I. Membership

A. Membership Classes

1. Individual Members

2. Affiliate Members

3. Commercial Members

B. Hardship Waiver of Dues

1. Chapter Request of Waiver

2. Request When Not A Chapter Member

C. Revocation or Refusal of Membership

1. Causes

2. Refusal

3. Revocation

4. Refusal or Revocation by a Chapter

D. Appeals

1. Selection of Members

2. Process of Appeals

E. Confidentiality

II. Officers and Executive Board of the Association

A. Executive Board - Composition

B. Selection of Executive Board

C. Duties and Responsibilities of the Association's Officers

1. President

2. Vice President

3. Secretary

4. Treasurer

5. Wisdom Keeper

D. Duties and Responsibilities of the Voting Executive Board Positions

1. Chapter Outreach Chair

2. Chapter Representative

3. Members-At-Large

4) Affiliate & Commercial Membership Chair

5) Domestic Violence Committee Chair

E. Election & Removal Process

1) General Annual Election

2) Removal For Attendance

3) Removal of Executive Board Member - General

4) Vacancy in Office

5) Vacancy Due To Incapacitation, Death or Resignation of the President or Vice President

F. Travel Allowance

G. Records of Office

III. Standing Committees of the Association

A. Standing Committees - General

B. Membership Committee

1) Duties of Chair

2) Duties of Committee

C. Elections & Credentials Committee

D. Budget & Finance Committee

1) Membership On Committee

2) Duties of Committee

E. Chapter Outreach Committee

F. Domestic Violence Committee

1) Duties of

2) Structure of the Domestic Violence Committee Project

G. Policy & Procedure Committee

1) Duties of the Chair

2) Duties of the Committee

H. Publications Committee

1) Duties of Chair

2) Duties of Committee

I. Education Committee

1) Duties of Chair

2) Duties Of Committee

J. Ad Hoc Committees

IV. Responsibilities of the Association To The Chapters

A. Executive Board Veto

B. Provide Following To Chapters

C. Contact With The Chapters

D. Provide Following To Members

V. Responsibilities Of The Chapter To The Assocation

A. Types of Chapter Members

B. Chapter Duties

C. Revocation of Chapter Status

1. Communication

2. Temporary Revocation/Suspension

3. Permanent Revocation

4. Appeal

D. Effect of Individual Members

VI. Events of the Association

A. Age Requirements

B. Weapons

VII. Official Statements of the Organization

A. Statement of Purpose

B. Statment on Domestic Violence

Amendments

 

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I. MEMBERSHIP

A. MEMBERSHIP CLASSES:

1) INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS:

(a) Definition of an Individual Member: any individual, who supports the Association's Statement of Purpose and Bylaws, has attained legal majority in the legal jurisdiction in which they live, and pays the required dues may be considered for Individual Membership.

(b) Privileges of Individual Membership: Individual Members can vote in all of the Association’s elections, hold an office in the Association, propose nominees for offices in the Association, receive the Association’s periodicals, and any other privileges as may be determined by the Executive Board.

(c) Membership Dues are due July 1st of each year. Chapters may determine on their own how to send and collect their Memberships Dues to International but are also due by July 1st of each year. Should am Individual Member join within the year at any time other than July 1st, their dues will be prorated as stated below:

July – Sept $20.00
Oct – Dec $15.00
Jan – March $10.00
April – June $5.00

2) AFFILIATE MEMBERSHIP (ORGANIZATIONAL):

(a) Definition of Affiliate Member: Any not-for profit Association that supports the Association’s Statement of Purpose and Bylaws and pays required dues may be considered for Affiliate Membership.

(b) Privileges of Affiliate Membership: Affiliate Members are allowed a link/banner of their own creation on the NLA-I website. Said Membership shall also be allowed to submit announcements to the editor to be added to the LINK (subject to the editor and space), along with an advertisement in one of the quarterly issues of the LINK. Affiliate Members shall also receive the opportunity for inclusion of their events in the Association's calendar, and other privileges as determined by the Executive Board including but not limited to the use of the NLA-I logo in advertising and promotions. Affiliate Members shall be entitled to designate one voting Representative to vote in the Association’s Elections in the name of the Affiliate, and propose nominees for offices in the Association. Affiliate Members shall communicate to the Board through the Commercial & Affiliate Chair holder.

(c) Admission to Membership: Associations that meet the criteria described under definition of Affiliate may make application to the Membership Committee. The Membership Committee shall evaluate the application for eligibility and forward their recommendation to the Executive Board.

(d) The Executive Board will confirm or reject the application and forward notification to the applicant. The original application must be accompanied by remittance of appropriate dues.

(e) Affiliate Membership dues are due July 1st of each year. Should an Affiliate Member join within the year at any time other than July 1st, their Dues will be prorated as stated below:

July – Sept $50.00
Oct – Dec $37.50
Jan – March $25.00
April – June $12.50

3) COMMERCIAL MEMBERS:

(a) Definition of Commercial Membership: Any Business that supports the Association’s Statement of Purpose and Bylaws and pays the required dues may be considered for Commercial Membership.

(b) Privileges of Commercial Membership: Commercial Members are allowed a link/banner of their own creation on the NLA-I website. Commercial Members are given an ad in the LINK publication each year. Commercial Members are also allowed four (4) business card sized advertisements in the link per year (one per quarter). Commercial Members shall also receive the opportunity for inclusion of their events in the Association's calendar and other privileges as determined by the Executive Board. Commercial Members shall be entitled to designate one voting Representative to vote in the Association’s Elections in the name of the Commercial Member, and propose nominees for offices in the Association.

(c) Admission to Membership: Businesses that meet the criteria described under definition of Commercial Membership may make application to the Membership Committee. The Membership Committee will evaluate the application for eligibility and forward their recommendation to the Executive Board. The Executive Board will confirm or reject the application and forward notification to the applicant. The original application must be accompanied by remittance of appropriate dues.

(d) Commercial Membership dues are due July 1st of each year. Should a Commercial Member join within the year at any time other than July 1st, their dues will be prorated as stated below:

July – Sept $50.00
Oct – Dec $37.50
Jan – March $25.00
April – June $12.50

(e) Commercial Members that provide a discount on their products and/or services shall be given a reduction in the price of the Commercial Membership. Dues will be due July 1st of each year. Should a Commercial Member join within the year at any time other than July 1st and offers a discount in products and/or services, their dues will be prorated as stated below:

July – Sept $30.00
Oct – Dec $22.50
Jan – March $15.00
April – June $7.50

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B. HARDSHIP WAIVERS OF DUES:

1) DUES WAIVERS AS PER CHAPTER REQUEST

(a) CRITERIA: Any applicant requesting a dues waiver from NLA-International (NLA-I), who wishes to join a local Chapter, must have applied for and been accepted for a dues waiver by that local Chapter.

(b) APPLICATION: An Officer in the applicant's Chapter must submit a letter stating that the Chapter has granted a waiver of local dues and briefly explain why NLA-I should consider the applicant for a dues waiver.

(i) The applicant must submit a letter to the Treasurer of NLA-I requesting a dues waiver.

(ii) The applicant must understand that their Membership in the local Chapter is not valid until NLA-I grants the International dues waiver.

(c) PROCESS: Upon the receipt of the two necessary letters, the Treasurer of NLA-I will notify the applicant within two weeks of the status of the application.

(i) When granting dues waivers for Chapter Members, the Treasurer of NLA-I will accept the recommendation of the Chapter unless extenuating circumstances warrant further investigation.

(ii) The Treasurer of NLA-I may exercise the option of offering a reduced rate for Membership.

(iii) Once the dues waiver is granted, the Chapter Member will have all rights and privileges of a fully paid Individual Member.

(iv) The Treasurer of NLA-I will have the responsibility of keeping a record of the number of dues waivers and reduced rate Memberships granted. These files may be requested by the Executive Officers of NLA-I at any time.

(v) The President of NLA-I will be updated on a quarterly basis as to the number of dues waivers and reduced Memberships granted.

(vi) Dues waivers will not be granted to any individuals for more than two (2) consecutive years.

(vii) The name of Members granted dues waivers shall be confidential information, open to the Executive Officers of NLA-I only.

