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NAME and LOCATION
Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the CASA DE VENEZUELA DELAWARE VALLEY and shall hereinafter be referred to and designated as the “House”. The meeting where all the Members of the House gather together in order to cast a vote or decide about a particular issue related to the affairs of the House shall hereinafter be referred to and designated as the “Meeting of the House.”
Section 2. The “principal office” of the House is located at ____________________________. The Board of Directors of the House is granted the authority to change the principal office from one location to another within the County of Philadelphia, and may also establish branches within the area of the Delaware Valley which covers the States of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Any changes shall be noted by the Secretary opposite this article, but shall not be considered an amendment of these bylaws.
Section 1. The purpose the House is to support and encourage the social, educational, cultural and recreational activities of its members who, in turn, are engaged in promoting and nurturing the values, traditions and culture of Venezuela within the within the communities of the area of the Delaware Valley (“Delaware Valley” is comprised in the States of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware) and within American society in general.
Section 2. The House shall always be a nonprofit and non-political organization, and will be nondiscriminatory with respect to race, creed, sex, nationality, age, sexual orientation, political ideology, and religion.
Section 3. The spirit and intention of the House is to keep and maintain the fraternity, solidarity, and good-will among its members. To this end, in every Annual Meeting, the Meeting of the House will appoint the “Committee of the Venezuelan Fraternity and Solidarity of The House”. This Committee shall:
- Encourage and remind the members of the House, in a recurrent and frequent manner, of the need to maintain unity, and of the need to help each other and to settle any kind of difference through rational discussion and tolerance.
- Seek the appropriate means, if such means should exist, to help in any way possible, any member who may be having difficulties or who is in need of orientation relating to his/her life in the Delaware Valley.
- Involve the members of The House in the purposes of the committee.
The members of this committee shall be members of recognized experience in life, integrity, and honesty and firm believers in that the solidarity and collaboration among Venezuelans are always possible.
Section4. The Committee will be formed by no more than three members and will be assigned by the Board of Directors, and will be accountable to the Meeting of the House.
Section 1. Membership shall be open to those persons eighteen (18) years of age or older who have demonstrated their interest in the purposes of the House and a desire to be such a member of the House, and have paid all requisite initiation fees and dues.
Section 2. The admission to the House is gained by completing an application for approval to the Board of Directors.
Section 3. Initiation fees and yearly dues shall be set by the Board of Directors subject to the approval of the Meeting of the House.
Section 4. There will be 5 kinds of members. 1) Principal Members, 2) Family Members, 3) Student Members, 4) Associate Members, and 5) Honorary Members. Student Members will have the same rights as Principal Members.
Section 5. Principal Members will be: a) Any individual person who has paid all the necessary member’s dues established by the Board of Directors and/or b) Any head of a family who has paid all the necessary member’s dues established by the Board of Directors whose application or records about his/her membership show evidence of having family members registered as such, and/or c) Any student Member who has paid all the necessary member’s dues established by the Board of Directors.
Section 6. Family members will be classified as persons who live under the same roof as the head of family, and are declared as dependants of the head of family. The maximum number of family members to be allowed as House Members should not exceed five. Any additional family members above the five members limit will have to be considered as an individual member.
Section 7. A student Member is any student attending an educational institution in a full-time course of study. The student membership dues are fifty percent (50%) of the individual membership dues.
Section 8. Only principal members are required to pay the membership dues established by the Board of Directors. The dues for a Principal Member as a Head of Family will always be 33% (thirty three percent) more than a Principal Member as an individual Person. The student member always will pay 50% (fifty percent) of the individual principal member’s due.
Section 9. An Associate Member may be any officer or member of a similar organization to the House resident within the Delaware Valley, provided such organization is a non-profit, non-political, and non-discriminatory organization, and has helped and collaborated in the affairs and events of the House in a recurrent manner, and is engaged in promoting the values of a particular culture or a valuable social cause. Any member can nominate a person as an Associate member, but to become an Associate Member unanimous approval by the Board of Directors is required to be appointed as such. The Meeting of the House can revoke an appointment of an Associate Member made by the Board of Directors if a member of the House calls a Meeting of the House within 30 days of having received the notice about the Associate Member. Furthermore, in such Meeting of the House, a 2/3 vote is necessary to overturn the decision of the Board of Directors. Associate Members will not pay any dues.
