What changes, accomplishments, and actions has the DPA made in recent years?
The District Presidents Association (DPA) has taken on some very large projects over the past decade.
Fulfilling the Promise (FTP) was a 4 year program (1997–2001) that started as conversation at the 1996 General Assembly (GA) and evolved to an ad hoc group at the 1998 General Assembly (GA). FTP was fully supported by the DPA. Out of Fulfilling the Promise came To Be of Use (TBOU), truly a child of the District Presidents Association.
Summit and the Congregational Presidents Workshops held at GA.
In 2006, Unitarian Universalist (UU) University was held for the first time prior to the opening of General Assembly. UU University was another project supported by the DPA.
In 1998 and again in 2004 and 2005 the DPA hosted the Leadership Summit at GA—a meeting of district Presidents, Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Trustees, District Field Staff and headquarters staff. (In 1998 Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA) Chapter Presidents were also included in the Summit). This gathering on the Wednesday evening before GA was conceived to be a time for mapping out paths toward greater collaboration and communication among the leaders of our Association. The DPA has promoted Accessibility awareness and action at UUA headquarters and continent-wide initiatives.
Strengthening of relationship with UUA Trustees - the importance of having a DPA observer at UUA Trustee meetings has been recognized and is now institutionalized. Beginning in 2002-2003 the UUA Observer is the DPA President. In years prior to 02-03 UUA observers were rotating among the membership.
At GA in 2002 the DPA took a strong stand at the Plenary Session where a Bylaw amendment was proposed to have each district represented by a UUA Trustee. This issue was brought to the DPA by two DPs who were sharing one Trustee (Florida and Mid-South). The amendment passed.
A less successful amendment was proposed in 1999 to amend the UUA bylaws giving district presidents a vote a General Assembly.
The increased communication, networking, sharing of ideas, resources, information and programs has contributed to cohesiveness and effectiveness as both an advocacy and advisory organization.