Department of MN 2nd District

The Solid Second

"Veterans Strengthening America"

District Constitution & Bylaws

CONSTITUTION

SECOND DISTRICT, THE AMERICAN LEGION

DEPARTMENT OF MINNESOTA

PREAMBLE

For God and Country, we associate ourselves together for the following purposes:

To uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America;

To maintain law and order;

To foster and perpetuate a one hundred percent Americanism;

To preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in all wars;

To inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community, state and nation;

To combat the autocracy of both the classes and the masses;

To make right the master of might;

To promote peace and goodwill on earth;

To safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom and democracy;

To consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by our devotion to mutual helpfulness.

 

Article 1 – NAME

The name of this organization shall be THE SECOND DISTRICT, THE AMERICAN LEGION, DEPARTMENT OF MINESOTA.

 

Article II – COMPOSITION

The District shall be composed of all the chartered American Legion Posts situated in the counties of Blue Earth, Brown, Cottonwood, Faribault, Jackson, Lincoln, Martin, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Rock and Watonwan. State of Minnesota.

 

Article III – OFFICERS

Section 1. The elective Officers of this District shall be Commander, First Vice Commander, four Vice Commanders without numerical designation, Finance Officer, Chaplain. No individual shall be elected for more than two terms in the office of Commander or First Vice Commander. Except in automatic succession of the First Vice Commander due to vacancy in the office of the Commander. The maximum number of terms an individual may serve as Vice Commander shall be three, regardless of whether the terms are consecutive or not. The only exception to the three terms would be due to the automatic succession in the office of First Vice Commander. Individual elected to Vice Commander would only be filling out the term open by automatic succession due to death, resignation or disqualification. The Finance Officer and Chaplain shall have no restrictions on the number of terms they shall be eligible to be elected to said office.

Section 2. The appointive Officers of this District shall be Adjutant, Judge Advocate, Historian, Sergeant-At-Arms and Membership Director.

Section 3. Terms of office, duties and powers of said offices shall be set forth in the by-laws.

 

Article IV – EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Section 1. The Executive Committee shall be composed of the Commander, First Vice Commander, the four Vice Commanders, Chaplain, Finance Officer and the three immediate Past District Commanders. The Adjutant and Judge Advocate shall serve on the Executive Committee as ex-officio; without vote and with duties set forth in the by-laws.

 

Article V – LEGISLATIVE REPRESENTATION

Section 1. The legislative body of this District shall be the District Convention; to be held annually at such time and place as set by the preceding convention.

Section 2. Each Post shall have representation as determined by its membership strength. The final voting strength of each Post shall be determined from the number of members whose dues have been properly transmitted, received and recorded at the Department Headquarters thirty days prior to the District Convention. Each Post in the District shall be entitled to two delegates per fifty members (or fraction thereof). Each Post shall select its own delegates; each Post may select alternate delegates to serve in the absence of its principal delegates. An individual serving as either a delegate or alternate delegate to the District Convention must be a member in good standing of the Post represented. Each Post Commander or Adjutant shall duly certify that Posts’ delegates to the District Adjutant prior to the District Convention. The voting strength of each Post shall be equal to the total number of principal delegates to which it is entitled as specified above.

 

Article VI – ADMINISTRATION

The affairs of this District shall be governed in accordance with the mandates set forth at District Conventions and are to be administered by the District Officers and Executive Committee in accordance with the Constitution of the Second District.

 

Article VII – ELECTIONS

The elective District Officers shall be elected at the Annual District Convention and shall assume officer as prescribed in the by-laws; however, the Commander-Elect shall be empowered to make appointments and initiate programs immediately following the adjournment of the District Convention. Elections and balloting shall conform to the provisions set forth in the by-laws.

 

Article VIII – AMENDMENTS

Section 1. This Constitution is adopted subject to the provisions of the National Constitution of the American Legion and of the Department Constitution of the Department of Minnesota, the American Legion. Any amendment to said National or Department Constitution which is in conflict with any provisions hereof shall be regarded as automatically repealed or modifying the provisions of this Constitution to the extent of such conflict.

