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NOW-NJ BYLAWS

As amended April 28, 2012

 

Article I

Name

 

The name of this organization shall be the National Organization for Women of (the State of) New Jersey, to be written NOW-NJ. It shall exist and operate as a unit of the National Organization for Women.

 

Article II

Purpose

 

The purpose of NOW-NJ 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, ethnic origin, age, marital status, sexual preference/orientation, or parenthood." NOW-NJ shall also have as its purpose to coordinate efforts on the state level, to provide communication among chapters and task forces, and to assist in the functioning of NOW in NJ.

 

Article III

Membership

 

Any person who is a member of NOW (National) and who is a member of a New Jersey NOW Chapter or is a member-at-large residing in New Jersey, and who has paid NOW-NJ dues up-to-date, shall be a member of NOW-NJ. No person who subscribes to NOW's purposes shall be excluded from membership, segregated or otherwise discriminated against within the organization because of race, creed, color, sex, gender identity or expression, religion, national origin, age, economic status, marital status, parenthood, political affiliation, sexual orientation or lifestyle.

 

Article IV

Meeting of Members

 

Section 1. State Conference

 

A. The State Conference shall be the supreme governing body of NOW-NJ. It shall meet biannually (or annually at the discretion of the State Board), with election of officers at the biannual conference, and transact such other business as may come before the members. The State Board shall approve the date, place, agenda, and accommodations for the conference.

 

The State Board shall post notification of the State Conference on the NOW-NJ web site and provide not less than thirty (30) days prior notice by regular and/or electronic mail to all members of the organization.

 

B. The State President, or a duly appointed representative, shall provide to each Chapter and Task Force, a press style announcement, indicating the date, time and place, together with any other pertinent information (including, but not limited to, a call for nominations, in the case of an election), of the State Conference and encourage each entity to publish the same through its e-mail lists, web sites, newsletters, or any other form of communication regularly used between said entity and its members.

 

1. All calls for nominations shall include the contact information for the Nominating Committee Chair and the instruction that all nominations must be made in writing not less than ten (10) days prior to the Conference date. This does not preclude nominations from the floor.

 

C. The NOW-NJ State Conference shall be open to credentialed members of the press.

 

D. Admission of the press to the workshops shall be at the discretion of the Conference Committee.

 

Section 2. Voting Rights at the Conference

 

A. All NOW-NJ members present, who are in good standing, as set forth in Article III, who have been a member for at least thirty (30) days prior to the Conference and duly registered, shall be entitled to vote.

 

B. Eligibility shall be determined by the following methods: current membership status on the NOW-NJ roster run by National effective 30 days before the conference date, canceled checks, or written records of NOW-NJ chapter president and/or chapter treasurer.

 

C. There shall be no voting by proxy.

 

Section 3. Conference Quorum

 

Twenty (20) members, including at least three (3) chapter presidents/coordinators from three different chapters, shall constitute a quorum, and the act of a majority of voting members present at a meeting at which a quorum exists shall be the act of the members.

 

Section 4. Special Meetings

 

Special meetings of the members, where any action may be taken, may be called by the State Board, or by not less than twenty-five (25) percent of the members, provided that twenty-five (25) percent of the member chapters are represented. The members calling such a special meeting shall designate, and inform the State President at least forty-five (45) days in advance thereof, the date, time, purpose, and place within the State of such special meeting. It shall be the responsibility of the State President to send notice of such special meeting to each member thirty (30) days prior to the date set for the special meeting in the same manner as set forth in Article IV Section 1 Part A.

 

Article V

Structure

 

The structure of NOW-NJ shall be as follows:

 

1. State Officers

2. State Board

3. State Executive Committee

4. Annual State Conference

5. State Task Forces

6. State Chapters

 

Article VI

State Officers

 

Section 1. Titles

 

The State Officers shall be:

 

A. State President

B. State Administrative Vice President

C. State Action Vice President

D. State Treasurer

E. State Secretary

F. State Membership Vice President

G. State Technology Vice President

H. State Legislative Vice President

 

Section 2. Duties

 

            A. The State President shall:

 

