Our Proposed Enactment – “…subject to two or more inconsistent meanings” ??

–submitted by Paul Riehemann and Karen Kendrick-Hands

Going Green Logo

We received a reply from Rotary International on the Going Green Fellowship Group’s (GGFG) Proposed Enactment which was endorsed by the District.  It’s not good.

The Proposed Enactment asks that Clubs and RI be able to support the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate the global warming humanitarian crisis.


Letter to the District from RI’s Constitution and Bylaws [C&B] Committee –

2016 Council on Legislation: File 163-E.  Excerpts:

The Committee has tentatively determined that file 163-E, proposed by the Rotary Club of Madison, is duly proposed, but defective under RI Bylaws section 7.037.2:

(a) it is subject to two or more inconsistent meanings

If the RI Board agrees with the Committee’s determination as to the status of your proposed legislation, it will not be transmitted to the 2016 Council for consideration. Even if it is transmitted to the Council, a member of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee may comment at the Council that the proposed legislation has been determined to be defective.

In their review of the legislation, the Committee made the following comments:

During its review of file 163, the Committee believed that this proposed
change would be inconsistent with the constitutional documents, as it could be
considered political in nature and would be in conflict with article 13, sections
1 and 3 of the Standard Rotary Club Constitution.

You may wish to be aware that the deadline to submit amendments to proposed legislation is 31 March 2015. Please respond with any amendments to your legislation as soon as possible.


District 6250 Reply –

With the support of many District and Club leaders, District Governor Dave Warren forwarded this REPLY.  Excerpts:

  • “It appears that the Constitution and Bylaws [C&B] Committee’s declaration of File 163-E-D to be defective was in error and contrary to Rotary International’s governance procedures.”
  • “The C&B Committee has furnished no evidence or basis for the proposal’s susceptibility to two or more inconsistent meanings.  That finding, we believe, is incorrect.
  • “To bring its decision into compliance with RI’s governance procedures and to render an action that is “Fair to All Concerned”, Rotary District 6250 urges the C&B Committee to reconsider and alter its “tentative” action on File 163-E-D to advance the District 6250’s proposal for consideration at the 2016 Council on Legislation.”
  • “District 6250’s Going Green Fellowship Group proceeded precisely as then President Elect Gary Huang advised when he spoke at the Rotary Club of Madison, saying that initiatives in Rotary “must begin with the club.”  We are deeply disappointed that the C&B Committee is considering keeping our duly proposed and endorsed enactment from reaching the 2016 Council on Legislation for their consideration.”


RI Response –

The Committee will review and discuss your letter at their April 28-29 meeting. Based on the results of that discussion, the Committee would be able to extend the deadline for amendments, to allow your district time to address any concerns.


We’re confident that the C&B Committee and Rotary will follow the Four-Way Test here.  We are not going to make any amendments at this time since we don’t have any feedback on the concerns raised.


The Proposed Enactment asks for an exception to Rotary’s non-political stance to fully empower RI and Clubs to support the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate the global warming humanitarian crisis (GWHC).  Some believe that the GWHC is not political.  Under these dictionary definitions of “political” we believe action on the GWHC is political, as is Rotary’s successful campaign to assist in the eradication of polio.


  1. relating to the government, the state or the public affairs
  2. of or relating to citizens
  3. having a definite policy

Additionally, some solutions will require legislation – see the Group’s Open Letter.

We’re heartened by the support of so many in District 6250 and our Club and will keep you posted.

2 responses to “Our Proposed Enactment – “…subject to two or more inconsistent meanings” ??

  1. The longer we wait to take an active role in mitigating the causes and effects of global warming, the more difficult the task becomes. Thank you Rotary Club of Downtown Madison for continuing this grass roots effort to expand your work to an international platform and help make our earth sustainable for generations to come.
    Bob Miller
    President and Executive Director
    Aldo Leopold Nature Center

  2. Dear Rotary International President Gary C.K. Huang:

    As a Rotary member and as a young child who survived polio – it is important to point out to you and other Rotary members – that the polio vaccine which came out in the early 1950’s – was also controversial and political in nature – even though Polio was a Global Public Health Threat.

    Even today, public officials, politicians, the medical community and citizens – continue to engage in public debate and political controversy over the use of other public health vaccines for people and their children.

    When the Polio Epidemic hit in the early 1950’s, Rotary International decided to ignore the controversy and politics around the polio vaccine and became a global leader in sounding the alarm about the public health risk of Polio to society and our global community.

    Instead of running from the public controversy of the polio vaccine at the time – Rotary saw Polio as a human rights issue and supported the immediate use of the polio vaccine to eradicate Polio around the world – regardless of the political controversy.

    The threat to all of human-kind by Global Warming – which has scientifically been proven that carbon from burning fossil fuels contributes to Global Warming – is also a global public health threat to human-kind and to future generations.

    Unfortunately, we are seeing today the influence of “big money interests” and paid lobbying organizations, backed by “oil billionaires” and “public utilities” right here in our State Capitol in Madison and our nation’s Capitol – putting their self-serving financial interests ahead of the public good and the public health risks and dangers of Global Warming to all human-kind.

    A Revenue Neutral Carbon Fee (also known as Carbon Fee and Dividend) on fossil fuels as they are extracted from the ground will encourage energy conservation and make renewable energy more economically viable. Here’s a link to the Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) Study which defines the economic benefits of Carbon Fee and Dividend. https://citizensclimatelobby.org/remi-report/

    Based on several decades of working with both progressive Republican and Democratic Governors in Wisconsin, I have seen first-hand how smart ideas win the day. To further this, the Going Green Fellowship is advocating for a national and international discussion and vote on this important public health issue of mitigating a solution to Global Warming.

    The cornerstone of our International Service Club is Rotary’s “4-Way Test;” and our Down Town Rotary met that test when we correctly followed the by-laws and procedures when one of the largest Rotary Clubs in the World adopted these two resolutions and when our District Region adopted the continuation of this discussion with National.

    Mr. President – It’s now time to speak in favor of overriding the recent “technical decision” made by a Rotary National Committee, that if stands – puts an end to all the sincere and heartfelt work from all of us who want to find a way to mitigate the Public Health effects of Global Warming and its dangers to all of human-kind.

    Please speak out against this questionable and procedurally technical decision – so we can all have an open, civil and an intelligent discussion at National and work together help find SOLUTIONS to the Global Warming Humanitarian Crisis.

    Thank you for your consideration.
    Respectfully yours – A. J. Nino Amato

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