Section 2. This Constitution may be amended at a duly constituted District Convention by a two-thirds majority vote of the delegates assembled thereat. Any resolution proposing an amendment of this Constitution shall be submitted to the District Adjutant, in writing, sixty days prior to the District Convention. The District Commander shall cause to be distributed copies of such proposed amendment(s) to each Post in the District thirty days prior to the Convention. Proposed amendment(s) must be read at the Convention three hours before any discussion about or action on them can take place.

 

Article IX – EFFECTIVE DATE

This Constitution shall become effective immediately upon adoption. The District Commander and Adjutant shall execute all necessary certificates and record and file such copies as required by law.

BY-LAWS

SECOND DISTRICT, THE AMERICAN LEGION

DEPARTMENT OF MINNESOTA

Article I – MEETINGS

            Section 1. A District Convention shall be held annually prior to the Department Convention. Written notice of the time and place of the District Convention shall be provided to each Post in the District, by the Adjutant, at least thirty days prior to the Convention by letter.

            Section 2. Each Post in the District shall be entitled to representation at the Convention in accordance with Article V, Section 2 of the Constitution. A quorum shall exist at the District Convention when ten percent of the delegate strength is represented; provided however, a lesser number may adjourn the Convention to a subsequent date.

            Section 3. A Mid-Winter Conference shall be held annually for the purpose of informing and advising members of the Second District on our organization’s programs. The Conference shall not be permitted to legislate on any American Legion matters.

            Section 4. Selection of sites for the annual District Convention, Mid-Winter Conference and Sports Tournaments shall be an order of business at each District Convention. Should the Convention be unable to select said sites, the District Executive Committee shall then be empowered to seek and award such sites.

            Section 5. The District Executive Committee shall meet within fourteen days of the adjournment of the annual Department Convention. The newly-elected and appointed District Officers shall assume office prior to adjournment and at a portion of this meeting which allows for an orderly transition. The Committee shall also meet prior to the District Convention, prior to the Mid-Winter, at the discretion of the District Commander, or upon written request to the District Adjutant by three or more of its members. The District Adjutant shall notify all members of the District Executive Committee, in writing, at least five days prior to any meeting thereof. A quorum of the District Executive Committee shall consist of a majority of its members. A lesser number may adjourn a meeting.

 

Article II – ELECTIONS – REMOVALS – VACVANCIES

            Section 1. Nominations of candidates for office shall be an order of business of the Convention. All elective officers shall be elected by majority vote. Any members in good standing of a Post in the District shall be eligible to hold District Office except as prohibited by the Constitution or by-laws.

            Section 2. Each District Officer’s term of office shall be one year; or until a successor is duly elected and qualified.

            Section 3. Delegates and Alternates to the National Convention shall be elected by ballot at the annual District Convention. The Outgoing District Commander, Incoming District Commander, and the Incoming District Adjutant shall be delegates to the National Convention. Delegates and alternates shall be endorsed by their respective Posts prior to nomination at the District Convention. In the event an insufficient number of delegates are nominated; nominations may be made by the Convention for unendorsed candidates to fill the remaining vacancies. If the delegate roster is not complete as of the adjournment of the District Convention, the District Executive Committee shall have the authority to elect the balance of delegates at their regular turn-over meeting or at a special meeting called for that purpose. No delegate nor alternate shall be a “voting” member of the delegation unless he or she have been first duly elected by the District Convention, or as provided in these BY-LAWS, elected by the Executive Committee, and has properly met the requirements to be a delegate as herein provided.

            Section 4. The Outgoing Past District commander, Incoming District Commander and Incoming Adjutant will receive National delegate expense compensation from the Department of Minnesota. The District Executive Committee shall appropriate a lump sum; in an amount to be determined by the Committee, for payment towards expenses of the remaining authorized National Convention delegates. The national Convention Delegate expenses fund thus created; plus additional Department expense allocations shall be pooled. The resultant sum shall be disbursed equally among the authorized delegates. In no case will the amount received by a delegate exceed the amount paid to the Department of Minnesota delegates. With the exclusion of the three District Officers named in this section, no more than two authorized delegates from any one Post may receive District Compensation for National Delegate expenses. In order to receive such compensation, an authorized National Convention Delegate must attend District Convention and two out of three of the Second District Caucuses at the Department Convention. A delegate may be excused for cause from attendance by action of the District Convention, District Caucus members at the Department Convention or by the Second District National Convention delegate caucus. The Second District Chairman shall determine, by call of a caucus of the authorized District delegates to the National Convention whether or not a delegate’s duties have been fulfilled. Any funds allocated and not disbursed in above manner shall be returned to the general fund of the Second District.

