At the UUA Board meeting on December 12, 2022, a Board member said that most of the business of the next annual General Assembly will be about two things: The UUA Presidential election and the Article II Bylaws revision.
UUA Presidential Election
2023 is the year to select another UUA President for a 6-year term. At this time there is one candidate, Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt, nominated by the Presidential Search Committee. (See Dr. Betancourt’s website.) If one or more other people meet the requirements to be a candidate through the petition process, then the Association will have multiple candidates. In that case, delegates will receive information about candidates, will have the opportunity to watch a candidate forum at GA, and will be able to vote for UUA President in an election.
Article II Bylaws Revision
2023 is the first of two years of voting regarding a proposed revision of Article II of the UUA Bylaws. Article II states the purpose of the Unitarian Universalist Association, lists its principles, contains an inclusion clause, and contains a freedom-of-belief clause. Because it contains these things, it can be said to define at a very high level what the UUA is.
In October 2022, the UUA’s Article II Study Commission released a draft of its proposed revision of Article II. That draft, as well as the current Article II, can be found in the November Heirloom article, Draft of Proposed Revision to Article 2.
At the January 2023 meeting of the UUA Board, the Article II Study Commission will present its final, updated proposal for Article II. After that:
(1) The UUA Board may create Board-sponsored amendments to the proposal.
(2) Delegates may create delegate-sponsored amendments to the proposal. According to a possible timeframe shown at the December UUA Board meeting, this would start in May 2023. At least one mini-assembly to receive delegate-sponsored amendments must occur during GA, according to UUA Bylaw C-15.1(c)(3)(i)-(ii).
(3) Delegates will vote, during GA, on amendments to the proposal. Near the end of GA, they vote on the proposal itself, as amended. Possible outcomes of the vote are:
~ The proposal achieves a majority favorable vote, and it is a proposal with no amendments or with only Board-sponsored-amendments. In this case, what is approved in 2023 will be voted on again at GA 2024, and must achieve over 2/3 favorable vote at that time to take effect.
~ The proposal achieves a majority favorable vote, and it is a proposal with one or more delegate-sponsored amendments. In this case, during the next year the proposal may be modified further by the Article II Study Commission, and the version with further modifications will be voted on at GA 2024. If it achieves over 2/3 favorable vote at that time, it takes effect.
~ The proposal fails to achieve a majority favorable vote. In this case, it is the end of considering revising Article II for now, and there will be no vote on the proposal at GA 2024.
Delegates at GA often vote on one or more of the following social-justice-related items: Congregational Study/ Action Issues, Statements of Conscience, and Actions of Immediate Witness. These types of items may or may not be present at GA 2023. The Commission on Social Witness is currently down in membership, and all available time might be needed for Article II.
Not Business at GA 2023
The UUA Board has decided that the only Bylaw revisions that will be considered at GA 2023 will be for Article II. Although the Board is working on revisions to other bylaws, those will not be brought up for a vote until GA 2024.
If you are interested in applying to be a delegate at General Assembly, see the article Call for UUA General Assembly Delegates.
If you have questions about what typically happens at General Assembly, or would like links to more resources on the 2023 General Assembly, please contact Russ Araujo.