Mission and Charter

Amended April 2018

MISSION STATEMENT

DOJ Pride is the recognized employee resource organization for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) employees and their allies in all U.S. Department of Justice Offices, Boards, and Divisions; the ATF, BOP, DEA, FBI, USMS, OJP, and USAO; and contractors in any of these components.

The mission of DOJ Pride shall be:

  • to identify and address issues particularly affecting LGBTQ employees of the Department;
  • to support the Department in the development and implementation of effective policies and practices for the elimination of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in all Departmental activities;
  • to foster community among LGBTQ employees and their allies within the Department; and
  • to serve as a resource and point of contact for its members, those seeking or considering employment with the Department, and other interested individuals or groups.

Anyone seeking more information should contact a member of the DOJ Pride Board of Directors, whose contact info is available on the DOJ Pride website, http://www.dojpride.org.

BYLAWS

There is hereby established, in accordance with the following provisions, an association of employees of the United States Department of Justice (the “Department”) to be known as Department of Justice Pride (“DOJ Pride”).

I. FUNCTIONS

DOJ Pride shall work on its own and, where possible, with the Department to:

A. Eliminate prejudice and discrimination against LGBTQ employees within the Department, and facilitate good working relationships among Department employees regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression;

B. Educate policymakers, managers, and other employees about issues of concern to DOJ Pride members; and

C. Serve as a source of information and advice for, and a means of communication between, DOJ Pride members, the Department (including policymakers, managers, and other employees), and all other interested individuals or groups.

II. POLICIES

A. DOJ Pride’s interests and activities shall extend, to the extent practicable, to all Department offices (including the offices of the various United States Attorneys), boards, divisions, and other components or operations;

B. DOJ Pride shall be nonpartisan and noncommercial, and shall be supported by contributions from its members and, to the extent available and appropriate, by contributions or other funding from the Department or from other individuals or groups;

C. DOJ Pride shall not discriminate in any of its activities on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, marital status, parental status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, veteran status, or political affiliation;

D. DOJ Pride shall exist to conduct activities of interest to its members, as determined through the democratic processes outlined below.

III. MEMBERSHIP

A. Voting membership in DOJ Pride is open to any Department employee, individual contractor, or employee of a contractor, who supports the mission of DOJ Pride.

B. Associate (non-voting) membership may be accorded by the Board of Directors (or any person designated by the Board) to any individual who is not qualified for voting membership, but who supports the mission of DOJ Pride.

C. Sexual orientation and gender identity or expression are personal and often private matters, and all decisions about sharing such information must be made by the individual involved. To that end:

1. DOJ Pride’s official membership list will be maintained by the Secretary in strict confidence, and will be used solely for internal organizational purposes. The Secretary may make aggregated or otherwise anonymous membership information available to the general membership, but shall make information concerning individual members available only to the Board of Directors, and only when necessary for the discharge of their organizational duties.

2. The Secretary shall in addition maintain a list containing the names of and a means of contacting all current members of the Board of Directors, which shall be available to all members and to the public. Information concerning individual members shall not be made available in any other way or to any other person without the specific written consent of each individual involved.

3. It is the responsibility of all officers and members to maintain the confidentiality of other members, fellow employees, or other individuals who attend meetings or participate in other DOJ Pride activities.

IV. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

A. DOJ Pride will elect from among the voting membership a Board of Directors consisting of nine (9) total members, which shall include a President or two Co-Presidents (elected as described below). The Board of Directors shall provide counsel and assistance to the President or Co-Presidents, and shall make important decisions and set general policies for DOJ Pride in matters not coming before the general membership for consideration and decision. It shall be a goal of DOJ Pride to achieve diversity of representation on the Board.

B. The first Board will be nominated and elected by a simple majority vote of members attending the initial election meeting. Immediately after election of the first Board, one-half of the Directors (other than the President) then elected shall be selected by lot to serve for a term of one year. The remaining directors (other than the President) and all directors thereafter elected shall serve for a term of two years. The President shall serve for a term of one year. All terms of office shall expire upon the election of successors in accordance with Section V.

C. The Board shall organize itself and conduct its meetings as it shall see fit, except that:

1. The Board may take any contested action only by the vote of a majority of all Board members holding office at the time;

2. The Board shall keep minutes or other appropriate records of its meetings and actions, which shall be made available to any voting member on request; and

3. A member of the Board (including a President, Co-President, or any other officer) may be involuntarily removed from office at any time by a majority vote of the voting members, voting in person or by proxy at a general membership meeting called for the purpose of considering such action.

D. Vacancies occurring on the Board of Directors through resignation, removal, or otherwise prior to the expiration of the former member’s term of office must be filled for the remainder of that term by special election from among the voting membership, except that vacancies so occurring six months or less before the expiration of the member’s regular term need not be filled until the next regularly scheduled election.

V. ELECTIONS AND OFFICERS

A. DOJ Pride shall hold elections in November of each year for the purpose of electing a President, or two Co-Presidents, and other members of the Board of Directors to replace those whose terms expire in that year. Candidates may be nominated by any voting member (including themselves).

B. The election of the President or Co-Presidents shall take place before the election of other members of the Board. The candidate or slate of candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected as President or Co-Presidents. Any ties shall be decided by a run-off among those candidates. Unsuccessful candidates for President or Co-Presidents may thereafter run for election to the Board.

C. Members shall be entitled to vote for a number of candidates for election to the Board equal to the number of positions to be filled, but no member may cast more than one vote for any one candidate. Candidates shall be elected to vacant positions in the order determined by the number of votes that they receive. In the event that more candidates receive an equal number of votes than there are remaining vacant positions, the outcome shall be decided by run-off among those candidates.