(viii) The denial of a dues waiver may be appealed to the full Executive Officers of NLA-I by the applicant submitting a letter to the Executive Officers to explain why NLA-I should consider the applicant for a dues waiver.

2) INDIVIDUALS REQUESTING HARDSHIP WAIVERS (NOT Members OF A Chapter.)

(a) CRITERIA: A Member in good standing of NLA-I must sponsor the applicant. The sponsoring Member must write a letter recommending the applicant be considered for a dues waiver.

(b) APPLICATION: The applicant must submit a letter to the Treasurer of NLA-I requesting a dues waiver. The applicant must briefly explain why they should be considered for a dues waiver.

(c) PROCESS: Upon receipt of the two necessary letters, the Treasurer will notify the applicant within two weeks of the status of the application.

(i) When granting dues waivers for Individual Members, the Treasurer of NLA-I will accept the recommendation of the sponsoring Member unless extenuating circumstances warrant further investigation.

(ii) The Treasurer of NLA-I may exercise the option of offering reduced rate for Membership.

(iii) Once the dues waiver is granted, the Member shall have all rights and privileges of a fully paid Individual Member.

(iv) The Treasurer of NLA-I will have the responsibility of keeping a record of the number of dues waivers and reduced rate Memberships granted. These files may be requested by the Executive Officers of NLA-I at any time.

(v) The President of NLA-I will be updated on a quarterly basis as to the number of dues waivers and reduced Memberships granted.

(vi) Dues waivers will not be granted to any individuals for more than two (2) consecutive years.

(vii) The name of Members granted dues waivers shall be confidential information, open to the Executive Officers of NLA-I only.

(viii) The denial of a dues waiver may be appealed to the full Executive Officers of NLA-I by the applicant submitting a letter to the Executive Officers to explain why NLA-I should consider the applicant for a dues waiver.

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C. REVOCATION OR REFUSAL OF MEMBERSHIP:

1) CAUSES FOR REVOCATION OR REFUSAL OF MEMBERSHIP:

(a) When regarding the revocation or refusal of Membership, there are two (2) types of action that may be determined:

(i) Refusal of Membership

(ii) Revocation of Membership

(b) Membership in the Association may be revoked or refused for cause. The definition of Cause shall include, but not be limited to:

(i) An individual who works counter to the Statement of Purpose of NLA-I, publicly advocates attitudes or actions contrary to the Statement of Purpose of NLA-I, or deliberately works to malign, damage or inhibit NLA-I,

(ii) An Associational Affiliate (who by definition does not have to adhere to the exact Statement of Purpose) who works against the Statement of Purpose, (support of the Statement of Purpose is required), or deliberately works to malign, damage or inhibit NLA-I,

(iii) A Commercial Affiliate who has unethical business practices, in particular those who injure or seek to injure NLA-I or its Membership.

(iv) Any class of Member who deliberately harms the Association via bad publicity or fiscal wrongdoing.

(c) At all times, any decision or action affecting a person or business’s Membership status as any class of Member in NLA-I or Chapter shall be regarded with the utmost of consideration in terms of both confidentiality, and due process. No decision may be considered without fully informing the person/business in question of all accusations or complaints, and affording the person/business the full opportunity to rebut or question such complaints.

(d) Adequate written documentation must be placed in evidence. The evidence must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the undesirability of the Members' participation in NLA-I.

2) REFUSAL OF MEMBERSHIP:

(a) The refusal process may be initiated by a petition from any Member of the Executive Board of NLA-I or by a petition from at least twenty (20) Members in good standing of the Association, delivered to the Treasurer.

(b) The Membership Committee shall present a report for action, either supporting or opposing the refusal, containing its reasons to the Executive Officers of NLA-I, within thirty (30) days of receiving the petition. If the Membership Committee does not have five (5) or more officially designated Members at the time of such a question, then the President shall see that additional Members, as needed, are appointed to bring the number of the committee to five Members. These additional Members shall be selected as per Article I, Section D, Subsection 1.

(c) The Executive Officers of NLA-I shall review the recommendations with the Membership Committee and give the applicant an opportunity to respond. The Executive Officers of NLA-I may then perform such further investigation as it deems necessary and shall issue a written notice of its actions to the applicant.

(d) Refusal of Membership requires a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the currently sitting Executive Officers of NLA-I. Refusal of Membership in the Association shall also constitute a refusal of any Chapter Membership.

(e) Decisions regarding Membership made by the Executive Officers of NLA-I are final, as only Members of NLA-I have the right to the appeal process.

3) REVOCATION OF MEMBERSHIP:

(a) The revocation process may be initiated by a petition from any Member of the Executive Board, or by a petition from at least twenty (20) Members in good standing of the Association, delivered to the Treasurer.

(b) Upon such petition, or action by a Chapter, the Member shall be notified of such action, provided all documentation pertaining to the issue, and afforded the opportunity to review all documentation, question statements, and provide a rebuttal to any material brought into question regarding the issue.

(c) The Membership Committee shall present a report containing supporting reasons for their decision to the Executive Officers of NLA-I for action. If the Membership Committee does not have five (5) or more officially designated Members at the time of such a question, then the President shall see that additional Members as needed are appointed to bring the number of the committee to five (5) Members. These additional Members shall be selected as per Article I, Section D, Subsection 1.

(d) The Executive Officers of NLA-I shall review the recommendations of the Membership Committee and give the Member an opportunity to respond. The Executive Officers of NLA-I may then perform such further investigation as it deems necessary and shall issue written notice of its actions to the Member.

(e) Revocation of Membership shall require a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the currently sitting Executive Officers of NLA-I.

(f) A revocation of Membership decision by the Executive Officers of NLA-I may be appealed to the Appeal Committee. Notice of the right to appeal must be included with any notice of revocation. The Appeal Committee shall look at all documentation taken into consideration by the Executive Officers of NLA-I and any documentation presented by the Member. Any decision by the Appeal Committee will be final.

(g) Revocation of Membership by the Association will also constitute a revocation of Chapter Membership.

4) REFUSAL OF MEMBERSHIP OR REVOCATION OF MEMBERSHIP BY CHAPTERS:

(a) Refusal of Membership by a Chapter shall, upon request of the person who's Membership has been refused, be dealt with as dictated by Article I, Section C, Subsection 2, of the Association’s Policies and Procedures.

(b) In the event a Chapter revokes a person’s Membership in said Chapter, that action shall be regarded as a petition by that Chapter to the Association to revoke that individual’s Membership in the Association.

(c) Should a Chapter request such action by the Association, the question shall be remanded to examination by the Membership Committee, as stipulated in Article I, Section C, Subsections 2 and 3, of the Association’s Policies and Procedures.

(d) The Chapter involved shall provide to the Membership Committee all pertinent documentation, official discussion and any other applicable information as deemed necessary by the Membership Committee or any other governing body.

(e) All records, discussions and information pertinent to such matters shall be provided to the Member in question, granting them the right to respond to any accusation. Such information shall be regarded as confidential, and subject to disclosure, during the decision process, only to those Members of the Membership Committee and/or the Executive Officers of NLA-I as needed. Afterwards, any disclosure of such information shall be subject to Article I, Section E.

(f) No Refusal or Revocation of Chapter Membership shall be conducted in such a manner as to be inconsistent with or in violation of the Associations policies listed here. The Association may choose to retain a person’s Membership in the Association, as an Individual Member, even if a Chapter revokes their Membership.

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D. APPEAL PROCESS:

1) SELECTION OF MEMBERS:

Upon request of the person whose Membership is in question, the President, and at least two (2) Members of the Membership Committee shall meet to draw five (5) names of NLA-I Members, in good standing, at random. If any of the names drawn are Members of the same Chapter as the Member requesting the appeal, or are for some other reason, as determined by the President, ineligible or inappropriate to objectively serve, a new name must be drawn. The random drawing shall continue until five (5) Members of NLA-I, in good standing, are found that are willing to serve on the Appeal Committee.

2) APPEAL PROCESS:

The appeal process is available to any Member of the Association who is in disagreement with the decision concerning their own membership, or any other Officer decisions that are defined in the Association’s Policies and Procedures as being eligible for the appeal process. If a Member wishes to use the appeal process, they must inform the Executive Board within one month of their notification of the Officers decision that is in question.

