Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network Blog

This is the Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network Blog test post, at 9:30pm on Tuesday.
Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network

Article I. Name
The name of this organization shall be the Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network, hereby referred to as GCISN.

Article II. Purpose
Preserve and restore justice for immigrants and other persons targeted by ethic, racial, or religious discrimination and persecution through
1) Educating the public and legislature about civil right abuses and the plight of detainees and their families
2) Empowering individuals victimized by discrimination and persecution through education, information, and referrals
3) Identifying and addressing social issues experienced by communities
4) Fund raising to promote the goals of GCISN

Article III. Membership
Section 1. Membership is open to all those who are committed to the mission of the organization and pay dues as determined by the Board of Trustees.
Section 2. Members shall have all the rights, responsibilities, privileges, and services of GCISN, shall be entitled to one vote on each matter submitted to the vote of the membership and shall be eligible to hold office.
Section 3. GCISN shall not discriminate against any person with respect to membership, services, hiring or promotion on account of age, race, creed, sex, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or marital status.
Section 4. Suspension of Membership
A. Suspension. Membership may be suspended for just cause as decided by a majority vote of the Board of Trustees
B. Reinstatement. Any member who has been suspended may have his/her membership reinstated by a majority vote of a quorum of the Board of Trustees
C. Notice and Hearing. No member shall be suspended without being provided with a 30 day prior written notice of reasons for the suspension and without being given an opportunity to defend himself/herself before the Board of Trustees.

Article IV. Officers
Section 1. Officers: Officers shall include the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
Section 2. Terms of Office: The officers shall be elected for a two year term of office.
Section 3: Nominations and Elections: Officers shall be elected by the members of GCISN at the Annual Meeting from a slate presented by the Nominating Committee and from nominations from the floor upon the consent of the person nominated.
Section 4. Removal: With a majority vote, the Board of Trustees may remove any officer for just cause and declare such an office vacant. The officer shall be given an opportunity to be heard before removal action is taken. No officer shall be removed from office without being given a thirty (30) day prior written notice. The officer removed from office under the provisions outlined above must relinquish all papers, documents and other paraphernalia pertaining to the office at the time notification is given.
Section 5. Duties of Officers:
A. President
1. Shall be Chairperson of the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee and shall perform such other duties as ordinarily pertain to this office, and
2. Shall call regular and special meetings, and
3. Shall appoint the Chairpersons of Standing Committees with the approval of the Executive Committee, and shall appoint all other necessary committees except as otherwise herein noted, and
4. Shall make interim appointments to fill vacancies in an elected office with the approval of the Board of Directors, and
5. Shall have the authority to make contracts with the approval of the Board, and
6. Shall, with the approval of the Board of Trustees, be responsible for hiring, supervising, and terminating GCISN employees.
A. Vice President
1. Shall discharge the duties of the President when the President is unable to act, and
2. Shall carry out any other duties assigned by the President.
3. Shall become President following his/her term of office as Vice President.
A. Secretary
1. Shall record and keep the permanent minutes of all membership and Board Meetings, and
2. Shall keep a current register of the members and affiliates of the GCISN, and
3. Shall perform all the duties in common to the office of Secretary, and
4. Shall act as, or appoint, a temporary chairperson in the absence of both the President and Vice President.
D. Treasurer
1. Shall collect dues, receive monies payable to GCISN pay all bills, and expend these monies in accordance with the fiscal policies and budget established by the Board,
2. Shall present written financial reports quarterly. This shall be done at Board Meetings or by mail/email to the members of the Board of Trustees,
3. Shall have the authority to sign checks,
4. Shall determine the location of GCISN financial accounts, with the approval of the Board of Trustees,
5. Shall prepare and file necessary tax forms,
6. Shall serve as Chairperson of the Finance Committee.
Section 5. Succession of Officers:
A. President
1. In the event the President is unable to fulfill the term of office to which elected, the Vice President shall succeed to the office of the President for the balance of the unexpired term.
2. Should the Vice President be unable to assume responsibility for completing the term of office, the Secretary shall preside until an election is held.
B. Other Officers: In the event any other officer is unable to fulfill the term of office to which elected, the President, with the approval of the Board of Directors, shall appoint member to that office. The member appointed shall be entitled to hold office for the unexpired term of the originally elected officer.

