FLORIDA NOW BYLAWS
(Revised April, 1986)
1 ARTICLE I. NAME
2 The name of the organization shall be Florida NOW. It shall exist and operate as a unit of the National Organization
3 for Women.
4 ARTICLE I. PURPOSE AND POLICY
5 Section 1. PURPOSE. The purpose of the organization is to take action to bring women into full participation in the
6 mainstream of American society now, exercising all privileges and responsibilities thereof in truly equal partnership
7 with men. This purpose includes, but is not limited to, equal rights and responsibilities in all aspects of citizenship,
8 public service, employment, education, and family life. Florida NOW shall provide a structure to establish a vehicle
9 coordinated State action, foster understanding and exchange of information and ideas, convene chapters, and assist
10 the growth, maintenance and development of membership and chapters in the state.
11 Section 2. POLICY. This organization shall be bound by National NOW Bylaws, National NOW Policy, and may take
12 no action which is contrary thereto. State policy may be established by the members on any subject directly related
13 to the purpose of NOW, except where such policy conflicts with National NOW policy.
14 ARTICLE M. MEMBERSHIP
15 Section 1. MEMBERS. Any person who is a member-of National NOW, residing in Florida and who is a member of
16 a Florida chapter of NOW or a convening chapter or is a member at-large and whose dues are paid shall be a member
17 of Florida NOW. No person who shall subscribe to NOW's purposes shall be excluded from membership, segregated
18 or otherwise discriminated against within the organization.
19 Section 2. VOTING RIGHTS. Each member who is a member in good standing prior to any meeting of the members,
20 not otherwise provided for in these Bylaws, shall be entitled to one vote on each matter submitted to a vote of the members
21 [See Operating Rules (O.R.): Voting Assistance.]
22 Section 3. AUTHORITY. The members, voting in Conference, shall constitute the policy making body of the organization.
23 ARTICLE IV. MEETINGS
24 Section 1. STATE COUNCIL MEETINGS. The State Council shall serve to implement policy set at the State Con-
25 ference and facilitate action between Conferences.
26 A. The State Council shall consist of the elected state officers, one delegate elected from each chapter and convening
27 chapter to represent each 100 members or fraction thereof as established by the most recent corrected National strip
28 list, and one elected delegate to represent each 100 members-at-large or fraction thereof in attendance at the previous
29 State Conference. All Council members must maintain residency requirements in Article HI, Section 1.
30 B. The State Council shall meet at least quarterly and shall fix the date and locale of the subsequent Council meeting
31 prior to adjournment. [See O.R.: Master Schedule].
32 C. Members of the Council shall be notified by the Administrative Secretary of the time, date, place and agenda -
33 all of which shall be provided by the President of a regular meeting at least 3 weeks in advance.
1 D. Special meetings of the Council may be held at the call of the State President or no less than 20% of the chapters
2 delegated to the Council. All members of the Council shall be notified of the time, date, place, and purpose of a special
3 meeting at least 10 days In advance.
4 E. A quorum of the State Council shall consist of at least 2 officers and one delegate from at least 6 different chapters.
5 F. The President or sucessor(s) shall chair State Council meetings.
6 G. Meetings of the Council shall be open to all NOW members, with discussion by observers at the pleasure of the chair.
7 Section 2. STATE CONFERENCE. A State Conference of all Florida NOW members shall be held annually to: set
8 policy, adopt resolutions, and transact such other business as may come before the members. State Officers, At-large
9 delegates to the Council and At-large delegates to the National Conference shall be elected at the State Conference
10 (in accordance with Articles VII and VIII).
11 A. The State Council shall fix the exact date and place of the Conference and give the chapters and members-at-large
12 at least 90 days notice thereof.
13 B. Forty percent of Florida NOW members who are registered and credentialled, including two officers, shall con-
14 stitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Voting in plenary sessions and State Officer elections shall be limited
15 to members of Florida NOW. Discussion by non-NOW members shall be at the pleasure of the chair.
