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IE CLT Board Training

This training is designed to introduce board members to what a community land trust is and why our work is important. Furthermore, this training will provide you the basics of how to participate in IE CLT board meetings.

What is the IE CLT?

Inland Equity Community Land Trust (IE CLT) is a non-profit organization that commits to bringing affordable housing to the Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino counties area) through a community land trust. A community land trust (CLT) is a non-profit organization that takes any value accrued from the land and reinvests it back into the community that resides on that land. In other words, the community benefits from the land they live on, not outside businesses.

Housing is a basic human right. Due to housing speculation (where the land under homes are bought to gamble in the real-estate market instead of to live on), the price of housing continues to increase to inhumane heights while wages for the average working American have remained relatively fixed since the 1970s. This is why the IE CLT, and CLTs in general, are so important. Instead of speculating on the price of land, the IE CLT keeps the price of the land fixed, such that the price of the land is not as susceptible to market pressures.  

Low-income residents are the IE CLT’s primary focus. A low-income resident is defined as a resident whose income is 80% or less than the average median income according to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In other words, since the average amount of money residents in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties are making is $70,287, a resident of these counties would have to be making $56,230 or less to be considered "low-income". Thus, the IE CLT provides residents under that threshold permanent affordable housing that allows them to grow their own wealth, invest it back into the community, and pass it on to other low-income residents or to their next generation.

As mentioned, the housing crisis has become urgent this past decade, but this is not new. Since the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s, land, and subsequently the homes built on it, has been unfairly priced by the wealthy few who were able to purchase this land which was, in the United States, stolen from indigenous peoples in the first place. These wealthy few raised the prices and rents of land and homes as the working class earned higher wages, effectively profiting off the fruits of their labor without producing anything new themselves, leaving the working class poor. Expensive housing led to a shortage of housing that has inspired farmers, small-business owners, marginalized peoples, the working class, and beyond to implement housing models that benefit the residents actually living in the houses. Hence, the CLT. 

From the first "single tax colony" in Fairhope, Alabama founded in 1894 to New Communities, a Georgian CLT to protect and empower rural Black farmers in 1960s to the now 277 CLTs across the United States, CLTs have combated rising housing prices, developed affordable housing, and created sustainable communities for the working class. And with the development of affordable housing on community-owned land, the IE CLT will bring these efforts to the Inland Empire.

If you are interested, here is a history of CLTs in the Southwest  United States that you can read at a later time.

Board Meeting Terms

Robert’s Rules of Order

Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR) is a set of rules designed to organize meetings, prevent unnecessary and unproductive conflict, and ensure all members are heard.

Here is a PDF of the RONR (you do not have to read this book, but it is here for your reference, as our board meetings will follow RONR unless stated otherwise in our by-laws, which is defined below in "By-laws").


By-laws are the rules made by an organization. By-laws always take precedence over Robert's Rules. For example, Robert's Rules states that a member called the president cannot make proposals during a meeting; however, if our by-laws changed to state that the president could make proposals during a meeting, then that would be the rule we follow.

Here are the by-laws for the IE CLT.


A member is a person who has either leased land or housing from IE CLT, submitted a signed statement of support to the board, volunteered for seven hours (or an amount determined by the board or as written in our by-laws) that year, or paid $140 (or an amount determined by the board or as written in our by-laws) that year.

Board Member

A board member is a member that has a role on the board of directors, the group responsible for creating, approving, amending, and removing bylaws, as well as managing the affairs of the organization. The board is elected by the members at the annual membership meeting. There are multiple roles on the board of directors for board members to fill, including:

  • The president is responsible for attending and managing all meetings, but does not make motions, debate issues, nor vote on motions during a meeting.
  • The vice-president acts as the president when the president cannot, though acts as a board member, otherwise, allowing them to vote when not acting as president.
  • The secretary is responsible for creating records of each meeting, called minutes, and to inform the president about the meeting's agenda, as stated on the minutes, the by-laws, and RONR during a meeting.
  • The treasurer is responsible for the accounting of all funds and securities held by IE CLT. The parliamentarian is responsible for interpreting the by-laws and RONR, as well as the disbursement of the by-laws.
  • The parliamentarian decides the meaning of the bylaws and Robert’s Rules for IE CLT.
  • The advisory board members are members that advise on specific topics, which include: fundraising, communications, program management, financial management and program evaluations.


The quorum is the majority of the total number of board members (see “Roles” below) and the minimum number of voting members needed to hold a meeting. If the quorum is not present at the meeting, there are four actions that can be taken: the meeting can be rescheduled (through a motion called “Fix the Time to Adjourn”), the meeting can be ended, a recess can be called until enough voting members arrive at the meeting, or voting members can be contacted to check if they can attend the meeting during the allotted time.


An idea, question, or proposal made to the board by a member, who can themselves be on the board. The membership at a member meeting and a board member at a board meeting can make a motion for the body to act. 


A motion must be seconded by another member or board member in order to be approved by the president and discussed. A motion is seconded when at least one member other than the member who made the motion agrees that it should be discussed.


