Bylaws of the Delaware Human and Civil Rights Commission
Adopted as revised 5-13-21
ARTICLE 1 – OFFICERS
The Officers of the Delaware Human and Civil Rights Commission shall be a Chairperson and a Vice-Chairperson.
Election of the Officers shall be done by the Delaware Human and Civil Rights Commission from within its current membership. Election of the Chairperson shall occur tri-annually at the June meeting of the Commission, or as soon thereafter as practical. No Chairperson may serve for more than two consecutive terms. No later than 90 days prior to the meeting at which the Commission intends to hold the Chairperson’s election (“Election Meeting”), the Commissioners from each County will confer amongst themselves and appoint a delegate from their County to a special Nominating Committee. The delegate may not be a nominee for Chairperson in the upcoming election. The members of the Nominating Committee shall solicit interest and vet potential nominees from the current members of the Commission for the position of Chairperson. Any Commissioner may put forth a candidate (themselves included) to the Nominating Committee for consideration. The incumbent Chairperson will be automatically included within the pool of potential nominees unless they opt out. The Nominating Committee will choose the candidates for Chairperson. Each candidate for Chairperson shall submit either a written or oral statement to the Commission on their desire and qualifications for the position. At the Election Meeting, the Commission shall vote by ballot on its Chairperson. A Commissioner must be present to vote and the winning candidate will be the Commissioner who receives the majority of the votes. In the event of a tie, the Commissioners will have a run-off election of the two candidates who received the highest number of votes. If the Chairperson-elect is not the incumbent, the Chairperson-elect will assume the position on September 1st of that same year or as soon thereafter as practical. The incumbent will remain as Chairperson during the interim period to orient the newly elected Chairperson on processes, relationships and the Chairperson’s role.
The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the Commission. The Chairperson shall be the only person authorized to make public announcements for the Commission. The Chairperson shall appoint the Executive Committee of the Commission and shall serve as its Chairperson. The Chairperson shall also appoint all other standing and special committees of the Commission. The Chairperson shall be a member of all committees of the Commission, ex officio. The Chairperson shall designate members of the Commission and/or its Staff to represent the Commission and/or its Staff on all affiliated associations, committees, and organizations; at meetings; and the like.
The Vice-Chairperson shall be appointed by the Chairperson and shall be vested with all powers and perform all the duties of the Chairperson in his/her absence or disability, to the extent which may be permitted by law, and the Vice-Chairperson shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed from time to time by the Chairperson or by the Commission. The Vice-Chairperson shall be a member of the Executive Committee and also a member of all standing and special committees of the Commission, ex officio.
Officers may be removed from office prior to the expiration of their term for cause.
ARTICLE II – STAFF
The Director of the Office of Human and Civil Rights shall attend all meetings of the full Commission, the Executive Committee and, upon the request of the Commission Chairperson, meetings of standing committees of the Commission. The Director or his/her designee shall act as clerk of Commission and Executive Committee meetings and shall record and keep the proceedings of the meetings thereof. The Director shall give proper notices of all meetings of the Commission and of the committees thereof. The Director shall be the chief of the Staff of the Office of Human and Civil Rights and shall direct and supervise the personnel thereof.
The Director shall supervise and direct the execution of all policies, orders and resolutions of the Commission or of the Executive Committee as may be required of him/her by the Commission or the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE III – MEETINGS
The Commission shall meet once each month provided, however, a majority of a quorum present at any such meeting may postpone or change the date of the next monthly meeting.
A special meeting of the Commission may be called at any time by the Chairperson or by eight (8) members of the Commission acting independently of the Chairperson.
A meeting of the Executive Committee may be called at any time by the Chairperson or by three (3) members of the Executive Committee acting independently of the Chairperson.
A written notice of each regular meeting of the Commission or of the Executive Committee shall be mailed by the Office of Human and Civil Rights to each member of the Commission or of the Executive Committee, as the case may be, at least seven (7) days prior to the date of such regular meeting. Notice shall be given by the Office of Human and Civil Rights to each member of the Commission or of the Executive Committee, as the case may be, at least two (2) days prior to the date of any special meeting which may be duly called, as aforesaid. In addition to the above, the Commission will adhere to the open meetings requirements of 29 Del. C. § 10004.
Ten members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. In the absence of a quorum, the Commission shall act by plurality and submit to a vote at the next meeting at which a quorum exists any matters for ratification upon which the authority of the Commission is needed.
At all meetings of the Commission or of the Executive Committee thereof, all proceedings shall be conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order, to the extent not inconsistent with the Administrative Procedures Act.
ARTICLE IV – ORDER OF BUSINESS
The order of business at all regular meetings of the Commission, or of the Executive Committee thereof, shall be as follows:
- Call to Order and Period for Silent Meditation.
- Acceptance of the Agenda.
- Expressions from members of the public present.
- Approval of Minutes of previous meeting.
- Report of Chairperson
- Reports of Director of Office of Human and Civil Rights
- Reports of Committees
- Old Business
- New Business
The Chairperson shall have the authority to deviate from the order of business as circumstances warrant.
Presentations by members of the public shall be limited to ten minutes, unless approved by the Chairperson. Speakers are requested to give presentations in the order of sign in. The Chairperson may limit the number of speakers heard, as circumstances warrant.
ARTICLE V – COMMITTEES
The standing committees of the Commission shall be as follows:
- Executive Committee
- Legislative Committee
- Public Awareness Committee
- Community Response Committee
In December of each year, the Chairperson shall review the composition of each of the Standing Committees, shall make appointments and/or reassign members of the Commission to each of the Standing Committees, as needed, and shall name a Chair of each of the Standing Committees to serve for the following calendar year. Each member of the Commission shall participate actively in the work of one of the standing committees
The Chairperson may appoint special or ad hoc committees at any time and from time to time.
The Executive Committee of the Commission shall be composed of the Chairperson, and six (6) members of the Commission, as follows: the Vice-Chairperson of the Commission, the Chair of the Community Response Committee, the Chair of the Legislative Committee, the Chair of the Public Awareness Committee, and two (2) other members of the Commission at-large.
The Legislative Committee shall be responsible for revising the bylaws and regulations of the Commission as the need arises, for monitoring and making recommendations with respect to legislative initiatives that impact those matters falling within the mission of the Commission, for proposing legislative initiatives for the consideration of the Commission, and for drafting and working to implement such initiatives as are approved by the Commission.
The Community Response Committee shall be responsible for receiving, evaluating, and making recommendations with respect to allegations of discriminatory practices referred to the Commission by the public; and for interviewing potential candidates for the Commission, and explaining the Commission’s purpose and responsibilities.
The Public Awareness Committee shall be responsible for recommending and implementing actions that serve to increase public awareness regarding discrimination and to promote amicable relations among the various racial, ethnic, religious, gender, age, social, and cultural groups within the state.
ARTICLE VI – AMENDMENTS
Any duly-appointed member of the Commission may at any time propose an amendments to these bylaws, by submitting the same in writing to the Chairperson.
A copy of any proposed amendments of these bylaws shall be forwarded by mail to each member of the Commission at least ten (10) days prior to the meeting of the Commission at which it is to be presented and acted upon, together with a written notice of the date, hour, and place of such meeting.
Any amendment to these bylaws must first be adopted by the affirmative vote of 2/3 of the active members of the Commission, as defined in Article III, Section 5., before the same shall become effective.