By Laws

Septemer 27, 2016

Rationale for Modernizing and Simplifying the Bylaws 

of Westside Club of Georgetown, Inc. 

1. The mission of the House Committee is to provide a safe, clean environment with reasonable amenities for the purpose of hosting independent 12-step recovery meetings.

2. The previous requirement for 11 board members has proved unwieldy. It is believed that a smaller cohesive group will be more productive and effective. Each member of the House Committee may focus on one or more specific areas; however, every member will be expected to be familiar with the entire operation. Additional Club members may be requested to assist the Board with specific activities.

3. For the foreseeable future the House Committee intends to act as the active direct management of the Club supplemented with paid part-time assistance. Each committee member is expected to devote meaningful time and effort to the various aspects of the Club’s operations: money management, volunteer solicitation, membership maintenance, fundraising, etc.

4. The more streamlined governance of the Club will permit greater flexibility, responsiveness and the ability to adapt quickly to changed circumstances. After years of experience and much thought and deliberation, the House Committee has concluded that the proposed revised Bylaws will serve the Club and the membership better in the future.

5. Members of the House Committee will be elected for one-year terms. Each member may choose whether or not to run for re-election. This enables the Club’s membership to democratically decide annually whether and what changes may be needed. To give the present House Committee a reasonable opportunity to implement their operating plan, the By Laws call for the next election to be held in the 4th Quarter of 2017.

6. It is the intention of the House Committee to maintain a practice of training potential successive House Committee members in the governance and the operations of the Club so that effective transitions can be made in the future without drastically changing the direction and style of Club management. To that end, two non-voting member position have been added to the House Committee in hopes of those positions growing into future full House Committee memberships.



1341 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007

Page 1 of 3 As Proposed September 2016


The Westside Club of Georgetown, Inc.

I. Purpose.

The Westside Club of Georgetown, Inc. is a private non-profit organization formed to

provide a space where groups devoted primarily to the recovery community,

including alcoholics and others with addictive behaviors, their families and others

affected by alcoholism and addiction can meet. The Club is open to meetings of

other 12-Step groups that agree to abide by the steps, principles and concepts, as

modified by their specific emphasis, of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), including the

principles of anonymity, self-sufficiency and self-governance. The Club and its

membership recognize and, subscribe to the principles of the fellowship of AA.

Nevertheless, the Club is a legal entity, organized under the laws of the District of

Columbia, its governance and operations are similar to any non-profit and thus while

it must abide by 12 step program principles and concepts, the Club, through its

Board, has an independent duty to undertake the oversight of the Club, with fiscal

prudence, fairness and a concern for the safe and effective operation of the Club

itself. To do this, the Club has set up a governing Board, for whom these bylaws

serve as a guide.

II. Membership.

Membership in the Westside Club is open to anyone with a desire to stop drinking or

using drugs, and individuals with other addictions, that follow 12 step recovery

principles. It may also include in its membership anyone else interested in recovery,

including family members and those affected by alcoholism or addiction, as well as

those involved in other 12-Step programs. Membership dues will be set by the

House Committee. Membership in the Club is not required to attend any 12-Step

meeting at the Club, however, only Club members may participate in Club elections

or Club governance.

III. Governance.

The Westside Club shall be governed by a Board (House Committee) which shall

consist of five (5) members in good standing and two (2) alternate non-voting

members in good standing. Members of the Committee will be elected annually for a

term of one year. Should there be a vacancy on the House Committee, the

committee may elect a qualified member to serve the remainder of the term. The

board shall elect a chairperson who will preside at House Committee meetings.

Public meetings of the House Committee shall be held quarterly and are open to the

general membership. The date of such public meetings will be posted on the Club

bulletin board and the Club website at least 15 days prior to such meetings. Regular

meetings may be called by the chairperson as required.

At least four members are required to be present in person, by telephone or by proxy

to conduct business. The Board is entitled to set time restrictions on meetings, to

direct the course of the meeting and the discussions within the meeting. The Board

shall insure that meetings are conducted in a civil environment In addition to

supporting the aims of AA, the primary objective of the House Committee is to keep

the Club safe, clean and solvent. Toward that end the Committee will be required to

produce a balanced calendar year budget by November 1st of each year and

maintain a reasonable and prudent reserve. The House Committee shall have the

authority to undertake all action necessary to such ends. Further, it may engage the

services of any individual or any other assistance necessary to support the functions

of the Club.

The House Committee may regulate the use of the Club and establish rules of

behavior for those using the Club. The House Committee may hear requests

concerning any person or group that uses the Club and may take such action

necessary to insure the goals of the Club and 12 step recovery are met. The

Committee may restrict or ban access to the Club for any period of time, or,

permanently, where the behavior of an individual or group threatens the safety of the

Club or its members, involves criminal or harassing behavior, violates the principles

and concepts of recovery, breaches the anonymity of a member of otherwise

requires. The Committee’s right to restrict or ban an individual or group as a result of

the foregoing supersedes the independent status of the 12 Step recovery meeting

groups using the Club.

IV. Nominations and Elections.

The annual election of House Committee members shall be held on the second

Sunday of December of each year commencing in December 2017. A nominating

committee of three (3) members shall be selected by the House Committee. The

names of the nominating committee shall be posted on the bulletin board of the Club

and the Club website at least 45 days prior to the date of the elections. The

nominating committee shall ensure that nominees are members of the Club, have at

least 2 years of sobriety and are willing to devote reasonable time and effort to the

Club (at least 6 hours of volunteer work each month excluding House Committee

meetings). The names of the eligible nominees will be posted on the Club bulletin

board and the Club website at least 30 days in advance of the elections. Ballots will

be mailed to each member. Any member may write in names at the time of the

voting. Should there be a tie vote, the House Committee members in office at the

time of the election shall vote to break the tie. Newly elected Committee members

will assume office at the time of the next public meeting of Club members.


V. Financial Management:

The House Committee is empowered to take all necessary steps to oversee the

accounts of the Club. This includes oversight of any bank or other accounts. Unless

designated in writing by the Board, no person may withdraw funds from any bank

account or financial account of the Club.

VI. Requests for House Committee Action:

Any member may submit a written request seeking action by the House Committee.

The House Committee may choose to accept or reject the request. Where the

request is accepted, it shall be included in the House Committee Agenda. The

decision of the House Committee shall be final.

VII. Administration.

A copy of the current bylaws of the Westside Club of Georgetown Inc. will be posted

on the Club website and will be made available to any Club member on request.

Amendments to the Bylaws must be approved by the majority of the House

Committee and ratified by a majority of Club members participating in the vote.