Article V. Board of Trustees
Section 1. Responsibilities: The Board of Trustees shall be responsible for all policy setting and procedural aspects of GCISN.
Section 2. Composition: The Board of Trustees shall be composed of a minimum of the four elected officers of GCISN, and may include the following: representatives of the communities served; chairpersons of standing committees; and members of the community at large who are committed to the mission and goals of GCISN.
Section 3. Duties:
A. To meet as often as deemed necessary by the President, but no less than four times a year, to direct the affairs of GCISN in order to accomplish the stated purpose of GCISN. Meeting of the Board of Trustees may also be called by a majority of the Board Members. All meetings of the Board of Trustees of GCISN shall be open to attendance by the membership but only members of the Board of Trustees shall be entitled to vote.
B. To plan and oversee all education, service, and advocacy programs,
C. To approve an annual budget including determination of membership dues,
D. To organize fund raising campaigns
E. To organize GCISN membership meetings,
Section 4. Quorum: A majority of Board Members shall constitute a quorum for transacting business.
Section 5. Executive Committee: The Executive Committee shall be composed of the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. After the election, this Committee shall meet and approve the President's selection of Standing Committee Chairpersons. It shall also act for the Board of Trustees in special cases requiring immediate action when a meeting of the Board of Trustees cannot be convened. The Secretary shall record all actions taken by the Executive Committee and send copies of those minutes to the members of the Board of Trustees.
Section 6. Removal: With a majority vote, the Board of Trustees may remove any member of the Board of Trustees for just cause and declare such a position vacant. The trustee shall be given an opportunity to be heard before removal action is taken. No trustee shall be removed from office without being given a thirty (30) day prior written notice. The trustee removed from office under the provisions outlined above must relinquish all papers, documents and other paraphernalia pertaining to the position at the time notification is given.
Section 7. Conflict of Interest:
A. Any member of the Board of Trustees who will benefit from the actions of the Board shall fully disclose any conflict of interest and shall not vote when an issue is deemed by the Board or the member to be a conflict of interest.
B. Employees of GCISN shall be excluded from the Board of Trustees.

Article VI. Deposits, Contributions, Gifts, Contracts
Section 1. Receipt of Monies: The Board of Trustees shall be empowered to accept dues, affiliation fees, contributions, grants, and special gifts for GCISN. These shall be duly deposited in accounts held by GCISN and accounted for by the Treasurer, quarterly to the Board of Trustees and to the membership at the annual business meeting. An informal audit performed by someone chosen by the Board of Trustees shall occur bi-annually. An official audit shall occur as needed.
Section 2. Contracts: The Board of Trustees shall be empowered to use the monies received to conduct the business of GCISN. The Board shall be granted the authority to enter into contract with others for needed services.
Section 3. Disbursement of Assets at Time of Dissolution: Should GCISN dissolve, assets shall be distributed to 501-C3 organizations(s) whose goals are consistent with those of GCISN. The distribution of assets shall be directed by the Board of Trustees.

Article VII. Committees
Section 1. Standing and Special Committees. Committees may be created, as necessary, by the Board of Trustees. All committees are responsible to the Board of Trustees. All Committee Chairpersons are voting members of the Board of Trustees.
Section 2. Appointment of Chairpersons: The President shall appoint Committee Chairpersons from the membership list. These appointments shall meet the approval of the Executive Committee, and shall be for a term of two years, but not to extend beyond the term of the office of the President. The Chairperson of each committee may appoint members to the committee with the approval of the Board of Trustees.

