2018 Department Convention Resolutions

 

Resolutions sent to National for consideration at the 2018 convention in Minneapolis.

 

WHEREAS, Agent Orange was the most common herbicide used in Southeast Asia by the United States Armed Forces during the Vietnam War from 1962-1971; and

WHEREAS, Agent Orange was contaminated by the carcinogen dioxin (2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin (TCDD)); and

WHEREAS, Over two million veterans served in Vietnam during the Vietnam War and are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange; and

WHEREAS, Scientific evidence has linked human exposure to dioxin and certain diseases; and

WHEREAS, A significant number of Vietnam veterans have developed various cancers, neurological disorders, liver dysfunction and other severe diseases; and

WHEREAS, Public Law 107-103 provides a presumption of exposure to herbicides for veterans who served in Vietnam during wartime; and

WHEREAS, The essential function of the kidneys is to filter wastes and excess water out of blood, which results in the production of urine, and to maintain the body’s chemical balance, help control blood pressure, make hormones; and

WHEREAS, Problems that arise with kidney function, may leave the kidneys unable to filter blood and thus unable to remove wastes, resulting in renal failure, or chronic kidney disease; and

WHEREAS, Studies have shown exposure to Agent Orange and the carcinogen dioxin has caused medical problems to bodily organs; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, By the The American Legion in National Convention assembled in Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 28, 29, 30, 2018, That The American Legion urge the Department of Veterans Affairs to conduct a scientific study on the effects of exposure to Agent Orange to determine if kidney disease caused by Agent Orange can be declared a presumptive condition for any veteran who was exposed to dioxin in any area where Agent Orange was tested, sprayed or stored; and, be it finally

RESOLVED, That if a VA study or other like studies prove to conclude that Agent Orange has the effect of causing kidney disease, that The American Legion seek legislation to amend Title 38, of the United States Code, section 1116 to provide entitlement to those presumptions for those veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange in any area where Agent Orange was tested, sprayed or stored.

 

 

 

 

WHEREAS, among the founding principles of The American Legion is the education of our youth and promotion of Americanism programs, and

WHEREAS, many of today’s youths lack an understanding of the founding documents created by our founding fathers, namely the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution with its incredibly important Bill of Rights, and

WHEREAS, our rights and liberties rooted in these cherished documents gave birth to our nation and those documents set forth the principals upon which our government is based, and

WHEREAS, the core principles embodied in these foundational documents that define the United States Republican system of government form a common bond to unite the people of the United States, and

WHEREAS, in the words of our nation’s first President, George Washington, during his April 30, 1789 inaugural address, “And since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the Republican model of Government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people,” and

WHEREAS, in 2005 the Congress of the United States passed a unanimous *law requiring all educational institutions in America that receive Federal funds shall hold an education program on the US Constitution for their students every year on September 17th, Constitution Day, and

WHEREAS, all Chief State School Officers (Commissioners of Education and State Superintendents of Public Instruction) in the 50 states are asked by the US Department of Education to inform the school districts in their states about this law and have them share this law with their superintendents, principals and teachers, and

WHEREAS, many men and women in the Armed Forces of the United States have given so much for the preservation of our way of life including their lives, as they are remembered and honored on Memorial Day every year, and now therefore be it

RESOLVED The American Legion in National Convention assembled in Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 28, 29, 30, 2018, That we recognize and observe Constitution Day, Monday, September 17, 2018, and be it further

RESOLVED, that The American Legion encourages all American Legion Posts to participate in Constitution Day activities in 2018 and every year following, and be it further

RESOLVED, that The American Legion encourages all American Legion Posts to reach out to people in their local communities to encourage participation in educating themselves and others about the contents of the US Constitution, and volunteer to visit schools to give students a free pocket Constitution book, and to go over the contents of the Declaration and US Constitution with the students.

