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National NOW Times >> Spring 2003 >> Article

Proposed Amendments to National NOW Bylaws

View the entire current National NOW Bylaws online.

  1. Timely response to chapter convening requests
  2. National Board adopts model chapter bylaws and standards
  3. National conferences and issue summits held on alternate years
  4. Change in language of when Board members assume office (only necessary if proposal #3 passes)
  5. National Board fills vacant affirmative action seats
  6. Requirement of young feminist seat on National Board

1) Timely response to chapter convening requests

Current Bylaw

Article IV. Subunits
Section 2. States

A. Each state and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (hereinafter referred to as a state) which does not now have an existing state organization may apply to convene a state organization with the approval of a majority of the chapters or members of that state. States shall be convened and chartered upon meeting requirements set by the National Board or National Conference. States must continue to meet such requirements to maintain their state status, subject to the removal of their state charters in accordance with the procedures set forth in Article XIII, Section 2. State organizations shall convene chapters within their state.

Proposed Amendment

[Existing text in A remains; italicized text is added as new final sentence]

Article IV. Subunits
Section 2. States

A. Each state and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (hereinafter referred to as a state) which does not now have an existing state organization may apply to convene a state organization with the approval of a majority of the chapters or members of that state. States shall be convened and chartered upon meeting requirements set by the National Board or National Conference. States must continue to meet such requirements to maintain their state status, subject to the removal of their state charters in accordance with the procedures set forth in Article XIII, Section 2. State organizations shall convene chapters within their state. If a state organization fails to approve or disapprove a convening request within 30 days, the national organization may convene the chapter.

2) National Board adopts model chapter bylaws and standards

Current Bylaw

Article IV. Subunits
Section 1. Chapters

D. The local, grassroots chapters are the building blocks of NOW, serving as the focus of feminist action.

Proposed Amendment

[Existing text in A through D remains the same; a new E is added]

Article IV. Subunits
Section 1. Chapters

E. The National Board shall adopt model chapter bylaws, shall have the responsibility to adopt policy setting standards for chapters, and shall set procedures for dechartering chapters that are not in compliance with such standards, all subject to amendment or deletion by vote at a national conference.

3) National conferences and issue summits held on alternate years

Current Bylaw

Article VIII. Membership Meetings
Section 1. National Conference

A. There shall be an annual meeting of the membership (hereinafter referred to as the National Conference or the Conference) which shall rotate through the regions and shall be held for the purpose of transacting the business of the organization.

Proposed Amendment

[Italicized text replaces existing text in A; a new D is added and the existing D becomes E]

Article VIII. Membership Meetings
Section 1. National Conference

A. There shall be a general membership meeting in each odd-numbered year (hereinafter referred to as the National Conference or the Conference) which shall rotate through the regions and shall be held for the purpose of transacting the business of the organization.

D. In the even-numbered years, there shall be a special issue or constituency summit in the event that NOW Foundation does not sponsor such a summit.

4) Change in language of when Board members assume office (only necessary if proposal #3 passes)

Current Bylaw

Article VII. The National Board Section 6. Term of Office

B. Board members shall take office at the close of the National Conference in the year in which they are elected.

Proposed Amendment

[Existing text in B is replaced by new text]

Article VII. The National Board Section 6. Term of Office

B. Board members shall take office at the first Board meeting after September 1 in the year in which they are elected.

5) National Board fills vacant affirmative action seats

Current Bylaw

Article XII. Vacancies
Section 3. National Board Members Elected from the Regions

A. Vacancies in regionally elected National Board positions shall be filled by any member of that region who meets the criteria for national office and is elected by a vote of two-thirds of the State Coordinators and the remaining Board member(s) of that region.

B. The existence of a vacancy shall be consistent with the provision of Article VII, Section 4, B.

Current Bylaw

[Existing text in A and B remains the same; a new C is added]

Article XII. Vacancies
Section 3. National Board Members Elected from the Regions

C. Whenever there shall be a vacancy in a region's affirmative action board seat for 3 months or longer, the National Board shall be authorized to add an at-large member to the Board for affirmative action purposes with preference given to a person of color from the region with the vacancy, provided, however, that the region may still fill its affirmative action seat at a later date.

6) Requirement of young feminist seat on National Board

Current Bylaw

Article VII. The National Board
Section 4. Regional Election of Board Members

B. Based on the number of members within the region as defined in this section, each region shall be allocated (1) a number of Board seats; (2) a maximum number of Board members allowed from an individual state; and (3) the minimum number of Board seats which shall be filled by persons of color. The paid NOW membership on national records as of January 1 of the year in which the election of Board members is held shall be used to determine allocation of the Board seats.

  1. Regions with 12,500 members or fewer shall be allocated three Board seats; no more than two Board members may come from any one state; a minimum of one Board seat shall be filled by a person of color.

  2. Regions with at least 12,501 members and fewer than 25,001 members shall be allocated four Board seats; no more than two Board members may come from any one state; a minimum of one Board seat shall be filled by a person of color.

  3. Regions with at least 25,001 members and fewer than 37,501 members shall be allocated five Board seats; no more than three Board members may come from any one state, except that no more than four shall be from the state of California; a minimum of two Board seats shall be filled by persons of color.

  4. Regions with at least 37,501 members shall be allocated six Board seats; no more than four Board members may come from any one state; a minimum of two Board seats shall be filled by persons of color.

Proposed Amendment

[Italicized text is added to B. and 1,2,3 & 4]

Article VII. The National Board
Section 4. Regional Election of Board Members

B. Based on the number of members within the region as defined in this section, each region shall be allocated (1) a number of Board seats; (2) a maximum number of Board members allowed from an individual state; (3) the minimum number of Board seats which shall be filled by persons of color; and (4) The minimum number of Board seats which shall be filled by persons aged 30 or under. The paid NOW membership on national records as of January 1 of the year in which the election of Board members is held shall be used to determine allocation of the Board seats.

  1. Regions with 12,500 members or fewer shall be allocated three Board seats; no more than two Board members may come from any one state; a minimum of one Board seat shall be filled by a person of color. A minimum of one Board seat shall be filled by a person aged 30 or under.

  2. Regions with at least 12,501 members and fewer than 25,001 members shall be allocated four Board seats; no more than two Board members may come from any one state; a minimum of one Board seat shall be filled by a person of color. A minimum of one Board seat shall be filled by a person aged 30 or under.

  3. Regions with at least 25,001 members and fewer than 37,501 members shall be allocated five Board seats; no more than three Board members may come from any one state, except that no more than four shall be from the state of California; a minimum of two Board seats shall be filled by persons of color. A minimum of one Board seat shall be filled by a person aged 30 or under.

  4. Regions with at least 37,501 members shall be allocated six Board seats; no more than four Board members may come from any one state; a minimum of two Board seats shall be filled by persons of color. A minimum of one Board seat shall be filled by a person aged 30 or under.

Vote on these amendments at the National NOW Conference July 11-13 Arlington, Va.

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