(as amended May 16, 2009)
ARTICLE I. Name
The name of this organization shall be the National Organization for Women, Inc., Maryland; hereinafter referred to as Maryland NOW.
ARTICLE II. Purpose
This organization shall take action within the State of Maryland as a whole to further the purposes and policies of the National Organization for Women, through the coordination of chapter efforts and statewide functions and actions.
ARTICLE III. Membership
A member of Maryland NOW shall be any person whose current dues have been paid to National NOW and whose current state dues have been received by the Treasurer of Maryland NOW.
ARTICLE IV. Diversity
Maryland NOW and its member chapters shall work together in every way possible to achieve diversity throughout the organization, including both representation of diversity in our leadership and in our membership, in our outreach and coalition work, and to work in the communities of our state to end discrimination of all kinds.
No policy or action of Maryland NOW shall have the intent or effect of discriminating against any member because of race or ethnicity, economic status, sexual orientation, physical ability or age.
ARTICLE V. Structure
The structure of Maryland NOW shall be:
ARTICLE VI. State Conference
Sec. A. The purpose of the State Conference shall be to elect officers, establish policy, adopt program priorities, elect at-large delegates to the National NOW Conference, and transact such other business as may come before the members.
Sec. B. The State Conference shall be held annually and at least 33 days prior to the National Conference.
Sec. C. The Council shall determine the date, place, and agenda of the conference and shall give at least four (4) weeks’ notice thereof. The agenda must include the results of the financial review outlined in Article VIII. Section 6. Treasurer’s Duties.
Sec. D. Persons who have been members of Maryland NOW for 60 days and who are duly registered and in attendance may participate in all conference activities and vote. No NOW member shall be required to pay a fee in order to participate in the business of the conference and no distinction of any kind shall be drawn between those able to pay fees and those unable to pay fees.
Sec. E. A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of at least sixty percent (60%) of members who are registered and in attendance, including two state officers; in addition, one-third of all Maryland NOW chapters shall be represented.
Sec. F. At‑large members of NOW residing in Maryland shall elect delegates and alternates to the National Conference at the State Conference in accordance to the ratio that applies to the member chapters as stated in the National Bylaws.
Sec. G. Each member chapter will submit to the Maryland State Conference an annual written status report.
ARTICLE VII. State Council
Sec. A. The Council shall manage the affairs and control the funds and property of the organization, and may adopt necessary rules and regulations to be included and updated in the Maryland NOW Policy Manual, all being subject to the instructions or decisions of the State Conference, provided that actions taken by the Council shall not be in opposition to, nor in modification of the purpose or policy of the National or State organization. The Council shall take such other action as is necessary to implement the purpose of the organization.
Sec. B. Member chapters
Sec. C. Council membership
Sec. D. Council meetings
ARTICLE VIII. Officers
Sec. A. State Officers are:
Sec. B. State President(s) shall:
Sec. C. Vice President – Executive shall:
Sec. D. Vice President – Action shall:
Sec. E. Secretary shall:
Sec. F. Treasurer shall:
Sec. G. Officers may delegate prescribed duties to Maryland NOW members as necessary, but may not delegate the responsibility for the performance of such duties.
ARTICLE IX. Executive Committee
Sec. A. The Executive Committee shall be the elected Maryland NOW officers.
Sec. B. This committee shall meet as necessary between State Council meetings.
Sec. C. This committee will be accountable to the State Council for its actions and decisions.
ARTICLE X. State Task Forces and Committees
Sec. A. Task Forces shall be formed to plan and direct the work necessary to realize the goals of Maryland NOW in specific issue areas. Committees shall be formed to carry out ongoing administrative functions.
Sec. B. Task Forces and Committees shall be established by, selected by, and responsible to the State Council. One of the established Committees must be a Budget Committee. The number of Task Forces and Committees in existence at any given time shall not exceed a total of ten (10).
Sec. C. Task Force and Committee Chairs shall be Maryland NOW members and shall be appointed by the State President(s) subject to Council approval by majority vote. Task Forces and Committees shall be composed of the Chair and other Maryland NOW members in good standing.
Sec. D. Task Forces and Committees shall:
Sec. E. Task Force and Committee Chairs shall maintain their title and the responsibility and privileges thereof until another Chair is appointed and approved by the State Council or until the Task Force or Committee is declared inactive.
ARTICLE XI. Eligibility, Elections, and Terms of Office
Sec. A. To be eligible for office, a candidate must have been a member of Maryland NOW for a minimum of one (1) year. To serve as president or treasurer, a candidate must have attended at least three (3) state council meetings.
Sec. B. No more than two (2) officers shall be from the same chapter. In the event that more than two persons from one chapter are nominated for separate offices, the elections of officers shall take place in the following order: President, Vice President – Executive, Vice President – Action, Secretary, and Treasurer.
Sec. C. Officers of Maryland NOW shall be elected at each annual State Conference and shall serve from the conclusion of the annual State Conference at which they were elected until the conclusion of the next succeeding conference. All officers, at the end of their term of office, must turn over all files they were given upon taking the office they have held as well as all files and property pertaining to their activities during their term, at the State Conference or at the meeting at which a new officer is elected.
Sec D. In the event of a vacancy in office other than the Presidency, the office shall be filled by the State Council.
ARTICLE XII. Finances
Sec. A. The fiscal year shall be from January 1st to December 31st.
Sec. B. The amount of dues of each member, including at‑large members, shall be set by a two‑thirds vote of the State Council members present and voting.
Sec. C. The Budget Committee shall prepare a proposed annual budget for the fiscal year, and distribute it to the State Council members at least thirty (30) days after the State Conference, and within sixty (60) days of the beginning of the fiscal year, giving thirty (30) days notice before the State Council meeting at which it is to be adopted. Review and revision of the budget may occur at any State Council meeting.
ARTICLE XIII. Grievance Committee
Sec. A. It shall be the responsibility of the State Council to resolve member and chapter grievances brought to its attention, only after all other grievance remedies at the local levels have been exhausted.
Sec. B. The State Council shall appoint, by lot, three of its disinterested members who shall arbitrate the grievance pursuant to applicable disciplinary procedures provided by the parliamentary authority designated by these bylaws and who shall recommend appropriate action to the State Council for approval.
ARTICLE XIV. Amendment of Bylaws
Sec. A. Bylaws changes may be proposed by
Sec. B. When method 2) or 3) is used, proposals must be submitted in writing to the State Bylaws Chair at least 45 days prior to the State Conference.
Sec. C. Proposed bylaws changes shall be submitted by the Bylaws Committee to the membership in writing at least thirty (30) days before the State Conference.
Sec. D. These bylaws may be amended at a Maryland NOW State Conference by a two‑thirds vote of those present and voting.
ARTICLE XV. Rules of Order
Any operating procedures of Maryland NOW not covered by these bylaws or in the Maryland NOW Policy Manual are governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, where applicable.