By-Laws

The below by-laws were adopted by an affirmative vote of the LGBT CSA membership on May 11, 2015. A copy of these bylaws can be downloaded here.

 

BYLAWS OF THE LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER CONGRESSIONAL STAFF ASSOCIATION
 
ARTICLE I
ORGANIZATION NAME
 
The name of the organization shall be the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Congressional Staff Association, herein after referred to as “LGBT CSA” or “Association”.
 
ARTICLE II
PURPOSE
 
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Congressional Staff Association is an official, non-partisan Congressional staff organization whose mission is to promote career development opportunities for LGBT Congressional staffers.
 
ARTICLE III
MEMBERSHIP OF ORGANIZATION
 
Section 1: General Member.
A.      Any person who is employed by or is a paid fellow of the United States House of Representatives is eligible for General Membership.
B.      Applicants for General Membership who have paid their membership dues shall be considered an active general member from the date of payment received through the end of the calendar year.
C.      Annual Membership dues for General Membership shall be $20, which shall be paid by personal funds.
D.      General Members may participate in all events, meetings, and elections as described in Article VI.
 
Section 2: Unpaid Intern and Fellow Membership.
A.      Any person who serves as an unpaid intern or fellow in the United States House of Representatives is eligible for nonvoting membership for the tenure of their internship or fellowship.
B.      Annual Membership dues for unpaid interns and fellows shall be $10, which shall be paid by personal funds.
C.      Unpaid Intern and Fellow Members may participate in all events and meetings, but may not participate in elections as described in Article VI.
 
Section 3: Members of Congress.
A.      The Board of Directors shall be authorized to extend honorary membership to Members of Congress who support the goals and purposes of the Association.
B.      The Board shall determine the terms and privileges appertaining to Honorary Members.
 
Section 4: Annual or Semi-Annual Membership Drives.  The Board may authorize an annual or semi-annual membership drive and reduce for a defined period of time the Annual Membership dues for General Members and Unpaid Intern and Fellow Members.
 
Section 5: Non-Discrimination. Membership shall not be restricted on the basis of age, race, sex, religion, national origin, political party affiliation, ability, economic status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
 
 
Section 6: Confidentiality. The names and affiliations of LGBT CSA’s membership shall be considered private information not for public distribution.
 
Section 7: Resignation. Any member may resign by a notice in writing or by e-mail to the Membership Director or President. The acceptance of such resignation, unless otherwise required, shall not be necessary to make the same effective; nor shall any refund be paid for annual dues.
 
Section 5: Termination of employment with U.S. House of Representatives. If a General Member terminates employment with the U.S. House of Representatives, that individual’s membership for the remainder of the calendar year shall be subject to the terms delineated under Section 2 of this article and not under Section 1.
 
ARTICLE IV
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
 
Section 1: Composition of Board. The elected Directors shall be a President, Vice President, Communications Director, Professional Development Director, Social Events Director, Membership Director, and two At-Large Board Members.
 
Section 2: Committees. The Board may establish and maintain committees of active members to assist and advise them in achieving the goals of the Board.
 
Section 3: Term & Term Limits. The Board of Directors shall serve until the next Election Day and until their successors are elected. Each elected Director shall be limited to two full, consecutive terms in the same position and to four full terms cumulative as an elected director.
 
Section 4: Vacancies.
A.      In the event of a vacancy, the Board may appoint an individual to serve out the remainder of the vacant position's term provided that the decision is made by a simple majority of the Board.
B.      The Board shall communicate any changes in the Board’s composition to all General Members within two days.
 
Section 5: Removal.
A.    Any director may be removed for dereliction of assigned duties, indecent behavior, and other conduct unbecoming of a Director;
B.     After an appropriate hearing before the Board, the Board shall vote to remove a Director by the affirmative vote of a simple majority of the Directors; and
C.     After a second hearing before the General Membership, the General Membership shall vote to affirm the removal of the Director by a simple majority of the Members present.
 
Section 6: Majority of Board. In the event that the number of Directors on the Board constitutes an even number, the vote of the President shall break all ties for matters which a board majority is required.
 
Section 7: Succession. In the event of a vacancy in the office of the President, any Member of the Board may submit their name for election to the office of the President and assume the position by a vote of a simple majority of the Board.
 
ARTICLE V
DUTIES OF DIRECTORS
 
Section 1: The LGBT CSA President shall:
A.    Call and preside during all meetings;
B.     Establish an agenda for each and every meeting which shall be published prior to each meeting;
C.     Oversee the development and implementation of the work plans put in place by all Directors and assist and advise where necessary;
D.    Temporarily take on the responsibilities of other Directors in the event of a vacancy;
E.     Represent LGBT CSA in external affairs and as the sole spokesperson for the organization; And
F.      Serve as a liaison between LGBT CSA and peer organizations at outside agencies.
 
