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We are a non-profit state federation. Our membership includes women and men of every age, race, religion, political party and socio-economic background. We are a leading advocate on work-life balance and workplace equity issues.

In this section, you will read recent news releases and advocacy concerns as well as view our opinion editorials and letters to the editor. Members of the press who are writing about issues of concern to working women are encouraged to contact our Communications Committee at PR@nyswomeninc.org.

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Change from Districts to Regions

Author: Communications Committee/Wednesday, January 18, 2012/Categories: General

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The Strategic Planning Committee’s 6 Region Plan is not based on membership numbers, but is based on county boundaries. Attached you will see Map “A” which is the current 11 district configuration with membership numbers included (as of November 30, 2011.) Map “B” is a first draft of a 6 Region Plan. It is our opinion that we cannot base the region boundaries on numbers or chapters because of membership  fluctuation. Members come and go, chapters come and go. You will see that major cities are noted on the map…Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Schenectady, Albany, Yonkers, Westchester, New York City, etc. Each proposed region has at least one major population center in it.

We have not added the chapters within the regional boundaries. Because each chapter does not have a specific geographic boundary, the realignment will need discussion and input. However, there will be obvious placements. Some chapters do cross county boundaries, and for those “on the edge” of a new region, it is proposed that the chapter decide where it would like to be. Strategic Planning is also proposing that we name the regions, instead of using numbers. This gives us a fresh start and a new beginning. Suggestions are open to names.

Regions should have the ability to decide for themselves how they should conduct their meetings. Technology has broadened opportunities for communication and regions may want to hold face-to-face meetings, electronic meetings or joint chapter meetings. The important take-away is that members are connected to each other, the chapter, the region and the state.

Many have expressed concerns about at-large members, e-chapter members and their participation in regional and state governance. This issue will be on the agenda for the March statewide meeting and merits serious dialogue. Please feel free to send your thoughts and suggestions to us.

In addition to the 6 Region Plan, a proposal has been put forth by 2nd Vice President Amy Kellogg and Secretary Colleen Ostiguy to divide the state into 5 regions. At this time, a map is not available; however, chapters have been assigned to regions. The five regions were created using membership numbers with a basis in geography, evening out the regions. In this breakdown of regions, Region 1 would have 156 members, Region 2 would have 117 members, Region 3 would have 107 members, Region 4 would have 105 members and Region 5 would have 143. This would provide somewhat close to equal representation. The Kellogg/Ostiguy proposal also outlines methods for dissolution of existing districts, with emphasis on distribution of district treasuries, a process for the first regional officer election and proposed changes to bylaws.

As many are aware, a series of bylaws changes relative to the district/region structure need to be made. There is a positive sign that many of these changes can be moved from bylaws to guidelines in order to provide flexibility as our state organization grows.

Please take the time to review this information. It is important. The decision to change the number of regions will be discussed and taken up by the NYSW Board of Directors at its March meeting. If you can attend, by all means, do so, as a workshop and special meeting of the members will be held during that weekend. Feedback is also critical and necessary. My email address is Linda295@aol.com. I always say that we are a work-in-progress. Let us progress to the next level.

Region Maps PDFProcess of Restructuring PDF

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