Thursday, May 9, 2013

Examples of District Council membership rules


2 GENERAL CRITERIA Voting membership on the CANDC shall be held by community organizations, not individuals. Members designate one representative and one alternate to the CANDC. Membership may be held only by organizations that operate within the CANDC boundaries, whose stated purpose reflects the values described in Section 1.3. Furthermore, organizations must operate in accordance with democratic principles under a written constitution or bylaws, which exercise a non-discrimination policy equivalent to the CANDC policy stated in Section 2.4.

  1. 2.1  Standing membership is held by neighborhood councils that meet the general criteria. 
  2. 2.2  At-Large membership is held by business or service associations by approval of the District Council. Application for membership must be made to the Executive Committee by written request. The Executive Committee will ensure that minimum requirements for membership are met as set forth in Section 2. The Executive Committee shall promptly make a recommendation to the full Council. The recommendation shall be approved at the following meeting by a simple majority. At-large members shall serve a one year term and may be re-approved for membership, by simple majority vote. 
  3. 2.3  If the members representative(s) has three or more unexcused consecutive absences the member shall lose its voting rights until their representative(s) has attended three meetings. Voting rights are reestablished at the third meeting they attend. 


Section 1. The NEDC shall be composed of community councils and neighborhood business organizations within the District who wish to participate.

In order to set a workable quorum and to maintain a current roster of member organization representatives, on or about November 1 of each year, the existing member organizations will be sent a letter asking whether they wish to continue active NEDC membership in the following year and for the names of their representatives.  An organization may file a response at any time.  The quorum shall be set at one-half plus one of the number of

organizations that have responded.  An organization that fails to respond to the notice and has not had a representative in attendance at any of the previous four NEDC meetings may be deleted from mailings.

A member organization shall become inactive if:
a.  It has not filed a statement of intent to continue NEDC membership, and
b.  A representative of that organization has not attended at least three meetings within the last year, and
c.  The organization has ceased to hold an annual meeting of its neighborhood or constituency;

and thereby sacrifice its right to vote, make or second motions or offer amendments to the NEDC bylaws.  An organization meeting conditions a and b shall be assumed to be inactive and will be so notified.  The assumption of an inactive status will be rescinded any time the organization presents evidence of continual activity as required in c above.  In the absence of such evidence an organization seeking to return to full standing must demonstrate that it has become active and meets the NEDC membership criteria.

Section 5. A new group or organization may by written application request membership at any time.

Section 6. In order to be eligible for membership, a group must operate in accordance with democratic principles and procedures under a written constitution or bylaws providing for open and regular meetings, regular election of their governing boards by the membership, and regular election of officers. The constitution or bylaws must not permit restrictions on membership based on race, creed, color, sexual orientation, or national origin, nor may such restrictions apply in practice.

Section 7. No single business or institution, or religious organization, government agency, special interest group, political party, or action group shall be eligible for membership in the NEDC.


3.1   Membership Classification  Membership on the Council shall be held by community and business organizations, not by individuals.  The Council shall consist of the following representatives:

a.     Organization Representatives  Any organization with membership residing within the designated boundaries of the District, with a stated purpose which reflects the values stated in Article 1.2, and which meets the requirements set forth in Article 3.2., may participate on the Council.

b.     At-Large Council Members  To be eligible for appointment as an at-large member, a person must petition the Council, in writing, with at least nine (9) signatures from residents who live within the designated District boundaries and who are not among the nine (9) members qualifying any organization for membership.  The Council, after determination that all requirements for membership are met, by majority vote, may appoint at-large members.  At-large members shall serve a one (1) year term and may be reappointed by the Council.

c.     Other Participation  All persons within or near the District boundaries, whether a resident, property owner, licensed business operator or owner or designated representative, or representative of any school, church, or other nonprofit organization, are urged to attend and participate on the Council.

3.2   Membership Eligibility  To qualify for representation on the Council, each member organization shall certify annually that it meets the following criteria:

a.     Shall have an active membership of at least nine (9) individuals and/or businesses within the designated District boundaries.  The nine (9) members shall not count toward the nine (9) of any other organization.

b.     Shall hold one (1) general membership meeting annually that is open to the public and at which elections are held.

c.     Shall commit to regular attendance at Council meetings.  (See Article 3.4)

3.3.   Dues  Neither dues nor financial contributions of any kind to the Council shall be prerequisite to membership in or participation on the Council at any level or in any aspect.

3.4.   Decertification  Upon failure of a member organization to submit the annual certification required by Article 3.2 or be represented at three (3) consecutive Council meetings in any twelve (12) month period, the Council shall notify that organization or constituency and request adequate representation for continued participation on the Council.


Section 1.        Membership in the Southwest District Council shall be open to any neighborhood/business group that organizes to represent the interests and the common good of neighborhoods and neighborhood business communities within the geographical boundaries of the Southwest District Council.

Section 2.        Any neighborhood/business group, organized for a minimum of 90-days, as recommended by the “Credentials Committee”, and approved by two-thirds (2/3) of a quorum, will be granted voting privileges.  Each qualified neighborhood/business group shall have one voting member.

Section 3.        The designated voting representative or alternate should be formally identified by the group they represent. 

Section 4.        Nonmember neighborhood and business persons may participate fully in council activities, except for voting and holding office; officers and committee chairs shall be voting members.