(a) Being an Ad Hoc Committee, the Appeal Committee must be immediately called into section by the Association President no more than two (2) weeks from receipt of the written request for Appeal.

(b) The names of the Committee Members shall be made known to the Member wishing to appeal. All records containing pertinent information concerning the Member wishing to appeal shall be forwarded to all Members of the Appeal Committee. The person requesting the appeal may also forward any information that is pertinent to the Appeal Committee.

(c) The Appeal Committee Members may ask questions of the Executive Board, the person requesting the appeal, or any others involved in the decision. The Appeal Committee shall have sixty (60) days to makes its decision known.

(d) The Appeal Committee is urged to communicate in writing whenever possible. If needed, the Appeal Committee may use other means of communication.

(e) The appeal will be decided by a majority vote of four (4) out of five (5). The decision of the Appeal Committee shall be final. At the time, the decision is made known to the Executive Board and the Member requesting the appeal, this Committee shall be dissolved.

(f) The final decision of the Appeal Committee shall be published in the next published LINK, but without any comment or analysis, subject to Article I, Section E.

E. CONFIDENTIALITY OF DECISIONS REGARDING MEMBERSHIP:

1. Any interviews or fact-finding must be done with care, discretion and common sense so as not to damage the reputation or name of either the NLA-I, or the applicant/Member in question.

2. Adequate written documentation must be placed in evidence. The evidence must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the undesirability of the Members'/applicants’ participation in NLA-I.

3. Once a decision is reached by either the Executive Officers or through the appeal process outlined, the documentation must be placed in the permanent secure records of the Secretary of NLA-I.

4. If the Executive Officers should decide to revoke, or refuse to renew a person's Membership, that decision shall be included in the next published minutes of that body. This decision shall include only the decision itself, and the names and votes of those Executive Officers making that decision. Should any person wish to make an official public or published report beyond that, speaking as any NLA-I official in any form, the Member involved shall be granted the right to a published response in the same publication. They shall be provided with the planned statement in due time to provide a response in the same published issue.

5. Cases, deliberations and discussions will be held as confidential. Any Member of the NLA-I, violating the rule of confidentiality will be subject to disciplinary action by the Executive Officers.

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II. OFFICERS AND THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF THE ASSOCIATION

A. THE EXECUTIVE BOARD – COMPOSITION:

The Executive Board shall be composed of two groups; voting Members and nonvoting Members.

1. Voting Members shall be the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, the Wisdom Keeper, two (2) Members-At-Large, one (1) Chapter Representative from each Chapter in good standing, and the Chairs of the Chapter Outreach, Domestic Violence and the Affiliate & Commercial Membership Committees. 2. Non-voting Members shall be the Chairs of all Standing Committees as defined by the Association’s Bylaws, unless that Chair is already considered a voting Member by other office or position.

3. All Members of the Executive Board shall be held to the same standards of reporting and attendance.

4. Voting Members of the Executive Board shall be referred to as ‘sitting’ Members for the purposes of defining decision-making processes within the Association’s Policies and Procedures.

B. SELECTION OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD:

1. The President, Vice President and Secretary of the Association shall be elected by the General Membership for two (2) year terms.

2. The Chapter Outreach Chair and the two (2) Members-At- Large shall be elected by the General Membership for two (2) year terms.

3. The Treasurer shall be appointed by the voting Members of the Executive Board, based on sound and verifiable experience in fiscal matters and accounting, and shall serve a two (2) year term.

4. The Position of Wisdom Keeper shall normally be filled by the most recent former President of the Association. In the event that person is unwilling, unable or found to be unsuitable to serve by the Board, the position shall be filled by appointment of the President, from the ranks of former Executive Officers of the Association, with the Executive Board’s approval of said appointment.

5. The Chairs of the Domestic Violence and the Affiliate and Commercial Membership Committees shall be appointed by the sitting Executive Board.

6. The Chair of the Elections and Credentials Committee shall be selected from the Executive Board and shall be appointed by the President.

7. The Chair of the Membership Committee shall be filled by the Treasurer.

8. The Chair of the Education Committee shall be filled by the Wisdom Keeper.

9. The Chairs of all other Standing and Ad Hoc Committees shall be appointed by the sitting Executive Board.

10. Each NLA-I Chapter in good standing shall select, from among its Members, one Chapter Representative to be seated on the Executive Board. Said Representatives must be Members in good standing of NLA-I.

11. The election or appointment of voting Members of the Executive Board serving two (2) year terms shall be held/made in such a manner as to stagger the terms. Non-voting Members of the Executive Board shall serve at the pleasure of the Executive Officers, normally for two (2) year terms.

(a) The positions of President and both Independent Members-At-Large shall be elected on even calendar years along with the appointment of the Wisdom Keeper.

(b) The positions of Vice President, Secretary and Chapter Outreach Chair shall be elected on odd calendar years along with the appointment of the Treasurer.

12. In the event of a vacancy in office, the selection or appointment of these Executive Board positions shall be filled as per Article II, Section D, Subsection 4 in the NLA-I Policies and Procedures.

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C. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE ASSOCIATIONS OFFICERS:

1) PRESIDENT: The President, (or designate), shall:

(a) Be responsible for the overall operation of the Association.

(b) Preside at all meetings of the Executive Board and the General Membership Meeting.

(c) Have the sole authority to speak on behalf of the Association, subject to guidelines established by the Executive Board.

(d) Submit to each meeting of the Executive Board and the General Membership Meeting a complete report and statement of the affairs of the Association.

(e) Serve a term of two (2) years.

(f) Not serve more than two (2) consecutive terms as President.

2) Vice President: The Vice President, (or designate), shall:

(a) Be the preferred designate to preside at meetings of the Executive Board in the absence of the President.

(b) Serve as the Spokesperson for the Association when so designated by the President.

(c) Serve on the Elections and Credentials Committee, but not as the Chair.

(d) Serve a term of two (2) years.

(e) Not serve more than two (2) consecutive terms as Vice President.

3) SECRETARY: The Secretary shall:

(a) Ensure that minutes are taken, recorded and kept of all Executive Officers, Executive Board and General Membership Meetings. Prepared minutes from these meetings must be distributed to the appropriate persons in a timely fashion.

(b) Prepare reports of all meetings for publication in the official newsletter of the Association.

(c) Maintain and make available for distribution accurate and up to date Bylaws of the Association.

(d) Maintain a log of all Policies, Procedures and standing legislation of the Association.

(e) Prepare and file all required federal, state and local documentation, other than financial.

(f) Prepare and maintain a current roster, to include contact information, for all Executive Officers, Executive Board Members and Members of Standing Committees to be disseminated among the Executive Board at need.

(g) Disseminate materials and records from out-going Executive Officers and Committee Chairs to new Executive Officers and Committees and provide all other material to the Associations archival records or securely destroy, as appropriate.

(h) Serve a term of two (2) years.

(i) Not serve more than two (2) consecutive terms as Secretary.

4) TREASURER: The Treasurer shall:

(a) Be responsible for the accounting and management of all monies of the Association.

(b) Monitor the receipt and distribution of all funds, making such distributions at the direction of the Executive Officers.

(c) Provide current financial status of the Association at meetings of the Executive Board and the Annual General Membership Meeting.

(d) Maintain the financial records in a condition ready to be audited. The Treasurer will cooperate and provide all necessary information for any requested audit.

(e) Prepare and submit all required tax and financial reports.

(f) Prepare and submit to the Executive Board quarterly balance sheets and a detailed financial report following the close of the fiscal year.

(g) Serve on the Budget and Finance Committee, but not as the Chair.

(h) Chair the Membership Committee as detailed in Article III, Section B, and represent the interest and concerns of all Members of the Association.

(i) Serve a term of two (2) years.

(j) Not serve more than two (2) consecutive terms as Treasurer.

5) WISDOM KEEPER: The Wisdom Keeper

(a) Be responsible for working with the President to ensure smooth transition of power, and as a guardian of the Association’s legacy, ethics and history.

(b) Chair the Education Committee as detailed in Article III, Section I.

D. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE VOTING EXECUTIVE BOARD POSITIONS:

1) CHAPTER OUTREACH CHAIR: The President shall call for the Chapters to nominate and elect the Chapter Outreach Chair every two (2) years. If the Chapters do not nominate a Chapter Outreach Chair, the Executive Board will appoint a Chapter Outreach Chair until such a time as the position is filled through the election process.

(a) Responsibilities to the Association:

(i) Work as a liaison between new Chapters and the Executive Board until a Chapter Representative has been nominated and appointed for that Chapter.

(ii) Host and preside over a Chapter Representative meeting at Living in Leather, hereon referred to as LIL.

(iii) Attend the Annual General Meeting.

(iv) Prepare and maintain all “Chapter In Formation" information.

(v) Distribute “Chapter In Formation" information as needed.

(b) Responsibilities to the Chapters:

(i) To ensure Chapter Bylaws meet the guidelines of the Association, in coordination with the President and the Chair of the Policies & Procedures Committee.

(ii) To ensure Chapter Membership requirements meet the Association’s guidelines.

(iii) To ensure that Chapters are following all Policies and Procedures pertaining to Chapters privilege of using the Association’s name, and have current information from the Association on Policies and Procedures.

(iv) To ensure that Chapters nominate and elect a Chapter Representative to serve on the Executive Board of the Association.

2) CHAPTER REPRESENTATIVES:The Chapter Representative will be nominated and elected by the Chapters every two (2) years. If the Chapters do not nominate a Chapter Representative the Chapter Outreach Chair will appoint a Chapter Representative until such a time as the position is filled through the election process. The Chapter Representative will serve on the Executive Board as a voting Member.

(a) Responsibilities to the Association:

(i) Work as a liaison between their Chapter and the Executive Board of the Association.

(ii) Attend the Chapter Representative meetings at LIL and the Annual General Membership Meeting.

(iii) Provide meeting minutes within twenty (20) days of the Chapters meetings. Provide Quarterly Reports on activities of the Chapter.

(iv) Attend all executive Board meetings, or provide proxy to the NLA-International Secretary.

(b) Responsibilities to the Chapters:

(i) To ensure Chapter Bylaws meet the Association’s guidelines.

(ii) To ensure their Membership requirements meet the Association’s guidelines and have current information from the Association on Policies and Procedures.

(iii) To ensure that Chapters are following all Policies and Procedures pertaining to Chapters privilege of using the Association’s name.

(c) Removal of a Chapter Representative: If a Chapter (or Chapter Member) wishes to remove, replace or contest the designation of their Chapter Representative during that Representative's term of office, they must follow the guidelines as outlined below:

(i) During the Chapter's next General Meeting, any active Member may make a motion from the floor to "Reconsider" that Chapter’s current Representative.

(ii) If the motion is seconded, the Chapter Executive Officers shall place that Reconsideration on the published agenda for the next regularly scheduled General Meeting as a New Business Item.

(iii) The vote will then be taken at the next regularly scheduled meeting of that Chapter. The decision shall be made by a Majority vote.

(iv) Nominations and voting may then proceed immediately for a replacement Representative if the current Representative is recalled. The Association shall be notified immediately and the replacement Representative will be designated as an "interim" Chapter Representative and will fulfill the remainder of the term in question.

(d) Removal of a Chapter Representative by the International shall be governed by the guidelines below.

(i) Should a Chapter Representative fail to submit meeting minutes and/or quarterly reports for two (2) consecutive quarters or more than three (3) times in a fiscal year; the Executive Officers shall have the authority to remove the Chapter Representative by two-thirds (2/3) vote.

(ii) Chapters shall have thirty (30) days to appoint or re-elect a new Chapter Representative to the Executive Board.

(iii) The Chapter Outreach Chair shall appoint a Chapter Representative. The Association shall be notified immediately and the replacement Representative will be designated as an “interim” Chapter Representative and will fulfill the remainder of the term in question.

3) MEMBERS AT LARGE:Two (2) Members-At-Large shall be elected by the General Membership to represent the interests and concerns of Members of the Association who are not Members of Chapters. The Independent Members in the Association will be divided up equally whenever possible, between the two (2) Members-At-Large based on the number of Independent Members in the Association.

Contact of the Members-At-Large and their alphabetical assignments shall be published in the LINK every quarter along with the Association’s website.

4) THE AFFILIATE AND COMMERCIAL MEMBERSHIP CHAIR: shall be directly answerable to the concerns and needs of all Affiliate and Commercial Members of the Association.

5) DOMESTIC VIOLENCE COMMITTEE CHAIR:shall chair the Domestic Violence Committee and ensure the on-going work of the Association in the education about, and prevention of, Domestic Violence both within the Leather community and outside.

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E. ELECTION AND REMOVAL PROCEDURES:

1) GENERAL ANNUAL ELECTION:

(a) The Election and Credential Committee shall call for nominations to the Executive Board at the start of the third (3rd) quarter of each year.

(i) Membership must be notified of the rules, deadlines, and positions open for nomination at least forty-five (45) days before the start of the election, either by the Association newsletter or by special electronic mailing.

(ii) When nominations are received, the Election and Credential Committee will check the eligibility of both the Member nominating and the Member being nominated.

(iii) All nominees for the position of President or Vice President of the Association must be current Members in good standing of NLA-I for a minimum of one (1) year (365 days) prior to the nomination being made.

(iv) An electronic mail must be sent to the Members nominated with a mandatory response date.

(v) The nominated Member must return the electronic mail signed and attach a biography.

(vi) If a nominee does not respond within the allotted time, an attempt must be made to receive voice confirmation. Upon receipt of voice confirmation, a duplicate electronic mail must be sent to the nominee and returned by a given date.

(vii) Ballots must be electronically mailed to the General Membership forty-five (45) days before voting cutoff date.

(viii) Voting shall be done via a secure internet-voting site that issues voter keys to ensure voter integrity.

(ix) Appropriate Electronic communication and notification shall be used during this process whenever appropriate.

(b) Once voting is complete:

(i) The new Executive Board Members will be sent an electronic mail from the Election and Credential Committee confirming their election and will provide them with a full list of Executive Board Members.

(ii) Members who were nominated but not elected will receive an electronic mail from the Election and Credential Committee thanking for their participation. This electronic mail will also include a list of the entire Executive Board.

(iii) The General Membership must be notified of the results, in a timely manner, in the Association newsletter. The Association newsletter and website must also carry a complete list of Executive Board Members.

(iv) Newly elected Executive Officers shall assume their office on January 1st immediately following the election. Executive Officers or Chairs appointed shall assume their office once they are voted in by the Executive Board and shall serve out only the reminder time of that Executive Officers or Chairs term. This policy shall also refer to both the Chapter Outreach Chair and Wisdom Keeper.

2) REMOVAL FOR ATTENDANCE:

(a) Any Member of the Executive Board who misses two consecutive Executive Board meetings without notifying the President of their absence prior to the meetings may be asked to resign from the Board by the Executive Officers.

(b) The Member in question must be notified of said request in writing by the President of the Association.

(c) Executive Board meetings as referenced above are defined as the scheduled quarterly meetings of the Executive Board.

(d) The Member who has been asked to resign has the right to appeal to the Executive Board at the next scheduled meeting of that body.

(e) A simple majority vote of the Executive Board will decide the appeal.

3) REMOVAL OF EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER – GENERAL: Any Member of the
Executive Board may be removed by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the sitting Executive Board or by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the General Membership by ballot. Prior to the discussion and vote for suspension or removal, the Officer in question must be notified according to due process and be allowed to address any charges.

(a) Removal from office does not mandate a revocation of Membership unless specific action to do so is also undertaken and approved by the Executive Board as according to current Policies and Procedures.

(b) The Member in question shall be informed of any comments, discussion, or accusations made public in any of the Association’s publications, prior to publication, and afforded the opportunity to present counter arguments or rebuttals to such, to be published within the same issue of said publication.

(c) The person in question shall be notified before any vote effecting their standing, and have the right to present rebuttal as they may choose.

(d) Any removal from Office shall be conducted according to the most recent version of Robert's Rules of Order, and no person shall be removed from a lesser or lower position of Membership or Office in the Association before they are removed by due process from any higher position they may occupy.

(e) Any consideration of removal shall be conducted using the same standards of ethics and confidentiality as detailed in Article I, Section C.

