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Productive Weekend in California
By Marilyn Walton
Western Region Vice President
The first weekend in November, California State Executive Board members and guests traveled to Emeryville, CA, bordered by Berkley to the north and Oakland to the east and south, to review the Sonesta Hotel, site of the 2023 California State Convention. The Sonesta is adjacent to the scenic Bay Bridge that separates Oakland from San Francisco.
Members of the California State Board and Margarete A. Grant Host Branch 127 reviewed meeting space and sleeping rooms, including suites. The accommodations were approved and the state convention planning committee will finalize plans by January 2023 for the May 3-6 convention.
After the walk-through, NAPS Secretary/Treasurer Jimmy Warden, Pacific Area Vice President Chuck Lum and I attended the state board meeting. We offered updates and information from our recent fall NAPS Executive Board meeting.
Many branches joined the meeting via Zoom so more NAPS members could hear the latest state and national NAPS news. After the board meeting, I joined the Auxiliary to host a meet-and-greet reception at the hotel to wrap up the busy day.
On Saturday morning, the California Board and guests traveled across the Bay Bridge to beautiful Oyster Point Yacht club to attend San Francisco Branch 88’s annual Retiree Brunch.
Branch 88 President Linda Thomas, Vice President Debra Johnson and Sergeant-at-Arms and emcee Lelton Gibson greeted guests. Jimmy Warden brought greetings from NAPS Headquarters and provided the latest information from Alexandria, VA.
I shared a legislative Update on H.R. 82, the pending WEP/GPO legislation that may get a vote in Congress’ lame-duck session. This legislation has been on the NAPS agenda for many years and would benefit Civil Service retirees who currently don’t receive a full Social Security benefit, despite having paid into the system.
Chuck Lum talked about the importance of everyone working to sign new members and encourage retirees to continue as associate members. The branch also welcomed former NAPS President Louis Atkins and his wife Bonita, National Auxiliary secretary/treasurer, who traveled from Louisiana to attend this special event.
Among the 29 new retirees acknowledged, three attended to receive special recognition: LaQuita Scales, Rose Maria Johnson and Carolyn Moore-Tucker. Branch 88 also honored longtime retirees and former branch officers; several retirees have been associate members over 30 years. Branch 88 encourages their retirees to keep their membership and boasts 80%-plus total membership!
This event was well attended; members representing Northern and Southern California branches traveled to the City by the Bay for the annual brunch. We enjoyed the beautiful setting overlooking the San Francisco waterfront, as well as good food, recognition, fellowship and fun. This was a great conclusion to a busy weekend in Northern California’s famous Bay Area.