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Delegates at SPJ23 vote to replace delegate system with 'one member, one vote'


Ashanti Blaize-Hopkins, SPJ National President, ashanti.blaize@gmail.com
Zoë Berg, SPJ Communications Specialist, 317-920-4785, zberg@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS —The Society of Professional Journalists delegates voted to replace the system that makes them the ruling body for the Society with a “one member, one vote” system at the Closing Business Meeting of the SPJ23 Journalism Convention.

Beginning next year, instead of delegates making the decisions about bylaws amendments and resolutions, every SPJ member will have a vote.

The amended bylaws now read, “All members of the Society in good standing seven days prior to the date and time balloting begins shall be eligible to vote … for any referendums for the general membership in good standing that may appear on the ballot.”

Voting on referendums will coincide with SPJ’s annual officer elections, as outlined in SPJ bylaws. General Membership Meetings will mark the beginning and end of the Society’s convention and include discussion of any proposed resolutions and bylaws amendments.

Referendums may be brought by the SPJ Board of Directors, the Bylaws Committee or SPJ members. “Proposals to amend these bylaws may only appear on the ballot if they have been discussed in a public meeting of the national board of directors at least 60 days before the annual election, whether the idea originated with the Bylaws Committee, with the Board, or with a member in good standing,” the adopted bylaws amendment reads. It also states, “The exact wording of proposed amendments to these bylaws shall be sent to all members of the Society in good standing no later than 30 days before the annual election in which the proposed amendments will appear on the ballot.”

Learn more about how the changes affect SPJ bylaws by reading the proposed changes that have now been ratified. The changes became effective immediately following the Closing Business Meeting.

Prior to the annual convention, SPJ members were invited to give feedback. The official bylaws displayed on the SPJ website will be updated to reflect this vote.

The other two proposed bylaws amendments were not passed by delegates. The proposed changes to term periods for SPJ’s national officers was voted down, and the “Participatory Standards at Society of Professional Journalists events" were sent back to the Bylaws Committee for further discussion.

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