Is this your first time at a National Conference? Want to know
more about how the resolution process works? Here are some FAQs:
What are resolutions and
how do they work?
Resolutions are the heart and soul of NOW conferences; the resolutions
passed by conference delegates form the basis of organizational policy.
A resolution might say, for example, that NOW should support an action,
work on particular legislation or launch an organization-wide campaign.
The issue hearings are divided by issue or topic. 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 can 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 100 NOW members registered at the Conference. Resolutions must
be in a specific format as shown on the following page.
Who can vote?
Only delegates whose dues are received at least 90 days before the Conference
(this year's deadline is 4/1/00) can vote in the plenary sessions, although
all NOW members are entitled to speak and vote in issue hearings and to
speak on the floor of the conference. There is no proxy voting.
How are delegates selected?
A packet of credentialing materials is sent to chapters each year, telling
them the number of delegates they're entitled to, based on their membership
120 days prior to the conference. Also included in the packet are
all the forms and information chapters need to pre-credential their delegates
for the conference. The forms must be returned to the Conference's
Credentials Chair at the National Action Center (as described in the instructions)
with the chapter's delegates' names and membership information. Chapter
presidents should send these materials in advance to save delegates time
and delays at the conference.
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.
What about Parliamentary
Our business meetings, at Friday morning's and Sunday's Plenary Sessions,
are governed by Robert's Rules of Order. There's
an easy guide to floor proceedings. Also, people knowledgeable in
parliamentary procedure are on-call at all times during the meeting sessions
to answer any questions you may have.