Section 10. An Honorary member will be: a) Any Venezuelan who has represented Venezuela in a dignified and outstanding manner in any social, cultural, educational, scientific, or sporting area; b) Any person who has rendered an outstanding service to Venezuela or to the House; c) Any person of the Domestic or International Hispanic Community who has rendered outstanding service to the Latin-American Culture, the Latin American Community, or to Humanity in General. Any member of the House may nominate an individual for Honorary Membership. Unanimous approval of the Board of Directors is required for a person to become an Honorary Member of the House. This approval can, in turn, be revoked by a Meeting of the House under same terms set forth in the Section 8 of this Article. Honorary Members will not pay any dues.
Section 11. Any principal member whose dues are not paid within thirty (30) days after the due date may be dropped from membership in the House.
Section 12. Only principal members will have the right to vote for the election of the Board of Directors. The additional Members will have the same remaining rights of the principal members. All principal members and student members shall have equal voting rights for the election of the Board of Directors. Each principal member shall be entitled to cast one vote, except in the election of the officers of the House. In the election of the officers of the House, each principal member shall have one vote for each vacancy to be filled. A principal member's dues must be paid and current in order to exercise the right to vote in the election of the Board of Directors. There shall be no voting by proxy in any Meeting of the House.
Section 13. The consideration of the potential suspension and/or expulsion of any member will be responsibility of the Board of Directors, and shall arise pursuant to a complaint regarding that member lodged by any member of the House. The complaint must be submitted to the Board of Directors in writing and must indicate in a clear and precise manner the manner in which the member complained about may have breached or violated the Regulations of the House. The Board of Directors will consider and determine the validity of the facts as follows according to the regulations of this section.
Section 14. The member against whom a complaint has been lodged as having violated the House rules shall be notified by mail at least ten days prior to the meeting at which the vote is to be taken, and shall be given every opportunity at the meeting to defend himself/herself.
Section 15. Any member desiring to resign from the House shall submit his/her resignation in writing to the Board of Directors.
Section 1. The officers of the House shall be the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Secretary of Culture and Events, Secretary of Community Relations and Secretary of Member Affairs. These officers shall perform the duties prescribed by these bylaws and by the parliamentary authority adopted by the House.
Section 2. At least thirty (30) days prior to each annual Meeting of the House, the principal members shall submit before the Nominating Committee the list of persons nominated for election as officers. Nominations may also be made from the floor at the annual meeting. Each principal member is entitled to one vote for each vacancy on the board, but no principal member may cast more than one vote for the same nominee. Election to the Board of Directors shall be by secret written ballot. The persons receiving the largest number of votes shall be elected. The president shall report the results of the election to the House.
Section 3. The officers elected at the November meeting shall serve for two years or until their successors are elected, unless they are unable to fulfill their duties due to resignation, death, disability, or the removal from office. The term of office shall be from January 1 to December 31.
Section 4. No officer shall hold more than one office at a time, and no officer shall be eligible to serve more than two consecutive terms in the office of president.
Section 5. An officer may be removed from office only by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the principal members of the House. The officer involved shall be entitled to due process in all proceedings. The officer whose removal from office is at issue shall not have a vote concerning the dismissal.
Section 6. A vacancy in an office caused by death, resignation, disability, inactivity, or removal from office shall be filled by a majority vote of a quorum of the House. The officer elected to the vacancy shall serve for the remainder of the term of the officer he/she replaces.
DUTIES OF OFFICERS
Section 1. The President:
- Shall be the executive officer of the House and subject to the control of the Board of Directors,
- Shall have general supervision, direction, and control of the affairs of the House.
- Shall preside at all meetings of Meeting of the House - and at all meetings of the Board of Directors and will represent the House in any public event
- Shall make a report of the general business of the House during the current year at the annual Meeting of the House
- Shall nominate all standing committees in accordance with the bylaws, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors, and shall be an ex-officio member of all committees
- Shall coordinate and oversee the Committee for Generation of Income for the House
- Shall coordinate and oversee the Committee of Support for the maintaining and actualization of the Web Page
Section 2. The Vice-President:
- Shall assist the President in every function of the Presidency, and will stand in for the President in case of absence or disability of the President,
- Shall perform all the duties of the President, and when so acting shall have all the powers of, and be subject to the restrictions on, the President.
Section 3. The Secretary:
- Shall keep a book of Minutes of all significant meetings of the Board of Directors and of the Meeting of the House.
- Shall maintain, together with the Secretary of Member Affairs, a membership roster for the House showing the name and home addresses, telephone numbers, e-mails-addresses of each regular member and family group of the House.
