections Committee shall send each candidate an electronic copy of the NOW leadership list.
  12. At least 25 days before the first day of the Conference (i.e., no later than Monday, May 30), the Elections Committee shall send each candidate a list of the name, mailing address, email and phone number of Conference registrants who live in the candidate’s district and are eligible to vote.

V  Candidate Forums 

  1. The Elections Committee members shall moderate the district candidate forums at the Conference.
  2. Each forum shall include a Q&A session as well as an opportunity for each candidate to speak at the outset and the closing.
  3. The forum moderator shall assign time for Q&A as well as candidate statements, depending on the number of candidates. The moderator shall ensure equal time for all candidates to make their statements and respond in the Q&A session.

VI  Voting

  1. For each district, there shall be a separate voting room, monitored by a member of the Elections Committee.
  2. If there are more than three candidates in a district, preferential voting shall be used.
  3. All voting rooms shall remain open for voting for a period of 2 hours.
  4. At the close of the voting period, the Elections Committee shall collect all ballot boxes and count the votes.
  5. The Elections Committee shall announce the election results at the beginning of the next plenary session.
  6. The Elections Committee shall retain all ballots, separated by district, for a minimum of six months. If any grievance is filed as a result of the Board elections, the container and its contents shall be retained until any such grievance is resolved.

VII  Campaign Funding and Financial Reports

  1. If campaign expenditures exceed $100, each candidate shall submit a preliminary financial disclosure report to the Elections Committee, showing actual and anticipated income and expenditures to date. Individual (monetary and in-kind) contributions in excess of $50 must be listed by the name of the donor.
  2. The preliminary financial disclosure report may be submitted at any time, preferably at the outset of the Conference. No candidate may display or distribute campaign materials at the Conference until the preliminary financial disclosure report has been submitted.
  3. A final report of campaign income and expenditures shall be provided to the Elections Committee no later than 30 days after the Conference.
  4. Financial disclosure reports shall be available to any member of NOW upon request, at cost, for six months following the Conference.
  5. Candidates may not accept contributions from a vendor of a NOW chapter, a NOW state organization, or National NOW. No outside organizations, political parties or their subunits may contribute to a campaign either directly or indirectly.

VIII Press Guidelines

  1. The NOW press area at the Conference is neutral territory, and no campaigning is permitted in the area. NOW press staff and volunteers are prohibited from campaigning (including wearing partisan buttons and paraphernalia) while identified as press workers.  Anyone violating the neutrality of the press will be prohibited from working in that area.
  2. In speaking to reporters, candidates and their staffs should remember that their words create the world’s impression of NOW. Therefore, campaign rhetoric that attacks NOW members or their motives should be avoided during interviews.  Internal politicking should be avoided in front of reporters and journalists.

 PROCESS FOR FILLING VACANCIES ON THE NATIONAL NOW BOARD

1/16

  1. In case of a vacancy on the National NOW Board, the vacancy shall be filled by a vote of two-thirds of the state presidents/coordinators and the remaining Board member(s) of the district.
  2. The NOW Election Committee shall oversee the process of filling the vacancy.
  3. The Election Committee shall verify the existence of a vacancy, consistent with the provision of Article VII, Section 4.B of the NOW bylaws, which states: “Each electoral district shall have no fewer than two (2) members elected to the National Board.  Any electoral district with a delegation that includes a person of color shall be entitled to three (3) members elected to the National Board.  No more than one (1) National Board member shall be elected from any one state.”
  4. The Election Committee shall publish the existence of the vacancy on the NOW website, instructions for candidates wishing to be considered to fill the vacancy, and the deadline for candidates to submit their name and biographical/platform statement.
  5. The Chair of the Election Committee shall call a meeting of the state presidents/coordinators and remaining Board member(s) for the purpose of filling the vacancy.
    1. The meeting shall take place no greater than 90 days, and no less than 30 days, after the date of the call.
    2. The meeting may take place via teleconference, webinar, or other virtual or online platform that allows participants to hear and be heard by one another.
    3. The Election Committee chair, or a committee member designated by the chair, shall preside at the meeting.
  6. Each candidate to fill the vacancy may choose to submit, no later than the deadline set by the Election Committee, a biographical/platform statement of no more than 500 words and an electronic photograph for distribution to the state presidents/coordinators and remaining Board member(s) who will vote to fill the vacancy.
  7. The Election Committee chair shall certify the results of the vote to the NOW Board.

 CONFERENCE IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE

2012

WHEREAS, feminists from all over the United States come to the National Organization for Women (NOW) conference every year; and

WHEREAS, the principal business of the conference is to determine actions and policies of NOW through resolutions; and

WHEREAS, the NOW membership works very hard on the resolutions to make sure they say exactly what we want them to say; and

WHEREAS, the NOW membership takes these resolutions very seriously; and

WHEREAS, there are times when a resolution is passed and nothing is ever heard about it again;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW create a Policy Oversight Conference Implementation Committee; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that said committee will consist of at least two board members and three members from the general membership; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the committee will give quarterly status reports to the board and to the membership on resolutions passed at the conference and those that are referred to the board; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the committee’s main purpose will be to ensure that all resolutions passed at a NOW conference be implemented in a timely manner.

10/10

Moved the creation of 5 standing [board] committees: Structure and Process; Budget; Audit; Fundraising; and Membership. Moved to create another standing committee, the Ending Racism committee of the Board, which would be charged with interacting with the Board Membership Committee and the National Ad Hoc Combating Racism Committee to end racism in society and in NOW. Moved to form a Strategic Planning Committee of the Board.

10/10

Moved to appoint 1 or 2 representatives of the National Board to each Ad-Hoc Committee to act as liaisons between the committees and the National Board.

REVISION OF ACCESSIBLE NOW CONFERENCES, FORUMS, SUMMITS,
AND NATIONAL BOARD MEETINGS POLICY

2009                                                                                                                                        WHEREAS, in 1978, the National Organization for Women (NOW) passed its original Disability Rights resolution “urging chapters to provide barrier-free facilities, assistance for the blind, and interpreters for the deaf”; and

WHEREAS, in 2002, NOW passed a resolution calling for Accessible NOW Conferences, Forums, Summits, and National Board Meetings that mandated use of an accessibility checklist at the meetings listed therein but that was unclear whether states and local chapters should use this checklist and associated procedures; and

WHEREAS, this accessibility checklist does not cover access for women of size;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the accessibility checklist be reviewed and amended to include issues of accessibility for women of size; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all state, regional, and national meetings, conferences, forums, and summits use and follow this checklist and procedures as described in the 2002 resolution; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that local chapters be strongly encouraged to use this checklist in selecting their meeting and event sites.

2/09

Moved that a working group of Board members explore the available models of corporate partnerships and relationships with NOW and the possibilities therein between now and the 2009 conference.

