Toastmasters International (TI) uses the term District Reformation when referring to a change to District boundaries. This can involve splitting or consolidating Districts. For the purposes of this article, the terms “reformation” and “split” are interchangeable.
The TI Board of Directors reviews the status of districts to determine if reformation is in the best interests of TI and the clubs (Policies and Protocol 7.4). For splitting one District into two, the current District typically would have well over 200 clubs.
When a District becomes large, TI may allow Districts to form a reformation committee to look into splitting the current District and determining the best boundary for the split. The committee then presents a proposed reformation (which includes the proposed boundary for the split) to the District Executive Committee, and then the District Council. If both approve, then a report is submitted to the TI Board of Directors, who determine if the District should be reformed.
The Reformation Committee indicated numerous factors for reforming. Currently, District 46 is the third largest District in the world, in terms of number of clubs, when compared to all 116 Districts. We have grown from about 128 clubs in 2008 to around 250 active Clubs today – a 95% increase – or an average annual increase of about 7%. The District administration currently has less time to service clubs, and the Top 3 have less time to service Divisions and Areas. Benefits expected from the proposed reformation are that District Officers will be able to better focus on club and membership growth due to the new districts’ smaller sizes, and the more manageable sizes of their Areas and Divisions. It will be easier to recruit District leaders with a more manageable-sized District and geographic area.
The boundary of 34th St./ East River/ Long Island Sound was approved by the DEC and the District Council for reasons including: an even number of clubs on both sides of the boundary, and that the boundary would be simple and easier to remember.
If the proposed reformation had occurred on July 1, 2018, there would still be 44 Districts smaller than the newly-reformed District 46 and District 119.
Fall 2017: TI approves District 46 for forming a committee to look into District Reformation.
District Executive Committee – April 7, 2018: In March 2018, the Reformation Committee initiated eight proposals for the territories encompassed by the two to-be-reformed Districts. The committee felt that three of these were among the best based on an even distribution of clubs, and other factors. These three proposals were presented to the District 46 Executive Committee (DEC) for a vote. The DEC overwhelmingly voted for the boundary of the split to be along 34th St./ East River/ Long Island Sound.
District Council Meeting – May 6, 2018: The boundary set-up shown in below was presented to the District Council for a vote. The District Council overwhelmingly voted in favor of the boundary set-up shown below.
August 2018: TI Board of Directors approves District 46 for reformation. District numbers will be 46 and 119.
Spring 2019: District 46 will elect District officers for transition year of 2019-2020.
July 1, 2019: beginning of 2019-2020 transition year.
Spring 2020: District 46 will elect District officers for Districts 46 and 119 for the 2019-2020 transition year.
July 1, 2020: Districts 46 and 119 will begin as fully-functioning Districts.
2019-2020 District year: This will be a transition year. At the Spring 2019 Conference, the “Top 3” that we will elect: one District Director, two Program Quality Directors, and two Club Growth Directors. The “North” District will be serviced by one PQD and CGD, and the “South” District by the other PQD and CGD.
2020-2021 District year: This will be the first year of the completion of the reformation process (i.e. Districts 46 and 119 will be two fully-functioning Districts). At the Spring 2020 Conference, we will elect: two District Directors, two Program Quality Directors, and two Club Growth Directors. For each office, one will be for District 46 and the other for District 119. The Division Directors will be elected based on Division alignment in both Districts.
The location of the oldest club in the current District determines this. Knickerbocker Toastmasters (Club 137), chartered on September 1, 1948, is the oldest club in the current District 46. Their meeting location is on 7th Ave. between 36th and 37th Sts., which is in the “North” District. Therefore the “North” District will remain District 46, and the “South” District will become District 119.