Chapter Bylaws

NLGJA + LA Logo

*The following chapter bylines were created in May 2016 as a reference tool for current and future board. Members of the 2016 chapter board include Zamná Ávila, Richard Martinez, Gil Diaz and Erin Faith Wilson.


I. MISSION AND GOALS

The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association is an organization of journalists, media professionals, educators and students who work within the news media industry to foster fair and accurate coverage of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. NLGJA opposes all forms of workplace bias and provides professional development for its members.

A. The purpose and mission of NLGJA’s Los Angeles chapter is to provide a network for LGBT journalists and their allies. Our goals include:

1. Providing mentoring and leadership for future journalists;
2. Strengthening the identity, respect and status of LGBT journalists in the newsroom;
3. Working for the highest journalistic and ethical standards in all media coverage;
4. Collaborating with other professional journalist associations;
5. Enhancing the skills and career opportunities for LGBT members; and
6. Promoting the highest standards and ethical behavior among all journalists.

B. To advance these ideals, we may conduct benefits, workshops, seminars, panel discussions and social events; print or publish newsletters and other materials; engage in social media campaigns and conversations; and anything deemed necessary to allow us to achieve our goals.


II. MEMBERSHIP

A. NLGJA Los Angeles members must be members in good standing of NLGJA. Membership is open to anyone who wishes to join, regardless of sexual orientation, race, religion, ethnic background, age, disability, veteran’s status, sex, or gender identity.

B. Membership shall be for a 12-month period from the receipt of the membership fee and a completed membership application. Membership levels include the following:
Basic, for people with a means of support earned in the gathering, editing or presentation of news or editorial content for print, broadcast or new media;
Associate, for people who are former full or part-time journalists or who hold media-related jobs such as public relations, public or corporate information, directors of media organizations or who worked as a journalist in the past or are journalism educators; LGBT media, for people whose main means of support is earned in the gathering, editing or presentation of news or editorial content for print, broadcast or online LGBT media;
Student, for people engaged/enrolled in study with an interest in entering the journalism field; and retiree, for people who no longer work full-time but who when working qualified for basic membership. NLGJA also allows people or organizations who support the goals of NLGJA to join as supporting members.

C. Benefits of membership include fellowship; participation in the business of the organization; voting; representing the organization; receipt by mail or electronic mail of any newsletters, schedules, membership directories, job listings and professional development opportunities.

D. The membership list shall be kept confidential and not released to any person or organization outside NLGJA Los Angeles, NLGJA, and other NLGJA chapters upon request. This confidential list of members’ names shall be available only to officers and committee chairs as necessary to conduct the business of this organization.


III. OFFICERS

A. The officers of NLGJA Los Angeles shall include a president, (optional) vice president, (optional) secretary, (optional) treasurer, (optional) at large board member and a (optional) student representative.

B. The duties of the officers shall include, but are not restricted to:

1. President
a. Act as chief administrator and local head of NLGJA Los Angeles.
b. Exercise supervision over NLGJA Los Angeles and all its activities.
c. Represent (or designate a member to represent) and speak for the organization to other organizations and to the public.
d. Call meetings and set agendas in consultation with other officers and committee chairs.
e. Preside at general and officers meetings.
f. With approval of the other board members, create board positions and committees and appoint committee chairs.
g. Sign letters or documents necessary to carry out the decisions and intent of the members.
h. Appoint the inaugural board if necessary.
j. The role of vice president can be appointed by the group by vote or volunteer if the amount of responsibilities calls for such a position.

2. Secretary
a. Take minutes of all executive meetings and general meetings as necessary.
b. Maintain the listserv.

3. Treasurer
a. Responsible for collection, safekeeping and expenditure of all funds of the organization in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
b. Serve as primary liaison with NLGJA staff on all financial matters, and produce reports as requested to NLGJA Los Angeles officers and NLGJA staff.

4. Student Representative
a. Serve as liaison between student and professionals.
b. Serve as a resource to the board and general members.

C. Communal board functions include the following:
a. Events brainstorming and planning.
b. Publicity of events.


IV. ELECTIONS

A. The term of the board shall begin at the start every January

B. To be eligible to vote, nominate and/or run for office, a member must be in good standing with no outstanding balance on their dues at the time of the election.

C. Members may nominate for office either themselves or any other member.


V. VACANCIES

A. Any vacancy in an office shall be filled by appointment of the remaining officers. That appointee shall serve only until the next election. Treasurer vacancies should be filled by one of the co-presidents until a substitute is appointed. Upon resigning or stepping down, the outgoing treasurer should turn over all chapter financial documents to the chapter presidents within a week of resigning.

B. A vacancy in the office of president shall be filled by the other president who will be responsible for appointing the new co-president, with consent of the rest of the board.

C. A vacancy in an office or committee is considered to exist when the incumbent resigns, dies, departs from the locality or is removed from office.


VI. RECALL

A. Officers can be removed by the same authority that selected them. An elected officer can be removed from office by a vote of the members. An appointed officer or committee member can be removed by the authority that appointed him or her. A majority vote by NLGJA Los Angeles officers may also remove any officer after a vote of no confidence.

B. Valid causes of removal include, but are not limited to the following:
1. Refusal to carry out the decisions and intent of the membership.
2. Continued, gross or willful neglect of duties.
3. Unauthorized expenditures, unauthorized signing of checks or misuse of funds.


VII. MEETINGS

A. A board meeting of NLGJA Los Angeles shall be expected at once per month. All board and committee meetings shall be open to any member or associate member who wishes to attend.

B. Additional general meetings may be called at any time by the board.


VIII. FINANCES

A. NLGJA Los Angeles shall maintain a checking account. The treasurer of NLGJA Los Angeles and executive director of NLGJA shall be authorized signors.
B. Members using the group’s funds for any purpose shall give a full report of expenditures to the treasurer.
C. The properties and assets of NLGJA Los Angeles are irrevocably dedicated to furthering the purposes of this organization. No part of assets of NLGJA Los Angeles, in dissolution or otherwise, shall inure to the benefit of any individual or private person or any member or officer of this organization.


IX. BYLAWS

A. Upon approval by a majority of NLGJA Los Angeles members, these bylaws shall become effective immediately.

B. Suggestions to amend these bylaws may be made by any member in good standing. If such a suggestion is made, the board will be in charge of analyzing the proposed amendment and recommending if the proposal is valid and beneficial. With the consent of the board, the amendment will be presented to the general members, who may request a majority vote by secret paper ballot.


X. APPROVAL

By a unanimous vote of members of NLGJA Los Angeles unanimously adopted these bylaws, which will become effective on April 24, 2016.