The American Legion Department of California
Chinatown Post 628 By-Laws
Article I – Purpose
Section 1. These by-laws shall prescribe the policies and procedures governing the operation of the Chinatown Post 628. The objectives of this Post are as set forth in the Constitution.
Article II – Government
Section 1. The governance of this post shall be entrusted to an Executive Committee under Section 1, Article V – Officers, of the Constitution.
Section 2. The officers of this post shall be as set forth under Article V of the Constitution.
Section 3. Candidates seeking office in this post shall have been members in good standing of the Chinatown Post for a minimum of two years, as of the commencement date of the term sought. Candidates for the office of Commander shall have served previously either as Vice Commander or Adjutant of this post or as Commander or Vice Commander, of another American Legion organization constituted at a higher level. Candidates for Vice Commander shall have served previously in an elective office in this post. Members serving in the offices of Commander, or Vice Commanders may not serve consecutive terms at their position.
Section 4. All candidates for officer and executive committee positions shall be nominated annually for a term of one-year on the first Meeting of April, with an election to be held on the First Meeting of May. Candidates receiving the greatest number of votes for their respective positions shall be deemed elected to that position. In the event of a tie vote for any office, the incumbent Commander shall draw blindly from ballots containing the names of the candidates to determine the winner.
Section 5. Appointed Officers are as follows; Adjutant, Assistant Adjutant, Finance Officer, Chaplain, Historian, Judge Advocate and Service Officer. These position will be appointed by the current Executive Committee and finalize during the Annual Election Meeting each May.
Section 6. A vacancy in any office resulting from a reason other than term expiration shall be filled by vote of a majority of the Executive Committee. A replacement officer shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term. If any officer fails to perform his/her duties for a time period deemed detrimental to the best interests of the post, the Executive Committee may declare that position to be vacant.
Article III – Executive Committee
Section 1. The Executive Committee shall meet quarterly and at any other time as directed by the Commander. The Commander shall be required to call a meeting upon written request of four or more members of the Executive Committee. A majority of its membership shall constitute a quorum of the Executive Committee. Post Executive Committee shall meet within 10 days after the installation of the new officers.
Section 2. The Post Executive Committee shall hire such employees as may be necessary; shall authorize and approve all expenditures; shall require adequate bonds from all persons having the custody of Post funds; shall hear the reports of Post committee chairs; and generally, shall have charge of and be responsible for the management of the affairs of this Post.
Article IV – Expenditure Authorizations
Section 1. The Commander shall personally have authority to approve expenditures of up to five hundred dollars. Expenditures exceeding five hundred dollars but not exceeding one thousand dollars must be approved by a majority of the staff (Commander, Vice Commanders, Adjutant, Assistant Adjutant, and Finance Officer). The Executive Committee has authority to approve expenditures exceeding one thousand dollars but not exceeding two thousand dollars. Any expenditure exceeding two thousand dollars must be approved at a general membership meeting.
Section 2. Those with signature authority over post bank account are the Commander, Adjutant, and Finance Officer. Any check written against a post bank account must bear the signature of either the Commander, Adjutant or the Finance Officer, in addition to that of any other authorized signatory.
Article V – Duties of Officers
Section 1. Commander
(A) The Commander shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the post and shall preside over all meetings of the post and have general supervision over its affairs.
(B) The commander shall approve all orders directing the disbursement of funds and shall make an annual report covering the business of the Post for the year, and recommendations for the ensuing year, which shall be read at the annual meeting and a copy thereof immediately forwarded to the Department adjutant. The commander shall perform such other duties as directed by the Post.
(C) The Commander shall perform other duties as directed by the post
Section 2. Vice Commanders
(A) The vice-commander shall assume and discharge the duties of the office of commander in the absence or disability of, or when called upon by the Post commander.
(B) As directed by the Commander, the Vice-Commanders shall assist in the performance of the Commander’s duties and any required committee work. Depending on the number of Vice Commanders, the following duties are as follows: 1. Membership, 2. Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitations, 3. Social Functions and Community Services, 4. Youths and Americanism.
Section 3. Adjutant
(A) The Adjutant shall maintain all post records, including the minutes of meetings. The adjutant has primary responsibility for the administration of the post and shall take any necessary action to ensure its financial health.
(B) The Adjutant shall maintain all records as required by the National Organization of the American Legion and the Department of California.
(C) The Adjutant shall report the membership status at all meetings. The Adjutant shall also report the membership status annually to both The Department of California and The National organization of the American Legion.
(D) The Adjutant shall be responsible for all post correspondence under the supervision of the Commander.
Section 4. Assistant Adjutant
(A) The Assistant Adjutant shall assist the Commander and the Adjutant in the performance of their duties.
