We are coming up on two annual cycles—elections of officers and membership renewals.It seems a good time to report on the state of the Branch.

At the April board of directors meeting, treasurer Ken Frazer reported a bank balance of $3475.98. None of the costs of the Fifth-Grade Writing Contest have been submitted, but even after setting aside the projected expenses, our balance is healthy at over $2000. Ken also submitted a budget for our next fiscal year.

The Berkeley Branch operates frugally. We pay no rent for any of our meeting spaces. Our primary income is from membership dues, 55 percent of which leaves the Branch and goes to the statewide California Writers Club. Our largest expense is the subsidy of our flagship activity, the Fifth-Grade Writing Contest; yet we operate within our income.

Next year we will institute another ambitious program, The West Side Writing Contest and Chapbook. We predict we’ll need to subsidize about $600 of this event in its first year. By providing another activity to current members, another attraction to new members, the subsidy is an investment in the future of the Branch.

Twenty-five members joined within the last year. Branch membership stands at 82, including five Life Members and five Emeritus members.

At our May meeting the board will propose a slate of officers for next year. Has the time come for you to be proactive helping the branch to function? Please contact any board member to become a candidate for nomination. If you believe someone would be an asset to the board but is too bashful to step forward, please persuade that person to contact the board. Elections will take place at the June meeting.

Memberships expire at the end of June. In the next Write Angles we will commence our drive for renewals. As a reminder, the Berkeley Branch is the only Branch that will publish its newsletter over the summer. The July and August issues will be devoted entirely to the creative writing of Branch members. Submission guidelines are below.

And that is the view from the helm this month.

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