VEA at the 2013 NEA Convention
MAY 7 UPDATE
NEA Convention is only two months away. I’m looking forward to seeing each of you in Atlanta, Georgia, for a fun and exciting convention. NEA's Annual Meeting will be held July 1 – July 6, 2013 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. Local presidents should have already mailed their listing of delegates and alternates to VEA. If you have not done so, do it immediately!
If this is your first NEA RA, welcome. New delegates should attend the New Delegate Orientation on July 1 at 9:30 a.m. For “seasoned” delegates, welcome back.
We convene the Annual Meeting every July. The first two days are devoted to state delegation caucuses, discussions, conferences, and exhibits. The highlight is the four-day Representative Assembly (or RA).
The RA is the Association’s highest decision-making body. With more than 9,000 delegates, the RA is also the world’s largest democratic, deliberative body. Delegates debate issues that affect American public education, elect top officers, and set policy to guide the 3.2-million member Association. Here are some details to help you plan your trip.
ANNUAL MEETING THEME
NEA: We Educate America
Travel Day: June 30
Annual Meeting: July 3 - July 6
Departure Day: July 7
VEA Caucus Schedule at the DoubleTree by Hilton Atlanta Downtown
9:30 - 10:00 a.m. Orientation for New Delegates –
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. VEA Caucus – Centennial Ballroom
2:00 - 5:00 p.m. Board of Directors – Olympic Ballroom
6:00 - 7:30 p.m. VEA Reception/Auction –Centennial Ballroom
HOUSING –VEA Delegates: Virginia delegates will stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton Atlanta Downtown, 160 Spring Street, NW, Atlanta, GA. Like last year, delegates will make housing reservations online. Using the booking website, Virginia delegates will be able to make, modify, and cancel their hotel reservations. Deadline for making housing reservations is May 27, 2013. To make your reservation, please click here. The rate is $163 single/double ($189.08 including tax).
The DoubleTree by Hilton Atlanta Downtown payment policy:
IMPORTANT NOTE: The DoubleTree by Hilton Atlanta Downtown requires a credit card deposit for all incidentals (room service, phone calls, etc.). The required deposit is $40 for incidentals plus the room and tax per day for your length of stay. A hold will be placed for the deposit on a credit card. The hotel discourages the use of debit cards for this purpose due to the fact that it can take 5 – 10 business days to remove the hold. This often causes problems. If a credit card is not provided the hotel will turn off the ability to charge to your room. For guests wishing to pay with cash a $40 cash deposit per day will be required upon check-in. Please remember that a hold will be placed on your credit card for the remaining balance when you arrive at the hotel. ABSOLUTELY NO PERSONAL, LOCAL, ASSOCIATION, ETC. CHECKS WILL BE ACCEPTED FOR PAYMENT.
Parking at the DoubleTree: Valet parking is $30.00 per day. (The DoubleTree only has valet parking.)
Reception: One ticket for the July 1VEA reception will be given to each VEA delegate at our opening caucus. If you wish to bring a guest, e-mail Kathy Bowles firstname.lastname@example.org no later than June 3. The cost is $50 for each guest and payable in advance. You do not need to purchase a ticket for yourself.
Auction: We will auction to the highest bidder 52 state contact positions (50 states + DC and Federal Education Association). Save your money, as many states have sold for $100+ in past years. It’s fun, and all the proceeds go to the NEA Fund for Children and Public Education. In addition, state contacts get a reserved seat at the end of the rows on the floor of the RA. Although we use the auction to raise money for the NEA Fund, being a state contact is a serious job. Before bidding, be sure you are willing to assume the responsibility.
Wearing of Colors: VEA (like most state delegations) has over the past few years developed a tradition of wearing specific color shirts each day of the convention, as a way of identifying the VEA delegation. Here’s the request for the wearing of colors for this year:
July 3rd – Blue
July 4th – Patriotic (red, white and blue)
July 5th – Black
July 6th– Red
The NEA Fund for Children and Public Education Fundraising
Delegates are encouraged this year to bring a voluntary contribution of $180 for The NEA Fund for Children and Public Education. The standard envelope contribution collection process and labeling system initiated for The NEA Fund several years ago will be utilized again for this RA, and all delegations will be asked to use the envelopes in their delegates' envelope books for collecting and transmitting contributions. Delegates will be mailed reminder information and their contribution identification labels for the envelope collection system in pre-RA mailings. They will receive their envelope packet upon registering at the RA.
Reminder - Using your Delegate ID Smart Card and your debit or credit card, you can make voluntary contributions at The NEA Fund Kiosk. It’s easy, secure and fast!
For more information about PAC Fundraising and the RA, please contact Emily Fuller at 202-822-7319 (email@example.com).
NEA Delegate Newsletter: NEA has developed another way to share many of the details concerning non-business topics like the expos including some special offers that may be of interest to you. The first Delegate Communication newsletter was sent to delegates who provided email addresses as part of the registration process on May 3rd.
Subsequent e-mails are scheduled for the following dates: May 24, June 7, June 20 & June 24.
Emergency Information: Emergency information will no longer be submitted online. Instead, delegates may note emergency contact information on the reverse side of their name badges.
2013 Guidelines for Physically Challenged Delegates: Information and forms can be found on the NEA’s Public Annual Meeting 2013 site.
2013 Annual Meeting Child Care Services: Information and forms can be found here.
Travel & Transportation Info: Now posted on the NEA public website under the Travel, Transportation and Lodging tab.
NEA Headquarters Hotel: The NEA headquarters hotel is the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.
Future NEA and VEA Mailings and Information to Delegates: Further communications to you will occur in the following ways:
VEA Communication #2 will be on the VEA web site at www.veanea.org/NEARA by early June. As we receive information from NEA, we will put it on the web site immediately. While the document may appear the same, new information may be added until the third week of June. Check often. This will provide updated details about our meetings in Atlanta. If you want us to mail a paper copy to you, please let Kathy Bowles know.
Pre-Annual Meeting Packet will be mailed to you from NEA in June. Delegates should expect to receive the packet between June 10 and June 17. It will contain time-sensitive items delegates must have before arriving in Atlanta, such as the credentials needed for registration. Delegates should bring this package to the RA. There is no second mailing packet.
Annual Meeting Packet will be distributed to delegates when they register on-site in Atlanta and will include the Annual Meeting Program (agenda) and other program-related information which delegates must have before the Annual Meeting begins.
RA Today, the daily convention newspaper,will be distributed at our caucus July 2-6 and will contain up-to-date program changes and announcements.
Green Participants will use online delegate resources in place of traditional print materials. Delegates can view/download up-to-date documents from the D2D and/or nea.org web sites. At the RA delegates will receive a “green delegate” ribbon instead of the delegate packet.
Blog and Facebook Virginia delegates will publish stories and photos during the RA on a blog and Facebook page set up specifically for the 2013 RA. Details will be shared closer to our arrival in Atlanta.
Questions Prior to Arrival in Atlanta: Should you have questions or inquiries prior to convention, please Kathy Bowles firstname.lastname@example.org (804-775-8306). VEA’s toll-free number is 800-552-9554.