Circassian Association of California
Adyghe Khasa



By-Laws for the
Circassian Association of California /Adyghe Khasa (CAC/AK)

Article I Name
The name of the organization is the “Circassian Association of California / Adyghe Khasa”, established on November 5, 2006.

Article II Purpose
A. The corporation is a nonprofit MUTUAL BENEFIT CORPORATION, organized under the Nonprofit Mutual Benefit Corporation Law. The purpose of this corporation is to engage in any lawful act or activity, other than credit union business, for which a corporation may be organized under such law.
B. The specific purposes of this corporation include:
1. To study and foster all matters pertaining to the welfare of the Adyghes in America in the cultural, social, creative, athletic, religious and benevolent fields, and to strengthen the cooperative ties among the Adyghe peoples wherever they may be to preserve and nurture the Adyghe heritage.

2. To provide voluntary assistance to Adyghes in sickness or distress as well as proper and decent interment in case of death.

3. To maintain and foster an interest in civic affairs and to instill in its members principles of the United States Constitution and to encourage naturalization and the acquisition of the United States citizenship.

4. To receive, hold, care for, invest in and operate real or personal property, or both, and to use and distribute from time to time all the income therefrom and the principal thereof, as well, exclusively for religious, charitable, literary, or educational purposes, either directly to individuals or by means of contributions to organizations duly registered to carry on religious, charitable, literary or educational activities consistent with the By-Laws of the Corporation providing, however that no part of such income or principal shall be contributed to any organization whose net earnings or any part thereof inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual or any substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation.

5. No part of the net earnings of the Corporation shall inure to the benefit of any member, trustee, officer or any private individual (except reasonable compensation may be paid for services rendered to or for the Corporation affecting one or more of its purposes) and no member, trustee, officer, or any private individual shall be entitled to share in the distribution of any corporate assets on the dissolution of the Corporation. No part of the activities of the Corporation shall be carrying propaganda or otherwise attempt to influence legislation, or participation in or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.

6. Pursuant to section 8610(a), the dissolution of the corporation may only take place upon approval of the majority of all members or approval of the Executive Board and approval of the members. Should dissolution of the corporation be executed, the assets of the Corporation shall be distributed exclusively to primarily another sister organization who supports the same purposes, and if no such organization exists at the time of dissolution, than distribute to religious, charitable, literary, or educational organizations which would then qualify under the provisions of Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code and its regulations as they now exist or as they may hereafter be amended.

Article III Resident Agent for Service for the Corporation
The name and address in the State of California of this corporations’ initial agent for service of process is Marwan Isshak 2563 Thunder Mountain Rd, Upland, CA 91784.

Article IV Statement of Incorporation
Notwithstanding any of the above statements of purposes and powers, this corporation shall not, except to an insubstantial degree, engage in any activities or exercise any powers that are not in furtherance of the specific purposes of this corporation.

Article V Membership
A. Membership shall be open to all Adyghes, and/or to any person who are interested in the purposes of this organization and are willing to abide by its By-Laws, providing they are not known to have ever engaged in activities that subvert the organization and its members from the intended purpose of the organization.

B. A member of the organization can be expelled for engaging in activities which are in conflict with the By-Laws of the organization, or alienate the organization’s interests and aims or engage in conduct judged to be contrary to the dictates to the general membership or for behavior resulting in dissonance among the members or is damaging to the reputation of the Adyghes. Such members shall be provided with notice of the charges and opportunity to be heard by the rest of the membership prior to expulsion. The General Membership must vote to expel a member only by obtaining 51% of the majority vote to expel. Conversely, the General Membership by a 51% vote can overturn that decision and reinstate the membership status.


Article VI Structure
A. The Organization is comprised of the Executive Board and its General Membership.

Article VII Executive Board and Elections
A. The Executive Board shall have the power to transact all the Organization's business and initiate such studies as it deems advisable for the realization of the purposes of the organization.

