Making Democracy Work

LWVBCC Bylaws

BYLAWS
League of Women Voters
Berrien and Cass Counties

Article 1: Name of Organization. Section 1. Official Designation. The name of this organization shall be the League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass Counties (LWVBCC). This local league is an integral part of the National League of Women Voters and the League of Women Voters of Michigan.

Article 2: Purpose and Policy. Section 1. Purposes. The purposes of the League of Women Voters are to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation in government and to act on selected governmental issues.

Section 2. Political Policy. The League shall not support or oppose any political party or any candidate.

Article 3: Membership. Section 1. Eligibility. Any person who subscribes to the purpose, bylaws and rules of the League of Women Voters shall be eligible for membership.

Section 2. Types of Membership. a) Voting Members. Citizens at least 18 years of age who join the League shall be voting members of local Leagues, state Leagues and of the LWVUS; (1) individuals who live within an area of a local League may join that League or any other local League; (2) those who reside outside the area of any local League may join a local League or shall be state members-at-large; (3) those who have been members of the League for 50 years or more shall be life members excused from the payment of dues.

b) Associate Members. All others who join the League shall be associate members.

Section 3. Member Authorization. Members may act in the name of the League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass Counties only when authorized to do so by a vote of the Board of Directors.

Section 4. Member Sanction. Any member violating the League Bylaws or exhibiting unethical conduct shall be subject to sanction. Actions deserving of sanctions shall include but not be limited to the following: partisanship, misappropriation of funds, use of their position with the League to promote their own issues or political ambitions, representing the League without authorization.

Article 4: Local Chapter Governance. Section 1. Area of Jurisdiction The area of jurisdiction of this local chapter of the League of Women Voters shall consist of the counties of Berrien and Cass, in the State of Michigan.

Article 5: Board of Directors. Section 1. Number, Manner of Selection, and Term of Office. The Board of Directors may have as many members as deemed necessary to carry on the work of the League, but no fewer than nine . Directors shall be elected by the membership at the Annual Meeting to two-year terms with terms staggered as evenly as possible. The Board may appoint additional directors between Annual Meetings to serve until the next Annual Meeting.

Section 2. Qualifications. No person shall be elected or appointed or shall continue to serve on the Board unless s/he is a dues-paying, active and voting member of the League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass Counties.

Section 3. Vacancies. Any vacancy occurring in the Board of Directors by reason of resignation, death or disqualification of an officer may be filled, until the next Annual Meeting, by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Board of Directors. Three (3) consecutive, unexcused absences from meetings by a member of the Board shall be deemed a resignation and notified accordingly.

Section 4. Powers and Duties. The Board of Directors shall have full charge of the property and business of the Organization, with full power and authority to manage and conduct the business, subject to the instruction of the general membership. It shall plan and direct the work necessary to carry out the programs as adopted at the League of Women Voters' National Convention, the State Convention, and the Berrien and Cass Counties Annual Meeting. The Board shall designate and conduct such committees, as it may deem necessary for conducting League business.

Section 5. Meetings. There shall be at least four (4) meetings of the Board of Directors annually. The Board President shall call special meetings upon the written request of five (5) members of the Board or the membership at large. Between meetings as necessary or in the event of an urgent matter, the Board may make decisions by electronic means. (e-mail, telephone conferencing) as long as a majority of the Board approves of any decisions made.

Section 6. Business from the Membership - at Board Meetings. Any member-at-large wishing to submit issues of perceived importance to the League of Women Voters shall notify the Board President. The President shall grant a specified period of time on the agenda of the next regularly scheduled Board of Directors meeting for a presentation by the member-at-large. At that meeting, the Board shall determine what action, if any, should be taken.

Section 7. Quorum. A majority of the Directors shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

Section 8. Electronic Participation in Meetings. A member of the Board or of a committee designated by the Board may participate in a meeting by means of conference telephone or other means of remote communication if all individuals who are participating in the meeting can communicate with the other participants. Participation in a meeting under this section constitutes attendance in person at the meeting.

Article 6: Officers. Section 1. Enumeration and Election of Officers. The officers of the League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass Counties shall be the Board President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and any other officers the Board deems necessary. These officers shall be chosen from among and by the nine (9) members elected to the Board by the LWVBCC membership at its Annual Meeting. Officers shall be elected for one (1) year terms.

Section 2. The President. The Board President shall preside at all meetings of the Board of Directors. S/he shall be an ex-officio member of all committees. S/he shall have such usual powers of oversight and management as pertains to the office of the President. S/he may, in the absence or disability of the Treasurer, sign or endorse checks, drafts, and notes. S/he shall perform such other duties as may be designated by the Board.

Section 3. The Vice-President. In the event of the absence of the President, the Vice-President shall perform the duties of the President. In the case of disability or death of the President, the Vice-President possesses all powers and performs all the duties of the office of President until the term of President expires. The Vice-President shall perform such other functions as may be incident to his/her office.

Section 4. The Secretary. The secretary shall keep the minutes of all general meetings of the League and of all meetings of the Board of Directors for further action and for historical value. S/he shall notify all directors of their election. S/he shall prepare the Annual Report of the most current year's activities of the League at the Annual Meeting for acceptance by the General Membership.

