Usona Esperantisto № 2019:5 (sep-oct)

Regional Helpers and Robert’s Rules of Order

Fred is one of the Directors of E-USA. You can contact him at f3meyer at gmail dot com.

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This is my first report as a Director of Esperanto-USA. I have primarily worked two issues for Esperanto-USA in the past several months: Organizing the Regional Helpers/Coordinators, and evaluating Robert’s Rules of Order for possible application to meetings of the Board of Esperanto-USA and business meetings at the Landaj Kongresoj.

I have been trying to facilitate conversations between the Regional Coordinators. Among other things, Regional Coordinators try to provide information to local groups or clubs. There is no direct relationship between the local groups and Esperanto-USA. We do not grant them a charter or have any other formal relationship. So the primary purpose of Regional Coordinators is to be helpful.

In addition to providing resources to local groups, we also try to find new contact people in our regions and update the list of local groups and contacts on the Esperanto-USA website. So if you have a local group or club and have not been contacted, please find your regional helper and let her/him know about your local organization. Regional helpers will also be looking for you. If you don’t have a local group, regional helpers would like to help you form a group or club.

In late August, I found an online meeting time for the Regional Coordinators in early September. Of the ten coordinators, four of us were able to meet. This is a discussion group and we discussed many topics: when did we last contact all the groups in our regions, how to best contact local groups and contacts, what information do we need to get about local groups, and the shape or composition of the regions. We are planning to meet for discussions on a bimonthly basis.

My second effort as a new Director has been to understand the information available to members of Esperanto-USA. A goal of the leadership is to be very transparent to members. This means that information about Board activities and decisions needs to be available as soon as possible. We are talking about minutes of board meetings, leadership reports, and decisions of the Board present and past. We are making an effort to do better.

One question was what procedure does the board follow in making decisions. One possibility is Robert’s Rules of Order. We need rules to be more efficient and avoid controversy. We are a small non-profit board so we do not need to be too formal. Several members of the Board including me are evaluating Robert’s Rules of Order. I have proposed a change to the by-laws to adopt a specific version of these rules and to allow the board to make exceptions to these parliamentary rules when needed.