Sunday, September 11, 2011


After the break are proposed bylaws for the San Diego Skunks MPC. Please vote for approval or discuss revisions in the comments. I reworked them from a successful motorcycle gang's bylaws.

It looks like a lot of stuff, but in a nutshell, the only thing it asks us to do that we aren't doing already is have a monthly meeting. Mostly it clarifies questions about how one becomes a member, how decisions are made, expectations of behavior (most of which we already do), etc. The big selling point is that it democratizes the gang - it formalizes the principles that day-to-day decisions are made collaboratively by a group of elected representatives, and contested decisions are decided by popular vote. This prevents the emergence of a dictator, and prevents conflicts between members from pulling the group apart: if you disagree with someone, vote that way, instead of not hanging out or whatever.

Skunks MPC is a moped club and a non-profit organization. Secretary and Treasurer are elected officers, along with two additional elected officers-at-large. All others are appointed by the council with a confidence vote from members in good standing required.
The executive duties of the officers as a whole (council) are as follows:

  1. To judge items not covered in the constitution or in the rules regulations.
    1. Authority is given to the officers to judge items not in the constitution.
  2. To represent the club in any club business contacts and to supervise major economic transactions.
  3. To assist DBMC officers in the interpretation of their club responsibilities, and to promote club life among members in general.
  4. The monitoring of conflicts within the club.
  5. The application of disciplinary procedures including the levying of fines to be paid into the club's treasury.
  6. The evaluation of prospects and their progress.
  7. The presentation of summarized assessments of the overall club situation to the membership (court).

The executive duties of the secretary are as follows:
  1. To record and safeguard the minutes of the club meetings.
  2. To maintain the Club Constitution, recording any additions, deletions, or modifications.
  3. To handle any club correspondence.

The executive duties of the treasurer are as follows:
  1. To monitor and record the club's income and expenditures.
  2. To collect the dues and fines owing by members.

The Road Captain is appointed by the council. Executive duties of the road captain are as follows:
  1. To plan the travel routes and organize the basic itinerary of the club prior to going on a 'run' (tour).
  2. To lead the club in formation while riding on tour.
  3. To enforce club rules and procedures for group riding.
  4. Designate a maintenance supervisor for all club vehicles.

The executive duties of the sergeant at arms are as follows:
  1. To maintain order at club meetings in particular, and club activities in general.
  2. To ensure that members adhere to club rulings, policies, and expected models of conduct when dealing with other members or outsiders.
  3. To defend club members, property, or territory from outside threats.

Court will consist of all members that are eligible to vote.

Officers of the club serve a twelve-month term of office, annual elections are held at the last regular meeting of the year, in December.
  1. In order to be eligible for office, a member has to have been an active member in good standing for a minimum of one year.
  2. Members who aspire towards a particular position will campaign informally for one month prior to the elections.
  3. Electioneering is conducted on an interpersonal face to face basis.
  4. Hopeful candidate will approach a member, inform them what he is willing to stand for office if nominated, ask for member's opinion of his/her qualifications, and solicit the member's support.
  1. One organized meeting per month.
    1. Meeting to be held second Friday of the month, the night before the public ride.
  2. Majority rules.
  3. If a vote is taken at a meeting and a member is not there, his/her vote is void.
  4. Meetings will be closed except for prospective members and anyone there on business.
  5. All meetings will be run on a parliamentary basis. Members will be evicted for unruly conduct.
  6. Quorum for a meeting is sixty percent of membership and eighty percent for membership votes.
  7. Everyone will attend the meeting on his/her bike if it is favorable weather, unless his/her bike is broken down or not running at the time.
    1. If the club calls a ride/meeting, all members will attend. If a member is working, sick, bike not running, he will be excused.
    2. However, if a Skunk repeatedly uses work as an excuse for not 'being there,' he/she will be 'talked to'.
  8. Members must be sober when attending meetings.
    1. If a member attends a meeting and is fouled-up, he will be FINED.
  9. There will be absolutely no booze or drugs consumed during meetings.
  10. During a meeting there will be no talking among members until they get the floor.
    1. A sergeant-at-arms, if not present, will be appointed and anyone not abiding by the above will be evicted.
  11. Miss three (3) meetings in a row and you're out of the club.
  12. Members must attend meetings to leave club and turn in his/her headlight sticker.
  13. If a member is thrown out of the club or quits without attending meetings, he loses his/her colors, moped, and anything else that says Skunks on it, and probably an ass kicking.

