Section 1: Name.
The name of the organization is Liberty and Justice Coalition, hereinafter referenced as LJC.
Section 2: Mission Statement.
The mission of LJC is to promote public safety through the institution of realistic laws, prohibit unjust restrictions, and to seek review of the criminal justice system.
The LJC asserts that:
- No sexual abuse or assault is acceptable whether it be against children or adults.
- The misinformation and stigmatization used to justify harsh laws and long sentences undermine the welfare of society, creating unnecessary panic and distrust.
- Setting apart any group of people and denying them civil, constitutional, and human rights threatens the rights of every person in our nation.
- Public registries provide no measurable protection and actually endanger the well-being of registrants, innocent children, and other family members of registrants.
- Public registration, proximity restrictions, and residency restrictions that extend beyond an individual’s court-imposed sentence violate constitutional prohibitions on due process, cruel and unusual punishments, ex post facto laws, and self-incrimination.
- New Mexico’s current lifetime registration and public notification system should be abolished on constitutional grounds.
- Sex offender registries, originally promoted as a means for tracking persons convicted of the most heinous offenses, have expanded exponentially to include innocuous behavior, including sexting and consensual relations between young people.
- Each case must be judged on its own merits with a punishment that is appropriate for the underlying offense and with consideration of the unique characteristics of each offender.
- Any registration requirement must be adjudicated through a hearing where the state bears the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that the person presents an elevated risk to commit a hands-on sexual offense.
- Evidence-based policies and programs can reliably reduce new sexual offenses and thus make our communities safer.
The LJC will:
- Educate citizens and lawmakers regarding the constitutional, human rights, and criminal crises created by overly punitive laws and how those laws are not based on facts or science;
- Be involved in legislative work concerning criminal justice reform;
- Review all new penalties and crimes to ensure that such laws are appropriate for the offense;
- Promote evidence-based reform of our existing laws;
- Promote family reunification and resources for all former offenders, including therapy, housing, and employment;
- Promote reformation of current laws, including reform of public registries, ex post facto laws, and other constitutional violations; and
- Encourage those who have offended to remain offense free and complete all treatment and supervision obligations.
Section 1: Classes. Members of LJC shall consist of two classes, General Members and Silent Supporters.
Section 2: General Members. This class includes any individual who shares LJC’s vision for reforming our criminal justice system.
Section 3: Silent Supporters. This class includes individuals in the community who support the work and philosophy of LJC but whose work or position prohibits them from active participation.
Section 4: Acceptance. A person shall be accepted as a General Member or Silent Supporter based on the following criteria:
- Completion of a membership application form;
- Payment of annual membership dues as established by the Board of Directors; or
- Donation to LJC of salable goods, or time as a volunteer to assist in and support LJC projects and activities as needed.
Section 5: Rights of General Members. Every General Member of LJC:
- Is eligible to vote in elections for members of the Board of Directors;
- Has the right to participate in all activities and events; and
- May vote on those matters that the Board of Directors chooses to submit to the membership for affirmation. In such cases, voting privileges are restricted to members who are not under any disciplinary action.
Section 6: Code of Conduct. Members are bound by the objectives and standards of conduct required of the LJC. Every Member shall:
- Support the objectives of LJC;
- Observe all federal, state, and local laws;
- Not affiliate with or publicly support any group that promotes sexual relations between adults and anyone below the age of consent;
- Preserve and protect the confidences and privileged communications of LJC and its members; and
- Abide by the rules established for members attending LJC board meetings and other LJC sponsored events.
- Report any felony or full misdemeanor conviction to the Chair or Vice Chair within 30 days.
Section 1: Annual Meeting. The date, time, and place of the annual meeting shall be set by the Board of Directors.
Section 2: Time Frame for Holding the Annual Meeting. The annual meeting shall be held during the first calendar quarter of each year.
Section 3: Notice of the Annual Meeting. Notice of the annual meeting shall be given to all Members, by electronic mail or postal mail, not less than thirty days prior to the meeting and include sufficient information regarding persons being elected or other decisions being made at that time.
Board of Directors
Section 1: General. Subject to the provisions of the laws of this state and any limitations in the articles of incorporation and these bylaws relating to action required or permitted to be taken or approved by the members, if any, of this organization, the activities and affairs of this organization shall be conducted and all corporate powers shall be exercised by or under the direction of the Board of Directors.