(B) In the absence of the Adjutant, the Assistant Adjutant shall perform the duties of that office at the direction of the Adjutant.
Section 5. Finance Officer
(A) The Finance Officer shall be responsible for all finances including the deposit of funds into post bank accounts.
(B) The Finance Officer shall prepare monthly financial reports as required by the Executive Committee for posting and presentation at general membership meetings.
(C) The Finance Officer shall provide the post’s accountant with all the necessary data and documentation required by law.
(D) The Finance Officers shall review all monthly financial statements for accuracy and make corrections where necessary prior to approval
Section 6. Chaplain
(A) The Chaplain shall address all issues relating to the spiritual well being of the post membership.
(B) The Chaplain shall follow guidance provided by the Departmental and National organizations in the conduct of non-denominational spiritual services in the course of such events as funerals, dedications, and other ceremonies.
Section 7. Sergeant-at-Arms
(A) The Sergeant-at-Arms shall be responsible for the operation of post color guards. Duties shall include but not limited to that of conduct necessary drill and ceremonies training; establish proper uniform standards; retain an official record of parade attendance; maintain all required equipments to ensure proper working condition; and accounted for all equipments related to color guard activities.
(B) The Sergeant-at-Arms shall maintain order at all meetings and perform such duties as directed by the Executive Committee of the post.
Section 8. Historian
(A) The Historian shall maintain the historical records of the post and its members.
(B) The Historian shall perform duties as prescribed by the Executive Committee.
Section 9. Judge Advocate
(A) The Judge Advocate shall interpret the Constitution and By-Laws of the post and render advice to the post in the conduct of its affairs including procurement of outside counsel, if necessary.
(B) The Judge Advocate shall perform duties as directed by the Executive Committee.
Section 10. Executive Board (Committeeman)
(A) Executive Board Members shall be responsible for the management of the affairs of the post. They shall also be assigned other duties such as in ad hoc committees or study groups as required by the Executive Committee.
Article VI – Membership
Section 1. Prospective new members or transferees shall complete a membership application form and submit required documentation of eligibility. After a review of the applicant’s qualifications, the prospective new member or transferee shall be invited to attend a general membership meeting for initiation. If a candidate is unable to attend, the Commander or Vice Commanders may make alternate arrangements.
Section 2. A new member or transferee shall pay dues in accordance with the prevailing rates as set forth by the post.
Section 3. Dues shall be governed by the National Headquarters schedule. If the dues of a member remain in arrear beyond December 31 of the year in which they become delinquent, that person shall forfeit his/her membership status.
Section 4. The post shall provide burial honors to the family of any deceased member in good standing having at least five consecutive years of membership.
Article VII – Delegates
Section 1. The Commander with the approval of the Executive Committee shall nominate delegates and alternates to all American Legion Conventions/Conferences.
Article VIII- Appointments
Section 1. Upon taking office, the Commander shall immediately appoint appropriate members and establish committees to fulfill programs of the post. The Post commander shall appoint the following standing committees: Americanism, Ceremonials, Children and Youth, Economic, Finance, Foreign Relations, Graves Registration and Memorial, House and Entertainment, Legislative, Membership, Public Relations, Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation, National Security, Sons of The American Legion and Visiting or VAVS. Such standing committees shall consist of such members, and the chair thereof, as shall be designated by the Post commander.
Americanism Committee:The Americanism Committee shall be charged with the inspiration of patriotism and good citizenship by arrangements for proper observance of patriotic occasions; encouragement of patriotic and civic phases of instruction in schools; Americanization of aliens; combating anti-American propaganda by education of the general public in American ideals through public forums, etc., and activities for community and civic betterment.
Ceremonials Committee:The principal duty of the Ceremonials Committee is to insure all new members are properly initiated. The committee also concerns itself with proper presentation of other rituals outlined in the Manual of Ceremonies—burial detail and the wearing of Legion regalia.
Children and Youth Committee.Shall be charged with aid and service to children of veterans, cooperating with other established agencies in the community; laboring for the betterment of child conditions and in coordinating services and agencies in the community for the above purposes. To act as intermediary for the needy child of a veteran in obtaining the fulfillment of the Legion’s pledge that “no child of a war veteran shall be in need of the necessities of life” and “a square deal for every child.”
Economic Committee. The Post Economic Committee is primarily concerned with local employment programs, Veterans’ preference, government employment and re-employment rights.
Finance Committee. The Finance Committee shall be charged with the administration of the financial policy, preparation of budget recommendations and supervision of receiving, disbursing and accounting of all Post funds.
Foreign Relations. This committee has become active as America has recognized its responsibility as a world leader. Maintaining and securing world peace and friendship abroad through community endeavors have become as essential as any aspect of treaty law.
