Brotherhood of Leathermen of Color (BLOC)
This coalition shall be called the Brotherhood of Leathermen Of Color (B L O C). We are so named by a majority vote taken during a meeting given on Sunday, January 9th, 2011. This meeting took place between the hours of 5 PM and 7 PM at the LGBT Center, 209 W 13th Street, NYC, NY, USA.
We are a working coalition of gay leathermen of color, and their friends. Our alliance seeks to produce and promote social events that will provide relevant experiences, enhance our collective image, and improve our lives as gay leathermen.
Through our activities, the Brotherhood of Leatherman of Color also aims to give voice to gay issues, support selected charities, and to be a viable, and a valued part of larger gay community.
Membership in ths organization is open to all men, ages 21 and over, who share our vision.
(A.) Meetings of the membership shall be held on the second Sunday of the month, between the hours of 5 PM and 7 PM. Currently, these meetings are held at the LGBT Center, at 209 W 13th Street, in NYC, NY, USA.
ORDER of BUSINESS
1. Roll Call
3. Results of Committees
4. Reports from Officers
5. Old and Unfinished Business
6. New Business
(B.) A second monthly meeting shall be held by conference call, to be held on the fourth (4th) Monday of the month. The exact time/hours of this meeting shall be arranged on an ongoing basis.
All full brothers, in good standing, are elible to vote on each and every issue brought before this body. Members whose dues are not paid up, are deemed not to be in good standing, and are therefore not eligible to vote on issues brought before the membership.
Chair / PRESIDENT
The President is the CEO, and shall preside at all meetings. He also shares responsibility, w/ the Treasurer, for co-signing all checks (and financial transanctions) issued by B L O C.
Co Chair / VICE PRESIDENT
The Vice President shall preside in the absence of the President.
The Secretary shall serve as the official record keeper for B L O C. The Secretary shall record minutes of all meetings of the membership, as well as serve as chief corresponding officer (CCO) to all parties engaged by this body (B L O C).
The Treasurer shall be responsible for all financial transactions involving BLOC. The Treasurer shall also keep detailed records of afinancial transactions, as well as serve as chief financial officer (CFO).
ll SARGENT-AT-ARMS (EVENTS COORDINATOR)
The Sargent-at-Arms shall be responsible for planning and coordinating all activities and events in which B L O C is involved.
The Sargent-at-Arms shall maintain rule and order at all meetings of the club.
The Sargent-at-arms shall chair the Membership Committee and shall serve as the single point of contact for prospective and probationary members.
The Sargent at Arms shall work with the secretary in maintaining a “good standing” role.
The Sargent-At-Arms shall develop and organize educational events for prospective and probationary members.
The Sargent-At-Arms shall receive all applications for membership on behalf of the club Should the office of Sargent-At-Arms be left vacant for any reason, the Executive board shall appoint a member to execute said duties.
No member of this organization ( B L O C) shall be compensated for any work that he performs in service to this organization.
There shall be two (2) standing committees, FUNDRAISING and MEMBERSHIP. All other committees shall be formed on an ad hoc basis, subject to a majority vote.
1. All members of B L O C are required to pay dues; dues for ALL full brothers are seventy five (75) dollars per year. A partial payment of twenty five (25) dollars- one third (1/3) of the annual dues-is due at the beginning of each trimester.
2. Dues for Associate brothers are thirty five (35) dollars.
Amendments to this documentshall be made following a discussion of the proposed specific) amendment brought before this body, and a majority vote by this body ( B L O C.
Name and Seal
The organization shall be known as “Brotherhood of Leathermen of Color (BLOC) ”
The Seal and colors of the Brotherhood of Leathermen of Color (BLOC) shall be a Block with the group logo, club color is Purple, Blue, White and Black . The colors of the club shall refer to any graphic representation of the club or logo on any article of clothing, flag or banner.
Ownership , copyright and trademark of the name, logo and colors of the Brotherhood of Leathermen of Color (BLOC) are the sole property of the organization. Use of said property is governed by these by-laws.