 

 

WHEREAS, The Legacy Scholarship Program is a need based program, and

WHEREAS, The National Organization provides an opportunity for children of Fallen Post 9/11 Service members and Children of Post 9/11 Veterans VA-Rated 50% or higher disabled to receive a college scholarship; and

WHEREAS, Fallen active duty military service members have paid the expected family contribution by sacrificing their life; and

WHEREAS, National Commander Jimmie Foster, on September 22, 2010 before a joint session of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees said, “that I am here to remind the American people that all who put on our nation’s uniform make a commitment and in fact, sign a blank check payable to our country for an amount up to and including their very lives,” and

WHEREAS, In 2017 the Legacy Scholarship had 25 fully qualified and eligible children of the fallen applicants; and

WHEREAS, In 2017 there were no scholarships awarded to children of the fallen, this is due to the amount of the expected family contribution; and

WHEREAS, The removal of the Expected Family Contribution for children of our Fallen Heroes, would enable more children of Post 9/11 service members who paid the ultimate sacrifice the opportunity to achieve a higher education; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, By Edward D. Ballard Post 38, District 7, Department of Colorado, The American Legion, at a regular meeting held in Fountain, CO on April 26, 2017, that The American Legion remove the Expected Family Contribution from the Legacy Scholarship application process for children of the fallen; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That be it recommended to the National Organization this change made effective after the close of the 2018 Scholarship year; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Legacy Scholarship focus on the education for children of Fallen Post 9/11 Service members and Children of Post 9/11 Veterans VA-Rated 50% or higher disabled; and be it finally

 

These resolutions were rejected by the delegates

 

WHERE AS, Annual dues to the Department of Colorado were increased to enable the Department of Colorado to better support the Posts within the Department of Colorado

WHEREAS, Posts of District 14 feel that some of this dues increase should also help fund the District Executive Committee person from that District

WHEREAS, the Department Executive Committee is the elected governing body for the Department of Colorado and

WHEREAS, under the current Department Constitution it is up to the Districts to fund the expenses of their Department Executive Committee officer to the Mid Winter Conference and State Convention and

WHEREAS, many of the districts still struggle with finances and the ability to defer expenses of their Department Executive Committee officer to attend the Mid Winter Conference and State Convention and

WHEREAS, Article IX, DEPARTMENT EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, Section!,

paragraph 4 states that the expenses of the said Department Executive Committeeman to any other meetings of the Department Executive Called as in the Constitution provided, shall be paid by the Department

WHEREAS, the Department of Colorado should pay each District Department Executive Committee officer that travels more than 75 miles for to attended a Mid Winter Conference and State Convention

WHEREAS, this would greatly improve attendance and participation of Department Executive officers that have to travel from districts outside the Front Range corridor or more than 75 miles from the meeting location.

THEREFORE IT BE RESOLVED THAT, The Department of Colorado Executive Committee forward to the General Membership at the 2018 State Convention this: resolution to change the Department of Colorado Constitution, Article IX, DEPARTMENT EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, Section 1 paragraph 4, The Expenses of the Department Executive Committeemen to Read:

“The expenses of the Department Executive Committee office or alternate, to the Executive Committee meeting at Mid-Winter Conference, the Department Convention and to any other meetings of the Department Executive Committee called as in this Constitution provided, shall be paid by the Department, provided that said Committee person traveled 75 miles or more and files a Department approved form to claim payment. Except in cases of financial emergency the Committee can vote to attend any meeting without pay.”

WHEREAS, The Preamble to the Constitution of THE AMERICAN LEGION states, “To preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in the Great Wars”; and,

WHEREAS, The Great Wars are really in reference to World War I and World War II; and, WHEREAS, There have been other war and conflicts; and,

WHEREAS, Veterans from these other wars and conflicts might feel left out, now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the words “other wars and conflicts” be added to the Preamble of the Constitution of THE AMERICAN LEGION, and be it finally

RESOLVED, That the statement be changed to ‘To preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in the Great Wars,other wars and conflicts.

