Thinking of going to the National Conference in July? Perhaps you've never been before and are wondering how the whole thing works. Here is some background:
The issue hearings are divided by issue or topic, and, for example, all of the resolutions on violence against women will be considered at one issue hearing. Several resolutions brought by activists may share a common thread and could be combined. You may bring your ideas in almost any form, but it's helpful to have some concrete, written proposals about what you want NOW activists to do, and what you feel would be persuasive information for the body to consider when voting on the resolution. Each issue hearing can only send two resolutions for consideration by the conference body, so consensus building and compromise is critical.
Resolutions also may be submitted outside of the issues hearings process by circulating and presenting to the Resolutions Committee petitions signed by 250 NOW members registered at the Conference.
Resolutions must be in a specific format (see the Conference program book or http://www.now.org/organiza/conferen/1997/resform.html) . You can also look at recent NOW conference resolutions at our Conference web page: http://www.now.org/organiza/conferen/ .
At-large members (those members who are not members of a chapter) are also entitled to representation at NOW's national conferences. At-large members at each state's conference are entitled to elect national conference delegates in the same proportions as the chapters.
National officers, National Board members, and State Coordinators/Presidents are also voting delegates at the National Conference.
Chapters that don't fill all their delegate "slots" are welcome to allow members who come to the conference without delegate status to represent their chapter as a voting delegate. Generally, chapters will ask members filling their delegate "slots" to advance (or at least support) proposals the chapter supports. Often chapters that are geographically very distant from the conference location have extra delegate slots, as do chapters in large metropolitan areas. Chapters should discuss disposition of delegate openings they may not use, and should have delegates bring On Site Credentialing forms to the conference that have been signed in advance by the Chapter President.
For more background, you can read the NOW bylaws at: http://www.now.org/organiza/bylaws.html.