Mission and Purpose
The mission of the Brotherhood of Leathermen of Color (BLOC) is to provide those interested in leather a safe forum to socialize, learn, educate, have fun, and support each other in the community.
The Brotherhood of Leathermen of Color (BLOC) are a brotherhood of self-identified LeatherMen and leatherboys. LeatherMen and leatherboy being defined as broadly as possible so as not to discriminate based on age, race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or appearance. The purpose of the club is to gather in brotherhood, and in boyhood, supporting our members and community with respect and integrity.
No full member shall be under the age of twenty-one (21) years of age.
Applicant - any individual who identifies as LeatherMan or leatherboy may apply to the brotherhood by completing a membership application. Applicant must be sponsored by at least one (1) Brother, alumnus or life brother or have no fewer than three (3) character references from members of the community.
Categories of membership shall be defined thusly:
subsecretary to the mission and purpose of the club
The Probationary period shall be no less than three (3) months. The brotherhood may rescind probationary status at any time by a simple majority vote of brothers in good standing in attendance of any business meeting.
Probationary members may petition the Membership Committee to become brothers at the successful completion of their probationary period. Upon petition, the Sargent-at-Arms may extend an invitation to become a brother to the probationary member with the approval of a simple majority of all brothers in good standing in attendance of any business meeting.
- display and respect club colors
- attend a majority of designated functions
- embody the spirit of the club at community events
- recruit and select members
- serve as and elect club officers
- chair and serve on committees
- attend meetings and events closed to non-brothers
- attend all business meetings called by the Alphas of the
- vote on club business
- pay dues
The Brother represents the heart of the organization. Each brother holds all of the rights and responsibilities of membership, including the right or responsibility to:
Brothers must remain in good standing in order to exercise these rights.
Brothers who cannot fulfill these responsibilities may elect to become associate brothers. Should any said brother petition for
reinstatement, said member will be reinstated as a brother after ninety (90)days with a simple majority vote of all brothers in good standing in attendanceof any business meeting.
2. Associate The Associate brother is any individual over the age of eighteen (18) who is approved by a simple majority of brothers in good
standing in attendance of any business meeting. An associate brother, is inessence, a friend and supporter of the club and must attend at least one (1) designated function of the club annually. Associate brothers hold the following rights to:
1) display and respect club colors
2) attend a majority of designated functions
3) embody the spirit of the club at community events
4) recruit and select members
5) pay club dues
- Honorary brotherhood
- Alumni Brothers
in good standing may nominate a brother for said honor and present said honor-ship at the annual club meeting. Life Brothers may only be selected at the annual meeting and must be selected by a voting majority of two-thirds (2/3) of brothers in good standing at the annual meeting.
Life Brothers are entitled to all rights and esponsibilities of full brothers, however they are exempt from paying dues.
Honorary brotherhood may be extended to any member of the community who has supported the clubs mission and purpose. The club may extend no more than one (1) honorary membership annually. Honorary members are nominated by the Club leadership on the advice of any brother in good standing. Honorary members must be selected by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of all brothers in good standing at the annual meeting. Honorary members are entitled to:
Honorary members are exempt from paying club dues in recognition of their service to the club and community.
All members in good standing, regardless of theirclass of membership, at their time of death, may be made Brothers-InSpirit.
Their names shall be carried on the roster by the secretary and shall be honored by the Brotherhood of Leathermen of Color (BLOC) as they see fit.
Founding memberships are restricted to the initial brothers of the corporation as listed in article V of the initial articles of Incorporation of Brotherhood of Leathermen of Color (BLOC), Inc. filed with the Secretary of State of New York. Founding Members wear a “founder” patch as designated by the Executive Committee.
A Member is considered to be in “good standing” if that member has paid all dues and fees owed to the club within sixty (60) days of notification. Additionally, the brothers may not miss more than two (2) consecutive business meetings without receiving an exemption from the VP.
A brother may have his membership revoked at any time egardless of membership class by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of brothers in good standing in attendance of any business meeting.
