The name of the cooperative corporation is Duma
The goal of Duma is to promote cooperative
living by creating a household that serves as a model for
collective living. Duma seeks to promote the values of community,
ecological sustainability, diversity, egalitarianism, and
personal awareness. These values are described in detail in the
3.01. Member: A person who has been formally
accepted by other members, has signed a membership agreement, and
is residing on Duma property. They are entitled to full
participation and share legal authority for making all decisions
on behalf of the corporation, including the right to block
consensus on a decision.
3.02. Trial Member: A person that has been
formally accepted as a trial member, has signed a trial member
agreement, is going through the membership process, and is
residing on Duma property. They are encouraged to participate in
the decision-making process, however, they do not have legal
authority to make decisions on behalf of the corporation. They do
not have the right to block a consensus decision.
3.03. Renter: A person that has been formally
accepted as a renter, has signed a rental agreement, and is
residing on Duma property. They may or may not be going through
the membership process. They are encouraged to participate in the
decision-making process, however, they do not have legal
authority to make decisions on behalf of the corporation. They do
not have the right to block a consensus decision.
3.04. Membership Meeting: A meeting open to all
Duma members at which decisions regarding membership, purchase of
property, changes in by-laws, and any other matters which the
membership deems important may be made.
3.05. Consensus: The process used to make
decisions. See Appendix.
3.06. Regular Consensus Decision: A decision
reached by the consensus process by a quorum of members at an
appropriately posted membership meeting. Only those members at a
meeting have authority to make regular consensus decisions on
behalf of Duma. Members not present at the meeting need not be
3.07. All Member Consensus Decision: A decision
reached by the consensus process of a quorum of the members at a
membership meeting and which all members not present at that
meeting must be given an opportunity to support, stand aside, or
3.08. Consensus Minus One Decision: A decision
used exclusively for issues related to expulsion which functions
like an all member consensus decision but excludes the individual
whose expulsion is being considered.
3.09. Duma Property: Any land that is owned,
rented, or leased by the Duma .
3.10. Anticipated Duma Property: Duma property
that has already been purchased or rented but that does not yet
have over one half of the expected members living in it; or, the
one house or apartment that is considered to be the most likely
next Duma House.
3.11. Residency Period: The period during which
Duma members live in a Duma house. The period starts when over
one half of the anticipated members of the house have moved into
it (see Section IV). The period ends when the number of resident
members in a Duma house drops below 3 people.
3.12. Non-Residency Period: A period during
which Duma members are not living in a Duma house. The first
non-residency period started when Duma incorporated. All other
non-residency periods start when the number of resident members
in a Duma house drops below 3 (see section 5.10). Non-residency
periods end when over one half of the anticipated residents of a
house have moved into a new Duma house.
3.13. Personal Living Area: An area Duma has
agreed to designate as a specific individual’s personal living
4.10. Governing Body. Duma shall be run by the
members . Positions include Facilitator (President), Note-taker
(Secretary), and Treasurer. Additional positions may be created
as necessary. Length of service for these positions will be
determined by the members.
4.20. Decision Making Authority. Decisions
reserved to the member are those dealing with membership,
disposition and acquisition of assets, by-laws, articles of
incorporation, agreements (policies), dissolution and any other
matters which the member deems necessary to decide upon.
4.30. Decision Making Process. The following
decisions must be made by an all-member consensus decision:
decisions regarding purchase and sale of property over $1000,
taking on of debt over $1000, accepting members, amending the
articles of incorporation or bylaws, and dissolving the
corporation. Decisions regarding expulsion of a member must be
made by a consensus minus one decision (see definitions ). All
other decisions are to be made by a regular consensus decision.
4.30. All Member Consensus Decision Contact
Procedure. After a decision has been made on an issue that
requires an all-member consensus decision, the members present at
the meeting must make a reasonable attempt to contact each member
not present and to ask each person for written notice of support,
stand aside, or block. If successfully contacted the member who
was not present at the meeting has 7 days from the time of
contact to give written notice of support, stand aside, or block.
