By-Laws and Constitution


ARTICLE I
NAME
This organization shall be named the AUSTIN FILIPINO-AMERICAN ASSOCIATION and hereinafter referred to as THE ASSOCIATION.
ARTICLE II
PURPOSE This organization shall engage in social, civic, educational and charitable activities for the betterment of the Filipino-Americans in the Austin metropolitan area and in particular, foster unity and harmony among them. It is not to be used as a political instrument by any member.
ARTICLE III
MEMBERSHIP SECTION 1 -- ELIGIBILITY Any Filipino-American family or individual living in the Austin metropolitan area and its surrounding cities shall be eligible to join THE ASSOCIATION, regardless of social, economic and educational status, religious preference and ethnic origin. Others from said area who are not Filipino-Americans but are interested in the affairs of THE ASSOCIATION may also join.

SECTION 2 -- TYPES OF MEMBERSHIP There shall be three types of membership in THE ASSOCIATION as described below.

A. REGULAR Any eligible family shall be entitled to a FAMILY MEMBERSHIP upon payment of the annual membership due of $ 25. Any eligible individual shall be entitled to an INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIP upon payment of the annual membership due of $15.

B. HONORARY Upon approval by the general membership, an individual may be conferred an HONORARY MEMBERSHIP, in recognition of outstanding contributions to the furtherance of THE ASSOCIATION'S goals. Recipients of an HONORARY MEMBERSHIP shall be exempt from annual dues.

SECTION 3 -- MEMBERSHIP DUES Annual dues are payable on calendar anniversary date of each member each year. Members are CURRENT when dues are paid within a three-month grace period. Members are PAST DUE when dues are delinquent over the specified grace period. A PAST DUE member may reinstate his/her current status by sending payment as soon as possible. Payment will be backdated as of member's anniversary due date. THE ASSOCIATION may also assess members for additional dues for funding special projects approved by the general membership.

SECTION 4 -- MEMBERSHIP PRIVILEGES Any CURRENT REGULAR member may partake in the benefits afforded by THE ASSOCIATION, e.g., discounts on tickets to social functions, serve on committees, and vote/run for office. FAMILY MEMBERSHIP shall be entitled to two votes that may be cast by individual members of the family are qualified to vote. INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIP shall be entitled to one (1) vote.


ARTICLE IV
ADMINISTRATION OF THE ASSOCIATION THE ASSOCIATION shall be administered by a group of individuals collectively known as the core group. The core group serves the association for a term of two (2) years beginning January 1st of the first year and ends December 31st of the second year.

SECTION 1 -- CORE GROUP AND THEIR DUTIES A. PRESIDENT The president shall preside over all meetings of THE ASSOCIATION. The President may appoint vacant core group positions, plus assistant secretary, assistant treasurer and/or chairperson(s) to standing committees as needed, with required approval of the core group.

B. VICE-PRESIDENT The vice-president shall perform the duties of the president when the latter cannot perform such duties, as well as any special duty that is assigned to him/her from time to time by the President. He/She is responsible for coordinating the regular core group meetings and must give notifications to the core group two weeks in advance.

C. SECRETARY The secretary shall be responsible for recording the minutes of each general membership meeting, reading them in the next meeting, and maintaining a permanent record thereof. As well, the secretary shall maintain a permanent record of all correspondence of the ASSOCIATION and minutes of all committee meetings (as reported by the committee chairpersons). He/She is also responsible for picking up and distribution of incoming mail.

D. TREASURER The treasurer shall be responsible for collecting membership dues and special dues assessed by THE ASSOCIATION for special projects. The treasurer shall have custody of checking and/or savings accounts of THE ASSOCIATION, and insure all bills incurred for authorized activities and projects are promptly paid. However, all disbursements greater than one hundred dollars ($100) must be approved by the President. The treasurer shall maintain a permanent record of all financial transaction of THE ASSOCIATION, and report it to the membership at each membership meeting.

E. SGT-AT-ARMS (as needed) The Sgt.-at-arms shall be responsible for maintaining peace and order during general membership meetings and social activities of THE ASSOCIATION.

COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSONS: F. MEMBERSHIP/RECRUITMENT/OUTREACH COMMITTEE The membership committee shall be responsible for the recruitment and retention of members, including notification of members by phone of upcoming events.

G. ENTERTAINMENT/SOCIAL COMMITTEE The entertainment/fund raising/social committee shall be responsible for coordinating the activities related to all social functions of THE ASSOCIATION. As well, this committee shall be responsible for initiating activities for raising funds for THE ASSOCIATION.

H. FOOD COMMITTEE The food committee shall be responsible for coordinating the food and food assignments of the members that relates to social functions/events of THE ASSOCIATION.

I. EDITORIAL COMMITTEE The editorial committee shall be responsible for the publication of the Austin Balita, official newsletter of THE ASSOCIATION, and any other association correspondences.