D. Candidates who are elected to the Board shall begin their term on January 1 of the year following their election. Within two weeks after the new term begins, the Board shall select from among its members a Vice President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. In the event that the membership has elected Co-Presidents, no Vice President shall be selected and the Co-Presidents shall fulfill the duties of both President and Vice President according to Section
VI. Each officer shall serve until the selection of a successor after the following year’s election.

E. No officer may serve more than four consecutive one-year terms in the same position. An officer other than a President or Co-President may be removed from office with the concurrence of a majority of the members of the Board, but may not be removed as a Director other than by the membership in accordance with Section IV(C)(3).

F. When any office other than the Presidency becomes vacant before the end of a normal term through resignation, removal, or otherwise, that office may be filled for the remainder of the term by the Board of Directors from among its remaining members (including a member elected to fill a vacant Director’s position under Section IV(D)).

VI. DUTIES

A. The President or Co-Presidents, with the guidance of the Board of Directors and the help of the other officers and such other members or committees as they may designate, shall:

1. Develop or maintain a statement of organizational goals and strategies;

2. Develop or maintain a statement of specific annual objectives and the methods to be used in pursuing them;

3. Organize and direct all DOJ Pride activities to meet the goals and objectives so defined;

4. Report annually to the Board on the continuing appropriateness of the organization’s goals and objectives and the progress made in reaching them, and take or suggest to the Board or the membership actions necessary to redress identified problems or deficiencies;

5. Develop the agenda and preside at all meetings of the Board or of the general membership;

6. Serve as or designate the official representative and spokesperson for DOJ Pride, including for purposes of signing agreements, commitments, or obligations on behalf of the organization;

7. Appoint such standing or ad hoc committees as he or she shall deem necessary, or as the Board shall direct; provide rules as necessary for their organization, operation, and termination, including in his or her discretion appointing a committee Chair; and oversee their operations; and

8. Perform such other duties as the Board may specify from time to time.

B. The Vice President shall:

1. Advise and assist the President in the execution of his or her responsibilities, and perform such other duties as the President may specify from time to time; and

2. Perform the functions of the President in case of the latter’s absence or incapacity, and assume the Presidency in case of the President’s resignation or removal.

C. The Secretary shall:

1. Keep minutes of all general meetings;

2. Maintain all official organization records, including the membership, records described in Section III(C);

3. Notify members and, to the extent possible, other interested individuals of all meetings and activities, and circulate minutes, agendas, and other pertinent documents as appropriate and practicable; and

4. Perform such other duties as the Board of Directors may specify from time to time.

D. The Treasurer shall:

1. Receive and disburse all funds payable to or by DOJ Pride, issuing or requiring a receipt for such funds when appropriate;

2. Keep clear and accurate records of all receipts and disbursements of funds;

3. Maintain such bank or other financial accounts as may be necessary or desirable for the orderly transaction of the organization’s financial affairs; and

4. Report periodically and as otherwise requested to the President or Co-Presidents and the Board of Directors, and as necessary to the general membership, on the financial status of DOJ Pride or the financial results of any of its particular activities.

5. Perform such other duties as the Board of Directors may specify from time to time.

VII. DEPARTMENTAL RECOGNITION AND LIAISON

A. DOJ Pride shall seek such official or de facto recognition by the Department as may be available and seem desirable in the view of the Board of Directors in consultation with the general membership. Such recognition might include the designation by the Department of an appropriate official of suitable rank and function to act as an official liaison between DOJ Pride and the Department.

B. DOJ Pride shall in all events make itself available for such consultation regarding Department affairs as may prove useful to the Department in pursuing effective policies of non-discrimination and other common goals.

VIII. MEETINGS

A. Regular meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held weekly, or as otherwise directed by the Board. Special meetings may be held as necessary at the call of the President, the Co-Presidents, or the Board, and shall be called by the Secretary at the written request of any 10 voting members. Meetings shall be conducted, when necessary, under Robert’s Rules of Order.

B. Officers and committees may meet from time to time as necessary to conduct their business, but shall report at each meeting of the Board on their proceedings or other actions taken since the last such meeting.

IX. VOTING

A. The participation of five voting members (other than members of the Board of Directors) shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of taking any action or vote by the general membership.

B. Any action involving significant change to the structure or ongoing operation of DOJ Pride, as determined by the Board (but in any event including all elections and any amendment of this Charter), may be taken only:

1. After no less than twenty-one (21) days’ notice to all voting members, who are listed on the official membership list maintained by the Secretary in accordance with Section III(C)(1), of the general nature of the proposed action;

2. By a majority of the votes cast by voting members; and

3. In the case of amendments to this Charter, by two-thirds of votes cast by voting members.

C. A voting member may attend any meeting of the general membership either in person or by proxy. Any such proxy shall be in writing, shall be limited in time and purpose to a specific meeting of the membership (or any postponement, continuation or adjournment thereof), and shall specify in reasonable detail the particular matters on which the individual granted the proxy shall be entitled to cast the absent member’s vote.

D. The Board of Directors may, at its discretion, direct that elections or any other matter on which the voting members are entitled to vote shall be determined by written ballot of the voting members without holding a meeting of the general membership.

X. CHAPTERS

A. With the approval of the Board of Directors, local groups of individuals eligible for membership may establish Chapters of DOJ Pride at locations other than Washington, D.C.

B. Each Chapter may develop its own local rules of organization and operation, provided that any Chapter wishing or purporting to remain affiliated with DOJ Pride or to use that name in any of its activities must:

1. Support the mission of DOJ Pride;

2. Submit any organizational documents, and amendments thereto, to the Board of Directors for review and acquiescence; and

3. Maintain active communication and cooperation with DOJ Pride, through its officers and Board of Directors, to ensure a continuing community of interest and coherence of goals and actions in pursuing common aims.

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