16 C. A Caucus of unaffiliated members-at-large shall be scheduled on the Conference agenda. The Caucus, which shall
17 be called to elect at-large delegates) to the State Council, shall be presided over by the State Membership Coordinator.
18 D. No NOW member shall be required to pay a fee in order to participate in the business of the Conference and no
19 distinction of any kind shall be drawn between those able to pay fees and those unable to pay fees.
20 ARTICLE V. STATE OFFICERS
21 Section 1. The elected officers, who shall constitute an executive committee are: President, Executive Vice Presi-
22 dent, Legislative Director, Treasurer, Administrative Secretary, and Membership Coordinator. All Officers shall have
23 been members of Florida NOW for at least 1 year prior to election.
24 Section 2. DUTIES OF OFFICERS. The President shall preside at the State Conference and at meetings of the State
25 Council; shall be the official spokesperson for Florida NOW, and all official verbal or written communications in the
26 name of Florida NOW must have prior authorization from the President. The State President shall serve as the official
27 State contact person and liaison between Florida NOW and Regional and National Directors and Officers; shall assist
28 in the formation of new chapters; shall maintain records of the status of chapters and members in the State. The State
29 President shall be responsible for coordinating official State actions in coalitions with other organizations, as approved
30 by the council, with the exemption of actions explicitly delegated to the task forces or committees. The President may
31 appoint and remove, with the approval of the Council, a Legal Counsel, parliamentarian, and such coordinators, task
32 forces, or committees as necessary.
33 The Executive Vice President shall assume any duties and responsibilities of the President at the request of the Presi-
34 dent or the State Council, or in the absence of the President. The Executive Vice President shall be responsible for
35 the administration of and communications with and among task forces and committees. The Executive V.P. shall be
36 responsible for recommendations to the Council of any necessary administrative policies, procedures, and amendments
38 The Treasurer shall be the financial officer, and shall prepare the budget for Florida NOW; shall disburse funds; shall
39 be responsible for periodic reports to the State Council unless it Is determined that written reports should be delivered
40 quarterly to the membership or to the council delegates; shall submit a cumulative report of financial transactions to
41 the State Conference; and shall collect the State dues from chapter treasurers. The Treasurer shall chair the Budget
1 The Legislative Director shall serve the Council and Conference In an advisory capacity to recommend legislative
2 policy and priorities; shall serve as liaison with NOW's National legislative office; and shall perform such other activities
3 as will facilitate coordinated action of the chapters and members in achieving National and State legislative goals. With
4 the approval of the Council, the Legislative Director may serve as official NOW Lobbyist or may form a search commit-
5 tee to recruit and screen qualified candidates to serve as official NOW Lobbyist(s)..
6 The candidates' names and resumes shall be submitted to the State Council, which shall be responsible for appointing
7 or hiring one or more official NOW lobbyists. The State Council shall also be responsible for firing or replacing the
8 lobbyistss. The Legislative Director shall assume the duties and responsibilities of the President in case of absence,
9 resignation, or removal of both the President and Executive Vice President until the next State Council meeting at which
10 time such vacancies shall be filled.
11 The Administrative Secretary shall see that a record is made of the official business of the Conference and Council
12 meetings, and that this record is disseminated to the Council members within one month of the Conference or meeting;
13 shall maintain the roster of Council members; shall call the roll and include the number of delegates for each chapter.
14 The Membership Director shall develop membership recruitment and maintainance programs for chapters; develop
15 recruitment and maintenance programs for Rorida at-large members; provide chapter membership chairs with assistance
16 to achieve State Council goals. The Membership Coordinator shall preside over the at-large Caucus at the State
18 ARTICLE VI. NOMINATIONS FOR STATE OFFICES.
19 Section 1. A nominating Committee to propose candidates for the elective offices shall be elected from among the
20 Chapter delegates to the Council. Nominations shall be solicited from among the State members through their represen-
21 tatives on the Council. The state members shall be informed in writing of the list of candidates collated by the Nominating
22 Committee together with a resume of each proposed candidates' qualifications for the office not less than 30 days prior
23 to the State Conference.