Section 2: Composition. The Board shall have up to seven but not fewer than five members to be decided by the regular members at the annual meeting, provided the Board consists of an odd number of positions.
Section 3: Meetings. The Board shall conduct public meetings no less than four times per calendar year at an agreed upon time and place. Board members residing more than 30 miles from the meeting location shall be permitted to participate telephonically.
Section 4. Qualifications. All members of the Board of Directors:
- Must be members in good standing of LJC;
- Must be properly nominated and ratified by a simple majority of the general membership;
- Shall hold membership in LJC during their term of office;
- Cannot be under any type of probation/parole supervision;
- Must have been a member for a minimum of one year; and
- Must have attended the majority of LJC’s board meetings and/or participated in other LJC sponsored activities.
Section 5: Duties of the Board of Directors. It shall be the duty of the Directors to:
- Perform any and all duties imposed on them collectively or individually by law, by the articles of incorporation, or by these bylaws;
- Appoint and remove, employ and discharge, and, except as otherwise provided in these bylaws, prescribe the duties and fix the compensation, if any, of all officers, agents, and employees of the organization;
- Supervise all officers, agents, and employees of the organization to ensure that their duties are performed properly;
- Meet at such times and places as required by these bylaws; and
- Register their addresses with the secretary of the organization. (Notices of meetings mailed or telegraphed to them at such addresses shall be valid notices thereof.)
Section 6: Term of Office. Each Director shall hold office for a period of two years and until his or her successor is elected and qualifies.
Section 7: Compensation. Directors shall serve without compensation except that a reasonable fee may be paid to Directors for attending regular and special meetings of the Board. In addition, they shall be allowed reasonable advancement or reimbursement of expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. Any payments to Directors shall be approved in accordance with this organization’s conflict of interest policy.
Section 8: Location of Meetings. Meeting locations shall be designated as necessary by resolution of the Board of Directors.
Section 9: Elections. Elections shall be conducted in even-numbered years and must be held by the end of the first calendar quarter. No later than 90 days prior to the scheduled election, an announcement seeking nominations for individuals interested in serving on the Board shall be disseminated to LJC’s email list and posted on LJC’s website. A list of all nominees, candidate biographies, and ballots shall be sent to all Members in good standing no later than 21 days prior to the election. Ballots may be returned by mail or brought to the election by the Member. Any ballots returned by mail shall not be opened until the election is convened. If a Member does not return his/her ballot, the existing Board can vote on that person’s behalf. After election of the Board of Directors, the newly-elected Board shall elect officers from among the members of the Board of Directors.
Section 10: Special Meetings. Special meetings of the Board of Directors may be called by any officer, two or more Directors, or by the persons specifically authorized under the laws of this state to call special meetings of the Board. Such meetings shall be held at the location designated by the person or persons calling the special meeting or may be conducted telephonically.
Section 11: Notice of Board Meetings. Unless otherwise provided by the articles of incorporation, by these bylaws, or by provisions of law, the following provisions shall govern the giving of notice for meetings of the Board of Directors:
- Regular Meetings. Notice shall be given of any regular meeting of the Board of Directors by electronic and/or postal mail to all members.
- Special Meetings. Except in emergency situations, at least one week’s notice of each special meeting of the Board shall be given to each Director. Such notice may be oral or written, by first class mail, by telephone, electronic mail, or by facsimile machine, and shall state the place, date, and time of the meeting and the matters proposed to be acted upon at the meeting.
Section 12: Quorum, Voting, and Agenda. A quorum shall consist of a majority (more than half) of the members of the Board of Directors. Except as otherwise provided under the articles of incorporation, by these bylaws, or by provisions of law, no business shall be considered by the Board at any meeting at which the required quorum is not present, and the only motion which the chair shall entertain at such meeting is a motion to adjourn.
Section 13. Majority Action as Board Action. Every act or decision done or made by a majority of the Directors present at a meeting duly held at which a quorum is present is the act of the Board of Directors, unless the articles of incorporation, these bylaws, or provisions of law require a greater percentage or different voting rules for approval of a matter by the Board.