Section 5.        Council membership requires active participation, and may be terminated for unexcused absence at three (3) consecutive meetings with a recommendation to the Credentials Committee for termination.

Section 6.        All memberships shall be reviewed every three (3) years in March by the “Credentials Committee.”  If the “Credentials Committee” recommends, and two-thirds (2/3) of a quorum affirm, a membership can be terminated.  The Credentials Committee shall consider the same criteria for termination that are used for recommending a new group for membership. 


Membership. 1) Member. 
All residents, owners and employees of an address or business/non-profit in the district, and their guests, shall be considered members of the District Council, and shall be encouraged to participate fully in all activities of the District Council except as limited by these bylaws. 
2) Associate Member Organization. 
An Associate Member Organization is any organization based in the district which does not currently hold Certified Member Organization status, as defined below. 
3) Certified Member Organization. 
To be eligible for recognition as a Certified Member Organization, an organization must: 
-- Be geographically-based with a constituency of residents, owners or employees of an address or business/non-profit in the district,
-- Have a primary stated purpose which is consistent with the purpose of the District Council, as stated in Article IV. 
-- Operate in accordance with written democratic principles and procedures,
-- Hold open, publicly-announced regular meetings,
-- Elect officers or representatives, 

Northwest District Council Bylaws 07 December 2011 Page 3 of 10 
-- Prohibit restrictions on membership based on ancestry, national origin, race, color, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, income, wealth, creed, political ideology, religion, age, and physical, mental or sensory handicap. 
The following characteristics are also highly desirable:
-- Publicly published newsletter / news site and meeting records.
-- Official non-profit status.
-- Having at least ten (10) participants who are residents, owners or 
employees of an address or business/non-profit in the district. -- Being at least ninety (90) days old. 
-- NOTE: The initial City Council Resolution referenced in the Article III specifically welcomed community councils and business associations. Subsequent rulings have encouraged expansion to other organizations. 
-- NOTE: The District Council may extend an invitation to apply to organizations that are adjacent to or straddle the district boundary. 
To achieve Certified Member Organization status, an organization must submit an application and receive a passing vote of the District Council (as described in the Voting article of these bylaws). 
Additionally, to achieve and maintain Certified Member Organization status, an organization must meet one (1) of the following two (2) criteria: 
1) Attend four (4) meetings of the District Council within a calendar year. 
With this criteria, the organization reaches Certified Member Organization status upon commencement of the 4th attended meeting and retains that status (in the absence of violations of eligibility) until the end of the following calendar year. 
EXAMPLE: Organization A attends the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th meeting of 2010. That organization has met this certification criterion and is considered certified for all 2010 meetings beginning with the 5th meeting, and all 2011 meetings. 
2) Attend four (4) consecutive meetings of the District Council straddling 2 calendar years. 
With this criteria, the organization reaches Certified Member Organization status upon commencement of the 4th attended meeting 

Northwest District Council Bylaws 07 December 2011 Page 4 of 10 
Article VI 
and retains that status (in the absence of violations of eligibility) until the end of the calendar year. 
EXAMPLE: Organization B attends the last 2 meetings of 2010 and the 1st 2 meetings of 2011. That organization has met this certification criterion and is considered certified for all 2011 meetings beginning with the 2nd meeting. 
NOTE: For either of the above two (2) criteria, if a record of attendance is not available for a particular meeting, it shall be assumed that all Member Organizations were in attendance at that meeting. 

Greater Duwamish:

2.1           Membership criteria
      The Council is open to representatives of all local business organizations and neighborhood groups within the District boundaries who wish to participate and meet the following criteria:
1)    Shall have a Member Application (see attached) on file with The Council and shall update it upon adoption of these bylaws and annually in September.
2)    Shall be geographically based with a constituency that resides and/or works within the recognized District boundaries.
3)    Shall not limit membership of individuals or groups on the basis of race, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, age, handicap, national origin, income nor political affiliation, in any of its policies, recommendations or actions and shall operate democratically.
4)    Shall hold at least four board, executive or general meetings annually.
5)    Shall have organizational bylaws and file them with the Greater Duwamish District Council.
2.2       New memberships
      Any local business organizations or neighborhood groups able to meet the criteria set out in Article 2.1 and wishing to join The Council shall provide the Executive Council with a completed application. Consideration of a new applicant should be raised at the next general meeting following submission of the completed application. Upon reaching a simple majority vote of members of The Council, the application shall be accepted.
2.3       Community Participation
      All interested persons who live, work, or have businesses with the Greater Duwamish District are welcome to participate  in Council meetings and other activities. Only designated representatives or designated alternative representatives to The Council shall have voting rights or hold office.
2.4       Attendance
      To remain a voting member, a group must send a representative to at least six (6) of the ten (10)  yearly general Council meetings. The Council will notify the President or Chair (or, in their absence, any group official) of any member organization that is close to losing its voting privileges due to non-attendance. An organization’s voting privileges will be restored upon resuming regular attendance at two consecutive meetings.

Lake Union:

Membership:            Membership shall be only of associations of residents, businesses, property owners, and /or non-profit organizations that are primarily located in the Lake Union District Council’s boundaries.  An applicant organization should have written by-laws and its membership criteria must not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. A majority vote of the district council membership will seat new members and may, after appropriate notice and discussion, remove an organization from membership. 

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