Section 5. The Treasurer. The treasurer shall collect and receive all monies due, s/he shall be the custodian of League funds, shall make deposits to the bank designated by the Board of Directors, and shall disburse funds upon order of the Board. S/he shall sign, with the President, all contracts and other instruments when so authorized by the Board. S/he shall present financial reports to the Board at their regular meetings and an annual financial report at the Annual Meeting.

Article 7: Financial Administration. Section 1. Fiscal Year. The fiscal year of the League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass Counties shall commence each year on the first day of July.

Section 2. Dues. Full dues shall be payable in October of each year. New members joining February 01 or thereafter shall next pay dues one year from the next October. The first of October, the Treasurer will issue notice of dues and membership renewal. The membership count to State and National League of Women Voters is due January 31 of each year. . The membership count the LWVUS is due January 31 of each year and shall be the official record of all dues-paying members.

Section 3. Budget. A Budget Committee shall be appointed by the Board of Directors to prepare a budget for the ensuing year. The budget shall include support for the work of the League as a whole. The proposed budget shall be sent to all members 15 days prior to the Annual Meeting for adoption. The Treasurer shall serve as chair of the Budget Committee.

Article 8: Meetings. Section 1. Membership Meetings. There shall be at least two (2) general meetings of the full membership called each year, including the Annual Meeting. Time and place shall be determined by the Board of Directors and announced thirty (30) days prior to the meeting.

Section 2. Annual Meeting. An Annual Meeting shall be held in June of each year, the exact date to be determined by the Board of Directors. The Annual meeting shall: (a) adopt local programming priorities for the ensuing year; (b) adopt an adequate budget to meet projected operational and programming needs; (c) review the bylaws to make any needed changes; (d) elect the Board of Directors for the ensuing year; (e) transact such other business as may properly come before it. All related materials required by the these Bylaws will be sent to the membership 15 days prior to the Annual Meeting or at the discretion of the President, subject to the approval of the Board.

Section 3. Business From the Membership - Annual Meeting. Any member in good and regular standing is eligible to introduce topics or issues for discussion at a Membership Meeting if first presented in writing to the Board 40 days in advance, and the Board of Directors relaying to the general Membership 15 days notice of the addition to the agenda.

Section 4. Quorum. A simple majority (51%) of the membership present shall constitute a quorum at all General Meetings of the League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass Counties.

Article 9: Elections. Section 1. Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall be appointed by the Board of Directors and shall consist of three (3) members, at least one of whom shall not currently be a member of the Board. The Nominating Committee shall find members willing to serve on the Board and a Committee report, containing nominations for open Board positions, shall be sent to all members 15 days prior to the Annual Meeting.

Section 2. Casting Votes. The election of Board members shall be by a voice vote when the number of nominations is the same as the number of open positions. If there are more nominations than open positions then the election shall be by secret ballot. A simple majority of the membership present shall constitute a quorum.

Section 3. Interim Board Vacancies. Any vacancy occurring during the year shall be filled by a vote of the Board of Directors and affirmed at the next General Membership meeting.

Article 10: Programs. Section 1. Authorization. The governing principles adopted by the National Convention and supported by the State League constitute the authorization for the adoption of programs.

Section 2. Programs. Programs of the League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass Counties shall consist of: (a) actions to protect the rights of every citizen; (b) those governmental issues chosen for concerted action after study and consensus by the League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass Counties.

Section 3. Adoption by General Membership. At the Annual Meeting, members shall act upon the various programs employing the following procedures: a. The proposed program(s) shall be sent to all members 15 days before the Annual Meeting; b. A simple majority of voting members present will be required for adoption of any program;

c. Changes to any program may be made provided that information concerning proposed changes has been sent to all members at least 15 days prior to the Annual Meeting at which the change is to be discussed and voted in the affirmative by a simple majority present.

Article 11: National and State Conventions. Section 1. National Convention. At a meeting before the date on which the names of delegates must be submitted to the National Office, the Board of Directors shall select delegates to that convention in the number allotted the League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass Counties under the provision of the Bylaws of the National League of Women Voters.

Section 2. State Convention. At a meeting before the date on which the names of delegates must be submitted to the State Office, the Board of Directors shall select delegates to that convention in the number allotted the League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass Counties under provisions of the Bylaws of the League of Women Voters of Michigan.

Article 12: Parliamentary Authority. Section 1. Rules of Conduct. The most current publication of Robert's Rules of Order shall govern all meetings of the League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass Counties.

Article 13: Amendments. Section 1. Changes to the By laws. These Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the voting members present at a general membership meeting, provided the amendments were submitted to the membership in writing 15 days in advance of the meeting.

Article 14: Dissolution of the Chapter. Section 1. Distribution of Funds on Dissolution. In the event of dissolution of the League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass Counties, for any cause, all monies and securities which may at the time be owned by or under the absolute control of the League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass Counties shall be passed on to the League of Women Voters of Michigan after the Board of Directors has paid all the financial liabilities owed by the local chapter.

Revised & Adopted: June 15, 2005 Revised June 20, 2007 Revised June 25, 2008 Revised June 21, 2011 Revised June 19, 2013 Revised June 23, 2016

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