Making Democracy Work


League of Wwomen Voters of the Stevens Point Area

ADOPTED 1961; AMENDED 1967, 1972, 1975, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1992, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012,2016

Article I: Name

Section 1. Name.

The name of the organization shall be League of Women Voters of the Stevens Point Area, hereinafter referred to as the League. This local league is an integral part of the League of Women Voters of the United States and of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin.

Article II: Purposes and Policy

Section 1. Purposes.

The purposes of the LWVUS are to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation in government and to act on selected governmental issues.

Section 2. Policy.

The League shall not support or oppose any political party or any candidate.

Section 3.

League of Women Voters of the Stevens Point Area shall be operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, as defined in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue law (the "Code").

Section 4.

No part of the net earnings of the organization shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, directors, officers, or other private persons, except that the organization shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes of the organization. No substantial part of the activities of the organization shall be carrying on of propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the organization shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provision of this document, the organization shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on by (a) an organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501 (c) (3) of the Code, or by (b) an organization, contributions to which are deductible under section 170 (c) (2) of the Code.

Article III: Eligibility and Membership

Section 1. Eligibility.

Any person who subscribes to the purpose and policy of the league shall be eligible for membership.

Section 2. Types of Membership.

a. Voting Members. Persons at least 16 years of age who join the League shall be voting members of local Leagues, state Leagues and of the LWVUS; (1) those who live within an area of a local League may join that League or any other local League; (2) those who reside outside the area of any local League may join a local League or shall be state members-at-large; (3) those who have been members of the League for 50 years or more shall be honorary life members excused from the payment of dues.

b. Associate Members. All others who join League shall be associate members.

Section 3. Written Ballot.

In special circumstances designated at the discretion of the Board of Directors and not pertaining to the election of officers, directors, or amendment of the bylaws or articles of incorporation, the vote of the members may be taken by written ballot as set forth in section 181.0708 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Consistent with the requirements of section 181.0708, Wis. Stats., any action of members may be taken without a meeting if [Local League] delivers a written ballot to every member entitled to vote on the matter. A written ballot shall set forth each proposed action and provide an opportunity to vote for or against such action. Approval by written ballot shall be valid only when the number of votes cast by ballot equals or exceeds the quorum required to be present at a meeting authorizing the action, and the number of approvals equals or exceeds the number of votes that would be required to approve the matter at a meeting at which the total number of votes cast was the same as the number of votes vast by ballot.

Article IV: Steering Committee

Section 1. Positions, Manner of Selection, Term.

The Steering Committee also referred to as "Board" or "Board of Directors" shall consist of the Local Coordinator, National/State Coordinator, Secretary, Treasurer, Voter Service Coordinator, Communications Coordinator and Membership Coordinator. It shall function as an executive board to administer the League. Any coordinator position may be filled by co-coordinators with equal decision making and voting rights. All members shall be chosen by the general membership each year at the annual meeting, shall take office immediately, and shall serve for two years. Persons may serve two consecutive terms holding the same position. After two consecutive terms in the same office a one year hiatus is required before being reelected to the same position. Persons being elected to different positions do not require a year hiatus. Coordinators may change their position at any time as circumstances warrant. A change in position begins a new two year time commitment unless other arrangement is agreed to by the Steering Committee. Positions held by co-coordinators shall conclude in alternating years as best as possible. Members completing their service on the Steering Committee will continue until the end of the fiscal year.

Section 2. Qualifications.

No person shall serve as a member of the Steering Committee who is not a voting member of the League.

Section 3. Attendance and Vacancies.

A Steering Committee member who needs to resign for any reason shall notify the Local Coordinator. Three or more unexcused absences within one year will be considered a resignation from the Steering Committee. Any vacancy occurring on the Steering Committee for any reason may be filled by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Steering Committee.

Section 4. Powers and Duties.