4) VACANCY IN OFFICE: If an office becomes vacant for any reason and there is more than three (3) months remaining in the term, the Executive Board shall, by two-thirds (2/3) vote of the body, appoint an interim Officer or Board Member to fill the position. The Executive Board shall also announce the name of the interim Officer or Board Member, and call for nominations from the general Membership to fill the vacated office in the next general election if the position is an elected one. It is the responsibility of the Executive Board to notify the general Membership by electronic mail, and through all Associational publications to call for nominations in a timely manner.

(a) The interim Officer or Chair may place their name in nomination.

(b) Any person either selected as a Board Member, or nominated to fill the vacancy, must be eligible to hold such office, according to current Policies and Procedures, and the Bylaws of the Association.

(c) The interim Officer will be excused from office at the completion of the election process, unless elected by the General Membership to that office.

(d) The newly elected Officer's term will be for the remainder of the term left vacated.

5) VACANCY DUE TO INCAPACITATION, DEATH, OR RESIGNATION OF THE PRESIDENT OR VICE PRESIDENT:

(a) In the event that the President of the Association shall become incapacitated or incompetent due to illness or accident, the duties of the President shall be carried out by the Vice President during the period of incapacity or incompetence. If such period of incapacity or incompetence appears that it will last beyond two (2) weeks’ time, the duties of the Vice President shall be carried out by such Board Member as is elected or appointed by the Executive Board in an emergency meeting to be called by the Vice President as acting President.

(b) In the event of the death or resignation of the President of the Association, the duties of the President shall be immediately carried out by the Vice President as Acting President until such time as the next regular general election. The duties of the Vice- President shall be carried out by such Board Member as is elected or appointed by the Executive Board in an emergency meeting.

(c) In the event that the Vice President of the Association shall become incapacitated or incompetent due to illness or accident and if such period of incapacity or incompetence appears that it will last beyond two (2) weeks’ time, the duties of the Vice President shall be carried out by such Board Member as is elected or appointed by the Executive Board in an emergency meeting to be called by the President.

(d) In the event of the death or resignation of the Vice President of the Association, the duties of the Vice President shall be immediately be carried out by such Board Member that is elected or appointed by the Executive Board in an emergency meeting. The Acting Vice President shall serve until such time as the next regular general election.

F. TRAVEL ALLOWANCE:

1. Each active voting Member of the Executive Board shall be advanced a modest preset stipend to assist with travel expenses to each scheduled "in person" Board Meeting or Retreat, so long as these allowances do not put the fiscal needs of the Association in financial peril. The allotments must be requested from the Treasurer via electronic mail at least thirty (30) days prior to the event (if possible) and will be as follows:

(a) Less than 200 miles from event = $0.00

(b) 201 – 500 miles from event = $100.00 (mileage will be based on an honor system)

(c) Over 500 miles from event = $200.00 (mileage will be based on an honor system)

(d) Traveling from outside the US = $250.00 US Funds

2. Unused funds may not be accrued. Refunds to the Association will be due anytime allotments are given to a Board Member who does not attend the event it is allotted for. This stipend may be used for airfare, hotel, auto transportation costs, car rental, meals or any other travel related expense.

G. RECORDS OF OFFICE:

1. All Members of the Executive Board upon expiration or termination of their term(s) in office will deliver to their successors and/or other Members of the Executive Board, any and all property of NLA-I as well as copies of their records of office.

2. The Secretary of the Association shall be responsible for disseminating such materials and records to the successors in question, to the NLA-I archival records, or to securely destroy such materials as appropriate.

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III. STANDING COMMITTEES OF THE ASSOCIATION

A. STANDING COMMITTEES – GENERAL:

1. Chairs of Standing Committees shall be elected or appointed as stipulated in Article II, Section B of the Association’s Policies and Procedures. For those positions that are appointed by the Executive Officers, such appointment shall require a majority vote of the Executive Board. The Membership and duties of each Committee shall be determined by the Executive Board as reflected by specific Policies and Procedures.

2. Each Standing Committee of the Executive Board, and any Ad Hoc Committee's established by the Executive Board shall issue a committee report at each regularly scheduled meeting of the Executive Board, and as required by the Executive Board. The Committee Chairs are expected to attend all regularly scheduled meetings of the Executive Board as Nonvoting Members of the Executive Board, unless already serving as elected Members of the Executive Board.

3. Chairs of Standing Committees and all Ad Hoc Committees are held to the same standards of attendance as voting Members of the Executive Board. Further, if the Executive Board does not receive a mandated Committee report for more than two consecutive regularly scheduled meetings, the Executive Board shall exercise the procedures outlined under Article II, Section D and Subsection 3 for possible removal.

B. MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE:

1) The Chair of the Membership Committee shall:

(a) Be selected as per Article III above.

(b) Issue a quarterly report to the Executive Board at its regularly scheduled meetings.

(c) Serve on the Elections and Credentials Committee, but not as the Chair.

(d) Certify the eligibility of candidates for the annual elections.

(e) Maintain an accurate voting roster of the General Membership.

(f) Select a working committee to assist in the duties of the Membership Committee.

2) The Membership Committee shall:

(a) Ensure that Membership applications and renewals are processed and recorded in a timely fashion.

(b) Mail out membership packets to new and renewing Members in a timely fashion.

(c) Investigate and resolve all disputes or inquiries regarding Membership in a timely manner, issuing a report of any dispute to the President and Vice President of the Association.

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C. ELECTIONS AND CREDENTIAL COMMITTEE:The Chair of the Election and
Credential Committee will be selected from the Executive Board and shall be appointed by the
President. The remaining two positions on the Election and Credential Committee will be filled by
the Treasurer and the Vice President. The Election and Credential Committee will be responsible
for:

1. Organizing and operating regular elections as provided in the Policies and Procedures
Manual.

2. Organizing and operating any special election deemed necessary by the Executive Board
or initiated by a petition from the General Membership.

3. Receiving and reviewing all petitions initiated through the initiative or recall process and
acting on such petitions.

4. Soliciting nominees for all International Board Members.

5. Verifying the eligibility of each nominee to hold elected office.

6. Notifying the Member nominating and the nominee if not eligible to hold office.

7. If ineligibility is due to nonpayment of dues inform the Member of the date dues must be
received to become eligible.

8. Provide a list of certified candidates to the President and the Publications Chair of the
LINK.

9. Set up and maintain the secured election for the General Membership on the internet site
chosen and ensure that all eligible Members are set up to receive a ballot from said site.

D. BUDGET AND FINANCE COMMITTEE:The Executive Officers shall appoint the Chair.
As stipulated in Article II, Section B, Subsection 4, part g, the Treasurer shall be a Member of, but not be the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee.

1) MEMBERSHIP: The Budget and Finance Committee shall consist of at least four (4) and no more than six (6) people, appointed and approved by the Executive Board.

(a) The Treasurer

(b) The Chapter Outreach Chair

(c) At least one Member-At-Large or Chapter Representative of the Executive Board, and

(d) At least one Member in good standing of NLA-I who is not serving on the Executive Board in any other capacity.

2) DUTIES:

(a) The Committee shall issue a quarterly Financial Report to the Executive Board at the regularly scheduled meetings of that body.

(b) The Committee shall determine an annual budget of the Association to be presented to the Executive Board at LIL and the Annual General Meeting.

(c) The Committee shall ensure that monthly reports are issued to the President and Vice President of the Association, consisting of an original copy of the Bank Statement, and a monthly Balance sheet.

E. CHAPTER OUTREACH COMMITTEE: The Committee shall:

(a) Be composed of the Chapter Outreach Committee Chair, the Chairs/Presidents of each Chapter in good standing, the Vice President and at least one Member-At-Large from the Executive Board.

(b) Meet annually at LIL and the Annual General Membership meeting.

(c) Work with the Executive Officers to resolve issues between the Chapters and the Executive Board.

(d) Actively solicit input and material from Chapters for the Association’s publications and website.

(e) The Committee shall issue a Quarterly Report to the Executive Board at the regularly scheduled meetings of that body.

F. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE COMMITTEE:

1) The Committee shall:

(a) Be composed of the Domestic Violence Committee Chair, one Member of the NLA-I Executive Board and one Chapter Domestic Violence Liaison from each NLA-I Chapter.

