As amended through November 2007
Article I: NAME & LOGO
Section 1. The name of the Society shall be THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SOCIETY OF THE SONS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION (hereinafter, theSociety).
Section 2. The logo of the Society shall be the seal of the corporation, i.e., a shield divided in half with the Washington family coat of arms decorating the left half, and the standing goddess Columbia on the right, holding a spear surmounted by a helmet. Laurel boughs surround the top of the shield, and a banner containing the words Organized April 23, 1890 surrounds the bottom. A band with the words Society of the Sons of the American Revolution and District of Columbia encircles all of the above.
Article II: OBJECTS
The objects of this Society are declared to be patriotic, historical and educational and shall include those intended or designed to perpetuate the memory of those patriots who, by their services or sacrifices during the war of the American Revolution, achieved the independence of the American people; to unite and promote fellowship among their descendants; to inspire them and the community at large with a more profound reverence for the principles of the government founded by our forefathers; to encourage historical research in relation to the American Revolution; to preserve the records of the individual services of the patriots of the war as well as documents, relics and landmarks; to mark the scenes of the Revolution by appropriate memorials; to celebrate the anniversaries of the prominent events of the war and of the Revolutionary period; to foster true patriotism, to maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom; and to carry out the purposes expressed in the preamble of the Constitution of our country and the injunctions of Washington in his farewell address to the American people.
Article III. MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Provisions for membership shall be as set forth in the by-laws of the National Society Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR). All applications for membership shall adhere to the standards required by the National Society, and are to be submitted with supporting documents for each generation noted on the application.
Section 2. Applications for membership, with supporting documentation in duplicate, are to be forwarded to the DC Society Registrar with the application fee and dues for the current year.
Section 3. Any Senator or Representative or officer in the civil, military or naval service of the United States, officially residing in the Washington Metropolitan Area, or any officer in the Foreign Service of the Government of the United States, who is a compatriot in good standing of a State Society of the NSSAR, may be elected to honorary membership in the District of Columbia Society with waiver of dues.
Section 4. Whenever a compatriot in good standing changes his residence to the jurisdiction of another State Society, he shall be entitled, if he so elects, to a certificate of honorable demission, in order that he may be transferred to said Society; provided, that no such certificate shall be given unless and until all dues and fees are paid. Membership in this Society shall not cease until membership in the other State Society shall have been established.
Section 5. From NSSAR By-Law 19, Section 8, Any member who has paid National Society dues for fifty years shall be designated an Emeritus Member of the Society. An EmeritusMember, or his State Society on his behalf, may address to the NSSAR Executive Director a request for Emeritus I status and when as an Emeritus Member the Compatriot so designated shall be exempt from further payment of National Society dues.
ARTICLE IV. OFFICERS, MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF MANAGEMENT, DELEGATES AND ALTERNATES
Section 1. The officers of the Society shall be President; Senior, Second and Third Vice-Presidents; Secretary; Assistant Secretary; Treasurer; Assistant Treasurer; Registrar; Assistant Registrar; Information Technology Officer; Historian; Librarian; Editor; Chaplain; Assistant Chaplain; and a Board of Trustees consisting of three compatriots, designated as Trustees, who shall be elected at the March meeting of the Society and who shall hold office for one year, except as otherwise provided, or until their successors shall have been elected and have duly qualified, and who with nine other compatriots shall constitute the Board of Management; provided, that the President and Vice-Presidents shall not be elected for more than two (2) terms in succession; provided further, that the term of each Trustee shall be for three years, one to be elected each year; and provided further, that the term of each of the nine other members of the Board of Management hereinabove referred to shall be three years from the date of his election, and that the nine shall continue, as heretofore, to be arranged in classes of three so that the terms of the three who have completed their three years of service shall expire at each annual meeting, at which their successors shall be installed.
Section 2. Delegates to the Congress of the National Society shall be elected at the March meeting, in accordance with the requirements of the Constitution of the National Society. The President, Senior Vice-President or the Delegate-at-Large, in the order named, shall be head of the delegation.
Section 3. Nominations for National Society Trustee, Alternate National Society Trustee, and National Vice President General for the Mid-Atlantic District (when designated by the Society) shall be nominated or selected for nomination at the same time and in the same manner as officers of this Society are nominated and selected, and in accordance with the requirements of the National Society Sons of the American Revolution.