Membership qualifications/ Prospects
  1. Prospects must be at least 18 years old.
  2. Prospects must have a moped (with pedals).
  3. Prospects must show a sincere interest in club and bikes.
  4. Prospects on the road with bike equipped for the road.
  5. Prospect must be sponsored by one member who has known him at least one year.
    1. One year” requirement may be waived by vote.
  6. Sponsor is responsible for prospect.
  7. Sponsor can pull sponsorship at his/her discretion.
  8. Prospects must attend all meetings and club functions.
  9. Prospects must do anything another member tells him to do, that a member has done or would be willing to do himself.
  10. Prospect will stand behind club and members.
  11. No stealing from prospects.
  12. Prospect must ride his/her bike to meeting at time of being voted into club.
  13. Prospect must demonstrate proficiency with his/her moped
  14. Prospect members must be voted in. Two 'no' votes equal a rejection. One 'no' vote must be explained.
  15. Prospective member's prospecting period is at the discretion of sponsor and the club. The council shall decide when vote is necessary.
  16. Every full Skunk must vote for prospect to receive headlight sticker and become full member. Vote must be unanimous.
  17. No prospect will be voted for full membership with an outstanding loan.
  18. Only the sponsor or an officer may hand out a headlight sticker to a prospect. This will be done at a meeting with only members present.

The rules of the club will be strictly enforced. If anyone breaks them, the council will deal with them. If these rules and regulations are broken, it could mean either immediate dismissal or suspension, whatever the council sees fit.

Breaking any of the following Rules will be reason for immediately kick-out from club and probably an Ass Kicking:
  1. There will be no stealing among members. Anyone caught will get an ass kicking and be kicked out of the club (Automatic kick-out from club).
  2. If a member or prospect throws his/her colors or quits, headlight sticker is pulled (Automatic kick-out from club).
    1. In other words, if you quit, you're out; no changing your mind.
  3. Members cannot belong to any other moped clubs.
  4. If a group or individual attacks any member, the whole club shall stand behind him and fight if necessary.
    1. If, however, the member is drunk and aggressive and purposely starts an argument, the rest of the members will escort him away, or step between before trouble starts.
    2. If, despite the best efforts of all Skunks present, such a situation comes to blows, all Skunks must try to intervene and stop it at, but will not necessarily be expected to fight. No Skunk may stand idly by while another fights, even if the one fighting is being a jackass. You must either be backing him up or breaking it up.
  5. No member will disgrace the club by being yellow. (The above rules will be put forward to applicants. If they cannot abide by these rules and are not in favor of them, they will be denied membership to the club.)
  6. No member will destroy club property purposely.
  7. No member will take the attitude that he doesn't have to help other members and other members don't have to help him
  8. No member will go against anything the club has voted for and passed.
  9. No member will get together on their own and plan something for themselves on club rides. It will be brought up to the whole club and the whole club will participate in anything that is decided upon.
  10. The club will try to stay together on rides, runs, parties, field meets etc. and will not fraternize with club's rival clubs. If a member wishes to leave the main group he should notify the officers or whoever is in charge. When the time comes that the majority feels it is time to leave, we will all leave together. Anyone staying behind for a good reason will do so at his/her own risk and can expect no help.
  11. Members will have good attendance. Members must have a good reason for not attending meetings or rides, such as working, sickness, no transportation, and bike not running.

General Rules
If anyone breaks general rules, executive board will deal with them and/or voted by the court.
  1. If you are told by any Officer you are too drunk to drive, you will turn over your keys to a brother.
    1. Only one officer's say is required: even if other officers disagree, a single officer's say grounds you for the night.
    2. Clarification: This rule applies to Officers themselves.
    3. Although the club will work together to ensure that a grounded member and his bike are taken care of, this responsibility ultimately rests with the Officer who grounds the member.
      1. A grounding officer's responsibilities include, but are not limited to: *Providing transportation home to the grounded member. *Ensuring that grounded member's moped is secure for the night. *If grounded member's moped is secured away from home, seeing that it is returned home as early as possible the next day, and before work if the grounded member needs it for transportation. This responsibility may be waived by the grounded member at his discretion.
    4. If a member thinks another member is too drunk to drive, he should bring it up to an officer to make a judgement on the matter.
  2. Brother shall not fight each other with weapons; when any Skunk fights another Skunk, it is one on one, prospects same as members. FINE: $100.00 for breaking above rule or possible loss of headlight sticker.
  3. If you don't help out the Club in its activities and you use the Club solely for your benefit, you will be warned. No second chance.
  4. Do as you say or walk the line.
  5. Skunks losing privilege of rocking a headlight sticker will also lose privilege of voting and ruling over prospects.
  6. The treasurer shall keep a clear record of all money paid in and out during the week and will balance it before every meeting; the books will be gone over once a week.
  7. All Skunks fines will be paid within 30 days. Fines will be paid to the treasurer.
  8. Members with extra parts will loan them to members. They must be replaced or paid for.
  9. If you get busted and or go to jail, notify an officer or member so he can arrange for your bail.
  10. In the event of dispute, where we go on our rides will be voted upon by the entire membership.
  11. Everyone must have a moped with operable pedals. Consideration will be give to any member who is in between bikes but he must sincerely intend to get another bike in the near future.
  12. If a member's bike is not running for a period of thirty days, unless he is in jail or hospital, his/her sticker will be confiscated. A member's bike must be running for at least one week (e.g., not fifteen minutes), to be exempt from the above rule. This period is subject to change at the discretion of the executive board. This is a moped club!
  13. Confirmation vote is required for all new patch-holders at their 12-month point.
    1. Unanimous vote from all good standing members is required.
  14. Absolutely no talking about Club business to persons outside the Club. No talking about Club business over any telephone.
  15. If the Road Captain or an Officer determines your bike is unsafe to ride, you are grounded until it is safe.
  16. All loaners will be returned with all fluids full and in good condition. Maintenance on club-property loaners will be done under the supervision of the maintenance supervisor; a member designated by the Road Captain.
  17. There shall be a wrecking crew consisting of the Sergeant at Arms, the Junior Member, and whomever the Senior Member may designate. The purpose of the wrecking crew is to check out bars, etc. prior to entry by Officers or Senior Patch.
  18. Prospects will watch all bikes when members are at Club functions, in bars, and anywhere the senior member present deems necessary.
  19. There will be a Club run on the second saturday once a month. Whoever picks the run route will lead the pack.


