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(the “Alliance”) Last Updated July 2013 THE ALLIANCE 1. Motions to amend the Bylaws must be received by the Secretary at least eight weeks prior to a General Meeting. Notwithstanding clause 5 the Board may make trivial amendments to the Bylaws for the purposes of grammar, punctuation or clarity, subject to appeal at a General Meeting. Any doubt that may arise as to the interpretation of these Bylaws shall be resolved by the Board, subject to appeal at a General Meeting. Any Director or Member may propose an amendment to the Bylaws. There are three classes of membership of the Alliance – Affiliate Members, Associate Members and Individual Members. Membership is open to all organisations or individuals who subscribe to the Vision and Mission of the Alliance. The Board can suspend or revoke any Membership if it judges that the Member concerned has failed to meet the relevant Membership criteria, or if it considers that the Member’s activities are incompatible with the best interests of the Alliance as a whole. The Board shall set annual Membership fees for each category of membership, which must be paid in full within 60 days of receipt of an invoice by the Member.The vision of the Alliance (the “Vision”) is a secular world where public policy, scientific inquiry and education are not influenced by religious beliefs, but based upon sound reasoning, rationality and evidence. The mission of the Alliance (the “Mission”) is to challenge and confront religious faith, to strengthen global atheism by promoting the growth and interaction of atheist/freethought organisations around the world and to undertake international educational and advocacy projects. The Alliance is legally established in the State of California, USA, and is subject to the relevant laws and regulations of that state. The Bylaws were adopted by the Board following incorporation of the Alliance. Such a proposal must state the specific new language proposed, indicate the old language to be modified or replaced, and be accompanied by a statement of the reasons for the proposed changes. To be effective, amendments to the Bylaws must be passed by at least a Two-Thirds Majority of votes cast by Members at a General Meeting. The Board may waive or reduce fees for any organisation at any class of membership if it is satisfied that the group suffers financial hardship and its membership would be a benefit to the Alliance. Any Member whose annual fees (as adjusted for any waiver or reduction by the Board) have not been paid on time will forfeit their votes (if any) at any General Meeting, may not nominate a person or stand for election to the Board, and may have their membership suspended or revoked by the Board. Any Member wishing to terminate their Membership can do so by notifying the Secretary in writing of their intention, their reasons, and the effective date of the termination. Affiliate Membership is open to local, regional, national and supra-national organisations throughout the world (with one exception in relation to groups from the United States of America, detailed in clause 23) that are determined by the Board to meet the following criteria: 18.
If the application is approved by a Simple Majority of the votes cast at the General Meeting the organisation will be approved for Associate Membership by the Board. A condition of continuing Associate Membership is that each Associate must respond as reasonably requested to an inquiry from the Board regarding its current contact details for at least one officer. Associate Members may participate in General Meetings but have no voting rights. Individual Membership of the Alliance is open to any person throughout the world who wants to support the work of the Alliance.
Individuals may join the Alliance independently of any Affiliate Member or Associate Member. Applications for Individual Membership will be subject to review by the Board.
All such applications must include at least: the application form, a statement that the applicant subscribes to the Alliance’s Vision and Mission and the applicant’s contact details. The criteria for Individual Membership can be changed from time to time by the Board. If an individual’s Individual Membership application is refused by the Board the person may have their application voted on at the next General Meeting. The Board has full executive authority and responsibility for the operations and activities of the Alliance, subject only to compliance at all times with the provisions of relevant laws, these Bylaws and any policies passed by the Board. The Board will comprise a minimum of four Directors and a maximum of thirteen Directors. The Board will include at least four Officers – President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary. The Board may create or abolish additional Officer positions from time to time as it deems appropriate. The President of the Alliance shall be the chairperson of meetings and of the Board and in the absence of the President, the Vice President shall so act.
If the application is approved by a Simple Majority of the votes cast at the General Meeting the individual will be approved for Individual Membership by the Board. A condition of continuing Individual Membership is that each member must respond as reasonably requested to an inquiry from the Board regarding their current contact details. Individual Members may participate in General Meetings but have no voting rights. The Board may establish several categories of Individual Membership for various purposes at its discretion. If at any meeting, neither the President nor the Vice President is present, the Directors present must choose an alternative chairperson for the meeting. The Board may meet and otherwise despatch its business and regulate its meetings as it sees fit, but must hold at least six scheduled meetings to which all Directors are invited per year.
Meetings of the Board may include in-person meetings, teleconferences, videoconferences and other formats as the Board chooses. Meetings of the Board may be called by the President, Secretary or any two Directors. A quorum shall consist of the minimum whole number of Directors that is more than half the number of Directors (excluding any Directors that have been suspended in accordance with clause 66) at that time. Subject to clause 66, the business of the Board shall be decided by a Simple Majority.
Where there is an equality of votes, the chairperson shall have a second or casting vote 46.
The Board may delegate any of its powers to committees consisting of its members as it thinks fit.
If the application is approved by a Simple Majority of the votes cast at the General Meeting the organisation will be approved for Affiliate Membership by the Board (subject to the exception stated in clause 23). A condition of continuing Affiliate Membership is that each Affiliate Member must respond as reasonably requested to an inquiry from the Board regarding its up-to-date membership figures, most recent elections, current bylaws and current contact details for at least three officers. Affiliate Members hold voting rights at General Meetings.
The number of votes each Affiliate Member is eligible to cast is weighted based on the size of their membership as per clause 75. While the Alliance may admit national organisations from the United States of America (the “USA”) as Affiliate Members, only local and regional groups based in the USA that are members of Atheist Alliance of America Inc., may be accepted by the Board as Affiliate Members. Associate Membership is open to local, regional, national and supra-national organisations throughout the world that want to have a co-operative relationship with the Alliance and that are determined by the Board to meet the following criteria: 25.