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Changing our RMFU bylaws

As an organization focused on policy, governance is at the heart of our work. At the heart of robust governance are documents like bylaws. Generally, bylaws formalize an organization’s rules, procedures, and structure. They determine who in our organization will have decision-making power and what steps must be taken to make a decision.

The Rocky Mountain Farmers Union bylaws, which are available on our website, consist of ten articles that cover our general organizational structure and name, how membership in the organization works, how our board is structured and elected, our convention purpose and how it works, how chapters are chartered, and how the bylaws can be changed.

Bylaws don’t change often, but they need periodic review. The RMFU Board of Directors (BOD) has a bylaws committee currently chaired by Sarah Wentzel-Fisher, including Chad Franke and Jan Kochis. This committee meets several times before the annual convention to read the bylaws and review them to determine if changes are needed to keep RMFU in legal compliance with federal and state laws and if changes are required based on how the organization has changed in its operation. An example of this might be a change to enable electronic voting if the organization decides to use an electronic system instead of paper ballots.

What is the process for changing our bylaws? A union member or board member can recommend to the bylaws committee a change to the bylaws no less than 60 days before the state convention. Our committee reviews the recommended changes to determine if they make sense, are legally compliant, and if they present operational or financial issues for the organization. Once the committee has reviewed the bylaws and any proposed changes, we make a recommendation to the full board about which changes should be added to the ballot, as the board is the body that oversees the implementation of the bylaws. The BOD may reject any proposed amendment, or they can forward the proposed amendment to the membership with the following recommendations:

These changes/recommendations are presented to the membership no less than 30 days before the State Convention. Finally, delegates will vote on any proposed changes during the convention. Changes become effective at the close of the convention or at the time specified in the resolution.

We encourage you to read the bylaws, and we look forward to presenting proposed changes before the convention later this year!

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