24 Section 2. Additional nominations may be made from the floor of the State Conference, provided that the consent
25 of the nominees shall have first been obtained, and a resume of the nominees' qualifications for the office shall have
26 been prepared and circulated among the voting members of the Conference prior to election.
27 ARTICLE VII. ELECTIONS
28 Officers shall be elected every other year by a majority vote of the credentialled members present and voting for each
29 office at the State Conference whose preferences are counted in the final tally at the Conference. If there are more
30 than 2 persons running for the same office, preferential balloting shall be used.
31 ARTICLE VIII. TERM OF OFFICE
32 Officers shall take office one month after the State Conference in which they were elected. A term of office shall be
33 two years. No officer shall be eligible for election to any one office for more than two consecutive terms. In the case
34 of Board members elected to fill a vacancy, their partial term shall not be considered in determining the term limitation.
35 ARTICLE IX. VACANCIES
36 When a vacancy in a State Office occurs between election Conferences, the State Council shall elect a replacement
37 to serve until the next election Conference, except that the State Executive Vice President shall assume the office of
38 the State President until the next election Conference, in the event the State President's office becomes vacant. In
39 the event of simultaneous vacancies in the offices of both the State President and the State Executive Vice President,
40 The State Legislative Director shall serve as interim State President until the next State Council meeting at which time
41 the vacancies shall be filled.
1 ARTICLE X. REMOVALS
2 Section 1. Procedures for removal of state officers shall be Initiated by written request, specifying the reason for such
3 removal, received by the Florida NOW legal counsel and signed by the following: 10% of the membership including
4 members from at least one-third (1/3) of the chapters, or 15% of the Council members.
5 Section 2. Within 24 hours after receiving the written request specified above, the Florida NOW legal counsel shall
6 notify by telephone and by certified mail, return receipt requested, the officer charged, and the Executive Committee
7 who shall set a time for a special meeting of the Council to be held in Orlando not less than 30 days nor more than
8 45 days from notification by the Legal Counsel. The State President, or the State Executive Vice President if the Presi-
9 dent is the officer charged, shall notify the Council members 3 weeks prior to the meeting of the charges and time
10 and place of the special meeting.
11 Section 3. The State Officer shall be removed from office at the Special Council meeting, at which 3 officers and one-
12 half (1/) of the Council members must be present, by a two-thirds (2/) written vote of all council members, present
13 and voting, after notice and an opportunity for hearing, if the Council determines that the actions of such individuals
14 are contrary to the purposes of NOW or injurious to the Chapters and Members of Florida NOW.
15 Section 4. At the second consecutive regular State Council meeting from which a State Officer is absent, that office
16 shall become vacant. The Council may elect to retain said officer or to fill the vacancy.
17 ARTICLE XI. COMMITTEES AND TASK FORCES
18 Section 1. Committee and Task Force members and their chairs shall be appointed and/or removed by the President
19 with the approval of the Council. The members of the committees and task forces shall serve for the duration of the
20 term of the appointing administration.
21 Section 2. BYLAWS COMMITTEE. The purpose of this committee shall be to accept and review proposals for Bylaw
22 amendments in accordance with Article XIII of the Bylaws. The committee shall review the Bylaws to assure compliance
23 with National NOW Bylaws. It shall make recommendations to the State Council in accordance with Article XIII of the
25 BUDGET COMMITTEE. The purpose of this committee shall be to prepare a proposed line item budget for the fiscal
26 year. The Budget Committee shall consider the sources and amounts of income and the needs and recommendations
27 of the members, chapters, task forces, committees and Officers in preparing the Budget and developing the priorities
28 governing expenditures. A final budget shall be presented to the State Council for adoption within two months of the
29 end of the fiscal year. The budget, after 30 days notice, shall be approved by the Council at a meeting proceeding
30 the commencement of the fiscal year. Review and revision of the budget may occur at any regular or special meeting
31 of the State Council.
