Blog  Asefah Legislation – Mechina 5778

Asefah Legislation – Mechina 5778

Resolution to Amend NFTY’s Voting Procedures to Include Instant Runoff Voting

This resolution is to be voted on for ratification at Mechina 5778

Submitted to NFTY General Board at Mechina 5777 – June 18, 2017

Background: There are 6 elected positions for the NFTY Board. Currently all ballots for every elected position for the NFTY Board have each candidate listed in which the voting delegates circle their choice. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the candidate with the least amount of votes is dropped from the ballot and a runoff vote occurs between the remaining candidates. This continues until one candidate garners more than 50% of the vote, often times requiring many rounds of voting and counting until one candidate acquires the required 50%.

Electing the leaders of NFTY is an integral part of our movement and by enacting instant runoff voting we can ensure that our regions are allotted more time to carefully decide the future of our movement where the time is currently spent counting votes after each runoff election; instant runoff voting essentially allows the members of NFTY general board to spend less time voting and more time caucusing.

In a number of recent elections in the past 10 years, there have been multiple times where more than five candidates have run for a single position – leading to extraordinarily long and impractical run off procedures.

Additionally, over past few years, more than half of the NFTY regions have adopted this alternative voting system to spare their candidates from the emotional distress that runoff elections cause. The current system requires announcing which candidate gets dropped off from the race and the instant runoff voting system protects the identity of the dropped candidates, contributing to the friendly, supportive environment that NFTY strives to create.

WHEREAS ARTICLE TEN, SECTION A, Paragraph 3, Subsection 5, Point C₁ of the NFTY Constitution states: “Each ballot will list the name of the position, the name of the candidates in alphabetical order, an option for abstention, and an option for no-vote.”

WHEREAS ARTICLE TEN, SECTION A, Paragraph 3, Subsection 5, Point B₂ of the NFTY Constitution states: “If more than two candidates are running for a position, and no simple majority is met, the candidate with the lowest number of votes will be dropped from the ballot, and a run-off election will take place. A run-off ballot will include the name of the position, and options for each of the viable candidates in the race, the option for abstention, and the option for no-vote. The candidates will be informed of this, and the General Board will be informed of this. This process will continue until a simple majority is achieved.”, and;

WHEREAS there is often more than one candidate running for an elected position, and;

WHEREAS the voting procedure currently found in our constitution is time-consuming and runoff elections can take an unnecessary amount of time, and;

WHEREAS a candidate can spend multiple months working on their respective declaration, Letter of Intent, platform, and other speech materials which expends a candidate’s time, energy and emotions, especially throughout the day of the election, and;

WHEREAS the voting method reflected in the constitution announces by default the losers of the previous round or rounds, and;

WHEREAS it can be embarrassing or disheartening to be excluded from a runoff vote as it tells the general board that a candidate was less preferred than others, and;

WHEREAS the announcement of runoff elections can discourage the excluded candidate/s from pursuing leadership opportunities in the future

WHEREAS NFTY is dedicated to creating a harmonious and holy community, or kehilah kedosha, and should strive to empower leaders in an inclusive way and ensure that members seeking to take a substantial role are not embarrassed by the release of elections results, and;

THEREFORE LET IT BE RESOLVED THAT ARTICLE TEN, SECTION A, Paragraph 3, Subsection 5, Point C₁ of the NFTY Constitution read “Each ballot will list the name of the position, the name of the candidates in alphabetical order, an option for abstention, and an option for no-vote. To the left of each candidate, the abstention, and no-vote options should be a blank line. This line is where voting delegates will indicate their preference by numbering the options 1 through X, where X represents the amount of candidates plus the abstention and no-vote options. The 1 will represent the candidate the voting delegate is voting for, 2 will represent their second choice, and so on, through X representing their X choice.” See Appendix A for a sample ballot, and;

LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED THAT ARTICLE TEN, SECTION A, Paragraph 3, Subsection 5, Point B₂ of the NFTY Constitution read “If no one candidate receives a simple majority (50 percent plus 1) of the number one votes, then an instant runoff shall occur. The candidate with the fewest amount of number one votes will be eliminated and the votes received by the eliminated candidate will then be distributed based on second choice as marked on the ballot. If no preference is given, the ballot is counted as an abstention. If an candidates, has a majority then they shall be elected. If there is still no majority the process of instant runoff repeats until a single candidate has a simple majority of the votes cast.” See Appendix B for explanatory video, and;

LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED, that a new section be created within ARTICLE TEN, SECTION A, Paragraph 3, Subsection 5 of the NFTY Constitution which shall be placed where Point C₂ is currently, with the current Point C₂ and all subsequent paragraphs being moved down by one in numerical order, and;

LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED THAT ARTICLE TEN, SECTION A, Paragraph 3, Subsection 5, Point C₂ of the NFTY Constitution read “Once an abstention or no-vote has been indicated, no other candidate shall be listed below it. When counting, if the choice indicated on the ballot represents an abstention or no-vote, the ballot will be taken out of the running and the number of votes needed to reach a simple majority will be adjusted accordingly.”, and;

LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED THAT this amendment enter a trial period immediately following its passing to go into effect for NFTY Veida 2018, and;

Respectfully submitted,

Lila Greene | NFTY-NW President 5777-5778 Asher Bank | NFTY-SOCAL President 5777-5778 Emily Glatter | NFTY- SAR President 5777-5778

Respectfully Cosigned,

Zach Herrmann | NFTY President 5777-5778 Lainey Komerofsky | NFTY-TOR President 5777-5778 Daniel Pomerantz | NFTY-MV President 5777-5778 Lexie Fried | NFTY-NEL President 5777-5778 Rachel Posner | NFTY-SO President 5777-5778

Appendix A

      President
      Candidate A
      Candidate B
      Candidate C
      Candidate D
      Abstain
      No Vote

Appendix B

Explanatory Video (an alternative video will be presented at Asefah)

Amendment to Revise the Duties of the North American Board

Submitted to the NFTY General Board at Mechina Asefah 5778 – July 24th, 2018

Background: The position descriptions for the North American Board are strongest when they most closely reflect the work that is being done and the work that is most useful to the movement. It has been eleven years since the top four positions were last updated and MVP and CVP have not been revised since their creation in 2013. These descriptions do not accurately define the current duties and responsibilities of each position. The position descriptions should reflect the more modern and progressive direction that our movement is heading. Legislation was passed at NFTY Veida 5778 stating that an amendment revising the NFTY Constitution to include the the new descriptions to  be presented at NFTY Mechina 5778.

WHEREAS, the North American Board duties detailed in Article Eleven Sections A through E include language practices that no longer reflect the current roles they play in our NFTY movement, and;

WHEREAS, language used throughout the descriptions are inaccurate, outdated, and unfitting for the positions. Examples include, but are not limited to, the mention of the MCVP position, the MVP performing roll call, and maintaining the Resolutions Encyclopedia, which was last updated in 2005, and;

WHEREAS, new legislation has passed and new programs have been implemented that have changed the duties of the North American Board. Examples include, but are not limited to, the omission of the North American Cabinet, NFTY 678, or official social action campaigns.

THEREFORE LET IT BE RESOLVED THAT, ARTICLE ELEVEN, SECTION A of the NFTY Constitution read

It shall be the duty of the NFTY PRESIDENT:

