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Democracy ACBL-style: ATL General Membership Meeting.

It's very important that ACBL members exercise their rights to direct the organization at the next General Membership Meeting Sunday, July 29, 2018, in Atlanta between 10:00am and 12:00pm during (conducted as a part of) the ACBL Board of Governors Meeting. Check your Daily Bulletin at the Atlanta NABC for the exact location of the BOG meeting.

Each year the ACBL is required by New York law to hold an Annual Meeting (called "General Membership Meeting" per ACBL By-Law 4.1. For the past 10 years, the Annual Meeting has failed to attract a quorum per ACBL By-Law 4.3:

  • 4.3 Quorum. A quorum at any meeting shall consist of the lesser of (i) at least two hundred and fifty (250) members representing a majority of Districts provided that no one District shall comprise more than twenty percent (20%) of the required minimum of two hundred and fifty (250) members, or (ii) members entitled to cast one-tenth (1/10) of the total number of votes entitled to be cast at said meeting.

Each year, the lack of a quorum present acts to prevent the conducting of any business at the meeting, other than a motion to adjourn.ACBL By-Law 4.4 tells us who can vote at the "General Membership Meeting" (Annual Meeting).

  • 4.4 Record. At all meetings of the members, each member of record shall be entitled to one (1) vote. A “member of record” is a person who is a member in good standing of the ACBL as of the 15th day of the month preceding the meeting. No proxy voting shall be permitted.

Bylaw 4.5 addresses voting:

  • 4.5 Voting. The act of a majority of members voting at a duly called meeting of the voting members at which a quorum is present shall be the act of the voting membership, unless the question or issue upon which the members are voting is one which, by express provision of law, the ACBL’s Certificate of Incorporation or these Bylaws, a different vote is required, in which case such express provision shall govern and control the decision of such question or issue.

Although Bylaw 10.3 purports to limit the power of members to make bylaw changes, it is unclear this limitation was ever approved by the members themselves, so under New York law the membership has unfettered right to adopt, modify, or repeal the bylaws.

Bottom line, if we can get a quorum present July 29 in Atlanta Georgia at the "General Membership Meeting" (Annual Meeting) (scheduled to be held within the Board of Governors Meeting), then any ACBL member may propose a motion -- which, if passed by the members present and voting, will compel the ACBL Board of Directors at least to comply (except any bylaw change may require Board of Directors’ implementation). Note that, per New York law, 250 votes will be needed for the membership to approve any motion, so substantially more than 250 members will likely have to attend unless all votes are nearly unanimous.

REQUEST FOR INPUT: I solicit comments from BW that propose:

  • Ideas on how to insure the attendance of perhaps twice the number required for quorum (250 members, no more than 50 from one district, and at least one member from a majority of the districts) at the July 29 "General Membership Meeting" (Annual Meeting); and,
  • Motions that you would like to hear made at the July 29 Atlanta NABC "General Membership Meeting" (Annual Meeting).
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