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Morris County Now Bylaws

National Organization for Women

Morris County, N.J. Chapter

By-laws

                                                                                             Revised: Jan. 6, 1997

Article I      NAME

                 

                  The name of this organization shall be the Morris County Chapter of the National Organization for Women and in these Bylaws it is referred to as the Chapter.

Article II     POLICY

                  The Chapter shall be bound by the National NOW bylaws and policy.

Article III    PURPOSE

Section 1    Overall

                  NOW's purpose is to take action to bring women into full participation in the mainstream of American society now, exercising all privileges and responsibilities thereof in truly equal partnership with men. This purpose includes, but is not limited to, equal rights and responsibilities in all aspects of citizenship, public service, employment, education, and family life, and it includes freedom from discrimination because of race, creed, color, sex, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, economic status, marital status, parenthood, physical ability, political affiliations, sexual preference or lifestyle.

Section 2    Yearly Goals

                  Each January, at either a regular or special Chapter meeting, the membership will establish goals for the coming year and review the progress made towards meeting the prior year’s goals. These goals may include issues to be addressed and how, how to raise money, what events we should hold, and what events in which we should participate. The purpose of these goals is to balance our more reactive activism with longer term goals and projects.

Article IV    MEMBERSHIP

Section 1    Eligibility

                  Any person who subscribes to NOW's purpose shall be eligible for membership in this Chapter and upon payment of dues and affiliation with Morris County NOW shall become a member in good standing. Efforts can be made to assist those who are unable to assume full payment of membership dues. No person who subscribes to NOW's purpose shall be excluded from membership, segregated or otherwise discriminated against within NOW because of race, creed, color, sex, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, economic status, marital status, parenthood, physical ability, political affiliations, sexual preference or lifestyle.

Section 2    Rights of Members

                  The membership is the supreme governing body of the Chapter. Only members in good standing may

                  1. attend Executive Board meetings,

                  2. serve and vote on Committees and Task Forces

                  3. run for any elected office

                  4. vote on each matter submitted to a vote of the members. Any eligible member may vote in person. No votes shall be cast by proxy or similar means.

Section 3    Membership List

                  Our membership list is to be used for internal organizational purposes only and will not be made available to outsiders or members for personal use.

 

Article V     STRUCTURE

                  The structure of the Chapter shall be

                  1. Officers

                  2. Executive Board

                  3. Task Forces

                  4. Special Committees

                  5. Delegates to the State Board

                  6. Delegates to the National Conference

Article VI    OFFICERS

                 

Section 1    Titles

                  The Chapter is required, at a minimum, to have a President and a Treasurer in order to operate. Ideally there should be the following officers:

                  1. President

                  2. Executive Vice President

                  3. Membership Vice President

                  4. Fundraising Vice President

                  5. Treasurer

                  6. Secretary

 

Section 2    Responsibilities

                  1. President - The President shall preside at all program and business meetings. S/he shall be the ex-officio member of all committees and task forces, with the authority to participate and vote in the proceedings of such committees and task forces. S/he shall see to it that the operations of the Chapter accord with National Bylaws and policy, these Bylaws, and such directions as the Chapter membership from time to time may issue. S/he shall prepare and submit, with the assistance of the prior year's President and Treasurer, the annual report of Chapter status, activities, income, expenses, goals, and priorities to the National NOW Secretary, the NJ State Coordinator, and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Director as required. S/he shall be the official spokesperson for the Chapter and a member of the NOW-NJ Board. The President shall be responsible for ensuring that information on activities, actions, events, and priorities gets passed to and from NOW-NJ and National NOW to the Chapter membership. The President shall also be responsible for all incoming mail to the Chapter.

                  2. Executive Vice President - The Executive Vice President shall in the absence or inability of the President perform the duties of the President. The Executive Vice President shall assist the President in any way possible and shall help with the routine administration of the organization.

                  3. Membership Vice President - The Membership Vice President shall be responsible for encouraging interested persons to become members and for encouraging new or existing members to become more active. S/he shall foster contact between new and old members, follow up on non-renewals, and, in conjunction with the Chapter Secretary, keep an accurate record of the membership. S/he is also responsible for managing the Chapter phone.