Installation Committee. The Committee will plan and oversee the Installation event to install the newly elected and appointed Post Officers. The event will be held on Memorial Day (National Holiday), of each year. This committee should meet monthly, immediately from the first month of the New Year (January).
House and Entertainment Committee. The House and Entertainment quarters promotion of club advantages and arrangement for social activities.
Legislative Committee. The Legislative Committee needs to have a knowledge of what is going on in Congress—what we favor or oppose, and should be ready to initiate action in support of our position when requested by the national or Department organization.
Membership Committee. The Membership Committee shall have charge of all matters pertaining to the membership of the Post, including the procuring of new members, reinstatements and eligibility of members.
Public Relations Committee. The Public Relations Committee shall be charged with the promotion of public support of the Legion’s programs by the establishment of proper contact with The American Legion Magazine, Department and national Legion news service and by local publicity of Post programs and activities.
Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Committee. The Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation committee shall supervise all matters pertaining to service to comrades in the prosecution of all just claims against the United States or state government, employment, relief, etc.
Security Committee. The Security Committee shall work with and coordinate Legion efforts with the local Civil Defense Council on matters pertaining to national, civilian and home defenses. It shall assist the armed forces of the United States in recruiting efforts and in every way be active in community activities for the defense of the nation and the security of the American home.
Sons of The American Legion Committee. This committee shall have supervision over the operations of the Post’s squadron of the Sons of The American Legion.
Visiting or VAVS Committee. This committee is charged with visiting and comforting members and their families when sick or bereaved, and with visiting ex-service personnel in hospitals.
Article IX – Resolutions
Section 1. Any post resolutions which concern the department or national levels of the American Legion, must have the approval of those headquarters, prior to publication and implementation.
Section 2. Resolutions approved by the Executive Committee shall be submitted for approval at the next general membership meeting. Resolutions become effective immediately upon a vote, unless two-thirds or more of those voting reject the resolution.
Section 3. A newly adopted resolution supersedes any prior resolution pertaining to the same subject matter.
Article X – Meetings
Section 1. General membership meetings shall be held monthly. The Commander may call special general membership meetings as required. The months of April and May will be designated as “Nomination and Election months.”
Section 2. A special general membership meeting may be called by the Commander at any time upon the request of five or more members of the Executive Committee.
Section 3. The Commander must designate a minimum of two general membership meetings to be held on days/evenings favorable for working members.
Section 4. A quorum for a general membership meeting shall consist of 60% of the members of the Executive Committee. The total attendance must be equal or greater than 5% of the total post membership.
Article XI – Auxiliary
Section 1. THE AMERICAN LEGION recognizes an auxiliary organization, known as the American Legion Auxiliary.
Section 2. Membership in the American Legion Auxiliary shall be limited to the mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, granddaughters, great–‐granddaughters and grandmothers of Members of THE AMERICAN LEGION, and to the mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, granddaughters, great–‐granddaughters and grandmothers of all men and women who were in the Armed Forces of the United States during any of the following periods:
> April 6, 1917, to November 11, 1918
> December 7, 1941, to December 31, 1946
> June 25, 1950, to January 31, 1955
> February 28, 1961, to May 7, 1975
> August 24, 1982, to July 31, 1984
> December 20, 1989, to January 31, 1990
> August 2, 1990, to the date of cessation of hostilities as determined by the Government of the United States
All dates inclusive, or who, being citizens of the United States at the time of their entry therein, served on active duty in the Armed Forces of any of the governments associated with the United States during any of said periods, and died in the line of duty or after honorable discharge; and to those women who of their own right are eligible for membership in THE AMERICAN LEGION.
Section 3. The Auxiliary shall be governed in each District of THE AMERICAN LEGION by such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the Department of California and National Executive Committee and thereafter approved by such Department of THE AMERICAN LEGION.
Article XII – Notices
Section 1. Every member must provide his/her current mailing address to the post.
Section 2. The Adjutant shall send annual nomination/election notices to every member at least two weeks prior to the events.
Article XIII – Rules of Order
Section 1. All proceedings of this Post shall be conducted under and pursuant to Roberts’ Rules of Order, except as herein otherwise provided.
Article XIV – Amendments
Section 1. The By-Laws contained herein may be amended at any general membership meeting by a vote of two-thirds of those members in attendance, provided that a quorum is present. A proposed amendment must be submitted in writing and read at general membership meeting at which it is under consideration. The written proposed amendment must be mailed to all members no less than ten days prior to the general membership meeting at which it is to be voted upon.
Ratification and acceptance of the Constitution & By-laws May 12, 2011.
1st revision February 2012.
2nd revision December 2013