1. The Executive Board is accountable to the General Membership. All members have the right to question any and all of the officers on any issues related to the conduct of the functioning of the organization,

2. The Executive Board must develop annual goals and present them at the General Membership Meeting once a year for ratification of the general membership,

3. The Executive Board shall prepare an annual budget for all its activities of the organization.

B. The officers of the Executive Board shall be the President, Secretary, Treasurer and 4 Directors selected by the President after his/her election to the Executive Board. The President will name his/her Vice President from among the 4 Directors he/she selects, as long as attendees meet the minimum membership requirements for said position. The Vice-President shall assume and perform all duties of the President during the absence or incapacity of the President as well as perform any other duties assigned by the President.

C. The President, Secretary and Treasurer shall be elected by secret ballot and by voting members who are in good standing and members of the organization for the 3 months (minimum) preceding the election.

D. The President, the Secretary and the Treasurer’s term of office shall be for two (2) years. Those holding the positions of President, Secretary and Treasurer may run again for the same position or any other on the Executive Board as long as they remain in good standing within the organization.

E. Elections are held during the month of January, or as soon as expedient thereafter, every two years for the positions of President, Secretary and Treasurer on the Executive Board.
Roles of the Executive Board:
The following defines the roles of the elected members of the Executive Board:
A. The President must:
• be Adyghe and knowledgeable in Adyghe history and traditions,
• serve as the designated spokesperson for the organization,
• lead the Executive Board in the planning activities for the organization,
• preside at all meetings of the membership and Executive Board.
• serve as ex-officio member of all committees.
The President's term of office shall be for two years.

B. The Secretary’s duties include:
• maintaining responsibility for all forms of correspondence within and outside of the membership and community,
• preserve all records and communications including meeting minutes of the organization’s election and general meetings and produce those minutes as requested by members and the Executive Board,
• preserve all recorded documentation (except for financial records) pertinent to the establishment and on-going maintenance of the organizations, including maintaining the membership contact list,
• dispatch letters on behalf of the organization , reviews letters received by the organization and mails notices for all meetings to the membership.
The Secretary’ term of office shall be for two years.


C. The Treasurer’s duties include:
• acting as custodian of the funds of the organization which shall be deposited in a financial institution approved by the organization, including the receipts and cash received via membership, donation or events,
• maintaining all financial records of the organization including records of the membership fees and donations and produce those records as requested by members and the Executive Board,
• overseeing all committee financial transactions and prepare a profit/loss statement on said events,
• filing all pertinent tax statements with the State of California and the United States on behalf of the organization.
The Treasurer’s term of office shall be for two years.

Article X General Membership Meeting
A. General Membership Meetings will be held a minimum of once a year. The meeting can be called at the discretion of the Executive Board. The President of the Organization shall call the General Membership Meetings by instructing the Secretary to send the notifications to the Members with an agenda one month in advance of the time of the meeting.
B. A special membership meeting may be called at any time by not less than 51% of the general membership. If the membership calls a special meeting, the Executive Board must be notified a minimum of one month in advance of the meeting.
C. At all General Meetings, the Secretary records the proceedings and, upon request, sends copies of the meeting minutes to the Executive Board. All reports must be in writing and should be kept as part of the General Membership Meeting records.
D. All General Membership Meetings shall follow the standard format as follows:
• Call to order
• Approval of previous minutes
• Report from the Executive Board (President or Vice-President)
• Old Business
• New Business
• Adjournment

Article XI Finances
A. Financial account(s), held in the name of the organization, shall be maintained in a financial institution,
B. The account(s)’ records shall be maintained by the Treasurer.
C. The account(s) will require the signature of 2 members of the Executive Board to withdraw monies from said account(s). The 2 signatories on account must include the Treasurer plus either the President or Secretary.

