Independent Women’s Organization
Article I – Purpose
The Independent Women’s Organization of Greater New Orleans (IWO) is an organization dedicated to promoting the issues and candidates of the Democratic Party.
Article II – Membership
Any woman who supports the issues of the Democratic Party shall be eligible for membership.
Article III – Dues
Sec. 3.01 Annual dues shall be decided by the Board of Directors. Dues are payable annually by January 1st for the fiscal year ending December 31st.
Sec. 3.02 Contributions made to the organization shall be administered by the Board.
Article IV – Officers
Sec. 4.01 The officers of the Organization shall be: President, Vice-President, Corresponding Secretary, Recording Secretary and Treasurer.
Sec. 4.02 The officers shall be elected as follows: the Executive Committee shall appoint a three member Nominating Committee which shall prepare a slate of nominees to be presented to the membership at the annual meeting. Nominations will also be taken from the floor subject to prior consent of the Nominee and that the Nominee is a member in good standing. The Board shall be informed of the proposed slate prior to the annual meeting.
Sec. 4.03 All officers shall be elected for a term of two years and may run for re-election.
Sec. 4.04 Duties of Officers
- a) The President shall preside at all meetings of the Organization, the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee. With the approval of the Executive Committee, she may call special meetings. She shall be an ex-officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee and shall perform such other duties as usually pertain to the office. The President shall keep the files of the organization.
- b) The Vice-President shall preside at meetings in the absence of the President, and will serve as Acting President if the President is incapacitated, disabled, or otherwise unable to serve. She shall perform other duties as requested by the President.
- c) The Corresponding Secretary shall keep the mailing list and send all meeting notices and other such information as shall be approved by the Board for distribution to the members. She will coordinate with the Treasurer and Membership Chair to maintain an accurate and up to date record of members e-mail and USPS addresses.
- d) The Recording Secretary shall keep a record of all meetings of the Organization, the Board or Directors and the Executive Committee and shall perform such other duties as usually pertain to the office.
- e) The Treasurer shall receive all monies paid to the Organization and shall be responsible for the collection of dues. She provides membership information to the Corresponding Secretary. She shall pay all bills when properly verified by the President. Expenditures of over $100 by any member must be approved by the Board of Directors. In case of an emergency between Board meetings, the approval of the Executive Committee must be obtained. She shall keep a proper set of records rendering an account at meetings of the Board of Directors and the Membership.
Article V – Executive Committee
There shall be an executive committee, composed of the officers, which will act for the Board in emergencies.
Article VI – Board of Directors
Sec. 6.01 The management of the IWO shall be vested in a Board of Directors consisting of the President, Vice President, Corresponding Secretary, Recording Secretary, Treasurer and all chairs of standing and ad hoc Committees.
Sec. 6.02 Prior to the annual meeting, the Board shall decide how many members are needed to conduct the affairs of the organization and shall instruct the Nominating Committee as to its decision. The Nominating Committee shall then prepare a list of candidates and present it at the annual meeting. Nominations shall also be taken from the floor providing the consent of the Nominee has been previously obtained. Candidates receiving a majority vote of the members present shall be deemed elected.
Sec. 6.03 Board members shall be elected for a term of two years. All members of the Board of Directors shall be eligible for re-election at the end of their term of office.
Sec. 6.04 The Board shall put into effect the general objectives and programs of the IWO. As new issues arise, the decisions of the Board are recommendations to be voted upon by the membership. A two-thirds vote of the Directors shall empower the Board to make known to public officials or through the media, the position it has taken. Only the President or Vice President may speak for the organization.
Sec. 6.05 The Board of Directors shall meet at least six times a year, at the call of the President, and a majority of the Board shall always constitute a quorum. A majority of the Board may call a Board meeting if the President fails to do so.
Sec. 6.06 Any vacancy on the Board, occurring other than by expiration of term, shall be filled by a majority vote of the Board. The person selected shall hold office until the next annual meeting, when she shall be eligible for election to the Board.
