BYLAWS

San Luis Valley 

Regional Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster

ARTICLE I: NAME

The name of the organization is San Luis Valley Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, hereafter referred to as the SLV VOAD.

ARTICLE II: MISSION AND PURPOSE

 

The mission of the SLV VOAD is to build community strength, collaboration, and resilience to help our community prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters in partnership with local emergency response organizations. This will be achieved through cooperation, coordination, communication and collaboration of Participants. 

The purpose of the San Luis Valley VOAD (SLVVOAD) is to unite the efforts of community, government, faith based organizations, businesses and non-profit organizations within the jurisdiction of the Counties of Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande and Saguache to provide collaborative support, holistic response, and effective relief to people affected by disaster within communities of the the San Luis Valley. The San Luis Valley VOAD strives to connect community and business leaders, government representatives, and voluntary organizations in planning and preparedness before disaster events occur. The SLVVOAD is not a service delivery organization, but rather strategically networks its autonomous Member organization’s efforts to maximize the capabilities of Member organizations and to help disaster survivors and their communities.  The SLVVOAD will affiliate with the Colorado VOAD and be an advocate for disaster relief, preparedness, response, and recovery operations that are consistent with the values of the National VOAD, which are cooperation, communication, collaboration, and coordination. 

 

ARTICLE III: TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

 

Points of Consensus: The National VOAD promulgates documents called “Points of Consensus,” ratified by the membership of National VOAD, on topics such as cleanup, safety, consent, long term recovery, spiritual and emotional care, volunteer management, respect for cultural and beliefs, and several other topics. The Points of Consensus are located at http://www.nvoad.org

Quorum: For SLVVOAD meetings, a Quorum shall consist of not fewer than five (5) Members in Good Standing or, in the event that the total number Members in Good Standing falls below five (5), Quorum shall consist of 25% of the total number of Members in Good Standing, rounded up to the nearest integer. For Coordinating Committee meetings, a Quorum shall consist of 51% or greater of the total Members elected to the Coordinating Committee. 

 

Majority: Majority shall mean approval by 51% or greater of the applicable voting body of Members in Good Standing, who are present.

Super-Majority: Super-Majority shall mean approval by 67% or greater of the applicable voting body of Members in Good Standing, who are present. 

Consensus: Consensus shall mean that all Participants shall have the opportunity to express dissent or concerns, that the body acknowledge and discuss the dissent or concerns, and approval by unanimity minus two of the applicable voting body of Members in Good Standing, who are present.

 

Participant: Any Member or Partner organization of SLV VOAD

Member: Shall have the meaning set forth in Article IV, Section A.

 

Partner: Shall have the meaning set forth in Article IV, Section A.

 

VOAD Secretary:  An elected Member of the SLV VOAD that assist with correspondence, keep records, make appointments, and carry out tasks as assigned by the Chairperson.

ARTICLE IV: PARTICIPATION AND MEMBERSHIP

All Members in Good Standing of the SLV VOAD have equal voice in, and access to, all programs and activities of the SLV VOAD. The SLV VOAD will strive to operate by consensus and ensure no single Participant has greater control or influence than another.

The SLV VOAD is a collaborative and inclusive network consisting of, but not limited to, independent voluntary and faith-based organizations and community-based organizations that may be active in any or all phases of disaster, to include prevention, preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation. Each SLV VOAD Participant will maintain its own identity and independence, while collaborating closely with other SLV VOAD Participants, interfaith organizations, community leaders, and local, state, or federal authorities.

 

A. Classes of Participants

Member: Organizations that meet any of the following criteria, and do not qualify as a Partner or have opted to be a Partner, and meet the Conditions of Good Standing below, are eligible for voting membership in the SLV VOAD and may submit an application for membership. 

  1. Organizations with voluntary membership and constituencies, including communities of faith, which are voluntary, in the sense that they depend upon volunteers for the provision of emergency response-related services.

