The Southwest Coalition for Substance Abuse Issues

Coalition Bylaws

January 2012


The name of this organization shall be the Southwest Coalition for Substance Abuse Issues.  Herein, this will be referred to as the Southwest Coalition or SWC.

Historically, the boundaries of the SWC roughly covered the southwest counties of metro Chicago.  Today, membership is open to any provider or individual who has a vested interest in the values of the SWC.


The mission of the SWC is to maintain a network of publicly and privately-funded treatment, community-based prevention providers, recovery homes and sober living environment houses offering the highest quality services.  Through collaboration and education, the SWC stays abreast of current issues in the substance abuse field and advocates for sound public policy among local, state, and national policy makers.

Specifically, the SWC:

  1. Conducts a monthly meeting open to all agencies, organizations, or individuals who provide or receive such services.
  2. Establishes a format by which the membership may communicate on common concerns.
  3. Aides one another in areas of organization, public policy, finance, clinical and preventative techniques, research information, etc.
  4. Advocates for a full spectrum of services for clients and communities while seeking to prevent duplication of services.
  5. Provides clinical, preventative, recovery and other factual information to membership, the field in general, and the community.
  6. Elects a liaison person to sit on other groups when their activities pertain to the mission of the SWC.




  1. President:  The monthly meetings shall be conducted by the president who will be responsible for providing an agenda.  At the request of the membership, the president will write a letter of support to new providers and present a copy of the letter at the next meeting.  The President shall not vote except in cases of tie.  The President shall also be an ex-officiary member of all committees, except the Nominating Committee.
  2. Vice President:  The Vice President will have the responsibilities of chairing whenever the president is not present, as well as to assist in running the meeting.  The Vice President will also assist in other responsibilities of the President.
  3. Secretary:  A secretary will be responsible for taking and distributing minutes of each meeting prior to the next meeting. The Secretary also is responsible for gathering and providing information, including the minutes, to be placed on the website.
  4. Treasurer:  A treasurer shall be responsible for the collection of dues and any monies that are generated by the SWC.  The monies shall be maintained in a bank account.  The yearend operating budget must be submitted to the President and to the membership for approval to open the upcoming fiscal year (July 1 through June 30).  The President and the treasurer shall be authorized to make withdrawals and deposits.  Primary responsibility lies with the treasurer.  In the absence of both the president and the vice president, the treasurer shall conduct the meeting.
  5. Meeting Structure:  Meetings shall rotate among member organizations and be held on the 3rd Tuesday monthly.  The meeting shall consist of a one-hour educational presentation beginning at 10:00 a.m. and a one-hour business meeting beginning at 11:00 a.m.  A two-hour Annual Meeting shall be held in May at which time the election is held, the next fiscal year budget is voted upon and year-in-review is conducted.
  6. Elections:  A nominating committee will be elected by the membership in the month of February to produce a slate of candidates.  With prior consent from the nominated individuals, nominees shall be announced at the April meeting.  Elections will be conducted by ballot at the May Annual Meeting.  New officers will assume responsibility on July 1.
  7. Committees:
  • Education Committee: This committee’s primary responsibility will be to develop workshops and conferences and update the website accordingly. Education Committee is responsible for soliciting member organizations to host and provide educational presenters for the monthly meetings.  The committee is responsible for obtaining CEU’s, disseminating and collecting evaluations, and providing certificates.  No organization or individual will be eligible for CEU’s unless dues are paid.
  • Nominating Committee: see Elections
  • Community Legislative Forum Committee: Keeps the coalition informed of local, regional, and statewide advocacy issues facing the substance abuse field and oversees the organization and presentation of annual legislative forums.  A legislative forum is a community gathering of members of the community, advocates, providers, and elected officials to discuss substance use issues.
  • Donation Committee: Makes contributions to local organizations on an annual basis in recognition of the promotion and well-being of individuals and communities around substance use prevention and treatment and awards an education scholarship to one individual for his or her effort to advance educationally in spite of a history of substance-related problems.
  • Rally ‘Round Recovery Committee: Oversees the organization and presentation of the annual National Recovery Month event.
  • Ad Hoc Committees:  These committees shall be formed and dissolved by membership present during monthly meeting on an as needed basis and may be time/duty limited or of an indefinite duration.

8. Vacancies:  A vacancy consists of an officer who voluntarily withdraws or an officer who fails to perform the duties of the office.  In the event an officer withdraws, the president will appoint an acting officer.  In the event of an officer who fails to perform his/her duties, the president will determine if action needs to be taken including, but not limited to, replacing the officer.  In the event that the president fails to meet his/her obligation, the vice president will perform the duties of the president including those mentioned above.

9. Membership / Voting:  There will be organizational and individual memberships.  Each member organization and each individual member are entitled to one vote, as long as they are current with their dues. Any organization with multiple representatives will need to declare which person will be voting prior to the vote. If any of these persons are also an individual member, they have the right to vote, as an individual, if another person from the member organization is the declared voting representative. A representative of an organization cannot vote as a representative and an individual member for the same vote. The outcome on votes shall be determined by a simple majority of those present. The president has the right to table any vote until all members can be informed of the impending vote.

10. By laws:  These bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting by a two-thirds majority of the membership.  Any changes to the bylaws must be presented for review to all members at least 30 days prior to any vote to change.

11. Dues:  Dues will be $20 per individual and $50 per organization annually payable by the anniversary date of their membership. Members not paying by this date will have a 60 day grace period to pay in full. They will receive a notice at 30 days past due indicating that they will have 30 additional days to either pay their membership dues or request an extension. Memberships not paid in full by the 60 day grace period date or any extension given will be terminated.

12. Dissolution:  Upon dissolution of the SWC, any funds in the treasury shall be donated to an organization(s) doing substance abuse prevention and/or treatment work in the area served by the SWC.  The organization(s) to be selected by a vote of the membership.

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