Section 14. Conduct of Meetings. Meetings shall be governed by the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, insofar as such rules are not inconsistent with or in conflict with the articles of incorporation, these bylaws, or with provisions of law.
Section 15. Vacancies. Vacancies on the Board of Directors shall exist on the death, resignation, or removal of any Director. Unless otherwise prohibited by the articles of incorporation, these bylaws, or provisions of law, vacancies on the Board may be filled by approval of the Board of Directors. If the number of Directors then in office is less than a quorum, a vacancy on the Board may be filled by approval of a majority of the Directors then in office or by a sole remaining Director. A person elected to fill a vacancy on the Board shall hold office until the next election of the Board of Directors or until his or her death, resignation, or removal from office.
Section 16. Removal from Office. A Director may be removed from office upon:
- His or her resignation; or
- A resolution of the Board approved by a two-thirds vote of the full Board.
Responsibilities of Officers
Section 1. Chair. The Chair has the collective responsibilities as a member of the Board and the individual responsibilities of a Member. Additionally, the Chair shall:
- Have general supervision and direction of the activities of LJC;
- Preside at all meetings of the Board and all general meetings; and
- Have the authority to attend all committee and sub-committee meetings.
Section 2. Vice Chair. The Vice Chair has the collective responsibilities as a member of the Board and the individual responsibilities of a Member. Additionally, the Vice Chair shall:
In the absence or disability of the Chair, perform all the duties of the Chair;
- When so acting, have all the powers of and be subject to all the restrictions upon the Chair; and
- Have such other powers and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Board or the Bylaws.
Section 3. Secretary. The Secretary has the collective responsibilities as a member of the Board and the individual responsibilities of a Member. The Secretary shall:
- Keep, or cause to be kept, a book of minutes of all meetings of the members, the Board, and its committees, with the time and place of holding, whether regular or special, and if special, how authorized, the notice thereof given, the names of those present at the meetings, the Board and committees’ meetings, and the proceedings thereof;
- Keep, or cause to be kept, at the office in the State of New Mexico, the original and a copy of the organization’s Articles and Bylaws as amended to date;
- Give, or cause to be given, notice of all meetings of the Board and any committees thereof required by these Bylaws or by law to be given;
- Keep, or cause to be kept, at the office of the organization, a membership register or a duplicated membership register showing the names of the members and their addresses; and
- Assist the Chair or Vice Chair in meeting set up, facilitation, order, parliamentary procedure, or timekeeping as may be required; and
- Shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as prescribed by the Board or the Bylaws.
Section 4. Treasurer. The Treasurer has the collective responsibilities as a member of the Board and the individual responsibilities of a Member. The Treasurer shall:
- Ensure the stewardship of the physical and financial resources of the organization;
- Ensure that all financial activities and transactions are consistent with the New Mexico Nonprofit Corporation Law;
- Keep and maintain, or cause to be kept and maintained, adequate and correct accounts of the properties and business transactions of the organization. The books of account shall at all reasonable times be open to inspection by any Board member as provided by the New Mexico Nonprofit Corporation Law;
- Report all income and expenses related to LJC accounts at each general meeting;
- Deposit, or cause to be deposited, all monies and other valuables in the name and to the credit of the organization with such depositories as may be designated by the Board; and
- Disburse, or cause to be disbursed, the funds of the organization as may be ordered by the Board; and
- Shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as prescribed by the Board or the Bylaws.
Disputes shall be settled in the following manner.
- Any dispute arising between Members shall be investigated by a duly appointed committee or other neutral person designated by the Board.
- The Committee or person so designated shall make a determination regarding the dispute and report its findings to the Board.
- A decision reached by a committee can be appealed to the full Board. The findings of the Board shall be deemed the resolution of the dispute. The parties shall abide by the findings.
Said organization is organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, under the New Mexico Non-Profit Corporation Act, Section 53-8-1 to 53-8-99, NMSA 1978.
Upon the dissolution of this organization, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government for a public purpose.
The Board may amend all articles by two-thirds vote and ratified by a majority of the members present at the next general meeting.
This document was agreed upon and adopted on as an organizing document for the Liberty and Justice Coalition.
Vice Chair Date