BY-LAWS

POLISH AMERICAN CONGRESS – WISCONSIN STATE DIVISION

BY-LAWS

Article I

General Provisions

Sec. 1.  Name:  Wisconsin State Division of the Polish American Congress, Inc.

Sec. 2.  Status:  the Wisconsin State Division is a part of and is subject to the rules and By-Laws of the Polish American Congress, Inc.  The State Division may form one or more Chapters in accordance with the provisions in the By-Laws of the Congress.

Sec. 3.  Nature:  Civic, Social, Cultural and Educational

Sec. 4.  Definitions:  Certain words used in these By-Laws have the following meaning:

a)  “State Division” means the Wisconsin State Division which is a division of the Polish American Congress, Inc., whose national office is in Chicago, Illinois.  “Congress” means the Polish American Congress, Inc., a corporation organized under the laws of the State of Illinois.

b) “Organization” means a corporation or an unincorporated association of persons.  Such an organization may be a component part of another organization.

c) “Member” means an organization or an individual who has been certified to be an adult member of the Congress by the National Executive Committee.

d) *  “Delegate” means a person who is designated as a delegate by an organization member in the State Division or an individual member of the State Division, and who is subject to the By-Laws of the Wisconsin State Division and the Polish American Congress, Inc.

e) The use of the word “person” shall mean individuals of the masculine and feminine gender.

*The main office of the Wisconsin State Division shall be located in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.

Article II

Purposes and Objectives

Sec. 1.  To give complete support of the government of the United States in its efforts to win and maintain a just and durable peace and to fight the infiltrations of Communism, Nazism and other subversive ideologies.

Sec. 2.  To stimulate and unify action of persons of Polish ancestry in the United States within the lawful limit of their rights and duties as citizens, permanent residents and visitors to this country.

Sec. 3.  To concern itself with the welfare of Americans of Polish ancestry in political, religious, educational, social and economic matters with the view of encouraging the growth of  their fraternal, professional, ideological and civic associations:

(a)  To support and protect their publications, schools, parishes, particularly those which teach the Polish language, history and culture.

(b)  To support the industry and trade in the United States conducted by persons of Polish ancestry.

(c) To educate and instruct persons of Polish ancestry with their rights, privileges and duties of American citizenship.

(d) To support the efforts of Americans of Polish heritage in their effort to achieve those goals as guaranteed by the United States Constitution.

Sec. 4.  To protect the good name of Americans of Polish ancestry and the people of Poland against defamation and discrimination.

Sec. 5.  To take a positive stand in matters pertaining to the people of Poland and assist them in demanding and in establishing their national independence, civic, religious and cultural developments free from any interference of their neighbors.

Sec. 6.  To furnish information to the American public of Poland’s historic role, her aims, needs, right to independence and integrity of her frontiers.

Sec. 7.  To be active in the direction of closer and deeper cooperation of American democracy with the people of Poland in the fields of civic, ideological, cultural, social and economic life.

Sec. 8.  To establish a special fund for the purpose of carrying out the aims and objectives defined by the Polish-American Congress, Inc.

Article III

Members

Sec. 1.  Composition of the Division:  The Wisconsin State Division shall be composed of members of the Congress residing within the state or in close geographical proximity to it.  Only organization members or individuals certified to be members of the Congress by its Executive Committee shall be members of the Division.
(National By-Laws, Art. VI, Sec. 1)

Sec. 2.  Classes of Members:  the Wisconsin State Division shall have three classes of members as established by the Congress:  1) Polish American Organizations (represented by delegates), 2) Individual, and 3) Associate.
(National By-Laws, Art. II, Sec. 1)

(a) Polish-American Organization shall be defined as any organization consisting of a substantial number of persons of Polish origin or of Polish ancestry.

       Representation of Organizational Members in the Division.
(National By-Laws, Art. VI, Sec. 1)

       1. Parishes and representative component sections of National Organizations shall be  entitled to three (3) Delegates plus one (1) for each one hundred (100) members, but no more than ten (10) Delegates.