 

Whereas, the Department of Colorado’s  Department  Executive Committee is the legislative body for The American Legion, Department of Colorado: and

Whereas, the Department of Colorado’s Department Executive Committee should be  comprised of key leaders for The American Legion, Department of Colorado; and

Whereas, the Department of Colorado’s Department Executive Committee is currently comprised of Department Executive Committee me n representing each District across the State; and

Whereas, the Department of Colorado’s Department Executive Committee typically meets at least four times annually to address and represent the interests of all Legionnaires in The American Legion, Department of Colorado; and

Whereas, the Department of Colorado’s Department Executive Committee will often create and approve policy to ensure continued success for The American Legion and Department of Colorado;

Whereas, the Department of Colorado’s Department Executive Committee has a history of discussing critical subjects that require wide and immediate dissemination across the Department: and

Whereas, there is often a lag in disseminating critical information to the Districts due to the District Commander not receiving unfiltered information resulting from Department Executive Committee meetings; and

Whereas, the Department of Colorado’s District Commanders do not have direct influence and a vote in The American Legion Department of Colorado’s Department Executive Committee: and

Whereas, the Department of Colorado’s Department Executive Committee is not currently comprised of al I key leaders for The American Legion, Department of Colorado due to the absence of the District Commanders for each District; now. therefore, be it

Resolved, By Neal Thomas Jr.-Centennial Post 209, District 7, Department of Colorado. The American Legion. at a regular meeting held in Colorado Springs. CO on January 13. 2 0 18, That the District Commander will represent the irrespective District at all Department Executive Committee meetings with vote: and. be it further

Resolved, That the position of Department Executive Committeeman be replaced  by  the respective District Commander for each District:  and, be it further

Resolved, That Article VII. Department Officers. Section I. first paragraph, of the Department of Colorado Constitution. revised 6/27/20 1 5, which currently reads “the Department Executive Committeemen (one from each of the Districts)” be deleted; and. be it further

Resolved, That Article VII. Department Officers, Section I, second  paragraph,  of  the Department of Colorado Constitution. re vise d 6 /27 /20 1 5, which currently reads. “In the event the Executive Committeeman representing his District is unable to attend or act in his office as such, the District Commander shall be his alternate. With  full power and authority to act in his place and stead” be changed to read, “In the event the District Commander representing his District is unable to a/lend or act in his office as such. a duly elected or appointed District Officer shall be his alternate. with full power and authority to act in his place and stead.”: and, be it further

Resolved, That Article VII, Section 2, third sentence, of  the  Department  of Colorado Constitution, re vised 6/27 / 20 15, which currently reads. ” Department Executive Committeemen shall be elected from each of the Districts in the Department of Colorado at the regularly called District Convention in each District lo represent the District on the Department Executive Committee In the odd-numbered years the odd-numbered Districts shall elect a Department Executive Committeemen for a term of two (2) years. In the even-numbered years. the even numbered Districts shall elect a Department Executive Committeeman for a term of two (2) years. The terms of said Department Executive Committeemen shall commence at the close of t he Department Convention in the year they are elected and shall terminate when their successors shall have been elected and qualified. Vacancies in the office of the Department Committeemen shall be filled by a majority vote of the District Executive Committee of the District in which the vacancy or vacancies occur” be deleted; and. be it further

Resolved, That Article VII. Section 15. Duties of the Department Executive Committeemen. of the Department of Colorado Constitution. revised 6/27/2015 . which currently reads . “It shall be the duty of each Department Executive Committeemen, under the direction and supervision of the Department Commander(/) to assist the Department Commander and Department Committees in the performance of their duties and the carrying out of The American Legion programs in his District: (2) to attend each Convention and Conference of his District: (3) to make at least one annual visitation to the Posts in his District with the regular visitation of the District Officers: and(./) to perform such other duties as may be assigned to him by the Department Commander or the Department Executive Committee” be changed to read , “It shall be the duty of each District Commander. under the direction and supervision of the Department Commander (}) to assist the Department Commander and Department Committees in the performance of the his duties and the carrying out The American Legion programs in his District: (2) to attend each Convention and Conference of  his District,· and (3) to perform such other duties as may be assigned lo him by the Department Commander or the Department Executive Committee. and, be it further

