Washington, D.C., Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists
Article One- Name
Section 1: The name of this organization shall be the Washington, D.C., Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Article Two- Purpose
Section 1: The purpose of this Chapter shall be to associate journalists possessing the qualities symbolized by the Society — talent, energy and truth — into an organization of professional camaraderie; to assist the members in upholding the noblest principles of journalism, and to cooperate with them in this field; and to advance the highest ethical standards.
Article Three- Membership
Section 1: Any national member of the Society ofProfessional Journalists is eligible for membership in this Chapter.
Section 2: New members may be admitted provided they fulfill the requirements set forth in the national By-Laws of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Article Four- Officers
Section 1: The officers of this Chapter shall be a president, a vice president, a recording secretary, a corresponding secretary and a treasurer.
Section 2: The officers shall be elected for one-year terms, which shall begin at the next annual installation of officers and shall end at the following installation.
Article Five- Directors
Section 1: There shall be elected from the membership of this Chapter six directors who shall meet at least nine times per year with the officers of the Chapter to formulate plans and procedures. These directors together with the officers of the chapter and the immediate past president shall constitute the Executive Board.
Section 2: Three directors shall be elected each year for a term commencing at the next annual installation of officers and expiring at the installation two years thereafter.
Section 3: If the Region 2 Director or an elected national officer is a member of this Chapter, that person shall be a voting member of the Executive Board.
Article Six- Meetings
Section 1: Meetings of this Chapter will be called by the President, with the approval of the Executive Board.
Section 2: An annual business meeting may be held at least once each year, to hear reports from all officers and committee chairpersons.
Article Seven- Amendments
Section 1: An amendment to this Constitution may be proposed in writing at any regular meeting of the Chapter. Such proposed amendment must be signed by 5 percent of the Chapter membership before being submitted and shall be read to the meeting by the presiding officer. After such notice, the proposed amendment and a ballot for voting on its adoption shall be sent to all members. The amendment shall be effective if approved by a majority of the chapter members voting.
Section 2: An amendment to the Constitution may be proposed in writing by two-thirds of the Executive Board membership and shall be enacted if approved by a two-thirds vote of those Chapter members attending the next regular meeting of the Chapter, providing that notice of said meeting and the full wording of the proposed amendment will have been mailed to all Chapter members not less than 15 working days prior to the meeting.
Section 3: Amendments to this Constitution shall become effective immediately unless otherwise specified in the written proposal for amendment.
Article One- Membership
Section 1: Any journalist who applies and is approved for national membership in the Society of Professional Journalists may become a member of the Washington, D.C., Chapter by submitting a Chapter application and paying the annual dues. Prospective members may apply for national and local membership through the national headquarters. Both national and local membership applications also may be processed through the Chapter’s Corresponding Secretary.
Article Two- Dues
Section 1: The annual dues of this Chapter shall be set by the Executive Board at the beginning of each program year.
Article Three- Nominations
Section 1: A nominating committee shall be appointed each year during December to receive nominations, nominate qualified members for Chapter offices and present a slate of candidates no later than April 1. Members seeking consideration as nominees must contact the nominating committee by February 1.
Section 2: The nominating committee shall be appointed by the President, with the approval of the Executive Board.
Section 3: The nominating committee shall be encouraged to provide at least two candidates for each office. The committee’s slate may include two categories of candidates: all current officers seeking office, and other candidates selected by the committee.
Section 4: A third category of candidates, those nominated from the membership, may be added to the slate.
Section 5: The nomination process shall include publication of the slate, as approved by the Executive Board; a formal notice in the Chapter’s January newsletter calling for nominations from the membership; and space provided for write-in candidates from the membership on the official ballot.
Article Four- Elections
Section 1: A ballot listing all nominees shall be sent to all Chapter members no later than April 15. All ballots returned to the Corresponding Secretary by May 1 shall be opened and tallied by a committee of tellers to be appointed by the President and approved by the Executive Board.
Section 2: A candidate receiving the majority of votes cast for an office shall be declared the winner. The Executive Board can authorize preferential or plurality voting for offices that have more than two candidates, and so indicate on the ballot.
