Since the fall of 2014, I have mentioned in some of our newsletters that The Arc Greater Twin Cities (the 5 county metro area) received several grants to hire a consultant to explore the possibility of reorganizing The Arc Minnesota and it’s 11 affiliated chapters. This process eventually led to the development of a “Statewide Cross-Board Task Force”, which our chapter has been a part of. This task force has now published a “Statewide Arc: Final report to chapters”.
At the March 2017 meeting, The Arc Stevens County board voted not to continue participating in the Statewide Cross-Board Task Force restructuring process. To continue to participate, The Arc Stevens County would have had to agree, in good faith, to dissolve our chapter and join a statewide chapter, which has been temporarily identified as “Statewide Arc”.
The stated intent of the Task force is to replace today’s network of independent chapters with a statewide organization consisting of several regions covering all of Minnesota. The Task Force has also indicated that affiliation with the “Statewide Arc” will not be an option. In June of this year, all current affiliated chapters (including The Arc Stevens County ) will conduct membership votes to determine whether to dissolve their chapters and become a part of “Statewide Arc”.
While the process has involved a number of meetings and continues to be on-going, The Arc Stevens County board has voted to end their participation in the process and remain an independent entity. We would consider affiliating with “Statewide Arc” if this becomes an option. Our mission will continue to be the same; to provide support and advocacy for people with I/DD (intellectual and developmental disabilities) in the same way we have been doing for many years. Remaining an independent entity will allow us to continue our good work with low overhead (no paid staff) allowing most of the money raised locally to be used to directly benefit the people who live in our communities. However, we will be required to change our name, develop our own logo, and update our articles of incorporation, by-laws, and constitution.