To maintain a viable, effective and ongoing legislative program at the national/region level and at the state level where chapters are active.
Whenever it is deemed that a particular program, planned proposed legislation, or a public law is detrimental to the career opportunities, progress, or the lifestyle of the member of the Active Duty, Guard, Reserve or retired community, some form of action is taken by the Association, under the National President. Such action can be:
At the Meeting of the Members, members in attendance may approve a standing proposal requesting USAWOA take action to oppose those plans, programs and/or proposed legislation detrimental to the members, and to support those issues of benefit to the membership.
National Headquarters cannot become involved in state legislation. In those states where we have active chapters, it is recommended that a Legislative Committee work closely with the representatives of other Associations such as AUSA, MOAA, etc., in seeking passage of state legislation of benefit to USAWOA members in the particular state. Chapters proposing to undertake such action must first obtain concurrence of the National BOD.
We look to chapters for the information and recommendations to the Legislative Committee of all proposals and letter issues. Copies of proposals and letter issues are forwarded to the Department of Defense and selected members of the Congress.
In some instances, responses are simply courtesy letters, while others will provide an informal answer to the issue(s) we are concerned with. The Executive Director will provide the delegates at the Meeting of the Members a report of responses that are received, thus providing further guidance on each of the issues.
Utilize plain bond paper and, if possible, type one proposal on one sheet of paper.
National Headquarters will provide you with the deadline for submission of proposals, although a proposal may be forwarded to Headquarters any time during the year.
Any officer of the chapter may forward a proposal; however, a statement must be included as follows: "This proposal has been voted upon by members in attendance at a chapter/special meeting and is forwarded upon approval of the President of the chapter."
The National President or the Executive Director is responsible for the distribution of all proposals and letter issues to the Army Staff, DOD, members of the Congress, Army Times and other periodicals and to all USAWOA Chapters. Publication of the proposals in the NEWSLINER will reach all members.
Proposals and letter issues can be effectively utilized as a "sales tool" in signing up more and more members. Distribution to hospitals, open messes, barbershops, and other strategic facilities on an installation will aid in "getting the word out" on USAWOA. Utilize copies of the proposals/letter issues to the maximum extent.
From time to time, a request to write to your Congressman or Congresswoman on a particular issue is published in the NEWSLINER. If the USAWOA legislative program is to be truly effective, please encourage every member of the chapter to write individual letters. Form letters and/or petitions are not effective. If the issue is appropriate, you may wish to invite dependents and others to write supporting the cause.
Within chapters, and at any convention, a careful analysis should be given to those proposals/letter issues previously adopted at the Meeting of the Members prior to developing any new proposal. For maximum effectiveness, we should develop reasonably sound proposals, keeping the number to a minimum, with other issues going to letter issues. From information gathered on Capitol Hill and from sources in the Pentagon, it is recommended we not "shotgun" our proposals. Be realistic and stand firm on good proposals. For maximum effectiveness, keep your legislative program on target with current legislation and issues, as they surface, either in the DOD or Congress. This type of activity keeps us alive and moving.
As we continue to gain recognition and credibility on Capitol Hill, it is imperative that all chapter officials become familiar with correct procedures to follow when they intend to invite a United States Congressman or dignitary to be the guest speaker at a chapter function. The following guidelines are furnished for this purpose: