NARFE seal imagelogo-narfelogo-Chapter 65


California State Federation Convention 2007

DAY 1 - FRIDAY - MAY 18, 2007

(The following amended email was sent by NARFENET coordinator Carl Bailey to all California chapters...)

The convention was called to order at 1:04 PM by Helen Zajac, CSFC President. Helen continued by introducing a Moment of Silent Prayer, the Presentation and Posting of Colors by the Marine Corps Color Guard from HQ Company, Camp Pendleton, and the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Raymond J. Richetti, Napa County Chapter #281, Region VIII Past National Field Vice President. Singing of the National Anthem was led by Fil Fong, Mt. Diablo Chapter #531 and accompanied by Mildred Fong on piano.

Welcome was delivered by Bob Davidson, Palomar Chapter #455, and Convention Host Committee Vice Chair.

Introductions and Opening Remarks were made by Helen. In addition to the CSFC Officers and Convention Committee, Sergeant-at-Arms crew, and District VPs, Past Presidents, and officials from neighboring states, she introduced NARFE National President Margaret Baptiste and National Legislative Director Judy Park. She read letters from Congressman Joe Vaca, Gov. Schwarzenegger, and the mayor of Costa Mesa.

Helen noted that seating at this convention is at tables, organized by chapters and districts instead of the previously used auditorium seating. She welcomed the first time attendee delegates and 4 CFEs, one of whom is the president of the Livermore chapter.

Additional remarks by James Molinari, a former Federal Marshal, State Director for US Senator Dianne Feinstein: The senator is on 4 major committees, representing 33 million Californians. In ref. to GPO and WEP, Sen. Feinstein has introduced those bills again. It will cost $50 billion to fix it, unlikely to pass this year. Perhaps a compromise can be reached. Trying to stabilize Social Security and Medicare - Sen. Feinstein wants to form committee to ensure stability. Homeland Security another issue. Calif. shortchanged on funding, and has far more targets. Need better funding formula. Need law to prevent tunnels under the border – not presently a crime. Immigration bill just introduced. Sen. Feinstein emphasizing ensuring labor for agriculture. Gang violence another issue. Sen. Feinstein sponsoring a bill with Sen. Hatch to provide $5 billion over 5 years to fight California gangs and keep them from spreading.

Comments were made that we shouldn’t expect bills to fall, should make changes to make things acceptable. GPO/WEP are unfair, that money is going to Iraq shouldn’t be an excuse.

Kathrene Hansen, Executive Director, Greater Los Angeles Federal Executive Board (FEB), a NARFE member, spoke. Appreciates that NARFE is looking out for CFEs. FEBs coordinate disaster responders; try to prepare for future wave of federal retirements. Working on recruiting and retaining federal employees in major cities of LA and San Fran. which have 20% vacancy. Money is better with city and county than federal government. People better off in places like Texas where cost of living is much lower. Government employees won’t move to LA because of high cost of living. Lower grades have to share living spaces; cannot afford to contribute to Thrift Savings Plan which they will need for retirement because Social Security will not be enough. Combined Federal Campaigns – retirees can help as volunteers.

Jo Murphy concerned that federal agencies have no contact with NARFE except if invited to Pre-retirement Seminars. How can we make employees aware of NARFE? Kathrene said one problem is that there a few personnel offices as they have been consolidated in central locations. It’s even hard just to identify the local federal offices. [added 5/20-In addition to Jo Murphy’s comments, she also encouraged members to work with Combined Federal Campaigns in local area to gain access to federal agencies.]

From another member: maybe former military bases could be used to house federal employees.

At 2:25 PM, the Eulogy Ceremony acknowledging 1968 members deceased during the past two years was conducted by Ken Boffin, Elkhorn Chapter #1680, CSFC Immediate Past President

The Credentials Committee Report (First Report) was made by Vivian Nathanson, Chair (As of 10:30 today)
166 delegates registered
23 delegates at large
4 alternate delegates
3 national officers
5 visitors/guests
-5 delegates at large serving as chapter delegates
35 of 96 chapters represented by delegates 20 chapters represented by proxy
14 members of Executive Board
9 Past Presidents
811 potential votes present

Mary Alice Burkhard, President, National Association of Postal Supervisors, Branch 244, discussed legislation important to both postal employees and NARFE members that is being lobbied through the United States Postal Employees Legislative Coalition. Health care is high priority. Another issue they are addressing is that the postal service is bypassing the rights of military veterans who are employees. Post office needs to market mail service to advertisers to specific groups, so that it’s not junk to you. Post office recycles, has alternate fuel vehicles. Post office is a $70 billion business. “Do Not Mail” concept hurts the post office and economy. Advertising mail does not hurt forests and trees as they are a manageable resource being planted and harvested. Costs of gas, salaries, etc. gone up, that’s why the 41 cent stamp was required. Contracting out postal functions is not a good idea.

At 3:20 PM, after a 10 minute stretch, the convention resumed with recognition of past presidents by Helen Zajac.

