SISTERS IN CRIME – HEART OF TEXAS CHAPTER
The name of this chapter of Sisters in Crime should be Heart of Texas, Sisters in Crime.
To combat discrimination against women in the mystery field, educate publishers and the general public as to inequities in the treatment of female authors, and raise the level of awareness of their contribution to the field.
Membership in national Sisters in Crime is necessary in order to join the Heart of Texas Chapter. Membership is open to all persons who have an interest in mystery writing and in furthering the purposes of national Sisters in Crime and the Chapter as outlined in ARTICLE II above.
Section 1: Active membership. An active member is a paid-up member of both the national organization and the Chapter.
Section 2: Honorary membership. An honorary member is a member who has been elected such by the Steering Committee.
Section 3: Institutional membership. An institutional member is an organization such as an educational institution, business, or other group.
Section 4: Continuation of membership. Every member of the Chapter on the date these bylaws are adopted may continue her/his active membership as long as dues are current and that person is a member in good standing.
Section 1: The general management, control, direction of affairs, funds and property of the chapter shall be vested in the Steering Committee.
Section 2: No part of the net earnings of the Chapter shall inure to the benefit of any member, director, or officer of the organization or to any private individual. However, compensation may be paid for services rendered to, or for, the Chapter (subject to provision of Article VI).
Section 3: If there shall be a cash surplus at the end of the calendar year, it shall be retained in the treasury of the chapter to be used to further the purposes of the organization.
Section 4: No substantial part of the activities of the organization shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation. The chapter shall not participate in or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office except as authorized by the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended.
THE STEERING COMMITTEE:
Section 1: The Steering Committee shall consist of the Officers of the Chapter and Members-at-Large.
Section 2: Responsibilities and terms of office for Officers shall be defined in Article VI.
Section 3: Officers and Members-at-Large shall be active members of the Chapter. Their term of office shall be for one year.
Section 4: Officers and Members-at-Large shall be elected by the active membership of the Chapter. Their term of office shall be for one year.
Section 5: The Steering Committee shall have the right to decide by majority vote to add to its numbers a delegate or delegates according to the size of the total chapter membership.
Section 6: Members-at-Large may serve on the Steering Committee for no more than five consecutive years. Members may run again for that office after a period of one year has elapsed.
Section 1: (a) The Officers of the Chapter shall consist of President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. They shall be active members of Sisters in Crime and the Chapter.
(b) All terms of office for Officers of the Chapter are for one year.
(c) No member shall continue in office for more than five consecutive years. Members may run again for their former elected office after a period of one year has elapsed.
(d) Officers may run for other offices when their terms have expired.
Section 2: The President shall be the first executive officer of the Chapter and shall preside at all membership meetings and call and preside at all meetings of the Steering Committee. The President shall set goals and responsibilities, serve as an ad hoc member of committees, poll Steering Committee members on major decisions, keep members informed, serve as group spokesperson, and perform such other duties as the Steering Committee may deem necessary.
Section 3: The Vice President shall assist the President and substitute as presiding officer over meetings and committees as directed by the President.
Section 4: The Secretary shall keep minutes, handle correspondence in coordination with the President, and perform other duties as may be directed by the Steering Committee.
Section 5: The Treasurer shall receive all monies of the chapter and shall deposit the same as directed by the Steering Committee. The Treasurer shall make disbursement from these funds as authorized by the Steering Committee, and shall keep accurate financial records and maintain a checking account. The Treasurer shall submit financial statements on an annual basis or more frequently as requested by the Steering Committee.
Section 6: Should there be a vacancy in the Presidency, the Vice President shall succeed to the Presidency and shall serve until the next annual election. Any other vacancy of an office shall be filled by the Steering Committee, and the successor shall hold office until the next annual election.
Section 7: None of the Officers of the Chapter or any other member of the Steering Committee shall receive any salary or compensation for services rendered as such officers and Steering Committee members. Salaries may be paid to an employee of the Chapter, including employees who have been given official titles.