            Section 5. Any District Officer may be removed for cause by a two-thirds vote of the District Executive Committee members present, provided written charges have been filed and a due process hearing has been held.

            Section 6. Vacancy in the office of District Commander shall be filled by the automatic succession of the First Vice Commander. Vacancy in the office of First Vice Commander shall be filled by election of one of the four Vice Commanders. Unexpired terms in District Offices caused by death, resignation, disqualification, or any reason shall be filled by election. The District Executive Committee is empowered to hold such elections as are necessary to fill vacancies not provided for by succession to office.

 

Article III – RULES OF ORDER

            Section 1. Subject to the provisions contained in the Second District Constitution and/or BY-LAWS; “Robert’s Rules of Order – Latest Revision” shall govern at all Second District meetings when applicable.

            Section 2. Second District meetings shall be open to any member in good standing. Only certified delegates, their duly authorized alternates, members of the District Executive Committee and Past District Commanders shall be allowed to address the Convention.

 

Article IV – DUES

            Annual District dues shall be set by the Convention. Said dues increase or decrease will take effect with the membership year at the conclusion of the next District Convention.

 

Article V – VOTING

            Section 1. Election of District Officers at the Convention shall be by secret ballot unless acclamation if only one candidate has been nominated for office or the number of candidates do not exceed the number of offices. Election of National Convention Delegates shall be by ballot. Said ballot to be prepared by the District Adjutant and to include all candidates endorsed by their Post. All other voting shall be governed by the rules of the Convention.

            Section 2. A Post represented by a registered delegate or authorized alternate delegate shall be allowed to cast all the allotted votes entitled to the Post in accordance with Article V, Section 2 of the District Constitution.

            Section 3. Only the Posts represented by a registered delegate or authorized alternate shall be entitled to vote.

 

Article VI – DUTIES OF OFFICERS

            Section 1. COMMANDER – The Commander shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the District and shall preside at all the meetings of the District. The Commander shall appoint, subsequent to approval of the District Executive Committee, an Adjutant, Sergeant-At-Arms, Judge Advocate, Historian and a Membership Director; said appointees to serve the term of office with duties set forth in the by-laws. The Commander shall appoint Chairmen, standing committees and sub-committees as may be deemed necessary. These appointments must be confirmed by the District Executive Committee. Chairmen and committee members shall be authorized reimbursement for expenses as set forth in the budget, provided required reports and claims for reimbursement have been properly filed when requested.

            Section 2. ADJUTANT – The Adjutant shall keep a correct and accurate record of all District meetings. The Adjutant shall be an ex-officio member of the District Executive Committee, and will serve without vote as its recording secretary. The Adjutant will make a permanent file of all records and ensure said records are stored in safekeeping with other past District records. The Adjutant shall notify all newly elected District Officers of their election, give notice  to Officers and Committee Chairmen of the amount allocated in the annual budget for the year’s programs, prepare written notice of meetings, convention calls, etc., as required and forward said material to prescribed destination. The Adjutant shall perform other duties as may be requested by the Commander and shall submit a final report upon conclusion of the annual District Convention.

            Section 3. FINANCE OFFICER – The Finance Officer shall be the custodian of the funds of the District and shall deposit them in such bank authorized by the District Executive Committee. Such funds shall be disbursed by check signed by the Finance Officer. The Finance Officer shall pay no bills or vouchers except they be within the limitations of budgeted funds and have been approved by the District Commander or appropriate chairman. The Finance Officer shall report on the financial condition of District funds to the District Executive Committee, accounting for receipts and disbursements, on a regular basis. The Finance Officer shall file an annual report and audit at the conclusion of each term in office. The Finance Officer shall also perform other duties commonly related to the office of Treasurer. The Finance Officer shall be bonded by Surety Bond in an amount to be set by the District Executive Committee; the premium thereof to be paid from District Funds. The Finance Officer shall prepare an annual budget, subject to approval of the District Commander; to be ratified by the District Executive Committee.