  2. Organizations that have a demonstrated disaster services program and policies for commitment of resources to meet the needs of people affected by disaster.

  3. Organizations that serve those in need due to a disaster without discrimination.

  4. Organizations that operate to provide substantial resources or services throughout the region, state, or nationwide.

  5. Organizations with a non-profit structure designated under IRS Code as a 501(c)(3)corporation, or those that could reasonably expect to meet such qualifications.

  6. Organizations whose membership has not been revoked pursuant to these Bylaws.

Partner: Government organizations, businesses, educational institutions, foundations, and corporations desiring to become partners may apply to the SLV VOAD stating the capabilities their organizations may provide during a local disaster response, and include the extent to which the organization may participate in planning and training which will enable them to fulfill that obligation. Any organization that would otherwise qualify as a Member may elect to be a Partner.

Partners shall be ex-officio members of the SLV VOAD (with a voice, but no vote); and may serve as Chairs of non-Standing Committees

 

B. Conditions of Good Standing: Members and Partners must meet the respective membership class criteria of the SLV VOAD. 

  1. Members and Partners should be willing to meet the needs of people affected by disaster in an inclusive way, and without unlawful discrimination. 

  2. Members and Partners must agree to support the mission of the SLV VOAD and operate in a manner consistent with the Points of Consensus of the National VOAD.

  3. Members and Partners must agree to have their organization listed on the membership list of the SVL VOAD. 

  4. Members must appoint at least one, and preferably an alternate authorized organization representative, who is authorized to speak and vote on behalf of their organization, to attend regular, special, and emergency meetings of the SLV VOAD as may duly be called. 

  5. Members are required to attend at least one meeting per year to maintain their Good Standing status. 

  6. Members and Partners must provide-up-to-date information on changes in the organization’s authorized contact information and services.  

 

C. Participant Application Procedures: Organizations requesting to become a SLV VOAD Participant will apply to the SLV VOAD by describing their intended commitment and indicating whether they are seeking to apply for Member or Partner status. 

  1. The Coordinating Committee may convene a Membership Committee to determine category eligibility of the candidate organization based upon the SLV VOAD Bylaws. 

  2. Approval of the Applicant shall be based solely on evaluating whether their activities associated with disaster response and recovery are consistent with these Bylaws. 

  3. The SLV VOAD is an inclusive organization with the intent to provide collective impact. Membership or Partnership will not be denied in the SLV VOAD unless the applicant’s mission materially and irreconcilably conflicts with the Conditions of Good Standing, as determined solely by the membership bodies charged with approval of the membership application. 

  4. The applicant shall become a Member or Partner after the Coordinating Committee, or Membership Committee (if convened) accepts the applicant’s membership application by Majority vote. The Coordinating Committee shall notify all other SLV VOAD Participants whenever a new Participant is approved. 

D. Termination of Participation and Good Standing Status: A SLV VOAD Participant may voluntarily terminate Participations by submitting a Letter of Separation or voluntarily terminate Good Standing Status by submitting a Letter of Termination of Good Standing to the Coordinating Committee. 

  1. Failure to meet the Conditions of Good Standing, as determined solely by the competent membership bodies, shall be grounds for involuntary termination of a Participant’s participation or Good Standing status. A motion for Involuntary Termination of a Member or Partner’s participation or Good Standing status may be brought by any Member or Partner in Good Standing, and requires a Majority vote of a regular SLV VOAD meeting for approval.

  2. The Secretary shall administratively terminate a Participant’s Good Standing status if the Participant fails to participate in any SLV VOAD meetings for one year.

  3. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Secretary shall administratively renew a Participant’s Good Standing status when a Participant participates in any SLV VOAD meeting, provided the Participant’s Good Standing status or membership has not been formally terminated, pursuant to these Bylaws.

  4. Other than for administrative renewal of Good Standing status, a Participant may request formal reinstatement of Participant or Good Standing status by submitting a letter to the Executive Committee explaining why the status/membership should be renewed. Upon recommendation of the Executive Committee, Participant or Good Standing status may be reinstated pursuant to the “Participant Application Procedures” above.