Section 3: Results of the Chapter election tally shall be published in the Chapter’s newsletter.
Article Five- Vacancies
Section 1: Vacancies occurring among the members of the Executive Board shall be filled by election by the Executive Board, such officers or directors to serve only until the next annual installation. At the annual election immediately preceding said installation, the membership of the Chapter will elect a member or members to serve the remainder of any vacated term.
Article Six- Duties of Officers
Section 1: The President shall preside at all meetings, shall exercise general supervision over the affairs and activities of the Chapter, and shall serve as an ex-officio member of all committees.
Section 2: If the President is absent or incapacitated, the President’s duties shall be assumed by the Vice President. The Vice President shall also serve as program coordinator for the Chapter.
Section 3: The Recording Secretary shall keep minutes of all meetings of the Chapter and send records of the proceedings to members of the Executive Board.
Section 4: The Corresponding Secretary shall be the custodian of all Chapter records unless a special officer shall be appointed for that purpose, shall maintain the Chapter roster, including all records and reports on membership enrollment, and shall conduct all correspondence of the Chapter, as required.
Section 5: The Treasurer shall receive all Chapter funds, keep them in one or more Federally insured depositories approved by the Executive Board, and payout funds only by direction of the President. The Treasurer shall make a written monthly report to the Executive Board of all disbursements, receipts and balances.
Article Seven- Executive Board
Section 1: The Executive Board of the Chapter shall consist of the officers of the Chapter, the immediate past president, and six directors chosen as provided in the Chapter Constitution and, when applicable under Section 3 of Article Five of the Constitution, the Region 2 Director and any elected national officer who is a Chapter member.
Section 2: The Executive Board of the Chapter shall be responsible for conducting the business of the Chapter.
Section 3: Any member of the Executive Board who has three consecutive unexcused absences from regularly scheduled monthly meetings of the Board shall be asked by the Chapter President to resign from office. If this officer or director fails to resign, the Executive Board shall vote whether to remove the officer. If the Executive Board votes for removal, the vacancy shall be filled in accordance with Article Five of the By-Laws.
Article Eight- Committees
Section 1: Committees shall be appointed by the President. All committees, after appointment, shall be ratified by the Executive Board.
Section 2: The standing committees of the Chapter shall be: Awards, Banquet, Diversity, Ethics, Foreign Press, Freedom of Information, Hall of Fame, History, Membership, Newsletter, Professional Liaison, Project Watchdog, Publicity, SDX Foundation, and Student Liaison.
Section 3: Other, ad hoc, committees may be appointed, as required.
Article Nine- Quorum
Section 1: At least 5 per cent of the Chapter membership shall constitute a quorum at any regularly scheduled meeting for which the Chapter has sent a notice, at least ten working days prior to the meeting, to all members in good standing.
Section 2: Seven members of the Executive Board shall constitute a quorum for board meetings.
Article Ten- Order of Business
Section 1: The order of business at all Executive Board meetings and at Chapter business meetings shall be as follows: Meeting called to order, reading of minutes of previous meeting, reports of officers and committee chairpersons, unfinished business, new business and adjournment.
Article Eleven- Parliamentary Authority
Section 1: Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall be the parliamentary authority of this Chapter.
Article Twelve- Amendments
Section 1: An amendment to these By-Laws may be proposed in writing at any regular meeting of the Chapter. Such proposed amendment must be signed by 2 per cent of the Chapter membership before being submitted to the meeting, and shall be read to the meeting by the presiding officer. After such notice, the proposed amendment and a ballot for voting on its adoption shall be sent to all members. The amendment shall be effective if approved by a majority of the Chapter members voting.
Section 2: An amendment to these By-Laws may be proposed in writing by two-thirds of the Executive Board membership and shall be enacted if approved by a majority vote of those Chapter members attending the next regular meeting of the Chapter, providing that notice of said meeting and the full wording of the proposed amendment will have been mailed to all Chapter members not less than 15 working days prior to the meeting.
Section 3: Amendments to these By-Laws shall become effective immediately unless otherwise specified in the written proposal for amendment.