Grievances must be presented to the VP within thirty (30) days of the grievance in writing. The Sargent-at-Arms will then notify the member in question within seven (7) days, at which point the member in question has thirty (30) days to appear before the membership committee to rebut the accusation. The membership committee will then vote by a two-thirds (2/3) majority weather or not to send the issue to the full membership for vote.
Should the member not appear before the Membership Committee, the vote will automatically go before the full membership at the next business meeting.
Additionally, membership may be revoked from any member whofails to settle club dues or fees within sixty (60) days of notification from the club.
The Brotherhood of Leathermen of Color (BLOC) does not discriminate in the selection of members and the attendance of function based upon race, creed, age, religion, gender, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation, or by any other class as protected by local, state or federal law.
The Brotherhood of Leathermen of Color (BLOC) shall meet for the purpose of doing business at least once per year. The Club Leadership shall notify the brotherhood no less than thirty (30) days prior to the annual meeting. The Club Leadership may also call additional meetings for the purpose of conducting business at any time with at least seven (7) days prior notice the membership.
The Executive Board Shall Consist of the President, Vice-President, secretary, treasurer, and Sargent-At-Arms. No officer may hold more than one elected office at a time.
The President shall be a member in good standing for no fewer than one (1) year prior to the start of their term. All other officers must be brothers in good standing for at least six (6) months prior to the start of their terms.
All terms end on the first day of January of each year. If the Annual Meeting has Not been called, officer terms will automatically extend until such meeting may be held. No member shall serve in the same office for more than three (3) consecutive terms.
Nominations for office shall be open to the brothers for not less than one month prior to the annual meeting. The President must close nominations prior to the start of the election of officers during the annual meeting. A member may be nominated for more than one office, and may nominate his or herself. Each nomination requires a second to be put on the ballot.
All officers of the organization shall be elected annually by the membership at the annual meeting. Voting shall be be secret ballot, and each brother in good standing is permitted one vote per office. Any member in good standing who cannot attend may designate a proxy vote in writing to the secretary in advance of the meeting. The secretary will also hold the responsibility of tallying the votes.
The Election shall start by selecting a President. If no candidate for President receives a simple majority in the first round of voting, the top two candidates will face each other in a second round vote. In the case of a three-way-tie, all three tied candidates will proceed to the second round of voting. If after the second round of voting, there is still a tie, the executive board will select the President-elect.
After the selection of a President-elect, the officers will continue to be selected in the following order: Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Sargent-at-Arms. The member with the most votes for each of these offices will be elected. In the case of a tie, the President-elect will cast the deciding vote.
Each Office shall be tallied individually so that a personelected to one office may be removed from running from subsequent offices.
The President shall convene the Executive Board at least once within sixty (60) days following the annual meeting, and at other times as necessary. The Executive Board may adopt such rules and regulations for the conduct of their meetings and the management of the organization as they deem proper, so long as they are not inconsistent with these by-laws, the laws of the State of New York, or federal law.
All members in good standing may attend Executive meetings. For executive meetings, a quorum of at least three (3) members of the executive board must be present. If a quorum is not present, those present must adjourn the meeting until a quorum is present.
Whenever by statue or the provisions of these by-laws, the Executive Board is authorized to take any action after notice, such notice maybe waived, in writing, before the holding of the meeting by persons entitled to such notice.
Vacancies on the Executive Board between annual meetings shall be filled by an appointee of the executive board until a special election can be held under the provisions of Article IV Section 3 no later than sixty (60) days after the vacancy. Should the position of President become vacant, the Vice President shall assume such responsibilities until the special election can be held.
The membership may remove any officer for due cause. To impeach an officer, any member in good standing may petition the executive board outlining the reasons for removal. The President will notify the office of the petition within seven (7) days. The Officer then has thirty (30) days to appear before the Board and plead their case. The remaining officers must impeach the officer in question by a vote of three (3) out of four (4). The President must then call a special meeting of the brothers within thirty (30)
days , giving at least fourteen (14) days notice. At that meeting, the officer will be removed should two-thirds (2/3) of all members in good standing present find just cause.
The Officers of the Executive board shall have control andgeneral management of the affairs and business of the club.
The Executive board will, by simple majority vote, designate all required and optional club functions.
