OFFICIAL BYLAWS OF THE ATHEIST COMMUNITY OF TULSA
This organization shall be known as the Atheist Community of Tulsa (“ACT”).
The objectives of the ACT are to encourage and advance reason, free thought and a secular view of the world, to enhance the reputation of atheists and free-thinkers in the larger community, to provide a more positive and effective alternative to the damaging consequences of religious belief and indoctrination, and to promote scientific interests and free inquiry.
Headquarters and Territory
Section 1. The headquarters of the ACT shall be as optionally specified by the Board of the ACT, shall be located within the Greater Tulsa, OK metropolitan area, and shall be the repository of the permanent records of the ACT.
Section 2. The boundary of ACT territory shall be as the Board determines to be practically supportable by the organization, and it shall be communicated to the ACT Members upon any change thereof.
Members and Affiliates
Section 1. The rolls of the ACT shall include ACT Members and non-member Affiliates residing within the territory of the ACT.
Section 2. For qualification as an ACT Member, annual dues shall have been paid before January 1 of the year of membership. After January 1, partial year dues may be paid to join until the following January 1. The amount of the annual dues shall be established by the board.
Section 3. The ACT may have non-member Affiliates. Affiliates may be appointed as committee chairs and may serve on the Board in a non-voting capacity.
Officials and Board Composition
Section 1. The officers of the ACT shall be the President, Vice President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer.
Section 2. The Board shall consist of the officers of the ACT and five Trustees.
Section 3. Only Members shall be eligible for holding an elective position.
Section 4. The President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Trustees of the ACT shall be elected annually for a term of one year and each shall so serve until a successor qualifies.
The officers shall take office on January 1 of the year for which they are elected.
Section 5. The President shall preside as Chair at the meetings of the ACT and of the Board, except that in the absence of the President the Vice President shall so serve. In the absence of both the President and Vice President, a Board member previously appointed for the purpose shall preside.
Section 6. The Secretary shall keep a record of the proceedings of the ACT and of the Board, shall perform those duties and prepare and submit those reports required by the Board. The agendas and minutes of the board meetings shall be maintained and made available to the general membership (except in matters of privacy) no later than the following official meeting after such meeting occurs. The Secretary shall be allowed such sums for clerical assistance as may be approved by the Board.
Section 7. The Treasurer shall handle all funds belonging to the ACT, shall receive and deposit all funds paid to the ACT in the name of the ACT, shall disburse funds of the ACT upon board-approved expenses, shall keep adequate records, shall make such reports to the ACT as required, and shall perform all other duties usual to the office. In the absence of the Treasurer, the President and Vice President are authorized to receive and deposit funds paid to the ACT in the name of the ACT, and to disburse the funds of the ACT upon vouchers approved by the Board. The Treasurer and the President shall be bonded in a suitable manner if, when, and as the Board so provides. The fiscal year of the ACT shall be the calendar year. The Treasurer shall make financial summary reports to the Board and the membership at all meetings, so that current balances can be reported in the minutes, and shall prepare an annual written financial report at the end of each year.
Section 8. The Board shall be a standing committee to have charge of and conduct the affairs of the ACT, and shall have charge of all funds and property of the ACT and of all other matters not otherwise provided for in these bylaws. A quorum shall be a majority of Board members for all transactions of business. A majority of the members of the Board shall be necessary to approve all business.
Section 9. No salary shall be paid to any officer of the ACT, but expenses incurred by officials and committees in the performance of their duties may be paid by the ACT, if so approved by the majority of the Board.
Section 1. The elected Board shall have the power to conduct the business of the ACT in between regular Board and Membership meetings. When a proposed decision is to be considered, a simple majority of the Board shall suffice for the decision to pass.
Section 2. There shall be a Nominating Committee as provided for elsewhere in these bylaws.
Section 3. The Chair shall appoint such other ad hoc committees from time to time as shall be deemed desirable by the ACT to aid in conducting the affairs of the ACT.
Section 4. The Chair may remove any committee appointee for stated cause. An appeal may be made to the Board.
Section 5. The establishment of ad hoc committees, and the appointment of committee members and chairs, shall be effective upon the approval of a majority of the Board.
Section 1. Meetings shall be called by the Chair. The Chair shall call a special meeting upon a request by at least 20 percent of the Members of the ACT and presented to the Chair at least two weeks in advance of such special meeting and setting forth the date of such special meeting. Documentation of the request is required, and must include the names of the Members making the request.