Article VIII. Meetings:
Section 1. Annual Business Meeting: An annual business meeting of the membership of GCISN shall be held within six months of the close of the fiscal year. Notice shall be sent to the membership no later than thirty (30) days prior to the meeting. The meeting shall be held for the purposes of voting for officers when appropriate and reporting to the membership the activities of the Board of Trustees.
Section 2. Special Meetings: A written petition for a special meeting signed by no less than twenty-five (25%) of the voting membership and presented to the President of GCISN shall constitute a requirement that a special meeting be called within thirty (30) days. At any special meeting no matters other than those set forth in the notice shall be acted upon.
Section 3. Quorum: At Annual or Special Meetings, the presence and/or written, telephone or faxed proxy of 20% of the voting membership shall constitute a quorum.

Article IX. Dues and Affiliation Fees
Section 1. Establishment of Amount of Dues: The amount of dues paid by the members of GCISN shall be determined by the Board of Trustees.
Section 2. Payment of Dues and Fees: Annual dues and fees are due and payable at the beginning of the fiscal year. Dues and fees may be paid by check, money order or other payment method as determined by the Board of Trustees. However, cash shall not be accepted.
Section 3. Waiving and Reducing Dues: The Treasurer, with approval of the Board of Trustees, has authority to waive or reduce dues for those with special financial circumstances. However, non-dues paying members are not entitled to vote or hold office.
Section 4. Fiscal Year of GCISN: The fiscal year of GCISN shall be from July 1 to June 30.

Article X: Position on Public Policy Issues: No individual member shall speak for GCISN on any issue or policy until such time as the Board of Trustees shall have adopted a policy on that issue.

Article XI. Amendments
Section 1. Proposal of Amendments: Amendments to these Bylaws may be proposed by;
A. A two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Board of Trustees, or
B. The membership over signatures of not less than on-third (1/3) of the total voting membership.
Section 2. Ratification of Amendments: Proposed amendment(s) shall be presented at any duly called meeting of the Board of Trustees following which it shall be presented in writing to the voting membership. Voting shall be by mailed ballot. All returned ballots must be postmarked not later than thirty (30) days after the date of mailing to be counted. The proposed amendment must be ratified by two-thirds (2/3) of the returned ballots.

Article XII. Parliamentary Procedure
Section 1. Questions of Order: All questions of order not provided for in these Bylaws shall be determined by parliamentary usage as found in Roberts Rules Of Order, Newly Revised.
Section 2. Precedence of Bylaws: These Bylaws, as adopted, shall supersede all other previous constitutions and amendments adopted the GCISN.

Completed May 17, 2005
Ratified June 7 ,2005


At 8:05 PM, Blogger Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network said...

2/8 demo & immigrant bill action

Feb. 8, 12:15pm Stop Targeting Muslims Demonstration

The Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network
has called for a demonstration and press conference at
the Federal Building,
East 6th and Lakeside, Cleveland, on Tuesday, Feb. 8,

Respect Religious Freedom
Human Rights for All
Stop Targeting Arabs, Muslims,
South Asians and People of Color
Say No to Ethnic, Racial, and Religious Profiling

Walid will be "removed" to Lebanon in a few days
leaving behind his wife and
infant child. Walid and and wife, Jessica, own a home
in Parma and a
restaurant on Lorain Ave, the Sahara. He is generally
a law abiding resident
but has overstayed his visa. Attempting to correct the
problem, he was
incarcerated in Bedford Hts. jail and is awaiting

The Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network and
the Council on American
Islamic Relations asks people who are targeted by law
enforcement to be extra
cautious in all their affairs, and stay within the
bounds of civil, traffic
and immigration laws.

Contact truth_force@yahoo.com or  440-237-0673 for
more information

Protect Immigrant Rights.
Urge your congressperson to oppose the REAL ID bill.
[This alert from Latin America Working Group,
disseminated by the
InterReligious Task Force on Central America to select
email groups, Feb
3 2005.]

To contact your congressperson

or call the Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121.
 Please do so by Feb 9.

