The Japanese American Citizens League issued the following statement on April 24.
The JACL National Board believes our members’ health and safety are our top priority and on April 23, 2020, the JACL National Board voted unanimously to cancel the 2020 National Convention.
After an April 9 decision by the board to postpone the Las Vegas convention to 2021, the board investigated the feasibility of holding a convention and National Council meeting virtually in lieu of an in-person convention in the year of 2020. Due to limitations in technology and per the National Bylaws, the board decided against such actions.
As they currently stand, the Bylaws do not explicitly permit a meeting of the National Council to be held virtually. Specifically, the definition of a meeting, as defined by Robert’s Rules, requires that participants be in the same physical room with one another, something that would not be possible under current public health guidelines for social distancing.
To ensure that certain business items are appropriately addressed, the National Board will hold a virtual meeting on Aug. 15, 2020. This meeting will be open to any members who may wish to attend. Information for how to join the virtual meeting will be forthcoming.
Items to be discussed at that time will include but are not limited to:
• Passing of a national budget for the 2021 calendar year
The proposed 2021 budget will be made available to the membership 60 days prior to the meeting for review.
• Announcement of biennial award winners
Conveyance of awards to be held at a yet to be specified date and location in 2021.
Separate from the National Board meeting, the Nominations Committee is preparing guidelines with the preliminary expectation that elections will be held later this summer.
Resolutions and Constitution and Bylaws amendments will not be considered this year; however, the initiative process, as set forth in Article 13 of the Constitution, remains open for members to spur action from the organization.
With the new target of an Aug. 15 board meeting, some convention-related deadlines that were in place for the 2020 National Convention may be shifted pending decisions from the convention committee chairs. Announcements related to these schedules will be shared through the JACL Digest and on the JACL website at www.jacl.org.
JACL remains committed to ensuring the safety of our members. While it is regrettable that we will not be able to conduct our National Convention this year, we must also remain faithful to the rules that govern our organization. JACL will be working to provide alternative programming for its members in the coming months, beginning with Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May.