  1. To serve as the face and voice of NFTY throughout their term.
  2. To define North American priorities and execute a vision for NFTY alongside the NFTY North American Board.
  3. To guide the NFTY North American and General Boards in the proper execution of their aims and purposes and offer direction and orientation for their terms.
  4. To be responsible for and exercise direct supervision over the NFTY North American Board and the NFTY General Board.
  5. To maintain a healthy relationship and regularly consult with the NFTY Directors.
  6. To maintain a healthy relationship with all North American Board members and uphold a strong board dynamic through constant communication and individual check-ins.
  7. To coordinate opportunities for NFTY teens to explore their passions by fostering and maintaining partnerships between NFTY, the URJ, and its affiliates.
  8. To call and preside over all NFTY North American and General Board Meetings.
  9. To be the liaison between NFTY and the NFTY Director(s).
  10. To be responsible for the implementation and execution of the NFTY Constitution and any adjunctive rules.
  11. To preside over all NFTY General Board Asefot and run NFTY North American Board elections.
  12. To oversee the planning and implementation of the NFTY North American events such as Mechina and Veida.
  13. To assist in the planning of NFTY Convention.
  14. To coordinate, plan, and execute Mifgash Hafifah with the NFTY Directors.
  15. To act as a liaison between NFTY and Netzer Olami in the capacity of Rosh Chutz, ambassador to the other snifim of Netzer Olami.
  16. To represent NFTY while serving on the URJ Board of Trustees and any other appropriate and necessary committees, councils, and commissions.
  17. To appoint representatives to the URJ Committees and Commissions in partnership with the NFTY North American Board when deemed appropriate.
  18. To fill vacancies on the NFTY North American Board, pending constitutional rule.
  19. To oversee creation, application, and appointment of the NFTY North American Cabinet and supervise all members through their term.
  20. To serve as Ex-Officio at all NFTY General Board Asefot for the year immediately following their term.
  21. To establish, maintain, and serve as a resource to the NFTY Regional President Network for all the corresponding positions that encompass similar responsibilities.
  22. To act as a resource and role model to all members of NFTY, in addition to upholding the NFTY Brit Kehillah.
  23. To attend all North American events, including a specified amount of time at the URJ Kutz Camp.
  24. To act as a representative of the North American level of NFTY when participating in the travel region system under the direction of the NFTY Board and Director(s).
  25. To coordinate and delegate any activities and/or accept any other duties assigned by the NFTY Director(s).
  26. To undertake and coordinate any activities and additional duties which may be necessary to fulfill the above responsibilities, and;

LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, ARTICLE ELEVEN, SECTION B of the NFTY Constitution read:

It shall be the duty of the NFTY PROGRAMMING VICE PRESIDENT:

  1. To assume the duties of the President in the event of their absence.
  2. To be directly responsible for and to assist in the duties of the President when so required.
  3. To emphasize, encourage, and embody the principles of Nilmad V’na’aseh, To Learn and To Do, and Shutafut, Partnership within our movement as a whole.
  4. To be an educational and programmatic resource to all of NFTY.
  5. To coordinate the Study Theme for the present year.
  6. To coordinate opportunities for NFTY teens to explore their passions by fostering and maintaining partnerships between NFTY, the URJ, and its affiliates.
  7. To inform NFTY of North American priorities and facilitate the implementation of NFTY’s priorities into Regional programming.
  8. To provide NFTY with innovative and holistic resources, and to make these materials accessible through the NFTY Program Bank and the NFTY Touchstone Text Bank.
  9. To work with Netzer Olami to create resources to be used worldwide.
  10. To represent NFTY and Reform Jewish youth as a whole to committees and commissions of the Union for Reform Judaism that pertains to programming, outreach and congregational youth involvement.
  11. To act as a liaison between the participants of the Reform Jewish Youth Movement and URJ Youth professional staff and lay leaders.
  12. To establish, maintain, and serve as a resource to the NFTY Regional Programming Vice President Network for all the corresponding positions that encompass similar responsibilities.
  13. To uphold NFTY’s 13 Principles as stated in the preamble of the NFTY Constitution.
  14. To act as a resource and role model to all members of NFTY, in addition to upholding the NFTY Brit Kehillah.
  15. To attend all North American events, including a specified amount of time at the URJ Kutz Camp.
  16. To act as a representative of the North American level of NFTY when participating in the travel region system under the direction of the NFTY Board and Director(s).
  17. To coordinate any activities and/or accept any other duties assigned by the President.
  18. To undertake and coordinate any activities and additional duties which may be necessary to fulfill the above responsibilities, and;

LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, ARTICLE ELEVEN, SECTION C of the NFTY Constitution read:

It shall be the duty of the NFTY SOCIAL ACTION VICE PRESIDENT:

  1. To lead and empower NFTYites individually and collectively in the pursuit of justice and Tikkun Olam in our movement.
  2. To take stands as a representative of the NFTY General Board on pertinent issues when deemed necessary, even when those issues are controversial.
  3. To provide NFTYites with transferable tools to effectively pursue social action in their everyday lives.
  4. To empower NFTYites to engage themselves and others in responsible and active citizenship.
  5. To coordinate, initiate, and/or aid in social action oriented projects initiated by the NFTY North American Board, the Religious Action Center, the Union for Reform Judaism, or NFTY General Board.
  6. To uphold justice and equality within NFTY, and to be accessible to those NFTYites who feel that this is not already being carried out within our movement and the URJ.
  7. To facilitate and encourage holistic social action programming, including the use of multiple sources and the opportunity for a safe space to dissent.
  8. To serve as a member of the URJ Commission on Social Action and appoint new members when necessary.
  9. To act as a liaison between NFTY and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and represent Reform Jewish teens in an outward capacity to our institutional partners.
  10. To establish, maintain, and serve as a resource to the NFTY Regional Social Action Vice President Network for all the corresponding positions that encompass similar responsibilities.
  11. To oversee the planning and implementation of the Social Action Leadership Training (SALT) Trip alongside the immediate past NFTY Social Action Vice President.
  12. To uphold NFTY’s 13 Principles as stated in the preamble of the NFTY Constitution.
  13. To act as a resource and role model to all members of NFTY, in addition to upholding the NFTY Brit Kehillah.
  14. To attend all North American events, including a specified amount of time at the URJ Kutz Camp.
  15. To act as a representative of the North American level of NFTY when participating in the travel region system under the direction of the NFTY Board and Director(s).
  16. To coordinate any activities and/or accept any other duties assigned by the President.
  17. To undertake and coordinate any activities and additional duties which may be necessary to fulfill the above responsibilities, and;

LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, ARTICLE ELEVEN, SECTION D of the NFTY Constitution read:

It shall be the duty of the NFTY RELIGIOUS AND CULTURAL VICE PRESIDENT:

  1. To promote and encourage Jewish religious and cultural activities in NFTY from a Reform Jewish perspective in a pluralistic environment.
  2. To emphasize, encourage, and embody the principles of Torah, The Jewish People, The State of Israel, Hebrew, and History within our movement as a whole.
  3. To assist the Programming Vice President and Social Action Vice President in designing and adding religious and cultural content to the NFTY Study Theme.
  4. To be responsible for tefilot at NFTY Veida, NFTY Mechina, NFTY Convention, NFTY’s program concurrent with the URJ Biennial and as needed.
  5. To provide a vehicle for understanding when exploring alternate modes of prayer experiences.
  6. To present benedictions, d’vrei torah, invocations, and other spiritually uplifting statements at NFTY Board meetings.
  7. To be responsible for the planning and running of NFTY Competitions, including working with the NFTY CVP to advertise competitions well in advance of NFTY Convention.
  8. To represent NFTY at ARZA/ARZENU functions as well as within other Zionist, Israeli and relevant organizations, including Netzer Olami in conjunction with the NFTY President.
  9. To establish, maintain, and serve as a resource to the NFTY Regional Religious and Cultural Vice President Network for all the corresponding positions that encompass similar responsibilities.
  10. To uphold NFTY’s 13 Principles as stated in the preamble of the NFTY Constitution.
  11. To act as a resource and role model to all members of NFTY, in addition to upholding the NFTY Brit Kehillah.
  12. To attend all North American events, including a specified amount of time at the URJ Kutz Camp.
  13. To act as a representative of the North American level of NFTY when participating in the travel region system under the direction of the NFTY Board and Director(s).
  14. To coordinate any activities and/or accept any other duties assigned by the President.
  15. To undertake and coordinate any activities and additional duties which may be necessary to fulfill the above responsibilities, and;

LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, ARTICLE ELEVEN, SECTION E of the NFTY Constitution read:

It shall be the duty of the NFTY MEMBERSHIP VICE PRESIDENT:

  1. To promote, encourage, and maintain NFTY’s membership, as membership may be defined.
  2. To emphasize, encourage, and embody the principles of Community, Self, Fun and Spirit within our movement as a whole.
  3. To identify the needs of those who participate in NFTY, and work to solve those needs, with the help of appropriate committees, URJ staff, and resources.
  4. To create retention strategies for both regional and Temple Youth Group (TYG) membership and involvement.
  5. To be knowledgeable about and share information on all URJ affiliated programs that engage Reform Jewish teens.
  6. To support the growth and development of NFTY678 programming.
  7. To publish a report on NFTY’s membership at a North American Event Annually.  
  8. To keep a constant dialogue with the NFTY Directors regarding participation rates across North America.
  9. To work with URJ staff to seek opportunities to continue to  engage college age alumni of NFTY.
  10. To establish, maintain, and serve as a resource to the NFTY Regional Membership Vice President Network for all the corresponding positions that encompass similar responsibilities.
  11. To uphold NFTY’s 13 Principles as stated in the preamble of the NFTY Constitution.
  12. To act as a resource and role model to all members of NFTY, in addition to upholding the NFTY Brit Kehillah.
  13. To attend all North American events, including a specified amount of time at the URJ Kutz Camp.
  14. To act as a representative of the North American level of NFTY when participating in the travel region system under the direction of the NFTY Board and Director(s).
  15. To coordinate any activities and/or accept any other duties assigned by the President.
  16. To undertake and coordinate any activities and additional duties which may be necessary to fulfill the above responsibilities, and;

LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, that a new section be created within ARTICLE ELEVEN of the NFTY Constitution which shall be titled SECTION F and be placed below SECTION E, and;

LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, ARTICLE ELEVEN, SECTION F of the NFTY Constitution read:

It shall be the duty of the NFTY COMMUNICATIONS VICE PRESIDENT:

  1. To promote, encourage, and maintain communication within NFTY, and between NFTY and its affiliates.
  2. To update and maintain the NFTY Constitution in partnership with the North American Board.
  3. To consult on the creation of and  maintain NFTY’s marketing and communications plan.
  4. To work directly with the URJ Youth Division’s communications department to identify and collect new content for the NFTY website and NFTY blog.
  5. To call roll and take minutes at all NFTY North American Asefot and accurately record the work of the North American Board.
  6. To establish, maintain, and serve as a resource to the NFTY Regional Communications Vice President Network for all the corresponding positions that encompass similar responsibilities.
  7. To uphold NFTY’s 13 Principles as stated in the preamble of the NFTY Constitution.
  8. To act as a resource and role model to all members of NFTY, in addition to upholding the NFTY Brit Kehillah.
  9. To attend all North American events, including a specified amount of time at the URJ Kutz Camp.
  10. To act as a representative of the North American level of NFTY when participating in the travel region system under the direction of the NFTY Board and Director(s).
  11. To coordinate any activities and/or accept any other duties assigned by the President.
  12. To undertake and coordinate any activities and additional duties which may be necessary to fulfill the above responsibilities.

Respectfully Submitted, Zachary Herrmann | NFTY President 5777-5778

Cosigned, Marissa Klass | NFTY Programming Vice President 5778-5779 Zoe Terner | NFTY Social Action Vice President 5778-5779 Garrett Layton | NFTY Religious and Cultural Vice President 5778-5779 Ione Heigham | NFTY Membership Vice President 5778-5779 Zenobia Fried | NFTY Communications Vice President 5778-5779