Another Successful Annual Meeting as We Move Forward
I am happy to report to you that the Daughters of the Republic of Texas have successfully concluded its 125th annual convention. From May 11-14, more than 465 Daughters gathered in Dallas to conduct organizational business to streamline our operations, recognize individuals and chapters for their leadership in telling the story of Texas and to connect and renew friendships with fellow Daughters.
There was extensive discussion about the future including our efforts to reopen the DRT Library Collection at its new home. We continued our planning to preserve the French Legation and to move forward with the construction of the DRT’s Republic of Texas History Center. We reinforced our commitment to the future of the organization and to advancing a favorable image of the Daughters and our mission.
We’ve faced challenges over the past year but our strength and perseverance have sustained us and it is with pride that I report that the state of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas is strong.
While this is not a complete listing of all of the changes to our organization’s bylaws, below are ten things you will want to know about the bylaw revisions that were adopted with close to a 90% vote of those assembled:
- Districts did not change – much. The Convention voted to retain ten districts, mapped as they are now. The Convention also voted to retain the roles of District Rep, District Alternate, Nominating Committee Member and Nominating Committee Alternate. District Reps remain on the Board of Management (BOM). District Reps and District Alternates are both members of the Chapter Organization Committee.
- Membership requirements are defined differently. For new members, the requirement is to have an ancestor who served “as a loyal resident or colonist, male or female, regardless of age, who established residence in The Republic of Texas prior to February 19, 1846. The time period for “residence” shall be the beginning of the Spanish Colonial Period in 1820 and shall include both colonists and native residents during this period. “Loyal” shall be interpreted to mean that he or she had not been proven “disloyal.” This change does not affect current members.
- The BOM was restructured. The vice presidents and the Children of the Republic of Texas (CRT) Registrar General were removed and their functions rolled in to other positions. The President General-elect was retained with new job duties. The Executive Secretary General position was created (in place of the Corresponding Secretary General) with a primary focus on meeting planning and management for District Meetings and for Annual Conventions. The CRT Director and CRT Registrar are now appointed by the President General and the Registrar General, respectively.
- Chapters have more flexibility. Some things that had been dictated to chapters previously can now be controlled by the chapter’s bylaws: the method of inviting members to chapters, the role of Associate and Affiliate members, and other items can now be customized for what works best for your chapter. Copies of your bylaws should be sent to the Parliamentarian.
- Members now have more control of their dues and donations. The new bylaws require that the amount of your chapter dues be included in the chapter bylaws. This important protection means that you must receive notice prior to the dues being raised, and that such action will require a 2/3 vote. Additionally, funds that are donated to the DRT are defined and protected as Designated Funds, Temporary Restricted Funds, or Permanently Restricted Funds.
- Running for General Office is easier. The Nominating Committee’s role has changed from one of selecting candidates to one of verifying credentials. ALL candidates who meet the requirements of the job defined in the bylaws will be put forward by the Nominating Committee.
- Committees were restructured. The committees were restructured, in large part to support the changes made to the BOM. In recognition of the fact that they have money, the CRT Committee is now an Administrative Committee. The number of standing committees was reduced from 18 to 11. This was achieved by combining the Membership and CRT Membership committees into the Membership committee; combining the Education & Flag and Historic committees into the Historic Education committee; creating the Meeting Logistics committee; rolling the duties of the Membership Dues committee to the Headquarters Committee; moving the functions of the Publicity committee and Senior Members committee to Awards; and moving the San Jacinto Battleground committee to the Historic Sites committee.
- Qualifications for General Officers were expanded. Further defines qualifications for general officers, including allowing professional certifications to supersede service as a chapter officer in specific knowledge-driven positions.
- Increased the fee for Supplementals from $40 to $50 each. This is the only fee increase in the entire revision!
- Removed procedure and put it in the MOP. The Bylaws have dropped almost 90 pages to under 40. That means that information previously included in the bylaws has been moved to the MOP. Members, chapter officers, committee members, and General Officers are all required to follow the procedures in the MOP.
As stated above, these are not the only changes; however, they are the provisions that touch a large percentage of the members and that had been the most heavily discussed. After review by the Bylaws Revision Committee and the Minutes Approval Committee, the updated bylaws will be on the DRT member’s only website no later than June 28. The MOP is being updated, and will be available after the BOM votes on it in June.
To view and order pictures from the annual convention click here. You will be required to enter your name and email address, and then choose folders to view by day/time.