2014 Proposed Changes to Comunidad’s Bylaws
During this year’s Annual Steering Committee retreat, which took place in January, a small number of changes to Comunidad’s bylaws were proposed. Any changes to the bylaws are required to be published ahead of any vote on their adoption by the general membership of the group. The vote for or against the adoption of these changes will take place during the business portion of the April 1st general membership meeting.
Note: Only the sections of our bylaws in which non-trivial changes have been proposed are presented below. The text presented is the proposed final (not current) wording of the mentioned sections and sub-sections. Regarding terms seen in the text below, “COMUNIDAD” is the ministry in all of its facets, The “COMMITTEE” is the steering committee in its entirety, the “ANNUAL MEETING” is the meeting at which elections to the steering committee take place.
ARTICLE IV—MEETING OF MEMBERS
General Membership Meetings—COMUNIDAD shall hold at least six general membership meetings per year, presently designated as “first Tuesday” meetings, holding such meetings at least every ninety days at the location of its principal office [St. Matthew Catholic Church, 672 Temple Ave., Long Beach, CA, 90814]. The dates of upcoming Membership Meetings shall be announced at least 30 days in advance on COMUNIDAD's web site and/or through its newsletter. General Membership Meetings shall be designed to advance the organization’s objectives and purposes as described in the preamble of these bylaws.
The above change is proposed in order for the bylaws to reflect our longtime practice of not holding general membership (“First Tuesday”) meetings during the summer season and occassionally skipping, with respect to same, some months of the year.
ARTICLE IX—OFFICERS—SECTION 1. Elected and Appointed persons
a. The COMMITTEE is comprised of executive officers and non-executive officials. Executive officers shall consist of:
b. At the discretion of the full COMMITTEE, Chair and Vice-Chair designations and the responsibilities of those offices may be jointly, equally, and fully executed instead through two duly named Co-Chairs, whose votes on COMMITTEE decisions nevertheless remain separate and will be weighted equally with respect to one another.
c. The non-executive officials of the COMMITTEE shall consist of at least seven and maximally eleven persons, who shall, as needed, coordinate COMUNIDAD’s various non-executive activities through the following positions to which they shall be assigned either through specific nomination and voting procedures as defined in ARTICLE VIII—ELECTION OR APPOINTMENT OF OFFICERS or, if agreed to by a majority vote of members attending the ANNUAL MEETING, by later agreement among the COMMITTEE members themselves at the first COMMITTEE meeting after the ANNUAL MEETING at which elections take place:
The number of Members-At-Large may be increased as necessary by the COMMITTEE with agreement by the general membership present at the ANNUAL MEETING at which elections take place.
d. To this membership of non-executives is added the spiritual director of the organization as defined in ARTICLE III — SPONSORSHIP.
e. The membership of the COMMITTEE and the responsibilities, position, or title of each of its members shall be published in COMUNIDAD’s next newsletter following the ANNUAL MEETING at which elections take place, which shall be directed to COMUNIDAD’s full membership.
The above changes are proposed so that the bylaws will identify the difference between executive and non-executive positions on the steering committee, which is necessary for the proposed quorum-related changes in Section 5 of Article IX (seen below) to function properly.
ARTICLE IX—OFFICERS—SECTION 5. Quorums and Proxies
a. At least 40% of the total COMMITTEE membership must be present to achieve an ordinary quorum at COMMITTEE meetings.
b. Any member of the COMMITTEE may transfer, for the upcoming COMMITTEE meeting only, his or her proxy to any person if said proxy is announced by name and in written form to at least two (2) executive members of the COMMITTEE and said announcement is acknowledgement by at least two (2) of those same notified executives at least (2) hours in advance of said meeting.
c. No COMMITTEE member may hold more than one proxy.
d. Proxies shall be used in determining whether a valid quorum exists.
e. All proxies must be announced at the start of any meeting at which they have been granted.
f. Voting by proxy shall be permitted.
g. If an ordinary quorum is not achieved by the designated start time of a COMMITTEE meeting, the quorum threshold can be further reduced, thus constituting a contingency quorum, if no less than three of the COMMITTEE’s executive members are present at the meeting AND a majority of the COMMITTEE’s executive members agree to do so.
h. In cases where a contingency quorum has been called, no decisions regarding COMUNIDAD’s bylaws, the make-up of its executive officers or its non-executive officials, or new expenditures may be approved, nor the transference of any of its assets or major responsibilities to other parties or organizations as defined in these bylaws.
The above changes are proposed so that, should a normal quorum not be present at a steering committee meeting, those present can still conduct most business matters on the agenda. Additionally, if these bylaw changes are accepted, limited proxy voting (any steering committee member could send a proxy in his or her stead, no current member of the sterring committee could cast a vote for more than one person besides himself or herself), will be permitted.
ARTICLE X—RECORDS AND REPORTS—SECTION 1. Maintenance of Organizational Records
b. All such records shall be kept at COMUNIDAD’s principal office or at one or more locations approved by the COMMITTEE. If records are maintained in a place other than COMUNIDAD’s principal office, a steward responsible for the maintenance of those records must be designated. The designated location and steward shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting at which said location and steward are selected. If the steward can no longer perform his or her duties, the records under his or her care shall be immediately returned to the COMMITTEE and that action recorded in the minutes of the COMMITTEE meeting that immediately follows said transfer.
The above change is proposed to clarify within the bylaws that any records kept off-site (a practive already permitted by the bylaws) must have a steward named for their upkeep and protection and, should those records not be able to be maintained by that steward, that they be returned to the steering committee.