Restore Georgia Coalition – Bylaws
Section 1: Name
The name of this organization is the Restore Georgia Coalition, Inc. (“Restore Georgia”).
Section 2: Operating Principle
Restore Georgia is a civil rights/criminal justice reform group, focusing on the basic unfairness of Sex Offender punishment and the denial of civil liberties.
MISSION AND ROLES
Section 1: Mission and Visionary Statement
Our mission is to serve as a collective voice for those impacted by sexual offense laws in the State of Georgia.
We envision a Georgia where someone who has committed a sexual offense is allowed to be rehabilitated and reintegrated back into their community, free from undue stigma and discrimination. Restore Georgia believes that public registration policies are failing in their stated goal of keeping people safe from sexual victimization. The resulting ostracizing and stigmatizing of registrants negatively affects the registrants, their families, including their children. At the same time this has created a false sense of security in the minds of the public. Studies have shown this not effective in the goal of increasing public safety.
Section 2: Primary Roles
Restore Georgia is a grass-roots, all volunteer, non-profit organization committed to educating the public, state legislators, attorneys, judges and the community about the ineffectiveness of Georgia’s public sex offender registry system. We seek to promote laws that are supported by substantial research to be effective in promoting public safety and that are grounded in both the Georgia and U.S. Constitutions. The role of Restore Georgia is to be informative and supportive to the person on the registry, their families and friends, as well as the community as a whole. Its major responsibilities include the following:
- Advocate change and work diligently to influence positive changes to the justice system.
- Educate the public, the Legislature, and Supervision Authorities, on the facts versus the myths concerning the registry and its effects on the community as a whole.
- Advise registered persons and their families about recent legislative changes and available resources.
- Establish best practices for registered persons to use when seeking employment, housing, or petitioning for judicial relief.
- Cooperating with the National Association of Rational Sex Offense Laws (NARSOL) to affect changes.
Section 1: Membership
Restore Georgia consists of the following founding members or their designees: Barbara Gale, Andrew Stein, Dr. Jean Kennedy, Marlene Lucas , Beverly Cochran, Brendan Spaar and Bill Paul.
Community advocates, registered persons and their families as well as interested members of the community may become Members of Restore Georgia. Any interested person or organization may become a member upon payment of annual membership dues and continued compliance with the code of conduct as defined in Section 3. The board reserves the right to deny or revoke membership to anyone it deems to be in opposition to the mission or visionary statement of the organization.
Section 2: Membership Rights
All members in good standing shall have the following rights:
- Eligible to vote in elections of officers;
- May vote on matters that the Board of Directors chooses to submit to the membership for affirmation; and
- Run for elected office requires membership not less than one (1) quarter.
Section 3: Code of Conduct
Members of Restore Georgia are bound by the following objectives and standards of conduct:
- Support the stated objectives of Restore Georgia;
- Observe all federal, state, and local laws;
- Not affiliate with or publicly support any group that promotes sexual relations between adults and anyone below the age of consent;
- Preserve and protect the confidences and privileged communications of Restore Georgia and its members;
- Shall not correspond with any elected official, supervising authority, or governing body using the Restore Georgia name without the express written consent of the Board of Directors; and
- Shall not take any actions that are deemed by the Board of Directors as unfavorable or detrimental to the organization or members.
Section 1: Board of Directors
Subject to the provisions of the laws of this state and any limitations in the articles of incorporation and these bylaws relating to action required or permitted to be taken or approved by the members, if any, of this organization, the activities and affairs of this organization shall be conducted and all corporate powers shall be exercised by or under the direction of the Board of Directors.
The Board shall have up to seven but not fewer than five members to be decided by the regular members at the annual meeting, provided the Board consists of an odd number of positions. Board members shall have their status confirmed each year at the annual meeting.
The Board shall conduct meetings no less than four times per calendar year at an agreed upon time and place.
All members of the Board of Directors must:
- be members in good standing;
- be properly nominated and ratified by a simple majority of the general membership;
- have attended at least one meeting or activity;
- not be absent from more than two consecutive board meetings without prior notification; and
- not be absent from more than three board meetings in a calendar year.
Section 2: Executive Officers
Each Executive Officer shall be nominated and elected by the Membership who are in good standing.
Executive Officers are subject to all qualification requirements and responsibilities of a general Board member with additional responsibilities to include:
- a) Executive Director: The responsibility of the Executive Director is to organize State-Wide meetings, Board of Directors meetings, and manage administration. Additionally, the Executive Director shall be responsible for the appointment of all committee chairs and has the authority to attend all committee and subcommittee meetings. The Executive Director shall have general supervision and direction of the Board of Directors.
