[nfbwatlk] Affiliate News

Mike Freeman k7uij at panix.com
Tue Dec 9 01:14:30 UTC 2008

Fellow Federationists:

I have some items of affiliate news:

First, the Holiday Inn Downtown-Everett worked so well for this year's fall convention that I decided to investigate the possibility of a repeat performance. Gary Mackenstadt has signed the contract for next year's fall convention: it will be held October 2-4, 2009, again at the Holiday Inn Downtown-Everett, 3105 Pine Street, Everett, Washington 98201; telephone (425) 339-2000. Room rates are slightly higher than was the case this year; they are $88 plus tax per night for singles, doubles, triples and quads. We have the meeting room all day Friday and Saturday and Sunday morning. If we do not have events on Friday, we can modify the arrangement. I will have more information as we get closer to the actual convention date.

Second, on Saturday, I attended the December meeting of the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) OF THE Department of Services for the Blind (DSB). Although DSB, LIKE OTHER STATE AGENCIES, WILL HAVE TO TRIM ITS BUDGET APPRECIABLY, I can say with confidence that the vocational rehabilitation program will not be substantially affected. In particular, DSB WILL NOT HAVE TO IMPLEMENT AN ORDER OF SELECTION FOR VOC REHAB CLIENTS. For more details, we shall have to await publication of the Governor's budget proposal, slated for December 20. The Governor has directed all state agencies to go through a "Priorities in Government", POG, PROCESS, A METHOD OF MAKING POLITICAL DECISIONS APPEAR RATIONAL AND SCIENTIFIC. As I say, the voc rehab program will survive essentially intact. However, it is clear that DSB's two legislative proposals announced at our recent convention, a direct appropriation for NFB Newsline and more funds for the Independent Living program, are unlikely to go forward. W
 hile this is disappointing, given the dismal financial climate, it could have been much worse.

Finally, Dr. Maurer has decided to hold a seminar for affiliate presidents at the end of February, 2009. The last one was held in early 2006 and their have been many changes in affiliate presidents since then. One of the principal topics of discussion will be fund-raising efforts and strategies for the affiliates as well as for the Federation as a whole. The abysmal financial climate has affected fund-raising revenue for all affiliates and for the Federation in the aggregate; revenues are down and we are developing new models for fund-raising which will be discussed at the seminar. I will keep you informed.

I am pleased that the holiday party in Seattle went well and I am sure that the holiday party of the Clark County chapter will be equally filled with fellowship and good cheer!

May everyone have a happy holiday season and may 2009 be a good year for all of us personally, the NFB OF Washington and for the NFB AS A WHOLE.


Mike Freeman, President
National Federation of the Blind of Washington

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