Section 4. An Executive Committee of five compatriots, of which the President of the Society shall be the Chairman, may be elected by the Board of Management from its number, which committee shall, in the interim between the meetings of the Board, transact such business as shall be delegated to it by said Board. At any meeting of this committee, three members thereof shall constitute a quorum.
ARTICLE V. FEES AND DUES
Section 1. The admission fee for membership shall be established by the Board of Management, and payable to the Society at the time of original application for membership, plus any fee that shall be fixed by the National Society except as provided below:
a. A male applicant from the organizations: The Children of the American Revolution, The Children of the Revolution, or The Washington Guard, who shall apply for membership in the Society not later than one year after his twenty-first birthday, may, if eligible and elected to membership in the District of Columbia Society, present a transfer card to the Registrar in lieu of an admission fee;
b. A son, grandson or nephew of a member of the Society, or of a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, or a son of a member of the Sons of the Revolution (his parent being, or if deceased, having been, a member in good standing in his or her organization at the time of such son’s, grandson’s or nephew’s application) if elected to membership in the District of Columbia Society before attaining the age of twenty-five years, may be admitted without payment of an admission fee to the D. C. Society;
Any and all such applicants shall pay to the National Society any fee fixed for a certificate of membership.
The annual dues for both Resident and Non-resident Compatriots shall be as set by the Board of Management, plus any dues fixed by the National Society. Resident Compatriots are those members residing in the District of Columbia or within a radius of twenty-five miles thereof. Non-resident Compatriots are those compatriots residing beyond such limits.
A lump sum payment set by Board of Management shall make a compatriot a Life Member of the District of Columbia Society and exempt him from payment of DCSSAR dues thereafter. (NSSAR Life Membership is separately available from Headquarters and exempts a Compatriot from further payment of national dues).
Section 2. The annual dues shall be payable to the NSSAR on the 31st day of December. Members will pay their dues to the DCSSAR at a date established by the Board of Management.
Section 3. If, on December 15th of any year, and after two notices (October and November), it shall appear from the books of the Treasurer that any compatriot is indebted to the Society in any amount, his name shall be stricken from the roll of compatriots in good standing until such indebtedness is resolved by payment of the amount in arrears, and compliance with the requirements of Section 4 of this Article.
Section 4. Any former compatriot of this Society may apply for reinstatement, through the Registrar, to the Board of Management. Such application must be accompanied by a remittance to cover the reinstatement fee prescribed by the Constitution of the National Society, plus dues for the current Society year, computed from the date of the application on the basis of resident or non-resident membership. If a reinstatement application is rejected, the fees accompanying it will be returned.
Section 5. The receipts each year from fees, dues and other sources constituting the income of the Society shall be devoted to the following objects, without priority:
a. Payment of such annual dues as are, or may be, prescribed by the Constitution of the National Society;
b. Payment of current expenses;
c. Payment of special expenses;
Disbursement of funds shall be made in accordance with the annual budget adopted by the Board of Management. Any other disbursements shall require approval by majority vote of the Board of Management. The President by approval of the Executive Committee shall authorize emergency expenditures as deemed necessary and shall report these expenditures to the Board of Management in a timely manner. Emergency expenditures shall be defined as equipment replacement, expenditures necessary for day-to-day operating functions, or other unanticipated expenses.
Section 6. If at any time it shall appear from the books of the Treasurer, excluding the funds in the hands of the Trustees, that if all liabilities of a Society year are met a deficit will ensue, no appropriation of moneys shall be made for any object but the necessary current expenses of the Society unless and until the matter shall have been referred to the Board of Management.
Section 7. The Society shall have no power to borrow money, directly or indirectly, on the credit of the Society.
Section 8. There is hereby established the Benjamin Franklin Fund to encourage special emphasis by the Society on tangible means to support the Objects set out in Article II of the Constitution hereof. The object of the Fund is to help support the patriotic, historical and educational objectives of this Society. The assets of the Fund shall be obtained from voluntary contributions of money or other property by members of the Society and from other sources as deemed appropriate. Neither the Fund nor its revenues shall be used to pay, support, or lend to the Society any funds for operating or other current expenses of the Society, even in the event of a deficit as defined in Article V, Section 8 of the Constitution. The Fund shall only be used for the stated object. The Fund’s assets, income, and expenditures shall be maintained and accounted for separately from other funds of the Society, notwithstanding any provision of By-Laws Sections IV and XI to the contrary. The foregoing provisions shall not be construed to prevent the Fund from reimbursing the Society for expenses incurred in support of authorized activities of the Fund.