The Steering Committee shall be in charge of the property and business of the League. Responsibilities shall include scheduling an agenda for the Annual Meeting. The minutes shall be sent to all the members at the first opportunity after the annual meeting. The Steering Committee shall have authority to approve or amend the minutes after the membership has had at least 10 days to review and comment on the minutes. The Steering Committee shall be responsible for the implementation of local programs of study selected at the Annual Meeting. It shall determine local participation in the programs of study selected at the State and National conventions. It shall also designate and create such committees and assign duties (authorize action and advocacy in accordance with League positions) as it deems necessary and select one of its members to serve on the Nomination Committee. Steering Committee shall consult with LWVWI for guidelines when addressing any Steering Committee or LWV member's action when the bylaws or policies of this League do not adequately address the issue.

Section 5. The Secretary.

The secretary shall keep minutes of business meetings of the League and the Steering Committee and shall perform such other functions as may be incident to the office.

Section 6. The Treasurer.

The treasurer shall collect and receive all money due and shall be the custodian of these monies, shall deposit them in the bank designated by the Steering Committee, shall disburse the same only in conformance with the provisions of the budget or upon order of the Steering Committee, and shall present statements to the Steering Committee as requested and an annual report and the proposed budget.

Section 7. Meetings.

The Steering Committee shall meet a minimum of six times a year. A quorum must be present to conduct business that requires a vote.

Section 8. Quorum.

A majority of the positions on the Steering Committee shall constitute a quorum.

Section 9. Written Consent.

In accordance with Section 181.0821, Wis. Stats., any action that would be taken at a meeting of the Board, except for filling vacancies on the Board or on committees, may be taken without a meeting if a consent in writing setting forth the action to be taken, is signed by at least two-thirds (2/3) of all of the Directors, provided all Directors receive notice of the text of the written consent and of its effective date and time. Any such consent signed by two-thirds (2/3) of all of the Directors has the same effect as a two-thirds (2/3) vote taken at a duly convened meeting of the Board at which a quorum is present and may be stated as such in any document filed with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. For purposes of this section, pursuant to 181.0821(1r) of the Wisconsin Statutes, "in writing" includes a communication that is transmitted or received by electronic means, including electronic mail ("email"), and "signed" includes an electronic signature, as defined in 181.0103(10p) of the Wisconsin Statutes, as amended from time to time.

Article V: Financial Administration

Section 1. Fiscal Year.

The fiscal year of the League of Women Voters of the Stevens Point Area shall commence on the first day of July each year.

Section 2. Membership and Dues

The membership roster shall be submitted to the LWVUS in accordance with the LWVUS guidelines. Annual dues including student and second in household as voted by the membership the annual meeting shall be payable at between July 1 and December 31 of the fiscal year. When a person's initial membership dues are received between January 1 and June 30 full membership rights begin. However for purposes of LWVUS PMP rates those initial dues will be applied towards the following fiscal year's membership. Thereafter their renewing membership dues are payable between the July 1-Dec 31 time frame. Any member who fails to pay dues by December 31 of each year shall be dropped from the membership rolls.

Section 3. Budget Committee.

A Budget Committee shall prepare a budget for the ensuing year, which shall be presented to the Steering Committee at their first meeting of the fiscal year and sent to all members at the first opportunity. The Steering Committee shall have authority to approve or amend the proposed budget after the membership has had at least 30 days to review and comment on the budget. The Budget Committee shall review the treasurer's account books annually. The committee shall consist of the treasurer and at least two other members, who shall be recruited by the Nominating Committee, one of whom shall be designated as the Committee chair.

Article VI: Meetings

Section 1. Membership Meetings.

There shall be at least four meetings of the membership each year. The Annual Meeting, Candidate Forums, and League programs may be included as a membership meeting. Time and place shall be determined by the Steering Committee.

Section 2. Annual Meeting.

An Annual Meeting shall be held between April 1 and May 15, the exact date to be determined by the Steering Committee. The annual Meeting shall:

a. Adopt a local program of study for the ensuing year.

b. Elect members of the Steering Committee, two members of the Nominating Committee, and two members of the Budget Committee, one of whom shall be designated as the committee chair.

c. Present an Annual Report including reports from each member of the Steering Committee and committee chairs.

d. Transact such other business as may properly come before it.

e. Obtain topic ideas for future general meetings from the membership.

Section 3. Quorum.

Twenty percent of voting members shall constitute a quorum at all membership meetings of the League.

