PEOPLE FIRST OF OHIO By-Laws (adopted 7/1/20)


Article 1:     Name

The name of this organization will be People First of Ohio.


Article 2:     Purpose

People First of Ohio exists as a Self-Advocacy association, organized and run by advocates with disabilities to provide training and support to local self-advocacy chapters, and advocate on local, state and federal issues affecting disability policy and procedure.


Article 3:     Non-Profit                       

People First of Ohio will be a non-profit organization and will follow all laws for non-profit organizations. No officer/board member will be paid for their service as a member of the Board.


Article 4:     Definition of a Chapter                       

A chapter is an organization of people with developmental disabilities located in the State of Ohio; is recognized by People First of Ohio; and has at least ten (10) members.                    

Membership is open to individuals with developmental disabilities who have paid dues to People First of Ohio directly or through their local chapter.


Article 5.   Membership Meetings

The membership will meet at least once each year, at a time and place determined by the Board of Directors.                      

A special meeting of the membership may be called when at least five (5) local chapters sign a letter addressed to the President asking for a meeting. Notice of special meetings must be sent at least two (2) weeks in advance.


Article 6:     Board of Directors/Leadership                    

Each local People First Chapter shall annually elect one representative to serve as a Chapter Representative, as well as electing an Alternate Representative (See Article 10).

These representatives will elect a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer to form the Executive Committee, and three Regional Board Members to form the entire board (Board of Directors).

Election of Executive Committee and Board will occur at the Annual Membership Meeting on even numbered years, and their 2-year term will begin immediately following election.


Article 7:     Board Meetings                   

The Board of Directors will meet four (4) times per year or as often as needed.


Article 8:     Duties of the Board

  1.   The Board of Directors will represent the membership of People First of Ohio and will have all the power and responsibility of running the organization between membership meetings.
  2.   The Board may hire a staff person, list his/her responsibilities and evaluate his/her performance.


Article 9:     Executive Committee                 

The Executive Committee will include the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Immediate Past-President. They will have the power of the Board of Directors between the meetings of the Board.

A member must have served at least one year on the Board of Directors or as a Chapter Representative to be eligible for election as an officer on the Executive Committee.

All candidates for the Exec. Committee must be present at the annual meeting to be eligible for election OR submit a written statement indicating that he/she will be willing to serve if elected.


Article 10:  Representative Alternates

Each chapter shall annually elect an Alternate to represent the chapter on the Board of Directors in the event that the elected representative is not able to attend or continue to participate. 


Article 11:   Terms of Office

The Officers (President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer) and Board of Directors will serve a two (2) year term of office beginning immediately following their election.                    

No officer will be elected to the same position for more than one (1) consecutive term.


Article 12:   Removal from Office                       

A member of the Board of Directors may be removed from the Board by two-thirds (2/3) vote of those present at a board meeting, for any of the following reasons:

  1.   Missing two (2) board meetings in one year without an excused absence.
  2.   Unwilling or unable to perform the job of a board member.


Article 13:   Amendments/Changes

Proposed amendment(s) to these By-Laws must be presented in writing to the Board of Directors by an officer or by a local chapter in good standing.  At its next regular meeting or sooner at a special meeting called for that purpose, the Board of Directors will review the proposed amendments(s) recommend its adoption, rejection, or change.

The proposed amendment(s) along with the Board recommendation will be mailed to each local chapter and member at least sixty (60) days before the next Annual meeting, or before a special meeting called earlier for that purpose and will be voted on at the meeting.

A two-thirds (2/3) vote of the returned ballots will be required for adoption.  The ballot shall indicate the time and date at which voting is closed.


Article 14:   Advisors

The Board of Directors shall choose People First of Ohio State Advisors to assist with all matters of the board.  The Board will elect at minimum four (4) Advisors.  The Advisors will serve in an advisory capacity only and will not have a vote in any matter.  Advisors will be elected during the election of Board/Leadership (see Article 6).

Article 15:   Robert’s Rules of Order

The Rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, will govern People First of Ohio, the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee and all other committees in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not in conflict with these By-Laws or Special Rules of Order of People First of Ohio.