J. FUNDRAISING COMMITTEE

K. BOARD MEMBERS The Board Members shall ensure that policies and procedures of the By-Laws are followed. The Board Members shall also provide advice and guidance to the officers of THE Association as required. Board Members at least five (5), shall be elected, but without enough people elected, shall be appointed by the President with the approval of the core group.

SECTION 2 -- REMOVAL FROM OFFICE Upon approval by a majority of the members present, at a special meeting called for the purpose with 3 days notice, any officer of THE ASSOCIATION may be removed from office for any just cause, including but not limited to: misappropriation of funds, conduct unbecoming an officer, and abuse of authority. However, removal from office shall not be construed as automatic expulsion from THE ASSOCIATION. Moreover, the officer concerned shall be given every opportunity to defend himself/herself before a decision is made.

SECTION 3 -- VACANCIES Vacancies that arise between election shall be filled by the President with the approval of the core group. In the event the office of the President itself becomes vacant, the Vice-president shall take over and appoint his/her own successor with the approval of the core group. Any member appointed to fill a vacated position must satisfy the requirements of ARTICLE V, SECTION 1 -- QUALIFICATIONS.


ARTICLE V
ELECTIONS SECTION 1 -- QUALIFICATIONS Any REGULAR member who is at least 18 years old and has paid the annual dues, shall be eligible to vote and run for any elective office of THE ASSOCIATION.

SECTION 2 -- ELECTION RULES AND REGULATIONS Election of the core group for THE ASSOCIATION shall be held every two (2) years. Should there be only one nominee per position, all the persons nominated will be accepted by acclamation. The electoral process shall be implemented, executed, and administered by the Committee on Election (Comelec) chairperson, who is selected by the President with the approval of the core group.

The Comelec shall comprise of no less than three (3) CURRENT REGULAR members of the association. Members of the Comelec shall NOT be entitled to any office for the election year. Specific (dates) for the election proceedings shall be determined by the Comelec Chairperson.

A. NOMINATION A nomination form will be mailed to all members and simply asks that you select thirteen (13) individuals you think should comprise the core group, without position specification. A list of eligible members for nomination will be printed at the top section of the nomination form.

Alternatively, you may send your nominations via e-mail, or through voice mail. Make sure that you identify yourself; or if you wish anonymity, identify your member number, which should be located in your mailing label. Single memberships may nominate once; family memberships may nominate twice.

Nominations will be accepted through (date1). Mailed-in nominations must be postmarked no later than the deadline date. Starting at the highest rank, the Comelec will notify each individual nominated and will ask to accept or decline the nomination, until the Comelec gathers enough nominees. A minimum of 4 nominees and a maximum of 13 nominees are required for the elections to commence.

B. CANDIDATES' NON-MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS Candidates may submit to the Comelec a personal profile and response to the question -- "How will you direct AFAA to enrich the lives of Filipino-Americans living in the greater Austin community?" in 100 words or less. Since nominations are non-specific, the profile may include verbiage about desired position(s). A photograph may be submitted, if desired. The Comelec will print the first 100 words of the candidates' submitted work without editing.

If no profile is submitted, candidate will be listed by name only. Candidates' requirements must be submitted to the COMELEC by (date2). Mailed-in requirements must be postmarked no later than the deadline date.

Candidates' profiles and ballot forms will be mailed out during the week of (date3).

C. VOTING Current members will elect the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Social Committee Chair, Food Committee Chair, Membership/Recruiting/Outreach/Telephone Committee Chair, Editor-in-Chief, and (5) Board of Director positions from the profiled candidates. In the case(s) of deadlock(s), the candidates will decide among themselves how to break the tie(s), and assign positions accordingly.

Early voting is permitted by mailing an authenticated ballot form to the Comelec correspondence address, postmarked no later than (date4). A ballot form is authenticated only when you indicate your name or member number on the form. Non-authenticated ballots will NOT be counted.

Members may cast their votes on election day, (date5). The Comelec will check member standing as of (date5), and only current members will be eligible to vote. Members who are past due may renew their memberships on election day.

There will be no quota requirement to validate the election results, and a simple majority ruling will be used to determine the results.

No member may be nominated, either by the election committee or from the floor, without the nominee's consent. The nominee before the election must give in person or in writing said consent. A candidate shall be deemed elected by a simple majority of all the votes cast during the election.


ARTICLE VI
MEETINGS There shall be at least four (4) regular meetings each year. The President, as required may also call special meetings. The core group is expected to attend all meetings. A majority of the members present shall be required for passage of any motion, which must be within the purview of the provisions set forth in this document. In particular, no motion shall be passed that contravenes any provisions stated here.


ARTICLE VII
AMENDMENTS These by-laws may be amended, wholly or in parts, by a majority vote at a general membership meeting, after presentation of the proposed amendments at a previous meeting, or via a suitable medium that shall enable members to review the proposal.

Austin Filipino-American Association