(b) Ensure that the education of Domestic Violence is continued among the Association’s work.

(c) Work with the Publications Committee to ensure that all publicly released documents are readily available printed and electronic form as requested and authorized by the Domestic Violence Chair.

(d) All members of the Domestic Violence Committee are required to be International Members.

2) Structure of the Domestic Violence Committee Project:

(a) NLA-International Domestic Violence Chair oversees the Committee as outlined in the Bylaws and Policies and Procedures of the Association.

(b) Regional Representatives consist of authorized educational and sensitivity presenters and outreach personnel to the Domestic Violence Committee.

(c) Outreach Coordinator is responsible for volunteer coordination, NLA-I Chapter level support and non NLA-I community outreach for the NLA-I Domestic Violence Committee.

(d) Chapter Domestic Violence Liaisons are Chapter level Representatives for the international level Domestic Violence Committee.

(e) Advisory Committee members offer professional advice, support and guidance to the Domestic Violence Committee.

3) The Committee shall issue a quarterly report to the Executive Board at the regularly scheduled meetings of that body.

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G. POLICY AND PROCEDURE COMMITTEE:

1) THE CHAIR OF THE POLICY AND PROCEDURE COMMITTEE SHALL:

(a) Be selected as per Article III above.

(b) Issue a quarterly report to the Executive Board at its regularly scheduled meetings.

(c) Select a working committee to assist in the duties of the Policies and Procedures Committee.

(d) Be available as a resource to NLA-I Chapters for questions regarding Bylaws and Policies and Procedures.

(e) Serve as the Parliamentarian and Sergeant At Arms during Executive Board Meetings.

2) THE POLICY AND PROCEDURE COMMITTEE SHALL:

(a) Ensure that current copies of both the Bylaws and the current Policies and Procedures of the Association are available to all Members of the Executive Board.

(b) Ensure that both the Bylaws and the current Policies and Procedures of the Association are posted on the Association’s website.

(c) Draft proposed changes or additions to Associational Policies and Procedures or the Bylaws as requested by the Executive Officers.

(d) Review other proposed changes, or questions about Policies and Procedures or the Bylaws, and give recommendations to the Executive Board.

(e) The Committee shall issue a quarterly report to the Executive Board at the regularly scheduled meetings of that body.

H. PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE:

1) THE CHAIR OF THE PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE SHALL:

(a) Be selected as per Article III above.

(b) Issue a quarterly report to the Executive Board at its regularly scheduled meetings.

(c) Select a working committee to assist in the duties of the Publications Committee.

(d) Assist the Executive Board in the recruitment and selection of a qualified Webmaster to administer the Association’s website. That person shall also serve as a Member and/or Chair of the Publications Committee.

2) THE PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE SHALL:

(a) Ensure the timely publication and distribution of the Association’s Newsletter.

(b) Solicit applicable material for inclusion in the Newsletter.

(c) Ensure the Association’s website is properly administered and updated.

(d) Ensure that the minutes of all Executive Board meetings, deadlines for nominations and proposed Bylaw changes, and Election slates are published in the Newsletter.

I. EDUCATION COMMITTEE:

1) THE CHAIR OF THE EDUCATION COMMITTEE SHALL:

(a) Be selected as per Article III above.

(b) Issue a quarterly report to the Executive Board at its regularly scheduled meetings.

(c) Recruit and select up to five (5) Members to assist in the duties of the Education Committee.

(d) All recruits and selected Members must have at least six (6) years in the Leather/ BDSM/ Fetish lifestyle to be on this committee and be approved by the board.

(e) The President shall be a Member of this committee but not the chair.

2) THE EDUCATION COMMITTEE SHALL:

(a) Focus on vetting key speakers, presenters, and all educational material that comes into NLA-I to be listed, printed or posted to the Membership.

J. AD HOC COMMITTEES:

1. The Executive Board shall establish Ad Hoc Committees as needed.

2. The Membership and duties of said Committees, as established by the Executive Board, shall be added to current Policies and Procedures for the duration of the Committees life span.

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IV. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE ASSOCIATION TO THE CHAPTERS

A. EXECUTIVE BOARD VETO:

1. The primary duty of the Executive Board of the National Leather Association - International is to maintain the integrity of the Association; to ensure the continuation of the Association; and to ensure that the Statement of Purpose is adhered to.

2. The Executive Board of the Association can veto any proposed change to the Association’s Bylaws that would endanger the integrity or continuation of the Association or would interfere with or be contrary to the Statement of Purpose. All voting Members of the Executive Board must agree in order to veto a proposed Bylaw change. If there is one (1) Member of the Executive Board not voting for a veto, then the proposed Bylaw change must be voted upon.

3. The Executive Board must publish in the Association’s newsletter the proposed Bylaw change with discussion as to why it was vetoed.

4. The Executive Board of the Association may hold a proposed Bylaw change to be presented at the Annual General Membership Meeting during the Membership meeting. This is solely to be used when The Executive Board feels that the issue can best be decided by presenting both sides directly to the Membership. It is the responsibility of the Executive Board to publish the proposed Bylaw amendment in the Association’s newsletter at least sixty (60) days before the Membership meeting. Adequate space for both pro and con arguments must be made available.

5. The Executive Board also can veto any proposed Bylaw change that is not proposed by a Member of the Association, or from a Chapter that does not comply with the Statement of Purpose, the Bylaws or the Policies and Procedures of the Association.

B. THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF NLA-I AND ITS COMMITTEES SHALL INSURE THAT EACH CHAPTER IS PROVIDED WITH THE FOLLOWING:

1. Minutes of every Executive Board meeting, including changes in current Policies and Procedures within forty-five (45) days of the meeting.

2. A quarterly Membership report for the individual Chapter.

3. Assignment of a designated contact person on the Executive Board.

C. CONTACT WITH THE CHAPTERS:

1. All official correspondence between Members of the Executive Board and Chapters shall be copied to both the President and the Vice President of the Association.

2. All official correspondence sent to Chapters shall be copied to the Chapter President and Vice President, (or Co-Chairs when applicable) and the Secretary of said Chapter.

D. THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF NLA-I AND ITS COMMITTEES SHALL INSURE THAT EACH MEMBER IS PROVIDED WITH THE FOLLOWING:

1. A Membership card to all Chapter Members within thirty (30) days of payment issued at the Chapter level when possible.

2. A copy of the LINK within twenty (20) days of Publication.

3. Ballots for all annual elections.

4. Reduced rates to the Association’s events for all Members in Good Standing and other benefits as determined by the Executive Board.

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V. RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE CHAPTER TO THE ASSOCIATION

A. TYPES OF CHAPTER MEMBERS:

1. Chapters may have two classes of Membership:

(a) Full Members, who pay dues to the Association and are entitled to all privileges granted Full Members.

(b) Associate Members, who may or may not pay dues to the Chapter, but not to the Association. As such, they are not entitled to any of the privileges of Full Members of the Association.

(c) Chapters may not use the terms "Affiliate" or "Commercial" Member, as these are separate classes of Membership of the Association.

2. National Leather Association - International, NLA-I, and NLA are legally registered names of the Association. Chapters are granted the privilege of using the Association’s name because of their affiliation with the Association, i.e. NLA-Columbus. People who are Full Members of both the Association and their local Chapters are granted the right to use the Association’s name because of their affiliation with the Association. Any person who is not a Full Member of the Association cannot use the acronyms NLA or NLA-I to denote any type of Membership that may infer or lead others to believe that the person is also a Member of the Association.

3. Any Chapter that allows a Membership or privileges not recognized by the Association is in violation of the Policies and Procedures of the Association. If such actions continue, said Chapter may be subject to disciplinary action as detailed in Article V, Section C.

4. The name “NLA-Fresh Leather” is the International agreed upon name for all outreach programs that are for ages 18-35. No other names are to be used by Chapters. The purpose of these programs are to allow the youth of the Leather/BDSM/Fetish communities to develop and grow with their peers

(a) No Fresh Leather program may have a separate bank account or form as a non-profit Association separate from the Chapter. They must be overseen by their local NLA Chapter, and funds must be appropriated by the NLA Chapter Board.

