SPJ San Diego Bylaws


The name of the organization shall be: The San Diego Professional Chapter, The Society of Professional Journalists.


There shall be at least four membership meetings a year, and as many more as the president of the majority of the board of directors shall determine.


Chapter board and officers
(a) The officers of the chapter shall be president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. They will be members of a board of directors which will include ten other regular members as follows:
(b) The director of Region 11 of the society, if a member of the chapter, who shall serve on the board during term of service as regional director, and,
(c) The immediate past president of the chapter for a one-year term, and,
(d) The student chapter president of the largest sanctioned student chapter in San Diego County, and,
(e) Seven other members as elected by the chapter membership, or eight other members if the regional director is not local.
(f) A majority of the professional chapter’s board members must be working journalists and/ or college- or university-level journalism instructors.


(a) Directors will be elected for two-year terms. There will be seven vacancies in even- numbered years and six in odd-numbered years, for a total of 13 board members and one student representative.
(b) During May of each year, a three-member nominating-election committee, appointed by the president shall nominate at least two members of the chapter for each vacancy on the board of directors.
(c) New directors shall be elected by the Membership by mail ballot to be mailed by June 10 each year to all members who have paid current chapter and national dues and who are otherwise in good standing with the chapter and the society. Nominees shall be listed alphabetically by name only on the ballot and shall run at large for all vacancies. The nominating committee shall prepare the ballot and separate sheets to be mailed with the ballot, briefly outlining pertinent biographical information about each nominee. Ballots shall be returned in sealed envelopes provided with the ballots to the secretary by June 25 each year. Ballots shall be counted by the nominating-election committee by July 1 and the membership shall be notified of the results by mail.
(d) In the case of a tie, a run-off election shall be held within 30 days of the original ballot count.
(e) The new board of directors shall meet after the annual election and before July 10 to elect officers, who will hold office for the administrative year, beginning July 1.
(f) The board may by majority vote remove any board member for failure to attend board meetings, but only if the member has three or more unexcused absences in the administrative year.
(g) When vacancies occur among officers on the board, appointees to such vacancies shall be proposed by the president and ratified by the directors. Appointees shall serve for the remainder of the term of the officer or director they replace.


Meetings of the board of directors may be called by the president or a majority of the board of directors.


(a) Membership in the society is a requirement for membership in the chapter.
(b) All members of the society shall be eligible for membership in the chapter if they pay chapter dues.
(c) Any member of the chapter may propose a new member. The proposal of the new member must be submitted on the society’s official nomination form.
(d) If a candidate is deemed eligible by the board of directors the “Nomination and Application” form and the stipulated initiation fee will be forwarded by the chapter secretary to the national headquarters of the society and the local fees will be deposited by the treasurer in the account of the chapter. All fees must be paid before initiation.


(a) Local chapter dues shall be $10 a year. Credit of $5 a year shall be given to each member who sponsors a new member during the preceding year.
(b) All members in arrears in dues June 30 shall be declared delinquent members and shall be disenfranchised by the chapter until dues are paid for the current year.
(c) All local dues shall be waived for lifetime members and when a member reaches the age of 65 if the member wishes, and may be waived by the directors in any hardship case as determined by them. It shall be the responsibility of the affected member to request the waiver in writing from the chapter treasurer.


Budget and finance
(a) A proposed annual budget, reflecting projected income and an estimate of operating expenses, shall be prepared by the treasurer and shall be presented to the board of directors at the first board meeting after the annual election of officers. The budget shall become effective upon acceptance by the board.
(b) The chapter shall at the end of each administrative year provide all chapter members with a written treasurer’s financial statement showing all income and expenditures during the preceding year.
(c) All withdrawals from the chapter’s cash and savings chapter accounts shall be signed by two of the following officers: president, vice president, secretary, treasurer.


These bylaws may be amended only by the affirmative majority of those members voting in a mail ballot.


Robert’s Rules of Order shall prevail at all chapter and board meetings except when in conflict with these bylaws.
Signed July 20, 1991 by Elizabeth Douglas, President, and Vicci Taft, Vice President Revisions signed April 1999 by Leonel Sanchez, President, and Beth Wood, Vice President
Pursuant to Section Nine of the Bylaws of The San Diego Professional Chapter, The Society of Professional Journalists regarding amendment, Subsection f of Section Four is hereby deleted and replaced with the following:
(f) The board of directors may remove any director for good cause. As used in this subsection, “good cause” means any conduct by a director that is not in the best interests of the chapter, including, but not limited to: (i) using his or her position as a director in a manner that
reflects negatively on the chapter or the board; (ii) violating the code of ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists; (iii) willfully failing or refusing to abide by the bylaws or rules of this chapter; (iv) disregarding, misrepresenting or undermining any votes, stated intentions or stated positions of the board or the national Society of Professional Journalists; (v) acting in a manner that is disruptive or harmful to the chapter’s mission
or reputation; (vi) engaging in conduct that is unethical or harmful to the public or the journalism profession; and/or (vii) failing to attend board meetings, but only if the director has three (3) or more unexcused absences in the administrative year.
1. A director’s removal must be predicated on a finding by the board of good cause and if found, shall result in the immediate termination of the director’s service on the board.
2. Procedure for Removal:
(a) A proceeding for removal of a director shall be initiated by a resolution of the board voted upon and approved by a majority of the members of the board. The resolution shall be in writing and include a statement of the specific reasons for the removal and specify a hearing date and time that is not less than fifteen (15) days or more than forty-five (45) days after the date the resolution is approved.
(b) The resolution shall be served on the director subject to removal by personal service, first-class mail, certified mail or registered mail at the last address of the director as shown on the chapter’s records, provided, however, the method of service used must be reasonably calculated to provide actual notice.
(c) The hearing shall be held at the place where meetings of the board are regularly held and can be held either at a special meeting of the board called for that purpose or at a regular meeting of the board. A quorum must be present to call the hearing to order. The hearing may be informal and oral and documentary evidence that is reasonably reliable and consistent with fairness and due process shall be allowed and considered by the board. Formal rules of evidence and rules of judicial procedure need not be observed. Minutes of the meeting shall be taken in the same manner as minutes of board meetings are usually taken.
(d) The hearing shall be presided over by the president of the chapter who shall conduct the hearing in an orderly manner, read the reasons for the intended removal of the member and require that the reasons be confirmed by statements of the person(s) presenting them and such other witnesses as may be appropriate. All members of the board present at the hearing shall be allowed to ask questions as appropriate for a full and fair exploration of the issues.
(e) The director subject to removal shall be entitled to fully participate in the hearing, including giving statements and having witnesses give statements in his or her behalf, submitting evidence, and questioning witnesses.
(f) When appropriate, the president shall call the hearing closed at which time the board shall vote on whether good cause exists to remove the director subject to removal, which director shall be entitled to vote. The affirmative vote of a majority of the board members shall result in the immediate termination of the subject director’s service on the board. The removal of a director does not result in and of itself in the director’s removal as a member of the chapter.


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