Resolution writing: how to get started


Resolutions writing was the featured topic for the American Legion training session on Tuesday, Oct. 26, held through Microsoft Teams. The presentation will be available here in the coming days.

The American Legion is a resolution-based organization. Any legionary, or group of legionaries, can impact the priorities and positions of the American Legion through a resolution – an initiative driven by a position written by members and put to a vote.

Resolutions can be classified as:

– A position on the problems of veterans

– Related to congressional legislation or matters of the Veterans Affairs or Defense departments.

– The ability to create, modify or support American Legion programs, such as Legion Baseball, Boys Nation or Legion Riders.

– Authorization of changes within the organization (eg, use of funds, creating and managing corporate relationships, making changes to the constitution and bylaws).

– Possibility of recognizing a person or an organization.

Two parts of a resolution

1. Preamble. The preamble (the clause considering that) sets out the problem and often includes the history of the involvement or former position of the American Legion. The preamble is made up of one or more clauses, each starting with “Expected” or a statement of fact related to the intent of the resolution; clauses are joined by a semicolon (;) followed by “and”; and the last paragraph ends with a semicolon followed by “now, so be it”.

Example

WHEREAS, the American Legion, since its inception, has promoted the active involvement of its members, positions and departments in the electoral process in the United States; and

AND WHEREAS over the years, numerous resolutions have enabled the American Legion to encourage all eligible voters to vote on Election Day; now, therefore, let it be

2. Resolve the clause. The resolution clause, which is always in bold, defines the solution, policy or action in very clear and concise terms. It provides a resolution with a clear intention and it should be self-contained. The first part of the clause indicates which meeting approves the resolution as well as the place and date of the approval. The word “That” immediately following the resolution clause introduces the declaration of intent. The final resolution clause identifies the specific program that will be supported and at what level of the organization and how.

Example

RESOLVED by the National Executive Committee of the American Legion at a regular meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana on October 17-18, 2007, That the American Legion reiterates its long-standing commitment to the service of the United States of America by recognizing and promoting the truest… etc .; and, that it is finally

RESOLVED that the American Legion, through its Get Out the Vote program, encourage its members, stations, districts and departments to become fully involved in the electoral process by serving as poll volunteers, poll workers , voting, and encouraging and helping others to register and vote.

Resolution checklist

Before submitting a resolution to your post, district, or department, make sure your resolution meets this checklist.

– Times New Roman or Arial font

– Font size 12 or more

– Check spelling

– Check grammar

– Non-expert to read the resolution

– No reference to specific support for the congressional bill

– Meeting date in the header

– The wording of the termination clause is correct

– The entire resolution is just one sentence with a period (.) At the end of the resolution

– There is relevance to the American Legion

– One subject per resolution

– Signature (s) on each page of the resolution

– Resolve the clause (s) in bold

– Authority noted before the start of the text of the resolution

– Documentation attached if applicable

– Do not use “partnership” in reference to other organizations, use “relation”

How to write a resolution

Download the American Legion Resolutions and Reports booklet that explains how to write them in more detail. Legionaries are encouraged to review approved resolutions to learn more about how to format and create resolutions. Visit the Legion Digital archives, where resolutions dating back to 1919 are stored.

How to submit a resolution

Contact your American Legion leadership as each department has its own procedure on how to submit a resolution.


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