- b) Managing Director: The Managing Director will serve as the Acting Executive Director in the absence of the Executive Director. The Managing Director shall serve as the liaison between committee chairs and the Board of Directors. The Managing Director shall have and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Executive Director.
- c) Secretary: The Secretary is responsible for: keeping minutes of all meetings as well as an accurate membership roster including attendance at meetings; assisting the Executive Director or Managing Director in meeting setup, facilitation, order, parliamentary procedure, or timekeeping as may be required; and the facilitation of all inbound and outbound communications for the organization.
d) Treasurer: The Treasurer shall oversee the development and observation of the organization’s financial policies; inform the Board of key financial reports to include maintaining an account of dues and contributions, as well as, expenses incurred, chair the Finance committee and with it propose the annual budget and financial reports; File Form 990 with the IRS and submit registration with the State of Georgia on an annual basis.
Section 3: Advisory Board
A Board shall be established to advise Restore Georgia. Any member of the Board of Directors or Advisory Board may nominate a member for consideration to the Advisory Board. The Advisory Board are welcome to attend Board Meetings, Membership Meetings, and any official meeting of the organization. The nominations shall be approved by a simple majority vote of the Board of Directors. The Advisory Board shall be composed of:
One Founding Member;
One Member of the Assoc. Treatment of Sexual Abusers;
One Member of the Georgia Senate;
One Member of the Georgia House of Representatives;
The Immediate past Executive Director of Restore Georgia;
One Impacted Citizen;
and one member to be determined by the Executive Director.
Section 4: Committees
Committees shall be formed as needed to accomplish the work of Restore Georgia and shall be initially appointed by the Executive Director from among the membership upon the formation of a committee. The Committee Chairperson will convene and preside over committee meetings and report back to the Managing Director on the status of the work to be accomplished by the committee. Thereafter, the chair shall be chosen by the committee membership. Standing Committees are those committees that require long-term efforts (more than one year) to accomplish the work of Restore Georgia. Ad Hoc Committees and Task Forces may be formed to accomplish more time-limited goals or projects (less than one year). In addition, Restore Georgia will strive to include individuals who are on the registry or previously on the registry or have a family member who is or was on the registry into the composition of the committees.
Section 5: Resignation and removal
Resignations are effective upon receipt by the Executive Director or Secretary of a written notification. The procedure for removal of an Officer or Advisory Board Member is as follows: The Officers shall vote on the removal and must have a simple majority to pass. Removal shall occur only after the Board member or Officer complained against has been given notice and a reasonable opportunity to respond.
Section 6: Vacancies
Vacancies existing by reason of resignation, death, incapacity, or removal before the expiration of a term shall be designated by the Executive Director.
Section 1: Meetings
Restore Georgia statewide membership meetings shall meet a minimum of four times annually. The Restore Georgia Board shall meet monthly. The Restore Georgia Advisory Board shall meet a minimum of twice annually. This schedule may be modified by the Executive Director. The Executive Director will ensure that the members are provided with a meeting agenda and any subsequent changes to the meeting schedule. The Advisory Board shall vote on any changes made to the by-laws of Restore Georgia. At the Advisory Board’s second meeting it will review and approve an annual report submitted by the Officers.
Section 2: Operation of Meetings
Restore Georgia’s business will be conducted by the modified version of Robert’s Rules of Order.
Section 1: Meetings where a vote is held
- Notice: All notices of meetings shall be sent not less than ten (10) nor more than thirty (30) days before the date of the meeting to each member entitled to vote at such meeting.
- Quorum: A quorum shall consist of a simple majority of the total number of voting members. Unless otherwise stated in these Bylaws, all actions shall be by majority vote of those present at a meeting at which a quorum is present. Members may vote by signed proxy form.
Section 2: Elections
- The officers shall be elected at the 1st Quarter meeting.
- Nominations may be made from the floor during the 4th Quarter meeting, provided consent has been obtained from the nominee.
- Elections shall be by paper ballot except when there is only one nominee for an office, election may be by voice vote.
Section 1: Amendment Procedure
The bylaws of Restore Georgia may be amended by a positive vote of at least 3 out of 4 elected Officers. The change or amendment of these bylaws shall also require a positive vote of at least 5 out of 8 members of the Advisory Board and a positive vote of at least 50% plus 1 of the Members-At-Large. Revision of by-laws require a 30 day submission and review period to the Officers, Advisory Board, and Members-At-Large. Changes to Bylaws shall be effective immediately unless otherwise specified.