CHARTER OF THE MID-CAMBRIDGE NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION
March 1975 – current (Last updated at Annual Meeting held May 21, 2003.)
In order to coordinate and promote efforts to improve and maintain neighborhood life and the things that we share because we are neighbors, without engaging in partisan political activity against any group or individual, we, the people of Mid Cambridge, form the Mid Cambridge Neighborhood Association.
1. Mid Cambridge neighborhood means the area bound by Massachusetts Avenue, Peabody Street, Cambridge Street, Quincy Street, Kirkland Street, the City of Somerville, and Prospect Street and bordering areas.
2. Membership in the Association is open to any adult resident of Mid-Cambridge or anyone who operates a business located in and serving the residents of Mid-Cambridge, who has read this Charter and who signs a statement that he or she supports the purposes of the Association. Membership continues as long as a member is a resident or operates a retail business in the Mid Cambridge neighborhood.
Any person may resign from the membership of the Mid Cambridge Neighborhood Association by informing the Secretary in writing. The resignation becomes effective on the date of the resignation paper.
3. At least one, and ordinarily not more than four Neighborhood Meeting(s), shall be held each year; any additional Neighborhood Meeting(s) may only be held to consider urgent and unforeseen business which is to be stated at the call of the meeting. All members are asked to attend these meetings. The agenda of these Neighborhood Meetings shall be generally publicized by the Coordinating Committee and will address subjects that concern the Neighborhood and that merit the attention of the Membership. Policy positions of the Association must be adopted by a two thirds vote of Members attending the Neighborhood Meeting. Other issues to be decided at a Neighborhood Meeting require a simple majority vote of the members present. The presiding officer shall be in charge of the rules for the meetings that he or she chairs. His/her decisions may be over ruled by a two thirds vote of those present. The Association by a two-thirds vote of those present may expel an unruly member from a meeting.
4. The members shall elect the Coordinating Committee of eleven people from the resident membership at the Annual Meeting which shall be held on the third Wednesday in May. Nominations require the signatures of ten members and must be submitted to the Membership Secretary at least three weeks before the election. If there are more than 11 candidates, voting shall be by secret paper ballot. The ballots shall be prepared by the Membership Secretary and shall include only the name, address, and designated office, if any, of each nominee. Every member at the meeting shall receive one ballot and may vote for up to eleven candidates by marking an “X” or a check next to their names. In order to vote for members of the Coordinating Committee at the Annual Meeting, a person must be a member of the Mid-Cambridge Neighborhood Association for at least three weeks. The ballots shall be counted by the Membership Secretary, Treasurer, and Recording Secretary. The eleven candidates receiving the most votes shall be elected. If there are 11 or fewer candidates, voting may be on the entire slate of candidates, by a show of hands, if there are no objections from the Members present. No elected official, and no one who is employed by the City of Cambridge as a department head or assistant department head or who is not a resident of Mid-Cambridge may serve on the Coordinating Committee.
5. The Coordinating Committee shall hold office until the next annual election. The Coordinating Committee may elect, for stated cause, to remove a member of the Coordinating Committee by a two-thirds vote of the standing committee. If a vacancy occurs in the Coordinating Committee, a replacement may be chosen by a two thirds vote of remaining members of the Coordinating Committee. The Coordinating Committee shall have frequent open meetings to discuss the means of improving and maintaining neighborhood life, and to further the purposes of the Association and policy positions adopted at Neighborhood Meetings. The Coordinating Committee shall adopt rules to regulate its own meetings. The Coordinating Committee calls Neighborhood Meetings in addition to the Annual Meeting and sets the agenda for these meetings. Its members are collectively responsible for the fulfillment of the duties of each of the Officers. The Coordinating Committee shall:
• ensure that the minutes of all Neighborhood meetings and Coordinating Committee meetings are kept,
• represent the Association in all matters,
• maintain records of activities of the Association and of the Coordinating Committee,
• gather information and carry out research on issues affecting the neighborhood,
• publicize Neighborhood Meetings and other activities of the Association and neighborhood issues, and
• encourage and assist the formation and activities of small neighborhood groups affiliated with the Association
All powers not given to the Coordinating Committee are held by the Mid Cambridge Neighborhood Association in the Neighborhood Meeting.
6. Officers shall be chosen by the Coordinating Committee from its elected members. The Officers of the Association shall be:
• Presiding Officer, who shall chair Neighborhood Meetings and Coordinating Committee meetings.
• Membership Secretary, who shall maintain a file of members’ names and provide a current copy at Neighborhood Meetings, recruit new members, receive nominations for the elections to the Coordinating Committee and provide ballots for the elections.
• Treasurer, who shall solicit donations from members and raise funds in other ways as necessary for the operation of the Association, and keep records of revenues and expenditures and shall prepare a written report to be presented at the Annual Meeting.
• Recording Secretary, who shall take and provide the minutes of the Coordinating Committee and the Neighborhood meetings.
Each of these positions, and any other positions deemed necessary by a majority vote of the Coordinating Committee, shall be filled by the Coordinating Committee at its first meeting after the Annual Meeting.
7. The Mid Cambridge Neighborhood Association shall associate, where feasible, with other neighborhood groups which have goals similar to those of the Association. These groups may be concerned with a particular issue, or more generally concerned with common interests of a street block, they may be formal or informal, and must be without partisan political purpose. Such groups will be encouraged to appoint a liaison to attend Coordinating Committee meetings and otherwise communicate and cooperate with the Association.
8. Subcommittees and delegates from the Mid Cambridge Neighborhood Association to other organizations shall be appointed by the Coordinating Committee and shall function until ratified at the next succeeding Neighborhood Meeting. At this time the Chairperson of such sub committees and such delegates shall be confirmed by the Neighborhood Meeting. Such sub committees shall report to the Association through the Coordinating Committee at least four times a year. Subcommittee meetings shall be open and appropriately publicized. Subcommittees and delegates may make public statements representing the position of the subcommittee. Subcommittees do not speak for the Association.
9. This Charter was adopted in 1975 when 500 residents of Mid Cambridge read it and signed a statement that they supported the purposes of the Association. This charter may be amended by a two thirds vote of the Annual Meeting. The proposed amendment(s) must have been publicized, with full text of the changes available in hard copy, prior to the Annual Meeting, and discussed at a previous Neighborhood Meeting.
10. To defray ordinary expenses of the Association the Coordinating Committee may recommend that all members make a donation to the Association.