Section 2: The LGBT CSA Vice President shall:
A.    Perform the duties of the President in the absence of the President;
B.     Collect membership dues;
C.     Deposit all monies in bank/trust as selected by the Board of Directors within seven (7) business days of receipt of funds;
D.    Pay authorized bills;
E.     Maintain accurate records of all financial transactions; And
F.      Create a yearly budget and maintain financial tracking tools.
 
Section 3: The LGBT CSA Communications Director shall:
A.    Oversee the Web site and other online communications tools;
B.     Perform media relations;
C.     Draft written materials on behalf of the organization;
D.    Engage in outreach to external stakeholders as necessary;
E.     Publish all meeting notices, agendas, and other documents as directed by the President; And
F.      Shall serve as Secretary at all meetings, keeping minutes and notes.
 
Section 4: The LGBT CSA Professional Development Director shall:
A.    Plan and execute all professional development activities for the LGBT CSA Members; And
B.     Reserve the right to form a Professional Development Committee to be comprised of At-Large Board Members, other Members of the Board, and General Members to assist with the planning and execution of professional development activities.
 
Section 5: The LGBT CSA Social Events Director shall:
A.    Plan and execute all social events for the LGBT CSA Members; And
B.     Reserve the right to form a Social Events Committee to be comprised of At-Large Board Members, other Members of the Board, and General Members to assist with the planning and execution of social events.
 
Section 6: The LGBT CSA Membership Director shall:
A.    Lead annual efforts to recruit, collect, and maintain as many dues paying members as possible; And
B.     Maintain the LGBT CSA membership list.
 
Section 7: Duties of At-Large Directors.
A.    The duties and titles of At-Large Directors shall be designated on a case by case basis.
B.     These duties must be agreed upon by the elected Directors and the At-Large Director(s).
 
ARTICLE VI
ELECTIONS
 
Section 1: Election Officer. The President shall appoint, with the advice and consent of the Board of
Directors, an Election Officer who will conduct the annual elections for LGBT CSA’s eight (8) elected Directors; who shall serve through the nomination, tallying and completion of the election. The Election Officer shall not be eligible to run for any office or campaign for any candidate running for office in the year of the current election.
 
Section 2: Notice. Elections for LGBT CSA’s elected director's positions will be held annually at an Election Day meeting pursuant to a day as designated by a majority of the Board not later than 60 days following the beginning of the calendar year. The Communications Director must communicate the notice for Election Day to the entire LGBT CSA membership at least fourteen (14) days before Election Day.
 
Section 3: Candidacy Eligibility. Any general member who has been an active member for at least 90 days and who is currently employed by the United States House of Representatives or a Fellow (serving for one year) and is not the Election Officer is eligible to run for office.
 
Section 4: Candidacy Qualification. Any candidate who wishes to have their name appear on the ballot must make a written statement of their candidacy for all offices he or she intends to seek to the Election Officer prior to Election Day; the Election Officer shall make a determination of a candidate’s service credentials by consulting with the President or Membership Director. In the event that a candidate does or does not qualify the Election Officer shall notify them. The Election Officer shall inform the President and Membership Director of the list of candidates for each office.
 
Section 5: Notification of Candidates for Office. The President shall notify all LGBT CSA members prior to Election Day via e-mail which candidates have chosen to place their name on the ballot. The Membership Director shall keep an attendance record for Election Day and shall publish this record to the group immediately following the meeting.
 
Section 6: Order of Elections. Elections shall be held in the following order: President, Vice President, Communications Director, Professional Development Director, Social Events Director, Membership Director, and At-Large Directors. Those who lose election to a higher office shall maintain their eligibility to run for the subsequent offices for which they have declared their candidacy pursuant to Article IV Section 4. A candidate who has declared candidacies for multiple offices and becomes elected to a higher office will forfeit his or her candidacy for lower office.
 
Section 7: Voting. Each member is entitled to one vote for each office. All votes are to be conducted by secret ballot and must be returned to the Election Officer by the close of voting on Election Day. The vote of the majority shall decide any election or any question properly brought before a meeting.
 
Section 8: Counting. No votes shall be counted until after the close of voting. Results are to be announced after the close of voting.
 