2.  All Independent societies, clubs and various other not-for-profit organizations shall be entitled to two (2) Delegates plus one (1) for each one hundred (100) members, but no more than ten (10) delegates.

3. Educational, religious and charitable institutions shall be entitled to two (2) delegates.

(b)  Individual member is defined as any individual person of Polish ancestry or anyone related by blood or marriage to a person of Polish ancestry.

(c)  Associate member is defined as a supporting member without the right to vote.  This class may include individuals, corporations and labor organizations.

(d) Honorary membership may be conferred by the National Executive Council upon selected individuals.  The Division may submit names of appropriate persons to the National Executive Council for its consideration.

Sec. 3.  Qualification for membership:  The qualification for each class shall be the definition of that specific class as given in section 2.  In addition, all members must be either citizens or permanent residents of the United States of America, except for Associate members.
(National By-Laws, Art. II, sec. 2)

Sec. 4.  Acceptance of Members:  All applications for membership of classes (a), (b) and (c) shall be on a form supplied by the Congress, which shall include such information as deemed necessary by the Executive Committee.  The application for membership, together with the applicable dues, shall be submitted to the executive body of the Division.
(National By-Laws, Art. II, Sec. 3)

(a)  The Division shall consider the application and make its recommendation by simple majority vote.

(b)  After consideration by the Division Executive Board, the application and its recommendation shall be forwarded to the National Executive Committee to accept and certify the applicant as a member.  If the recommendation is for rejection, no reason need be given.  All applications shall be treated and considered in a confidential manner.

(c) The National Executive Committee shall notify the applicant and the Division of its decision, and issue a membership card upon receipt of the applicant’s dues.

Sec. 5.  Voting Rights:  Each Organization Delegate and Individual member in good standing shall be entitled to one (1) vote on any matter that is submitted to a vote of the members.
(National By-Laws, Art. II, Sec. 4)

Sec. 6.  Termination of Membership:  The Division, by affirmative vole of two-thirds (2/3) of all the members of the Executive Board, may suspend or expel a member for cause after an appropriate hearing and, by a majority vote of those present at any regularly constituted meeting of the Division, may terminate the membership of any member who becomes ineligible for membership, or suspend or expel any member who shall be delinquent in the payment of dues.  Procedure for said termination shall be pursuant to article IX of the National By-Laws.
(National By-Laws, Art. II, Sec. 5)

Sec. 7.  Transfer of Membership:  Membership in the Polish American Congress is not transferable or assignable to another individual.
(National By-Laws, Art. II, Sec. 6)

Article IV

Dues

Sec. 1.  Members of the Wisconsin State Division shall pay annual dues in the amounts as designated by the Congress and such additional amount set by the Division.

Sec. 2.  The State Division or Chapter shall collect dues and forward the required portion to the National Treasurer.

Sec. 3.  All dues shall be paid no later than January 30 of each year.  Thereafter, a member who is delinquent in dues may be suspended upon a written thirty day notice, and remain suspended until all past dues are paid.

Article V

The Governing Bodies of the Wisconsin State Division

1. Annual Membership Meeting

2. Periodical and Special Meeting

3. Executive Board

4. Executive Committee

5. Audit Committee

Article VI

Annual Membership Meeting

Sec. 1.  Time of Meeting:  The Annual Meeting of the Wisconsin State Division at which the election of officers is held, shall take place once a year in the month of April.

Sec. 2.  Officers of Meeting:  The president of the Division shall call the meeting to order and preside until special officers for the meeting are elected:  chairperson, two vice-chairpersons, secretary, sergeant-at-arms, and as many assistants as the assembly deems needed, and three election judges.

Sec. 3.  Verifying Committee:  One vice-president, the treasurer, and the sergeant-at-arms of the Division shall constitute the Verifying Committee (also known as the Mandates Committee), which will verify the legitimacy of delegate members at the meeting.  Organizational delegates and Individual members shall be given name tags properly identifying them.

