There are lots of salacious stories and juicy rumors floating around about the National Organization for Women’s national conference last Saturday in Indiananapolis. Violet Socks tells it like it is:
#1: The real issue at the NOW election was that the organization is broke and going nowhere fast. Membership has nose-dived and so has revenue (which is primarily based on membership dues):
During the two year period from 2005 to 2007, total revenue declined $1,189,644 or almost 40%. For the past three years, NOW’s expenditures have exceeded income, and NOW Inc. has been forced to borrow money from The NOW Foundation to stay solvent…
During the last election cycle (2005-2009), NOW’s membership declined approximately 10% per year and current membership figures are probably around 60,000…
The current Membership VP (Latifa Lyles) and her five-member team are directly responsible for a catastrophic 40% decline in membership and corresponding decline in revenues that imperils the continued operation of NOW.
In addition, something like 28% of NOW’s membership revenue goes just to pay the salaries of the four people at the top (the president and three VPs).
#2: Latifa Lyles has been the Membership VP during this period of catastrophic decline. She was running for president on a record of under-achievement, to put it mildly. Terry O’Neill, on the other hand, maintained overall membership levels during her tenure as Membership VP a few years ago, enhancing outreach efforts and bringing in new members each year.
#3: Latifa Lyles was not the candidate of change; she was the hand-picked successor of Kim Gandy and Ellie Smeal (who is the power behind the throne, as it were). Latifa’s election would have meant a continuation of Ellie Smeal’s control and a continuation of the inside-the-beltway strategy NOW has pursued in recent years.
#4: Terry O’Neill ran on a platform of change: shaking up the organization, re-invigorating the grassroots, re-establishing vendor relations, restoring financial integrity, and re-building membership.
There is a bunch more, but you need to visit The Reclusive Leftist to read it.
(#7 and #8 are especially shocking)
Well, what are you waiting for? Go see Violet. While you’re there you can read her archives and check out her pictures of alpacas too.