  1. Members should make their best efforts to get legal, in the following order of priority:
    1. Helmet.
    2. Plates for your moped.
    3. Registration in your name.
    4. M1/M2 license.
    5. Insurance (yeah, it's technically required.)
  2. If you get busted riding dirty, the Skunks are under no obligation to help you out, unless you are on a loaner. (Even then, if you get a ticket for riding without a license, it's your bad luck for catching a cop who knows that)
  3. When riding in a swarm, if a cop starts following us, STAY TOGETHER. If they try to pull us over, one person pulls over while the rest KEEP RIDING. Get to a good stopping place out of sight, stop and wait for the pulled-over person to call. Stop in the following order. If you pull over and they pass you and keep following the swarm, the next person in the list stops:
    1. Anyone with busted lights.
    2. Someone who is 100% clean, including motorcycle license.
    3. Prospects.
    4. General members.
    5. The Road Captain.
    6. Officers.

Currently, there are no requirements of dues. However, at such a time as the club grows to the point where dues seem appropriate, the following dues section may be activated by a simple vote of the council. Input on amount of dues will be sought from general membership, but the ruling of the council is final. Be aware when joining, there might (will) be dues!
  1. Club dues will be paid each month, due by the first.
  2. Two months overdue is the limit.
  3. They are $xx.xx per month and $xxx.xx yearly.
  4. Dues will be $xx.xx per month payable every meeting or every second meeting.
  5. Annual Dues of $xxx.xx will be paid 1 October.
  6. Upon failure of paying dues within two weeks, member shall be suspended and turn in his/her sticker.
  7. If within two months dues still aren't paid, the sticker will be forfeited to pay them and member will no longer be considered a member. The only exception to this shall be if a member is in jail or if he is out of town for a period of time. If he is in jail, dues won't be expected, but if he is out of town dues will be paid when he returns.
  8. All loans or debts will be secured by collateral. Members will agree upon payment. Two members must be present in any personal loan transaction.

  1. Respect is to be shown to all club members, officers, members, members', bikes, significant others, house, job, etc. In other words, if it's not yours, Don't Mess with it.
  2. Respect your colors.
  3. No stealing from members.
  4. No fighting among each other is allowed, any punches to be thrown will be done by the Sgt At Arms.
    1. But see general rule #2

Colors are optional. If a full stickered member wants colors, he/she must provide his/her own denim jacket and a full can each of black and white spray paint. If a member has colors, they become synonymous with the headlight sticker. They remain property of the club, can be revoked or suspended, &c. If you have colors, you should wear them to meetings, rides, &c. if possible.

  1. When a member leaves club, member turns over colors to the council.
  2. Respect your colors; don't let anyone take them from you except the council.
  3. No colors are worn in a cage, except during funerals and loading or unloading a bike from a truck.
  4. Nothing will be worn on the back of your jacket except colors.
  5. Only one of your brothers or your significant other can babysit your colors. If patch is lost or stolen, member will be judged by court.
  6. The only way a member of Skunks can retire and keep his/her patch is if local officers authorize him. Minimum time for retirement is 5 years.

Significant Others
  1. Don't fuck around with a brother's significant other. (Probably an Ass Kicking and kick-out from club).
  2. Members are responsible for their significant others.
  3. Members may not discuss club business with their significant other.
  4. No significant others allowed at meetings.


  1. I already have a suggestion for an addition:

    1. To the extent that it doesn't interfere with paying work or working on his/her own moped, members should work together to fix broken bikes.
    1. This is not intended to make the most skilled mechanics into everyone else's slaves, but it is intended to officially recognize that it is in the community's best interest for everyone to have a running moped.
    2. The owner of a moped which is being worked on must be present to assist and learn. Once your moped gets fixed, you should be able to fix the same problem when it happens to someone else!
    3. This section may not be used to demand free work from a member. Any Skunk may decline to offer mechanical assistance to anyone. However, if a member consistently refuses to participate in fix-its, he/she may be fined.

  2. Nice:

    "it formalizes the principles that day-to-day decisions are made collaboratively by a group of elected representatives, and contested decisions are decided by popular vote. This prevents the emergence of a dictator"