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July 08, 2012
Last day to make reservations for the Belen luncheon.Please e-mail  Marie Barnes at mbar@q.comJuly  12, 2012

Lunch and meeting at First United Methodist Church , 75 Manzano Expy., Belen , NM (Rio Communities).

Eat at noon, meeting at 1:00 P.M.
Menu: Meat loaf .
Donation:   $8.50
Reservations are needed.
Guest Speaker: Ms Tracy Davis from the local Railroad Retirement Board
field office.

August  09, 2012
Meeting at Town House Restaurant 9018 Central Ave. SE in Albuquerque
Eat at noon, meeting at 1:00 PM
If  you happen to be in the area on one of our meeting days, please join us.

Greetings Brothers and Sisters:

It was a great NARVRE 39th Biennial Convention May 18-20, 2014 at the Embassy Suites Hotel Hosted by UNIT 065, Roseville, CA.  We thank Chairman Jackie Kuehl and the host Convention Committee for hosting such a great and smooth Convention.  National President Tom Dwyer and National Secretary Treasurer Joyce Burton were re-elected for another term of office.  Anthony (Tony) Padilla is the new National Vice President emerging from a contested election.  Tony Padilla takes office on June 1, 2014. 

Area Directors were elected as follows: Areas 2 Director J.J. Grabner— IN-KY-MI- OH-VA-WV; AREA 4 DIRECTOR GARY NELSON -IL-IO-MN-MO-WI;  Area 6 DIRECTOR Craig Hatch–CO-KS-NE-ND-SD-WY; and, AREA 8 DIRECTOR BOB BLOOMER— AZ-CA-NV-UT;  were all elected and respectively re-elected for a four-year term. President Tom Dwyer had made appointments to Area Director Vacancies not up for election until 2016.  Vacancy appointments were as follows: Area 3 Director Ken Kolberg-– CT-DE-ME-MD-MA-NH-NJ-NY-PA-RI-VT;  Area 5 is Vacant pending appointment; and, Area 7 Director – Byron C. Smith--ID-MT  WA-OR.

Now that our Convention is over and we look to the planning of the 2016 Convention in the City of St. Louis, MO., I want to thank all officers and delegates for your support and confidence to elect me as National Vice President of NARVRE.  I will demonstrate that my goal is to fulfill the trust you put on me.  Although we have heard how difficult it is to gain new members, and establish new Units, God knows you have tried, we must not give up the quest to become more powerful in acquiring new members so we can speak in terms of numbers as we seek to promote, protect, and preserve the strength of our Railroad Retirement Pension for all annuitants when appealing to the Congress and Senate.

As a reminder, be aware that the political factions in the U.S. Congress, Senate, White House, and in governmental agencies change year after year.  Gary Faley, our National Legislative Director, follows and tracks what these new electors’ positions are regarding senior benefits.  As if it was not enough, Congress every year wants to defund and kill Amtrak to use the appropriations of funds they prefer for their own political purposes.  Amtrak has 20,000 employees contributing to the Railroad Retirement Trust Fund.  I do not want to think of what would happen if these employees were not paying into our pension fund. So, we all have to be vigilant and that is where our members come in to be ready for battle.  We do not care what political parties are involved.  We report the facts to our members and target for war against those individuals involved in weakening our Railroad Retirement pension, our Social Security which is our Tier I of Railroad Retirement, Medicare, Medicaid, and an affordable health care that we all can have.  Our goal is also to work with all senior groups who seek to protect all current and future benefits for seniors.  Now that we have identified our position to work to protect our Railroad Benefits, let us talk about the goals of growing our membership. Organize, organize, organize new Units and recruit new members.  I will be working with all the Area Directors to strategize a viable plan of action to increase membership and Units.

In saluting and wishing a Godspeed farewell to my friend our outgoing National Vice President Lester Newton who did an exemplary job serving our membership, he reported statistics at the Convention as follows:  We have 147 units representing 17,500 members. Membership ending 12/2012 was 18,216. He stated 786,000 people currently draw RR Retirement but only 2% of those belong to NARVRE in the past two years, 798 members have passed away.  Using these numbers, we will be monitoring and measuring future membership growth going forward.

—Tony Padilla National Vice President Elect 5-24-2014