|Welcome to spring! By the time that you receive
this issue of the Arizona NARFE News, we should be
starting to warm up. As I write this, mornings are still
quite cool but the days do warm up.
It is Arizona Convention time and I want to extend an invitation to all our Arizona National members to attend. Our convention will be held at the Holiday Inn & Suites, 1600 Country Club Drive, Mesa, Arizona from May 7 – 9, 2017. ALL Arizona NARFE members are invited to attend. Both Chapter members and National members. The Call Letters were emailed to Chapter Presidents and hard copies mailed to the Chapter Secretaries on February 1, 2017. An email was sent on February 3, 2017, to all our Arizona National members with an email address but many of these were rejected by their servers for various reasons and/or were incorrect email addresses. More information on the convention is later in this message.
Come to the Federation Convention and participate in the discussions. Hear from our Keynote Speaker National Secretary/Treasurer Jon Dowie and hopefully electronically from our National President Richard (Dick) Thissen. Also hear from our Region VII Vice President Rodney Adelman.
It is now Income Tax time and EVERY chapter, without exception, is required to file a tax return even if they earned no income in 2016. IRS Form 990-N or e-Postcard is due every year by the 15th of the 5th month after the close of your fiscal year. The filing deadline for most chapters is May 15, 2017. Failure to file a tax return for three consecutive years will result in the loss of your tax-exempt status. This year we are asking EVERY chapter to provide a copy of the confirmation that this has been done to the Arizona Federation Treasurer, Jerry Goebel. Some chapters have already provided this evidence and we thank you.
Also, by the time you receive this newspaper, EVERY chapter should have completed an audit of the treasurer’s records. This should be done in the first quarter of each year or when there is a change in the treasurer position. The Federation has asked that after the audit is completed that you provide a copy of Form F-131, Checklist for the Audit of NARFE Chapter Funds, to the Arizona Federation President, Etta Bryant.
As a reminder, “IF” you have a change in chapter officers any time during the year, please be sure to complete another F-7 on the NARFE website.
The Arizona Federation will be providing some funds to each of the five Arizona members that either were nominated by their chapter or self-nominated to attend the Legislative Conference in Alexandria, Virginia, on March 12 – 15, 2017. This will be a busy week attending presentations and training sessions and culminating with visits to our Arizona representatives and senators on The Hill on Wednesday, March 15th.
The Arizona Federation is very busy getting ready for our biennial Federation Convention, revising our Federation Bylaws to comply with the One Member One Vote (OMOV) requirements and to serve not only our Arizona chapters but all our Arizona National members. The Federation Bylaw Committee is working on this revision as I write this article.
This 58th Federation Convention will be conducted as in the past with one delegate for each 50 members or fraction thereof in each chapter doing the voting. The Call Letters advised each chapter of the number of delegates their chapter has plus a Delegate-at-Large, which is usually the Chapter President. Once the Federation adopts new revised bylaws, this would change. ALL members, chapter and national, will then have a vote and be able to run for office in the Arizona Federation. The voting to elect Federation officers and any resolutions would likely be done prior to the meeting (conference). Thus, this will likely be the last Arizona Federation Convention. It will change to be similar to the change from a National Convention to a National Conference.
NARFE members are encouraged to attend our Arizona Federation Convention and vote on any resolutions that are submitted by chapters and/or the Federation and the revised Federation Bylaws. I hope that EVERY chapter will have at least one delegate attend to get the information and take it back to your chapters.
The information emailed to each chapter included an Ad Form and Booster List for the Federation Convention. I would encourage each chapter to support our Convention by placing an ad in the program book and submitting a Booster List of the members that support the Convention by donating $1 per name. Some Chapters go together for a District ad which can allow for them to purchase a larger ad at less cost to each chapter. Chapters would need to work with your District Vice President (DVP) to do this.
Most of the Federation Convention information is on the NARFE website, www.narfeaz.com. Each chapter needs to complete the 2017 Credentials & Registration Form indicating who will be your delegate-at-large, delegates and alternates and/or guests, if any. A non-refundable Registration Fee of $10.00 will be paid by ALL attendees (delegates, alternates, and guests). Also on this form be sure to indicate whether you will be attending the Sunday evening Icebreaker and/or the Monday evening Banquet and if attending the banquet, your choice of meal.
