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By-Laws of

Hearing Loss Association of America Los Angeles Chapter


Article I- Name and Purpose

The name of this organization is the Hearing Loss Association of America Los Angeles Chapter (HLAA-LA), a recognized Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) of Bethesda, MD, a non-profit, non-sectarian, volunteer organization.  The purpose of this organization is to open the world of communication through information, education and advocacy, and to offer support for people with hearing loss, their families and associates.  The Chapter is supported through grants, donations, and fund-raising efforts and activities.

Article 2-Membership

Non-voting membership: Any person who regularly attends Chapter meetings and activities, but is not a current paid member of the national organization HLAA, is considered to be a non-voting member of HLAA-LA and is entitled to all the privileges of membership with the exception of serving on the Steering Committee and voting in elections.

Voting membership: Any person who regularly attends Chapter meetings and activities, and is a current paid member of the national organization HLAA, is considered to be a voting member of HLAA-LA and is entitled to all the privileges of membership including voting and serving on the Steering Committee if elected. Voting members must be present when voting takes place, in order for their vote to be counted.

It is the responsibility of the Membership Chair to keep a current list of all members and to obtain list of all current paid members of Hearing Loss Association of America from the National Organization.

Article 3-Governance

The Steering Committee is the basic decision-making body of HLAA-LA. This committee is comprised of a minimum of 3 but no more than 9 Chapter members who are also current members of HLAA National. Within these limits, the Steering Committee may increase or decrease the number of members, including for the purpose of staggering the terms of members. The term of office is two years with approximately half the members ending their terms each year.  Elections are held yearly at the September Chapter meeting by written vote of those in attendance. Votes will be tallied and announced by a person appointed by the Steering Committee President.

The term of office starts in October following the September elections.  Both the outgoing members and newly elected members will meet at the first Steering Committee meeting to ensure a smooth transition.

In the event that a Steering Committee member vacates their position before general elections are held, the Steering Committee will vote to determine if a special election will be held to fill the position immediately or wait until September elections. Leaving the position vacant should generally only occur if regular elections are to be held within a short time.

The officers of the chapter shall be a President, a Treasurer, and a Secretary, elected by the Steering Committee members. The Steering Committee may also appoint a Vice-President.  The President and Treasurer must have served a minimum of 1 year on an HLAA Steering Committee prior to serving as officers. Term of office is 1 year. The President must be a hard-of-hearing individual and may not serve more than 2 consecutive terms without approval of Chapter membership.  There are no limits as to how many times a person may be elected to serve on the Steering Committee or hold an office other than President.

No member of the Steering Committee shall be permitted to actively solicit or seek endorsement of any hearing health- related business.

The Steering Committee shall meet face to face at minimum every other month, at a time and place to be determined and announced at least one week in advance.  It is expected that all Steering Committee members will attend these meetings and notify the President if they are not able to attend.  In addition, all Steering Committee members will make themselves available for communication via email. If the President calls for discussion and votes, members shall respond in a timely manner.

All face-to-face Steering Committee meetings are open to the general membership.

Article 4-Duties of Elected Steering Committee Members

• President:

The President shall provide overall leadership for the Chapter and is responsible for the proceedings and agenda of Chapter and Steering Committee meetings.

• Vice President:

The Vice President shall assist the President and shall assume the duties of the President when he or she is not available.  The Vice President shall also serve as Program Chair and is responsible for each month’s program. This responsibility can be shared with another member of the Steering Committee. All programs shall be submitted to the Steering Committee at least two months in advance for approval.

• Treasurer:

The Treasurer shall be responsible for financial record keeping, deposits of funds received and disbursement of funds as approved by Steering Committee. A written report will be made available at each meeting of the Committee and a written yearly budget will be presented at the first Steering Committee meeting of the Calendar year. In addition, the Treasurer is responsible for filing all appropriate State and Federal taxes and assuring that the Chapter is in compliance with all regulations that govern non-profit organizations.