11/08

Moved that the Board have five Committees:

1) Budget;

2) Chapter and State Development and Structure (to include as one of its primary goals outreach to women of color and increasing racial and ethnic diversity of NOW’s chapters and grassroots efforts and to include accountability and support of states and chapters);

3) Membership, Fundraising and Alternative Fundraising;

4) Action/ Policy Development with Mission and Message (which will have as its first task to consider NOW’s action agenda for its equal marriage campaign);

5) Bylaws, Policy, and Rules (including virtual chapters).

 NATIONAL AD HOC COMMITTEE TO STUDY CHAPTER ISSUES

3/07

WHEREAS, NOW’s national bylaws state, “The local, grassroots chapters are the building blocks of NOW, serving as the focus of feminist action;” and

WHEREAS, the responsibilities of chartered chapters to the organization are described in internal NOW documents to include adherence to bylaws, the election of officers, the holding of meetings, the taking of action, the implementation of member education, acting in a financially responsible manner, and preparation of an annual written report; and

WHEREAS, changing times have presented new opportunities and challenges for the organizing of chapters, activists, and Campus Action Networks (CANs), all of which are often discussed at all levels of the organization; and

WHEREAS, functional, active chapters are essential to the future of NOW; and

WHEREAS, at the 2007 State Coordinators’ winter caucus, NOW State Presidents discussed some of the opportunities and challenges related to chapters, and expressed a serious desire to have the definition and responsibilities of NOW chapters critically reviewed; and

WHEREAS, at the 2007 State Coordinators’ winter caucus, NOW State Presidents voted to send a recommendation to the National Board related to chapter issues,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National NOW Board form a national ad hoc Chapter Study Committee comprised of a chapter, state and national activists with the specific task of exploring chapter issues; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this committee include in their effort an exploration of such topics as chapter structure, rebates, inactive chapters, leadership, Campus Action Networks (CANs),  community organizing and engaging at-large members; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this committee include in their effort an exploration of how people today define grassroots activism; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this committee work closely with the National Bylaws, Process, and Rules Board Committee; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this ad hoc committee present any finding and recommendations to the National Board at a National Board meeting at least 120 days in advance of the 2008 National Conference.

3/07

Moved that the National Board of Directors of the National Organization for Women (NOW) recommends to the NOW PAC that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton be endorsed for the Presidency of the United States and that this endorsement be made within 90 days of this recommendation.

9/06

Moved that the Board have the following committees, and that all committees include fundraising as a component of their recommendations and goals:  1) bylaws, process and rules; 2) chapter/membership development and diversity; 3) long-range planning, organizational development and structure; 4) fundraising and budget (with fundraising as a priority); and 5) issues, legislation and action

4/06

Moved that each committee chair as they term off the Board write a short synopsis of any unfinished business and submit the report to [the president] to be given to a new Board committee.

4/05

Moved that the December 3-4 National Board meeting be held in El Paso, Texas, in order to hold an action on the border to draw national media attention to the border issues which have resulted in the brutal sex murders of over 700 known women in Juarez, Mexico, in the last 10 years.

THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN’S REAFFIRMATION OF INCLUSION

1/05

WHEREAS,  the philosophy of NOW is to oppose any discrimination based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, women’s status, economic status, age, disability, size, childbearing capacity or choices, or parental or marital status and has a stated policy that it will not trade the rights of one group over another; and

WHEREAS, NOW’s statement of purpose states that women must be brought into full participation in the mainstream of American society, exercising all privileges and responsibilities thereof in truly equal partnership with men; and

WHEREAS, the purpose includes, but is not limited to, equal rights and responsibilities in all aspects of citizenship, public service, employment, education and family life, and it includes freedom from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, women’s status, economic status, age, disability, size, childbearing capacity or choices, or parental or marital status; and

WHEREAS, no person who subscribes to NOW’s purpose shall be excluded from membership, segregated or otherwise discriminated against within the organization; and

WHEREAS, NOW is an organization whose membership includes diverse language, culture, ethnic and racial groups,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW’s Board of Directors reaffirms the organization’s commitment to the inclusion of and respect for all NOW members in all of its activities, meetings, and debates with all rights, privileges, and responsibilities afforded to NOW members; and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW’s Board of Directors reaffirms its commitment to opposing racism and xenophobia, including the targeting of certain immigrant groups, inherent in anti-immigrant sentiments, and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NOW Board of Directors reiterates its commitment to a feminist ideology and reaffirms our historic commitment to gaining equality for all women regardless of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, women’s status, economic status, age, disability, size, childbearing capacity or choices, or parental or marital status; and

THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National Action Center will send this resolution to the NOW leadership, publish it in the National NOW Times, communicate it through other means, and encourage discussion on this reaffirmation at all levels of NOW.

 7/04

Moved to appoint the following [board] committees:

Action Committee, including communications with the grassroots;

Diversity and Membership in NOW

Intergenerational Partnership Committee

Budget and Fundraising Committee;

Resolutions and Conferences Committee

Structure and Process Committee.

A further motion combined the Resolutions and Conferences and Structure and Process Committees.

ANTI-RACISM TRAINING

3/04

WHEREAS, ending racism is one of NOW’s six priority issues; and

WHEREAS, as part of NOW’s commitment to ending racism in all of its forms, we acknowledge that time and resources must be allocated to accomplish this goal; and

WHEREAS, as part of this effort, it is necessary to raise awareness among NOW leadership about institutionalized racism brought about by living in a racist society; and

WHEREAS, eliminating racism within our leadership will strengthen the fight for equality for all women,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, at the beginning of each term of the newly elected NOW Board of Directors, as part of their first Board meeting, that there be a minimum of one half-day of anti-racism training; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that as part of the ongoing NOW state presidents’ training that there be a minimum of one half-day of anti-racism training; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National NOW budget allocate the necessary funding to accomplish the above training.

2/04

The Committee provided a list of suggestions of women of color to serve on NOW’s Advisory Committee, which included suggestions from Gandy of women who had connections with NOW.  Gandy asked for the Board’s confirmation to appoint Carol Moseley Braun as a co-chair of NOW’s Advisory Committee, pending her acceptance.

RESOLUTION TO HONOR DR. JANET CANTERBURY

3/03

WHEREAS, the esteemed Dr. Janet Canterbury is not with us because her beloved University of Miami Medical School hospital required an extraordinary amount of overtime during the past month; and

WHEREAS, she continues to demonstrate the toughness, determination, and ability to rebound (not to mention leap tall buildings) that we love so well; and

WHEREAS, she has been in our thoughts and prayers for the last many weeks; and

WHEREAS, the Board just ain’t the same without the sage advice of our sage advisor,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National NOW Board wishes the aforesaid “Dr. J” a speedy and full recovery; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that she take it easy so she can be with us in July to give the presidential candidates a hard time.