(b) If a Chapter’s State or Province requires a DBA (Doing Business As) title then the Chapter shall purchase and own the name under their Chapter incorporation. It cannot be a separate entity.

(c) All meeting notes and quarterly reports to the International, from the Chapters, should encompass the Fresh Leather programs activities.

(d) Any changes to the Policies and Procedures regarding NLA-Fresh Leather Outreach groups within the Chapter level must go through the same process as all Chapters of the Association.

(e) The Chapter name must accompany the Fresh Leather name (i.e. NLA-Dallas Fresh Leather, the acronym NLA-DFL may be used to shorten the name.)

(f) All Members of a Chapter’s NLA-Fresh Leather Outreach group must be full Members of the Chapter.

5. All Chapters shall be limited to the City of a State or Province. Should a Chapter desire a regional status, it must be contained within the State or Province that the Chapter's city resides within and must be approved by the NLA-International

B. CHAPTERS SHALL:

1. Ensure that all decisions and actions of the Chapter are in accordance to the Association’s Bylaws, Policies and Procedures, and the Association’s Statement of Purpose.

2. Ensure that all Executive Officers and elected Representatives of the Chapter are Members in good standing of the Association. This shall include:

(a) Executive Officers of the Chapter, as defined by the Chapter Bylaws.

(b) Members of any elected Board of Directors, Executive Officers or any other named body of the Chapter that serves as the governing body of the Chapter.

(c) Any Title Holders or similarly selected/appointed Representatives of the Chapter.

(i) Chapters may choose to impose minimum standards of Association or Chapter Membership as an eligibility requirement for potential contestants.

(ii) Chapters shall have up to thirty (30) days from the end of any such contest or selection process to ensure that the person(s) become Members in good standing of the Association.

(d) Only Full Members of the Association may vote in elections to select that Chapters Representative to the Executive Board, or in any other election/vote that directly relates to the Chapters involvement or relationship to the Association, or decisions effecting said relationship.

(e) A list of all Chapter Executive Officers and Members of decision making bodies shall be provided to the Association Membership on a semiannual basis, or as such Membership changes.

3. Maintain a minimum of twelve (12) full Members in good standing of the Association among its Membership at all times.

4. Chapters shall provide a list of all Chapter Members to the Association’s Treasurer on a quarterly basis for reconciliation with the Association’s Membership list.

5. Chapters shall provide the Association with a copy of the minutes of all regularly scheduled meetings, and any special meetings. These minutes may be conveyed through electronic mail or electronic posting to an approved filing service. Chapters shall provide these minutes to the Association’s Secretary within twenty (20) days of said meetings, and the Association shall make them available to all Members of the Association’s Board within thirty (30) days of the actual meeting.

6. All proposed changes to Chapter Bylaws shall be submitted to the President of the Association twenty (20) days prior to any meeting or the start of any election to consider such changes. The President of the Association and the Chair of the Policies and Procedures Committee shall evaluate such Bylaws and make recommendations to the Chapter regarding any possible conflicts with the Association’s Bylaws, Policies and Procedures, or the Statement of Purpose.

(a) In the event that the President believes there to be a conflict between any proposed changes and specific Association Bylaws, Policies and Procedures, or the Statement of Purpose, the President shall advise the Chapter of the possible conflict within seven (7) days of receipt of said changes, and the Chapter shall advise its' voting Members, ten (10) days prior to any vote, that there may be a conflict between the proposed change and the Association.

(b) If possibly conflicting changes are approved on a Chapter level, Article V, Section C, of the Association’s Policies & Procedures shall apply to resolve any possible conflict.

7. Chapters shall collect the Association’s dues directly to the Chapter Treasurer and immediately secure a signed receipt to expedite registration. The Treasurer will notify the President of the Association within ten (10) Business Days of the names of these new or renewing Members and forward all Association Membership dues to the Association’s current Associational address of record immediately. If receipts are not available, the Treasurer shall direct new Association Members to send Association dues directly to the address and person designated by the Association’s Executive Board.

8. To provide a copy of any Chapter Newsletter or regular publication to the Association’s Secretary and the Publications Chair and within twenty (20) days of publication or distribution.

C. REVOCATION OF CHAPTER STATUS: In the event a Chapter is found to be in violation of the Association’s Bylaws, current Policy and Procedure, or the Statement of Purpose, the following measures shall be implemented:

1) COMMUNICATION:

(a) The President of the Association shall communicate the nature of the problem with The Chapter, as per Article IV, Section C.

(b) Communication shall be initiated with ten (10) days of the Association’s President becoming aware of any question or potential conflict.

(c) The Chapter shall have thirty (30) days to respond with an initial acknowledgment of the communication and an answer to the issue in question.

(d) The Association’s President shall report the Chapters response to the Executive Officers.

(i) If the Chapter presents a plan to rectify the issue, the Association’s President shall inform the Executive Officers of the Chapters plan, and the timetable presented by the Chapter. The Executive Officers shall then determine, by a simple majority vote if the plan satisfies the duties of the Chapter as determined by current NLA-I Policies and Procedures.

(ii) If the Executive Officers find the Chapters actions to be in violation of the Association’s Bylaws, Policies and Procedures, or the Statement of Purpose, and without a viable plan for rectifying the issue, the Chapter shall be issued a warning of Temporary Revocation of Chapter Status.

(e) Such a finding of Noncompliance must be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Executive Officers.

2) TEMPORARY REVOCATION/SUSPENSION:

(a) If after forty-five (45) days, the Chapter does not make the necessary changes to bring itself back into compliance, the Executive Officers shall invoke the Temporary Revocation of Chapter Status. The President of the Association shall inform the Chapter of this action as per Article IV, Section C.

(b) This Temporary Revocation shall be in effect for sixty (60) days.

(c) The Association’s Executive Officers shall notify all currently listed Full Members of the Chapter in question of the Temporary Revocation and the reasons behind it.

3) PERMANENT REVOCATION:

(a) If after sixty (60) days, the Chapter has not made the changes needed to bring it back into compliance, the Chapter Charter shall be permanently revoked.

(b) This determination must be made by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the Executive Board.

(c) Notice of this decision shall be published in the LINK, and the President of the Association shall inform the Chapter of this action as per Article IV, Section C.

4) APPEAL:

(a) The Chapter may appeal this decision at the Annual General Membership meeting by submitting a motion to the vote of the General Membership.

(b) The intent to present such a notion must be communication in writing to the President of the Association within three (3) days of said meeting.

(c) A three-fourths vote (3/4) of the General Membership shall be required to overturn such a decision.

D. EFFECT ON INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS:

1. Membership in the Association and the privileges of individual Chapter Members who are Full Members of the Association shall not be effected or denied because of Affiliation or Membership in any Chapter who’s Charter has been suspended or revoked.

2. Individual Members of the Association in such Chapters may petition the Executive Officers for consideration of Chapter-In-Formation Status if they desire.

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VI. EVENTS OF THE ASSOCIATION

A. AGE REQUIREMENTS

1. The Executive Board of the Association shall determine the minimum age of attendance at all events hosted by the Association. In the case of Living in Leather (LIL) conference, this shall be determined based on the research and recommendations of the Living in Leather (LIL) committee, based on local conditions and laws.

2. All Full Members of the Association, regardless of age, shall be enabled to attend all Association meetings of the Membership held at events of the Association that would normally be open to the General Membership.

B. WEAPONS

1. No firearms shall be allowed to be carried, displayed or used at any event held by the Association. This includes the Annual General Membership meeting, the Living in Leather (LIL) conference and any other event officially hosted by the Association. This does not necessarily include events hosted by Chapters of the Association.

2. This shall include 'look alike' non-firing replicas, BB or pellet guns and "soft air" guns. This section shall not be construed as to limit or judge the Memberships right to own firearms outside such events, nor shall it be applied to other classes of weapons unless local law at said events places additional restriction on other classes of weapons.

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VII. OFFICIAL STATEMENTS OF THE ORGANIZATION

A. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE OF THE NATIONAL LEATHER ASSOCIATION - INTERNATIONAL:

1. To maintain our national/international communication, information, education and support network for all Members of the Leather/BDSM/Fetish community.