• Secretary:

The Secretary shall record proceedings of both the regular chapter meetings and the Steering Committee meetings.  These are to be made available to members and kept on file for future reference. The Secretary shall also record all votes taken at the September Election Meeting and the regular Steering Committee meetings, including those taken by email.  Other duties may include routine correspondence and maintenance of membership database.

• Committee Chairs:

The remaining five members of the Steering Committee shall act as Committee Chairs. The Committees shall be determined as needed but may include Programs, Membership, Newsletter, Website, Outreach, Social Activities and Fundraising. These committees may be ongoing or ad hoc. Committee chairs are encouraged to solicit Chapter members to help with the various tasks as needed.

Article 5

Regular Chapter meetings of HLAA-LA shall be held on the 4th Saturday of each calendar month except when this date conflicts with Public Holidays. Alternate meeting dates are to be determined and announced at least 6 months in advance.

Article 6

Amending By-Laws and parts thereof: These articles and their subdivisions may only be amended in written form with at least a majority of the Steering Committee and then the Voting Members (see Article 2) present at any regularly scheduled meeting.

Standing Rules:

The following rules of a permanent nature (Called Standing Rules) have been adopted by a majority of the Steering Committee and approved by a majority of the Chapter Voting Membership (See Article 2 of
By-Laws).  They are binding on the Chapter until they are suspended, rescinded or modified at a future meeting.  No Standing Rules can be adopted that conflict with By-Laws.

  1. Membership in Chapter: There shall be no dues for membership in the HLAA-LA Chapter.  Dues are only paid to the National Office. All members of HLAA-LA are encouraged to join HLAA (National) and voting privileges are granted only to current HLAA members.
  2. Voting Requirements: The Steering Committee will have a quorum of a majority of the Steering Committee members, not less than 2, including the President. In the case of a tied vote, the President’s vote will count twice. The Chapter Membership quorum will be 50% plus one of voting members present, which can include Steering Committee members.
  3. The President and Treasurer will secure and maintain a bank account using the Chapter EIN. The bank chosen for the account will have the approval of the Steering Committee. Two signatures will be required for all expenditures above a limit set by the Steering Committee. An ad hoc 2-member committee selected by the Steering Committee will perform an annual audit of bank records. The audit committee will be two chapter members who are well versed in keeping financial records.
  4. Budget: The Treasurer, along with President and Vice President, will submit an annual budget to the Steering Committee at the first Steering Committee meeting of the calendar year. All major expenses to be incurred during the next year shall be included. Any expenses not included in this budget must be approved by the Steering Committee. Reimbursement, but not compensation, may be paid to officers or members for pre-approved expenses incurred for the chapter. All expenditures will require receipts submitted to treasurer. Budget and all financial reports will be made available to Chapter members upon request.
  5. Program Approval: The Steering Committee will approve all monthly programs preferably a minimum of 6 months in advance. Other special events including social activities and fundraising events must be approved by the Steering Committee well in advance of the event.
  6. Representation at National Convention: If sufficient funds are available, the Steering Committee will select one member-usually the President or alternate Committee member-to attend the HLAA National Convention as the HLAA-LA Chapter Delegate. The cost of attending the Convention will be covered as follows. The exact cost of the registration the delegate has to pay and partial costs of transportation and hotel up to a maximum amount, including registration costs, that is determined by the Steering Committee when preparing the annual budget. The delegate shall pay all other expenses.
  7. In addition to the Chapter Delegate, members who are current HLAA members may submit an application to the Steering Committee for selection as a First Time Attendee Scholarship Winner. Qualification requirements and submittal details will be available from Steering Committee members.
  8. Endorsements: The Los Angeles Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association cannot endorse any product, company or professional businessperson at its meetings. Commercial vendors may purchase an ad for the chapter newsletter or website or display products or promotional materials as long as a disclaimer is posted that states “HLAA-LA does not endorse or promote any vendor or items displayed, and they are displayed for your information and convenience only.”