2020 Bylaws Committee Report

2020 Bylaws Committee Report


The Board has approved changes to the bylaws governing our organization and operation. Several of these changes involve financial administration of the League involving dues, support we provide to other Leagues, and actions to be taken in the event of dissolution of the League. (Don’t worry. We’re not going under.) Another bylaws change addresses the designation of the Voter Service Chair as an ex-officio member of the Board.

The most important change to the bylaws concerns the change in tax-exempt status. Check out our explanation for making the switch.This topic will be discussed fully at the Annual Meeting. 

This report is submitted by the 2020 Bylaws Committee: Pat Graunke, Catherine Mardikes, and Carol Paulini (chair). 

The Bylaws Committee initially thought that only a couple of additions needed to be made to the bylaws. After LWV Cook County voted to transition from a 501c4 to a 501c3 at their annual meeting, and after subsequent conversations with LWVIL Vice President of Governance Jenny Grochowski, we realized with a little effort LWV Chicago too could bring a vote to transition before their members at the Annual Meeting. Last year’s Bylaws Committee made many of the changes necessary for this transition. Only two or three sections needed additional work. The Committee decided it was time to bring all the bylaws in line with 501c3 status. 

The Bylaws Committee was fortunate to have the advice of pro bono attorney Janet Goelz Hoffman of Katten Muchin Rosenman and LWVUS Tax Consultant Tom Carson, who walked them through the changes needed to qualify as a 501c3. 

After approval of the bylaw status change, this team will assist LWV Chicago in completing the required application to the Secretary of State and IRS. 

The Bylaws Committee suggests the following changes: 

Article II

Purpose and Policy 

Sec. 3. Tax-Exempt Status. The proposed change to this bylaw reads: LWV Chicago is organized and operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code. Notwithstanding any other provision of these Articles, LWV Chicago shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on by a corporation exempt from Federal Income Tax under such provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. No substantial part of the activities of LWV Chicago shall be attempting to influence legislation.

Article IV

Officers and Board of Directors

Sec. 5a. The Voter Service Chair. The proposed change defines the role and responsibilities of the Voter Service Chair. If the Voter Service Chair is not an elected board member, the Chair becomes a voting board member ex officio.

Article IX

Financial Administration

Sec. 3. Dues. Proposes that new members enrolled as of December 31,2019 renew their membership dues on the anniversary date of their membership. All members enrolled prior to December 31, 2019 will continue to renew their membership by July 1. The membership committee concurs with this proposal and this change does not impact financial reporting to the county, state and national League. 

Sec. 5. Corporate Dissolution. Updates the language required of a 501 (c) (3) organization should the League of Women Voters of Chicago dissolve. 


Following approval by the board and membership, the date of 2020 should be added to the bylaw renewal date. 




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