2. To role model the power and pride of all adults who engage in Safe, Sane and Consensual sexual expression and encourage those who fight for decriminalization of all sexual acts between consenting adults.

3. To support individual and organized political activism, visibility and education in order to eradicate stereotypical beliefs, misconceptions and media misrepresentation about the Leather/BDSM/Fetish family in the community at large.

4. To continue providing, through publications, educational material and conferences, a forum for the sharing of knowledge, viewpoints and practices of a diverse network of people.

5. To promote the success and welfare of individuals, associations, publications and businesses within our community; especially against threats to their freedom of expression, freedom of the press, rights to free association and right to equal protection under the law.

6. To welcome women, people of color, transgendered/transsexual, the deaf, the physically challenged, the economically disenfranchised, and others who have traditionally been discriminated against or poorly represented within the Leather/BDSM/Fetish community.

7. To attend, promote and support fundraising for deserving defense funds, projects, and clubs, associations, and/or charities, which have given direct service to the Leather/BDSM/Fetish community.

8. To continue preserving a record of our history, traditions and culture.

B. THE NATIONAL LEATHER ASSOCIATION - INTERNATIONAL’S OFFICIAL STATEMENT ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE:

The National Leather Association - International (NLA-I) calls on the Leather/ BDSM/Fetish community to take the lead in reducing domestic violence through education. No group is free of domestic violence, assault or abuse; but fear, denial and lack of knowledge have slowed public response to this serious social problem. The NLA-I is committed to reducing all forms of domestic violence by:

1. Showing community action can reduce violence.

2. Supporting victims who wish to take legal action against the offender/abuser by providing them with information, referrals and resources.

3. Providing referrals or resources to qualified mental health professionals for offenders/abusers or victims who need support.

4. Listening to and supporting those who have the courage to tell us about their domestic violence and help them end their shame and isolation.

5. Providing outreach within the legal and social service systems to enable them to discern the differences between consensual SM and domestic violence, assault and abuse, and to encourage their appropriate intervention.

6. Taking the responsibility of interacting with the SM community about the forms of domestic violence, assault and abuse as well as its extent and severity. Use of drugs or alcohol as an excuse for domestic violence, assault or abuse is unacceptable. Domestic violence takes many forms: physical violence, assault, isolation, outright or subtle psychological and emotional abuse, economic control, sexual assault and abuse as well as the destruction of personal property. Non-consensual manipulation and assault are not part of SM. The NLA-I advocates relationships based on personal responsibility, honesty and integrity in which power and pleasure is derived from mutual respect.

7. Promoting information about where to go for help.

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AMENDMENTS

CandiAnne Shafer & NLA-I Board - 02/23/2015

Corrected all grammatical errors, (Changes to Remove Membership Chair: All duties will revert to the Treasurer), (Changes to stipulate the Wisdom Keeper serving as Education Chair), (Changes to denote mailing to electronic mailing), (Changes to denote that all voting is now done via secure website) Article I, A), 3, (b), Article I, A), 3, (c): change, Article I, A), 3, (e), Article I, B), 1, (b), (i), Article I, B), 1, (c), Article I, B), 1, (c), (i), Article I, B), 1, (c), (ii), Article I, B), 1, (c), (iii), Article I, B), 1, (c), (iv), Article I, B), 1, (c), (v), Article I, B), 1, (c), (v), Article I, B), 1, (c), (viii), Article I, B), 2, (b), Article I, B), 2, (c), Article I, B), 2, (c), (i), Article I, B), 2, (c), (ii), Article I, B), 2, (c) , (iv), Article I, B), 2, (c), (v), Article I, B), 2, (c), (vii), Article I, B), 3, (a), Article I, C), 1, (c), Article I, C), 1, (c), Article I, C), 1, (c), Article I, C), 2, (a), Article I, D), 1, Article I, D), 2, Article I, D), 2, (f), Article I, E), 2, Article II, A), 1, Article II, B), 4, Article II, B), 7, Article II, B), 8, Article II, B), 9,(a), Article II, B), 9, (b), Article II, C), 4, Article II, C), 5, Article II, C), 5, Article II, C), 5, Article II, D), 1, Article II, D), 2, Article II, D), 2, (a), (iv), Article II, D, 2, (d), (i), Article II, D), 3, Article II, D), 3, Article II, D), 4, Article II, E), 1, (a), (i), Article II, E), 1, (a), (vi), Article II, E), 1, (a), (vii), Article II, E), 1, (a),(viii), Article II, E), 1, (a), (ix), Article II, E), 1, (b), Article II, E), 1, (b), (i), Article II, E), 1, (b), (iii),Article II, E), 3,Article II, E), 3, (b), (c), (d), Article II, E), 4, Article III, C), Article III, C), 4, Article III, C), 9, Article III, F), 1,(a), Article IV, B), 2, Article V, A), 2, Article V, B), 4, Article V, B), 5, Article V, B), 7


Vince Andrews - 08/22/2010

Revised: Article II, Section D, subsection 2; Revised: Article II, Section D, Subsection 2, Line a, subparts iii and iv; Added: Article II, Section D, subsection 2, Line d; Struck: Article II, Section E, subsection 3, line F; Struck: Article II, Section E, Subsection 4, line e


Tye / P&P Chair - 07/02/2010

Corrected layout errors: Article III, Section A, corrected reference; Article II, Section D, corrected reference; Article II, Section E, Subsection 4, line f, corrected to join f into e typo; Article II, Section B, Subsection 10, corrected reference


seraphina / DV Chair - 06/28/2010

Revised Article III, Section F; Revised Article VII, Section B.


NLA-I Board - 08/27/2008

Entire Document: Grammatical and layout errors were corrected. Added ARTICLE I, section A, part 2, subsection e. Added ARTICLE I, section A, part 3, subsection d. Added ARTICLE I, section A, part 3 subsection e. Amended ARTICLE I, section B, part 2, subsection b. Amended ARTICLE I, section B, part 2, subsection c, subsection iii. Amended ARTICLE I, section E, part 3. Amended ARTICLE II, section B, part 4. Amended ARTICLE II, section C, part 4, subsection c. Added ARTICLE II, section C, part 5. Amended ARTICLE II, section D, part 1, subsection i and ii. Removed ARTICLE II, section D, part 1. Renamed ARTICLE II, section D, part 26 to 16. Amended ARTICLE II, section D, part 4. Amended ARTICLE II, section D, part 4 and 5. Amended ARTICLE II, section E, part 1, subsection b, subpart vi. Amended ARTICLE II, section E, part 4. Amended ARTICLE II, section E, part 4, subsection a. Amended ARTICLE III, section D, part 2 subsection b. Amended ARTICLE III, section E, part 2. Amended Article VI, section A, part 1. Amended Article VI, section B, part 1. Amended Article VII, section A, part 1. Amended Article VII, section B. Amended Article VII, section B part 16.


Vince Andrews - 06/18/2007

Added ARTICLE I, section A, part 4, subsection af.


Vince Andrews - 04/16/2007

Added ARTICLE II, section B, part 9, subsection a and b. Added ARTICLE II, section C, part 1, subsection f. Added ARTICLE II, section C, part 2, subsection e. Added ARTICLE II, section C, part 3, subsection h. Added ARTICLE II, section C, part 4, subsection e. Rewrote ARTICLE II, section E, part 1, subsection a. Rewrote ARTICLE II, section E, part 1, subsection b, subpart vi. Added ARTICLE III, section I, part 1, subsection ae. Added ARTICLE III, section I, part 2, subsection a. Renamed ARTICLE III, section I: AD HOC Committees to ARTICLE III, section J: AD HOC Committees.


Vince Andrews - 10/10/2006

Rewrote ARTICLE 1, section A, part 2, subsection b. Rewrote ARTICLE 1, section A, part 3, subsections b and c.


NLA-I Board - 06/09/2006

ARTICLE II, section E, part 1 Add New item, i. Created new subpart iii, Renamed old subparts iii through ix to iv through x. Changed subpart viii.


Robert Owen - 11/21/2001

Article III Section C, Section F, Section G / Article IV Section D Item 1 / Article V Section A / Article VII Section A Items 18/


Victoria Knight (RO) - 11/23/2001

Article V Section B

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