Margaret L. Baptiste, NARFE National President, delivered the keynote address.

Does NARFE have a future? If it ceases after you’re gone so you care? NARFE HAS a future. NARFE leaders must work together, those here at this convention. Margaret and the NEB are working hard. Some have my way or the highway “never done it that way” attitude. Need new ways to operate. Need to make a new, leaner NARFE that will be here in the future. 26,000 new members a year, but losing more than we recruit. In 2006, many more dropped than became reinstated. Some are unrecoverable –nursing home, unreported deaths. Mostly non-payment of dues. These are the ones we need to go after. Retention is a problem. We recruit at one price, but sent higher dues to stay. Hope to revise at Louisville. If NARFE is to remain a strong grassroots organization, must train replacements for chapter officers. Even large chapters can’t get officers. Need to put the personal into personal contact. Make members feel appreciated. HQ can’t do it. Make members feel an integral part of NARFE.

Our two priority pieces of legislation have been introduces, Judy Park will address tomorrow.

Where are we heading? NEB will provide info necessary for considering items at the national convention. Should NEB merge Treasurer and Secretary Offices? What’s our input? Might take the GEMS in-house. Considering on-line chapters. NARFE in good shape financially. Example: bought new printer for the print shop instead of filling vacant position. Need other sources of money besides dues. Considering “Silver Circle” donations of $25 concept. Will be happy to listen to everyone at the reception tonight.

Warren Savage, Chair, Rules Committee, reported recommending proposed standing rule 24 be adopted, that resolutions published in the book as written and distributed, even though they did not meet exact bylaw requirement of CSFC form 18, which had been inadvertently overlooked.

Helen Zajac, CSFC President, Adoption of the Rules of the Convention
Discussion - Arcane trivial details discussed. Bob Davidson recommended approval; Andy Morgan called the question, Rule 24 resolution approved.

Helen Zajac, CSFC President, Approval of the Program
Helen brought up the need to change convention program to name a couple of different presenters and different meeting rooms. Moved and seconded, approved.

The 56th Annual Convention Summary was approved. A committee will be formed to approve this convention summary so we don’t wait 2 years.

The Annual Report – State of the Federation was given by Helen Zajac, CSFC President. Having visited many chapters, she noted we need to build a bridge from old members to new members so they don’t feel left out. Three chapters requested help from Federation two are thriving. Federation has group of past presidents to help struggling chapters.

Possible will open a new chapter in a remote area (Tehachapi). Many would attend meetings; no one wants to be an officer. About 25% of 31,000 meetings are on dues withholding. Federation has same cash incentives as previously. Incentives for recruiting CFEs, $8 a head. Training has been offered by Federation.

Federation has issued a recent newsletter, first in a long time, is on the Federation web page. Made presentations to Fed Exec Board to participate in functions and make us more visible. Federation has new history of NARFE to promulgate.

We have “partnered” with a contractor doing Pre Retirement Seminars to make NARFE presentations.

Helen talked about an annual meeting, the Postal Coalition legislative Breakfast in Long Beach. Unsuccessful working with Retired Officers.

Made mass mailing to dropped members from Executive VP. 66 former members reinstated.

More reference material added to web page has search function.

The Audit Committee Report was given by Joan Audrain, who subbed for Alice Falls, Fresno Chapter #45, Vice Chair. Audit done by Vito Magliano. Many numbers about income, expense, assets, liability ($0), funds available, etc. Werner Gumpert doing outstanding job, all is well. Moved to accept, accepted.

Dr. George Rajewski, Las Vegas Chapter #423, Region VIII Alzheimer’s Coordinator, reported new case of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) reported every 72 seconds, including many under 65, as young as 30 sometimes. In the next few years millions will suffer. Many causes of AD – age, genetics, other stuff. Some drugs available, usually delay progression. No cure. Goal of $7 M for research close at $6.6 million... Memory walks and legislative advocacy increase awareness. In the 10 minutes he spoke, 12 Americans were diagnosed with AD. Once again, checks should be made to NARFE Alzheimer’s Research.

H. Ray Harrington, CSFC Executive Vice President, made bi-annual report. On membership. In 2005 made survey of what chapters wanted for recruiting and retention. Don Ross’ idea of dues withholding incentive payment very successful. Not every chapter has recruited any members. 155 super recruiters in the past 2 years. 18 have earned $75, have recruited 10 or more. Pursuing mutual concerns with Post Office Association, retired Military. Edited the latest Federation newsletter. Made super recruiter presentation.

Helen Zajac, announced tonight’s reception with Margaret L. Baptiste.

Andy Morgen, Palm Springs Chapter #587, Ways and Means Chair conducted the raffle drawings.

Lea Zajac announced that overflow cars parked at Shoe Pavilion must be moved or will be towed. There will be plenty of room tomorrow.

At 5: 05 Helen Zajac, CSFC President, recessed the convention until 9:00 am Saturday, May 19, 2007


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