Queens Civic Congress By-laws
Last amended September 17, 2007
The civic community of Queens County finds that the protection and advancement of the quality in life of Queens requires greater cooperation and dialogue among its members in order to effectively influence public policy and enhance our neighborhoods. Therefore, we freely join hands to work together as the Queens Civic Congress to command greater attention from public officials and the private sector as to the concerns of the civic movement in Queens and coordinate the energies and strategies of civic activists on a boroughwide level.
The name of this organization shall be the Queens
Civic Congress (hereinafter Q.C.C. or Congress). The Congress
shall be organized as a Not-for-Profit Corporation under the laws
of the State of New York.
Section 1 - To provide a forum for the civic associations and neighborhood organizations of Queens County to inform and address themselves to the full spectrum of issues, developments, and conditions which may affect the quality of life of our neighborhoods.
Section 2 - To develop and present common
policies and positions on all matters which may affect our
neighborhoods, the Borough and County of Queens, and New York
Section 3 - To furnish effective leadership and
advocacy for the advancement of the welfare and interests of
Section 1 - Any Queens civic association or
neighborhood organization that accepts and desires to further the
purposes of the Congress as expressed in Article II hereof is
eligible to join as a Regular Member.
Section 2 - Each Regular Member in good standing
at the Congress may cast one (1) vote on all matters.
Section 3 - Regular Members shall pay dues as set
by the Congress every year, payable no later than January 31 of
each calendar year. The Congress may change the amount or
frequency of dues.
Section 4 - Each Regular Member shall send one
delegate to General Meetings of the Congress.
Section 5 - At the discretion of the Congress,
Associate Membership may be conferred on an organization. While
Associate Members are invited to send delegates to general
meetings of the Congress, neither Associate Members or their
delegates may vote or hold office in the Congress. The Congress
may choose whether or not to levy dues on Associate Members and
the frequency and amount thereof.
Section 1 - Whereas the fiscal year of the
Congress shall be the same as the calendar year, the Congress
shall otherwise follow an operational year starting September 1
and ending August 31.
Section 2 - The Annual Meeting of the Congress
shall take place in the month of October of every year.
Section 3 - In addition to the Annual Meeting,
the Congress shall hold at least two General Meetings (meetings
where the entire Regular Membership is invited) per year. The
Executive Committee shall meet monthly, except during July and
Section 4 - Special meetings may be called for
cause by the President or an absolute majority of the entire
Executive Committee or by a petition signed by twenty percent of
the Regular Members of the Congress.
Section 5 - The attendance of twenty percent (20%)
of the Regular Members at any meetings shall constitute a quorum
for the transaction of business. For all meetings of the
Executive Committee, the attendance of a majority of the
Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum.
Section 6 - Except as otherwise provided in these
By-Laws, all business presented for consideration by the Congress
shall require the concurrence of two-thirds of the Regular
Members present and voting.
Section 1 - The officers of the Congress shall be
the President, an Executive Vice President, Vice Presidents (no
less than one and no more than nine, the number to be determined
by the Congress), a Treasurer, a Secretary, and and the three Founders as defined in Article V Section 3 (f).
All officers sit and vote as members of the Executive Committee.
Save for the Founders, all officers shall serve one-year terms.
Section 2 - A Nominating Committee of five
persons shall be formed by May of every year, of which three
shall be elected by the Executive Committee (including its Chair)
and two by the Regular Members at the General Meeting scheduled
in or as nearly before May as possible.
The Committee shall prepare a list of nominees
for the election of officers and send by regular mail its report
on or before July 1 to the Executive Committee and Regular
Membership. Nominating Petitions for the candidacies of persons
not nominated by the Nominating Committee may be submitted to the
Chair of the Nominating Committee with the signatures of fifteen
percent (15%) of the Regular Members no earlier than July 15 and
no later than August 15.
In no event may anyone be nominated for officer
of the Congress who has not been a delegate representing a
Regular Member to the Congress. Candidates for President must
have served on the Executive Committee in the year prior to their
In the absence of the receipt of Nominating
Petitions by August 15, the Chair's republication and
redistribution of the Committee's report by regular mail to the
Executive Committee and Members shall enable the Secretary to
cast one ballot to elect the Committee's recommended candidate(s)
at the Annual Meeting.