1/03

Moved that future Board agendas be structured to end the Friday evening Hot Topics by appointing discussion leaders for ad hoc groups and providing time during Saturday lunch break to discuss appropriate Board actions. The Committee recommends that lunch is provided on site and the lunch cost deducted from the allowable per diem.

ACCESSIBLE NOW CONFERENCES, FORUMS, SUMMITS AND NATIONAL BOARD MEETINGS 2002

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is an inclusive organization that seeks to maximize participation of and equality for feminists in its events; and

WHEREAS, feminists with disabilities have taken a leadership role in NOW throughout the years; and

WHEREAS, accessibility is essential to enable full participation by feminists with disabilities at NOW conferences, forums, summits and national board meetings; and

WHEREAS, accessibility at public accommodations at which NOW conferences have been held in the past have presented issues of concern for some people with disabilities;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Disability Rights Conference Implementation Committee (CIC) shall assist the National Action Center in developing an “Accessibility Check List” to be used for site inspections before any conference‑, forum‑, summit‑ or national board meeting‑facility location is chosen; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this “Accessibility Checklist” shall be appended to any contract with a facility at which a conference, forum, summit or national board meeting is held and shall become an essential part of such contract; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that each such facility shall be inspected by a member of the executive committee or their designee, in consultation with the Disability Rights CIC, to ensure that the facility meets the accessibility requirements of the “Accessibility Checklist” before NOW enters into a contract with any such facility.

6/02

Moved that all former state presidents and National Board members shall be kept on the e-mail leadership list for at least two years.

4/02

Moved that the Board authorizes the Executive Committee to investigate and perform cost-benefit analysis of alternative means of making travel arrangements for the Board members to Board meetings.

4/01

Moved to reinstate the Board meeting before the national conference.

3/00

Moved that a standing Board committee be appointed on personnel policies.  The objective would be to develop model policies for a feminist workplace and to protect both the organization and its employees

9/99

Moved that an additional form be added to the new Board Member ‘orientation packet,’ and that this form be filled out every year (not just at the beginning of the Board term). The form will explain the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirement for reasonable accommodation of disabilities, and it will ask that each Board Member voluntarily list any reasonable accommodations that are required.

4/99

Moved that transportation and travel reimbursement to the National Conference Board meeting shall be reimbursed in the same manner as other Board meetings. Transportation reimbursed or provided by NOW shall not preclude National Board members from serving as voting delegates at national conferences.

NOW NATIONAL BOARD’S ONGOING COMMITMENT TO FUNDRAISING

9/97

WHEREAS all members — and leaders — of NOW bear a responsibility for making sure that NOW is financially equipped to pursue its goals and continue its important work;

WHEREAS the National Board is committed to working for NOW’s financial well-being;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that NOW’s National Board members commit themselves to:

(1)   Calling all state organizations and chapters within their region to talk about the need for coordinated grassroots membership recruitment — as part of an effort to ensure NOW’s financial health at all levels of the organization;

(2)   Setting a personal fundraising goal to be submitted to the Vice President-Executive Kim Gandy and be fulfilled no later than the beginning of the next Board meeting;

(3)   Identifying at least one local sponsoring organization for the Women of Color and Allies Summit; and

(4)   Coming to the next meeting prepared to set another fundraising goal for the following quarter.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NOW create ways of acknowledging the contributions of its members.

9/97

Moved that the Executive Committee working with the Advisory Committee create a proposal to be presented to the National Board at the November 1997 meeting to expand the Advisory Board and establish a primary focus of the Advisory Board be major donor fundraising.

NOW JOINS THE “ONE BILLION RISING” CAMPAIGN TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN 2012

WHEREAS, ending violence against women and girls is one of the National Organization for Women’s (NOW) six core issues; and

WHEREAS, Eve Ensler, world-renowned author of The Vagina Monologues, which has been performed in 44 languages in 140 countries and raises awareness of the urgent need to end violence against women, was an honored speaker at NOW’s 2012 National Convention; and

WHEREAS, Eve Ensler has called upon one billion women and those who love them to walk out, dance, rise up and demand an end to violence against women on February 14, 2013; and

WHEREAS, this campaign is known as “One Billion Rising”; and

WHEREAS, multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination contribute to and exacerbate violence against women, and factors such as ability, age, access to resources, indigenity, race, ethnicity, language, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and class can exacerbate the violence that women and girls experience; and

WHEREAS, violence against women and girls is at epidemic proportions in the United States and worldwide, and this violence has unique forms, causes, and consequences;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NOW Action Center, with the support of the NOW Global Strategies and Issues Committee and other interested NOW committees and task forces, will provide materials and action ideas to its activists and chapters to help them join “One Billion Rising”, and that NOW’s campaign will include images and experiences of a diverse community of women and girls.

3/04

Moved that National NOW implement a comprehensive march [March for Women’s Lives] debriefing procedure to determine the benefits and challenges that NOW, including its state and chapter organizations, have experienced in the course of organizing for the event. The debriefing procedure will include:

  • suggested guidelines for NOW leaders to facilitate chapter and state debriefings;
  • phone debriefings to be conducted by a national NOW representative, a staff member, national officer or national Board member, with key march contact person(s) in the states that send delegations to the march;
  • a debriefing with the national Board members to be held at the July Board meeting, with one hour allotted on the agenda; and
  • a workshop at the national conference to help activists take full advantage of the march organizing and to keep building the momentum to grow NOW.

2/10

Moved that the National Action Center revise the existing materials for non-violent civil disobedience, reintroduce non-violent civil disobedience training, and begin such training with workshops at the National Conference and that these materials, training and non-violent civil disobedience actions shall follow the NOW guidelines for non-violent civil disobedience.

STRATEGIC NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE TO PROTECT WOMEN’S RIGHTS 2005

WHEREAS, throughout its history, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has used both traditional and nontraditional means to achieve full equality for women, including women’s access to safe, legal abortion and birth control; and

WHEREAS, the resignation of Sandra Day O’Connor and possibly one or more additional Supreme Court Justices in the near future will permit President George W. Bush to use his opposition to the principles of the Roe v. Wade decision as a litmus test in making any new nomination to the Supreme Court; and

WHEREAS, women’s essential right to privacy, affirmative action, disability rights, and family and medical leave are in grave danger because we have lost the critical fifth vote on the United States Supreme Court; and

Whereas, NOW is committed to demanding the nomination of a Supreme Court justice who recognizes that the right to privacy includes reproductive rights and non-discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender expression and identification and that equal protection means all of the people;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW declare a State of Emergency to Save Women’s Lives and reaffirm that protecting the courts from those who seek to repeal women’s rights is of the utmost priority; and

Be it further resolved, that NOW call upon all members of the U.S. Senate to give meaning to democracy by insisting that each new appointment to the highest court reflect our country’s women until parity is reached on the Court; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in these dark days of the Bush Administration, NOW and its chapters recommit ourselves to the struggle to save women’s fundamental rights; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that nonviolent civil disobedience be one of the wide range of strategies and tactics employed by NOW to oppose restrictions on women’s lives; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the national NOW Action Center provide resources to NOW activists on NOW’s Principles of Nonviolent Civil Disobedience (CD) and the potential strategic value of nonviolent CD in addition to providing resources for lobbying, marches, rallies, pickets and actions at the state and local levels.