ARTICLE VI. BOARD OF MANAGEMENT
Section 1. The Board of Management shall consist of the President, Vice Presidents, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Registrar, Assistant Registrar, Information Technology Officer, Historian, Librarian, Editor, Chaplain, Assistant Chaplain, Trustees, nine other members, and all living past DCSSAR Presidents in good standing as exofficio members of the Board with vote. Service of past Presidents on the Board of Management will not disqualify them from holding other offices to which they may be elected but each past President may cast only one vote on any matter before the Board.
Section 2. The Board of Management shall superintend all the interests of the Society, recommend plans for promoting the objects of the Society, digest and prepare business, be responsible for all Society meetings, and execute all such duties and business as may be delegated to it by the Society.
The Board of Management shall be the judge of the qualifications of applicants for admission to or reinstatement in the Society, and may elect or approve the same, subject to the final approval of the Registrar General of the National Society.
The Board of Management shall have the power to expel or suspend for a fixed period any compatriot whose conduct becomes prejudicial to the welfare and interest of the Society, or who by conduct unbecoming a gentleman renders himself unworthy of remaining a member. Any such suspension or expulsion shall not be voted by the Board unless three-fourths of those present at the Board meeting concur in such action, and unless the Board gives such compatriot notice of an opportunity for a hearing either before the Board itself or any committee designated by the Board for such purpose. Whenever the committee has given such hearing, recommendation shall be made to the Board, together with a summary of the evidence, within 30 days, and no action of the Board shall be taken prior to the receipt of such recommendation and summary.
The Board of Management may recommend to the Society the establishment of a local chapter or chapters, with such powers as it may deem proper within its jurisdiction not inconsistent with the Constitution of the National Society.
The Board of Management shall make, through the President, a general report of its actions at the Annual Meeting of the Society.
Section 3. At all meetings of the Board of Management, nine members thereof shall constitute a quorum.
ARTICLE VII. MEETINGS
Section 1. A regular meeting of the Society shall be held on the Federal Government’s observation of Washington’s Birthday of each year. At this meeting, candidates shall be nominated for all offices of the Society, for vacancies on the Board of Management, Trustee, delegates and alternates to the Congress of the National Society, and Mid-Atlantic District Vice President General, when designated by the Society. Nominations originate through a Nominating Committee of five selected by the Board of Management but such nominations shall not preclude other nominations from the floor. Any other business may be transacted at this meeting.
Section 2. A meeting for the election of officers, including Trustee, members of the Board of Management, delegates and alternates to the Congress of the National Society, and for the transaction of any other business, shall be held on a date and time during the third week in March of each year as called by the Board of Management unless the Board of Management authorizes another date or time in the month.
Section 3. The Annual Meeting of the Society shall be held on April 19th of each year to commemorate the Battle of Lexington as well as the birth of our Society. Should it not be possible or practical to hold the meeting on April 19th for sound reasons, the Board of Management may authorize another date as close to April 19th as possible. At the close of this meeting, the newly elected officers shall be inducted into office.
Section 4. The President or the Board of Management may call special meetings of the Society for conducting business, celebrating patriotic events relating to the Revolution, or for other patriotic work. The President shall call a special meeting whenever requested in writing to do so by twenty-five or more compatriots.
Section 5. General business may be transacted at any special meeting.
Section 6. Fifteen compatriots shall constitute a quorum at all meetings of the Society. Ayes and nays shall be called at any such meeting upon the demand of five or more compatriots.
Section 7. If a scheduled meeting for nominations, elections, or the Annual Meeting must be cancelled because of weather or other emergency conditions, the President shall, within a month of the cancelled meeting, set a new date for such meeting and the membership shall be notified at least seven days prior to the new date.
ARTICLE VIII. ELECTIONS
Section 1. The Secretary or Assistant Secretary shall prepare from the list of compatriots who were properly put in nomination, excluding those with unpaid current dues, at the meeting provided for by Article VII, Section I, a printed ballot having thereon (under proper heads showing the number of names that may be voted for under each head), the names of all compatriots who were nominated for each office or class of office, and shall forward to each compatriot of the Society with the notice of the March meeting, one copy of such printed ballot, a plain envelope and an envelope pre-addressed to the Secretary which will have a line on the back for the signature of the compatriot. If, at a future date, there shall be devised a secure and reliable means of electronic voting via the Internet, then the Society may, at the discretion of the Board of Management, use that means in addition to or in lieu of the method described in this Section, and that of Section 2 of this Article.
