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Bylaws of The Independence Day Family Association

  1. General
    1. These are the bylaws of the Independence Day Family Association, Inc., referred to in these bylaws generally as "The Family". The Family was created with a document called "Consecration", and these bylaws represent our efforts to realize the vision of "Consecration".
    2. In all its dealings, The Family will not discriminate for or against any person because of the color of their skins, their ethnic origins, their sex or sexual orientation, their religious beliefs or lack thereof, age, nor their physical and mental capacities or impairments.
    3. The Board of Trustees alone has the authority to adopt or amend the bylaws.

  2. Board of Trustees:
    1. The Family will be governed by five Trustees who will serve four-year terms.
    2. The Board of Trustees will meet every year in December. The Board can meet by telephone, email, or other communications service.
    3. The Board can meet by conference call except for the December meeting.
    4. Three Trustees are required to constitute a quorum. The Board will take no action which has not been approved by at least three Trustees.
    5. Elections to the Board will be held in July of even numbered years, and newly elected members will assume their seats at the first meeting of the Board after the election.
    6. After election and before assuming their seats, Board members will give the following oath: I solemnly promise to faithfully execute the duties and responsibilities of Trustee. I accept this position acknowledging that my first responsibility is to those members of The Family who will not yet be born during my lifetime. This oath of office will be given verbally and written, and kept as part of the permanent record.
    7. We should all stand up at the Party, hold up our right hands, and give our oaths.

    8. The Board will elect a President, Secretary and Treasurer.
    9. The Board or the President may create committees and may appoint non-members to committees.
    10. The President of the Board of Trustees is, ex officio, a member of all committees.
    11. The Board is empowered to borrow money and purchase property in the name of The Family.
    12. The Board is empowered to create job positions, hire employees and establish their compensation.

  3. Membership:
    1. Membership is by invitation of the Board of Trustees.
      1. Candidates for membership can be nominated by any Member.
      2. The Membership Committee will receive from members nominations for membership and make its recommendations to the Board.
      3. The Board may put a cap on membership, and establish a waiting list.
    2. Neither race, ethnicity, national origin, religious beliefs or lack thereof, skin color, sex, sexual orientation, age, hair length, intellect, nor physical abilities are factors to be considered in extending an invitation to membership.
    3. The classes of membership are: guest, friend, active member, inactive member, household member, life member, and honorary member.
    4. I added the 'guest' and 'friend' classes. Friends are people who give $20 or more per year. 'Guests' are on the mailing list, but haven't contributed.

    5. Active Members, Life Members, and Honorary Members will select from themselves the Members of the Board of Trustees.
    6. This means one vote per household for the Board, and that only members can be on the Board.

    7. All classes of members, including guests and friends, (and guests of guests, even), are welcome at the annual Independence Day Party. Only active Members, Life Members, and Honorary Members may vote in the selection of Pie Awards and the selection of Most Beautiful Man.
    8. Actually, I suggest that we restrict it even more, so that a committee of Beautiful Men select Pie Awards, and a committee of female members select all the rest of the awards. A Beautiful Man judging pies should be allowed to appoint a proxy from the members to act for him in the pie judging.

    9. Membership is a lifetime commitment. Members can be declared inactive by the Board, but they cannot be dropped from the membership roll.
    10. Members must promise to refrain from the use of violence against other members.
    11. Inactive members will have only those rights and benefits which the Board may grant to them. Inactive members cannot vote in The Family.
    12. Members who have been inactive for more than three years must request the Board for reinstatement to active status and make suitable arrangements to make up unpaid dues.
    13. I changed this from three months to three years.


      A household is two or more people who live together by mutual agreement, birth, or adoption and who express an intent to love each other for the rest of their lives.

    14. A Member may ask the Board that her or his household be recognized by The Family. As a Recognized Household, all members of the household become household members of The Family.
    15. To become a Recognized Household, all adult members of the household must: (1) promise to refrain from violence against any other member of the household and The Family; (2) promise to not alter the household through divorce or legal separation without notifying the Board.
    16. Upon dissolution of a Household, a member of the former household is automatically eligible for individual membership if the person has met the requirements of the pledge against violence, regardless of any membership cap which may be in place.
    17. Individuals who wish to leave Recognized Households (such as children who grow up and leave home) are automatically eligible for individual membership regardless of any membership cap which may be in place if they have met the requirements of the Household Compact.
    18. Households may have temporary members, i.e., persons who may live in the household for a year or more, but do not have a lifetime commitment to living in the household. Such temporary members have the rights and privileges of Friends, except that their membership is temporary, and expires when they leave the Recognized Household.

  4. Dues
    1. The Board will approve a membership dues schedule each year at the December annual meeting.
    2. The normal membership year follows the calendar year. Members who join after January 1 will have their dues prorated for the year.
    3. Dues must be paid by July 4th for members to remain active. Members with dues more than three years in arrears shall become inactive.

    Changed from months to years.

  5. Definitions
    1. Student
      1. A student is anyone who is in structured learning, including guided research.
      2. At the discretion of The Board or the Membership Committee, artists, musicians, authors, and others may be classified as students.
    2. Household
      1. A household is two or more people who live together by mutual agreement, birth, or adoption and who express an intent to love each other for the rest of their lives.
      2. Students who may not actually live in the household, but still use the household as their permanent address, will be considered Household Members as long as they remain students.