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How Can an ACBL Membership Meeting Amend ACBL's Bylaws?
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The simple and short answer:  It's not easy.

Now for the specifics -- taken from two sources:

http://www.acbl.org/about-acbl/administration/acbl-handbook/ii-bylaws-and-bylaw-amendments/

The Bylaws may also be amended by the membership by providing a petition as outlined in Article X of the Bylaws. The petition is submitted to the Board of Governors and the Board of Directors for review and recommendation. The proposed amendment and recommendations are to be published in the Bridge Bulletin and then included on the agenda for the next Annual membership meeting. If approved by 2/3 of the members present and voting, the amendment is adopted.

NOTE: Please refer to the ACBL Bylaws, Article X, for a more detailed explanation of how the Bylaws may be amended.

and Article X, see http://web2.acbl.org/documentlibrary/about/Bylaws.pdf

10.3 If Initiated by a Member of ACBL. A member of the ACBL may initiate a proposed Bylaw amendment.

10.3.1 The proposed amendment shall be submitted in petition form, signed by at least fifty (50) members representing a majority of the Districts.

10.3.2 The exact wording of the proposed amendment must be printed at the top of each page of signatories.

10.3.3 There shall be the following columns for signatories: signatory’s name printed legibly or typed, signature, District and Unit number, and ACBL member number of the signatory.

10.3.4 The petition shall be submitted to the Board of Directors and Board of Governors for review and recommendations.

10.3.5 The proposed amendment shall be submitted to the membership for approval at the next annual members meeting. The proposed amendment and recommendations of the Board of Directors and of the Board of Governors shall be included in the agenda for the meeting and shall also be printed in the official publication of the ACBL at least thirty (30) but no more than sixty (60) days before the annual membership meeting. If approved by at least two-thirds (2/3) of the members present and voting, the amendment shall be published in the official publication of the ACBL at least thirty (30) but no more than sixty (60) days prior to the second vote at the next annual membership meeting. If approved by at least two-thirds (2/3) of the members present and voting, the amendment shall be adopted and become part of the Bylaws. If there is not a quorum at an annual meeting at which the amendment is to be considered, the proposed amendment fails.

"Short" Step-by-Step Version of the Process if started today

  1. Member creates a proposed amendment
  2. Signatures of at least 50 ACBL members from at least 13 ACBL Districts are collected, on a petition with full text (exact wording) of proposed amendment on each page, and printed/typed name, ACBL number, Unit, and District listed with each member's signature.
  3. Petition submitted to both ACBL Board of Directors and ACBL Board of Governors for review and recommendation at their next 2016 NABC  meeting
  4. Both BoD and BoG must review the proposed amendment and make recommendations
  5. The full text of proposed amendment, plus BoD and BoG recommendations, must be published 30-60 days before the next Annual Membership Meeting in "the official publication of the ACBL" (ACBL Bulletin), and included in the agenda for the next Annual Membership Meeting  -- that's 2017 in Toronto
  6. ACBL Annual (NOT special) Membership Meeting (Sunday July 23, 2017) must both have  a quorum and approve the proposed amendment by 2/3 vote of those present and voting
  7. The full text of proposed amendment, plus BoD and BoG recommendations, must be published 30-60 days before the next Annual Membership Meeting in "the official publication of the ACBL" (ACBL Bulletin), and included in the agenda for the next Annual Membership Meeting (2018, Atlanta)
  8. ACBL Annual (NOT special) Membership Meeting (Sunday July 29, 2018) must both have a quorum and approve the proposed amendment by 2/3 vote of those present and voting

Take a hypothetical example:  reducing the size and number of in-person meetings of the ACBL Board of Directors.  Here's how the process works, starting today:

  1. A member writes up a petition, 
  2. That member and allies collect the fifty signatures including at least one signature from each of at least 13 ACBL Districts (perhaps completing this process during the first few days of the Washington Summer NABC)
  3. The petition is presented to the BoD and BoG at the Washington NABC.
  4. The ACBL Board of Directors recommends against the proposed amendment at its Orlando meeting in November 2016.
  5. The ACBL Board of Governors recommends against the proposed amendment at its Orlando meeting in November 2016.
  6. The text of the proposed Amendment, with the recommendations of both BoD and BoG, is printed in the June 2017 ACBL Bulletin,and placed on the agenda of the ACBL Annual Membership Meeting scheduled in Toronto, Sunday, July 23, 2017.
  7. The ACBL Annual Membership Meeting in Toronto has at least 250 members present, including at least 200 from outside District 2, and representing at least twelve other Districts besides District 2.  The members present and voting approve the amendment.
  8. The text of the proposed Amendment, with the recommendations of both BoD and BoG, is printed in the June 2018 ACBL Bulletin,and placed on the agenda of the ACBL Annual Membership Meeting scheduled in Atlanta, Sunday, July 29, 2018.
  9. The ACBL Annual Membership Meeting in Atlanta has at least 250 members present, including at least 200 from outside District 7, and representing at least twelve other Districts besides District 7. The members present and voting approve the amendment.

So we have a long process requiring a more than two-year commitment from the ACBL Members, starting now and going through July of 2018.  

Maybe it's easier to just replace enough of the Board of Directors members who oppose the hypothetical amendment?

 

 

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