An important Part of any Block Club or Tenant Council is a clear idea of what the group is trying to do. A simple set of rules can help members understand their potential, and also, their limitations. Bylaws are the rules which members oft he organization agree to follow in carrying out the goals of the group.

Why Are Bylaws Needed?

An organization needs some rules to function smoothly and efficiently in working to realize its goals. A poorly organized group will not be effective and will neither attract nor retain members.

Who Writes the Bylaws?

According to the size of the organization, usually a committee of three to seven people is designated to prepare proposed bylaws, or United Neighborhoods will create them to fit your neighborhood's needs. The committee should arrange as many meetings as necessary (usually only one) to prepare a set of bylaws. It is important for bylaws to be simple, brief and flexible. Too many restrictions built into bylaws will act as a straight­jacket and discourage member participation.

Who Adopts the Bylaws?

When the proposed bylaws are completed, they are brought back to the next general meeting of the group for review and approval. Members should have an opportunity to comment on each article as well as the entire document Finally, the entire bylaws document, with appropriate changes, is voted upon.

When Do the Bylaws Go Into Effect?

Usually the bylaws go into effect immediately upon adoption. Once the members of an organization have voted to adopt the bylaws, the group is officially "in business" and is ready to work in an orderly fashion toward its chosen goals.

What Happens to the Bylaws After Adoption?

Every member should have a copy of the bylaws, and part of one meeting each year should be set aside to review them. Bylaws provide a method for change and continuity.