Monday, December 17, 2001

Why Members? II

There are critics who don't believe that 80-20 will be open, democratic, and governed by our bylaws as explained in the last email. Here are the answers to five tough questions for 80-20.

1) Many organization have members and bylaws. Are all such organizations therefore "a property of the community, by the community, and for the community?"
Not necessarily. However, 80-20's bylaws are unique.

2) What is so unique about 80-20's bylaws?

80-20's bylaws require that

a) all Board members and its officers, and the Chairperson of the nomination committee be elected by dues-paying members. This prevents the leadership from passing power within a small clique of friends,
b) there must be at least two candidates for each available elective position. Many organizations nominate one person for each available elective position, making a mockery of the democratic procedure, and
c) a term limit is set for every elective position, which compels and induces the infusion of new blood into the organization.

3) I've heard of each of such provisions before. Tell me more.

To our best knowledge, there is not a single non-governmental organization with all three provisions. A few may have one or two of the above three. This combination is the best and tightest to prevent selfish leaders from using 80-20 for their personal benefit.

4) Is your Executive Director elected?
The Executive Director (E.D.) is an employee. S/he can be hired and fired by the Board at any time. So long as the Board is held strongly accountable to members by bylaws, there is no worry about having an E.D.,who is not responsive to the dues-paying members.

5) Bylaws are just words. Why should words matter?
Bylaws are not spoken words but written rules. If 80-20 doesn't abide by its own rules, its Board of Directors can be sued.

You be the judge.
Is 80-20 worth your $35 or $50? You must do your share. You can be a member today using a credit card, visit
Your membership to 80-20 is the best gift you can give your children and grandchildren this holiday season.