Saturday, July 5, 2008

What's New in the New By-Laws?

The new By-Laws, written almost single-handedly by Joel Rudikoff, reflect the structure and purpose of today's WPCNA. They are at once both easier to read and more specific.

Members Autonomous
Gone is the confusing reference to a WPCNA map, and gone, too, are restrictive definitions of neighborhood associations. Instead, the new By-Laws recognize the member associations as autonomous and self-defining in boundary, organization, and membership. They are what they are, and are not subject to interference from WPCNA.

Action Enabled
Replaced are the numeric voting and quorum requirements which made it virtually impossible to act as a body. The new requirements are simply stated as commonsensical percentages. For most purposes, a quorum consists of a simple majority of the active, dues-paid associations, and a majority vote allows the WPCNA to take action.

Modern and Specific
New in the By-Laws is voting by proxy (mail, email, fax), a Rules Committee to adjudicate questions about the By-Laws, and careful specifications of the duties of the Officers and Committees, including of the Membership Committee to which prospective new associations may apply.

Powerful But Circumspect
Most importantly, the new By-Laws make it clear that WPCNA is an apolitical congress which will take positions on civic and quality of life issues, but not against its members, not without its members' approval, and not without identifying members that dissent from the consensus.