Bylaws Update Process: Here’s how you can have input

CPNO’s special Bylaws Review Committee has been tasked over the next four months with recommending updates to the organization’s Bylaws.
We want to gather input as broadly as possible, and then make sure ideas are discussed and vetted thoroughly before bringing them to the floor for a vote. So we’ve put a process in place to help that happen.
The Bylaws themselves require a two-step process for any changes. First, the board must take up the proposed amendment. If they support it with a majority vote, the amendment is sent to the membership for discussion and a vote at the next monthly meeting. Two-thirds of the members at that meeting most vote “yes” for the amendment to take effect.
We hope our committee’s process will yield ideas that are broadly supported. That way, they’ll reflect the wishes of the membership and each stand a good chance of successfully passing these votes. Toward that end, here’s the process we’re committed to following:
  1. Collect input — we have published a survey at and let members know about it through announcements at the membership meeting, publishing it in the Messenger and the web site, and e-mail newsletters. We have also proactively e-mailed key participants, including past board members and long-time and active residents, asking for their input. Finally, the committee is thoroughly reviewing the existing bylaws for consistency with how the organization currently operates and best practices of similar organizations.
  2. Describe changes — we’ll take all of the input and prepare a set of potential changes. Each change will include a note explaining why the change is being proposed. Where there are multiple potential changes to a single area, we will present them as a set of alternatives. We will make it easy to see what might change and why.
  3. Present to the board — we will review all the potential changes with the board, collect feedback, and adjust as necessary.
  4. Public discussion — we’ll hold a special public meeting for discussing potential changes. This will give us a forum for a longer, more substantive discussion of changes before bringing them to the floor for a vote. If necessary, we will hold multiple meetings.
  5. Non-binding votes of support — if there are proposed changes that don’t have clear consensus, we will ask the organization to take a non-binding vote of support on each issue to gauge interest. This will help us identify areas that might require separate binding votes at the end of the update process.
  6. Amendment — proposed updates will be published on the web site and members will be notified by e-mail and in the messenger of an upcoming vote to amend the bylaws. The board of directors will vote, and if they recommend the changes to the organization, there will be a formal debate and vote at a membership meeting.
By following this process, there will be multiple opportunities along the way for members to meaningfully participate in updating our Bylaws. If you have an idea on how to improve our Bylaws, or feedback on the process above, please e-mail me at or reach out to any member of the Bylaws committee.