Federation “elected” officers and past Arizona Federation Presidents need to submit a separate Credentials & Registration Form and mail it in together with a check.
Any National member that would like to attend, please complete a Credentials & Registration Form and indicate on it that you are a “National Member” plus the registration fee and what meals you will attend and the choice of meal, if you will attend the Banquet. If you wish to place an ad in the program book or have your name included in the program book as a “booster”, please complete those forms and submit them as indicated on the form(s).
We will be electing Federation officers (president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer) at this convention. Also each of the four districts will be electing their District Vice President (DVP). If there is anyone that would like to run for any of these offices, please contact Thad Andreski, Chairman of the Nominating Committee, at email@example.com , by no later than April 1, 2017.
As everyone knows, finally the national election is over and now we need to be on alert for any attacks on our employee and retirement benefits and it appears that they are starting to pop up quite rapidly. To help you stay aware of what is going on, sign up for the “NARFE Daily News Clips” each work day. To sign up to receive these daily news clips, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and request them.
The state of the Arizona Federation is good but as you know we have lost two chapters this past year bringing us down to only 15 chapters. The members of those two chapters were transferred to the nearest chapter(s) and we trust that you will welcome them to their new chapter. The biggest problem nationwide is not that they are losing members but that they are having problems with members stepping up to assume leadership roles. One of our larger chapters nearly closed this year because members would not step up to be an officer. Fortunately, at the last minute, someone did step up and he needs to be thanked. Remember, if your chapter cannot get members to step up and you cannot get a president, secretary, and treasurer OR a president and secretary/treasurer, then your chapter will have to close AND all the chapter funds, which are member’s funds, will be transferred to the chapter or chapters receiving those members. Their money goes with them to the new chapter. AND these monies can NOT be used to give to charities. Any money given to a charity, MUST have been voluntarily given by your individual members (such as to NARFE-PAC or Alzheimer’s) or earned from a separate fund-raising event such as a yard sale for which all your members were advised these funds would go to this charity. This money must be kept separate from the regular chapter funds.
Membership recruitment – We are not doing our share. During the September 1 to December 31 recruitment incentive period when the National Office provided $10 for each new member recruited and the Arizona Federation provided another $10 (and some chapters gave even more), Arizona only recruited 8 new members. Not good at all. Those members that recruited new members were: Lois Gossett, Sunnyslope Chapter 1686 – 1 member; Cris Gumbmann, Roadrunner Chapter 1874 – 1 member; Eugene Smith, Tempe Chapter 1505 – 1 member; Maria Campbell, Tucson Chapter 55 – 1 member; Peggy Carter, Casa Grande Chapter 1905 – 1 member; and myself (Etta Bryant), Tucson Chapter 55 – 3 members.
Why isn’t everyone out there recruiting? With our benefits being threatened every day by our representatives at the state and national level, we need to recruit every federal employee, retiree, and their spouses. Those spouse’s benefits are being threatened also. We need to be vigilant, receive the Daily News Clips, go to the NARFE legislative website often (maybe every day), and send those prepared letters to your representatives (you can make changes to them if you want). Let them know how you feel on these issues. No response tells them that you are satisfied with what they are doing. Are you really satisfied with what they are doing?
Again a reminder, if your chapter does not have a Federal Legislative officer, a State Legislative officer, NARFE-PAC Coordinator, or Alzheimer’s Chair listed on your chapter officer roster list, the National Office encourages each chapter to add the chapter president’s name to these positions on the F-7 so that the chapter will get any information that is sent out to these officers. Go to the NARFE website and complete a new F-7 adding this or these positions.
Dates to Remember May 7-9, 2017 – Arizona Federation Convention – Holiday Inn & Suites, Mesa, AZ – Hosted by District 4 June 29-July 1, 2017 – Region VII Conference “Transforming NARFE Together” – Radisson Hotel Denver Southwest, 3155 S Vaughn Way, Aurora, CO – Hosted by the Colorado Federation
Thank you for your support and taking the time to read the Arizona NARFE News.
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UPDATED: March 1, 2017