- Shall conduct the official correspondence of the House and will be responsible for the maintenance, all the documents, office material and correspondence, written and electronic, of the House,
- Shall perform such other duties as may be designated by the Board of Directors.
Section 4. The Treasurer
- Shall maintain the financial records and accounts of the House and shall maintain an adequate and correct accounting of all receipts and disbursements of the House and an accounting of the House’s cash and other assets.
- Shall proper care for and handle any income originating from any act or event of any kind carried out by the House
- Shall work together with the Secretary of Culture and Events to oversee the financial aspects of any act or event, ensuring the proper handling of any income or disbursements.
- Shall present at any time, to the Board of Directors, a detailed accounting of income, expenses and financial results of any event that may involve, the Secretary of Culture and Events, the Secretary of Community Relations and the Secretary of Sports and Member’s Affairs. The Treasurer, the respective Secretary, and a member of the respective Committee of Support must sign any accounting-related report.
- Shall deposit all monies received by the House with such depositories as may be designated by the Board of Directors, no more than five (5) working days following receipt of such monies. The Treasurer shall render to the President and to the Board of Directors an account of Income, Expenses and Results no more than five (5) working days after having made the respective deposit.
- Shall present, upon request of the Board of Directors or members of the House, statements of the financial condition of the House, provided that statements shall be rendered at least quarterly.
- Shall file the tax returns of the House.
Section 5. The Secretary of Culture and Events
- Shall promote of the Cultural Values of Venezuela among the members of the House and among the communities of the Delaware Valley.
- Shall oversee the planning of the celebration of relevant cultural events according to Venezuelan traditions and Venezuelan National Holidays, as well as any sporting event that may be of interest to the members of the House.
- Shall ensure the availability of the necessary resources to carry out successfully every event, either cultural, entertainment or sporting.
- Shall oversee the of planning any kind of sporting events for the enjoyment of the members.
- Shall coordinate and oversee a committee whose function will be to support Sporting Events.
- Shall procure the necessary resources and support, either from the Treasurer and/or the Secretary of Community Relations, as well as any other member of the Board of Directors, in order to successfully carry out the events.
- Shall coordinate and oversee a committee whose function will be to support the functions of the Secretary of Culture and Events.
- Shall transfer to the Treasurer any monies received from of any act or event and shall present, together with the Treasurer, duly signed, an account of the Income, Expenses and Results of any Act or Event.
- Shall perform such other duties related to Culture, Sporting or Entertainment Events as may be designated by the Board of Directors.
- Shall work together with the Secretary of Community Relations to promote the culture and traditions of Venezuela
Section 6 The Secretary of Community Relations:
- Shall coordinate the Public Relations of the House with respect to the different Government or Not-for-Profit entities of the Delaware Valley. The Secretary of Community Relations shall record all information identifying such entities, including names, addresses, e-mail addresses, persons to be contacted and nature of the real or potential help.
- Shall coordinate the Public Relations of the House with respect to the different Hispanic Organizations within the Delaware Valley, similar to the Casa of Venezuela Delaware Valley; and shall record all information identifying such organizations, including names, addresses, e-mail addresses, persons to be contacted.
- Shall be maintaining awareness of and keeping an agenda of any act or event of the Hispanic or International Communities within the Delaware Valley, at which the House of Venezuela Delaware Valley may be present or participate and, together with the Secretary of Culture and Events, make sure that such a presence or participation is proper and adequate according to the purposes of the House.
- Shall, together with the Secretary of Culture and Events, act as liaison with, and provide assistance to, representatives of the news media, non-Government and entertainment-oriented institutions, and members of the public seeking information about Venezuelan culture and traditions.
- Shall work, together with the Secretary of Culture and Events, to establish a good working relationship with the educational institutions of the Delaware Valley in order to promote the Venezuelan culture and Traditions and to provide other country-related information.
- Shall coordinate and oversee a committee whose function is to support the Secretary of Communities Relations
- Shall perform such other duties as may be designated by the Board of Directors within the area of Communities Relations
Section 5. Secretary of Member’s Affairs:
- Shall process new members, shall submit the application for membership to Board of Directors, will notify the applicant the result of its application and shall provide the applicant with an members information package once the application has been approved.
- Shall be responsible for providing, keeping and maintaining a fluently, timing and precisely information about the activities of the House, to all members of the House.
- Shall maintain, together with the Secretary, a membership book for the House showing the name and home addresses, telephone numbers, e-mails-addresses of each regular member and family group
- Shall coordinate and oversees the Editorial Committee in charge of the elaboration and issuance of the written publication or any newsletter of the House or other written publication that the House deemed convenient to issue.
