The House of Delegates was held as a hybrid event this year with a virtual meeting held the last weekend in August during which we voted for officers, directors and the nominating committee members. We also voted on a couple of measures. This all was very familiar to me as this is what we did last year. This is my second year as Chief Delegate.
Most of the delegates flew into Washington, DC for the in-person House of Delegates at the OMNI Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC, held on September 11-12. There were many COVID precautions in place. We had to show proof of vaccination or a current negative COVID test. Masks were worn the entire time. No food or drink was allowed in the meeting room. I was joined by Jon Gardunia and John Sayles to form the Idaho delegation. It was nice to be in the same workspace as my co-delegates. This allowed us to confer as needed.
After working hard for the past several years, the Special Committee on Bylaws presented updated bylaws to be voted on. It was my understanding that the bylaws had not been thoroughly updated in over 20 years. What a task they took on. Most of the day on Saturday was spent working on amendments to the new bylaws. After the bylaws were finally approved, the HOD gave the special committee a well-deserved standing ovation. Last year on Zoom we would not have experienced the emotion of this moment. Last year I felt like an outsider looking in. This year I felt like I was truly able to participate. I even got brave and went to the microphone to request a change to the order of business. I wanted to make sure we had time to discuss and vote on the COVID measure that was passed. I learned a lot about Robert’s Rules of Order. There was a lot of parliamentarian ping pong happening throughout the course of two days. I did not know how hard it could be to change an agenda item or the amount of time allocated for discussion.
The APTA has done an excellent job summarizing what took place in the House of Delegates this year. Please follow this link if you want more detailed information.
This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the APTA. APTA just moved into their new headquarters. I was fortunate enough to tour the building the day before the House of Delegates started. Artwork that depicts movement has been incorporated throughout the building. The building is mostly glass. It is a very open concept. There are very few walls and where there are “walls and doors” they are made of glass. I believe the only truly private office space is in human resources. I would hate to be the person that has to clean all the windows and walls. The views from the building are amazing. You can see the National Mall as well as watch airplanes take off and land at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. I’m not sure I would get much work done initially. People’s entire workspace/desk has the ability to be set at different heights, making them ergonomically friendly. I was jealous of this.
Overall the experience was emotionally charged, educational, and both exhilarating and exhausting. I look forward to participating again next year.