[nfbwatlk] NFB of Washington Caucus at National Convention

Mike Freeman k7uij at panix.com
Wed May 18 05:50:56 UTC 2011

Hi, Debby.

Of course I don't mind your questions and I'm happy to answer them. In fact,
I expect others will chime in.

What I call "plenary sessions" are the general sessions of the convention. I
suppose they're equivalent to ACB's business meetings but not having been to
an ACB convention, I don't want to make a blanket statement that this is so.
There are a few on here who may have attended ACB conventions and they can
comment (Marcy?). I only used the word "plenary" because that's the formal
parliamentary word for such sessions. I'm referring to the general
convention sessions as opposed to the meetings of the divisions and seminars
and committee meetings that go on all during the convention.

At any rate, the general sessions are not mandatory although it is expected
and hoped that a majority of conventioneers will attend most of the
convention sessions for most of the time. To that end, our exhibit hall is
not open during the general sessions although it *is* open during the open
meting of the NFB Board of Directors and some of the committee meetings and
most of the division meetings that take place during the day. And since our
convention is one day shorter than was customary until two or three years
ago, there are now some exhibit hours at night. And no other committees or
divisions meet during the general sessions. In fact, exhibitors like this
because they get some time off!

Bottom line: no session is mandatory but few other than the most casual
convention-goer wants to miss them because of the substantive items and
because a resolution or two or three may come up at odd times and we want to
get our votes in. (grin)

Yes, our "divisions" are equivalent to your "special-interest affiliates".
Although there are exceptions, most NFB divisions don't hold "mixers" such
as many ACB special-interest affiliates do. And all NFB division members
consider themselves part of NFB whereas I'm not certain that some members
of, say, the Council of Citizens with Low vision, consider themselves ACB
members.We of NFB tend to see ourselves as members of one grand movement
whereas ACB members see themselves as part of a looser confederacy.

Are there members of NFB who come to convention for the exhibits or for the
fun of visiting new cities and restaurants or tourist attractions rather
than being inveterate session-goers? Of course there are. Almost everyone
attends the "Roll call of states" -- you have something similar on Sunday
evenings, I believe -- and attendance tails off a bit at sessions after that
with the exception of that afternoon's session where the Presidential Report
is given. But a surprisingly large proportion of convention attendees attend
at least part of each general session unless they're called away for urgent

There are other similarities and differences but I'll leave them for another
post lest this one should attain the length of "War and Peace". (grin)


-----Original Message-----
From: nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
Behalf Of debby phillips
Sent: Tuesday, May 17, 2011 10:09 PM
To: NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List
Subject: Re: [nfbwatlk] NFB of Washington Caucus at National Convention

Mike, just a couple of questions.  I'm just very curious.  Are your plenary
sessions--which I guess would be similar to our business meeting? mandatory?
What are the expectations of members who attend the convention?  I know that
you have divisions.  Are they similar to our special-interest affiliates?  
Hope you don't mind my questions.    Peace,    Debby

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