Duties of officers shall be outlined as such:
The President shall call regular and special meetings of the members and of the Executive board, in accordance with these
by-laws and shall chair such meetings. The President shall set the agenda for all meetings.
The President shall represent the club for all external meetings, committees and functions where the presence of the club is
requested or required; but may, with the consent of the Executive board, designate other members as the representative
The President shall ensure books, reports, and statements as required by statute are properly made, kept and filed according
to law. As the annual meeting, the President shall present a report of the club’s standing.
The President, with the consent of the Executive Board, shall make any contracts and agreements on behalf of the club.
The Vice President shall serve in the absence or ncapacity of the President and exercise their official duties and responsibilities outlined by these by-laws.
The Vice President shall serve as chairperson of all internal committees formed by the Executive board, unless another member is designated.
The Vice President shall be responsible for the development and maintenance of the inventory of club property not related to membership materials.
The Secretary shall keep minutes of all club business meetings and of the Executive Board meetings. The secretary shall distribute the minutes of all meetings to club members within thirty (30) days of the close of the meeting. The secretary shall also provide club members with copies of any meeting agenda prior to said meeting.
The Secretary shall maintain a roster of all members. The secretary will keep a record of attendance at all club events, and will work inconjunction of the Sargent-at-Arms in maintaining the “good standing” roster.
The Secretary shall send and receive all correspondence on behalf of the club.
Treasurer, President and Vice President shall correspond on club logo paper.
The Treasurer shall maintain and develop the budget, and shall provide, at any member’s request, an accounting of all or part of said budget.
The Treasurer shall maintain all financial records, and prepare reports as required by the Executive board or by law. The treasurer shall present annually, and accounting of the prior year’s finances to the membership.
The Treasurer shall assess dues and other financial obligations authorized by the Executive Board and the members, and shall
collect said assessments. The treasurer will provide the secretary and Sargent-at-Arms monthly, a list of members whose balances are more than thirty (30) days past-due.
The Sargent-at-Arms shall maintain rule and order at meetings of the club.
The Sargent-at-arms shall chair the Membership Committee and shall serve as the single point of contact for prospective and probationary members.
The Sargent at Arms shall work with the secretary in maintaining a “good standing” role.
The Sargent-At-Arms shall develop and organize educational events for prospective and probationary members
The Sargent-At-Arms shall receive all applications for themembership on behalf of the club
Should the office of Sargent-At-Arms be left vacant for any reason, the Executive board shall appoint a member to execute said duties.
No compensation for services shall be paid to any of the officers of the organization.
The following standing committees shall be put in place:
The Membership Committee shall consist of the Vice President, Sargent-at-arms and up to three (3) members designated by the Executive Board, and shall be chaired by the Sargent-At-Arms
The membership committee shall organize recruiting events to increase and retain the membership of the club. The Membership Committee will also create and maintain marketing materials for the community in the interest of educating prospective members and the community as a whole.
The membership committee shall review all applications for membership and make recommendations to the brotherhood based on said applications.
The Membership committee shall also beresponsible for the orientation of all new members and shall develop and maintain an Executive Board approved member handbook to be distributed to all new members of the club.
2. Budget Committee
The Budget Committee shall consist of the Vice President, Treasurer and up to three appointed members of the organization and shall be chaired by the treasurer.
The budget committee will be responsible forhelping to prepare and execute the club budget.
The budget committee will also be responsible for the planning and execution of the club’s 4 annual
3. Ad-Hoc committees
At the discretion of the Executive Board, Ad-Hoc committees may be formed for the execution of club business and delegate the powers to said committees.
Budget and Fiscal Year
The fiscal year shall Run January 1 through December 31 of the following year. The executive board shall submit an annual budget to the membership for approval prior to the start of the fiscal year to be voted on athe Annual meeting.
Any member who holds responsibility over a portion of the budget, may, at their discretion, spend that appropriation in good faith, with no further approval from the club or the Executive Board.
All bills payable, notes, checks, drafts and other paper negotiable instruments of the Brotherhood of Leathermen of Color (BLOC) shall be made in the name of the organization. Any draft for more than fifty ($50) US Dollars shall be approved by the Executive Board.