                  4. Fundraising Vice President - The Fundraising Vice President shall help develop financial policies for the Chapter, seek innovative funding sources, and coordinate all Chapter fundraising events. S/he shall be responsible for organizing events and programs for the purpose of raising money for the Chapter operations and for projects endorsed by members at a Chapter meeting.

                  5. Treasurer - The Treasurer shall have the responsibility for the safekeeping of the funds of the Chapter, and shall keep or cause to be kept a full and accurate account of all receipts and disbursements in books belonging to the Chapter. S/he shall keep or cause to be kept all other books of account and accounting records of the Chapter as shall be necessary, and shall deposit or cause to be deposited all such moneys and valuable effects in the name and to the credit of the Chapter in such depositories as may be designated by the members at a Chapter meeting. S/he shall maintain a separate account(s) for designated earmarked funds, which shall not be commingled with general Chapter revenues. S/he shall render to the President and the members of the Chapter at every business meeting an account of all transactions as Treasurer and of those under her/his jurisdiction, and the financial condition of the Chapter. In addition, the Treasurer shall make financial report to the membership at the annual Election meeting. The Treasurer's accounts shall be subject to audit at a minimum of once a year and additionally at the discretion of the Executive Board and/or the Finance Committee.

                  6. Secretary - The Secretary shall keep a record of all Chapter and Executive Board meetings. S/he shall provide copies of the minutes of these meetings at the following Chapter meeting, shall conduct all correspondence of the Chapter not specifically assigned to others, and shall have a copy of the approved Bylaws of the Chapter available at all meetings.

Section 3    Eligibility/Term of Office

                  Any member desiring to hold office of Morris County NOW, other than the office of President and Executive Vice President, must have been a member for at least six months prior to the annual Election meeting and have attended three of the last six business meetings prior to the Election. Any member desiring to hold the office of President or Executive Vice President, must have been a member for at least a year prior to the annual Election meeting and have attended six of the last twelve business meetings prior to the Election meeting.

                  No person may serve as President for more than two consecutive terms, irrespective of whether any of such terms is less than one year; but after at least one year out of office, any such former President may again be elected President for not more than two consecutive terms. Re-election to the office of President shall not preclude subsequent re-election subject to the limitation set forth above.

                  No member may run for or hold more than one office, with the exception of State Board Delegate or Alternate State Board Delegate, which may be held concurrently with another office.

Article VII   EXECUTIVE BOARD

Section 1    Membership

                  The Executive Board shall consist of Officers, standing Committee/Task Force Chairs, and State Board Delegates (not alternates or Nat’l Conference Delegates).

Section 2    Responsibilities

                  Where an action or decision is necessary between membership meetings, the Executive Board is authorized to act on behalf of the Chapter provided that 2/3 of the Board votes either in person or by phone. Any actions or decisions taken by the Executive Board shall be reported to the membership at the next membership meeting.

Section 3    Meetings

                  Any Chapter member may request an emergency meeting of the Executive Board for a specific purpose by contacting any member of the Executive Board. The ultimate decision on whether or not to hold an Executive Board meeting lies with the President and/or Executive Vice President.

Article VIII  MEETINGS OF MEMBERS

Section 1    Business Meetings

                  There shall be no less than 6 Business meetings annually. Business meetings shall be open to all members and to the general public. The functions of the Business meetings shall be to manage the policy, funds, and property of the Chapter, to inform the membership of all activities and issues at the local, state, and National levels of NOW and to implement these policies and directives. Decisions are made by a simple majority vote of members present.

Section 2    Program Meetings

                  There shall be no less than 6 Program meetings annually. Program meetings are for the purpose of educating and/or entertaining the membership on relevant feminist topics.

Section 3    Annual Election Meeting

                  The Business meeting held in December will be the Annual Election Meeting.

Section 4    Annual Goals Meeting

                  The annual goals meeting will be held in January. See Article III Section 2.

