2019 WMCA Annual Conference

August 20-23, 2019

Things are always changing, especially in Clerk World!   As Professional Municipal Clerks, we must keep our skills and educational levels high so that we can help our communities and residents obtain great expectations without regret.   At this year’s conference, we are acknowledging the lesson our nation learned with the passage of the 18th amendment, 100 hundred years ago! 

Prohibition, the greatest lesson!

On January 29, 1919, Congress ratified the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution, effectively banning the manufacture, transportation, and sale of intoxicating liquors.  Then on October 28, 1919, Congress passed the Volstead Act, the popular name for the National Prohibition Act, over President Woodrow Wilson's veto.  The law, which ushered in the era known as Prohibition, went into effect on January 17, 1920.  The law established the legal definition of intoxicating liquors as well as penalties for producing them.  Prohibition lasted a period of over 13 years (1920 to 1933) in which the manufacture, sale, and transportation of intoxicating liquor was made illegal. It was a time characterized by speakeasies, glamor, and gangsters and a period of time in which even the average citizen broke the law.  In 1933, the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, was passed and ratified, ending national Prohibition and making the 18th amendment, the only constitutional law ever repealed in the history of the United States.  After the repeal of the 18th Amendment, some states continued Prohibition by maintaining statewide temperance laws. Mississippi was the last dry state in the Union, ending Prohibition in 1966.

That lesson serves as a reminder that we need all of the lessons of the past to help us charter our course forward, as wiser and more adept Professional Clerks.   Some lessons we learn are challenging and downright difficult as we are working in the public eye and the rules are constantly changing.  It can be difficult to keep up, however with the constant glare of social and public media in an age of instant information, it is so crucial that we pursue opportunities for education and we come together so that we can learn from each other.   Exchanging ideas and war stories with your fellow Professional Clerks gives you the experience without any of the scars. 

Check out the educational sessions offered this year and then join us for the entire conference if you can or just come for a day or two if that works better.   I can’t wait to see you all there in  Great Gadsby Flapper or Gangster style!

Kelly Michaels, CMC, WCMC
WMCA President


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