                        1. Preside over meetings of the State Board, the State Conference, and the State Executive Committee;

                        2. Be the official voice of NOW-NJ;

                        3. Maintain the records for chapters and task forces;

                        4. Develop a business plan for the organization and report on its progress to the State Board;

                        5. Communicate with the National and Regional Offices of NOW and attend State President meetings called by these offices;

                        6. Serve as an ex officio member of all committees, except any Grievance Committee or Self-Audit Committee;

                        7. Promote and assist in the organization of NOW Chapters, and

                        8. Appoint a Fundraising Committee to develop and execute a fundraising plan.

 

            B. The State Administrative Vice President shall:

 

                        1. In the absence or inability of the State President, perform the duties of the State President;

                        2. Assist the State President in any way possible;

                        3. Be responsible for overseeing all State Board Committees, except the Self-Audit Committee;

                        4. Be responsible for routine administration of the organization; and

                        5. Set the calendar for NOW-NJ State Board Meetings after consultation with the State Board.

 

            C. The State Action Vice President shall:

 

                        1. Develop, coordinate and execute actions of state-wide importance; and

                        2. Assist Chapters and Task Forces in the execution of local actions.

 

            D. The State Treasurer shall:

 

                        1. Receive all funds of NOW-NJ and shall deposit them in such bank(s) as may be designated by the State Board;

                        2. Disperse these funds by check in accordance with the approved budget;

                        3. Provide a monthly expense and income report to the State President and State Officers and be available to answer any inquiries made by them;

                        4. Make regular reports to the State Board and the membership; and

                        5. Have accounts audited yearly by the Self Audit Committee, with the results presented at the first State Board meeting of the new year.

 

            E. The State Secretary shall:

 

                        1. Keep a record of the proceedings of the meetings of the State Board, the State Conference, and the State Executive Committee, and present such minutes for approval at the next State Board Meeting;

                        2. Keep records of the membership of the State Board;

                        3. Keep an active dated copy of these Bylaws and provide National with the same;

                        4. Conduct State Board correspondence not specifically assigned to others;

                        5. Send out notices of meetings of the State Board; and

                        6. At the direction of the State President, manage members of the state’s electronic discussion boards/lists (i.e., Google Leadership List, Yahoo Discussion Group).

 

            F. The State Membership Vice President shall:

 

                        1. Be responsible for the maintenance of the NOW-NJ state membership lists, including new joins, actives, and expireds;

                        2. Assist chapters with their list maintenance;

                        3. Develop a membership plan, which includes increasing the diversity of the organization, and report on its progress to the State Board;

                        4. Be responsible for leadership development and training;

                        5. Maintain an updated leadership list;

                        6. Promote and assist in the development of new NOW chapters, and act to revive inactive chapters;

                        7. Be responsible for the coordination of the activities of all task forces; and

                        8. Act to develop new task forces.

 

            G. The State Technology Vice President shall:

 

                        1. Be responsible for the maintenance of the state website;

                        2. Be responsible for the maintenance of any social networking sites that the state participates in (i.e., Facebook, Twitter); and

                        3. Facilitate email blasts to our membership with the approval of the State President.

 

            H. The State Legislative Vice President shall:

 

                        1. Monitor and coordinate actions related to pending legislation pertaining to women and girls;

                        2. Work with Task Forces to prepare any necessary position papers regarding legislative issues;

                        3. Maintain contact information and voting records of elected officials;

                        4. In the absence of the State President, testify at appropriate legislative hearings as to NOW-NJ’s positions on issues; and

                        5. Review the State Board priority issues for relevancy to any upcoming elections, and prepare a proposed candidate interview questionnaire for presentation to the State Board.

 

            I. All State Officers shall:

 

                        1. Have all expense vouchers signed by the State President and State Administrative Vice President;

                        2. Have all non-operating expenses documented with the proper approval of the State Board or Executive Board attached. If the expense is Executive Board approved via a conference call, that call shall be documented via e-mail and attached to the expense voucher. Prior State Board approval is not needed for expenses under $50.00.

                        3. All expenses must have an explanation or notation as to their purpose/usage.

                        4. Receipts shall be provided for all expenses over $10.00, or no reimbursement/payment shall be issued.

 

Section 3. Eligibility and Nomination

 

Any member of NOW-NJ in good standing who resides in New Jersey shall be eligible to hold state office. Nominations for state officers shall be submitted to the Nominating Committee in writing at least ten (10) days before the Conference.