Sec. 4.   Agenda/Order of Business of the Meeting:

(a)  Opening
(b)  Roll call of officers
(c) Report of Verifying Committee
(d) Election of officers to conduct the meeting
(e) Reading of Minutes of last Annual Meeting
(f) Report of officers and committees
(g) Report of Audit Committee
(h) Discussion acceptance of reports
(i) Report of Nominating Committee
(j) Election of Officers and Audit Committee
(k) Election of Directors to the National Council 1
(l) Approval of budget for the fiscal year
(m) Old Business, subject submitted in writing
(n) New Business, subject submitted in writing
(o) Adjournment

Sec. 5.  Quorum:  Twenty-five percent (25%) of eligible delegates present shall constitute a quorum.  Otherwise, with a delay of thirty (30) minutes, the meeting will be considered valid and may be conducted.

Article VII

Officers of the Executive Board and Their Duties

Sec. 1.  There shall be the following officers:

(a)  President

(b)  Two Vice-Presidents

  1. Vice-President for Membership
  2. Vice-President for Public Relation

(Enacted at Annual Meeting of 4-18-15)

(c) General Secretary

(d) Recording Secretary

(e) Treasurer

______________
Footnote 1, re Sec. 4 (k).  The National By-Laws (Art. 5) provide for a two-year (2) term for each Director to the National Council.

(f) Sergeant-at-Arms

(g) Executive Board (six Directors or more at option of delegates)

Sec. 2.  If necessary, the Board may fill vacancies by appointment.

Sec. 3.  The President presides at all meetings (the Annual Meeting until it is organized) and shall make a report at each meeting.  The President has the right and duty to appoint all committee chairpersons and members, except the Audit Committee.  He shall serve as ex-officio member on appointed committees except Audit and Nominations Committees.

Sec. 4.  The Executive Board, at its first meeting following election to office, shall designate one vice-president as the Executive Vice-President to serve as President when the elected President is absent or unable to perform the duties of office.
(Enacted at Annual Meeting of 4-26-86)

Sec. 5.  The General Secretary shall maintain the membership list, general mailing list, and is responsible for correspondence and such other duties as assigned.

Sec. 6.  The Recording Secretary shall take the minutes of board and membership meetings – and make the minutes available for the next quarterly meeting.

(Enacted at Annual Meeting of 4-18-15)

Sec. 7. The Treasurer shall:

(a)  Receive dues and donations
(b) Maintain an accurate record of receipts and disbursements
(c) Maintain the checking and savings accounts
(d) Pay out all obligations within the budget or by approval of membership meetings
(e)  At the end of the fiscal year (April 1st to March 31st) and before the Annual Membership Meeting, report the status of all accounts and present all books to the Audit Committee

Sec. 8. The Sergeant-at-Arms shall verify all membership cards and let no non-members into attendance at a meeting.  He shall maintain order and parliamentary conduct during meetings.  He also serves on the Verifying Committee at the Annual Membership Meeting.

Sec. 9.  The Audit Committee shall consist of three members elected at the Annual Membership Meeting for a term of one year.  It shall be their duty to monitor the economic and financial status of the Wisconsin State Division.  They shall audit all books at the end of the fiscal year and report at the Annual Membership Meeting, recommending approval (or disapproval).

Sec. 10.  The Executive Committee shall consist of the President, two Vice-Presidents, the General and Recording Secretaries and the Treasurer.  The Executive Committee is responsible for steering all activities and implementing the policies and programs prescribed by the Annual Meeting of the delegates.

Sec. 11.  The Executive Board shall prepare and submit at the Annual Meeting a budget for the next fiscal year.  Expenditures outside of budget shall be subjected to the approval at membership meetings.

Sec. 12.  Board members who miss three meetings without an excuse shall be retired from their office.

Article VIII

Election of Officers

Sec. 1.  At the Annual Membership Meeting delegates may nominate, from among the verified members, candidates for the offices listed in Article VIII, Sec. 1.  If more than one candidate is nominated for office, there shall be a secret ballot.

Sec. 2.  All officers shall be elected for one year until the next Annual Meeting.

Sec. 3.  Members of the Executive Board shall carry out such duties as are assigned to them by the President or by the Board (e.g., duties on various committees).