Section 5    Notice of Meetings

                  Notice of all regular Chapter meetings shall be given at least 7 days prior to the meeting date. Notice of the Annual Election Meeting shall be given 30 days prior to the Election.

Section 6    Quorum & Voting

                  Each member of the Chapter shall have only one vote regardless of the number of positions held. Any eligible member may vote in person. No votes shall be cast by proxy or similar means. The meeting chair shall not vote except in the case of a tie vote by the members. No Chapter business shall be conducted at any Chapter meeting with less than 7 members in good standing present. Chapter business is defined as financial transactions, elections, removal from office, changes in By-Laws and/or Operating Procedures or any other substantive matters.

Article IX    COMMITTEES

Section 1    Committees and Task Forces

                  1. Purpose, Formation & Responsibilities - Committees and Task Forces may be formed or dissolved by a majority vote of chapter members at a Chapter meeting or by the Executive Board. They are for the purpose of planning and directing the work necessary to realize the goals of the organization in a specific area. Some examples are Fundraising, Program, Publicity, Newsletter, Television, Consciousness Raising, Special Events, Finance, and Clinic Defense. Any member of the Chapter may request the forming of, may serve on, and may vote on a Committee or Task Force. Within two months of being formed, all Committees and Task Forces must submit a Statement of Purpose and a Plan of Action to the Chapter at a Chapter meeting. These general procedures will be superseded by any specific procedures listed for certain Committees and Task Forces.

                  2. Committee Chairs - Committee Chairs are elected by a majority vote of Chapter members at the meeting where the Committee was formed or by the Executive Board. Committee Chairs or their representatives must report the status of their Committee's activities at all Chapter business meetings.

Section 2    Standing Committees

                  1. Finance Committee - The Chair of the Finance Committee is the Chapter President. The Fundraising Vice President and the Treasurer are required members of the Finance Committee. The main purposes of the Finance Committee are to manage the finances of the Chapter and to prepare and monitor the Chapter Budget. The Finance Committee must present the Budget in writing to the Chapter membership at the February business meeting for approval. They must also perform a quarterly review of the Budget, income, and expenditures to make sure the Chapter is financially sound. No funds shall be disbursed by the Chapter except as provided by the approved Budget. Emergency funds can be made available by the Executive Board or by a majority of Chapter members at a membership meeting. The Chapter's accounts shall be audited annually as stipulated by the Finance Committee.

                  2. Newsletter - The Chapter Newsletter must be published a minimum of four times a year. The contents, format, and articles are determined by the Newsletter Editor and the Chapter President subject to the will of the Chapter.

Section 3    Special Committees/ Task Forces

                  1. The Nominating Committee - The Nominating Committee, consisting of ideally 5 and a minimum of 3 members, shall be elected by the membership at the October business meeting. The Nominating Committee shall not endorse individual candidates or a slate of candidates, but shall solicit and accept all nominations from members for all positions. The Nominating Committee can nominate themselves except for the positions of President, Executive Vice President and Treasurer. The Nominating Committee shall solicit at least one person for each position and shall submit a list of candidates to the membership at the November business meeting. Additional nominations may be made from the floor at the Annual Election Meeting in December.

Article X     FINANCE

Section 1    Fiscal Year

                  The Chapter fiscal year is from January 1 through December 31.

Section 2    Expenditures

                  Checks may only be signed by the President, the Treasurer or the Executive Vice President. Purchases by Chapter members on behalf of the Chapter must have been approved in advance by the Executive Board.

Article XI    ELECTIONS & NOMINATIONS

Section 1    Eligibility

                  See Article VI Section 3

Section 2    Nominations

                  See Article IX Section 3

Section 3    Term of Office

                  All Officer terms of office are from January 1 through December 31. Also, see Article VI Section 3.

Section 4    Voting

                 All Chapter members shall be entitled to one vote. Any eligible member may vote in person. No votes shall be cast by proxy. Voting for Chapter officers shall take place at the annual election meeting in December. In the case of a contested election, votes will be cast in writing by secret ballot and the voting procedure will be administered and monitored by two impartial chapter members who are not running for office.