In the event that a Nominating Petition is
properly presented to the Chair of the Nominating Committee, an
election shall be held by postal ballot. Postal ballots shall be
mailed to each Regular Member, listing the candidates in
alphabetical order for each contested office. Completed postal
ballots must be returned to a Committee of Tellers (three members
elected by the Executive Committee, of which at least one is not
an officer, and none of whom are candidates for office no later
than September 15. Upon tabulation of ballots by the Tellers and
verification of the results, the results shall be published in
the meeting notice for the Annual Meeting, which must be mailed
to Regular Members on or about October 1. A plurality of the
ballots shall suffice for election. The winning candidates shall
take office at the Annual Meeting.
Section 3 - The duties and powers of the elected officers are defined as follows:
(a) President - The President shall preside over
General Meetings and meetings of the Executive Committee, and
serve as Chief Executive Officer, appoint all committees and
representatives to other organizations or bodies, except where
otherwise dictated by the By-Laws, and may sit ex-officio on all
committees, except where the By-Laws state otherwise. The
President shall represent and speak for the Congress. The
President will prepare an Annual Budget in consultation with the
Executive Committee for consideration, modification, and/or
approval by the Regular Membership at a General Meeting no later
than December 31 of each year.
(b) Executive Vice President - The Executive Vice
President succeeds the President, in the event of incapacity,
removal, or resignation, for the balance of the President's
unexpired term. The Executive Vice President shall also exercise
the President's functions in the absence of the President. In
addition, the Executive Vice President shall assist the President
with the performance of the President's duties and with projects
and tasks assigned by the Executive Committee. Finally, the
Executive Vice President shall chair the Membership Committee.
(c) Vice President(s) - The Vice President(s)
shall perform duties as determined by the Executive Committee.
(d) Treasurer - The Treasurer shall receive and
record all monetary receipts of the Congress and pay all bills
and disburse all funds which have been approved or authorized by
the Executive Committee by check or voucher signed by any two
signatories designated by the Executive Committee. The Treasurer
shall record all payments of dues and maintain an accurate
membership roll of all Regular and Associate Members. After
review and approval by the Audit Committee, the Treasurer shall
prepare an annual Treasurer's Report.
All accounts maintained for the Congress shall require the signatures of two officers as determined by the Executive Committee Furthermore, as the sole custodian of funds for the Congress, the Treasurer shall deposit all funds in a bank or banks designated by the Executive Committee within one month of receipt and render a full report of accounts and disbursements to the Executive Committee every month. All sums deposited shall be in the name and for the account of the Congress in a FDIC-approved institution.
(e) Secretary - The Secretary shall keep complete
and accurate minutes of all Executive Committee and General
Meetings and proceedings of the Congress. In addition, the
Secretary shall prepare the Notices of General and Executive
Committee Meetings and maintain attendance records.
(f) Founders - The Congress reserves two seats on the Executive Committee for Albert Greenblatt, Esq. and Robert I. Harris, Presidents, respectively, of the Eastern Queens Civic Council and United Civic Council of Queens County, in recognition of their selfless dedication to the civic movement of Queens, and one seat for founding President Sean M. Walsh as a Founder and President Emeritus. The
Founders shall vote and participate as Officers on the Executive
Committee and perform tasks or exercise powers assigned to them
by the Executive Committee, consistent with the By-Laws.
Section 4 - The Executive Committee shall make
the agenda for General Meetings of the Congress and it shall
prepare and present an Annual Budget for consideration and
approval by the Regular Members of the Congress at a General
Meeting. In the event that the Executive Vice President becomes
President due to the previous President's departure before the
expiration of that President's term, the Executive Committee
shall fill the vacant Executive Vice Presidency by election
amongst its ranks. Vacancies of other offices shall be filled by
election of the Executive Committee.
Section 5 - The Executive Committee may act for
the Congress between General Meetings. It may also enter into
contracts for the Congress and spend funds, subject to regular
report to the Congress.
Section 6 - Each Officer shall cast one vote and
voting by proxy is prohibited at Executive Committee meetings.
Unless otherwise stated in these By-Laws, the Executive Committee
shall act with the concurrence of a majority of those Officers
present and voting. Abstentions, however, shall count towards a
quorum and shall be duly noted in all recorded votes.
Section 7 - The President may in his discretion take a telephone vote of the Executive Committee when there is an issue of importance which can not wait for the next regularly scheduled meeting of th Executive Committee.