Article IX

Periodic and Board Meetings

Sec. 1 There shall be held at least one Membership Meeting each quarter by and through written notice.  The time and place of such meeting shall be determined by the Executive Board or by the Membership.

Sec. 2.  Meetings of the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin State Division are to be held as required on the call of the President.  Three Board members can also request a Board Meeting to consider specific agenda items or by request of the Audit Committee.

Sec. 3.  The President can call an emergency special meeting of the membership after consultation with the Executive Board.

Sec. 4.  In order for financial transactions to be considered at a meeting, a quorum of at least 25% of eligible delegates is required.

Sec. 5.  Agenda/Order of Business at meetings shall be:

(a)  Opening of the meeting
(b) Roll call of officers
(c) Reading of minutes
(d) Report of officers and correspondence
(e) Report of committee chairmen
(f) Old business
(g) New business
(h) Adjournment

Sec. 6.  Delegates, members and officers can address the meetings either in Polish or in English.  Any statement or communication shall be translated to either language when requested.

Article X

Committees

Sec. 1.  There may be the following committees:

(a)  Polish Affairs
(b) Membership
(c) Programs
(d) Culture and Education
(e) By-Law and Regulations
(f) Press and Radio
(g) Complaints

The President may establish other committees with the approval of the Executive Board.

Article XI

Violations

Sec. 1.  The following are declared to be the offenses against the Congress or State Divisions for which a member or delegate may be punished by removal from office he may hold, or reprimanded, suspended or expelled:

(a)  Violations of the National By-Laws of the Congress, the By-Laws and Regulation of the Wisconsin State Division, or enactments of the Congress.  Actions that impair the purpose and objectives of the Congress and the purposes and objectives of the Wisconsin State Division.

(b)  Embezzlement or willful withholding of any funds or other property of the Congress or of the Wisconsin State Division upon demand therefore by proper authority.

(c) Giving willful untruthful information in the application for membership to the Congress.

Article XII

Remarks

Sec. 1.  All meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Roberts’ Rules of Order unless they are preempted by the By-Laws.

Sec. 2.  All complaints by the membership or delegates shall be directed to the Executive Board for decision.  Such decisions shall be final unless they are appealed to the National Executive Committee within sixty days.  The National Executive Committee shall have the final decision.

Sec. 3.  All payments must be signed at least by two of the authorized officers who are:  President, Treasurer and Executive Vice-President.

Sec. 4.  All members of the Board shall turn over property of the Wisconsin State Division to the new Board after their terms expire.

Sec. 5   All delegates shall take an active part in all activities of the Wisconsin State Division.

Sec. 6.  Any member or chairman of a committee engaged in a fundraising campaign for the benefit of the Polish American Congress must obtain consent from the Executive Board for such an undertaking.

Sec. 7.  All monies collected from solicitations or other fund-raising functions for the benefit of the Polish American Congress shall be deposited in the bank in the PAC’s account and at the final disposition of said function all records of receipts and disbursements must be submitted to the Audit Committee for checking and its approval within thirty days.

Sec. 8.  Any publication or communication pertaining to cultural or political matters shall be written on the official letterhead of the Polish American Congress.  At no time shall a member use his or her name in any form or fashion for personal gains or benefit without consent of the Executive Board.

Sec. 9.  The President of the Board, known also as President of the Wisconsin State Division of the Polish American Congress, officially represents the Wisconsin State Division before the public.

Sec. 10.  These By-Laws may be changed by two-thirds vote at the Annual Membership Meeting.  Delegates may propose changes in writing to the By-Laws and Regulations Committee no later than fifteen days before the Annual Membership Meeting or by the By-Laws and Regulations Committee’s recommendation.

Sec. 11.  To dissolve the Wisconsin State Division of the Polish American Congress, a majority of two-thirds of eligible delegates is required in a Special Membership Meeting for this purpose.  In case of dissolution, all assets shall be disposed according to the National By-Laws of the Polish American Congress.

This is to certify that the above and foregoing is a true and correct copy of the     By-Laws of the Wisconsin State Division of the Polish American Congress.

Dated:  April  24, 1993.

______________(S)______________________
President

Countersigned:

___________(S)________________________
General Secretary