Worthy State Master & First Lady, State Officers & Directors, Delegates, Members, and Friends: Welcome to West Oshtemo for the 145th annual session of the Michigan State Grange. What a great week this will be. An organization that is the legislative voice of rural America is meeting in rural West Michigan. I bring you greetings from the Legislative Department where it is a pleasure to serve you. The action we take this week on resolutions submitted by local Granges is the beginning of the grass-roots stepladder. It is important to consider all resolutions seriously and give them all ample thought and discussion. We are mapping our organization for years to come. Activities surrounding the Legislative Department continue to be thin due to budget constraints but there are still ways we can be active. The most important way to stay active is to involve yourself in the local political process, and most of all… get out and vote in this year’s mid-term elections.
I look forward to this week in Kalamazoo. It is always great to reconnect with Grange friends and hopefully make and new friend or two along the way. As always, if you have any questions about our policies, please ask.
This week will also mark the end of my time as Legislative Director of the Michigan State Grange. I know you heard that once before but this time it is for real. Changes in my career path do not allow for this commitment to continue. Plus, it is time for some fresh ideas in the leadership of this great organization. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time served but it is time for me to step aside. Fraternally, Jeffrey A. Swainston
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 GRANGE NEWS
The upcoming 144th Annual Session of the Michigan State Grange at West Oshtemo Grange Hall is approaching quickly. One of the main reasons for the convention is to establish the legislative policy of the Michigan State Grange. To make the process more efficient it is extremely important that resolutions that are sent in are written in the proper format. I know some of you probably get sick of hearing this but it bears repeating until everyone gets it. The following is a brief explanation of how to prepare a proper resolution for consideration at the upcoming convention. Hope to see you all there!!
Writing Resolutions that Work The Grange has a long history rooted in member participation in our policy development through our resolution process. Each Granger is tasked with addressing voids and surpluses in our policy and can propose to implement these changes by offering amendments to your local and State Granges. Drafting resolutions may seem like a daunting task at first, but if you follow three simple steps listed below, you will soon be on your way to writing a clear and effective resolution.
First, it is important to know the anatomy of a resolution. There are three main parts, the Title, the body or Whereas section, and the conclusion or Resolved section.
1. The Title should clearly state the issue to be addressed. For example, if you are drafting a measure to deregulate the postal service, your title should be something along the lines of: Example: Deregulation of the Postal Service rather than just Postal Service
2. The whereas section is where you get to make your argument for why this resolution is necessary. This section does not become policy but explains to other Grangers why the issue is important and provides details, data, and other reference material so they can be better educated on voting for the issue. Example: Whereas, the federal government imposes unreasonable regulations and mandates on the U.S. Postal Service but no longer funds any of the organization’s operating costs; and Whereas, the U.S. Postal Service will continue to be forced to close local post offices and reduce services under such a business model; and Whereas, the U.S. Postal Service could survive and compete if allowed to create its own business model free of Congressional oversight; and Whereas, the National Grange has a rich tradition in helping to ensure the rural free delivery of mail; be it
3. The Resolved section must be a complete sentence which sums up what your resolution is trying to achieve and can stand alone without any of the supporting information. Example: Resolved, that the National Grange support legislation that creates an autonomous U.S. Postal Service which can set its own operating procedures and business model without the undue regulation of the federal government.
Writing Resolutions that Stand the Test of Time In closing, make sure your resolution can stand the test of time. A good deal of Grange policy dates back 75 years or more and continues to be relevant because the ideals and concepts hold true today. However, we also have policy that is out-of-date and relates to issues that have been dealt with on the local and congressional levels. If you have a resolution that deals with an issue that is connected to a current event or particular bill, your resolution may be included in the committee of jurisdiction’s policy statement for that year, rather than passed as a resolution. Rest assured that this is still very important and is actually a better home for your resolution. Good luck and happy policymaking!