 

The Nominating Committee shall not endorse individual candidates or a slate of candidates, but shall instead:

 

            A. Accept nominations from members, including self nominations;

 

            B. Determine if each nominee meets the qualifications as described in these Bylaws.

 

After the report of the Nominating Committee is given at the State Conference, nominations for additional candidates shall be taken from the floor.

 

Section 4. Election of State Officers

 

State Officers shall be elected by majority vote of the members present and voting at the State Conference. Voting shall be by ballot. If there is but one candidate for an office, then, by Motion and majority vote from the assembly, the State Secretary shall cast the elective ballot. The Election Committee is responsible for counting the ballots.

 

Section 5. Term of Office

 

State Officers shall serve a two (2) year term from fourteen (14) days after the State Conference at which they were elected until fourteen (14) days after the next annual State Conference at which their successors shall have been duly elected.

 

Section 6. Vacancies

 

In the event of a vacancy in any of the State Offices, the State Secretary shall provide notice to all members of the State Board of the vacancy, who shall, not less than thirty days or more than sixty days from the occurrence of the vacancy, elect from among the membership at large, an acting officer to serve until the next election State Conference.

 

Section 7. Suspension or Removal of State Officers

 

The State Board may, by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of its members present at a regularly scheduled State Board meeting at which a quorum exists, after not less than thirty (30) days of consideration of the question, suspend or remove from office any State Officer, if the State Board determines after notice and opportunity for hearing that the actions of such Officer are contrary to the purposes of NOW-NJ and injurious to the organization, or that the Officer has abandoned her/his duties.

 

Section 8. Resignation

 

An Officer may resign by submitting her/his resignation in writing, citing an effective date, to the State President and/or the State Board.

 

Article VII

State Board

 

Section 1. Members of the State Board

 

The State Board shall consist of:

 

            A. The State Officers;

            B. The immediate past State President, ex officio;

            C. Not more than three delegates from each Chapter;

            D. One delegate from each task force which is eligible under Article IX, Section 4 of these Bylaws;

            E. Any NOW-NJ members who are National Board Members.

 

Chapters and Task Forces may elect alternates.

 

Section 2. General Powers and Duties

 

The State Board shall:

 

            A. Be the governing body of NOW-NJ between State Conferences;

 

            B. Be collectively responsible for assisting the State President with all projects.

 

Section 3. Meetings of the State Board

 

The State Board shall meet at least four (4) times each calendar year. Additional meetings of the State Board should be held upon the call of the State President or upon the request of three (3) Chapter Presidents. Meetings of the State Board shall be open to all NOW members. Notice of State Board Meetings shall be made by posting to the NOW-NJ web site and e-mailing the NOW-NJ Leadership List.

 

Section 4. Quorum for State Board Meetings

 

Voting representatives of not less than twenty-five (25) percent of the existing chapters, and not less than two (2) State Officers, shall constitute a quorum.

 

Section 5. Voting Rights

 

Each State Board member present is entitled to one vote on each matter submitted to a vote of the State Board. No person may represent more than one voting position. Alternates may not vote when their delegates are present.

 

Section 6. Delegates

 

Chapter and Task Force delegates shall become voting members of the State Board upon written notice to the State Secretary of delegate names and election dates from the coordinator, president, or chair of her/his unit.

 

Section 7. Alternates

 

Each Chapter and Task Force may elect alternate delegates. Alternates shall be entitled to vote in the absence of regular delegates, provided that the State Secretary has received written notice of the alternate's election from the coordinator, president, or chair of her/his unit.

 

Section 8. Suspensions and Removals

 

The State Board may, by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of its members present at a regularly scheduled State Board meeting, after not less than thirty (30) days of consideration of the question, suspend or remove from the State Board any member, if the State Board determines after notice and opportunity for hearing that the actions of such State Board member are contrary to the purposes of NOW-NJ and injurious to the organization, or that the member has abandoned her/his duties (for further action see National Bylaws Section 12).

