October 10th, 2016
By Stephanie Steiner
There is a lot of social media chatter this afternoon about the change to Article 8. The Alliance Council has had a procedure in place to recognize Supporter Groups since the very first set of Bylaws was written: Bylaw 7. Pasted below is the archive copy from 2011. We also have the original form that Supporter Groups filled out, also pasted. What’s different today is that this was acknowledged in the corresponding article. We’re not opposed to creating a different system. We support fan involvement in the conversation, and a systematic method that is fair. Right now, this responsibility IS on our plate, and has been since 2011. Changing the system means writing an updated version of Bylaw 7, which is why it was acknowledged in the Constitution. The one below has already been updated – please see the notes below.
BYLAW 7. SUPPORTER GROUP RECOGNITION
Supporter groups are an integral part of the Sounders community and gameday experience. As such, the Alliance wants to encourage the growth of existing groups as well as the formation of new groups.
The relationship between supporter groups, the Alliance, and the Club, has a unique nature. As such, it benefits all of these parties to have a set of minimum standards for groups to attain, demonstrating their commitment.
Therefore, for formal recognition as a supporter group, groups must meet the following standards:
- At least 25 identified, paid members
- Identified group leadership who are responsible for coordination and can speak on behalf of the group
- Organized participation as a group in activities like songs, chants, tifo, etc.
- Established history of conducting supporter group activities for the Sounders
- Have registered articles of incorporation with their local state
Supporter groups may apply to the Council for recognition, and the Council will invite the leaders of the group to a Council Meeting for discussion prior to a vote.
A majority vote of all Council members present is required for recognition.
Supporter groups may annually request renewal of their recognition from the Council; renewal is automatic (assuming it is requested).
Recognition may be withdrawn by the Council with a two-thirds vote of all Council members present and voting at a Council Meeting; such votes will always be taken with at least one month’s notice to the supporter group in question. <- this is the biggest part that caused issue and needed to be updated: 2/3 vote of members present: what about meeting Quorum? We’ve had meetings with as few as eight people in attendance- this meant six could eliminate a Supporter Group. What about having cause to do so? Isn’t that important? Shouldn’t the group in question be granted the time to speak on their own behalf? We think so.