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This document, a bylaw, is the basis by which the Eritrean Community Santa Center: Santa Clara County was established in November 2008. It was made possible by a highly participation of many of our members and voluntary work of many good individuals who spare their time to do research, engage in discussions to make this document that we do value and aspire to abide by it. The Eritrean Community Association in Santa Clara County is open to all community members irrespective of their political, religious, ideological or party persuasions. The center is free from all forms of pressures. By embracing their problems and joys together, the Association strives to preserve the culture and to foster the advancement of Eritrean nationals in Santa Clara County and its environs.
In order to realize the afore mentioned objectives, the Association operates on the basis of its democratically adopted guidelines enshrined in the following articles which were modified and renewed at its annual congress

Article 1: Name of Association

Eritrean Community Center Santa Clara County
Article 2: Objective

  • To provide a platform for Eritrean-Americans to learn their native language, culture and tradition.
  • To create an atmosphere for Eritrean-American youth that can help them stay away from wrong doings through teaching and workshops
  • To help the members of the community and others in need with their plans in searching for educational opportunities  and training
  • Enhance love and peace among Eritrean-Americans  and the community around them by creating  functional link with the community organizations in the state of California and beyond
  • To prepare our youth for academic excellence and economic success through tutorial classes.
  • To encourage all Eritrean-Americans to participate in general physical fitness and sports activities.
  • To bring all Eritreans together to be engaged in advancing the economic and social well-being of our community.
  • To help the community members and others in need in Job search.
  • To organize Seminars series.
  • To provide assistance and increasingly develop the capacity to resolve the immediate and long range problems facing Eritreans in the community.
  • To identify special groups within the community, such as victims of war, single parents, and others who are in need of special attention.
  • To bridge the generation gap that threatens to erode family harmony.

Article 3: By-laws
A. The Association:

Embraces all Eritrean nationals residing in Santa Clara County

Conducts itself free from all political, religious, regional, party affiliation or gender based outlook or orientations

Assists disadvantaged Eritreans according to its ability and capacity.

Possesses its own media outlet

Establishes and maintains relationships and cooperation with other associations that share common aims and practice.

Article 4: Membership:

A. Membership Requirement

A person aged 18 and over may become a member (Any Eritrean under 18 may join as an observer)

A member is one who believes in the objectives of community cooperation and abides by the rules of the Association.

Membership fee is $15.00 and a member who cannot afford to pay may instead provide community service.

B. Duties of a Member

Fulfils community tasks assigned to him/her

Strives to enhance community unity

Earnestly implements community decisions and rules

Pays monthly fees determined by congress

Brings to the attention of the appropriate branch of the association any weaknesses observed or any suggestions

C. Rights of members

A member has the right to:

To vote and to be voted for

Raise Association related questions

Enjoy full rights to present suggestions and criticisms in general association meetings

Express his opinion freely

D. Mode of Procedure

Any member who engages in activities harmful to the association in violation of the basic objectives of the constitution,

the Executive branch will, after clarifications and consultations, take measures pursuant to the Association’s constitution.

The decision is then conveyed to all community members. The reprimanded member has the right to appeal the decision of

the Executive Branch to the Board of Directors.

Article 5: Structure of Association

The congress has more power than two meetings combined

The congress stipulates and ratifies bylaws

Congress adopts resolutions

Congress weighs suggestions brought to its attention

Congress elects Association’s leadership

Congress convenes once every two years. Members are notified at least two weeks in advance

Where necessary, congress may call a general meeting with the approval of 2/3 majority.

  Article 6: Community (Association) leadership

 The Executive Body manages the association’s routine business

The Board of Directors oversees the activities of the Executive Body

Congress elects the Executive Body and he Board of Directors

The Executive Body has five members

The Board of Directors has five members

The Board of Directors acts according to the Association’s bylaws.

The Executive Body formulates plans of action on the basis of decisions taken by congress.

The Executive Body may create different sub committees and adopt plans of action

 It performs administrative tasks

A meeting is legal where 50%+1 members are present

Emergency meeting may be called upon by the Chairperson or by one third (1/3) of membership

Amendments (modifications) of existing resolutions are binding when approved by ¾ of members.

It promotes (conducts) external relationships and contacts consistent with the objectives of the association


Article 7: Duties of the Executive Body

A. Chairperson Acts As

Official representative of the Association. Chairs Executive Body meetings. Calls for emergency meetings when necessary.

Guides and supervises the Association’s activities and …….. of the association. Presents reports to the Board of Directors every three months

B. Secretary

Assumes Executive responsibilities when the Chairperson is absent

Undertakes the Association’s book-keeping

Keeps minutes of meetings

Compiles reports of meetings

Undertakes the association’s correspondences consistent with the decisions of the Executive Body.

 C. Treasurer

 Manages the Association’s property and funds. Keeps financial documents

Deposits funds in the bank on behalf of the Association (community)

Handles and registers community revenues and expenditures

Submits federal and state taxes every six months or every year.

Coordinates the routine activities of the Finance Committee

Plays his/her role in fundraising activities

Presents reports every three months


 D. Officer in charge of information, culture and education

Plays the role of a chair of a committee in charge of information, culture and education

Implements plans underlined and adopted by the Executive Body.

 E. Chief of Public Relations

Undertakes public relations tasks and activities. Manages routine social activities

Directs sports related activities


Article 8: Activities of Sub Committees

Implement plans stipulated by the Executive Body Present activity reports to the Executive Body and other concerned bodies

 Article 9: Board of Directors

The Board of Directors, elected by congress, consists of five members and two standing-ins: It has the following duties:

Determines community office location.

Monitors and functions in order to enhance the continuance, growth, safety and efficiency of the Association

Termination of Board membership is done in writing. This measure is taken when a Board member fails to fulfill his duties and fails to attend meetings.

Resignation of a Board member is submitted in writing.

Seeks solutions to possible problems that may appear within the Executive Branch.

If the Executive branch is a short of quorum, it may obtain substitutes from the members of the Executive Committee. If the Executive Branch

fails to carry out a full meeting, the Board of Directors has duty to call for a general meeting and seeks a solution.

The Board of Directors prepares and conducts two annual community meetings.

Researches plans to enhance community development and establishes a body to implement them.

Publishes bylaws amendments.

A non-Eritrean may be member of the Board of Directors.

Article 10: Joint sessions of the Board of Directors and the Executive Body

Joint meetings occur every three moths. Meeting is presided by the Chairperson of the Board of Directors

The Board has responsibility to call general meetings and determine location of meetings

In such a meeting the Executive Body led by its chairperson presents important report.


Additional amendment as needed.

November 16, 2008


We are governed by the rule of law. Anybody is entitled to his/her opinion if it benefits of our community.