After the 7 days have passed the individual loses the right to
support, stand aside, or block the decision.
4.50. Mediation. If Duma has been unable to
resolve a conflict by the conflict resolution process for a
period of 30 days, Duma will hire a professional mediator to
assist in conflict resolution. If the mediation process fails to
resolve the conflict within 14 days the Duma may resolve the
matter by a 2/3 vote of all legal members. This vote must take
place at a quorum meeting.
4.60. Proxy. Any member that does not attend a
meeting may submit their thoughts or feelings about a matter by
dating and signing a written statement and leaving it with the
facilitator in advance of a meeting. The members at the meeting
are expected, but not required, to take these thoughts and
feelings into consideration when making decisions.
4.70. Quorum. Two-thirds of the membership
constitutes a quorum for decision-making at any meeting.
4.80. Meeting Times. Meetings will be held at
regularly as determined by the members. During non-residency
periods all members must be notified of the meeting time and
place in advance. During a residency period notice for all
membership meeting time must be posted at least two days in
4.90. Conflict Resolution. Members will make
themselves available for conflict resolution on personal matters
between members at the request or with the consent of those
involved in conflict as described in the conflict resolution
process (See Appendix)
4.95. Interpretation of Agreements. If an
agreement is confusing or subject to interpretation, the members
will follow any precedent that has been set regarding the
agreement. If no precedent has been set, members will try to
determine the intention of the agreement using minutes from
meetings and personal recollection.
¤5 TRANSITION BETWEEN NON-RESIDENCY AND
5.10. Transition from Non-Residency to
Residency. During a non-residency period Duma will keep a list of
all members who have:
A) Been accepted for residency in the
anticipated Duma house.
B) The residency period will begin when over
one half of the individuals on this list have signed a membership
agreement, moved into the anticipated Duma house, and paid the
agreed upon fees.
5.20. Transition from Residency to
Non-Residency. Any time the number of resident members in a Duma
house falls below three people, or any time there is not a Duma
house to live in, the non-residency period automatically begins.
6.10. Membership During Residency Periods
6.11. Members Members consist of all
A) have been accepted as members by an all
member consensus decision.
B) are residing on Duma property .
C) have not been expelled or voluntarily
terminated their membership.
6.12. Acceptance. Acceptance as a member will
be determined by an all member consensus decision. Members will
use criteria to determine whether a potential member should be
accepted as a member. (See Appendix.) Membership in Duma will not
start until the individual has signed a membership agreement, has
paid agreed upon fees, and has moved into the personal living
space designated to him/her.
6.14. Non-Discrimination. Membership will not
be categorically denied on the basis of race, religion, gender,
age, sexual preference, cultural or class background,
able-bodiedness, parental status or marital status. Duma may,
however, give preference to potential members who will enhance
diversity. Duma also endeavors to avoid the influence of personal
biases in the selection of new members.
A) Automatic. An individual’s membership is
automatically terminated when they move out of the Duma house. An
individual shall be considered “moved out” when they
are no longer sleeping in and have moved most of their belongings
out of their personal living area. As soon as a member has a debt
with Duma that is equivalent to 15 days worth of fees, that
person’s membership is automatically terminated and must move out
of the house immediately. If a member is unable to pay their fees
because of personal hardship the members are expected to, but not
legally bound to, attempt to arrange financial assistance. Duma
may not extend credit or forgive debt to any person living on
B) Expulsion. A member may be expelled by a
consensus minus one decision. The members of Duma may require by
a consensus minus one decision that the member who is being
considered for expulsion be compelled to leave Duma property
until the issue of expulsion is resolved.
C) Voluntary. If a person wishes to terminate
their membership by any means other than by automatic termination
or expulsion they she/he must give written notice.
