By-Laws of the San Diego Cherokee Community




Revision 1.0, Approved by San Diego Cherokee Community 27Jan2008 

By-Laws of the San Diego Cherokee Community 



Mission and Purpose 

The San Diego Cherokee Community (SDCC) is a community of Cherokees dedicated to Cherokee history, 
culture, heritage, tradition, and fellowship. We are a non-political, nonprofit Native American 
organization whose members reside outside the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation and Bands. We 
have come together on the basis of our shared history and heritage, and out of an interest in the 
continuation of and a love for the Cherokee People and Nations. 




ARTICLE I: MEMBERSHIP 

1) Qualifications of Members 

Membership shall be granted to an applicant upon payment of annual dues of twenty-five dollars 
($25.00 US) for individuals and thirty-five ($35.00 US) for families and completion and approval of the 
application form of the SDCC. Annual dues shall apply per household. At the time of application each 
household shall designate the names of participating members over eighteen (18) years of age at the 
same address for voting purposes. 

The approval of all membership applications is at the discretion of the Council. 

2) Rights and Obligations of Members 

Upon payment of membership dues, a member or household shall receive one newsletter per publishing 
date and individual members over the age of 18 shall receive voting rights in SDCC. 

3) Termination of Membership 

Membership may be terminated by the Council for the following reasons: (a) violation of the By-Laws of 
the SDCC and/or (b) action that is detrimental to the organization. 

Only the Council has authority to investigate and/or terminate a membership. However, any member is 
entitled to bring to the Council a grievance concerning conduct by any member or Council member 
which they believe to be a violation of the By-Laws and/or action that is detrimental to the organization. 
The Council shall investigate all grievances. As part of the investigation, the Council is obliged to receive 
testimony and evidence from the member in question in their own defense. A membership may be 
terminated only after a consensus of the members of the Council is reached. If a member of the Council 
is under investigation, he or she may not participate and shall not be counted in the vote of termination. 




ARTICLE II: SUBSCRIPTIONS 

1) Types of Subscriptions 

Non-members may receive an annual subscription to the newsletter upon payment of twenty-five 
dollars ($25.00 US). 

Honorary subscriptions to the newsletter shall also be provided to specified non-members at the 
discretion of the Council. Such subscriptions may include, but are not limited to, the Principal Chief and 
Deputy Chief of the Cherokee Nation, the members of the Tribal Council of the Cherokee Nation, and 
other selected community leaders and representatives. 

The approval of all subscriptions is at the discretion of the Council. 

2) Privacy 

Telephone and email addresses of Members will only be made available outside the SDCC Council and 
SDCC parent organizations of the Cherokee Nation with the express permission of members. 




ARTICLE III: MEETINGS 

1) Types of Meetings 

A general meeting of the SDCC shall be held on the fourth Sunday of each month or at such times as 
approved by the Council. 

In addition, the Council shall also meet at the Council’s discretion. 

2) Notifications of Meetings 

The membership will be notified ten (10) days in advance of the time and place of all general meetings 
and Council members will be notified ten (10) days in advance of the time and place of all council 
meetings. 




ARTICLE IV: COUNCIL 

1) Composition of the Council 

The Council shall be comprised of seven members, at least four of whom shall be registered members of 
the Cherokee Nation. Each of the seven must be a SDCC member in good standing. Only one member 
of any family and/or household may serve at any given time. 

2) Terms of the Council 

Council members shall serve a term of two years. The terms shall be staggered as follows: upon the 
initial election of seven council members, the top four vote-getters will take two-year terms. The 
remaining three will take one-year terms. Thereafter, all Council members will be elected to two-year 
terms. In the event of ties, the term selection shall be resolved by coin tosses. 

A Council member may serve two full terms (four years) and then must sit out one year before running 
again. 

3) 
Council Positions and Duties 

The positions on the Council shall be as follows: 

(a) 
Meeting Facilitator, who shall organize the agenda, coordinate, and conduct Council and 
general meetings; 
(b) Records Keeper, who shall take attendance and keep minutes at Council and general 
meetings and who shall maintain all other records except as herein provided; 
(c) 
Membership Coordinator, who shall keep updated membership rolls, compile an annual 
membership directory for distribution to the membership, provide notification of 
pending renewal dates to members, and supply current membership lists monthly to 
the newsletter committee; 
(d) Treasurer, who shall keep all financial accounts, and who shall convey information 
concerning the dues of new and renewed memberships to the Membership 
Coordinator; 
(e) 
Alternate Facilitator and Records Keeper/Community Relations, who shall facilitate 
meetings or keep records in the absence of the regular Facilitator or Records Keeper, 
and who shall facilitate meetings or keep records in the absence of the regular 
Facilitator or Records Keeper, and who shall act as the representative spokesperson for 
the organization to the public as directed by the Council; 
(f and g) Program Coordinators, who shall alternate in performing the tasks of organizing 
the agendas, the coordination and the planning of general meetings. 

