DAW By-Laws


I. Mission Statement for the Directors of Animal Welfare (DAWs)

DAWS assist local councils and stakeholders in Los Angeles County with animal issues.

II. Core Principles

1. DAWs provide opportunities for Neighborhood Councils, City Councils and stakeholders to communicate with each other on animal issues and participate in joint animal-related projects.

2. DAWs provide a voice and a form of political representation for nonhuman animals.

3. The DAW program provides a formal structure for DAWs, their councils and communities to speak with a collective voice on animal issues and legislation.

4. DAWs develop and maintain expertise on animal issues.

5. DAWs educate the public and government about animal issues.

6. DAWs seek to be the interface between the animal advocacy community and government agencies responsible for animals in our communities.

7. The DAW program serves as a conduit of information and acknowledges the authority of Neighborhood Councils and City Councils. 

8. All Neighborhood and City Councils shall be provided a full and equal opportunity to participate in the DAW program.

9. The DAW program shall be open, public and inclusionary in its organization and its operations. Agendas and meeting minutes shall be posted to the DAW website.

III. Basic Structure of the DAW Program

1. A Neighborhood Council or City Council may appoint as many DAWs as it deems appropriate. Replacement of DAWs and/or term limits for DAWs are at the discretion of the appointing council. 

2. For a measure to pass, it must be approved at a regular DAW meeting by a majority of DAWs in attendance. However, DAWs may vote in advance by proxy or email. If an emergency vote is required on an issue (at the discretion of the DAW president), voting may be done via email to all DAWs with a 48 hour response time given, The majority of responses constitutes a decision on an issue. 

What does it mean to say that an item passes or to say that a decision is made on an issue? It means that a letter will be sent or a position paper constructed that lists the names of the individual DAWs who support the issue. Votes are not taken in a collective manner because this could be interpreted to usurp the power of neighborhood councils and city councils.  

3. DAWs may be appointed by the general membership in an area in which the Neighborhood Council or City Council does not want to make an appointment. In the event the Neighborhood Council or City Council decides to participate in the DAW program at some point, the individuals appointed directly by the DAW program shall relinquish their position in favor of the council appointee(s) unless the Council gives them permission to continue in their post. Organizations may join the DAW program by appointing a DAW or DAWs as long as the participating Council in their area does not oppose. There can be more than one DAW per area.

4. Grievances made against a DAW shall be sent to the DAW grievance committee for review and recommendation. If the recommendation is that the DAW be removed from his/her position and the DAW was appointed by the DAW program, the DAW members shall vote on whether to remove the individual. If the DAW has been appointed by a council, the DAWs shall vote whether to make a recommendation of removal to the appointing council. The appointing council shall ultimately decide whether or not to remove the DAW from his/her position. If a grievance is made against a DAW who serves on the Grievance Committee, the DAW must recuse himself / herself from the committee.

5. There shall be a monthly general DAW meeting. DAWs are encouraged to attend at least 6 meetings per year.  

6. DAWs are encouraged to attend at least one Neighborhood Council or City Council meeting for their area per quarter.  

7. The DAW president shall set the DAW meeting agenda and programs with the guidance of the Executive Committee. Any DAW can submit agenda items, and such items must be added to the agenda by the President within no more than three meetings after their submission. The same item cannot be placed on the agenda more than two times without the approval of the Executive Committee.

8. The DAWs shall have an Executive Committee consisting of founder of the DAW program, Charlotte Laws, and six other members elected annually at a regularly scheduled DAW meeting by a majority of DAWs in attendance at the meeting. If a DAW is unable to attend the voting meeting and wishes to vote, he/she may vote by proxy by submitting his/her vote to the DAW president. If Charlotte Laws resigns, the number of elected members of the Executive Committee shall be increased to seven (7).

9. The Executive Committee shall elect a Chair, vice-Chair, a Secretary and a Treasurer.

10. The DAWs shall regularly maintain a website to provide details of the monthly general DAW meetings and other meetings as well as other information to councils and stakeholders.

11. The DAWs may regularly maintain a Yahoo group or similar forum for communication on animal issues, open to DAWs and participating members of the public. DAWs may also provide a forum or Yahoo group exclusively for DAWs.  Personal (ad hominem) attacks will not be permitted and any DAW or member of the public who posts a personal attack may be removed without notice from the forum at the discretion of the President or the Executive Committee.

12. DAWs shall determine what issues it will consider, review and discuss, and which issues it will refer to Neighborhood Councils or City Councils for action. DAWs may also collect and tally the positions taken by councils.

13. DAW meetings shall be open to the public, except those meeting deemed sensitive in nature (at the discretion of the President or Executive Committee). At every DAW meeting, there will be an opportunity for public comment and stakeholder initiation of issues.

14. The Executive Committee create and disband committees as needed. Each committee shall elect its chair. Committees may be comprised of DAWs, DAW Assistants, and non-DAWs, except the Executive Committee and Grievance Committee, which are closed to non-DAW participation.

15. If the DAW program receives nonprofit funds from a 501(c)3 organization, the funds may not be used for any activity related to political advocacy. Such funds may be used for such purposes as paying for DAW meeting locations, financing veterinary bills and adoption events. The DAW program shall follow all laws in relation to nonprofit funds.

16. Any DAW may propose an Amendment to these bylaws. Any amendments to these bylaws shall not take effect unless ratified by a majority of DAWs.

17. Meetings will be conducted by Rosenberg’s Rules of Order: Simple Parliamentary Procedures for the 21st (unless otherwise noted in the bylaws).