Bylaws

New 123rd Street Block Association 2011 Bylaws

Amended March 2011

www.west123street.org

Name: The name of this organization shall be The New 123rd Street Block Association (the “BA”) located on west 123rd Street, between Malcolm X and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevards.������ The BA also maintains a digital presence at west123street.org.

Purpose & Mission: The BA was organized in August 1988 in order to build civic betterment, community pride, and pool the talents and resources of our residents for mutual social and economic benefits.  Effective immediately, our mission will include the following: the promotion of safety and general welfare for the block�������������s residents, as well as the greater Harlem Community.  The Block Association shall work to preserve and improve the quality of life of our immediate community and will strive to increase civic participation and spur revitalization in Harlem.

The BA shall also maintain a web presence that serves as a clearinghouse for all related materials, communications, events, project announcements and links to resources.  The website shall also maintain a copy of the most up to date Bylaws, the BA’s mission statement, goals and objectives.

Geographic scope of mandate: The BA directly represents residents of the area currently defined as west 123rd street between Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Boulevard and Lenox Avenue/Malcolm X Boulevard and the east side of Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Boulevard and the west side of Lenox Avenue/Malcolm X Boulevard, between 122nd and 124th streets.

Membership: All residents of the block are automatically considered “General Members” of the BA.

General Members are invited to become “Members in Good Standing����� if they agree to subscribe to the Bylaws and have fully paid their membership dues. Only Members in Good Standing can vote on election of Officers and amendments to the Bylaws.

Annual membership dues for the calendar year 2014 are set at $25 per household or individual. This rate will be reviewed annually and approved by a majority vote of the Board. Membership dues must be paid in full (and not on a pro-rata basis).

Each Member in Good Standing is entitled to one vote per issue brought in front of the Board of Directors during monthly BA meetings.  Members must be present at meetings to cast a ballot.

Board of Directors and Officers: The business of the BA shall be managed by a Board of Directors (the “Board”), composed of 4 Officers. Officers must be Members in Good Standing of both the BA and Community Garden and must be 18 years of age or older.

The Board reserves the right to create new leadership positions within the Board of Directors if necessary.

Elections to the Board of Directors shall be held every other year, beginning in 2011, at February’s general meeting by secret ballot, with each Member in Good Standing having one vote for each elected office.  A member who chooses to hold a Leadership position must submit a nomination form to the current Block Association President no less than TWO weeks in advance of elections.

Vacancies in any seat shall be filled for the un-expired term by appointment by the Officers of the Board of Directors.

Positions and their respective responsibilities of each position are as follows:

President: The President serves as the head of the BA and represents the voice of the Board of Directors.  The President will:

  • Preside over all formal meetings and oversee major initiatives related to the BA and the Block Association’s Community Garden;
  • With the Secretary, relay any messages the BA wishes to communicate to community organizations and government entities and ensure community announcements are similarly conveyed to the Officers and General Membership;
  • Maintain dialog with relevant local organizations;
  • Oversight of the BA’s fundraising efforts and the procurement of grant money;
  • Oversight of the organization’s finances; and
  • When necessary, co-sign legal documents and checks on behalf of the organization.

Vice President: The Vice President assists the President and other BA Officers in all BA activities and will assume leadership and oversight duties when the President is absent or unavailable.  The Vice President will:

  • Work with the President and Treasurer to pursue fundraising efforts;
  • Represent the BA at community-related meetings and events and provide reports on content of those meetings to the BA Officers;
  • Play an active role on special committees and in BA programs and activities; and
  • Any other additional responsibilities as delegated by the President

Treasurer: The Treasurer is the financial warden of the organization.  The Treasurer will:

  • Maintain an accurate record of all BA and Garden Members in Good Standing;
  • Manage the collection and distributions of funds for the BA;
  • Maintain accurate and transparent records of BA and Garden financial matters;
  • Provide a quarterly summary of the BA financial status to the general membership;
  • Serve as signatory and co-signer on behalf of the organization with the Block Association President (or Vice President in the absence of the President) for the BA and Community Garden bank accounts, checks and legal documents;
  • Work with the President and Vice President to pursue fundraising efforts.

Secretary: The Secretary serves as the communications hub of the BA. The Secretary will:

  • Keep minutes of all meetings and maintain all records pertaining to the affairs of the BA;
  • Supervise and maintain the BA’s digital media platforms including the website;
  • Relay any messages the BA wishes to communicate to community organizations and ensure community announcements are similarly conveyed to the Officers and General Membership;
  • Conduct general correspondence of the organization at the direction of the President and other Officers;
  • Ensure that advance notification of meetings is disseminated to the General Membership and Officers; and
  • Ensure the Bylaws are available to the General Membership

Any Officer may resign at any time by giving written notice to the President or Secretary. Officers may be removed for excessive absence or for acting against the stated mission and purpose of the BA by a majority vote taken at a meeting of the Officers. Vacancies will be filled promptly by a special election held along the same general lines as regular elections of officers.

Treasury: The BA shall maintain a treasury for common area development and other block improvement projects.

Disbursement of funds will be decided on a case-by-case basis.  Requests for block- and garden-related purchases $30 or under may be approved by the Treasurer via email or other written approval without consent by the other Officers; amounts greater than $31 must be approved by a majority of BA Officers. Itemized receipts must be presented to the Treasurer in advance of reimbursement.

At no point will any monies be reimbursed or distributed to any member of the BA’s Board of Directors, Member in Good Standing or Garden member without prior written authorization.

Meetings: Meetings open to the General Membership will occur monthly or as otherwise dictated by the convenience of the General Membership and Officers. Additionally, the Board will meet no less than twice per year to review the overall soundness of the BA, its missions and its financial stability.

Committees: The President may establish special purpose committees and appoint chairpersons to govern them. These committees will operate under the supervision of the President who may dissolve or reorganize them. Such committees may include a special BA advisory committee made up of past Officers and supporters.

Amendments: These Bylaws may be amended by BA Officers and are subject to majority vote.  Amendments can be made only when two-thirds or 66% of the BA Officers are present. Proposals to amend the Bylaws must be communicated to the General Membership at least two weeks prior to the vote of the Officers.

Grievances: All grievances will be brought to the BA Officers for resolution.

The New 123rd��Street Block Association Community Garden:��������������The New 123rd Street Block Association Community Garden (“the Garden”) shall fall under the governance of the BA for financial and regulatory purposes, as well as to maintain a unified community organization.  The garden also maintains a digital presence at west123street.org/garden to foster community connection and garden membership drives year round.

All residents of west 123rd street and the Harlem community have access to the Garden during Open Hours.

Garden Memberships are available to any households and individuals who agree to subscribe to the Garden Bylaws and abide by GreenThumb regulations (both of which will be made available and must be signed as part of Membership agreement).  Membership dues are $20 per year, paid no later than May 1 of each calendar year or upon joining.

Vegetable or flower boxes are available to any interested Garden Member in Good Standing and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Garden Membership shall remain separate from BA Membership, as Garden Members in Good Standing (no outstanding dues) shall have privileges and decision-making benefits related to the Garden not available to all BA members.

The Garden shall have a separate decision-making body, but all decisions regarding amendments to Garden Rules and Bylaws, use and disbursement of funds, and grievances shall be brought to vote in front of the BA Officers.

The Garden will maintain an Open Hours schedule on public display and ensure the Garden is open to the public 40 hours per week, as required by GreenThumb and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

For further information, please see the Garden’s respective Rules.