32 NEWSLETTER COMMITTEE. The purpose of this committee shall be to publish a State newsletter for Florida NOW.
33 The chair of this committee shall be the editor of the newsletter. The Newsletter Committee shall be responsible for
34 the form, content and frequency of the newsletter, shall recommend a budget to the newsletter to the Budget Commit-
35 tee, and shall recommend the methods) of funding the Newsletter to the Fundraising Committee.
36 RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE. The purpose of this committee shall be to solicit resolutions which are to be considered
37 by the Conference and to distribute copies of said resolutions to the chapters no later than four weeks prior to the Con-
38 ference. The Committee shall set a deadline for submission of resolutions and give to the chapters at least thirty days
39 notice of the deadline.
40 FUNDRAISING COMMITTEE. The purpose of this committee is to coordinate all fundraising activities of Florida NOW
41 and to perform such other fundraising duties as directed by the Council.
42 ACCOMMODATIONS AND SERVICES. Provides accommodations and services for all State Council functions. This
43 Committee also accepts bids for the State Conference and assumes responsibility for collating post-Conference reports
44 for presentation to the Council no later than the second regular meeting of the Council following the Conference.
1 LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT. The purpose of this committee shall be to develop and coordinate leadership develop.
2 ment programs and materials.
3 ARTICLE XII. FINANCES
4 State dues shall be set on a per capital basis by a majority vote. of the State Conference. Members' dues received by
5 the chapters shall be forwarded to the State Treasurer by the Chapter Treasurers within 30 days of receipt.
6 ARTICLE XII. AMENDMENTS TO BYLAWS
7 These Bylaws may be amended by a % vote of those present and voting at the State Conference, provided that: the
8 amendment is proposed by a majority vote of the State Council, a member chapter or by petition of five percent of
9 the members; the proposed amendment is submitted to the State Council at least 60 days prior to the State Conference
10 and that the State Council forward said amendment to the Conference with or without endorsement; the existent Bylaw
11 plus the proposed amendment is disseminated in an every member NOW publication at least 30 days prior to the State
12 Conference. All amendments shall take effect immediately unless otherwise specified.
13 ARTICLE XIV. GRIEVANCES
14 It shall be the responsibility of the State Council to resolve state grievances and local grievances brought ot its attention
15 but only after all other grievance remedies at the local levels have been exhausted. The State Council shall elect, at
16 the first State Council meeting following the State Conference five (5) Florida NOW members to serve as a Grievance
17 Committee, three (3) to serve and two (2) alternates. They shall arbitrate disciplinary procedures provided by the parliamen-
18 tary authority designated by these Bylaws. The Grievance Committee shall report within sixty (60) days or at the next
19 subsequent State Council meeting, whichever shall last occur, its findings and recommendations to the State Council
20 for action. Decisions of the Council may be appealed to the National Board members of the Southeast Region.
21 ARTICLE XV. PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY. Robert's Rules of Order, newly revised.
22 ARTICLE XVI. OPERATING RULES
23 The State Council shall adopt a document separate from these Bylaws called Operating Rules for Florida NOW. The
24 purpose of the Operating Rules shall be to describe and further carry out or implement the intent of these Bylaws.
25 ARTICLE XVII. DISSOLUTION
26 Florida NOW may be dissolved only by mail ballot in which not less than two-thirds (2/) of the members voting and
27 in good standing approve of such dissolution. All ballots returned within forty-five (45) days shall be used to determine
28 the results. Upon dissolution of Florida NOW, the officers and Council shall, after paying or making provisions for pay-
29 ment of all liabilities of the organization, remit all remaining assets to National NOW or all chapters and convening
30 chapters of Florida.