Ask them to oppose HR 418, the REAL ID immigration
See talking points below, which include:
1. making it harder for refugees to obtain political
2. overriding 16 state and federal environmental
protection laws to put
up another  border fence
3. preventing undocumented immigrants from obtaining
drivers licenses.

     The right wing is getting an early start on the
year, and is trying
to fast-track a new bill, called the REAL ID Bill,
  by James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, who oversees
immigration issues
for the House of Representatives.He has
  introduced REAL ID, and is vowing to bring it up for
a vote in the
full House next week.The bill would restrict access to
  driver's licenses, limit claims by asylum-seekers in
the US, and
continue the militarization of the border by mandating
  construction of a third security fence in San Diego
(they already have
two, as if that wasn't enough).

     This bill is setting the stage for the
immigration reform debate
this year, and will show how much opposition is going
  arise against extremist proposals like this one.We
need everyone to
oppose this bill forcefully to show that we're not
  just going to throw our hands up in defeat for the
next four years!

     And to tie this in to our last action alert, many
of you sent
letters opposing the environmental assessment of
  construction and other infrastructure proposals for
the state of
Arizona.If the Real ID bill passes, it would set a
dangerous precedent
to waive environmental laws to allow for the
construction of Border
Patrol projects.

     Here's what the REAL ID would do, in a nutshell:

     San Diego Fencing Issues
          Mandate the construction of a third fence
over 14 miles of
land border in San Diego, parallel to two existing
       already there, in order to create a high-speed
security road and
"security area" where migrants trying to cross the
       would be trapped
          Override 16 state and federal environmental
laws that
currently bar the construction of a third fence.  The
State of
       California, through its governmental processes,
has already
resoundingly rejected the fencing project. The
       site runs through the Tijuana Estuary, an
sensitive area that is home to a number of endangered

     Asylum Issues
          Allow a refugee to be denied asylum if she
is unable to track
down documents that confirm her case - for instance,
       where it might endanger her family - even
though she has
testified credibly in her asylum case
          Give an immigration officer or immigration
judge broad leeway
to deny a refugee asylum based on her perceived
       "demeanor" and alleged "statements" taken in
circumstances, ignoring the fact that survivors of
rape, forced
       abortions, or similar abuses may appear lacking
in emotion or
have difficulty making eye contact

     Driver's License Issues
          Require proof of citizenship or legal status
in the US to be
presented in order to qualify for a driver's license
          Deny federal recognition of driver's
licenses as a form of
identification from any state that does not do so

     We need as many activists to call their
Representatives in Congress
and ask them to oppose HR 418 (the bill's call
  also known as the REAL ID bill.I'm attaching a
number of talking
points on why the fencing is bad immediately below.
       If you want talking points on the driver's
licenses issue, you
can get them from the National Immigration Law Center
  www.nilc.org.For talking points on the asylum issue,
you can check out
Human Rights First's webpage at

     To contact your representative, call the Capitol
switchboard at
202.224.3121 and ask to be connected to your
  representative's office.We have been told that
staffers are not
responding to e.mails on this issue, so unfortunately
  phone calls are the only way to let them know how
you feel now.

     As always, feel free to contact me by e.mail at
sgarcia@lawg.org or
by phone at 202.546.7010 with any questions you have
  about this legislation or this action.

     Thanks again for all your hard work on fighting
an aggressive and
extreme agenda that negatively impacts residents of
  US Mexico border and Americans nationwide.  Talking
points on the
fencing are below.

     Best - Sean

                          COMMENTS ON HR 418 (REAL ID)
  This proposal would open the door to the unwelcome
expansion of a
single fence along the U.S.-Mexico border
  to three parallel fences with high-speed roadways
between them in San
Diego, California, by exempting its construction from
important existing
environmental regulations.

