|The golden-rod is yellow; the corn is turning brown ... “ (from “September”, by Helen Hunt Jackson). Yes, I remember memorizing that poem in elementary school. I’m sure many of you do too. But September also means that many of our NARFE Chapters have re-opened after their summer recess. Welcome back! The National Convention is over. As is our biennial Arizona Federation Training Workshop. You’ll read more about these two events on the NARFE and Arizona Federation websites, as well as elsewhere in this newsletter.
For more information about the 2014 National Convention, go to the NARFE website, at www.narfe.org , log in, and click on the 33rd National Convention button. There are links to video streaming of several of the General Sessions, the printed Daily Bulletins, and the power point presentations of the Legislative Session and the Legislative Lunch and Learn. Also a power point presentation, prepared by our Arizona Federation Parliamentarian Paul Lamb, is available on our Federation Historian’s website, at http://1drv.ms/1rBVFR9 , and on our Arizona Federation website (at www.narfeaz.com ), click on “Free”, then on 2014 National Convention Information Slide Shows. All of this is available using the latest technology. NARFE’s National Office has also updated its web hosting capabilities, for those Chapters that are interested.
We are all well aware of the continuing decline in NARFE’s membership. Recently, NARFE’s total membership dropped below 240,000, a loss of over a quarter million members since the mid-1980s. In response, NARFE announced a September Membership Drive. That drive was recently extended until the end of this year. So, what’s in it for you? Recruiters will receive $10 for each new member, whether a current Federal employee, retire, or other annuitant, who joins by December 31. In addition, all recruiters will be entered into a drawing, once for each new member they have recruited during the drive, for a Kindle Fire tablet. Winner will be randomly selected from this pool. To support this important Membership Drive, the Arizona Federation will MATCH the “finder’s fee” of $10 (for a total of $20 per new member recruited by the end of the year). Recipients will be determined by the monthly recruiting reports (M-260) for our Federation. In addition, three $100 cash prizes will be awarded to those completing a Prospect Card (M-2) during the Open Season. Recruiting at Open Season Health Fairs is an excellent opportunity to earn the recruiter’s incentive.
While we continue to experience a decline in membership, despite incentive programs sponsored by the National Office and your Arizona Federation, we have established a reputation as reliable NARFE legislative activists, both through several “Call Congress Days” and through a consistently high volume of emails sent to our Senators and Representatives. It is through your efforts that NARFE is able to continue to protect our earned employment and retirement benefits. NARFE needs you. And you need NARFE. To enhance our legislative efforts, the Arizona Federation will sponsor four attendees to the upcoming NARFE National Legislative Conference. The Conference will be held March 14 - 17, 2015, at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel in Crystal City, VA. The Federation will provide a stipend to the four attendees of up to $1000 each. If you are interested in attending the National Legislative Conference, please advise your District Vice President.
The 2014 NARFE Scholarship winners have been announced, with two from Arizona. The Arizona winners are: (1) Austin Platt, who will attend Grand Canyon University, is the grandson of Merle Zunigha, who is a member of Valley West/Glendale Chapter 1395; and (2) Jenna Richie, who will attend the University of Arizona, is the granddaughter of Marlyne Falk, who is a member of Sunnyslope (Phoenix) Chapter 1686. The other four winners in Region VII were from Colorado, and were the sons or daughters of Colorado eNARFE members.
At our Federation Board meeting last month, we agreed to contract for a Federation newspaper. The Federation newspaper will be mailed quarterly to ALL Arizona NARFE members, including National Only, National Life, and eNARFE members. There is no cost to the Federation for the printing and mailing of the newspaper, as it is borne by the Arizona advertisers within. Ultimately, the new Federation newspaper will replace our bi-monthly online Federation newsletter. Chapters are encouraged to submit articles for publication in the Federation newspaper. The newspaper can be used to supplement or replace individual Chapter newsletters. Many other Federations are utilizing this new (old) form of communications with their members. The first issue is due out in March of 2015.
This will be my last Arizona Federation newsletter article as your Federation President. I want to thank the members of the Arizona Federation for giving me the opportunity to serve as your President these past three and a half years. I am proud of the accomplishments of our Federation during my tenure. As you know, I will become your Region VII Vice President on November 1.
However, I am confident that the Arizona Federation will be in good hands. At our recent Federation Board meeting, a variety of transition issues were discussed and resolved. Etta Bryant, our current Federation Vice President, will become your Federation President on November 1; and Thad Andreski, the current District I Vice President, will take Etta’s place for the remainder of her term. A new District I Vice President will be elected as part of the transition. I hope, with your continued efforts and support, we all can continue to serve the best interests of all NARFE members. Thank you.
UPDATED: September 29, 2014