Resolution Writing Guide
A resolution is fundamentally a way to express an idea or to identify a problem or opportunity. Although they may deal with complex issues, most resolutions begin simply when a concerned party recognizes a problem, and attempts to suggest a solution. It is structured to express the background of the problem and lay out a course of action in a logical way so that the need for action on the issue is clear. Depending on the action taken by the IMG Section and/or the AMA-House of Delegates, the resolution may become part of a new program or policy on an issue.
The International Medical Graduates Section (IMGS) Governing Council (GC) will be implementing a NEW strategic procedure for submitting IMGS resolutions to the AMA House of Delegates (HOD). Review of resolutions will be handled one meeting ahead of each Annual and Interim Meeting. Resolution testimony and amendments will be handled via SharePoint which is the Microsoft program that is currently used by the AMA HOD. Meeting participants and Section members will be encouraged to provide their comments and votes via SharePoint so Section members can view everyone's comments. Authors of resolutions must adhere to the established deadlines to allow enough time for testimony and to garner support from their Sections and other organizations as deemed appropriate. This process is used by other Sections and is found to be successful, less rushed and more strategic.
Please note if Section members do not provide their testimony via SharePoint and disagrees with the final ratified resolution, members can no longer disenfranchise the Virtual Congress and make amendments to resolutions during the same meeting its being submitted. The will of the majority of the members of the IMG Section will be carried out. Therefore, it is important to provide ALL of your comments and votes accordingly whenever the Virtual Congress is in session.
To ease the transition to the use of SharePoint, IMG Section members will have the ability to provide testimony during the Virtual Congress via SurveyMoney and SharePoint in 2013. In 2014, we will migrate to the use of SharePoint only for the Virtual Congress.
As before, the IMGS-GC will serve as the reference committee and amend resolutions based on submitted testimony, amendments from the Virtual Congress and from people/delegations who testify at the prior meeting. The final ratification of all resolutions will be in the hands of the Virtual Congress members. The decision of the Virtual IMG Congress will be carried out by the IMGS GC. A separate communication about emergency and late resolutions will be forthcoming.
To accommodate this new process, here are the new deadlines and processes (dates are subject to change).
- June 2013 meeting - Monday, April 1 resolutions are due. Virtual Congress will testify and suggest amendments in April, then your GC will edit the resolutions based on the amendments and testimony in April. The final versions of these resolutions will be voted on by late April and submitted to the HOD by early May. Ratified resolutions cannot be amended at the June 2013 meeting.
If there are any emergency resolutions for the June meeting, these resolutions will be discussed at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 15 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago with the IMG Governing Council. More information will be announced at a later date.
The deadline for late resolutions is June 1. Late resolutions will be reviewed by the IMG Governing Council and IMG Congress members for testimony and final ratification.
- November 2013 meeting (advocacy only) - Wednesday, May 1 resolutions are due. These resolutions will be discussed first at the June 2013 meeting and then sent to the Virtual Congress for further amendments and testimony in July 2013. GC will amend the resolutions based on feedback and the final vote will be held in August 2013.
- June 2014 - Friday, September 20, 2013 resolutions are due. These resolutions will be discussed at the November 2013 meeting first then sent out to the Virtual Congress for further testimony and amendments in December. Final vote will be held late January 2014.
- November 2014 meeting (advocacy only) – Thursday, May 1, 2014 resolutions are due. These resolutions will be discussed first at the June 2014 meeting first then sent out to the Virtual Congress for further testimony, amendments in July. Final vote will be held in late August.
The purpose of this new process is to have resolutions discussed one meeting ahead and allows enough time for comments, coalition-building and strategic focus. If you have any questions, please contact J. Mori Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at (312) 464-5678.
Anyone may submit a resolution to the IMG Section for consideration at the Assembly's Annual or Interim Meeting. They should be submitted in standard written resolution format to the Department of IMG Services at least four weeks in advance of the meeting. It is recommended that resolutions be submitted earlier so that they may be included in the IMG Section Handbook, sent to all Section members. Resolutions submitted after the deadline are considered late resolutions and require a 2/3 affirmative vote by the Assembly to be considered business at that meeting. The Assembly will base their vote on the urgency of the issue, not its intrinsic merit.
In general, you should contact IMG Section staff as they can provide you with suggestions on form and content of your resolution along with providing information on relevant AMA and Section policy. This can also save you from submitting a resolution that is already AMA or Section policy.
The first step in writing a resolution is collecting the facts regarding the issue. This data then forms the basis for the whereas statements. Whereas statements should be clear and concise and provide strong, reliable background information. Since the purpose of the whereas statements is to simply outline a problem, it is not necessary to be exhaustive. Inclusion of only a few whereas statements is most effective in leading to the resolved clauses.
After presenting background information, supportive logic and argument, the call(s) to action should be written in the resolved statements. Each resolved clause should stand on its own. When the Assembly adopts a resolution, it merely adopts the resolves. Essentially, the whereas statements have no life once the resolution has been adopted. The resolved statements should not refer to facts or items presented in the whereas statements, although they should follow logically from the facts presented. There may be more than one resolved statement in a resolution. However, the resolved statements should be related. Each resolved statement should contain only one call to action and should be somewhat vague. Resolutions that call for very specific action are often defeated. If applicable, the final resolved statement should indicate if and when the resolution should be transmitted to the House of Delegates.
Resolutions should be clearly constructed and proceed in a logical manner. While there is a very specific format and language used in writing resolutions, this should not prevent anyone from submitting a resolution. IMG Section staff can provide format assistance to resolution writers.
The following is a sample resolution to demonstrate proper construction of a resolution and to assist those interested in writing their own.
Introduced by: International Medical Graduates Section Governing Council
Subject: AMA Web site and Electronic Communications
Referred to: Reference Committee
Whereas, Use of electronic platforms such as the World Wide Web is increasing while costs are decreasing, making it a very effective means of communication; and
Whereas, Costs of producing, printing and mailing written materials are continually increasing, making it a less efficient means of communication; and
Whereas, The provision of an educational vehicle for AMA membership and the general public to become aware of the AMA and its activities would increase knowledge of the AMA and the positive contribution of AMA programs; and
Whereas, A fully interactive AMA Web site with member-specific content is extremely important for the membership to be informed and to communicate effectively, both among themselves and with their Association; and
Whereas, Despite a promising start with the current AMA Web site in compiling static content for members and the general public, it is critical that the AMA deliver on the promise of developing a fully interactive web site where members can learn about AMA initiatives and provide grassroots input on the direction of their Association; and
Whereas, The AMA sections represent a majority of current and potential AMA members, so Web site enhancements should focus on reaching these segments of AMA membership; and
Whereas, It is essential that all AMA electronic platforms, including the Web site, be fully interactive to ensure the AMA is responsive to the interests and concerns of all its members; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the IMG Section ask the AMA to aggressively pursue efforts already underway to make the AMA Web site, and any related electronic platforms, fully interactive and equipped with member-specific content; and also be it
RESOLVED, That the IMG Section ask the AMA to highlight and aggressively support further development of Web pages for each of the Sections, in order that they may more effectively promote membership and recruitment.