OHA policy on public resolutions
- Public statements should address matters of clear common professional interest and concern to the Association’s membership, or matters about which the Association’s members have special knowledge and/or expertise.
- The OHA should be strategic in selecting matters on which to speak out. Public statements should fit into a thoughtful strategy for timely communication to relevant audiences, and make a contribution to better public understanding of the matter being addressed. They should also be in conformity with the mission and goals of the OHA, and with the OHA strategic plan.
- A resolution is not the only way to best accomplish a desired end.
- Proposals for public statements should include appropriate contextualization of the issue at hand, the specifically oral historical dimensions of the matter, and how and for whom the statement would be used.
- OHA Council, membership, and participants in the business meeting need sufficient time for full and thoughtful deliberation.
- Ultimately approval of public statements and authority for appropriate relevant action rests with the OHA Council, the governing body of the organization.
- Any proposal for a public resolution must come to the OHA executive office and president at least 45 days before the annual meeting. Proposals must be signed by at least ten individual members in good standing. Proposals should be in conformity with the above guidelines.
- If the president deems the proposal to be in conformity with the guidelines, the president will appoint an ad hoc committee to review the issue and recommend a course of action. Only OHA members can serve on the committee, which should include one of the members who suggested the issue and at least one Council member.
- The committee is intended to act as a catalyst and resource, not as a censor or arbiter of what positions OHA should or should not endorse. The OHA Executive Director will work to ensure timely and comprehensive consideration of the issue, including possible courses of action.
- The committee will make a recommendation, including a background statement about the issue, to the president who will submit it to the full Council. If action is required, a motion will be put forth before the Council. Among other courses of action, the Council may endorse the proposal as presented, may request revisions to strengthen the form or substance of the proposal, decline endorsement, or choose to submit it for consideration at the business meeting. The committee should act in a timely fashion and should make its recommendation at least three weeks before the annual meeting. Council will notify the committee and proposal writers of its decision in a timely fashion.
- If Council decides to submit the proposal to participants at the annual business meeting, the committee’s report will be distributed electronically to the membership at large not later than two weeks before the annual meeting, and a print copy will be included in the conference packet at the meeting. Members who wish to submit additional relevant materials for consideration must do so through the executive office no later than one week before the meeting. The president must allocate a reasonable and substantial amount of time for discussion of the issue not extending beyond the time scheduled for the business meeting, and will clearly establish the ground rules for discussion. Only members in good standing who have registered for the annual meeting are eligible to vote.
- All measures adopted by the business meeting shall come before the Council for acceptance, non-concurrence or veto. If accepted by the Council, they shall be binding on the OHA. The Council may veto any measure adopted at the business meeting that it believes to be in violation of the OHA’s constitution, the law, or financially or administratively infeasible. The Council shall publish an explanation for each such veto. The Council may vote not to concur in any measure adopted by the business meeting. Within ninety days of such vote, the Council shall submit the measure to a vote of the entire membership with an opportunity for the proponents of the measure and the Council to set forth their respective positions. If approved by a majority of the members voting, the measure shall be binding on the OHA.
- The annual business meeting may by a vote of two-thirds of the members present suspend these procedures in the case of an emergency situation. If a measure were adopted in such a case, it would come before Council like any other measure.