ARTICLE I ORGANIZATION
The name of this organization is the Network of Hispanic Communicators (NHC). See paragraphs below for additional information about the name. This Dallas-Fort Worth area organization is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization serving as a professional support and advocacy association for professional communicators.
• On May 28, 2008, the Network of Hispanic Communicators DFW officially became a chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists upon receiving a letter addressed to then-president Stella Chavez designating the organization as an NAHJ chapter.
• In August 2010, the planning committee recommended changing the name of the group to Hispanic Communicators DFW. This name change will pertain to our website, social media platforms, emails and common references, but will not change our status with our bank account, our nonprofit 501(c) (3) status or with the state of Texas.
ARTICLE II PURPOSE
The purpose of the Hispanic Communicators DFW is to:
• Bring together Hispanics in journalism, mass communications and multimedia to advance Hispanics in communications careers;
• Promote fair treatment and accurate portrayal of Hispanics in the media
• Provide community services to enhance outreach efforts; and
• Encourage Hispanics to consider and pursue a communications profession.
ARTICLE III CONDUCT OF MEETINGS
Meetings are generally conducted in English, but will allow for bilingual communication (in Spanish).
ARTICLE IV MEMBERSHIP
A. General Membership - Open to all current and former professionals in electronic, broadcast and print media; other new media; journalism educators; professionals in advertising and public relations; and freelancers in the above categories. All general members are eligible to vote and run for office.
B. Associate Membership - Open to people who do not work in media but who support the goals of the Network.
C. Student Membership- Open to high school and college students involved in the study of communications. Student members are eligible to vote and hold office in the position of student representative. Student members of NAHJ are automatically members of HCDFW.
D. Corporate Membership - Open to people or companies that contribute funds to Hispanic Communicators DFW. To qualify for a Corporate Membership, the amount donated must be a minimum of $1,000 for the calendar year.
E. Current NAHJ members in the Dallas/Fort Worth area are automatically members of the Hispanic Communicators DFW.
ARTICLE V MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS
A. Annual dues must be renewed by each member’s anniversary date.
B. Membership dues, and how they will be collected will be determined by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors reserves the right to establish the amount of dues required for each level of membership and the manner in which payment shall be collected. The required dues amount may vary based on the membership level. The Board of Directors has the right to increase or decrease membership dues to ensure the financial wellbeing of the organization.
C. Membership is non-transferable.
D. Dues must be up to date for a member to vote on Hispanic Communicators DFW issues or elections.
ARTICLE VI BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Powers of the Board
A. Hispanic Communicators DFW shall be managed by or under the direction, and subject to the oversight, of the Board of Directors.
Composition of the Board
A. The members of the Board of Directors shall consist of (i) the 7 elected officers and the student representative, (ii) non-voting members.
B. The Board will consist of non-voting members equal to the number of officers serving on the board. These members will participate in board meetings, offering advice and debate, but they will not have a vote on the board. As members of HCDFW, these non-voting board members will still be permitted the same voting rights as the general membership.
C. Non-voting members shall be admitted by being nominated by a current voting officer of the Board and approved by a simple majority vote of the voting officers of the board.
D. Non-voting members shall serve two year terms and can choose to sit on the board for additional terms upon the expiration of their term.
E. Non-voting board members have the same attendance responsibilities as elected officers.
F. The Board may expand the number of members serving on the Board as it sees fit.
Expectations of the Board
As leaders in our organization and profession, HCDFW board members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner. This includes regular attendance. Any board member who misses more than three meetings without a written excuse submitted to the President is subject to removal through a vote by the Board of Directors.
An excused absence shall not count as one of the three unexcused absences warranting removal.
ARTICLE VII OFFICERS AND COMMITTEES
All officers will serve a period of two years. Officers may serve on any of the Hispanic Communicators DFW committees. All officers must be current members in good standing with NAHJ/HCDFW when they announce their candidacy and throughout their tenure on the Board.
The President must be a working or former broadcast or print journalist, other news media, or PR professional who has worked as a broadcast, print or electronic journalist, if a working journalist is not available to serve. He or she presides over meetings and develops the working agenda. He/she serves as official spokesperson for the organization. The president shall be responsible for providing assignments to the organization's various committees. Upon the expiration of his/her term, the President will help the newly-elected president in the transition period and will serve as a President Ex Officio for a term of one year. In this role, the President Ex Officio serves in an advise and assist role. The President Ex Offcio will attend all board meetings but will not have any voting power or be able to make proposals.
B. Vice Presidents (2 positions, Journalism and General)
The Vice President of Journalism must be a working or former broadcast or print journalist, or PR professional who has worked as a broadcast, print or electronic journalist. The Vice President - Journalism will sit on the Professional Development Committee. Must be a current member of NAHJ.
The Vice President General - must be a professional in mass communications, public relations, marketing, multimedia field and educators in those fields. Must be a current member of NAHJ. The Vice President General will sit on the Membership Committee. Any member can serve in this position.