 

Article VIII

State Executive Committee

 

The State Officers, Immediate Past State President, and the Chapter Presidents shall constitute the Executive Committee. In the event there is no Chapter President, such as a chapter with an Operating Board, then a single member of the Operating Board shall be designated as the Chapter Representative for purposes of the State Executive Committee. Where action is necessary or desirable between State Board meetings, the Executive Committee may act on behalf of NOW-NJ, provided that all members of the Committee have been given notice and that action is consistent with existing NOW and NOW-NJ policy. In order for a decision of the Executive Committee to be valid, at least one-third (1/3) of the existing Chapter Presidents must cast a vote.

 

Article IX

State Task Forces

 

Section 1. Convening Task Forces

 

State Task Forces shall be convened at the State Conference or at any State Board meeting by the State Membership Vice President upon majority vote of the State Board or the State Conference. All proposals from NOW-NJ members to form a Task Force shall be placed upon the agenda for consideration.

 

Section 2. Goals of Task Forces

 

Within sixty (60) days of convening, a Task Force shall submit for State Board approval a statement of purpose including long-term and short-term goals and objectives. Each Task Force shall work toward its adopted goals and objectives as established by the Task Force members and approved by the State Board, and work within the purview of those goals and objectives. At the time of its annual Task Force elections, each Task Force shall review its goals and objectives and update them if necessary. All changes in Task Force goals and objectives shall be presented for State Board approval at the next State Board meeting. The State Board shall have the authority to determine what is consistent with NOW-NJ policy and to supervise the activities of the Task Forces.

 

Section 3. Task Force Membership

 

Any NOW-NJ member in good standing may serve and vote on any Task Force(s), except that no member may vote in the election of Task Force Chair for more than two Task Forces. Task Forces shall have no restrictions on minimum or maximum number of members.

 

Section 4. Task Force Powers and Responsibilities

 

NOW-NJ Task Forces may join or help establish coalitions with other organizations on cooperative goals consistent with NOW policy and all State and Federal laws and regulations after securing the approval of the State Board, provided that the goals are consistent with the long-range and short term objectives of the Task Force as outlined under Section 2 of this Article. Task Forces which have a minimum of five (5) members shall be entitled to a delegate and alternate to the State Board provided:

 

            A. A minimum of five (5) members voted in the Task Force elections;

 

            B. The names of those members voting are submitted to the State Membership Vice President;

 

            C. None of the voting members has voted in more than two (2) Task Force elections between State Conferences;

 

            D. The Task Force submits regular reports to the State Board at each State Board meeting. In the event no Task Force member can attend a State Board meeting, a written report must be submitted to the State Membership Vice President no less than five days prior to the State Board Meeting or, in the event of an emergency, as soon as possible.

 

Section 5. Task Force Budgets

 

In order to receive NOW-NJ funds, a Task Force shall submit an annual budget consistent with its goals and objectives for approval of the State Board. Task Forces may submit fund raising proposals for consideration by the State Board.

 

Section 6. Task Force Elections

 

Task Force Chairs shall be elected by a majority of Task Force members present and voting, within sixty (60) days of convening. Task Forces eligible for State Board delegates shall hold delegate/alternate elections for Task Force Chair and for delegate/alternate to the State Board, where applicable. The Task Force Chair may be the Task Force delegate to the State Board. All Task Force elections must be conducted according to NOW-NJ policy. Task Forces shall provide written notice to the State Secretary of the date, time, location, and directions in a timely manner so that the thirty (30) days prior notice of the election may be given to all members of the organization. Notice of Task Force elections shall be made by posting to the NOW-NJ web site and e-mailing the NOW-NJ Leadership List.

 

Section 7. Suspension and Dissolution of Task Forces

 

The State Board shall reserve the right to rescind delegate privileges of any Task Force which, at any time, fails to comply with the regulations set forth in these Bylaws. The State Board shall reserve the right to dissolve any Task Force which has not met or submitted a report for a period of three (3) months.

 

Article X

Chapters

 

All Chapters in New Jersey formed according to National Bylaws Section 7-A and so recognized by the Regional Director, shall have voting privileges at meetings of the State Board and of the State Executive Committee.

 

Article XI

Committees

 

Section 1. Formation of Committees

 

Committees may be formed by majority vote of the State Board for the purpose of planning and directing the work necessary to realize the goals of the organization in a specific area. Any committee consisting of members who are not on the State Board can be advisory only and cannot bind the State Board or corporation. Committees may be dissolved by majority vote of the State Board.