Section 2. Notice of each meeting of the Membership of ACT shall be distributed to all Members and affiliates not less than one week in advance of such meeting.
Section 3. A quorum for regular and special meetings of the ACT shall consist of 25 percent of the Members of the ACT. In the absence of a quorum, regular and special meetings may not conduct business, but reports may be presented and discussed on an informal basis.
Section 4. Meetings of the Board shall be held monthly, at a time and place convenient to the Board members.
Section 5. The parliamentary authority for all meetings of the ACT shall be the most recent edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised for all matters not specified in these bylaws.
Manner of Election
Section 1. No later than November 1 each year, the Chair shall appoint a Nominating Committee of three members, one and only one of whom shall be a member of the Board and shall also be appointed chair of the committee.
Section 2. The Nominating Committee shall nominate one or more ACT Members for each of the offices for which a vacancy shall occur. The chair of this committee shall send the nominations of the committee to the Chair of the ACT no later than one week before the general ACT Membership meeting at which the election is held.
Section 3. Any 10 percent of Members of ACT may make a nomination for any elective office by submitting the name in writing, and signed by such Members, to the Chair at least 24 hours before the general ACT Membership meeting at which the election is held.
Section 4. There may be further nominations from the floor at the general ACT Membership meeting at which the election is held, if a quorum is present.
Section 5. Each nomination sent to the Chair must receive the consent of the nominee, and an agreement to serve if elected, before the nominee is placed on the ballot. No person may be nominated for more than one office at any one election.
Section 6. The general ACT Membership meeting at which the election is held shall be conducted no later than December 15th and early enough that a quorum can be obtained and the new officers and Board take office by January 1. The required quorum for the general ACT Membership meeting at which the election is held shall be 25% of the ACT Members. The election may be, at the discretion of the board, an electronic voting system used which ensures fair voting, managed by a disinterested party.
Section 7. Current membership status and authenticity of the voter shall be verified. A record of each vote cast shall be retained as provided for elsewhere in these bylaws. All Members shall have equal access to the balloting process during the period when the election is conducted.
Section 8. The candidate who receives the highest number of votes for each office shall be declared elected to that office. The Chair shall inform all candidates of the election results and shall arrange for transmitting this information to all Members and affiliates of the ACT.
Section 9. In the event of a tie for any elective office, such tie shall be resolved by vote of the Board from among the tied candidates. Members of the Board who are tied candidates shall not participate in the resolution of ties involving themselves.
Section 10. All challenges to the election results must be brought in writing to the Chair within thirty days from the announcement of the election results. The challenge should include specific and reasonable substantiating evidence, cosigned by at least five Members of the ACT.
Section 11. If for any reason it shall be impossible to execute the provisions of these bylaws regarding the times and dates of nominations and election, the Board shall arrange for nominations and elections to be conducted in a timely manner in accordance with the spirit of these Bylaws.
Section 12. No Member shall be eligible to hold more than one elective position at one time.
Section 13. The Vice President shall assume the office of President upon the occurrence of a vacancy in the office of President. In the event that the offices of President or Vice President shall become vacant, except as hereinbefore provided, the Board shall nominate replacements, and any 10 percent of Members of ACT may make a nomination for a replacement by submitting the name in writing, and signed by such Members. A new President or Vice President shall be elected by ballot at the next General Membership meeting from the nominations provided. The election may be, at the discretion of the board, an electronic voting system used which ensures fair voting, managed by a disinterested party. In the event that any vacancy occurs in the membership of the Board, and provision is not made elsewhere in these bylaws for filling such vacancy, such vacancy shall be filled until the next annual election by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Board.
Section 14. The Chair shall retain all ballots and related materials for at least ninety days after either the announcement of the results to the Membership or the resolution of any disputes, whichever is later.
Section 15. Elections shall be completed and the results certified by December 28.
Recall of Elected Officials
Section 1. The elected officials of the ACT (officers or elected members of the Board) are subject to recall for neglect of duties or conduct injurious to the ACT.
Section 2. The recall of an official shall be initiated when a signed petition, indicating in writing the specific charges and reasonable substantiating evidence, is submitted to the Chair from at least five voting Members of the ACT. In the event the President is the official in question, the Vice President shall receive the petition and shall assume the duties of the office of President with respect to this issue until the issue is resolved.
Section 3. The Chair shall without delay determine that the petitioners are aware of the gravity of their actions and the procedures to be followed. The Chair shall seek an alternate resolution to the problem and a withdrawal of the petition at this time. In the absence of a resolution to the problem, the Chair shall present the issue to the Board as a new business item at the next Board meeting.
