JEFFREY A. SWAINSTON, DIRECTOR
2589 144th Avenue
Dorr, MI 49323
(616) 405-6921
jeff@jnsphoto.biz


SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 GRANGE NEWS

With our annual State Grange session rapidly approaching, I am hopeful that we will have many resolutions from our local Granges being sent for consideration. One of the main purposes of our State and National Conventions is to establish legislative policy for our organization. Since we are a grass-roots rural-advocacy organization, this process should be extremely important to the well-being of our members, friends, and neighbors. To streamline the process I am including the following the National Grange tutorial on how to write a proper resolution. I know some of you are going to say you have heard this before, but based on some of the resolutions that arrive at the State Session, not everyone has remembered it. Since we are now dealing with a shortened convention, it is imperative that resolutions are submitted in the proper form. If there are ever any questions on writing resolutions please contact me or Chris and we will help you with the process. See you in Owosso!!


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!

LEGISLATIVE
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 GRANGE NEWS

Welcome to Owosso for the 144th annual session of the Michigan State Grange and personal greetings from the Legislative Department. It is indeed a pleasure to continue serve the membership of the Michigan State Grange in this capacity.

In 1867 the Grange was organized, in part, to be a legislative voice for farmers. While the group of people we represent has broadened, the mission is still pretty much the same. This week is an extremely important week for this department. One of the biggest reasons for the convention is to establish the organization’s legislative policy. We add new policy and amend or delete current policy. Being a grass-roots advocacy organization, the decisions you as delegates make here this week shape the future of our organization.

Please take this assignment seriously. Please listen to what each person has to say about an issue before making a decision. Activities surrounding the Legislative Department continue to be thin due to budget constraints. This doesn’t mean we haven’t been following pending legislation at all levels and participating where appropriate.  Hopefully, over the next year we can be more proactive in legislative activity to make sure the voice of the Grange is heard, whether at the local, state, or national levels.

I look forward to this week in Owosso. It is always fun to see old Grange friends and hopefully make a few new friends as well. As always, if you have any questions concerning our legislative department, don’t hesitate to ask.