Section 9: Run-off election. In the event that no candidate receives a simple majority of votes for election to an office, the two candidates with the greatest number of votes shall compete in a run-off election, to be announced immediately following the announcement of election results. The run-off election shall be held immediately, and the election officer shall preside over the run-off election as per the terms of a regular election. The winner of the run-off election shall be the candidate who receives a simple majority of the votes cast in said election.
 
Section 10: Electronic voting.
A.      Any active member, who is not present on Election Day, may vote via electronic mail by sending an e-mail message to the Election Officer stating their choice for each office and including the voter’s first and last name for verification purposes by the Election Officer.
B.      Each active member who chooses to vote by e-mail shall list their candidate preferences in order of preference for each office to be used in the event of a run-off election, as described in Section 9 of this Article.
 
Section 11: Transition of Directorship. New Directors will take office seven (7) days after the announcement of election results; during this transition former Directors shall hand over details, documents, and duties to new Directors; transfer of authorization for bank records and check authorization shall commence during this transition period. In no event may funds be expended until the bank has recognized the authorization to the new Directors and the new Board has reviewed and approved all pending expenditures.
 
ARTICLE VII
MEETINGS
 
Section 1: Board Meetings. The LGBT CSA Board of Directors shall meet formally at least once a month and in addition can be convened at any time by the President to address issues requiring more timely attention.
 
Section 2: General Membership Meetings.
A.      The LGBT CSA shall hold regular membership meetings periodically.
B.      Regular membership meetings shall be held for the purposes of hearing and approving actions taken by committees and ad-hoc task forces; discussing issues of relevance; announcements; receiving presentations from special guests; amending LGBT CSA bylaws; and other business as agreed to by the Board.
 
Section 3: Notice of Membership Meetings. A membership meeting notice and agenda will be sent to members via e-mail by the Communications Director, as directed by the President, at least a week before the meeting is scheduled. The notice shall set forth the location, date, and time of the meeting.
 
Section 4: Quorum. One tenth of the General Members shall constitute a quorum at all meetings of the members for the transaction of business. A simple majority of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum at all Board Meetings. If a quorum is not present, then the meeting must be adjourned until a quorum is present.
 
ARTICLE VIII
POLICY POSITIONS
 
The LGBT CSA exists as a non-partisan professional organization and shall not make public statements about or take official positions on policy issues except in cases where a policy would have a direct and exclusive impact on the LGBT CSA membership.
 
ARTICLE IX
CONTRACTS; PAYMENTS AND RECEIPTS
 
Section 1: Execution of Legal Instruments. Except as otherwise required by law or provided by these By- laws or the Board of Directors, the President shall have full power and authority to execute and deliver all duly authorized contracts and instruments on behalf of the Association. In addition, the Board of Directors by a majority vote shall have the power to authorize other Directors or agents to enter into contracts or execute and deliver instruments in the name of and on behalf of the Association.
 
Section 2: Payments. The Board of Directors shall have the authority to maintain such accounts in the name of the Association as they shall from time to time determine. All checks, drafts, or orders for the payment of money, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness issued in the name of the Association shall be signed by the Membership Director or President. In the event an expenditure shall exceed $300.00 the purchase must be approved by a majority of the Board of Directors and payment via check shall be co- signed by both the President and Membership Director.
 
Section 3: Loans. The Organization shall not borrow money, whether by issuing notes, bonds or otherwise.
 
ARTICLE X
AMENDMENTS; DISSOLUTION; USE OF FUNDS
 
Section 1: Amendments. Any active member may propose an amendment to the LGBT CSA bylaws at a regular membership meeting, but the amendment must be in writing and seconded by a general member.
 
Section 2: Adoption of Proposed Amendment. At least one third of the general membership must be in attendance at the regular meeting when the amendment is presented and seconded. The proposed amendment must be approved by a vote of two-thirds of the general members present at the meeting to be adopted. If less than one third of the general membership was present at the time the amendment was proposed and seconded, the Board of Directors shall announce and conduct an electronic vote on the amendment within 30 (thirty) days.
 
Section 3: Dissolution. The power to adopt a plan of merger or consolidation, to authorize dissolution, or to adopt a plan of distribution of assets shall be vested in the Board of Directors. However, the Board of Directors must submit any such proposition to a vote of the membership at a special meeting called for this express purpose.
 
Section 4: Distribution of Assets. In the event of termination or dissolution of the Association, its remaining assets, if any, shall be distributed exclusively for the purposes of the Association in such manner as the Board of Directors shall determine.
 
Section 5: No Inurement or Profit. No part of the net earnings of the Association shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, its members, directors, officers or other private persons, except that the Association shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered by outside parties and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Article II hereof.
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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Congressional Staff Association