Article VII: Nominations and Elections

Section 1. Nominating Committee.

The Nominating Committee shall consist of two or three members, at least one of whom shall be a member of the Steering Committee. The member(s) who shall not be members of the steering Committee shall be elected at the annual meeting. Any vacancy on Nominating Committee shall be filled by the Steering Committee. The Nominating Committee is responsible for nominating members to serve on the Steering Committee, member(s) to serve on the subsequent Nominating Committee (the Steering Committee shall appoint their own representative), and a chair and third member to serve on the Budget Committee (with the treasurer). The Steering Committee may direct the Nominating Committee to nominate members to chair committees, sit on committees or to other positions necessary to carryout the business of the League.

Section 2. Report of Nominating Committee and Nominations from the floor.

The report of the Nominating Committee shall be presented at the Annual Meeting. Immediately following the presentation of this report, nominations may be made from the floor by any voting member provided the consent of the nominee shall have been secured.

Section 3. Elections.

Elections shall be by ballot, except that if there is only one nominee for an office it shall be by voice. Absentee or proxy voting shall not be permitted. A majority vote shall constitute an election.

Article VIII: Program of Study

Section 1. Authorization.

The government principles adopted by the national convention and supported by the League as a whole constitute the authorization for the adoption of a Program of Study.

Section 2. Program of Study.

a. The Program of Study of the League of Women Voters of the Stevens Point Area shall consist of those local government issues chosen for concerted study and action and support positions.

b. The proposed Program of Study shall be presented to the membership before the appropriate business meeting.

c. A majority vote of voting members present at the Annual Meeting shall be required for adoption of the proposed Program of Study.

Section 3. Member Action.

Members may act in the name of the League of Women Voters only when authorized to do so by the proper Board of Directors or the Steering Committee.

Article IX: National Conventions, State Conventions, and Council

Section 1. National Convention.

The Steering Committee shall select delegates to that Convention in the number allotted under the provision of the bylaws of the League of Women Voters of the United States.

Section 2. State League Annual Meeting

The Steering Committee shall select delegates to the annual meeting in the number allotted under the provision of the bylaws of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin.

Article X: Parliamentary Authority

Section 1. Parliamentary Authority.

The rules contained in Roberts Rules of Order Revised shall govern the organization in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the bylaws.

Article XI: Amendments and Suspension

Section 1. Amendments.

These bylaws may be amended by a two thirds vote of the voting members present and voting at the Annual Meeting providing the amendments were submitted to the membership in writing at least one month in advance of the meeting.

Section 2. Suspension.

Parts of Articles IV through IX of these bylaws may be suspended, if necessary, for up to one year by a two thirds vote of the voting members present and voting at the Annual Meeting if notice of intention to do so has been submitted to the membership in writing at least one month in advance of the meeting.

Article XII: Dissolution

Section 1. Dissolution

Upon the dissolution of the organization, the Board of Directors shall, after paying or making provisions for the payment of all of the liabilities of the corporation, dispose of all of the assets by distributing the assets to the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, Inc. ("LWVWI") or, if the LWVWI no longer exists or declines to accept the assets, to the League of Women Voters Education Fund, provided that either organization continues to be recognized as an organization that is exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Code. If neither organization can accept the assets, the distribution shall be made to such organization or organizations that are organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes under section 501(c)(3) of the Code, or corresponding provisions of any subsequent federal tax laws, or to a State or a political subdivision of a State as defined in section 170(c)(1) of the Code.

Article XIII: Group Exemption

League of Women Voters of the Stevens Point Area agrees to be included in the group ruling of the LWVWI (the "central organization"). We also agree that we must accept and adhere to all of the following as a part of being a subordinate/chapter:

a. We agree to accept the purpose of and abide by the policies and principles of LWVWI, including Bylaws, Policies, and Handbook.

b. We agree to report our activities to LWVWI as requested and to provide the requested reports on our activities and financials.

c. We agree that we are under the general control and supervision of our central organization, as that term is applied for purposes of a group ruling under section 501(c)(3) of the Code.

d. We understand that if we ever leave the group ruling or it ceases to exist, we will need to reapply for individual exemption and pay the user fee should we wish to be exempt.