These positions will be designated by the Council members at the first Council meeting after the annual 
election and will be designated for a period of time that is at least, but not limited to, one year. 

All Council members shall transfer any records that they maintain in their possession to their successors 
throughout the life of the organization. 

4) 
Quorum 

A quorum of the Council shall be reached when four (4) members are present. No official business shall 
be acted upon unless a quorum is present. 

5) 
Attendance 

Council members who fail to attend three successive meetings or four total council meetings for which 
at least a 10-day notice has been given may be relieved of their place on the Council by a majority vote 
by the other members of the Council. 

6) Vacancy 

In case of vacancy, the remaining Council members shall elect a member to serve the remainder of the 
vacated term. 




ARTICLE V: AMENDMENTS 

1) Proposing Amendments 

Any member may propose an amendment to these By-Laws by submitting to the Council at least sixty 

(60) days prior to the election of the Council members. The Council will collect all proposed 
amendments and present them for a vote annually at the same time and in the same manner as the 
election for Council members. The Council shall have the discretion to bring any proposed amendment 
to the immediate vote of the membership if such urgency is deemed necessary. 
2) Accepting Amendments 

An affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the returned ballots is required to pass an amendment. 

3) Required Amendments 

In the event that amendments to these by-laws be required by a parent organization within the 
Cherokee Nation of which SDCC may become a Chapter, such amendments may be 
incorporated by a majority approval by the Council. 




ARTICLE VI: GIFTS AND DONATIONS 

1) Acceptance of Gifts and Donations 

All gifts and donations must be approved by the Council before acceptance. 

2) Contributions by the Organization (SDCC) 

All donations or honorariums made by the SDCC up to fifty dollars ($50.00 US) must be approved by the 
Treasurer. Donations or honorariums over fifty dollars ($50.00 US) and up to two hundred fifty ($250.00 
US) must be pre-approved by the Council. Donations or honorariums over two hundred fifty ($250.00) 
must be approved by the general membership vote. The upcoming vote shall be announced in the 
newsletter or by mail and shall be taken at the next general meeting. A simple majority vote of 
members present at that meeting shall prevail. 




ARTICLE VII: REPORTS 
1) Required Reports 

The Treasurer shall make monthly financial reports to the Council and annual written reports to the 
membership. 
The Council will make an itemized annual written report to the membership. 
The Membership Coordinator shall compile a membership directory for distribution. 




ARTICLE VIII: COMMITTEES 

1) Oversight of Committees 

The Council shall oversee the function of all committees. 

2) Types of Committees 

There shall be a standing committee called the Newsletter Committee to produce and mail the periodic 
newsletter. The Newsletter Committee shall be formed by volunteers from the membership. 

There shall be a Program Committee that assists the Program Coordinators in planning and coordinating 
programs for the general meetings. 

Other committees may be formed if approved by the Council. 




ARTICLE IX: ENDORSEMENTS AND REPRESENTATIONS 

1) Endorsements 

No member of SDCC shall use the name of the San Diego Cherokee Community in political campaigns as 
an endorsement of any candidate for political office in the Cherokee Nation or any other election. 

The SDCC as an organization is prohibited from campaigning for or endorsing any candidate for political 
office in any election. 

2) Representations 

No member of the SDCC shall use the name of the organization to represent themselves for direct 
commercial gain, or for purposes of self-promotion or the promotion of any individual’s outside 
interests, except with permission from the Council. SDCC members may state their membership for 
identification purposes only on resumes and other similar applications. 

3) Youth Representative 

There shall be a non-voting honorary member to the Council to represent the youth. This member is not 
bound by attendance requirements. The position shall be appointed by the Council. 




ARTICLE X: ELECTIONS 

1) Election Committee 

Ninety days prior to the election for Council members, the Election Committee shall be selected. It shall 
consist of three (3) members of voting age who are in good standing. The Election Committee shall be 
selected at random by lottery or games of chance from the pool of applicants. 

Candidates and their families are ineligible to serve on the Election Committee. 

2) Announcements of Candidates 

Candidates must declare their candidacy no later than sixty (60) days in advance of the election. They 
will provide a written statement of candidacy and a biographical sketch of no more than 200 words to 
the Election Committee for publication in the newsletter. 

If not enough candidates declare within sixty days prior to the election, then the Election Committee will 
recruit additional candidates. 