The Executive Board may decide to establish a secondaryaccount to which debit cards and other forms of electronic funds transfer (EFT) may be Attached. After a passing of the annual budget, the Treasurer may transfer up to, but not exceeding, twenty-five (25) percent of the Annuallybudgeted funds into said account at the beginning of each fiscal quarter. Should the Executive Board endeavor to spend more than twenty-five (25) percent of the annual budget in one quarter, it may authorize the treasurer to transfer additional funds into the account provided the expenditures have been previously apportioned by the annual budget.
The officers are empowered to spend their apportioned amount of money approved in the annual budget, up to the budgeted amount. Should theofficer spend more than was budgeted, they shall be responsible for paying the difference in expense to the club unless otherwise authorized by the executive board.
All Officers are expected to maintain record and receipt of all financial transactions on behalf of the club and shall submit a record of these expenses for reimbursement by the fifteenth (15) of each month. The treasurer is also authorized to, by EFT, pay all bills for which the club hasbeen properly invoiced and for which the budget accounts.
Prior to an officer’s departure from office, they shall reconcile all accounts within thirty (30) days with the incoming treasurer. Any expense that cannot be accounted for, the officer will be held accountable for unless otherwise directed by the Executive Board Elect.
Additionally, all Officers must reconcile accounts within thirty (30) days of the close of the fiscal year and will be accountable for any expense that exceeds the budget unless otherwise directed by the provisions of these by-laws.
No officer, or agent of the Brotherhood of Leathermen of Color (BLOC), either singly, or jointly with others, shall have the power to make any bills payable, notes, checks drafts, or other negotiable instruments or cause to be contracted any debt or liability in the name of, or on behalf of the organization, except as herein expressly presecretaryd and provided.
The Executive Board or the Club in committee-of-the-whole may, without cause withhold the privileges in this article from and Member of the Executive Board at any time.
Ratification and Amendments
The ratification of a simple majority of all members with Active Membership as of September 1, 2011 shall be sufficient for establishment of these by-laws
Upon Ratification, these by-laws shall supersede and and all previously written by-laws of this organization. The President shall cause the club to be in compliance with all provisions of these by-laws within ninety (90) days; except that the ratification of these by-laws shall not cause current officers to be removed from office, discharged from their duties or change the expiration date of their terms.
Any member in good standing may propose amendments to these by-laws at any time. Amendments must be submitted in writing thirty (30) days prior to the next business meeting. The Executive Board shall review all proposals received no later than thirty (30) days prior to the next general meeting.
All proposed amendments that receive approval of Simple Majority of the Executive Board shall be submitted to the full membership in writing for a vote at the next business meeting. Notice shall be issued no later than fourteen (14) days prior to said meeting. The members will cause these by-laws to be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of all brothers in good standing.
Should Brotherhood of Leathermen of Color (BLOC) be required by law to amend these by-laws, the President may call a special meeting to cause these by-laws to be amended by the procedure outlined above.
Upon dissolution of the Brotherhood of Leathermen of Color(BLOC), the Executive Board shall, after paying or making provision for the payment of all the debts and liabilities of the organization, dispose of theassets of the organization exclusively for the purpose of the organization in such manner, or to organizations maintained and operated for charitable, educational, or scientific purposes as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) and or section 501(c)(7) of the Internal
revenue Service code or the corresponding future amendments thereto, as the Executive Board shall determine at a special meeting of all members duly called or the purpose.
The Brotherhood of Leathermen of Color (BLOC) is a not for profit organization and may apply for that status as outlined in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service code.
Whenever these by-laws fail to provide guidance to thePresident or Executive board, on how to act, the Sargent-At-Arms shall look to Robert’s Rules of Order for guidance.
In witness thereof, we the undersigned, the Original/Founding Members, declare that we have READ, UNDERSTOOD, and APPROVED the above measures as the BYLAWS under which this coalition, the BROTHERHOOD OF LEATHERMEN OF COLOR, agrees to abide and conduct it's business.