Maryland NOW coordinates the work of the member chapters to accomplish the goals and directives of our members and our member chapters. The state meets in conference each year to elect officers, review the work of the year, and establish program priorities.
Maryland NOW’s bylaws outline the work of the state’s council — made up of each of the member chapters – and gives the council the responsibility of managing the affairs and controlling Maryland NOW’s funds and property. The work of the council is conducted either as a committee-of-the-whole, or through task forces or committees. A budget is developed through in committee work and presented to the council for passage.
Maryland NOW also supports the work of any and all member chapters in our state, and also works to retain our contributing members through organized outreach to them.
Please do not hesitate to contact the state if you have questions or would like to be involved in our work.
Maryland NOW’s Bylaws outline our structure. Keep reading here.
Would you like to join us in a leadership role or on a committee? Here are the Job Descriptions of Maryland NOW Officers.
Maryland NOW’s 2020 Annual Report
P.O. Box 7716
Silver Spring, MD 20907-7716
Maryland NOW’s website: www.marylandnow.org We also have a Facebook page and a Twitter Account and currently use MailChimp to send regular updates and news to our members.
Sandy Bell, President
Barbara Hays, Executive Vice-President
Margie Kotzalas, Action Vice-President
Jerry Blum, Treasurer
Maryland NOW Finances:
In 2018 Maryland NOW received a bequest from a member’s estate. This person was a founding member of one of our Maryland chapters in the 1970s. These funds have enabled us to work to update our structure (including our website), better organize our finances, and embark on a state-wide chapter and membership rebuilding plan. We have also been able to give seed money to the Maryland NOW PAC.
Our budget is drawn up by a Budget Committee, with the assistance of the treasurer, and must be approved by the council before December 31. Our fiscal year is Jan 1 through Dec 31.
Maryland NOW Bylaws:
Our bylaws were last updated in 2009. In the coming year we plan to begin to update our bylaws, including some changes to the duties of our officers.
Maryland NOW State Council:
The Maryland NOW State Council meets, on average six times per year. The Council has full responsibility for the management of our finances and oversees Maryland NOW’s projects, programs, and structure.
Our state conferences are held in May and elections are held at that time. The conferences also discuss and set goals, and resolutions pertaining to our structure, issue work, and projects are proposed and passed by the body. The State Conference is the supreme governing body of Maryland NOW.
- Our President and Executive Vice President have been active with the NOW State President’s Caucus, making connections vital to our state and contributing to NOW work around the country.
- We redesigned our website, which had not been updated since 2014. All of the content was very dated, as were the photos. We have now been getting members, internship inquiries, and contributions through the site. As of January, 2021, Google Analytics reported 300 visitors with 368 visits.
- We held one of the first virtual conferences in the organization which was necessitated by the COVID pandemic. We put together a conference packet, which was used by the state president’s caucus to demonstrate how such conferences could be held given pandemic limitations on meetings using a Zoom meeting platform. We conducted a postal ballot, meeting all organizational requirements for voting via USPS with no problems.
- Using several different projects, we have attracted enough young women who have not only started a Young Feminist Task Force but have taken on specific responsibilities in the issue and administrative functions of the state organization. We have also built interest to start an LGBT+ Task Force which will launch a project to address awareness and support for transgender issues through a Gender Identity Project. Two other task forces have been formed to work on domestic violence and the ERA.
- We completed an in-house review of our financial records and revised our budget format to function in conjunction with our IRS 990 tax reporting requirements. Our treasurer has entered all data from 2020 and going forward into Quicken software so that our council can more easily fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities to Maryland NOW.
- We held two virtual programs on racism to begin a process of heightening awareness in Maryland NOW on the subjects of systemic racism and white privilege. One was held through the State President’s Caucus with a program called, “White Women: Can We Talk?” which was presented in conjunction with Rhode Island NOW and their members and led by women of color from the State President’s Caucus. We also supported financially and co-hosted with Indiana NOW the keynote speaker for their state conference, Mikki Kendall, author of “Hood Feminism.” We view this as only a start in working on the issue of racism and have asked our Young Feminist Task Force to suggest ways to go forward bringing in younger women who want to make a commitment to this issue.
- We did an organization-wide mailing in late October 2020 reminding members that a Biden win was only the beginning of work we would need to do to repair damage done by the former administration. We included a reply card and envelope asking members to let us know issues of most concern to them and about interest they might have in becoming more involved in chapter and state work. We got back an impressive response from some of the areas outside the major metropolitical areas in our state and are working with members from areas where we have inactive chapters or in areas where we would like to organize new chapters.
- Maryland NOW worked to support various legislative initiatives, and our coalition partners who are also committed to issues they share with NOW. We were represented at legislative briefings and rallies, supporting the Maryland Legislative Agenda for Women (MLAW), Progressive Maryland, and NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland. Maryland NOW members wrote testimony for three bills – providing menstrual hygiene products in the schools, classifying diapers as a medical necessity, and reinstating a pre-release unit for women through the Department of Corrections.