3) Election Procedures 

Secret ballots shall be collected by mail or delivered in person to the Election Committee prior to the 
counting of the votes at the general meeting on Election Day. Each voting member shall be mailed a 
ballot, a sample of which will also be available on-line, at least fourteen (14) days in advance of the 
election. Marked ballots received by mail must be received back by the Election Committee by the 
Friday prior to election day in order to be valid. The day of the election shall be on a general meeting 
day. After all votes have been counted, and if a recount is requested by any Member, they shall be 
recounted by the entire Election Committee for a verification of the results. 

The Election Committee will keep the ballots and the return envelopes for thirty (30) days after the 
election. After thirty (30) days, the ballots shall be destroyed and the Election Committee disbanded. 

4) Voting Ties 

In case of a tie, the Election Committee shall conduct a run-off election by secret ballot voting among 
the members present at the election-day general meeting to break the tie. The candidate with a 
majority of the votes wins. 

5) Valid Elections 

No quorums are established for Council Member elections which are decided by simple majority of 
votes cast. Because the council positions must be composed of four Cherokee Nation (CN) citizen 
candidates at a minimum, the top four vote-getting CN citizen candidates win places on the council. The 
remaining candidates (CN citizens or voting SDCC members) with the largest number of votes win the 
remaining three places on the council. If no one candidate gets a majority, the Election Committee shall 
settle it by secret ballot voting among the members present at the election-day general meeting; the 
runoff will be between the top two vote recipients. 

6) Additional Election Procedures 

The Council may, from time to time, establish additional procedural details for conducting elections. 
Such procedures shall comply with these by-laws and be posted on the Community’s website. 





Appendix I 

The following guidelines for elections within the SDCC may be modified by majority 
approval of the Council. 

1. 
Ninety (90) days prior to the election for Council members, the Election Committee shall 
be selected by the Council. 
2. 
The Election Committee shall consist of three (3) members of voting age who are in 
good standing. 
3. 
The Election Committee shall be selected at random by lottery or games of chance from 
the pool of applicants. 
4. 
Candidates must declare their candidacy no later than sixty (60) days in advance of the 
election. They will provide a written statement of candidacy and a biographical sketch 
of no more than 200 words to the election Committee for publication in the newsletter. 
5. 
If not enough candidates declare within sixty days prior to the election, then the 
Election Committee will recruit additional candidates. 
6. 
Each eligible SDCC voting member shall be mailed a ballot, with a stamped, SDCC-
labeled return envelope in a sealed envelope, at least fourteen (14) days in advance of 
the election. A sample of the ballot will be available on-line. 
7. 
One ballot and return envelope shall be placed in each voter’s election package and the outer 
envelope shall be sealed. The Membership Coordinator shall then provide mailing labels that 
shall be applied to the envelopes. 
8. 
Voters will mark their ballot, fold it, seal the ballot in the envelope, shall print their 
name, sign the back of the envelope, and mail the ballot. It may be delivered in person. 
9. 
Mailed ballots must be received on the Friday prior to the Election Day to be valid. 
Ballots delivered in person must be handed to the Election Committee prior to the 
counting of the votes at the general meeting on Election Day in order to be valid. 
10. The day of the election shall be on a general meeting day. 
11. The ballots shall be opened and counted at the meeting in which the election takes 
place by the Election Committee. 
12. One Election Committee member shall verify voter eligibility by comparing the printed 
name on the outside of the sealed ballot against the list of eligible SDCC voters’ names 
provided by the Membership Coordinator. If the vote is valid, the name is checked as 
having voted. 
13. The Second Election Committee member shall open the sealed envelope, 
extract the 
folded ballot, save the envelope, and put the ballot into the ballot box. 
14. After all valid voters’ ballots present are placed in the ballot box, the Third Election 
Committee member shall remove the ballots from the box, one by one, and record the 
votes on each issue. 
15. After all votes have been counted, and if a recount is requested by any Member, the 
entire Election Committee shall recount the votes for a verification of the results. 
16. The Election Committee will keep the ballots and the return envelopes for thirty (30) 
days after the election. After thirty (30) days, the ballots shall be destroyed and the 
Election Committee disbanded. 
17. In case of a tie, the Election Committee shall conduct a run-off election by secret ballot 
voting by the members present at the election-day general meeting to break the tie. 
The candidate with a majority of the votes wins. 
18. No quorums are established for Council Member elections, which are decided by simple 
majority of votes cast. If no one candidate gets a majority, the Election Committee shall 
settle it by secret ballot voting by the members present at the election-day general 
meeting; the runoff will be between the top two vote recipients. 


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