Resolved, That Article IX, Section I. Members, Expenses of the Department of Colorado Constitution, revised 6/27 /20 15, which currently read s. “The Department Executive Committeemen (one from each of the Districts of the Department)” be changed to read, “The District Commander” and. be it further

Resolved, That Article IX, Section I.  Members, Expenses.  second paragraph of the Department of Colorado Constitution. revised 6/27/20 15. which currently reads, ” In the event that Executive Committeeman representing his District cannot attend a meeting the Department Executive Committee can seal another elected District Officer. with vote. to represent the absent Committeemen.   be changed to read. ” In the event The District Commander representing his District cannot attend a meeting. the Department Executive Committee can seat another elected District Officer. with vote, to represent the absent District Commander” and , be it further

Resolved, That Article I X. Section 1, Members, Expenses. third paragraph of  the  Department  of Colorado Constitution. revised 6/27/2015,  which currently  reads,  ”  The  expenses  of  the Department Executive Committeemen.  or his alternate.  to the Executive Committee meeting  at the Mid-Year Conference and at the Department Convention shall be paid by the Districts which each Department Executive Committeemen represents. The expenses of the said Department Executive  Committeemen  to any other meetings of the Department Executive Committee called as in this Constitution provided. shall be paid by the Department except in case of financial emergency the Committee can vote to attend any meeting without pay.” be changed to read, “The expenses of the District Commander or his alternate to the Executive Committee meeting at the Mid-Year Conference and at the Department Convention shall be  paid  by  the  Districts  which each District Commander represents. The expenses of the said District Commander to any other meetings of the Department Executive Committee called as in this Constitution provided shall be paid by the Department. except in case of a financial emergency the Committee  can vote to  attend any meeting without pay.” and . be it further

Resolved, That Article X, Section  6.  Duties of  the  District  Commander,  of  the  Department  of Colorado  Constitution,  revised   6/27/20 15,   which   currently   reads,  “The  District   Commander Shall  have general supervision .subject to the direction of  the Department Commander, over all  the Posts in his District. He shall! visit each Post in his District not less than twice during  his year and shall endeavor in all ways to promote membership and participation in the programs of The American Legion. He shall preside at the District Convention and Conferences of the District and at meetings of the District Executive Committee. He shall perform such other duties as are enjoined upon him by this Constitution or By-Laws adopted  pursuant  thereto. or as may be required of him by the Department Commander, the Department Executive Committee or the District Executive Committee, be changed to read, “The  District  Commander  shall  have general supervision. subject to the direction of the   Department Commander. overall the Posts in his District. He shall visit each Post in his District not less than twice during his year and shall endeavor in all ways to promote membership and participation in the programs of The American Legion. He shall preside at the District Convention and Conferences of the District and at meetings of the District Executive Committee. He shall represent his District at Department Executive Committee meetings. He shall perform such other duties as are enjoined upon him by this Constitution or By-Laws adopted pursuant thereto, or as may be required of him by the Department Commander, the Department Executive Committee or the District Executive Committee. ” and, be it further

Resolved, That Article X, Section 14, Expenses of the Department Executive Committee, of the Department of Colorado Constitution, revised 6/27/2015, which currently reads, “The expenses of the Department Executive Committeeman from each District to the Mid-Year Conference and to the Department Convention shall be paid by his District, as provided by the District Constitution and By-Laws.” be changed to read, “The expenses of the District Commander from each District to the Mid-Year Conference and to the Department Convention shall be paid by his District, as provided by the District Constitution and By-Laws.” and, be it further

Resolved, That any other references in the Department of Colorado Constitution and By-Laws, revised 6/27/2015, which may currently describe duties or responsibilities of the “Department Executive Committeeman (Committeemen)” be changed to reflect those same duties and responsibilities to reside with the respective District Commanders; and, be it further

Resolved, That all Districts revise their Constitution and By-Laws as appropriate to reflect the District Commander having responsibility as the District representative on the Department Executive Committee; and be it finally

Resolved, That the District Commanders will assume their position on the Department Executive Committee with the first called meeting via mail, electronic mail (e-mail) facsimile (fax), or in person, effective 1 July 2018.