2/17

Moved to keep the current officers’ salaries, plus pay their moving costs.

6/15

RESOLVED, that in setting the salaries of the paid officers for the next term, the Board will take into account the responsibilities of each office, the organization’s projected budget for the next term including staffing needs and staffing compensation, comparable compensation rates at similarly situated organizations, and other factors deemed relevant by the Board.

10/09

Moved that the National NOW Board supports the Executive Committee’s commitment to make good faith payments to our people – officers, former officers, staff, former staff, and rebates beginning November 1, 2009.

2/09

Moved that the officer’s salaries for the next term be reduced as follows: “for the president to receive $154.8 thousand and for the vice presidents to receive $128.8 thousand, which is a 10% cut from current salaries.” 

4/05

Moved to pay Vice Presidents $148,100 and the President 20% above vice-presidents ($177,720) with COLA (cost of living assessment) increases not to exceed 5% per year. For legislative history, it was noted that future votes on officers’ salaries would not be bound by a 20% difference for presidents.  It was also noted that, other than COLA increases, this was the first time in 12 years that the officers were voted an increase in salary.

4/01

Moved to maintain the current base salaries of National Officers with an annual cost of living assessment (COLA) to be capped at 5 percent.

7/97

Moved to amend Section 1 of the April 1997 resolution on officers’ salaries to read:

1) Cost of living adjustments for officers’ salaries will be capped at 3% and based on the individuals’ salaries.

4/97  (Clarified by 7/97 resolution)

The National Board commends the officers serving from 1993 to 1997 for their dedication and extraordinary efforts on behalf of NOW’s agenda — and indeed on behalf of the great work of feminism.  Unfortunately, NOW’s financial resources have never allowed us to compensate our officers at a level appropriate to their efforts.  However, at this point in time we can do the following:

1)  Cost of living adjustments for officers’ salaries will be capped at 3% and based on the individual’s salary.

2)  The Board will consider a bylaws change for 1998 to take into account the fact that the current bylaw concerning the setting of officers salaries for a full term was written and implemented when the terms were two years.

3)  Officers will be given a 4% bonus in any given year when the difference between income and expenses in the previous year results in a positive change in the consolidated fund balance of $150,000 or more (based upon consolidated audited financials).  This amount is not to be included in the base salary.

NOW/PAC ENDORSEMENT OF THE OBAMA/BIDEN TICKET 2012

BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women (NOW), at its annual conference in Baltimore, MD, enthusiastically urges the NOW/PAC to endorse the Obama/Biden ticket for reelection in 2012.

ENHANCING GLOBAL FEMINIST STRATEGIES IN NOW’S ORGANIZING AND ACTIVISM 2011

WHEREAS, the mission of National Organization for Women’s (NOW’s) Global Feminist Strategies and Issues Committee (GFC) is to work transnationally with women’s non-governmental organizations, the United Nations (U.N.), and international human rights organizations to advance the status of women and gender equity worldwide as well as at home, linking our struggles, resistance and accomplishments; and

WHEREAS, GFC, since its founding in 2006, has been organizing and activating NOW members and allies on a range of issues to advance women’s human rights globally and locally, with actions such as the Ratify Women! CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) Campaign, participating at the United Nations and international conferences and co-organizing international feminist delegations; and

WHEREAS, NOW is committed, through our Ratify Women! Campaign, to achieving the U.S. ratification of CEDAW, the most comprehensive international agreement on the basic human rights of women and girls, which would lend weight to the treaty and the principle that human rights of women are universal across all cultures, nations, and religions and are worthy of being guaranteed through international human rights standards; and

WHEREAS, the “war on women” is global in scope, resulting from numerous social, political and economic forms of oppression and increasing fundamentalisms, whose backlash regularly and most negatively impact women, especially in the Global South; and

WHEREAS, the need to expand our understanding of the disparate impacts of United States (U.S.) policies on women globally and nationally is required to achieve the feminist goals of peace, equality, justice and sustainable development; and

WHEREAS, the women of the U.S. have much to learn from and share with women of the world who have developed responses to poverty, militarism, sexual and other violence, gender discrimination, racism,  homophobia, disability discrimination, environmental degradation and other intersecting realities of oppression; and

WHEREAS, access to the highest standard of reproductive health, including family planning, is defined by the United Nations as a human right, but access to legal and safe abortion is left up to the various nation states and is not considered to be a universal human right; and

WHEREAS, transnational feminist solutions at both the grassroots and international law levels offer the broadest prospects to achieve our deserved and basic human rights;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the GFC work with NOW’s board, committees, task forces, chapter and state leaders and members to bring global, multicultural gender perspectives and educational resources to the recognition that sisterhood is indeed global; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW formally thank U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her inspired leadership to prioritize the needs of women and children globally in our U.S. diplomatic and development work and urge her to further advocate at the top levels of U.S. government for U.S. ratification of CEDAW and for more inclusive women’s programming; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW recommends to the National NOW PAC that the endorsement process ensure that criteria for international aspects of NOW’s core priority issues are included; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW add a Global Feminist Issue Hearing to National NOW conferences in odd-numbered years to enhance NOW’s commitment to increase global feminist organizing and activism.

3/07

Moved that the National Board of Directors of the National Organization for Women (NOW) recommends to the NOW PAC that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton be endorsed for the Presidency of the United States and that this endorsement be made within 90 days of this recommendation.

3/07

WHEREAS, today’s political climate offers unprecedented accomplishment and opportunity; and

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women has always been at the forefront in the struggle for women’s equality and human rights; and

WHEREAS, national action campaigns help increase NOW’s visibility and impact around the country, which leads to increased membership and activism in NOW chapters, thereby improving NOW’s financial health,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Organization for Women adopt a national voter registration message strategy (“NOW VOTE”) to further our issues and elect women for “change”.

10/09

Moved that the National NOW Board supports the Executive Committee’s commitment to making good faith payments to our people – officers, former officers, staff, former staff, and rebates beginning November 1, 2009.

2/04

Resolved that the members of the National Board thank Rebecca Farmer for her extraordinary work and devotion to the organization and the feminist movement and wish her well in her future endeavors.

