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Civil Rights Advisory Committee By Laws

NRCS New Mexico Civil Rights Advisory Committee By-Laws


The Civil Rights Advisory Committee (CRAC) performs the following roles:

Serves as an advisory body to the Deputy Equal Opportunity Officer/State Conservationist (DEOO/STC), to promote and assist meaningful and effective affirmative action consistent with the goals and objectives set forth by management. The Assistant State Conservationist for Partnerships serves as the liaison to the CRAC.

Provides employees and management a vehicle that enhances and fulfills their equal employment opportunity and program delivery responsibilities.

Implements the CRAC responsibilities outlined in the NRCS General Manual Title 230, Part 404 Civil Rights Advisory Committee, as amended, including but not limited to:

•Providing feedback on the performance of Civil Rights program in general and variousimplementation efforts (e.g. civil rights in program delivery and the AffirmativeEmployment Plan), identifying areas of weakness, and making recommendations forimprovement.

•Identifying emerging or problem areas potentially warranting special attention frommanagement.

•Promoting the career employment and advancement of NRCS employees to maintain ahigh-quality diverse workforce.

•Supporting other NRCS New Mexico civil rights roles and activities, including theSpecial Emphasis Program Managers (SEPMs).

•Members of the CRAC will carry out their responsibilities consistent with federal law,policies, procedures, and practices regarding employment and program delivery in a non-discriminatory manner. The name of this Committee shall be the ‘USDA NaturalResources Conservation Service New Mexico Civil Rights Advisory Committee(CRAC)’.

Article I Name

The name of the Committee shall be the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service New Mexico Civil Rights Advisory Committee (CRAC).

CRAC By-laws

Article II Purpose

Section 1: Purpose

The purpose of the CRAC shall be to serve as an advisor to the Deputy Equal Opportunity Officer (DEOO) of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. The New Mexico State Conservationist (STC) is the Deputy Equal Opportunity Officer for NRCS in New Mexico.

Section 2: Roles

The Committee shall advise the DEOO/STC in accordance with specific roles outlined in the Preamble.

Article III Members

Section 1: Number of Members

The DEOO/STC shall appoint regular committee members and Special Emphasis Program Managers (SEPMs), who together shall form the CRAC. The SEPMs shall consist of a member from each of the following groups: Black, Hispanic, Women, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian American/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer+, and Persons with Disabilities and Veterans. The DEOO/STC shall appoint five regular committee members: two at-large-members and one from each of the three administrative areas (State office, North Area, South Area). Additionally, the DEOO/STC may name other individuals to the CRAC in an advisory or non-voting capacity.

Section 2: Vacancies

Vacancies shall be filled as they occur. The CRAC shall advise the DEOO/STC of vacancies, and the DEOO/STC shall determine membership.

Section 3: Diversity of Membership

The membership of the Committee shall (to the extent practical) consist of representatives from all areas and the state office and SEPMs of minority and non-minority groups, women, various grade levels, classification series, and geographical regions within the state.

Section 4: Length of Terms

Regular committee members and SEPMs serve, at the discretion of the DEOO/STC, a 3-year term, except advisors whose length of term is at the discretion of the DEOO/STC. All terms will end on the last day of the calendar year.

Section 5: Overlapping Terms

The members shall serve overlapping terms and may be extended/reappointed at the discretion of the DEOO/STC so that no more than one-third to one-half of the membership is replaced each year.

Section 6: Early Departures

In the event a Committee member leaves the Committee before serving a full term, the procedure set forth in Article III, Section 2 will be used to fill the vacancy for the length of the original term.

Section 7: Training

All members will complete appropriate training for their respective positions on the Committee within the first six months of appointment.

Section 8: Performance Appraisals

CRAC membership should be documented in each member's official position description. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) shall be signed by the employee, the employee's immediate supervisor, and the DEOO (refer to sample in GM 230, Part 403, Subpart J (Exhibits)) recognizing the commitment involved in CRAC membership. Employee's contributions to the CRAC will be noted in their individual performance plan under Mission Results Oriented and rated by the DEOO.

Article IV Officers

Section 1: Officers

The officers of the Committee shall be a Chairperson and a Vice-Chairperson.

Section 2: Eligibility

Although all committee members have voting privileges, SEPMs will not be eligible to hold office.

Section 3: Selection of Officers

The CRAC recommends to the STC the appointment of the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson.

Section 4: Term

Officers shall serve a 1year term and shall be eligible for reappointment.

Section 5: Officers’ Duties

The officers shall perform the duties prescribed by these by-laws and the parliamentary authority cited in Articles III and VIII respectively.

Article V Meetings

Section 1: Regular Meetings

Regular CRAC meetings shall be held once per quarter. The committee Chairperson in consultation with the DEOO/STC and Committee members shall set the exact dates.

Section 2: Special Meetings

Special meetings may be called by the Chairperson in consultation with the DEOO/STC.

Section 3: Quorum

A simple majority (51%) of voting members shall constitute a quorum.

Article VI Voting

Section 1: Decisions

Except as otherwise specifically provided for in these by-laws, decisions shall be reached by a consensus of the members at meetings in which a quorum is present Where a quorum is present, and the chairperson determines a consensus is unobtainable, a vote may be taken and a simple majority (51%) of those present determining the decision.

Section 2: Proxy

Voting by proxy shall not be permitted except on votes pertaining to amendment of the by-laws.

Article VII Removal of Members

Section 1: Removal of Members

All Committee members will attend meetings and conduct business on official time and at government expense. The Committee will request a member be replaced if two unexcused meetings are missed in any one-year period, or a member resigns, transfers, or retires or is otherwise separated from service.

Removals shall be at the discretion of the DEOO/STC.

Article VIII Parliamentary Authority

Section 1: Conduct of Proceedings

Proceeding shall be conducted according to current edition of Robert's Rules of Order, or a substitute source for rules of Parliamentary Authority decided upon by the committee and at discretion of the Chairperson.

Article IX Amendment of By-laws

Section 1: Motions to Amend

Motions to amend these by-laws may be submitted by any voting member of the Committee to the Chairperson.

Section 2: Decisions on Amendments

Decisions to amend the by-laws shall be reached by a consensus of the members at a scheduled meeting in which a quorum is present.

Section 3: DEOO/STC

All amendments to these by-laws are subject to the approval of the DEOO/STC.


________/s/________________Date: Febraury 10, 2021
MATTHEW MAUZY, Chairperson
Civil Rights Advisory Committee


________/s/______________Date: Febraury 10, 2021
State Conservationist

Approved by unanimous vote of Civil Rights Advisory Committee, January 13, 2021 via Microsoft Teams.

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