Description of Congress Task Forces and Committees
Diversity/Civility Awareness Task Force: This group of delegates works with a liaison to study the issues of cultural sensitivity and how to have a more successful multi-lingual and multi-cultural co-op. They will work on how to address insensitive comments that are sometimes heard in our co-ops. This task force will also study how we can better get along with each other by practicing courtesy and adhering to a code of behavior that will ensure respect and consideration of others. In addition, they will report to congress and make recommendations on how we can promote more sensitive communities that respect and embrace diversity as well as civility, where each individual is viewed as unique, and is respected without stereotypes and without creating an “us/them” dynamic.
Volunteerism Task Force: This task force will study why people volunteer, why they don't, how to get more volunteers and how to keep volunteers motivated in the co-ops. This task force will make recommendations to congress on how we can improve our base of volunteers.
Co-op Public Relations Task Force: A liaison will work with this task force which will be made up of delegates interested in being trained to give presentations at different corporations, expos, health fairs and other events to promote cooperative living throughout the region. The group will report their progress and plans to congress.
Annual Luncheon Planning Committee: This committee meets monthly after the first of the year to prepare for this big event. The committee decides the location, décor, food and entertainment. They also organize ticket sales. All regions hold the annual meeting on the same day and are connected through a phone conference. This takes some special communication between all four regions.
Elections Committee: This committee oversees the entire election process for the board of directors. Congress delegates on this committee visit co-ops to encourage members to run for the board; review profiles and collect the necessary information to ensure the applicants qualify to be candidates; conduct the summer congress meeting nomination process; prepare and mail ballots to all Maryland-region and non-housing members; conduct board officer elections at their orientation and when there is a vacant officer position on the board midyear; and conduct congress officer elections. This committee will meet as a whole 3 or four times between spring and summer. The elections chairperson and one or two other people on the committee may be required to attend one or two additional meetings.
Legislative Action: We’ll need a small handful of dedicated volunteers on this committee. They will gather and relay information of concern regarding senior housing to all congress coordinators in their region. They will also receive national information alerts and work with the education department to provide co-ops with sample letters or petitions for members to send to legislators. They may want to meet once or twice to study how bills are passed and to brainstorm on how to distribute information in the fastest way. Mostly though, they will work from home.
Maryland Connector Editors: The Connector is the only newsletter written, edited and designed completely by members in our co-ops. It gives all of our members a chance each year to catch up on what is happening at their sister co-ops. Editors in each region are assigned to work with reporters in a few co-ops for the correction of grammar and spelling. They see to it that the articles and pictures are submitted to the CSI Education Department for publication. In 2013 the Michigan region was responsible for designing the cover, writing the forward and publishing the Connector. In 2014, the California region will have its turn and the Maryland region in 2015.
Rally Planning Committee: This committee assists the co-ops in planning their mini-rallies. They make sure the DVD of the candidates’ speeches and promotional flyers are sent to each co-op. They can also make recommendations regarding funding.
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