Dear AFN Board of Directors and Delegates:
Several weeks ago AFN sent you the 2018 Convention delegate packet. As usual, the packet included a resolutions policy overview and fillable form. As you know, convention resolutions are essential to how AFN conducts its work, guiding our organization, and prioritizing the many challenges we all are facing.
You may have noticed that there is a new section in the resolutions form, called the “problem statement.” The problem statement should be a focused articulation of the problem the resolution is addressing. Ideally, it is about three to four sentences. The statement references something that is important to the statewide Native community, and then connects that element to a specific goal. It next articulates the gap between the current state of the problem and the desired goal. It is meant to be as neutral as possible, and free of proposed solutions. It should be sufficiently small in scope so it can be tackled quickly.
For example, the problem statement for one of last year’s convention resolutions:
17-13 SUPPORT FOR THE VILLAGE PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICER PROGRAM AND THE RETENTION OF UNSPENT FUNDS
The absence of law enforcement in villages has long been a detriment to healthy and productive rural life. Alaska’s centralized system of public safety and justice inhibits efficient local control. One way to decentralize is by making state funding of the Village Public Safety Officer Program (VPSO) program more flexible. Limitations in how unspent VPSO grant funds may be carried over or reallocated within the budget from year to year make it difficult for small communities to afford a VPSO. The State of Alaska’s FY19 budget permits leftover VPSO program funds to be retained and expended per the approval of the Commissioner. However, this is a temporary fix that requires significant administrative work from the grantees.
This is the first time AFN has used the problem statement in the Convention resolution form, so please try your best. We are all learning.
We are really excited about this important new component to AFN’s annual convention resolution process. Your help in implementing this core part of AFN’s work is greatly appreciated. Please click here for your copy of the 2018 resolutions packet.