Notes from November 12, 2023 General Membership Meeting

President Marty Hart-Landsberg opened the meeting at 4:03 PM. Those present did introductions.

Meeting minutes: approved.

Treasurer’s report: Treasurer and Webmaster Lura Frazey reported that we have $7266.54. A dues rebate arrived on September 20, 2023.

Marty gave an update on NWU growth, challenges and needs, and announced that our union’s Delegate Assembly will be held in New York in June. Marty is participating in national meetings of chapter presidents, and he and Chapter Secretary Bob Rossi recently participated in an NWU listening committee that asked us questions and provided us with updates on the growth the union is experiencing, the challenges this presents us with, the possibility of restructuring, and the Delegate Assembly. Our focus of growth is among freelancers. NWU has hired a consultant who is working on our logo and website and a part-time communications person. The desire is for more horizontal communication within NWU and the ability to fully integrate people into NWU when they join. Solidarity with other unions is increasing. NWU has taken the lead in the labor movement in demanding a ceasefire in Israel/Palestine and this has brought focus to how decision-making is done within our NWU. Our union has been drifting but there is lots of new energy, many new young members, and a new openness. We will need to elect a Delegate Assembly representative. A notice will be issued by our national office about eight weeks before the Assembly.

A discussion followed this report that raised questions about the occupational structures (divisions) within NWU, union bylaws, the Delegate Assembly, and upcoming meetings. Marty will continue to report.

Oregon NWU Chapter Elections: Stefan Ostrach will draft and have sent out a notification that nominations are opening for Chapter officers who will serve from January, 2024, until the spring of 2025. We will be electing the following:

Steering Committee Members (up to 5 positions)

To be eligible for nomination and to vote, you must be a member in good standing of the National Writers Union residing in Oregon. Eligible members will receive this notice. Members may nominate themselves or nominate another member. Nominations will close on December 1,2023, at 5:00 pm. Stefan will contact all nominees. Voting will be via email. Stefan, who will not be a candidate for any office, will serve as Election Supervisor. Pat Riggs-Henson will call through our member list. Lura will create the necessary email accounts. Questions can be directed to Stefan at 541-912-7187. If he doesn’t answer, please be sure to leave a voice mail message, and he will return your call.

Pat raised a question about what our NWU national officers do for us. Marty responded by further reporting on NWU growth and the problems the union is having functioning.

Program Committee: Kacey Carpenter, Marty, and other interested members will meet to form a Program Committee to invite authors to present their work to our meetings. Kacey offered to present on his work at an upcoming meeting.

AFL-CIO and our Oregon NWU Chapter: We discussed our relations with the Oregon AFL-CIO and the AFL-CIO’s Labor Chapters and Councils after hearing a report from Pat. Bob Rossi asked for more direction and unity in our work in these areas. Bob will convene a meeting with those interested.

Next Meeting: Our next meeting will be held on Sunday, January 14 at 4:00 PM.

The meeting ended at 5:10 PM.