 

ARTICLE V: MEETINGS

 

A. Meeting Guidelines: To the greatest extent possible, the meetings of the SLV VOAD will be guided by principles of consensus. Failing such consensus, it shall be the prerogative of the Chairperson to invoke and announce the application of Robert’s Rules of Order, if all such action must be consistent with these bylaws.

  1. Meeting minutes will be taken by the SLV VOAD Secretary, or Participant representative designated by the Chairperson in the Secretary’s absence.

  2. Proposed minutes will be distributed within two (2) weeks of the meeting date and approved at the next regular meeting. Approved minutes are distributed accordingly.

  3. Minutes may be distributed to members and partners through electronic means. 

  4. Meeting participation by teleconference or other comparable electronic media shall constitute participation by a Participant.

  5. Subject matter experts or advisors may attend regular/emergency meetings at the invitation of any Participant.

 

B. Regular Meetings: The SLV VOAD will meet at least four times per year. Unless otherwise noticed, the annual meeting will take place during the fourth quarter of the calendar year. 

  1. The SLV VOAD meetings shall be held at places throughout the counties of Alamosa, Conejos Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande and Saguache as determined by the Coordinating Committee. 

  2. Electronic notification, including meeting agenda, shall be send to all Participants at least 14 days prior to any regular SLV VOAD meeting. The two weeks electronic notification can be waived if all Participants in Good Standing are notified by telephone. 

  3. Special meetings may be called by any three (3) of the Members in Good Standing of the SLV VOAD or by a Majority vote of the voting Members of the Coordinating Committee. 

  4. Special meetings may be held at any time and place upon not less than three (3) days’ electronic notice to SLV VOAD Participants. 

  5. Training and Disaster Exercises may take the place of a regular meeting if approved by a Majority Vote.

C. Emergency Meetings: Emergency meetings to respond to the needs of disaster events or drills can be called at any time by the SLV VOAD Executive Committee or the Chairperson acting alone, with minimal notice. Participation by Participants may be in person, electronic, or telephonic.

  1. Emergency meetings are open to all Participants and those agencies or organizations with specific response and recovery responsibilities that concern the SLV VOAD or that the Executive Committee deems critical or desirable under the circumstances.

 

ARTICLE VI: COORDINATING & STANDING COMMITTEES

A. Coordinating Committee: The only standing committee is the Coordinating Committee and shall consist of the Chairperson, CoChairperson, and Secretary, and up to three optional At-Large Executive Committee positions.

  1. No other individuals shall have membership in the Coordinating Committee; however, the Coordinating Committee may seek advice, counsel, and periodic participation from other Participants and others not associated with SLV VOAD.

  2. The Coordinating Committee may appoint other committees and working groups as required.

  3. Coordinating Committee meetings of the SLV VOAD shall take place as needed.

  4. The Coordinating Committee shall also facilitate elections, including ballot preparation, dissemination, collection, and counting.

  5. The Coordinating Committee shall ensure that a current list of Participants to include up-to-date contact information is provided to Participant representatives.

  6. An annual update on SLV VOAD activities will be drafted by the Coordinating Committee for inclusion in the minutes of the last meeting of the calendar year.

  7. The SLV VOAD Coordinating Committee will provide, at least annually, a current list of Participants.

B. Election and Terms: Each Coordinating Committee member shall be nominated for their respective positions (Chair, CoChair, Secretary, or At-Large), which nominations shall be ratified at the Annual Meeting of the SLV VOAD by a Majority vote. The term of office for the officers shall begin immediately upon their election.

  1. Coordinating Committee members must be from a Member organization of the SLV VOAD, in Good Standing. Each elected leader must be a representative from a different organization.

  2. Any Member in Good Standing of the SLV VOAD may nominate members as leaders. Each candidate must be selected from an organization that is a Member in Good Standing. Nominations must be seconded to be accepted and placed on the ballot.

