The Representative Council Model as amended was approved by the original ORMA Transition Team, as the future ORMA organizational structure at the first ORMA Ratification Congress held on November 12, 2017. At the Ratification Congress, members of the Transition Team broke into three groups to present models they had worked on. The Representative Council Model was voted on as the model best designed to favor grassroots organizing by affiliates over equal representation by geography.
The Transition Team’s Interim Coordinating Committee appointed an Elections Committee to implement the model amendment process and to handle ORMA leadership elections. The Elections Committee joined a reconstituted Program Committee and Inclusion Committee to plan a first meeting of the Representative Council with sufficient representation from affiliates, caucuses, and non-affiliated members. We want our base to agree but we need people to get out and do work, and that happens in affiliates. Affiliates are natural sources of community which promote social connection and understanding through discussions.
A detailed description of the Representative Council Model with amendments is reflected in the diagram below.
In the ORMA Representative Council Model, there are provisions for both affiliated and unaffiliated member involvement. Specialized working committees are open to all. There are also caucuses based on shared identity affiliation, which elect their own representatives to the Representative Council. Virtual affiliates (not bound in a given region) may also form. Meanwhile, general ORMA membership joins in a general assembly twice a year to decide statewide issues, voted on in person and online.
In addition, a seven-member Coordinating Committee, elected by the Representative Council, provides quick responses to time-sensitive issues, informed by the chairs of working committees. Coordinating committee and co-chairs work together to address emerging needs for decision and action.
The Representative Council Model earned a clear majority in the first round without requiring instant runoff. After its selection, many amendments to the model’s initial presentation were proposed, and votes determined which ones would be presented for online voting in the following days. Building and growing new affiliates will always be a top priority for ORMA. We will also always work to support unaffiliated members by coordinating organizing activities to help them.