The minutes are a document that both plans and records the meeting. The minutes begin with the agenda for a meeting, which is then followed by a record of the meeting, itself.

The Basics of a Meeting

When are Meetings Held

  • General membership meetings are held once per year for all members.
  • Quarterly board meetings are scheduled by the president for the board of directors only, unless IE CLT members or guests from outside IE CLT are invited.
  • Special meetings are scheduled by at least two board members.

Preparing for a Meeting

Before a meeting begins, the secretary should have the president approve the prior meeting's minutes, as well as develop then approve the agenda for the upcoming meeting's minutes.

Members that are to attend the meeting should be given a notice of when the meeting will take place alongside the approved minutes as soon as possible, or as stated by the by-laws or state law. Once members receive this notice, they have the opportunity to add to or amend the agenda on the approved minutes, which the president will have to approve again before the secretary includes these revisions.

How to Start a Meeting

Meetings start with the president counting the number of voting members to check if the quorum is met. If there are at least three voting members (or the number stated within our by-laws), then the meeting can begin. The president may state the date and time of the meeting, the method of communication (in-person, on-phone, through video chat), and the purpose of the meeting. After the secretary disperses a copy of the approved minutes, the president will state what is on the meeting's agenda and ask if corrections are needed. Once corrections are made or if no corrections are needed, then the meeting will proceed.

Each board member will provide a report of what tasks they have done between meetings, as well as what tasks still need to be done, in an order decided by the president. If any member attending the meeting wants to make a motion based on a report provided, they may do that now. If the report is provided by a committee instead of a board member, then that motion does not need to be seconded, since committees can only be represented at a meeting with a majority vote from the board.

Making Motions to Discuss Ideas, Proposals, Amendments, and Concerns

In order for discussion to begin, a member must be recognized by the president to "obtain the floor". To gain recognition, a member will raise their hand by default or, if they cannot or prefer not to raise their hand, state the president's name. Obtaining the floor may not be necessary if the quorum is small, which means that all members are known to each other by name.

After getting the floor, that member, except for the president, is allowed to add topics, ideas, or proposals to a meeting's discussion, which is called making a motion. Motions begin by a member using the phrase "I move that...", followed by what the member wants to propose. For example, if a member wanted to edit the mission statement of the organization, they could announce, "I move that we edit the official mission statement of the organization to better align with our new policies."

After a motion is made, the motion must be seconded in order to be discussed. Seconding is when at least one other member agrees to discuss the motion by stating, "I second the motion." Once a motion has been second, the president must state the motion, then the motion can be discussed.

Motions can either be undebatable or debatable. An undebatable motion does not need to be discussed and can be voted on immediately. As follows, a debatable motion needs to be discussed before the quorum agrees to vote on it.

Motions can be debated by merely discussing the merits of the motion, but motions can also be debated with other motions, called subsidiary, incidental, and privileged motions.

  • Subsidiary motions amend motions being currently debated, postpone the current motion, or refer the motion to a committee to be investigated and reported on during a future meeting. Subsidiary motions must be voted on before any other motions may be discussed or voted on.
  • Incidental motions focus on rule violations and appeals, and are undebatable. Examples of incidental motions are points of order (as described below in “Rule Violations”), appeals to reintroduce a motion that has been rejected or redetermine a decision made by the president, appeals to amend or reject a motion, doubts about the result of a vote, and appeals to suspend the by-laws, RONR, or other rules temporarily. Incidental motions must be voted on before any other motions may be discussed or voted on, including subsidiary motions.
  • Privileged motions take precedence over all other motions, including subsidiary and incidental motions. Privileged motions include appealing to change the time a meeting ends, appealing to end the meeting now, appealing for all members to take a recess (a short break) from the meeting, making a motion that a member believes must come before other motions (to which the president must agree), and ensuring that the meeting stick to the agenda as stated on the minutes if the meeting has deviated.

Rule Violations

If the president or the board makes any decision that the assembly disagrees with, the assembly may veto that decision with a two-thirds vote.

If a member violates any rules from our by-laws or from RONR the meeting, that member may be dismissed by the president from speaking on the motion or from attending the meeting altogether. For example, if a member begins discussing a motion without having first obtained the floor, then the president may dismiss them continuing that discussion. However, if the assembly disagrees with the president's dismissal and believes a member has not violated any rules, then a two-thirds vote from the assembly can veto the president's dismissal, and that member can continue discussing the motion. If the president violates any rules set by our by-laws or RONR, then a member can state, "Point of order," mention which rule was violated, then the quorum will vote on whether the president actually violated the rules or not.

How to End a Meeting

A meeting ends when the allotted time for that meeting is reached, when there are no more motions being made, or when a motion to adjourn the meeting is made and voted on. The president then declares the meeting adjourned, and all members are dismissed. If the president declares a meeting adjourned and a member believes this adjournment violates the rules set by our by-laws or RONR, then that member may state that the rules have been violated (as described above in “Rule Violations”) and the quorum will vote on whether to continue or adjourn the meeting.

If the meeting is adjourned, all members attending the meeting may attend a following meeting or be dismissed.

Inland Equity Community Land Trust Board Member MOU