4/01

WHEREAS NOW staff members who have their conference travel paid by National NOW are prohibited from voting; and

WHEREAS this policy sets up a two-tier system that disenfranchises NOW members who happen to be working conference staff; and

WHEREAS the National Board is committed to the fair, equitable and respectful treatment of staff;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the voting rights of essential NOW staff who have their way paid to the conference be reinstated.

3/00

Moved that a standing Board committee be appointed on personnel policies.  The objective would be to develop model policies for a feminist workplace and to protect both the organization and its employees.

4/99

Moved that NOW Action Center staff who have substantial and essential employment duties at NOW National Conferences be eligible for expense reimbursement. Claiming such reimbursement shall not preclude any staff member’s right to be a voting delegate except during elections Conferences during which time reimbursed staff may neither vote nor campaign. Amended by 4/01 resolution.

EFFECTIVE RESOLUTION IMPLEMENTATION

10/13

WHEREAS, the passage of a resolution at National NOW has not necessarily resulted in the adoption of an action plan; and

WHEREAS, the organization needs to identify individuals in and outside of chapters wanting to take feminist action and/or increase their level of financial support;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that as part of the process of holding a national conference, the outgoing or incoming Conference Implementation Committee be charged with: A) Collecting the names during a resolution plenary of individuals interested in volunteering per the action plans or resolutions that have passed; and B) Developing first draft of materials for NOW website to encourage individuals to volunteer or pledge support for action plans or resolutions that passed.

CONFERENCE IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE 2012

WHEREAS, feminists from all over the United States come to the National Organization for Women (NOW) conference every year; and

WHEREAS, the principal business of the conference is to determine the actions and policies of NOW through resolutions; and

WHEREAS, the NOW membership works very hard on the resolutions to make sure they say exactly what we want them to say; and

WHEREAS, the NOW membership takes these resolutions very seriously; and

WHEREAS, there are times when a resolution is passed and nothing is ever heard about it again;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW create a Policy Oversight Conference Implementation Committee; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that said committee will consist of at least two board members and three members from the general membership; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the committee will give quarterly status reports to the board and to the membership on resolutions passed at the conference and those that are referred to the board; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the committee’s main purpose will be to ensure that all resolutions passed at a NOW conference be implemented in a timely manner.

12/05

Moved that for future conferences, the resolutions committee provide a mechanism to identify for the members the source of each resolution and the names and the contact information for the resolutions’ makers and that additional contact information be provided for the use of the Board in a discussion of any referred resolutions after the conference.”  Board members noted that this information would have been helpful during the discussion of recently referred resolutions.  It was also noted that the requirement for information would need to be printed in the resolutions section of the conference rules in the program book.

4/02

Moved: A fiscal impact standard form shall be developed by a committee of the National Board to be attached to any resolution, and completed by the author of the resolution, stating anticipated major resources or expenditures necessary for implementation based on Board-developed action pricing guidelines to be distributed at the conference.   See related resolution below:

9/01

Moved “that the Board, staff, and officers create a fact sheet on our more common activities with costestimates to help the board determine the fiscal impact of our proposals.  The list should include, but not be limited to, the following activities: mass actions; one-day summit; first class membership mailing; leadership mailing; production of two-color brochure (per 100,000); filing an amicus brief; new campaign [large and small]; new staff; Board meeting; organizing tour; and a conference.  Further, be it moved that this list be available to the Board by the time we adopt our annual budget and be available atthe conference.”

4/98

Resolved that the Regional Directors are the review committee that makes recommendations to this board of what resolutions go to the [1998 National] Conference.

RESOLUTIONS AT THE 1998 NATIONAL CONFERENCE  (WOMEN’S RIGHTS CONVENTION & VISION SUMMIT)

2/98

Resolutions will be handled at a pre-conference board meeting.  The board will refer resolutions to the body based upon the following criteria:

– Proposed resolutions will be pre-submitted, with Regional Conferences suggested as possible pre-conference forum.

– Prior to the July Board Meeting, a review committee will consider resolutions proposed, and make recommendations concerning those requiring action at the pre-Conference Board Meeting.

– The Board may refer a resolution to the 1998 Conference if:

  1. a) it is of a critical, time-sensitive nature
  2. b) it requires a major shift in policy direction

– If passed by the Board, resolutions nonetheless will be considered to have been passed in concept and subject to non-substantive editorial changes.

– Those resolution not dealt with at the 1998 Conference or the July Board Meeting will be remanded to the Board for consideration.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE 1999

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has a statement of purpose which reflects the overall aims of the organization; and

WHEREAS, the original statement of purpose was adopted in 1966; and

WHEREAS, the organization, as a body, has expressed a need and desire to revisit our statement of purpose to reflect the changes in society in accordance with the 1998 Vision statement;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the following proposed language alternatives for a revised statement of purpose be considered by all levels and units of NOW between 1999 and voted on as a by-law amendment at the 2000 National Conference in Miami, Florida:

  1. A) NOW’s purpose is to take action toward women’s equality, to empower women to determine their own destinies, and to have equal representation in all decision-making structures of our societies. NOW is committed to the power of grassroots activism, to multi-issue strategies using a variety of tactics to achieve social and economic justice where there is recognition and respect for each person’s intrinsic worth as well as the rich diversity of the various groups among us.
  2. B) The purpose of NOW is to take action to assure a world where all women have political, social and economic equality, sharing all opportunities, rights, privileges and responsibilities in a fair and just society.
  3. C) The purpose of NOW is to actively and tirelessly pursue the full inclusion of all women and girls in all political, social and economic institutions of society, creating a feminist society wherein every individual is free from coercion and subjugation. We organize to initiate, support, implement and maintain all actions necessary toward a free and equal society believing that human beings are born free, equal in dignity and rights, entitling each to all rights and freedoms without distinction of any kind, such as sex, race, class, sexual orientation, religion or other arbitrary status.

[Members at the 2000 National NOW Conference defeated the above three proposed alternatives, allowing the existing statement of purpose to stand.]

STATE PRESIDENT ROLE IN DISSOLVING CHAPTERS

6/17

WHEREAS, the process for dissolving a chapter is cumbersome and can be expensive; and

WHEREAS, a chapter without officers does not file a 990-N e-Postcard; and

WHEREAS, a chapter that does not file a 990-N e-Postcard for 3 consecutive tax years automatically loses its tax-exempt status; and

WHEREAS, it costs $400 and extensive paperwork to regain the tax-exempt status;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that if a chapter has had no officers for at least one year and has filed no annual reports for the last two years, the state president or coordinator can request that National NOW dissolve the chapter after making a reasonable effort to notify members of the chapter and try to get leadership by, for example, emailing all members with email addresses and calling the last known officers; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that if there is no state president or coordinator, a board member in the chapter’s district can make the request.