Section 2. A compatriot who desires to vote at the March meeting for the election of officers as prescribed in Article VII, Section 2, shall indicate his choice of the nominees (limited to the number permissible under each head) by a cross-mark on the ballot, or new names written by him on the ballot. He shall seal the marked ballot in the plain envelope and seal it in the envelope pre-addressed to the Secretary and sign his name on the line provided for that purpose on the back thereof. He shall then return the ballot, by mail or in person, to the Secretary so as to be in his hands before eight-thirty o’clock P.M. on the day of the March meeting. He shall not vote for a greater number of persons than is called for under each head, but where this is done, it will invalidate the vote under any such head. The Secretary will assure himself that only ballots from compatriots in good standing are to be counted.
Section 3. At eight-thirty o’clock P.M. on the day of the March meeting, the President shall declare the polls closed, and the tellers whom he has appointed shall immediately proceed to the counting of the votes, and shall communicate the result to the President at once on the completion of the same. Where a compatriot’s name appears more than once, if elected to a higher office, his votes for the lesser office shall not be counted. At least fifty ballots must be included in the tally to constitute a valid election.
Section 4. Compatriots who shall receive, respectively, the highest number of votes for the offices of President, Senior Vice President, Second Vice President, Third Vice President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Registrar, Assistant Registrar, Information Technology Officer, Historian, Librarian, Editor, Chaplain, Assistant Chaplain, Trustee, and Mid-Atlantic District Vice President General, when designated by the Society, shall be declared elected.
Section 5. Compatriots elected to membership on the Board of Management shall enter the class or term of office set by the Nominating Committee, and specified on the ballot.
Section 6. Should there be a failure of election in any case or cases, the President shall order a new ballot in such case or cases, and the vote shall be taken and the result announced before adjournment.
Section 7. Of the nominees for delegate to the Congress of the National Society, those who receive the highest number of the votes cast (to the number of delegates authorized) shall be declared elected as delegates, the one receiving the highest number being delegate-at-large; and those receiving the next highest numbers (to the number of alternates authorized) shall be declared elected as alternates.
Section 8. Compatriots who shall be declared elected shall hold office for the terms for which they were elected, or until the election and qualification of their successors; provided, that should any member of the Board of Management absent himself from three consecutive meetings of the Board and fail to account to the Board, through the President or Secretary, for such absence, his office shall be deemed to be vacant and shall be so declared by the Board forthwith, and an appointment shall be made under Section 10 hereof for the filling of the same.
Section 9. A compatriot shall qualify for office only if he is a member in good standing of the Society.
Section 10. All vacancies that occur after the Annual Meeting shall be filled by action of the Board of Management.
Article IX. AFFILIATED TRANSACTIONS AND INTERESTED OFFICERS OR BOARD MEMBERS
Section 1. The Society will not engage in any act of self-dealing, as defined in section 4941(d) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
Section 2. No part of the net earnings of the Society shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the Society shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Article II hereof.
Section 3. No contract or transaction between the Society and one or more of the members of its Board of Management or officers, or between the Society and any other corporation, partnership, association or other organization in which one or more of the members of its Board of Management or officers are directors or officers, or have a financial interest, shall be void or voidable solely for this reason, or solely because the member of the Board of Management or officer is present at or participates in the meeting of the Board of Management or committee thereof which authorizes the contract or transaction.
Section 4. Common or interested directors may be counted in determining the presence of a quorum at a meeting of the Board of Management or of a committee thereof which authorizes any contract or transaction specified in this Article.
ARTICLE X. AMENDMENTS
Amendments to this Constitution, or to the By-Laws, may be proposed at any meeting of the Society and, if a two-thirds majority of the quorum present acts favorably, the Amendments shall be submitted to the entire membership for action. Each compatriot will be sent, at his last known postal address, a copy of the proposed amendments; a notice of the date by which votes on the amendments will be accepted, which shall be approximately thirty days after the date on which the amendments are sent out; a ballot form with spaces in which to indicate for or against the amendments; a plain envelope; and an envelope pre-addressed to the Secretary with a line on the back for the signature of the compatriot. A compatriot who desires to vote on the amendments will indicate his choice on the ballot form, seal it in the plain envelope; seal it in the envelope pre-addressed to the Secretary and sign it on the back; and send it to the Secretary by mail or by hand. The Secretary shall declare any ballot void that is not received by the date specified, or if the outer envelope is not signed by the compatriot. A two-thirds majority of valid votes shall be necessary for the affirmative adoption of any amendment.