 Human and Other Costs
  -The existing Triple Fence cost approximately $3
million per mile to
construct.Numerous reports illustrate that this
by U.S. taxpayers-did not result in a reduction of
migration. The original projected cost for the fence
was $14
million.Total costs to date exceed $42 million,
according to Rep. Duncan
Hunter's website - more than 200% over budget.
     -The area encompassed by the Triple Fence creates
a space of
impunity and unaccountability for the Border Patrol
and other
enforcement agents, making it impossible to witness
and deter physical
abuse and other human rights violations of migrants.
  -The government has recognized that the construction
of reinforced
fencing and other border security infrastructure has
shifted migration
flows to more perilous desert and mountain areas,
resulting in a
significant increase in injury, death, and criminal
  -A June 16, 2003 report by the Government Accounting
Office (GAO)
cited that "the Border Patrol has
  realized its goal of shifting illegal alien traffic
away from urban
areas into more remote areas. However, rather than
  being deterred from attempting illegal entry, many
aliens have instead
risked injury and death by trying to cross
  mountains, deserts, and rivers."
     oWhereas apprehensions in the San Diego sector
have dropped 74%
from 1993 (531,689 apprehensions) to 2004 (138,328
apprehensions), they
have skyrocketed in Arizona, with a more than 500%
increase there in the
same time period (116,187 in 1993 to 588,719 in 2004).
     oAccording to the government's own statistics,
more than 2,000
migrants have died in transit since 1997 - after the
implementation of
Operations Gatekeeper (San Diego, CA) and Hold the
Line (El Paso, TX).
     oIn order the cross in more perilous areas
migrants have
increasingly replied upon human smugglers, causing an
increase in
criminal activity and violence.
     -On February 18, 2004 in San Diego, the
California Coastal
Commission voted unanimously to deny the completion of
this project.
     -The proposed triple fence will effectively
destroy the bi-national
Border Field State Park, known
  locally as "Friendship Park." Currently, divided
families can
communicate with loved ones across the border at
  this park.

 Environmental Costs
     -The proposed expansion would be modeled on the
current Triple
Fence, which stretches 120 yards, encompassing barren
land and a
high-speed road.
     -The blanket exemption of the building of
security barriers from 16
federal laws is a dangerous precedence in our system
of checks and
balances. Those 16 federal laws were passed over
decades, the earliest
dating to 1918 and the latest in the 1990s. These laws
were passed not
to make it difficult for Congress to pass laws, but
instead to ensure
that projects that are undertaken by the U.S.
government are indeed the
  alternative. Taking into consideration Native
Americans who are human
beings and the environment that sustains
  us is also part of keeping our country safe.
Brushing aside a century
of laws designed to protect the U.S. will make all of
us less safe.
     -According to the San Diego-based Conservation
Action Network,
"this project would require
  large amounts of cut and fill work in canyon areas
where the soils are
highly subject to erosion?[local] resources
  are one-of-a-kind and would be lost forever if this
project is allowed
to continue."
     -Numerous groups have cited the devastating
impact that the
completion of this security barrier
  would have on the local environment, including the
destruction of
critical habitat for many endangered plant and
  animal species.According to the San Diego-based
Conservation Action
     oPortions of the triple fence will be located in
the area
designated as a Core Biological Resource
  Area for the Multiple Species Conservation Plan
(MSCP).  Much of the
land that would be needed for the triple
  fence was bought with public funds for conservation.
 Allowing this
project to continue would greatly impact what
  the public has gained from the MSCP and the
expenditure of public
     oThe functionality of the Tijuana River National
Estuarine Research
Reserve is threatened by this project. Massive cut and
fill activities
would send sediment into the estuary drastically
altering its ecosystem.

     oThere are several sites of archeological
importance in the
footprint of this project. Some of the sites are 7,000
years old and
offer unique windows to the past.  Because of
development in Mexico
right up to the fence, we know that archaeological
sites along the
border have been lost on the Mexican side.  Therefore,
preservation of
sites on the US side is crucial.

  Sean Mariano Garcia
  Senior Associate, Latin America Working Group
  T: 202/546-7010    F: 202/543-7647  
  Latin America Working Group
  Action at home for just policies abroad     www.lawg.org


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