Article I – General Membership:
a. Eligibility: An eighteen year old individual who (i) is of Kerala heritage, (ii) knows Malayalam, (iii) has lived in Kerala, or (iv) has family ties or cultural connections to Kerala and who believes in the vision, mission and goals of Kerala Association of Kansas City (KAKC) as delineated in the KAKC Manifesto, is eligible for general membership.
b. Membership: An individual, who fulfills eligibility criteria as described in ArticleIa., may acquire general membership upon remitting the annual membership dues. All registered members will be eligible to participate in the democratic process of governance of the organization.
c. Validity: General membership is valid for one calendar year, i.e. January 1st until December 31st upon payment of annual membership dues. General membership expires unless renewed on a yearly basis.
d. Dues: The executive committee chosen by the general members (see article III below) will determine membership dues and periodically make appropriate adjustments to the same. The dues may be different for single, student, and family categories. A family, for membership purposes, is defined as to include all individuals who are relatives and are cohabiting in one dwelling or household. Regardless of the category one belongs to, each registered member above the age of eighteen years will have equal right to vote.
e. Honorary Membership: The executive committee may confer honorary membership to friends of the organization free of charge. Honorary members do not have a right to vote in the general body meetings.
Article II – General Body:
The annual general body meeting of KERALA ASSOCIATION OF KANSAS CITY (KAKC) will be held in conjunction with the annual Christmas Party. Election of new executive committee members will be held at the annual general body meeting. The annual report of KAKC will also be presented at the annual general body meeting.
Article III – Governing Body:
The governing body of KAKC will be the executive committee, which will consist of nine members at any one time. Executive committee members who have served two years will exit at the end of each calendar year and four or five new members will be elected so as to maintain a total membership of NINE. The executive committee shall be the sole authority for the governance of KAKC and its majority decision shall be final in all matters pertaining to the affairs of KAKC. Only the executive committee shall have the right to enter into contracts on behalf of KAKC. Any contracts entered into without the approval and authorization of KAKC executive committee is non-binding.
At the time of nomination to the executive committee, the nominee should be a KAKC general member and should have completed eighteen years of age.
There will be four or more vacant executive committee positions each year. KAKC general members may nominate themselves or another general member to the executive committee.
If there are more candidates than vacant positions, a poll by secret ballot will be offered to the general members. The front-runners in the polls will be declared as the new committee members. The executive committee will be in charge of the elections.
d. Executive Committee Meetings:
Executive committee will meet four or more times a year as deemed necessary by the office bearers.
To fulfill quorum for the executive committee meetings, five out of the nine executive committee members should be present. If the executive committee membership is temporarily less than nine, a majority of the existing membership, but not less than four, will make the quorum. If the quorum has not been met, the decisions taken at that meeting are deemed null and void.
f. Proxy Vote:
In exceptional situations, an absent executive committee member’s phone call to two other members who are in attendance will be considered as a proxy vote to fulfill the quorum.
g. Inactive Executive Member:
If an executive committee member has been absent without explanation for three consecutive meetings, he/she will be considered inactive and will be informed of the status. If that member continues to be absent for the next meeting, he/she will be excused from the position.
If an executive committee member resigns during the first half of the year (January 1 to June 30) the executive committee will invite nominations to fill that position. If a member resigns during the second half of the year (July 1 to December 31) a KAKC general member would be inducted to executive committee membership for the duration of the calendar year. This may accomplished by a majority vote by the executive committee.
Article IV – Office Bearers:
a. Key Positions:
Each year the executive committee will elect among themselves by secret ballot, president, vice-president, secretary, joint secretary, treasurer and webmaster. The terms of office for the office bearers shall be limited to one year. According to the needs of the organization and the community, the executive committee may create other positions such as women’s coordinator, youth coordinator or property manager.
b. Eligibility: To preserve continuity of tradition and experience, executive committee members serving their second year shall be preferred for the positions of president, secretary and treasurer. However, if such eligible candidates are not available, newly elected members might be considered for such positions. The terms of office for such office bearers shall be one year. Members of immediate family of the president, secretary and treasurer shall be ineligible to be elected to any of these three positions until a year has elapsed after the expiry of the term of such office bearer. An exiting committee member is eligible for re-election a year after exit.