Article XII  DELEGATES AND ALTERNATES TO STATE BOARD

Section 1    Election

                  The Chapter is entitled to two State Board Delegates. The Chapter President is automatically designated a State Board Delegate. The election of the second Delegate and Alternates to the State Board will take place at the annual election meeting, subject to election rules and procedures. At least two and ideally three Alternate Delegates should be elected. The order in which they will be called upon to substitute for a Delegate at a State Board meeting will also be established at that time.

Section 2    Responsibilities

                  Delegates to the NOW-NJ State Board shall attend all meetings, shall report the major actions and decisions of the State Board at the next Chapter business meeting, and shall submit a written report to the Newsletter Editor for publication. In the event that the Delegate cannot attend a State Board Meeting, s/he has the responsibility to notify an alternate, who shall assume the responsibilities of this position.

Article XIII  DELEGATES TO THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE

Section 1    Election

                  A Member who wishes to be a National Conference Delegate should advise the Chapter President before the business meeting prior to the date the Chapter must notify National NOW of its Delegates. At this business meeting, Delegates to the National NOW Conference will be elected by the Chapter members. Any unfilled delegate or alternate positions may be approved after this time at the discretion of the President.

Section 2    Eligibility

                  The number of delegates that the Chapter is entitled to send to the National NOW Conference is determined by National NOW and is variable depending on the size of the Chapter. Any Chapter member may attend the National Conference but only delegates may vote.   Only people who have been members for a period of time specified by National NOW and who have attended at least one of the last three business meetings prior to the election shall be eligible.

Section 3    Responsibility

                  Delegates to the National Conference shall submit, jointly or individually, a report of the Conference at the business meeting following the Conference, which they shall also summarize in writing for publication in the Newsletter.

Article XIV  GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES

                  Members in good standing are encouraged to bring up grievances at a business meeting. Prior notification to a Board member is required at which time an amicable resolution will be sought.

Article XV   REMOVAL/REPLACEMENT OF OFFICERS

Section 1    Cause for Removal

                  Any Officer, Chair, Delegate, or Alternate may be removed from office if the Executive Board finds that her/his actions are contrary to the purposes of NOW and injurious to the organization, or that the officer has abandoned her/his responsibilities.

Section 2    Procedure for Removal

                  Any Chapter member may petition a Board member for the removal of any Officer, Committee or Task Force Chair, Delegate or Alternate. A minimum of three Board members must agree to convene a special Board meeting for the purpose of considering said removal. The Executive Board may, by a 2/3 vote of the Board members suspend or remove from office any of these officers.

Section 3    Vacancies

                  In the event of a vacancy of any office other than the President, the Membership shall elect, at the next Business meeting, a replacement officer to serve until the next Annual Election Meeting. In the event that the office of the President shall become vacant, the Executive Vice President shall assume that office immediately and call a special election in the event that the Annual Election Meeting is more than three months away. Members of Task Forces and Committees shall elect from among themselves a Chair, should that position become vacant.

Article XVI  PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE

                  Except as herein provided, all proceedings of this organization shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised.

Article XVII AMENDMENTS

Section 1    Proposal

                  Any Chapter member may propose an amendment to the Chapter Bylaws. A Bylaws Committee will be formed, if one does not exist, of a minimum of three and ideally five members. The committee members will be appointed by the Executive Board. The committee will consider the Bylaws amendment and make a decision about whether or not to proceed further with the amendment proposal.

Section 2    Approval

                  The Bylaws may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the members at any Chapter meeting. The proposed amendment must be submitted to the President 60 days in advance of this meeting. The proposed amendment must be announced in an every member publication and made available to Chapter members at least 30 days in advance of the meeting. It may instead be published in an every member publication at least 30 days in advance of the meeting.

Article XVIII DISSOLUTION

                  The Chapter may be dissolved upon a 2/3 vote of the members present and voting at a Chapter meeting. The membership shall be notified about the question of dissolution at least 30 days prior to the meeting. Upon dissolution of the Chapter, the Board and Officers shall, after paying or making provisions for payment of all liabilities of the Chapter, remit all remaining assets to NOW-NJ, National NOW or any local unit of NOW.

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