We processed over 40 proposed enactments to the Rotary International Constitution, Bylaws and Rotary Club constitution in the first full day of Rotary’s Council on Legislation in Chicago. While most proposals involved minor changes in wording of Rotary’s Object of Rotary and Avenues of Service which failed, several interesting proposals were accepted.

After the first 17  were rejected by the Council, an impassioned presentation by a delegation from India resulted in the addition of the phrase “Each club shall endeavor to build a well-balanced membership that celebrates diversity” to the Bylaws defining membership.

An amendment to  the Standard Rotary Club Constitution  passed which limits club presidents to two consecutive terms in office.  Later in the morning Council members approved a change in the Rotary International Bylaws which allows for make-ups from absences to be accepted within the same Rotary year.  Prior to that, make-ups would have to be posted  within two weeks

Another change in the Bylaws removed the exclusion of holders of public office as club members.

Following the sudden death of RI President-Elect Sam Owori last year, the RI Board proposed a simplified procedure for selecting a replacement should this occur in the future.  The Council passed a change in the Bylaws which will allow the selection of a replacement from the pool of candidates already considered.  Later on another Bylaws change was approved that prevents the selection of an RI President from the same country in two consecutive years.

A final proposal that would require candidates for district governor to have served as assistant governor or district chair failed by only six votes (255 to 249) after extended debate.

The Council reconvenes this morning with about 70 additional proposals to be considered before the sessions end on Thursday.

PDG Mike Forney
District 5440 Council on Legislation Representative