  3. The term for each Coordinating Committee position shall be for a period of two calendar year.

  4. The term for each Coordinating Committee position may be automatically extended for up to 90 days if extenuating circumstances delay an annual election.

  5. If an annual election of Coordinating Committee members is not held within one calendar year plus 90 days after the prior election, the terms of all elected officers shall expire, the Coordinating Committee shall automatically dissolve, and elections shall be held at the following meeting, which shall be deemed the Annual Meeting.

  6. Coordinating Committee members are eligible for nomination and reelection in sequential years.

  7. An individual may only hold the same Coordinating Committee position for three successive terms. No single individual will be allowed to hold more than one position on the Executive Committee.

  8. Any Coordinating Committee position may be voluntarily vacated at any time for any reason and the vacancy shall be filled by appointment of the Executive Committee for the duration of that term.

  9. Any Coordinating Committee position may be involuntarily vacated for failure to comply with the SLV VOAD mission and/or coordinating responsibilities by simple Majority recommendation of the Coordinating Committee at a meeting called in accordance with the provision of these bylaws. The Chairperson will notify the Member organization of the involuntary vacation of their representative.

C. Coordinating Responsibilities: The Chairperson or an assigned representative presides at all meetings of the SLV VOAD and Coordinating Committee. The Chairperson is the liaison to the Colorado and National VOAD and acts as spokesperson and representative for the SLV VOAD. The Chairperson signs any documents that the Members have authorized and convenes meetings. The Chairperson is responsible for preparing and distributing the meeting agendas.

 

 

  1. The CoChairperson will perform the duties of the Chairperson or Secretary in the absence of those officers. The Vice-Chairperson will temporarily assume the position of Chairperson if the Chairperson fails to complete his/her term. The Vice-Chairperson may also perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Executive Committee.

  2. The Secretary attends and keeps records at all meetings of general membership and Executive Committee. The Secretary will make copies of the minutes from all meetings available to all Participants within two (2) weeks of the meeting date. The Secretary maintains an accurate and current list of Participants and their capabilities and points of contact information.

ARTICLE VII: VOTING AND NOTICE

A. Voting: Each Member organization in Good Standing is entitled to one vote, regardless of the number of attendees from that organization. Votes shall be cast by the authorized representative of each Member organization.

  1. All Members, Partners, and invited guests are allowed and encouraged to participate in discussions.

  2. An individual present may represent more than one organization; however, an individual has only one vote, no matter how many organizations he/she represents.

  3. The presence of a Quorum shall be necessary to conduct the business of the SLV VOAD, or conduct any vote. 

  4. Except as otherwise expressly provided for in these Bylaws, a simple Majority vote of Members in Good Standing shall be sufficient to ratify or enact any SLV VOAD action taken by the entire membership or the Coordinating Committee.

  5. Voting at all regular meetings of the SLV VOAD shall be decided by paper, voice, electronic communication (i.e. email) or show of hands.

  6. Voting by proxy shall not be permitted. If a SLV VOAD Member organization’s designated representative cannot be present to vote, an alternate representative is permitted to vote on behalf of the Member organization.

  7. All votes, whether formal or by consensus, will be recorded in the meeting minutes.

  8. In the case of the Coordinating Committee, action may be taken by electronic or written communication in lieu of a meeting.

 

B. Notice: All references to written notice shall include notice given by email or other electronic or facsimile transmissions.

ARTICLE VIII: APPROVAL AND AMENDMENTS

  1. Ratification and enactment of these bylaws require a Majority vote of organizations present at a SLV VOAD meeting, which meet the qualifications for a Member in Good Standing.

  2. These bylaws shall be reviewed as needed by Participants and documented in the minutes.

  3. Proposed amendments to these bylaws must be distributed at least 30 days prior to the proposed voting date.

  4. Proposed amendments will be discussed and approved/disapproved at the next meeting following the initial distribution.

  5. A Super-Majority vote shall be required to ratify an amendment.

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