|July 15, 1999|
Congratulations once again for your selection as an official delegate to the National Summit on Africa.
Just over a month ago, each of you pledged your interest and commitment to work devotedly for the promotion of better ties between the U.S. and Africa.
Most of you went even further declaring that core ties needed to be re-inforced on the issues of respect for sovereignty, cultural differences and styles. You identified the importance of establishing a level field for bi-directional communication, collaboration and partnership. You said that the US and Africa must have a mutually binding good faith and fair dealing covenant in its policies on trade, development and investment.
While it is unquestionably clear that vast opportunities await the US by furthering its business relationship with Africa. America's paramount challenge is to insure that there are fair and equitable benefits to Africa as well.
Our task as delegates entails two key objectives: to continue our deliberation on the policy plan of action, and fine tune our cohesive voice on that plan; and as a practical matter, we must guarantee our attendance at the Summit in Washington, D.C. on February 17-20, 2000. To aid in these efforts, the elected leadership team has conferenced regularly to plan our strategy to meet these two key objectives.
The following dates have been set for regional delegate meetings to be held. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend these critical sessions: July 31, l999 - Southern Region; September 4, l999 - Northern Region - San Francisco; October 23, l999 - Central Region; and January 29, 2000 - Statewide - Oakland. You will receive a separate communication detailing location, and time from your regional co-chair.
In addition, several committees have been established that will require your involvement. Please note the following: Fundraising; Research and Policy; Communication/PR; Correspondence; Legislative Surveillance. You may volunteer by posting an e-mail to your regional co-chair, which will respond and orient you to the committee tasks.
Many of you have called to inquire about openings in our Delegate Pool. The California delegation has a current list of 182 members. We have been assigned 208 possible positions. We have received nearly fifty late applications or inquiries for the remaining 26 positions. The leadership team is reviewing these and other candidates for completion of the Delegate Pool. The process is one which considers the existing balance of regional representation within the state, as well as other important variables which were weighed when each of you were selected as delegates. An "Alternate Pool" will be established for the overflow candidates. Please be assured that no one will be denied an opportunity to be a meaningful part of the California to Washington--speak to the nation process! All delegates or alternates should have a copy of the "Handbook for State Delegates", provided by the national office. If you do not have one in hard copy, you may e-mail a request to your regional co-chair, or you may access it from the National Summit's web page (www.africasummit.org).
For direct communication with your elected leadership team, we strongly encourage you to e-mail or fax your communiqués for now. In the near future, we will have a web page for interactive dialogue, as well as a phone bank that can efficiently respond to your telephone calls.
We want to insure that the California delegation not only be the largest delegation, but the most knowledgeable, articulate, cohesive, and influential delegation that our nation has ever heard from as advocates for our beloved Africa. We are very grateful for your leadership in this vital process.
In warm appreciation,
Ramona Tascoe, M.D.