6/15

RESOLVED, that any chapter with the agreement of the State Organization may elect to become a state-administered local network or task force.

10/14

MOVED, that if requested from National NOW, leaders of geographically based chapters can access both their local chapter membership list as well as the at-large membership list in their area.

COORDINATING EXPERTISE FOR CHAPTER ACTIVISM

10/13

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has a long history of activism to counter behavior that degrades or marginalizes or harms women and children; and

WHEREAS, public officials, including judges, elected officials, law enforcement, and other high profile people, have engaged in this behavior; and

WHEREAS, some of this behavior has been called out by chapters at the local, state, and national levels. Recent examples include:

  • National NOW and Ohio NOW speaking out against the Steubenville, OH school officials and community who rallied behind and allegedly helped minimize the rape of a girl by members of the high school football team; and
  • National NOW, Pennsylvania NOW, and Ni-Ta-Nee NOW calling Joe Paterno and members of Penn State University administration to task for helping to create the “climate of indifference” that resulted in many years of sexual assaults, stalking and acquaintance violence by members of the Athletics Program against women and boys; and
  • Florida NOW working in conjunction with other groups to reverse the 20-year incarceration sentence of Marissa Alexander, a black woman who “stood her ground” by shooting a gun towards the ceiling of her home to protect herself from her violent partner while during the same time period in Florida, George Zimmerman, a white Hispanic man, was set free after killing an unarmed black teen; and
  • Montana NOW and Pennsylvania NOW publicly submitting a Judicial Misconduct Complaint against Judge G. Todd Baugh who allegedly violated his judicial canon of ethics when he blamed the 14-year old rape victim and then sentenced the rapist to 30 days in jail. These two state organizations are now in the process of submitting an amicus brief with legal assistance from Legal Voice and Legal Momentum to overturn Judge Baugh’s sentence based on sexual and racial bias that results in the lack of confidence in the judicial system; and

WHEREAS, all of these actions have used a coordinated effort of state NOW leaders and expertise, NOW board members and confidants in and outside NOW who provided strategy, expertise, legal help and ideas to build grassroots activism with hope for change, improvement, redress, and sometimes resignations by the offending individuals; and

WHEREAS, some state and local chapters have the experience and knowledge about how to go about a campaign to highlight these types of misbehavior that have and are occurring around the country while other chapters need assistance to create such actions;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National NOW Action Center work with and assist state and local chapters as needed by providing assistance that can include both National NOW leadership and/or assistance in linking chapters in one state that needs assistance with leaders in other states who have waged similar campaigns; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National NOW board urges state presidents to distribute this information throughout their NOW networks and to include this information on the state presidents’ and regional listerves; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National NOW Action Center will provide social media support to chapters asking for their assistance.

10/13

MOVED that the National Action Center be authorized to spend appropriate resources on building state organizations in targeted states beginning with Georgia.

MODERNIZE NOW’S STRUCTURE FOR THE 21st CENTURY 2012

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) was formed in 1966 and remains the largest organization of feminist activists in the country; and

WHEREAS, in commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the 1848 Declaration of Sentiments, which launched the women’s rights movement, NOW dedicated our entire National Conference to the creation of a restatement of purpose, the 1998 Declaration of Sentiments of the National Organization for Women; and

WHEREAS, despite the major advances and changes in society since 1977, the last time NOW held a bylaws conference, NOW has not undertaken a similarly focused, comprehensive examination of the structure of our organization to ensure that NOW is a vibrant and effective organization in the 21st century; and

WHEREAS, the words of NOW’s Declaration apply as much today as when we adopted them, “Today, we fight the same reactionary forces: the perversion of religion to subjugate women; corporate greed that seeks to exploit women and children as a cheap labor force; and their apologists in public office who seek to do through law what terrorists seek to accomplish through bullets and bombs. We will not submit, nor will we be intimidated. But we will keep moving forward”; and

WHEREAS, to continue “moving forward and fighting back,” NOW activists wish to give concentrated time and attention to modernizing our organization’s structure in order to optimize our strengths and improve our effectiveness;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW acknowledge the efforts of the ad hoc Working Group to Modernize NOW’s Structure to continue the process begun by the NOW Board at its weekend brainstorming retreat in February 2012 on revitalizing NOW’s structure, by initiating discussion at regional conferences this spring, distributing a member survey and facilitating brainstorming workshops at this conference; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Working Group continue, and is charged by the membership with, organizing online and in-person meetings of NOW members to consider the ideas generated by the NOW Board, the Regional Conferences and this National Conference, and to develop proposed revisions to NOW’s bylaws and policies; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW organize a national forum, open to all NOW members, to be held before January 31, 2014, to discuss and debate proposed revision(s) to NOW’s structure under the bylaws and policies; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that proposed revision(s) be submitted to NOW members for a vote, in accordance with the procedure set forth in the current bylaws, at the 2014 National Conference.

SHARING NOW RESOURCES ON WWW.NOW.ORG 2010

WHEREAS, the publications of chapters, state and regions of the National Organization for Women (NOW) are often useful resources for other subunits;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National NOW Action Center facilitate a process to post electronically submitted resources, including articles and publications, on the chapters-only section or public section of the NOW website as appropriate; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the President of NOW designate a National NOW Action Center staff person to receive and post such resources; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National NOW Action Center shall have full discretion as to determining whether posting these resources is in the best interests of the organization and does not violate NOW policy.

7/10

Moved that NOW chapters that choose to merge shall, after notification to their respective memberships and opportunity for a vote, be able to transfer all memberships from the closing chapter into the remaining merged chapter without collecting individual signatures.

10/09

Moved that the National NOW Board supports the Executive Committee’s commitment to make good faith payments to our people – officers, former officers, staff, former staff, and rebates beginning November 1, 2009. 

10/09

Moved to immediately communicate to each chapter information about when they can expect to receive rebates.

10/09

Moved that officers send each chapter a balance sheet of what they are owed in rebates from National for each month from March 2009 to now (noting $0 due for a month where chapters voluntarily forfeited rebates), and for each month from now on.

USE OF NOW FUNDS 2009                                                                                                                                        

WHEREAS, donors and members of the National Organization for Women (NOW) give to NOW to support the multi-issue, unique, and uncompromising approach to women’s rights that has made NOW the largest and strongest women’s rights organization, and these donors believe their dollars are being given to support NOW; and

WHEREAS, NOW has made a long-time commitment to share renewal dues with chapters and states, and many chapters and states depend upon these rebates for their operating expenses; and

WHEREAS, most chapter and state bylaws state that when deconvening a chapter, any remaining treasury should be given to another entity of NOW; and

WHEREAS, the National NOW Action Center and state organizations have received reports from chapters that they have given large donations to other non-profit organizations;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that a dissolving chapter must give any chapter funds to another entity of NOW; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that NOW encourage any chapter that wishes to make a donation to make that donation to National NOW or to a state or local NOW chapter.