The President must call every member of the Executive Committee; a minimum of two attempts to reach every member of the Executive Committee is required. The resolution to be voted upon must be concisely and uniformly put to each and every member of the Executive Committee.
The rules governing a quorum and voting for the
telephone vote are the same as the rules governing a regular
Executive Committee meeting. At the next Executive Committee
meeting, the President shall read the results of the telephone
vote into the minutes; and the Executive Committee will
acknowledge their accuracy.
Section 8 - Consistent with the By-Laws, the
Executive Committee shall make rules and regulations for the
conduct of its meetings and committees as it may deemed necessary
Pursuant to these By-Laws, no member, delegate or
officer may use the name of the Queens Civic Congress (a.k.a. Q.C.C.
or Congress) or otherwise purport to act in or appear on its
behalf, or endorse any policy position without the express
authorization of the Executive Committee or the Congress. The
Congress, as a non-partisan entity, shall not endorse candidates
for public or party office.
Where applicable and not inconsistent with the By-Laws,
Robert's Rules of Order, Revised (latest edition) shall govern
the conduct of business at meetings of the Congress. The
President may also appoint a Parliamentarian, at his pleasure, to
advise him on procedure.
Section 1 - These By-Laws establish the following
Committees: Audit, Membership and Nominating.
Section 2 - Additional Committees may be created
by resolution of the Executive Committee or by the Regular
Members of the Congress.
Section 3 - Unless provided otherwise by the By-Laws,
the President shall appoint all committee members, including
their Chairs. Committee Chairs and members shall be appointed
from the members of the Congress. All Committees report to the
President and the Executive Committee.
Section 4 - At the end of the fiscal year, an
Audit Committee, composed of three persons, shall review the
checks, vouchers, and records of the Treasurer, in addition to
the draft Treasurer's Report, and forward its findings to the
Executive Committee for consideration and approval by the
Executive Committee before the Annual Meeting. No signatory to
the Congress' accounts may sit on this Committee. The Audit
Committee's Report shall be available for inspection by members.
Section 5 - A Membership Committee, led by the
Executive Vice President, shall be appointed to receive and
review applications for Regular and Associate Membership,
according to qualifications dictated by these By-Laws and further
developed by the Executive Committee, for the ultimate
determination by the Executive Committee. The Committee shall
also design and prepare the Application for Membership, which
itself shall contain a descriptive statement of the Congress and
secure the applicant's commitment to the aims and purposes of the
Section 1 - The Congress may remove any member of the
Executive Committee for cause by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the
Congress after a full hearing held on notice to all members.
Section 2 - The Congress may remove any member
organization for cause by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Congress
after a full hearing held on notice to all members.
Section 1 - Amendments to these By-Laws may be
proposed via Petition for Amendment from any Regular Member or
delegate supported by the signatures of at least twenty percent
of the Regular Members, for presentation in writing at any
General Meeting (excluding special meetings) of the Congress. The
Petition shall be read aloud by the Secretary and discussion may
be had on the proposal but no action may take place at said
Section 2 - After its introduction, the Petition
shall be converted into a Resolution and Notice of said
Resolution shall be included in the meeting notice of the next
General Meeting of the Congress. If approved by two-thirds of
Regular Members present and voting at this meeting, the amendment
will take effect immediately unless otherwise noted in the text
of the amendment.
Section 3 - Amendments to the By-Laws may also be
proposed via Resolution of the Executive Committee, having
received approval from a two-thirds majority of the Executive
Committee before presenting the Resolution at a General Meeting
for consideration and approval under otherwise the same terms as
a Petition for Amendment.
In the event of dissolution of the Congress,
which would follow the same procedure as outlined in Article X,
the balance of the Congress' Treasury after all reasonable
expenses, disbursements, and payments of the Congress' debts,
shall be disposed by a vote of the Congress in accordance with
These By-Laws have been approved and adopted by
the Initial Incorporators of the Congress. We, the Incorporators
of the Congress do sign this document on behalf of the
constituent organizations and in the hopes of bringing one strong
voice for the civic movement of Queens.
Signed on September 15, 1997, Flushing, Queens, New YorkRobert Harris Al Greenblatt Sean M.Walsh Corey Bearak Patricia Dolan
James Trent Seymour Schwartz Arthur Rojas