- The Board shall promptly continue the recall process or dismiss the petition as ill-founded or find an alternative solution to the problem. The Chair shall promptly inform the petitioners and the official of the decision of the Board.
- If the proceedings continue, the Chair shall assign the duties of the official to another qualified Member of the ACT until the issue is resolved.
- If the proceedings continue, the official shall be offered an opportunity to answer the allegations in the petition before the Board.
Every reasonable effort shall be made to contact the official throughout this procedure. Upon notification, the official shall have thirty days to make a written response to the allegations. The Board shall decide whether to proceed after studying the official’s response. The Chair shall inform the official and the petitioners of the decision of the Board.
- If no contact with the official can be made after a reasonable effort, the Board may remove the official in question with a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the remaining members of the Board.
If the proceedings continue, the official shall choose one of the following options:
(1) The official may resign.
(2) The official may request a recall vote in the same manner as the original election, which must be consistent with the ACT bylaws. A simple majority shall be required to recall the official. The voting Membership shall be informed, through brief written statements prepared by the Board and the official, of the issues involved with the recall vote. Both statements shall be given to the voting Membership before the vote is taken.
(3) The official may request a hearing and a recall vote by the remaining members of the Board. A two-thirds (2/3) vote of the remaining members of the Board shall be required to recall the official.
(4) The official may choose not to respond and thus forfeit the position.
Section 4. The vacancy provisions of these bylaws shall be used to fill a vacancy caused by a recall process. The Members of the ACT shall be informed of the results of the recall process and the replacement of the official.
Section 1. All Members may annually be assessed required dues as the ACT itself may decide.
Section 2. The Treasurer shall distribute to the ACT Membership, an annual financial report including an itemized statement of receipts and expenditures and investments of its funds.
Section 3. The Board may direct investment of surplus funds in accordance with its best business judgment.
Publications and Public Involvement
Section 1. A membership directory of the ACT may be distributed from time to time as deemed advisable by the Board. Commercial use of such a directory shall be prohibited except as approved by majority vote of the ACT Membership.
Section 2. The Board may at its discretion enter into an agreement with one or more other organizations for the purpose of producing joint publications or engaging in joint activities for the benefit of the Members of the ACT and the other organizations. The ACT shall have equal representation with the other organizations on any committee or board established to carry out such a purpose.
Section 3. Public Involvement. Any public statement or public action made in the name of the ACT, or use of the ACT identity, which may shape public opinion of the ACT, must be approved by the Board prior to such statement or action.
Amendments and Adoption
Section 1. Upon the adoption of these bylaws, and upon adoption of amended bylaws, a certified official copy shall be prepared by the Secretary, approved by the Board, and distributed to the ACT Membership. The original certified copy becomes a part of the ACT’s records and copies may be distributed as needed to ACT members.
Section 2. These bylaws may be amended only as follows: (a) The proposed amendment may be submitted to the Secretary by the Board, upon the approval of a majority thereof, or (b) may be submitted in writing to the Secretary by any Member of the ACT when accompanied by approving signatures of 10 percent of the Members.
In case (a), optionally, a Bylaws Committee may be established for the purpose of drafting needed Bylaws amendments for the consideration by the Board, with the Chair of the Bylaws Committee to be approved by a majority of the Board.
The proposed bylaw amendments shall be distributed to the Membership for consideration, and at the next meeting of the ACT, the Secretary shall submit such amendment to the Members of the ACT during said meeting for discussion. Subsequent thereto, and at least two weeks before the date of the next meeting, the Secretary shall distribute the amendments, together with a ballot for voting “Yes” or “No” as to their adoption, to the Membership in the manner as outlined elsewhere in these bylaws for voting on an officer of the ACT, and voting shall take place in accordance with the applicable provisions provided elsewhere in these bylaws, except that a two-thirds (2/3) approval of the total votes cast shall be necessary for approval of an amendment.
Section 3. These bylaws shall be voted upon in their entirety by the ACT in the manner then governing the ACT for amending its bylaws.
Section 1. Upon the dissolution of the ACT, any assets of the ACT remaining thereafter shall be conveyed to such organization then existent, within or without the territory of the ACT, as is dedicated to the perpetuation of objects similar to those of the ACT, so long as whichever organization is selected by the governing body of the ACT at the time of dissolution shall be exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 as amended or under such successor provision of the Code as may be in effect at the time of the ACT’s dissolution.