The Treasurer will serve as the Hispanic Communicators DFW chief fundraiser. The Treasurer will procure funds, which includes letter writing and maintaining a list of potential contributors, and working to coordinate checks, credit card receipts, bills and financial transactions. The Treasurer will also be responsible for the monthly Treasurer’s report provided to the board at the beginning of each month. The Treasurer will sit on the Fundraising /Scholarship/Banquet Committee. The Treasurer will also serve as the CFO for Hispanic Communicators DFW. As the CFO, the Treasurer will be the business manager and be responsible for documenting all incoming revenues, gift scholarship donations, and membership dues. The Treasurer will provide regular financial statements to the membership at its monthly meetings and be responsible for maintaining current and accurate financial books for review by the officers and the Hispanic Communicators DFW prospective benefactors. The Treasurer will be required to have the appropriate training necessary to ensure the organization is in compliance with all relevant tax laws and filings at the local, state, and federal level.
The Secretary will serve as Hispanic Communicators DFW record keeper and parliamentarian. The Secretary will be responsible for maintaining and record keeping of all Hispanic Communicators DFW documentation. The Secretary shall also record the meetings of all board, general membership, and special meetings and maintain a record of the recorded minutes. The Secretary shall also track the attendance of officers, and inform the President if any officer is in jeopardy of a third unexcused absence. The Secretary will sit on the Fundraising /Scholarship/Banquet Committee.
As parliamentarian of the organization, the Secretary shall be responsible for resolving any conflict or question regarding organization rules or interpretation of the organization’s bylaws. If there is a question regarding a previous meeting, or matters discussed, it will be the responsibility of the Secretary to refer to the previously recorded minutes of the meeting in question and provide clarification and guidance regarding the record.
E. Social Media Director
Will oversee all of the organization’s social media platforms, including the website. Will be responsible for coordinating duties performed by volunteers. Will implement and execute a strategy plan. Will be the administrator of all social media platforms. Will work with the President to ensure information being disseminated on behalf of the group is proper, accurate and appropriate. Will coordinate the E-Newsletter. Will sit on the Social Media/Marketing Committee. Any member can serve in this position.
F. Spanish-Language At Large
Will concentrate on recruiting and maintaining relationships with Spanish language media. Will assist the social media manager in providing Spanish language content to members. Will sit on the Professional Development Committee. Any member can serve in this position.
H. Student Representative
The Student Representative shall serve as the voice of the student membership on the board. The Student Representative must be a Student Member in good standing of the organization and a full‐time student at a recognized and accredited institution of higher learning who has demonstrated an interest in broadcast or print journalism or news media. The Student Representative shall be elected by HCDFW members and members of NAHJ student chapters. The Student Representative on the board shall serve a one-year term. If there are no students who are members of Hispanic Communicators DFW, the position shall remain vacant until a time where there are students in the organization who are eligible to run for the position of Student Representative.
The Hispanic Communicators has several standing committees. All committee chairs and general members who serve on committees must be current members. Each committee will be headed by a committee chair who is elected by the members of the committee. Each member of the organization is encouraged to serve on a committee. While the President of the organization is responsible for committee assignments, the members preference of committee assignment should be given priority.
• Professional Development Committee (VP of Journalism, VP General, Spanish-Language at Large)
• Social Media/Marketing Committee (Social media manager)
• Fundraising /Scholarship/Banquet Committee (Treasurer and Secretary)
• Speakers Bureau Committee (President)
• Membership Committee(Vice President General)
Article VIII MEETINGS AND ELECTIONS
A. Hispanic Communicators DFW meetings shall be held a minimum of six times a year. Additional meetings may be called at the discretion of the President and/or a majority of the officers.
B. A quorum of at least three-fifths of the elected officers is required to conduct official Hispanic Communicators DFW business.
C. Any general member of the organization may run for a board position. An individual who wishes to run for office shall inform the Secretary in writing of the office they seek before the August meeting.
D. Biannual election of officers shall take place in September. With new officers taking office on January 1st of the following calendar year.
E. Should an officer resign a post, the President will appoint a replacement.
F. An election shall be held at the September meeting. If the meeting occurs in person, the election shall be held via secret paper ballot with votes being counted by the Treasurer. The chairs of each committee shall oversee the counting of the ballots. If the election is to be held in a virtual format, the election shall be held via online poll, so long as the poll conducted does not reveal the identity of how any individual member voted.
G. Upon completion of ballot counting, the Treasurer shall inform the board and general membership of the election results.
H. Once the election is complete, each officer elect shall attend the remaining board meetings of that calendar year as an observer. While the officers-elect can observe board meetings, they shall have no voting authority.
ARTICLE IX REMOVAL OR RESIGNATION OF OFFICERS
A. Any elected officer may resign his/her post by providing a letter of resignation to the President and officers.
B. Resignation of duties of Committee chairs must be reported in writing to the President and officers.
ARTICLE X PROCESS OF REMOVING AN OFFICER
A. Any member of Hispanic Communicators DFW shall have the right to initiate the process of removing an officer or a committee chair.
B. If a member believes an officer or committee chair has conducted themselves in a way which warrants removal, they must submit a written complaint to the Membership Committee detailing the nature of their complaint, and provide any evidence to support their claim.
