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Delegate-at-Large Voting Delight
By Brian Wagner
NAPS Immediate Past President
As we start the 2022 holiday season, I can’t believe it’s been four months since our 68th NAPS National Convention in New Orleans. What I can believe is that our delegation passed a constitutional resolution to ensure all active and associate dues-paying members in good standing with NAPS Headquarters can have their voices heard at future national conventions. Here’s the scoop:
Since joining NAPS over 32 years ago and before becoming a NAPS officer, I was encouraged to attend and actively participate in various association events. That participation included having my voice heard during a branch meeting, at a floor microphone or through a voice vote on a convention resolution.
When the officer’s torch was passed to me 28 years ago—first as an elected branch officer, then as a state officer and, ultimately, as NAPS president—it became my goal to encourage all NAPS members, just as I was encouraged, to participate and provide input at all levels of our great association.
Thanks to the 68th National Convention delegation, a delegate-at-large (DAL) resolution was passed. Resolution #12 gives all NAPS members, including associate members-at-large (MALs), an opportunity to officially participate in the democratic process of our association’s national convention business. Here’s how:
Before passage of this resolution, per National Convention rules, delegates with credential cards shall be admitted to the NAPS business sessions. Delegates shall be seated in the same area of the convention floor and only registered delegates certified by their branches may speak and vote on the convention floor.
As noted in the voting strength section of the convention One Book, national associate MALs did not have a vote. Therefore, without a delegate credential, an associate MAL was not allowed to participate in NAPS’ democratic process at a national convention.
It’s easy to understand that any dues-paying member in good standing may attend their respective branch meetings. It’s also understandable that, due to various reasons—whether financial or established in a branch’s constitution and bylaws—not all dues-paying members may be selected to attend a national convention as a certified branch delegate.
Unfortunately, that meant some branch members interested in attending could not attend unless their branch signed a delegate credential. Now, national associate MALs and branch members not selected by their local or state branch to be delegates to a national convention have another option to participate in official NAPS national convention business.
Specifically, convention delegates voted in favor of adding a new Section 5 to Article VII, “Elections,” to the NAPS Constitution and Bylaws. Section 5 reads:
“Effective after the 68th NAPS National Convention, any member, including Associate Members-at-Large (MALs), who is in good standing with NAPS Headquarters and has paid the respective national convention registration fee, may request a Delegate-at-Large (DAL) credential to the national convention from NAPS Headquarters, which must be approved and signed by two resident officers.
An approved DAL, with a paid registration, will have access to the national convention floor to vote on official NAPS business by voice and division vote only. The DAL will not be affiliated with any local or state branch. A registered and approved DAL is eligible to receive a national convention committee assignment. A DAL is prohibited from participating in any roll call votes and from collecting and/or casting any official election ballot(s).”
I hope this new DAL designation will provide an opportunity and encourage more members to attend future national conventions so they may become more involved in the NAPS democratic process. And by participating, they can positively contribute to the future success of NAPS with their votes.
Best wishes to you and your family for a DAL (delightful and leisurely) holiday season. Just to let you know, my ice-cream-flavor-of-the-month recommendation, peppermint stick, has been certified DAL—delightful and luscious.