by Jean Mann
When I gave my credentials report at the convention in Louisville this past summer, I gave you a whole list of things the committee wishes you would and wouldn't do. At the time, our president asked me to put all the information in an article for "The Braille Forum," so here it is. Hope it helps you help us!
Please make sure Sharon Lovering, our "Braille Forum" editor, knows who in your affiliate is supposed to receive this year's membership list from the national office. She likes to have them out to you before the staff leaves for the Christmas holidays. Sometimes we have to track some of you down to find out who in your affiliate is supposed to receive them.
Please use the list the national office sends you. Make your additions, deletions and corrections as per the instructions provided with the list. Sending in your own list adds hours of work for staff. Starting this year, these lists will be returned to you, and if the proper list is not submitted by the deadline, you will be considered late and your state or affiliate could be penalized and lose votes at the national convention.
Make your list and check it twice, or three or four times. Make sure names are listed only once. If a member's name has changed since last year due to marriage, divorce, or anything else, make sure that person is listed only once. The instructions will tell you how to make name changes. Also, while we are happy to receive them, you do not need to pay dues for life members.
Please do not include people who have died as members! We know that people sometimes pass away after you've sent your lists in, but we often receive names of people we know have been dead for several years. If somebody has died during the past year, mark "deceased" on the list by their name, as per the instructions. If you've sent your list in before the deadline and one of your members passes away, let us know. If it happens after March 15, they will be counted for that year, as they did pay dues.
Do the math. Dues are currently $5 per member. So if you know how many members you have and subtract any life members, multiply that remainder by five and you should come out right. Sometimes you send in names after your list has come in. That's OK, but please make sure you communicate with your treasurer so the right amount of dues gets sent in with those names. It makes it hard for us to keep track of how many members you have, and then how many votes you should receive, when those numbers keep changing and we keep receiving $5 and $10 checks from you.
Send complete addresses. Include apartment numbers, street numbers, city, state, and zip codes. If an address has changed, put the new address in the blank line provided at the end of the old address.
If you lose the list you are sent by the national office, or for some reason have not received one by early January, please call and request another one. DO NOT try to use an old one or create your own.
Finally, if your affiliate is having issues and you know you won't be able to get your list and dues in on time, call us immediately and let us know what the situation is. We're more than willing to work with you if we know there's a problem, and we'll do whatever we can to help you.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, and we're looking forward to hearing from you by March 15!