C. Conduct warranting removal shall include, but is not limited to:
1. Stealing from the organization;
2. Presenting privileged information to the public;
3. Threatening or causing physical harm to another member;
4. Dereliction of duty resulting in harm to the organization.
D. Upon receiving a complaint requesting removal, the Membership Committee shall have 30 days to review the complaint to determine if it has merit. Once the complaint has been reviewed, the committee shall hold a vote to determine if the complaint shall move forward or be dismissed.
E. A majority vote shall be required to escalate or dismiss a claim. Should the Membership Committee find the complaint has merit as determined by a majority vote, the complaint shall be submitted to the Secretary of the board.
F. The Secretary shall then inform the accused member of the claims being made against them and shall provide a copy of the complaint as well as any evidence that has been submitted.
G. The accused member shall then have 30 days to provide a written defense to be
submitted to the Secretary. Failure to provide a written defence shall constitute an admission of guilt resulting in immediate removal from office, and a one-year prohibition from holding elected office or a committee chair position. Should a special circumstance prevent a defense from being submitted on time, a request for extension must be made in writing to the President within the 30-day timeframe. The President shall have sole discretion in determining the validity of the extension request and the granting of an extension.
H. Once the Secretary has received a written defense the issue of removal shall be taken up at the next general meeting.
I.At the general meeting, the Secretary shall read outloud the written complaint and the written defence to the members present. Once both sides' positions have been read, the President shall call a vote to remove the officer.
J. The vote shall be conducted anonymously, and shall require a three-fifths vote of members present to remove an officer, otherwise the case shall be dismissed.
K. If found guilty, effective immediately, the officer or committee chair shall be stripped of their position, and shall be prohibited from holding office or a position on a committee for a minimum of one calendar year.
L. Upon passage of a vote for removal, the board may extend the prohibition or expel the member from HCDFW if a majority of the board determines such action is necessary. The board shall have 7 days to take up the issue and make a decision. Should the board decide to extend the prohibition or vote to expel, the member in question as well as the General Membership must be notified as soon as possible.
M. Should charges to remove an officer be made against the Secretary and pass the Membership Committee, the Treasurer shall assume the Secretary’s Article X duties.
N. Should charges to remove an officer be made against the President and pass the Membership Committee, the Vice President of Journalism shall assume the President’s Article X duties.
O. Should a complaint be made against the Vice President General, the Vice President General shall not be allowed to vote on whether the issue has merit.
P. Should a complaint be made against a member of the Membership Committee, that member shall not be allowed to vote on whether the issue has merit.
ARTICLE XI AMENDMENTS TO THE BYLAWS
A. The Hispanic Communicators DFW bylaws may be amended at a regular monthly meeting. A special bylaws vote can be called at other times by the board.
B. Proposed changes must be presented in writing to the general membership through the Secretary at a regular monthly meeting, and then voted on at the following meeting.
C. Amendments may be approved by a two-thirds vote of the general membership present at the meeting.
D. Every three years a special committee will be formed to review the current bylaws of the organization and determine if any changes should be made.
E. The committee shall consist of five members. Each committee shall select one member to serve on the special committee for bylaw reform.
F. The committee will have 60 days to review the organization's bylaws. Upon completion of their review, the committee shall submit a report to the Secretary stating if any changes should be made to the organization bylaws.
G. If the committee report contains changes to the bylaws, the proposed changes will be considered through the amendment process detailed under Article XI.
ARTICLE XII AD HOC COMMITTEES
A. At the discretion of the board, an ad hoc committee can be formed for a specific purpose. The intent of the committee is to be narrowly defined in nature and limited in time.
B. In order for an Ad Hoc Committee to be formed, a board member must make a motion for the committee to be formed and the motion must be seconded by another member of the board. The committee must be approved by a simple majority vote of the board members. Before a board vote can take place, a memorandum of understanding must be filed with the Secretary of the Board Stating: i. The intended purpose of the ad hoc committee, ii. The length of time the committee will stand for iii. The objectives of the committee.
C. Upon passage of the committee, a board member will be selected by the President to serve as chair of the ad hoc committee. The remaining members of the ad hoc committee will consist of one member from each permanent committee who have been selected by the permanent committees.
D. Unless otherwise stated in the memorandum of understanding filed with the Secretary, an ad hoc committee will only be formed for 90 days from passage of its formation. The committee's charter will expire at midnight on the 90th day.
E. If additional time is needed, an ad hoc committee can be given a 60-day extension. Such an extension must be approved through a 2/3rds vote of members who submit their vote to be recorded. A vote can occur either at a HCDFW meeting or through electronic means such as, but not limited to, an email requesting votes or an electronic poll. This vote is not required to be conducted via secret ballot. The ad hoc committee can receive additional extensions by a 2/3rd approval vote of the members who submit their vote to be recorded.
F. Upon completion of its work, or the expiration of the committee’s charter, the ad hoc committee is to submit a final report to the board Secretary detailing the work of the committee. The report is to be filed no later than two weeks after the completion of the committee’s work or the expiration of it’s charter.
G. The Secretary is to present the final report to the board and keep a copy of the final report on file.