c. Selection Process: All positions are freestanding and there are no implied or automatic transitions from one position to another, for example, from vice-president to president or from joint-secretary to secretary. The executive committee shall choose (or elect if there are more than one candidate) the key office bearers by secret ballot. The out-going president shall call a combined executive committee meeting of the new and outgoing members in the month of January for election of new office bearers and a smooth transfer of responsibility. The out-going members shall not be eligible to vote for the election of the new office bearers.
d. President: The president calls the executive committee meetings to order and ensures that the bylaws of KAKC are adhered to in all transactions of the executive committee. The president plays a major role as a spokesperson for the executive committee in interacting with administrative, legal and socio-political entities, as authorized by the executive committee.
Either the president or the treasurer is authorized to write checks from KAKC’s ‘Operational Funds’ for the organization’s expenses. Signatures of both the president and the treasurer are necessary to write a check from KAKC’s ‘Reserve Funds’ for expenses preapproved by an absolute majority of the KAKC general body.
e. Vice-President: In the absence of the president, the vice-president serves the above functions of the president.
f. Secretary: The secretary is responsible for coordinating the practical aspects of each endeavor KAKC undertakes. The secretary is also responsible for the minutes of the executive committee meetings. Between executive meetings, the secretary will periodically remind the executive committee members of their assigned or assumed responsibilities.
g. Joint-Secretary: Joint-secretary assists the secretary in his/her responsibilities. If the position of property manager has not been specifically assigned, joint-secretary will also serve that role and keep track of the organization’s tangible property.
h. Treasurer: All monetary matters are under the purview of the treasurer. Either the president or the treasurer is authorized to write checks from KAKC’s ‘Operational Funds’ for organization’s expenses. Signatures of both the president and the treasurer are necessary to write a check from KAKC’s ‘Reserve Funds’ for expenses preapproved by an absolute majority of the general body. The treasurer will submit a quarterly statement of accounts to the executive committee and will send the annual statement of accounts to all registered members at the end of the calendar year by e-mail.
i. Webmaster: The webmaster develops, updates and maintains KAKC’s website and facilitates electronic communication. Major changes to the KAKC website should be authorized by the executive committee before uploading. Any communication to the general members by mass e-mail should be approved by the executive committee.
Article V – Nominations and Elections:
a. Nomination: Each year, the nominations for the four or more vacated executive committee positions are invited at the time of Onam celebration or soon thereafter. A general member of KAKC who has completed eighteen years of age may nominate oneself or another general member to be a candidate for the executive committee.
b. Election Guidelines: Elections will not be adversarial and are never between two opposing candidates. Partisan politicking and regional communalism shall not be part of campaigning. The front-runners in the polls held at the KAKC general body meeting conducted in conjunction with the Christmas party in December will be declared as the new committee members.
Article VI – Removal from Executive Committee:
If an executive committee member engages in activities contrary to the spirit, vision and mission of KAKC, the executive committee will demand a written explanation. If the written explanation is not satisfactory, he/she will be asked to appear before the executive committee. If the presentation is deemed unsatisfactory, the errant executive committee member will be relieved of the duties and be removed from the executive committee by a two-thirds majority vote of the executive committee.
Article VII – Amendment:
The executive committee will consider a proposal for amendment of the Bylaws, if supported in writing by fifteen KAKC general members. The executive committee will hold discussion about the amendment and decide whether it needs to be sent for the KAKC general body’s consideration. The amendment will be implemented if it has the support of two-thirds of the voting general members.
Amendment dated December 9th, 2017:
Article I – General Membership:
a. Eligibility: An eighteen year old individual who seeks to promote the culture and heritage of Kerala and who believes in the vision, mission and goals of Kerala Association of Kansas City (KAKC) as delineated in the KAKC Manifesto, is eligible for general membership.
b. Membership: An individual, who fulfills eligibility criteria as described in Article I a, may acquire general membership upon remitting the annual membership dues. The Executive Committee, as defined in Article III below, reserves the right to disapprove/reject membership of an individual. For cases where an existing members membership needs to be revoked, EC will bring the case to General Body for a vote. All registered members will be eligible to participate in the democratic process of governance of the organization.