Sections of the Alliance Bylaws of 11 January 2005, that deal with membership, governance, meetings, and decision-making:
Article III – Membership
Section 1 – Types of Membership
1.1 Individual Membership. A person who supports the Alliance’s purposes may become a member of the Alliance by submitting an endorsement in a form prescribed by the Steering Committee and paying dues, if any, established by the Alliance.
1.2 Organizational Membership. A not-for-profit organization that supports the Alliance’s purposes may become a member of the Alliance by submitting an endorsement in a form prescribed by the Steering Committee and paying dues, if any, established by the Alliance. Each organizational member may designate a representative who shall then enjoy the rights and privileges of individual members.
1.3 Business Membership. A for-profit enterprise that supports the Alliance’s purposes may become a member of the Alliance by submitting an endorsement in a form prescribed by the Steering Committee and paying dues, if any, established by the Alliance. Each organizational member may designate a representative who shall then be a non-voting member of the Alliance, able to attend all meetings and participate in all discussions.
Section 2 – Powers and Responsibilities. Any member in good standing may attend any Alliance meeting and participate in decisions at the Annual Meeting or any of the regular meetings held for the purpose of making decisions on proposed Alliance actions. Members are responsible for attending and participating in these decision-making meetings and for selecting the Alliance Steering Committee.
Section 3 – Removal. Upon recommendation of the Steering Committee or any ten members, the Alliance may terminate any membership if it is determined at a regular meeting that continued membership is contrary to the purposes of the Alliance. Removal requires consensus of the Steering Committee and a two-thirds majority vote of other members present.
Article IV – Governance
Section 1 – Intent. It is the intent of the Alliance to function in a non-hierarchical manner, with decisions made by consensus of the membership whenever possible, except as may otherwise be provided in the Bylaws.
Section 2 – Regular Meetings. Regular meetings of the Alliance shall be held no less than six times each year. They are the chief forum for member discussion of and Alliance decision-making on the business and policies of the Alliance and the forum for individuals and working groups to bring proposals for comment and approval, including proposed Alliance actions, endorsement of activities of others, formation or dissolution of committees or working groups, and any other Alliance business with the exception of business that is reserved for the Annual Meeting. The Steering Committee shall provide notification, agenda preparation, facilitation, and note-taking for these regular meetings.
Section 3 – Emergency Action. If emergency action is required between regular Alliance meetings in order to ensure the continuing smooth function of the Alliance, the Steering Committee shall take such action as may be needed. When appropriate, the Steering Committee will make an effort to involve the membership in such decisions via special meetings and/or telephone or electronic communication.
Section 4 – Annual Meeting. An Annual Meeting shall be held in the Spring of each calendar year. Annual Meetings shall include the election of Steering Committee members and such other business as may be proposed at the monthly Alliance meetings.
Section 5 – Meetings Open to Members. Regular Alliance meetings, Annual Meetings, Steering Committee meetings, and the meetings of any committees or working groups are open to the general membership. Notice of Annual Meetings shall be given to the membership at least 30 days in advance. Other meetings will be announced to the membership as time permits.
Section 6 – Decisions. Except as provided in these Bylaws, all decisions shall be made by consensus of the members present, unless those attending decide by consensus to adopt another procedure. A written description of the consensus process shall be made available at all regular Alliance meetings and Annual Meetings.