DAV Members in Action
By Joseph A. Violante
National Legislative Director, Joseph A. Violante
Once again the National Convention was a huge success, thanks to the participation of our members. I am continually impressed by how well DAV takes care of business.
Both electing National Officers and adopting resolutions for the year are fine examples of democracy in action. The key to success is the active involvement of the membership at all levels of the organization, especially in the resolutions process.
DAV’s federal lobbying and advocacy efforts are based on the resolutions passed at each National Convention. Guided by our National Constitution and Bylaws, those mandates become our official position on issues and policies affecting injured and ill veterans and their dependents and survivors. DAV cannot sponsor or endorse federal legislation unless it has been approved by a National Convention or the National Executive Committee.
Your Legislative Department staff are committed to helping Chapter and Department leaders and individual members to thoroughly understand the purpose and proper structure for resolutions. In June we conducted our first online seminar, or webinar, on writing and submitting resolutions for consideration.
We plan to hold additional webinars and focus on our resolutions during the Legislative Seminar at our Mid-Winter Conference Feb. 24-27, 2013.
These educational sessions will cover the resolutions process, from sponsorship through approval at the Department convention or by the State Executive Committee and submission for consideration and disposition at the National Convention.
The process begins with identifying a relevant issue that is national in scope, as opposed to a local one. Resolutions proposed by individual members, Chapters or Departments must be based on DAV’s Statement of Policy, which reflects the scope of our organizational mission and legislative agenda.In a properly constructed resolution, the whereas clauses clearly state the justification of purpose. They are used to build a case for the need to take corrective action, provide information about the issue and persuade the reader that something needs to be done.
The final component of a resolution is the resolved clause. This contains the final declaration and a specific course of action DAV advocates to address the issue. Of course, some resolutions have more than one resolved clause.
Once approved by the Department, resolutions are submitted to the National Organization for consideration by the appropriate Convention Committee. The resolutions are first reviewed by advisors, who make recommendations for consideration by the Convention Committee. It is here that each resolution is discussed and debated on its merits. Once action has been taken on all resolutions, the committee chairman presents the committee’s report to the convention for consideration. Resolutions that are adopted are only effective until the next National Convention, with the exception of resolutions that result in changes to the National Constitution and Bylaws.
What makes the process so effective is that DAV members are actively involved each step of the way, from conception to final action. Of course, member involvement doesn’t stop there. Our members also are the key to our grassroots efforts fighting for the interests of our injured heroes on Capitol Hill.