PROMOTING THE USE OF VIRTUAL ORGANIZING TOOLS WITHIN NOW CHAPTERS AND THE NATIONAL OFFICE 2009                                                                                                                                          

WHEREAS, the process of grassroots organizing and activism is constantly evolving as new technologies become available; and

WHEREAS, virtual technologies are essential tools for connecting activists and allowing them to coordinate production of effective action campaigns; and

WHEREAS, many National Organization of Women (NOW) entities are not taking full advantage of virtual technologies like content-management website software, message boards, wikis, blogs, chat rooms, webinars, web conferences, podcasts of both audio and video material, Google or Yahoo Groups, Google Docs, Constant Contact, Twitter, and social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Linked-In, and others; and

WHEREAS, these and other communications technologies, when combined with traditional activist methods, can be invaluable tools to help chapters reach political figures, conventional and new media sources, potential new members, existing members, and other community leaders and organizers;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the national officers of NOW make the teaching of virtual technologies a priority for all state and chapter leaders; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NOW President appoint a national “Technology Empowerment Team” consisting of activists with expertise in these kinds of virtual technology tools. This Tech team will be responsible for producing a report that will be available on the website and sent to all chapters detailing the kinds of virtual tools available to assist activists with their organizing work; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National NOW Action Center provides simple, user-friendly instructions for the use of such tools, along with recommendations for which company’s tools to use if there are options; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National NOW Action Center, including the officers, model the effective use of these virtual organizing tools for chapters and be ready to assist chapters with implementing and using them if needed. 

11/08

Moved that any chapter or state organization without at least two officers elected in accordance with its bylaws (who are NOW members in good standing) will forfeit its dues rebates to National NOW until it elects two officers who are NOW members in good standing.  This policy takes effect on April 30, 2009. 

NATIONAL AD HOC COMMITTEE TO STUDY CHAPTER ISSUES

3/07

WHEREAS, NOW’s national bylaws state, “The local, grassroots chapters are the building blocks of NOW, serving as the focus of feminist action;” and

WHEREAS, the responsibilities of chartered chapters to the organization are described in internal NOW documents to include adherence to bylaws, the election of officers, the holding of meetings, the taking of action, the implementation of member education, acting in a financially responsible manner, and preparation of an annual written report; and

WHEREAS, changing times have presented new opportunities and challenges for the organizing of chapters, activists, and Campus Action Networks (CANs), all of which are often discussed at all levels of the organization; and

WHEREAS, functional, active chapters are essential to the future of NOW; and

WHEREAS, at the 2007 State Coordinators’ winter caucus, NOW State Presidents discussed some of the opportunities and challenges related to chapters, and expressed a serious desire to have the definition and responsibilities of NOW chapters critically reviewed; and

WHEREAS, at the 2007 State Coordinators’ winter caucus, NOW State Presidents voted to send a recommendation to the National Board related to chapter issues,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National NOW Board form a national ad hoc Chapter Study Committee comprised of a chapter, state and national activists with the specific task of exploring chapter issues; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this committee include in their effort an exploration of such topics as chapter structure, rebates, inactive chapters, leadership, Campus Action Networks (CANs),  community organizing and engaging at-large members; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this committee include in their effort an exploration of how people today define grassroots activism; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this committee work closely with the National Bylaws, Process, and Rules Board Committee; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this ad hoc committee present any finding and recommendations to the National Board at a National Board meeting at least 120 days in advance of the 2008 National Conference.

REGIONAL WOMEN OF COLOR SUMMITS 2005

WHEREAS, one of the National Organization for Women’s (NOW’s) priority issues is the commitment to eradicating racism in all of its forms; and

WHEREAS, women of color continue to be affected by society’s racism in all aspects of society, which is perpetuated by the lack of action on the part of our government officials and elected leaders in the areas of health, education and economic policy; and

WHEREAS, women of color, in particular, suffer the multiple effects of inequality based on sex, race, and ethnicity; and

WHEREAS, at the NOW Foundation’s Women of Color and Allies Summit held in April 2005, attendees called for a continuing dialogue on racism and women of color in the women’s movement; and

WHEREAS, NOW is committed to building on the relationships with women of color organizations forged through the organizing efforts of the Women of Color and Allies Summits; and

WHEREAS, NOW’s national platform provides a forum for women of color to support and organize for the fight for social, political, economic, health and reproductive justice;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW issue an urgent call to NOW leaders, activists and supporters to address the issues of inequality, disparity and injustice facing women of color in each of their regions, states and local communities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW call for regional Women of Color and Allies Summits in 2006 through 2007 in order to develop a common agenda to further the cause of equality; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that these regional Summits be held at regional levels in strategically selected venues accessible and visible to women of color communities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that women of color be involved in the planning, leadership, and implementation of these forums and that the National Board be urged to allocate resources based on the need of the region to plan and organize the forums; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that each Summit, at its conclusion, develops a strategic plan of action with women of color and allies that will ensure greater diversity and inclusion of women of color in NOW.

4/05

Recommendations from the Ad Hoc Committee on Rebates:

1) Chapters and states are encouraged to volunteer for direct deposit of rebate checks into their bank account.

2) National NOW will add a financial information reporting spot on the annual chapter reports consisting of the following: Name of Bank, Address of Bank, Account Number, Tax ID number and a box to check off if the chapter filed form 990 or was not required to file form 990.

3) Regarding rebate checks to inactive chapters that have received waivers [for not filing an annual report] from state presidents:  National Board Members will receive information on which chapters do not file annual reports and which chapters receive passes from their state president so that they can consult with the state presidents as to whether that chapter/state is, in fact, holding meetings or state conferences or doing any actions so that the Regional Representative/Director can help facilitate holding the state conferences or helping the chapter become active again.

4). Chapters not filing the annual reports by 12/31 of the following year will have their rebates withheld until such time that an annual report is filed. Rebates will revert to the state.

5). State Presidents may not waive the report filing for the second year.

These policies will be implemented starting December 31, 2005.

ANTI-RACISM TRAINING

3/04

WHEREAS, ending racism is one of NOW’s six priority issues; and

WHEREAS, as part of NOW’s commitment to ending racism in all of its forms, we acknowledge that time and resources must be allocated to accomplish this goal; and

WHEREAS, as part of this effort, it is necessary to raise awareness among NOW leadership about institutionalized racism brought about by living in a racist society; and

WHEREAS, eliminating racism within our leadership will strengthen the fight for equality for all women,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, at the beginning of each term of the newly elected NOW Board of Directors, as part of their first Board meeting, that there be a minimum of one half-day of anti-racism training; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that as part of the ongoing NOW state presidents’ training that there be a minimum of one half-day of anti-racism training; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the National NOW budget allocate the necessary funding to accomplish the above training.

