NCRA Bylaw Amendment Proposals 2019

Like many of you, I got the email proposing bylaw changes. You’re free to read them for yourself if you are a member of NCRA. I wanted to give a brief summary of each and my general thoughts. Voting will take place August 15, 2019, so set that in your calendars and make sure you make your voice heard in the next election. Remember, they send out the emails to electronically vote, and they hold that vote open the whole day, meaning you do not have to be present.

  1. Amendment 1 is going to make it so members may submit written or verbal requests to be reinstated. This is a great choice for all those members who have left who want to join back up because they’ll have more options. I’ll vote yes.
    Amendment 2 would make it clear that registered members can be reinstated as registered members as long as they fulfill educational requirements. This is also a great move. It shows that the NCRA is not money grabbing for the exam dollars. In my view, if it was a money grab amendment, they’d demand returning members retest and re-qualify for certs. This is pretty much the opposite, pro-stenographer, and I’ll vote yes.
    Amendment 3 seems to be about moving the proration of dues from the bylaws to the policies and procedures. Without an argument as to how this might hurt us as members, I’ll vote yes.
    Amendment 4 deals with how leadership seats will be assigned in the event of a vacancy. It seems to streamline the process and simplify it. The only thing I will caution here is that the language might be challengeable or confusing in that the previous language was that in the event of a vacancy, the president-elect would take the president’s office, and if that term was six months or less, have the opportunity to serve a full term. This new proposed language just says “half a term” when it should probably say “half a term or less.” This new language could probably be argued to allow someone who serves more or less than half a term to still go on to serve another full term. I would urge us to revisit this language next year. That said, I’ll be voting yes.
    Amendment 5 just changed the language to make more sense, saying the nominating committee will meet before the election instead of before the next election. This is an easy yes.
    Amendment 6 changes the National Committee of State Associations to the National Congress of State Associations. Oddly enough, I had written about this in the recent NCRA survey, saying we need more emphasis on state action. This is definitely more emphasis on state action, and I’ll be voting yes.
    Amendment 7 would change the requirements to be a state association affiliated with the NCRA. Currently you must show your organization is in line with NCRA’s bylaws and constitution and that most of your members are stenographic reporters. This would remove that majority stenographic members requirement. Now, some people will likely urge a no vote on this one because it can come off as anti-stenographer, but there is a clever catch. NCRA’s bylaws and constitution are all about promulgating stenographic reporters. So basically it would allow hybrid state associations to affiliate with NCRA if they were in line with promoting stenography. This is a creative way to be inclusionary, and I’m voting yes, but I also have to urge us to make sure we have a process for taking away affiliation if an association shifts from our team to against us.

Learn Stenography!

NCRA.

National Court Reporters Association is, as of writing, the powerhouse association for stenography in the United States. I came across this video today and I figure it’s worth sharing to all who might come across this blog. It will immediately direct you to a site with a little information about how to start getting involved. Having lent a piece of equipment to one of the A to Z programs they describe, I can honestly say I’m a big supporter of this stuff and people giving this profession a try. It’s worth it.

A very brief summary of what we do: We take down the spoken word and make it text. We type it faster than a regular keyboard because our keyboards (stenotypes) allow us to hit multiple letters at once, and those letters stand for various sounds, words, and sentences.

More Than A Job.

In our field we often point at the potential to make money for relatively little education, and I think that’s just fine, but I also realize that doesn’t motivate everybody. If you’re in the camp of not being a money-hungry person, then consider a few extra things. For those of us that work in court reporting, we provide hours upon hours of service to the community, logging and keeping safe thousands of pages of court or deposition records for the day they’re needed by lawyers, litigants, or the public. For those of us that work in captioning or CART, we provide access to the people who need it most. Voice-to-text access for the 15% of Americans who report trouble hearing, and the millions who cannot hear at all! Indeed, if you  won’t do this thing for the money, do it for the people you will be helping just by sitting at a little machine and typing your heart out.

Stanographer.

Stanley Sakai gives a pretty upbeat and fast explanation of stenography here for those that want to know more about the concept of machine shorthand.

Stenoodie.

I came across this fascinating blog by someone who writes under the author name Stenoodie, and they have a short page describing steno/machine shorthand for those who like reading more than videos.