 

Section 2. Committee Membership

 

Any NOW-NJ member in good standing may serve on any Committee. Committees shall have no restrictions on minimum or maximum number of members. The Committee shall elect a Chair to coordinate activities and report back to the State Board.

 

Section 3. Committee Budgets

 

Committees shall not be entitled to receive NOW-NJ funds, although specific expenditures necessary to accomplish a task or objective may be approved by a majority vote of the State Board.

 

Section 4. Suspension and Dissolution of Committees

 

Once the task or objective is complete, the Committee shall dissolve. The State Board shall reserve the right to dissolve any Committee which has not met or submitted a report for a period of three (3) months.

 

Article XII

Self Audit Committee

 

The Self Audit Committee shall consist of a duly elected Chair and at least one other member in good standing, and approved by the State Board. Neither the State President, State Administrative Vice President, nor State Treasurer may be a member of the Self Audit Committee.

 

            A. All NOW-NJ accounts must be reviewed and audited yearly by the Committee, according to generally accepted auditing standards.

 

            B. The report of the Self Audit Committee must be signed by all members of the committee that are present, and will be filed to the State office at the next State Board Meeting.

 

            C. Any discrepancies or outstanding issues should be listed on an attached supplemental form and will be addressed by the State Treasurer and the State Board as appropriate.

 

Article XIII

Dues and Finances

 

Section 1. NOW-NJ Dues

 

Under central dues collection, NOW-NJ dues collected at the National level or at the Chapter level shall be transmitted to the NOW-NJ State Membership Vice President or State Treasurer. The State Board shall institute a dues system for the State organization. The amount of NOW-NJ dues shall be set by two-thirds (2/3) vote of the voting members present at a regularly scheduled State Board meeting at which a quorum exists after thirty (30) days notice of consideration of the question.

 

Section 2. Chapter Dues

 

Under centralized dues collection, the State Board shall set the percentage of dues to be returned to the Chapters by the following procedure:

 

            A. Thirty (30) days notice shall be sent to all Chapter members that a change in the Chapter's share of dues is under consideration.

 

            B. Notice of the State Board's decision shall be sent to all Chapter Presidents or Operating Board.

 

Section 3. Fiscal Year

 

The fiscal year of NOW-NJ shall be January 1 - December 31.

 

Section 4. Dissolution

 

Upon dissolution of any NOW-NJ Chapter, the Officers and Board (if any) of that chapter shall, after paying or making provisions for payment of all liabilities of the organization, remit all remaining assets to NOW-NJ.

 

Article XIV

Grievances

 

Grievances arising within NOW-NJ or grievances that can not be resolved at the Chapter level shall be referred to the Grievance Committee and handled according to the Grievance Procedures adopted by NOW-NJ. An ad-hoc Grievance Committee shall be convened as necessary.

 

Article XV

Amendments

 

These Bylaws may be amended or revised by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the State Conference, provided:

 

            A. That the amendment has been proposed by the State Board or by a NOW-NJ Chapter; and

 

            B. That a written notice of the proposed amendment has been posted to the website and emailed to all chapter leaders and members in good standing not less than thirty (30) days prior to the State Conference.

 

            C. Unless otherwise specified, amended Bylaws shall take effect immediately upon adoption.

 

Article XVI

Parliamentary Authority

 

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

 

Article XVII

Dissolution

 

The State organization of NOW-NJ may be dissolved only by approval by ballot of not less than two-thirds (2/3) of the members voting and in good standing. All ballots returned within sixty (60) days shall be used to determine the results. Upon dissolution of NOW-NJ, the State Officers and State Board shall, after paying or making provision for payment of all liabilities of the organization, remit all remaining assets to National NOW or other units of NOW exempt under the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) of the United States Internal Revenue

Code. All further matters shall be referred to the Regional Director or as advised by National NOW.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2000 - 2012.  All rights reserved.

 

National Organization for Women of New Jersey (NOW-NJ)

PO Box 10299

Trenton, NJ 08650

Tel:  609-393-0156             E-mail:  NOW-NJ@nownj.org

 

Last modified:  April 28, 2012