As a democratic organization, the work and focus of the Guild is decided by our members. Each year, we hold plenaries in which members discuss programmatic priorities, often in the form of resolutions. We also update our governing documents, our Bylaws and Constitution, and elect new officers to serve on the NLG National Executive Committee.
In 2023, governance matters will be handled during the NLG Governance Plenaries on November 11-12. The plenaries will be virtual and open to all current NLG members. All voting will take place online after the plenaries.
Proposals and elections are open to NLG members only. To join the NLG, visit nlg.org/join.
Important Dates (full timeline below):
9/1: Firm deadline to submit proposed resolutions & bylaw & constitutional amendments.
10/6: Deadline for proponents to complete procedural compliance and finalize proposals.
10/11: Final proposed resolutions and bylaw amendments will be shared with all members.
10/10: Deadline to submit emergency resolutions (24 hours before convention begins)
Information For Proponents
What are Amendments and Resolutions?
- The membership has updated the constitution, originally adopted in 1937, at many conventions. The current constitution and bylaws are available here: nlg.org/about/bylaws-and-resolutions/
- Amendments can be made to either our constitution or our bylaws.
- Resolutions are an opportunity for our membership to propose and agree on statements of programmatic priorities for our organization and to take stances on various issues.
- Examples of resolutions here: nlg.org/about/bylaws-and-resolutions/
- Emergency resolutions are resolutions based on events that take place after the initial sixty-day deadline, and up to twenty-four hours prior to the voting plenary. The twenty-four hour deadline may be waived in the event that an emergency resolution is non-controversial as determined by the Resolutions Committee and confirmed by the actual vote. Emergency resolutions must comply with all resolution requirements not related to timeliness.
For more information on Resolutions, Constitution and Bylaws Amendments, see the NLG Bylaws, Section 8 (Voting Procedures).
Process for Submitting Proposals
- Proposed resolutions, bylaws amendments, and constitutional amendments must be emailed in attachment form by Friday September 1, 2023 Midnight (Pacific Standard Time). Late submissions will not be accepted.
- Early submission of resolutions, bylaw amendments and constitutional amendments is encouraged, as resolutions often require edits to be made for submissions to be in full accordance with the procedural requirements.
- Emails should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Procedural Requirements (Please read carefully!)
The attachment with the proposed resolution or amendment must:
- On its face include the name and contact information of the person submitting the resolution or amendment. This ensures members can contact the proponent before and during the convention.
- Not exceed 3 pages, 12-point font, including endorsing entities or names. Shorter proposals are encouraged. Endorsing names and entities must be included within the 3-page limit.
- Contain a specific and explicit implementation clause indicating what individuals or entities will do the work of implementing the resolution (i.e. the Resolutions Committee, the National Office, a local chapter, etc.). Per an amendment approved at the 2014 convention, proponents are only required to have attempted to obtain consent of those tasked with implementing the resolution. If any person or entity is tasked with implementing the resolution, the face of the resolution must indicate that the proponent has contacted such persons or entities before submitting the resolution. Proposal must indicate if 1) proponent has the consent of all persons obligated, 2) that consent was denied, 3) that consultation was impractical and why, or 4) that approval was requested but was not granted or denied.
- Proposal must include the name and contact information of the person who will present the proposal in the two plenaries.
- Any submission that has been denied for lack of obtaining explicit agreement of a tasked entity or individual to implement the resolution or amendment may be appealed to the Executive Council of the NEC by contacting Suzanne Adely at email@example.com.
All primary proponents should plan to present and speak on behalf of the amendment or resolution at the virtual plenary. If they will not be present, proponents should notify the Resolutions Committee and appoint an alternate delegate to present and answer questions during the plenary.
Note: Amendments from the floor are not accepted, so people objecting to proposals should speak with proponents well in advance of the plenaries to see if they are willing to amend their own proposals before they come to the plenary floor.
Information For Candidates for Elected National Office
Each year, the NLG holds elections to choose the officers of the National Executive Committee (NEC). All current NLG members in good standing are eligible to run for an elected office, although it is recommended that candidates have one year of Guild membership before running for a position. If you are interested, please email a brief candidate statement to NLG President Suzanne Adely at firstname.lastname@example.org before November 10, 2023. If you have any questions about the election process, please email NLG Director of Research and Education Traci Yoder at email@example.com.
In 2023, the following offices are up for election:
The President position is a three-year term beginning in 2024. This position is responsible for fundraising and for leading major initiatives of the National Executive Committee (NEC) and the NLG. For more information, please read the NLG President Job Description.
The Vice-President position is a three-year term beginning in 2024. This position is responsible for supporting the President, regional representatives, national committees and caucuses, and the National Executive Committee (NEC). For more information, please read the Vice-President Job Description in the NLG Bylaws.
The Treasurer position is a three-year term beginning in 2024. This position is responsible for managing the NLG budget, finances, and fundraising plan, as well as participating on the National Executive Council (NEC) and Executive Council (EC). For more information, please read the Treasurer Job Description.
Information for Candidates for Non-Elected or Non-National Positions
Candidates for national office which are selected by caucuses, regions, projects, task forces, or committees (e.g., National Student Vice President, National Legal Worker Vice President, Regional Representatives, representatives from The United People of Color Caucus and Queer Caucus, and representatives from up to eight NLG projects and national committees) should refer to their respective entities for procedures and available offices.
Dates For 2023 Proponents & Candidates
Wednesday, May 10: Publicity begins for call for proposals & candidates
Friday, Sept 1: Deadline for draft amendments and resolutions to be submitted to the Resolutions Committee
Wednesday, Sept 13: NEC Committee application available to be on the ballot for membership vote
Friday, October 6: All final amendments and resolutions proposals must be submitted and approved by RC
Wednesday, Oct 11: National Office publishes proposed resolutions and amendments on website and sends to all current members, as well as the process for submitting pro and con statements
Sunday October 29: Deadline for members to contact proponents with friendly amendments
Wednesday, Nov 1: Deadline for proponents to to make friendly amendments, add endorsements, and send final versions to National Office
Friday, Nov 3: National Office will send out final resolutions/amendments and governance plenary agendas
Thursday, Nov 8: All staffed chapters must submit most up to date membership information to National Office
Friday, Nov 10: Emergency resolutions must be submitted and approved by RC
Friday, Nov 10: Deadline for any candidates for national officer positions to nominate themselves.
Saturday, Nov 11: Deadline for people to join/renew their Guild membership in order to vote in that year’s election
Sunday, Nov 12: Deadline for committees to submit application to be on the NEC the following year
Saturday/Sunday, Nov 11-12: Governance Plenaries
*Between 1st and 2nd plenary: Period in which members can contact emergency resolution proponents to suggest friendly amendments
Sunday, Nov 19: Deadline for pro and con statements to be submitted
Wednesday Nov 22: Voting Link Sent, including Jailhouse Lawyer member mailing
Friday Dec 22: 31 days after voting link sent: Deadline for voting
Friday Jan 5, 2024: National Office will publish results of voting