6.16. Temporary Relinquishment of Membership. A
legal member may voluntarily and temporarily give up their
membership for up to 45 days. To do so, they must sign and date a
statement stating for how many days they will be voluntarily and
temporarily relinquishing membership. During that period, the
member may not block consensus and will not be counted as a
member when a quorum is determined. At the end of the voluntary
and temporary relinquishment period, the individual automatically
6.17 Leave of Absence. Members may request to
take a Leave of Absence in accordance with the Leave of Absence
agreement. (See Appendix)
6.20. Membership During Other Non-Residency
6.21. Membership. During the last three months
of a residency period the members may determine who the initial
members during the next non-residency period will be. If no such
arrangement has been made the initial membership during the
non-residency period will consist of all individuals who had been
members of Duma during the last 30 days of the residency period
and had not been expelled.
6.22. Admission. New members may be admitted by
an all member consensus decision.
6.23. Expulsion. A member may be expelled by a
consensus minus one decision.
7 RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
7.10. Provisions. The operation of the
cooperative during a residency period will include the provision
of food, warmth and shelter to the members in exchange for the
regular payment of fees and an equitable share of the duties and
responsibilities necessary for sustaining the household as
detailed in the membership agreement. (See Appendix)
7.20. Membership Responsibilities. It is the
responsibility of members to make agreements (policies) that
further the goals of the Duma and to ensure that all members,
trial members, renters, and any employees of Duma uphold their
7.30. Equality. The rights and responsibilities
of legal members is equal with one exception: members who are
being considered for expulsion do not have the right to
participate in the decision to expel.
7.40. Transfer of Membership. Membership is not
8.10. Financial Authority. The membership has
authority to purchase, own and hold real and personal property
and to mortgage this property, to borrow money, execute notes and
to undertake other obligations as necessary to accomplish the
goals of the cooperative.
8.20. Dedication of Earnings and Assets. The
net earnings, properties, and assets of Duma are dedicated to
benefit Duma. Any funds accumulated in excess of budgeted
reserves will be returned to Duma to expand facilities or
services or for other purposes consistent with these by-laws.
8.30. Authorization of Debt. The membership may
authorize individuals to incur debt on behalf of Duma.
Expenditures and debts over $1000 may only be authorized by an
all-member consensus decision.
8.40. Non-Liability. No member of Duma is
individually liable for the debts, liabilities, or obligations of
Duma. Duma is not liable for the debts, liabilities, or
obligations of members on Duma property.
8.50. Records. Current and correct financial
records will be kept. Minutes will be taken at all meetings. Any
member may inspect these records, and minutes at any time.
8.60. Reports. Duma will prepare an annual
financial report within four months of the closing of Duma’s
fiscal year. It will report the following information about the
previous fiscal year: 1) Assets and liabilities; 2) Revenue and
accounts receivable 3) Expenses and accounts payable.
8.70. Budget. A budget designed to maintain the
long-term financial stability of Duma will be prepared and
8.80. Fees. Fees will be based on the budget
and written fee agreements.
8.90. Limited Equity. Return of equity is
limited and is not subject to the market value of Duma property.
No member shall receive a return of equity greater than the
amount they contributed financially towards the purchase
(principal) of Duma property.
9.10. Dissolution Process. The membership may
decide to dissolve the corporation by an all member consensus
decision. In the event of dissolution, the assets of the Duma
must be sold or their possession transferred so as to satisfy any
debts owed by Duma . The sale and/or transfer of possession of
any Duma property will proceed according to the conditions
spelled out in any contracts Duma has entered into that are still
in effect. The decision to dissolve may not be effective until
the assets of the corporation have been sold or given away.
Money from any sales must be disbursed in the
1) First, any debts that were secured in
exchange for an interest in Duma property must be fully
2) If any money remains, any debts that were
not secured in exchange for an interest in Duma property must be
3) All remaining money or assets will be
distributed to a foundation not-for profit organization, or
non-profit corporation which is organized to promote cooperative
9.20. Return of Equity. In the event of a
dissolution, no past or present members are entitled to any thus
far unpaid return of equity.
These by-laws may be amended by an all-member
¤11 DATE OF APPROVAL
These bylaws were approved on September th,