- Shall work together with the Secretary so that all the pertinent information of the minutes of every meeting of members or meetings of the Board of Directors, which may be relevant to the members of the House, is communicated to the members in a timely manner.
- Shall perform such other duties as may be designated by the Board of Directors.
MEETINGS OF THE HOUSE
Section 1. The regular meetings of the House shall be held on the second Sundays of February, May, August, and November of each year.
Section 2. The regular meeting on the second Sunday in November shall be known as the annual meeting and shall be for the purpose of electing officers, receiving reports of officers and committees, and for any other business that may arise. If for any reason the annual meeting of the principal members is not held on the second Sunday of November, the Board of Directors shall call a special meeting of principal members in lieu of the annual meeting.
Section 3. Special meetings may be called by the President or by the Board of Directors upon the written request of ten (10) members of the House. The purpose of the meeting shall be stated in the call. Except in cases of emergency, at least one week's notice shall be given.
Section 4. The physical presence of one third of the regular members of the House shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting of members.
Section 5. If a Meeting of the House cannot be carried out because there is no quorum, the Board of Directors will call a new meeting to take place within the next fifteen days of the failed meeting. In the second meeting, the quorum of the House will be the number of the present members.
Section5: There will be no voting by proxy in any Meeting of The House.
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Section 1. The officers of the House shall constitute the Board of Directors.
Section 2. The Board of Directors:
- Shall have the general supervision of the affairs of the House between its business meetings, fix the hour and place of meetings, make recommendations to the House, and shall perform such other duties as are specified in these bylaws.
- Shall be subject to the orders of the House, and none of its acts shall conflict with action taken by the House.
- Shall appoint, within the first three weeks of its tenure, the following committees:
c-1) Committee for Generation of Income for the House through the written Publication of the House and Web Page - Assigned to the Presidency.
c-2) Editorial Committee - Assigned to the Secretary of Member’s Affairs.
c-3) Committee for maintaining and updating of the Web Page - Assigned to the Presidency.
c-4) Committee for culture and events - Assigned to the Secretary of Culture and Events.
c-5) Committee for community relations - Assigned to the Secretary of Community Relations.
c-6) Committee for sporting events - Assigned to the Secretary of Culture and Events.
c-7) Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall be appointed forty-five (45) days before the Annual Meeting to elect the Board of Directors.
Section 3. The Board of Directors shall make all decisions relating to the Design, Content, Handling and Convenience of the Web Page of the House.
Section 4. Special meetings of the Board of Directors may be called by the President and/or may be called upon the written request of four members of the Board.
Section 4. The authorized number of Board of Directors shall be at least seven and not more than nine unless and until changed by an amendment to these bylaws. Each member of the Board of Directors of the House shall be a principal member of the House, and if a person ceases to be a principal member of the House, he shall also cease to be a member of the Board of Directors of the House.
Section 5. Meetings of the Board of Directors for any purpose or purposes may be called at any time by the President, or if he is unable or refuses to act, by any four Board of Directors members. Four members of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
Section 6. Subject to the two-thirds majority approval of the membership of the House, the Board of Directors shall have the following general powers:
(a) To prescribe powers and duties for officers, agents, and employees as may not be inconsistent with the law or with these bylaws.
(b) To conduct, manage, and control the affairs and business of the House, and to make such rules and regulations as are not inconsistent with the law or with these bylaws, as they may deem best.
(c) To manage in the manner they may deem best, all funds and property, real and personal, received from, acquired or earned by the House and to distribute or dispense funds.
(d) To make and publish standing rules not inconsistent with these bylaws to govern the operation and use of the House's facilities.
(e) To authorize any officer or agent to enter into any contract or execute any instrument in the name of and on behalf of the House. This authority may be general or confined to specific instances. Unless so authorized by the House, no officer, agent, or other person shall have any power or authority to bind the House by any contract or engagement or to pledge its credit or to render it liable for any purposes for any amount.
Section 1. The House shall keep in its principal office the original or a copy of these bylaws as amended or otherwise altered to date, certified by the Secretary. The bylaws shall be open to inspection by the members at all reasonable times.
Section 2. The rules contained in the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the House in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws, the provisions of the law, and any special rules of order the House may adopt.
AMENDMENT OF BYLAWS
These bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting of the House by a two-thirds vote, provided that the amendment has been submitted in writing at the previous regular meeting or that the amendment has been submitted in writing to the general membership at least three weeks before a meeting called for that purpose.