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ILCA Seeks Bylaws Changes in 2020

The ILCA Board of Directors is pleased to ask ILCA voting members (those who are currently certified as an IBCLC®) to vote on the 2020 bylaws changes.

The ILCA Board of Directors supports the proposed changes.

Voting ILCA members are encouraged to make an informed decision after thoughtful consideration of the issues, before they visit the voting site.

Vote carefully: Once your vote is cast, it cannot be changed, repeated or cancelled.

What is the balloting process?

ILCA’s balloting process allows bylaws elements to be voted on by section (instead of all-or-none).  We utilize a balloting platform to ensure one-member-one-vote.

If a dues-paid, IBCLC® ILCA member does not receive an email on 20 February 2020 containing a link to the ballot, please contact the ILCA Office at (or) 1+  919-861-5577 (or) 888-452-2478.  Our ILCA staff is eager to make sure you get a ballot, so your vote can be counted.

Where can I view the proposed changes?

This document shows the 2015 ILCA bylaws, edited with “tracked changes,” to show the proposed 2020 ILCA bylaws. It lets you compare the old version with the new. The document also summarizes all the changes and the Board’s rationale for each, section-by-section. 

Can I discuss this with my colleagues before I vote?

Please do!  This blog and other social media venues encourage dialogue about ILCA’s governance! Use the comments section below to ask questions or make comments.

Ballot Vote No. 1: Why does the ILCA Board support giving voting powers to all dues-paying members in Bylaw 3.4 Voting Rights?

ILCA members have power to vote to (1) elect Directors, (2) ratify bylaws changes, and (3) make motions at the Annual General Meeting.

Since 1985, ILCA has invited open membership to anyone who supports our mission [ILCA Mission: To advance the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC®) profession worldwide through leadership, advocacy, professional development, and research]. From 1985-2007, any dues-paying ILCA member could vote. In 2007 voting rights were restricted to IBCLC®-only members, to demonstrate strong ILCA advocacy for the IBCLC® credential.

Undeniably, demographics of ILCA membership and the pathways of entry into our profession as a whole show significant race, income, and geographic-based barriers. ILCA’s Strategic Plan seeks to increase diversity by creating meaningful, accessible entry into the profession, and our professional association.

Right now, those who are seeking IBCLC® certification and knowledge do not have a professional “home.” The burden falls to the individual to cobble together education and training that will be acceptable to meet pathway requirements of the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®). ILCA values all members.

Further, extending voting powers to all dues-paying members allows those that have retired to continue to be advocates for the profession. We believe it is essential to honor retirees’ institutional knowledge and their dedication to ILCA and the profession, while continuing to move our mission forward. ILCA’s role has always been:

  • Serve current IBCLCs®
  • Engage and help others who believe in our work
  • Promote the value, growth, and awareness of our profession throughout all stages of your career

Inclusion will propel this profession into growth and sustainability. To address the challenges of current members, and generations of IBCLCs® to come, there must be an invited and equitable voice by those in our association. Inclusion assumes full acceptance; in a membership organization, that includes voting rights.

The ILCA Board supports this amendment to giving voting rights to all dues-paying members as means to build membership, increase diversity, and enhance equity.

Ballot Vote No. 2: Why does the ILCA Board support changes to Directors’ qualifications in Bylaw 5.2 Qualifications?

In previous years, there have been questions about when a Director meets the two (2) year ILCA membership mark. To alleviate confusion about membership validity, the revised bylaws require each Director be an ILCA member in good standing who has completed two (2) years of ILCA membership immediately prior to the date that nominations are called and be an IBCLC®.

The ILCA Board supports this amendment because it provides greater specificity for the two (2) year ILCA membership requirement.

Ballot Vote No. 3: Why does the ILCA Board support shortening the period for identifying Director positions to be filled by election in Bylaw 6.3 Directors?

New Directors start in July each year and the balloting period begins the following March. If the Director positions to be filled by election had to be identified by the Board six (6) months prior to the balloting period, the identification would need to take place by October and there often is not enough time for the Board to determine what is needed.

The ILCA Board supports this amendment to three (3) months prior to the balloting period because the change in timing allows new Directors to become acclimated each year before new positions need to be identified.

Ballot Vote No. 4: Why does the ILCA Board support removing chair of the Nominations Committee from the outgoing President’s responsibilities in Bylaw 6.7 Appointment of President?

The ILCA President serves for a two-year term and at the end of their term, the outgoing President serves as chair of the Nominations Committee for an additional two (2) years. This task and time frame extend beyond the responsibilities of the President. This function is covered in the ILCA Policies and Procedures as an operational task, not a governing task.

The Board supports changes that appropriately utilize the President’s time and contributions.

Ballot Vote No. 5: Why does the ILCA Board support the outgoing President serving as an ex-officio Board member for one year in proposed Bylaw 6.8 Immediate Past President?

Ex-officio Board members are valued for their knowledge, expertise, and experience. The immediate past President’s connections to the wider community can enhance the ILCA Board’s work.

The Board supports this amendment to the outgoing President’s duties to aid with the transition of knowledge and support.

Ballot Vote No. 6: Why does the ILCA Board support all these other little edits in Bylaws 6.5 Nominations Committee and 10.2 Voting Privileges?

Any bylaw amendment, no matter how small and non-controversial, requires member vote to ratify.  There are several such changes that we have “saved up” over the years, awaiting the next bylaws vote, which is now, in 2020.

The ILCA Board supports changes that will correct typographical errors and provide consistency of language.

I have a question, and a few comments!

Excellent!  Please contact ILCA directly or use the comments section below to tell us what you think or to seek more information before you vote (if you are a current ILCA voting member).

Thank you for your membership, and for helping to build a better ILCA!


Mudiwah A. Kadeshe, President           

Tova Ovits, Secretary

3 Responses to ILCA Seeks Bylaws Changes in 2020

  1. ECBrooks 22 February 2020 at 06:21 #

    Well done, ILCA. All of these suggested by-laws changes are excellent, and I voted “YES” on each option.

  2. MAry Grace Lanese 22 February 2020 at 11:19 #

    I support the by-law changes but I cannot vote since I am a retired IBCLC. Being an IBCLC from 1986 thru 2016, a BOD member for 5 years, a FILCA and a continual ILCA member I appreciate the change and opportunity to once again have a voice in my professional organization activities.

  3. Pamela Morrison 4 March 2020 at 01:22 #

    I joined ILCA in 1989, when I was studying for the IBLCE exam. I was an Associate Member until I became an IBCLC and I seem to recall I couldn’t vote until I was a full member. Perhaps ILCA could consider that type of distinction again. If literally just anyone can become a full voting member then ILCA risks becoming over-run by people who are not IBCLCs. But it is “our” organization.

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