3/04

Moved that a Task Force be appointed by the President with the consent of the Board, consisting of National Board members, local and state NOW leaders and national officers, with the purpose being to improve the management and procedures for administering rebate funds.

2/04

Moved “that states be encouraged to poll their members to determine interest in additional opportunities for online activism, including what unmet needs, if any, can be met.  Additionally, the Young Feminist Task Force should be invited to seek and provide feedback on this issue.”

VIRTUAL NOW CHAPTERS

6/03

Moved that the topic of policy regarding Virtual NOW Chapters be referred to the Board’s Structure and Process Committee to explore related issues and bring a summary of those issues and proposals to the January 30, 2004 Board Meeting.

3/03

WHEREAS, virtual NOW chapters may be a needed alternative for members who might otherwise have no active local chapter to participate with; and

WHEREAS, the electronic boundary and action differences of virtual chapters call for some unique policies,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that beginning at its next meeting, the National Board will develop policies for convening and chartering virtual NOW chapters.

6/02

Moved that all former state presidents and National Board members shall be kept on the e-mail leadership list for at least two years.

2/02

Moved that NOW, Inc., at the National level, holds and retains the right and obligation to assign and remove chapter names and numbers based on established practice and procedure.

FINANCIAL CRISIS

11/01

WHEREAS, the world events beginning on September 11, 2001 have created a fundraising crisis for the National Organization for Women and other non-profit agencies; and

WHEREAS, a fundraising mailing scheduled to be sent the week of September 11th was halted as its content was no longer appropriate post 9/11, but nearly all of the expenses for that mailing, totaling nearly $150,000 had already been incurred, resulting in a significant loss of revenue; and

WHEREAS. a membership reinstatement mailing was sent to former members in the week prior to September 11th, in the unfulfilled expectation of receiving responses from late September to mid-October; and

WHEREAS, in early October the Brentwood postal facility where NOW’s mail is processed was contaminated with anthrax and has been declared a federal crime scene, with at least one million pieces of mail being held at that facility indefinitely; and

WHEREAS, due to the anthrax-related disruption of mail service beginning in October, including the quarantining of at least 2 weeks worth of business reply mail and a significant delay in delivery of subsequent mail, NOW has experienced a dramatic drop in income, affecting our ability to operate; and

WHEREAS, the NOW Action Center is operating with a substantial reduction in staff until the crisis abates, and is actively seeking new sources of income,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National NOW Board urges chapters and states to work with the Action Center to resolve this unforeseeable and unprecedented crisis; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National Board urges chapters and states to consider assistance in one of the following ways, according to their need and abilities:

  • Forgo rebates, in whole or in part, until this crisis abates, or
  • Give or raise additional funds to help NOW weather this crisis; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that these requests be contained in a letter that can be e-mailed or faxed to chapters and states and that Board members divide up the list of chapters and states and make this request personally on behalf of the National Board no later than November 15, 2001, the date rebate checks are due to be mailed, also letting chapters and states know that anticipated rebates for the next couple of months will most likely be lower than usual, and report the responses to the Membership Vice President.

11/01

Moved that “the Action Center staff provisionally release to Board members via e-mail the resolutions on Economic Justice After 9/11/01, Terrorism, and Civil Rights, as well as the resolution on Financial Crisis, to be shared with NOW chapters in presenting the situation.”

02/01

Moved “that ‘bulletin boards’ be created on the NOW chapters-only website through which chapter activists can share ideas, actions, organizing challenges, membership recruitment and retention strategies, fund-raising strategies, press statements, and sample speeches.  Move that the National Action Center encourage chapter and state leaders to share this information via the ‘bulletin boards’ especially when we embark on national campaigns — by sending out an e-mail to chapter and state leadership lists and including information about the ‘bulletin boards’ in a leadership mailing once they are established.”

3/00

Moved that National NOW investigate methods that would indicate chapter presidents whose membership has lapsed, chapter mail that is being returned to the national office, and chapter rebate checks that have not been cashed for three or more months.

STRENGTHENING THE GRASSROOTS

1/00

WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women is a grassroots, membership-driven organization, and

WHEREAS, NOW wants to increase the retention of NOW members and increase the activism of members in local chapters, and

WHEREAS it has been proven that new members in active chapters are more likely to renew their membership than new members-at-large, and

WHEREAS, NOW will benefit at the chapter, state, and national levels from higher retention of members, and

WHEREAS, early contact from the chapter level informs at-large members of local actions, meetings and opportunities to get involved and active, and new members in areas where there is currently no chapter or an inactive chapter may be inclined to develop a chapter, and

WHEREAS, the sooner new at-large members are contacted by a chapter, the sooner and more likely they are to join a chapter, and

WHEREAS, new at-large members are more likely to choose to affiliate with chapters than long-time at-large members who may have been contacted before, and

WHEREAS, contacting new at-large members is a good use of chapter resources,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that states are encouraged to mail to all new at-large members at least quarterly to offer chapter membership to new joins.  The state shall include information about the activities of each chapter that requests to be included in the mailing and report on the mailings at a state council/board meeting, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that if the state chooses not to do these mailings, it shall, upon a chapter’s request, make available or authorize the chapter to order lists of new at-large members (as a standing order if requested) in the chapter’s geographic area for the chapter to use in identifying and recruiting chapter activists, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that disputes concerning the geographic area of chapters that cannot be resolved by the chapters involved shall be decided at the state board/council, and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution shall be distributed to states and chapters in the next membership mailing.

SAFETY PROTOCOL RESOLUTION

7/97

WHEREAS the number of known bombings and arsons against abortion providers doubled from 5 in 1996 to 11 acts in the first five months of 1997; and

WHEREAS violence against lesbians and gays has dramatically risen, with a large percentage of such crime committed during Gay Pride months of May and June; and

WHEREAS the National Organization for Women through its state and chapter organizations is often the most visible organization represented fighting for reproductive freedom and against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Board of the National Organization for Women develop a rapid response safety protocol to be followed in cases where NOW chapters and state organizations experience threats to their safety whether it be personal hate-motivated threats from individuals, bombings or arson, and the like; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this policy is implemented by the Executive Committee and that a leadership mailing is sent within six months to NOW leadership setting forth this safety protocol.

4/97

Moved that for the purposes of interpretation, the Elections Rules policy passed in 1987 prohibiting NOW from paying expenses associated with travel of “others” within 30 days of an elections conference, does not prohibit newly elected state coordinators from being transported to DC for the standard State Coordinator’s Training.