Article XII Initiation Fees and Dues
A. The income of the Organization shall consist of initiation fees, annual dues, donations, and revenue from parties or publications.
B. Initiation Fee of the organization will be $25 per person submitted with the application to the organization. The initiation fee will be fully refunded in the event the applicant is declined membership.
C. Dues of the organization will be paid on an annual basis in the amount as follows, except as determined by the Executive Board:
• Honorary: $0 – nominated by the Executive Board and/or Advisory Council
• Family/Household: $60 annually
• The definition of family or household consists of one or more parents along with their minor (under age 18) children
• Single: $30 annually
• Student/ Retirees: $ 15 annually
• The definition of student is one that has attained the age of 18 or older and is a full-time student.
• The definition of retiree is a person who has attained the age of 65 or older and is currently not employed or retired from employment.
D. Delinquency in payment of membership dues for 3 consecutive months prior to a voting date shall result in the loss of voting privileges.
E. It will be the duty of the Treasurer to provide a list of members delinquent in his/her dues to the Secretary who will send a notice to those members. New members must have been paid members for at least 3 months prior to voting in any election.
F. Failure to complete payment of all the dues of a calendar year by the last day of that year will lead to loss of membership in the organization provided the Treasurer has requested the Secretary to mail the delinquent member a letter, certified return receipt requested, to that effect by November 1 of that year advising the member that their dues must be paid for that year by December 1st.

Article XIII Election and Voting Rights
A. Nominations for candidates to run for positions on the Executive Board must be received by the duly appointed Election Committee prior to the required notice to members informing the general membership of an upcoming meeting. Notice to members must be sent at least one full month prior to the Election meeting.
B. Candidates for the position of President, Secretary and Treasurer must be members in good standing for two full years prior to their candidacy for the Executive Board.
a. In the event the position of President, Secretary or Treasurer should be vacated prior to the completion of the two year term, the remaining elected officers of the Board, namely the President, Secretary or Treasurer, will fill the position with a member of the organization who is in good standing for at least two years.
C. Appointees for the position of Vice-President must be a member in good standing for two full years prior to their appointment.
a. In the event the position of Vice-President should be vacated prior to the completion of the two year term, the remaining elected officers of the Board, namely the President, Secretary and Treasurer, will fill the position with a member of the organization who is in good standing for at least two years.
D. Appointees for the position of Board member to the Executive board must be a member in good standing prior to their appointment.
a. In the event one of the positions of an Executive Board Member should be vacated prior to the end of the two year term, the remaining members of the Executive Board will fill the position with a member of the organization who is in good standing.
E. Voting by proxy is prohibited. However, the member may vote in absentia by requesting an absentee ballot for the current year from the secretary of the organization. Absentee ballots must be postmarked to the organization’s official mailing address no less than one week prior to the date of the election.
The quorum will be considered attained if 51% of the membership is present. If no quorum is present at the scheduled time, the call to order will be delayed for one month. If at the rescheduled meeting, 51% of the membership is still not attained; a quorum will be considered attained regardless of the number of members present.

Article XIV By-Laws and Amendments
A. Nominations for candidates to run for positions on the Executive Board must be received by the duly appointed Election Committee prior to the required notice to members informing the general membership of an upcoming meeting. Notice to members must be sent at least one full month prior to the Election meeting

B. Voting by proxy is prohibited. However, the member may vote in absentia by requesting an absentee ballot for the current year from the secretary of the organization. Absentee ballots must be postmarked to the organization’s official mailing address no less than one week prior to the date of the election.

C. The quorum will be considered attained if 51% of the membership is present. If no quorum is present at the scheduled time, the call to order will be delayed for one month. If at the rescheduled meeting, 51% of the membership is still not attained; a quorum will be considered attained regardless of the number of members present.


Article XII By-Laws and Amendments

A. The Organization may adopt such By-Laws which are necessary to carry out its purposes and functions.

B. Any points or subjects not addressed, covered, or explained in the By-Laws will be referred to the Executive Board, who will present them to vote to the General Membership at the next general membership meeting

C. The By-Laws may be amended, repealed or adopted by obtaining the approval of 51% majority vote of all members in good standing at a duly constituted General Membership Meeting.


Article XV Ratification of By-Laws
The By-Laws shall be declared ratified if 51% of members present at a duly constituted General Membership meeting vote to ratify it.

Original By-Law, created in 2007, were amended and ratified by general membership vote on March 27, 2010.