Section 8: Expulsion of Officers and Members. Steering Committee officers may be impeached for dereliction of duty or malfeasance and any active member may be expelled from the chapter for misconduct. An investigation of the charges shall be conducted as determined by the Steering Committee and the person charged of such breach shall be fully informed of the charges made including the source of such information. The person charged shall have a full and fair hearing to respond to the charges, and if the Steering Committee determines through a majority vote to proceed with the impeachment, the matter shall be placed before the general membership. After both sides have presented their case to membership, a simple majority vote will be taken and the results of the vote immediately instituted.
NOMINATION AND ELECTION PROCEEDINGS:
Section 1: During the last quarter of each calendar year elections will be held. A slate of officers will be presented by a nominating committee. The slate will be published one month prior to the election. Officers will be elected by a majority of active members in attendance during a regular meeting. New officers will be installed effective January 1 of the following calendar year.
Section 2: The President shall determine and establish any methods necessary to effect a timely and effective election process.
Each member shall pay dues as established by the Steering Committee. If a member joins in or after the 10th month of the calendar year, that member’s dues cover the following year as well. Any proposed increase in the Chapter dues shall be voted upon through a show of hands at a regular membership meeting.
Section 1: Non-payment of dues. A member will be declared not in good standing and her membership terminated if the member’s dues remain outstanding and unpaid for three months.
Section 2: Misconduct is defined as conduct adverse or harmful to the purposes and/or repute of either the national organization or the Chapter. A member may be expelled for such conduct as described in Article VI. Section 8.
BYLAWS AND AMENDMENTS:
Section 1: The Chapter shall abide by the guidelines set out by the national Sisters in Crime and its Bylaws. These bylaws shall constitute the bylaws pro tem of the Chapter upon approval by the Steering Committee and national Sisters in Crime until amended and/or approved by the active membership at the first meeting of the new year.
Section 2: Upon approval by the Steering Committee and national Sisters in Crime, the bylaws pro tem shall be distributed to the membership of the Chapter one month in advance of a membership vote of their approval. Approval of the bylaws shall require an affirmative vote of a majority of the active members who participate in the vote.
Section 3: No proposal for amendment of the permanent bylaws shall be acted upon unless it shall have been authorized by the Steering Committee or shall have been presented to the Secretary over the signatures of twenty percent of the membership. To become effective, an amendment to the bylaws must be voted on by the general membership and approved by a majority vote of those members participating in the voting.
Section 1: To the extent permitted by law, the Steering Committee may indemnify and advance expenses (including court costs and attorneys’ fees) to any present or former Steering Committee member, agent, or employee who was, is, or is threatened to be named defendant or respondent in an action or proceeding because such person is or was acting within the scope of her duties as a Steering Committee member, agent, or employee of the Chapter.
Section 2: The Steering Committee may purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of any such person, whether or not the Steering Committee would have the power to indemnify the person against such liability.
Section 1: Dissolution of the Chapter shall be effected by a two-thirds affirmative vote of the members who participate in the vote, provided all members have received advanced notification of the vote.
Section 2: Upon dissolution of the Chapter, its property and assets shall be distributed as follows:
(a) All liabilities and obligations of the Chapter shall be paid, satisfied, and discharged or adequate provision made for the satisfaction of all debts of the organization.
(b) Assets held by the Chapter requiring return, transfer, or conveyance, which condition occurs by reason of the dissolution, shall be returned, transferred or conveyed.
(c) Any remaining assets shall be distributed among such charities and/or tax-exempt institutions whose purposes are in whole or part compatible with those of the Chapter as determined by a majority vote of the Steering Committee.
RULES OF PROCEDURES AND PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY:
Section 1: Any policies or procedures not contrary to law or these bylaws may be approved or amended by a majority vote of the Steering Committee. Notification of Policy or Procedures changes will be published in the next Chapter newsletter after such changes have been approved.
Section 2: Any meeting of the Chapter and/or its Steering Committee shall be conducted in accordance with the parliamentary procedure prescribed by the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, or by any other generally accepted procedure agreed upon by the Steering Committee and announced to the members, except that the President shall in all events be a full voting member of the organization and the Steering Committee.