2013 Regional Expansion Report Charter Committee May 22, 2013 Charter Committee Director/Chairman: Ed Lopez, National Vice
Chairman Members: Earl Bandy, Western Regional Director Vic Berardelli, Northeast Regional Director Travis Bowden, Southern Regional Director Laura Ebke, Midwest Regional Director Proposals The committee submitted two proposals to the national board for our regional expansion (proposals 20 and 21) but the committee recommended that the national board select 20 over 21 because it spread the responsibility over states and territories per region most equitably, to approximately seven per region. The recommendation was based on the feedback of the current regional directors. Ultimately the board opted for an amended version of proposal 21, resulting in the creation of a 22nd plan, largely an amended version of the 21st. Selection Process Several factors were considered Input from the Regional Directors, based on the feedback they have received over the last few months from their states Input from individual RLC members General cultural elements Population State size Charter state strength States that are about to charter or face the prospect of being de-chartered (there’s greater fluidity to this factor than anticipated) Practicality of shared membership in a region Territories and the District of Columbia were not given the exact same weight of consideration due to size and jurisdictional nature but were accounted for in the process, i.e., if one region ended up with eight jurisdictions (states and territories) on account of having two territories, the committee did not consider this an overwhelming disadvantage over a region without territories or with just one territory.
No one single factor was given greater weight than the others except the amount of states allocated to each region: including territories and the District of Columbia, an effort was made to assign roughly seven states and territorial jurisdictions to each of the new eight regional director seats. It was concluded, in this process, that there is no one regional distribution that treats all the factors above equally – the national board, in this sense, must weight which factors to prioritize at any given time when drawing and re-drawing regional lines. Previous Regions As of the national board’s vote on Saturday, May 19th, 2013, the regions were divided as follows: 1
Eastern Region: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Southern Region: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Midwest Region: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Western Region: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and Guam. For reasons that are not clear, the previous regions did not include American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands. Over the last two years, regional directors and some states had expressed a strong desire to redistribute the regions. The national board of directors generally felt our state support efforts could improve with a larger number of regional directors, each focused on a smaller number of jurisdictions. One particular concern, which was addressed in the two proposals submitted to the board of directors was to separate states in the Northeast Region – specifically, to ensure West Virginia was in a separate region. Several configurations were considered, including one that separated New England into a region of its own, but in the many proposals drafted, the only combination of states that worked, considering many of the factors listed above, was one wherein New England and New York were included in the same region, while West Virginia was included in a new, Atlantic region. Ultimately, the committee felt the most logical distribution for an Atlantic region would require Pennsylvania and Maryland to be a part of it. Once a region includes Maryland, it inevitably must include the District of Columbia, and potentially, Delaware. It is unlikely, moving forward, that Virginia and West Virginia will ever end up in separate regions – most configurations considered kept the two states together. Detailed Proposal Information Out of proposals 20 and 21 (attached) Proposal 21 was chosen by the board. It was subdivided into the following regions: Northeast Region Atlantic Region Southeast Region Central Region Great Plains Region South Central Region Upper West Region Lower West Region (Please refer to Map 21 for a detailed lists of states per region). Originally the committee advocated for a regional redistribution wherein the Rocky Mountain and the Pacific states would be separated into two new regions (please refer to map 20). After feedback from state chapter leaders and further regional director discussion, an alternate map was developed: splitting the Western part of the United States into an upper and lower half, each spanning the combined northern and southern sections of the Pacific and Rocky Mountain areas and resulting in “Upper West” and “Lower West” regions. 2
The principal concern this second plan (proposal 21) meant to address was California’s desire (expressed by Western Regional Director Earl Bandy on its behalf) to remain separate from Washington (state). This was largely due to concerns over the inclusion of two states with large membership figures in one region, particularly given their relative proximity. The committee empathized with the perceived need for this division but at the same time considered that California’s membership is proportionally low and its geographic stretch limiting in terms of regional distribution options. For this reason, the committee did not feel proposal 21, which features the “Upper West” and “Lower West” divisions, would address improvements in a regional director ’s capacity to serve as efficiently as proposal 20: the committee’s view was that California could benefit from Washington state’s current strength, potentially emancipating a regional director to focus on developing membership in California and other western states to be more commensurate with Washington’s. The committee also took into account the fluidity of membership in other states, where the wax and wane of memberships has proven somewhat unpredictable, e.g., MA, DE, NH, and ND, among others, i.e., membership didn’t seem to be a strong enough factor in considering whether California and Washington should be in the same region. California's RLC membership is roughly 0.0024% of the total Republican registration for the state. Washington's is 0.0194% of eligible voters who cast a vote for the Republican presidential candidate in their state's presidential election (there's no party registration in Washington, which means that the percentage would be higher if the state did have party registration). The case for "two strong chapters" co-existing (or not) in a region might not be all that clear-cut. Ultimately, we want “strong chapters” to be abundant in all of our regions regardless. Nonetheless, the committee responded to the concerns aired by western RLC members and developed an alternate proposal (21) as described above. Amended and Adopted Plan The national board embraced proposal 21, largely on account of the many reasons this proposal was developed at the committee level to begin with. The board was asked to consider an important amendment, however: the states of Wyoming and Colorado, which have often collaborated in political efforts on account of the shared Front Range Urban Corridor, demonstrated a preference, as articulated by Regional Director Earl Bandy, to remain in the same region. Given their frequent though not common inclusion in the Great Plains states, the board agreed to move the two states into the Great Plains region. This change seemed to satisfy each the potential Upper and Lower West states. As a result, each the Upper and Lower West regions became somewhat smaller, meriting the more proper nomenclature of “Northwest” and “Southwest” regions. Effective the evening of Sunday the 19th, 2013, the national board made the new region distribution official (proposal 22) and a call for nominations for the next Regional Director elections was released to the general membership. In Liberty,
Ed Lopez National Vice Chairman
Proposal 22 (adopted proposal):