Fourth of July – couple of days late!

The days at the NEA Representative Assembly are intense and your nights can be quite full … all of this to say that I will use this last day to catch up on some posts!

Many members are surprised that we meet and work through the holiday. It is tough to be away from the greater Cleveland area and not enjoy hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill, but the NEA makes certain to have some holiday festivities – our NEA Choir sang several patriotic selections, delegates were dressed in their finest holiday fashions (quite a sight) and there were lots of balloons and confetti.

It is a tradition for the OEA districts to host an event one night during the week of the RA. This year our NEA Event Committee back home planned a night for the delegates at the Downtown Aquarium. We invited the other districts and their delegates to join us. Six districts joined us for an amazing evening of fish, sharks and other sea creatures. The Denver Aquarium was the venue for our buffet dinner and opportunity to view the city fireworks on the balcony which overlooked Elitch Park. The reviews the next morning were fabulous. Everyone enjoyed the night and Denver’s fireworks show.

NEOEA hit our 100% participation for the FCPE ribbon yesterday at the morning caucus. Each Ohio delegate is encouraged to give $180 to the fund while at the RA. Ohio will often sponsor silent auctions each day and a live auction with some great items on the last morning. Special appreciation to our OEA/NEOEA Directors who are delegates in Denver this week and helped to make sure each of our delegates participated. Just like we push for active fund participation at our own representative assemblies in Ohio – we push here at the national level – even a little harder.

The early morning Ohio Caucus, held in our hotel ballroom, is filled with work and activities. It is here that the delegates take positions, after recommendations from the steering committee and debate, on new business items; as well as resolutions and legislative issues. Delegates are treated to a continental breakfast and it can sometimes be a casual atmosphere with many activities happening (gathering district information, making donations, purchasing chances for drawings) on the outskirts of the ballroom. This year’s caucuses have been filled with many close votes on candidates and issues. It has been more important than ever for the delegates to be present, attentive, and credentialed – in order to vote. You need to be in your seat for your vote to count.

By the way, this is the 152nd NEA Representative Assembly. What a tradition of strength and solidarity. Proud to be NEA!

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About Mary Alice Conkey

Mary Alice currently serves as President of the North Eastern Ohio Education Association. She is an intervention specialist in the East Cleveland City School District.
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