District 12 Republicans need to attend reorganizational meeting

District 12 members should have an opportunity to have their voices heard every month. 

JSSP Letter to Editor

Please join me on April 14 at the Gladstone at 7 p.m. to try to set our District 12 Republicans back on the right track. There will be a reorganization meeting that evening with candidates for the Executive Committee and a chairman or chairwoman. There have been no monthly meetings for several years.  Monthly meetings would be an opportunity for all members of the party to have a say in how District 12 is run.  From what I have been able to gather, even the Executive Committee has not been meeting regularly. All the members of District 12 should have an opportunity to have their voices heard every month. Regular meetings also allow for accountability for what District 12 is doing.  For instance, rank-and-file members have no idea how much money the District has, where the money is being spent, and the reasons for changes to the bylaws, along with other things.

Just recently, new bylaws were written and sent out to some members.  These new bylaws should have been approved at a public meeting where all members had been invited to participate. Many of these new bylaws make it much harder to put forward candidates and qualify even to be a member of District 12?  A District chairman from another district reviewed the bylaws and said they are the worst he has ever seen.  Just one example is that a member must be approved (whatever that means) and have his/her dues paid at least 30 days in advance of the reorganization meeting.  Just three years ago, they increased it to 10 days, now it is 30.  They also eliminated nominations from the floor, which were allowed two years ago also.  There are lots of new things in there, almost all of them adding further restrictions to your ability to participate.

Having served several years as vice chair of District 12, it is my opinion that our legislators should not be serving as officers on the Executive Committee. Because each District chair has a vote on the North Dakota GOP Committee and so do legislators, we lose a vote when one of our legislators serves as the chairman.  I agree that they should serve on the Executive Committee but only as "members at large".  Due to the fact that the District endorses candidates for election, I see it as a conflict of interest to serve on the more powerful positions on the Executive Committee.

I sincerely ask that you consider the things I have said here and come to the meeting even if you can't vote. More members need to see what is going on with their District and make it possible for more participation, not less.

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