Bylaws of Troubled Times Inc.
a Public Benefit Corporation
Article 8: Membership
Application to membership in Troubled Times, Inc. is open to individuals making a content or service contribution directly to the nonprofit corporation, and to all members of the volunteer group maintaining an Internet web site for the public, known as the Troubled Times site, who have earned a voting privilege in that group by virtue of their contributions and demonstrated motive and integrity. Eligibility is not secured by a financial contribution. Actions and personal service count toward eligibility, not finances. This screening mechanism serves only to ensure that applicants to Troubled Times, Inc. are serious and committed.
(a) Membership in the nonprofit will be open only to applicants who were duly accepted as follows to become members of Troubled Times, Inc.
(b) All applications to Troubled Times, Inc. will be processed within 60 days of receipt of such application. Application may be made from the on-line Application or by writing to the nonprofit via postal service if Internet access is not available to the applicant. The Membership Committee may also, from time to time, invite eligible prospects to apply for membership in the Troubled Times, Inc.
(c) If the Membership Committee determines that an applicant or prospect should be excluded from membership for whatever reason, and not issued an invitation or presented to the Membership as a new applicant, this issue will be presented to the Board for final determination. The reasons for exclusion might relate to a conflict with the nonprofit goals, or disruptive behavior, or a criminal background that would reflect on the nonprofit or place the Membership in danger, or any other reason deemed by the Board sufficient to warrant exclusion.
(d) The Membership Committee will post a notice on the nonprofit mailing list that certain person or persons have applied for membership, and the reasons they have been invited to join. Within 14 days of posting the above notice, members will be able to voice objections to a given applicant. If two Board members object to a particular applicant - an open vote by the general membership on the issue of accepting that applicant will be held. If the need for the described vote arises - the Applicant will be informed that his application is being decided in a vote, and will be given a chance to convince the Membership to accept him.
(e) Within 14 days of posting the above notice, members will be able to voice objections to a given applicant. If two Board members object to a particular applicant - an open vote by the general membership on the issue of accepting that applicant will be held.
(f) If the need for the described vote arises - the applicant will be informed that his application is being decided in a vote, and will be given a chance to convince the membership to accept him.
(g) The Membership will be provided with an on-line page where an up-to-date list of current members is kept.
Troubled Times, the volunteer group, and Troubled Times, Inc., the non-profit organization, are separate entities. Troubled Times, Inc. is incorporated as a non-profit organization, and thus is a legal entity. Troubled Times the volunteer organization operates cooperatively on the Internet, through a shared e-mail system called a list serve, to discuss solutions that ultimately get packaged for the World Wide Web and other media outlets. Troubled Times the volunteer group is open to anyone who wishes to join, but initiation into the voting membership of this group takes place only after the new member has demonstrated good judgment, a proper motive, and has made a contribution to the effort.
Application to become a member of Troubled Times, Inc. can only come from the voting membership of Troubled Times the volunteer group. This operates as a screening mechanism for the non-profit organization. However, joining Troubled Times the volunteer group or becoming accepted into the voting membership of this volunteer group does not automatically imply a desire to become a member of Troubled Times, Inc. They are separate entities. Those members of Troubled Times the volunteer group who are interested in the operation of the non-profit organization may become members of Troubled Times, Inc. by filling out an application indicating a desire to become a member of Troubled Times, Inc.
Where the content on the web sites developed by Troubled Times the volunteer group is offered to the public as a service, Troubled Times, Inc. may not publish the content from this web site unless express permission is asked and granted by the voting membership of Troubled Times the volunteer group. Troubled Times, Inc. may have opportunities to disseminate the content to a wider audience, and this goal desired by both groups. Nevertheless, the content was provided in the context of a volunteer group making the information available to the public, and is not bound by any stipulations or restrictions attached to any particular grant that Troubled Times, Inc. may have accepted. At no time do the agreements that Troubled Times, Inc. enter into involve or include Troubled Times the volunteer group. They are separate entities.
Troubled Times, Inc. is not a religious organization nor is it a political organization. Solution sets are strictly considered on their merits. Troubled Times, Inc. is an international organization, so the problems to be addressed and solutions to be proposed are not restricted to any one class, society, race, sex, or country. Multiple solutions are considered on their merits, suitable for primitive or Third World countries on up to the high technology lifestyle possible in industrialized countries or available to the wealthy.
Since the primary mission of Troubled Times, Inc. is educational, educational material produced by Troubled Times, Inc. should optimally be free or sold at cost. The cost of educational material includes the purchase of necessary materials, necessary travel expenses, and any necessary professional or clerical assistance required to produce the educational material. In disseminating educational material, where possible or appropriate, the cost of educational material should be collected from those receiving it. An example of this would be the sale of printed material for a price that would cover the mailing charge plus $1 toward production costs.
Where the membership has a clear right, such as in electing Board Members or in expressing their preference for the appointment of the corporations Officers, a membership referendum may be called. Such a referendum may only occur when the membership is twarted by the Board, which has refused to take action on a matter. A referendum shall not be called until:
(a) a public discussion among the members on the shared Internet e-mail route available to all active members, commonly known as a mailing list, has occurred;
(b) a matter has been placed before the Board, at a regularly scheduled meeting, and the Board has refused to address the issue or take corrective action;
(c) the matter is a membership right, outlined in the Bylaws as such or inferred.
A referendum is called by a motion and second on the mailing list. The President will then direct the Secretary to formulate a votecall and proceed to compile the membership decision on the matter.