March 1, 2017
I hope you have had an opportunity to review the newsletter we sent to all of you in December. The newsletter contains considerable information about the NECC, our new programming, our financial needs, and the Board’s strategy to address those needs. We remain a strong, non-profit organization committed to the well-being of our members and the community.
I believe that many members of our community and the nation were surprised by the results of the election. Regardless of your political values or affiliation, I believe the results indicate the need for all of us to increase our efforts to help those most in need, treat all of our neighbors with fairness and compassion, and protect those most threatened by prejudice and hatred. For the Center, I believe that can translate to an increased emphasis on our charitable, community oriented work.
With that in mind, I want to call your attention to two items mentioned in the newsletter.
Fair pay for our employees. To meet our moral commitment to pay living wages to our employees, as well as the new state minimum wage laws, we must increase our membership dues. At our Board meeting, the Board voted unanimously to increase dues in all categories by 5%. This follows a 5% increase approved in March, 2016. These increases were first announced over a year ago and reiterated in the December newsletter. Last year, after announcing the plan I received several very positive emails and explained the rationale at a member meeting. The second increase was included in our recently approved budget, and will be effective April 1, 2017. You can find NECC’s new monthly membership dues on our website here.
These increases are the first in eight years at the NECC. With these increases we will be able to provide all of our employees with wages that average $1 an hour over the legal minimum for 2017 and 2018. The last substantial increase in the minimum wage rate will take place in 2020 bringing the legal minimum to $13.75 an hour.
Stepping up our commitment to serve the larger community. The Board is engaged in a strategic planning process to guide a path for the Center for the next decade and beyond. Part of that effort is an examination of our current charitable work as a non-profit organization, and a determination of how best to focus and increase those efforts. We welcome your ideas of how to increase our ability to make a difference in the lives of those around us and strengthen our community.
This change affects each family differently. We want to ensure that the NECC remains accessible to all. If this change creates a financial hardship for your family, please contact our Member Services Coordinator, Megan Hepp at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 503-284-3377.
If you have comments on these or other issues described in the newsletter, please email me at Board@necommunitycenter.org. Thank you for your continuing support of the Center.