Sec. 6.07 If a Board member has been absent from three or more consecutive Board meetings without reasonable excuse presented to the Board, she shall be dropped from membership on the Board. Board members shall also be dropped if they have failed to pay dues within 30 days after a second dues notice.
Article VII – Committees
Sec. 7.01 The Standing Committees shall be chaired by an elected Board Member. The Chairwoman of each Committee shall choose the members of the Committee.
- a) Program – The Program Committee shall be responsible for scheduling speakers and organizing meeting details.
- b) Membership – The Membership Committee shall seek out new members, provide prospective members with information about the IWO and keep the Corresponding Secretary advised of new and prospective members addresses and contact information.
- c) Nominating – The Nominating Committee shall prepare a list of candidates for the Board to be presented for election at the annual meeting. It shall also present a list of candidates to the Board if a vacancy occurs on the Board during the year.
- d) Endorsement – The Endorsement Committee shall be responsible for organizing candidate forums and conducting endorsement meetings prior to city, state, and federal elections.
- e) Bylaws – The Bylaws Committee shall prepare updates to the bylaws of the organization as the Board deems necessary.
- f) Advocacy – The Advocacy Committee shall educate members on legislative issues and coordinate advocacy efforts in support of IWO’s legislative agenda.
- g) History – The History Committee shall be responsible for archiving significant documents and recording the history of the organization.
- h) Public Relations – The Public Relations Committee shall be responsible for the organization’s press releases, maintaining a current press list, managing press at events, and coordinating with the social media team.
Sec. 7.02 The President, with the agreement of the Board of Directors, may form ad hoc committees as needed.
Article VIII – Meetings of the Organization
Sec. 8.01 There shall be an Annual Meeting of the Organization during the month of June and the members shall be notified in writing (electronic or USPS) at least two weeks in advance. In addition to the annual meeting there shall be not less than three regular meetings during the year, to be called at the direction of the Board of Directors.
Sec. 8.02 Special meetings may be called by the President with approval of the Executive Committee.
Sec. 8.03 In extraordinary or emergency circumstances, the President shall have the discretion to require any meeting of the organization be held virtually with any necessary voting to be done by electronic means.
Article IX – Voting Procedure
Sec. 9.01 Endorsements
- a) Standard Endorsements: The organization may endorse candidates or issues by a 60 percent vote of the members in good standing present at a general meeting. For the purposes of this Section, a member in good standing shall mean any member who has been in good standing with the organization for at least 90 days prior to the endorsement meeting. If a renewing member was in good standing (i.e. current on annual dues) for the entirety of the prior fiscal year, that member must have renewed her membership at least 30 days prior to the endorsement meeting to be a member in good standing for voting purposes. Further, for purposes of this Section, 60% shall mean 60% of all members casting a vote at the endorsement meeting, not including members who abstain from voting. Standard mathematical rounding rules will apply with regard to the voting percentages (i.e. 0-4, round down, 5-9 round up). If no candidate receives a vote of 60% of all members casting a vote, a dual endorsement will be made only by a vote of 60% of all members casting a vote.
- b) Endorsements in Run-Offs: If a candidate who was endorsed by the organization in a primary election does not qualify for the run-off election, the board shall determine whether any other candidate should be endorsed in the run-off election. If the board determines that a candidate should be endorsed in the run-off election, the board shall consider the presentations made by the candidates at the endorsement meeting and the comments made by the members during the endorsement meeting to select a candidate for endorsement in the run-off election.
Sec. 9.02 Other questions shall be decided by majority vote of members present at any general meeting.
Article X – Amendments
Any amendment to these bylaws must be proposed in writing to the Board. The Board shall report its vote back to the membership at the next regular meeting of the general membership. A 2/3 vote of the members present shall be required for the passage of the amendment.
Article XI – Rules of Order
Robert’s Rules of Order Revised shall govern this Organization in all parliamentary procedures insofar as they are applicable and not inconsistent with these By-laws.
Article XII – Procedure
From qualification date and during the length of the person’s candidacy, any candidate shall not serve on the Board of the IWO. During endorsement meetings, any IWO member in good standing who is a candidate shall not be present during discussion of candidates but may vote on the endorsement.
(Revised June 2021)