            Section 4. FIRST VICE COMMANDER – It shall be the duty of the First Vice Commander to assist the Commander, to preside at meetings in the absence of the Commander and to act as a representative of the Commander in matters referred to the First Vice Commander by the Commander. The First Vice Commander shall be a member of the District Membership Committee and shall automatically accede to the office of Second District Commander in the event of a vacancy in the office of Commander.

            Section 5. VICE COMMANDERS – The duty of the Vice Commanders shall be to assist the Commander, to preside at meetings in the absence of the Commander, and First Vice Commander in matters referred to them by the Commander, to act as a representative of the Commander when requested by the Commander. The Vice Commanders shall serve as members of the Membership Committee.

            Section 6. CHAPLAIN – The Chaplain shall be charged with the spiritual welfare of Second District Legionnaires and shall perform such divine and non-sectarian services as may be necessary, adhering to such ceremonial rituals as may be recommended by the National and Department Headquarters from time to time. The Chaplain shall be responsible for the proper conduct of memorial services at District functions.

            Section 7. SERGEANT-AT-ARMS – The Sergeant-At-Arms shall assist the Commander in organizing and directing District functions, the main duty being observation of proper protocol at such functions. The Sergeant-At-Arms shall act as sentinel of outer guard at such functions and shall announce and provide escort for visitors and guests at these same functions. The Sergeant-At-Arms may appoint such assistants as may be deemed necessary at District functions and shall be responsible for the actions of such assistants. The Sergeant-At-Arms shall be the custodian of the District Colors.

            Section 8. JUDGE ADVOCATE – The Judge Advocate shall act as legal advisor to the Commander and Executive Committee on Second District American Legion matters. The Judge Advocate shall act as Parliamentarian at Second District meetings. The Judge Advocate shall also be an ex-officio member of the District Executive Committee, and will serve without vote as Parliamentarian and legal advisor.

            Section 9. MEMBERSHIP DIRECTOR – The Membership Director shall be in charge of, and responsible for membership activities within the District. The Membership Director shall act as the Chairman of the District Membership Committee. The District Membership Committee shall consist of the Membership Director, the First Vice Commander, and the four Vice Commanders. The Membership Director shall prepare regular progress reports and shall provide said reports to the District Officers and Posts throughout the year.

            Section 10. HISTORIAN – The Historian shall compile an annual history and record of events and activities of the Second District, American Legion. The Historian shall cooperate with National, Department and Post Historians in preserving the history of the American Legion.

            Section 11. DISTRICT EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE – The District Executive Committee shall act as the governing body of the District between Conventions. They may transact any business or other matters that are necessary for the operation of the District. They may transact business referred to them by the Convention, however, the Executive Committee cannot supersede or reverse the decisions of any District Convention. The Committee will confirm the District budget for the ensuing year; submitted by the Incoming Commander. The Committee shall examine, or cause to have examined the District Financial accounts and records and shall satisfy themselves that all District funds have been properly accounted for at the conclusion of each Finance Officer’s term of office of District fiscal year. The Executive Committee shall; from time to time, adopt such standing rules for guidance in the conduct of the District’s affairs as are deemed necessary.

 

Article VII – AMENDMENTS

            These by-laws may be amended at a duly constituted District Convention by a two-thirds majority vote of the delegates assembled thereat. Any resolution proposing an amendment to these by-laws shall be submitted to the District Adjutant, in writing, sixty days prior to the District Convention. The District Commander shall cause to be distributed copies of such amendment(s) to each Post in the District thirty days prior to the Convention. Proposed amendment(s) must be read at the Convention three hours before discussion about them can take place.

 

Article VIII – EFFECTIVE DATE

            These by-laws shall become effective immediately upon adoption. The District Commander and Adjutant shall execute all necessary certificates and record and file such copies as required by law.

 

CONSTITUTION

BY-LAWS

PAST DISTRICT COMMANDERS LIST

PAST DISTRICT ADJUTANTS LIST

REVISED NOVEMBER 28, 1998

REVISED JUNE 24, 2000

REVISED MAY 19, 2001

REVISED JUNE 11, 2002

REVISED JUNE 18, 2003

REVISED JUNE 12, 2004

REVISED JUNE 13, 2005

REVISED JUNE 11, 2016

REVISED JUNE 9, 2018