American Council of the Blind of New York logo

American Council Of The Blind Of New York, Inc.

Constitution

ARTICLE I NAME

The name of this organization shall be the American Council of the Blind of New York, Inc., hereafter referred to as ACBNY.

ARTICLE II Purpose

The purpose of ACBNY is to enhance the lifestyle of the community by:
A. Fostering opportunities for blind and visually impaired persons to become self sufficient productive members of society;
B. Educating the public regarding the economic and social benefits that occur when blind and visually impaired individuals actively participate in society;
C. Providing a local forum to study the concerns of blind and visually impaired people and to address solutions to identified problems;
D. Supplying information regarding available services and resources;
E. Insuring quality service by acting as a liaison between the blind community and service providers;
F. Implementing social action programs leading to the improvement of living and working conditions of blind and visually impaired persons throughout New York State;
G. Coalescing with other organizations whose goals and purposes coincide with ours;
H. Engaging in other activities which promote the dignity and independence of blind and visually impaired persons.

ARTICLE III AFFILIATION

A. ACBNY is an affiliate of the American Council of the Blind, Inc.
B. Any group of at least five voting members, a majority of whom are blind or visually impaired, is eligible to become an affiliate.
An affiliate's members must consist of individuals from a defined geographical area or must be recognized by ACBNY as a special interest group.
In order to become an affiliate, approval must be obtained from the Board of Directors. If the membership of an affiliate falls below five, a year's grace time will be given. If after a year an affiliate still has less than five members, it will be dissolved.

ARTICLE IV MEMBERSHIP

Membership shall be of the following classifications:

A. Voting member:

Any person eighteen years of age or older who lives or works in New York State, or who has lived or worked in New York State, is eligible to become a voting member.

B. Members at Large:

Any person, eighteen years of age or older, who lives or works in New York State, or who has lived or worked in New York State, who is not a voting member of any ACBNY affiliate, may become a member at large. Members at large have the same rights as voting members. Applications shall be made through the Membership Committee chair.

C. Junior Members:

Persons less than eighteen years of age residing in New York State may become junior members of ACBNY, but shall not vote. Their names shall not appear on lists sent to the ACB National Office. They may apply for junior membership either through an ACBNY affiliate, or directly through the Membership Committee chair.

D. Associate Members:

Any person eighteen years of age or older who is interested in supporting ACBNY may hold an individual associate membership, but shall not vote, or hold office. Any individual may apply for associate membership either through an ACBNY affiliate, or directly through the Membership Committee chair. The names of associate members shall not appear on lists submitted to the ACB National Office.

E. Organizational Members:

Any organization within New York State, which is interested in supporting ACBNY, may hold an organizational membership, but shall not vote. The organization's name shall not appear on any list sent to the ACB National Office. Organizations shall obtain membership directly through the Membership Committee chair.

F. Life member:

1. Any person eligible to become a voting member or member at large is eligible to become a Life member. Life members have the same rights as voting members. A Life member may be a member of an affiliate of ACBNY. Life members shall be counted when figuring affiliate voting credentials. Applications for Life membership shall be made through the Membership Committee chair. The names of Life members shall appear on lists submitted to the ACB National Office.

2. Dues for Life members shall be assessed at half the rate of Life membership in the American Council of the Blind, Inc. at the time of application for said Life membership in ACBNY, which may be paid in no more than five (5) consecutive annual installments. Life Membership becomes effective upon completion of all payments.

Article V. Yearly Dues

Dues, except for Life members, shall be set by the Board of Directors, provided this rate is higher than the dues charged by ACB National. Dues amounts may vary according to type of membership.
Each affiliate, member at large, organizational member, and associate and junior member not belonging to an affiliate and Life member shall submit the required dues to the Treasurer. This must be done at least thirty days prior to the date on which dues must be received by the ACB National Office.
An alphabetical list of voting members shall be sent along with these dues. This list shall also be sent to the Membership Committee chair.
The Treasurer shall notify each affiliate, member at large, organizational member, and associate and junior member not belonging to an affiliate and Life member that dues, and where applicable membership lists, must be sent. This notification shall be sent in writing at least thirty days before the State dues submission date.
A list of the names and addresses of those receiving dues notification shall be provided to the Treasurer by the Membership Committee chair at least thirty days before notices are due.

ARTICLE VI VOTING

A. Each voting member attending a state convention shall be entitled to one vote. An official delegate from each affiliate shall cast the number of votes to which that affiliate is entitled. Each affiliate represented at the state convention shall be entitled to one vote for each nine of its voting members or major fraction thereof, provided that an affiliate may cast no more than twelve votes.
B. The right of an affiliate or member at large to vote shall be contingent on payment of dues and the furnishing of an alphabetical list as provided for in Article V. Failure of an affiliate or member at large to comply with this section shall result in the loss of voting privileges during the first year of noncompliance. A second year of noncompliance shall result in the revocation of membership.
C. There shall be no proxy voting.
D. Officers shall be elected by a majority of the votes cast at any state convention. Voting shall be by secret ballot for all contested elections.
E. No officer of this organization, except for the Treasurer, shall be elected for more than two consecutive terms to the same office.
F. All officers, directors and delegates must reside in New York State.
G. Should a vacancy occur in any office, a person to complete the unexpired term shall be elected by the Board of Directors if there is a regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Directors within 30 days of the date the vacancy occurred. If there is no such regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Directors, a person to complete the unexpired term shall be elected by the Executive Board. The completion of an unexpired term of one year or less shall not be defined as a term of office.
H. Each member of the Board shall exercise only one vote.

ARTICLE VIi Officers

A. As of January 1, 2014, the officers of this organization shall be:
President,
First Vice President,
Second Vice President,
Secretary, and
Treasurer.
Officers shall serve three year terms.
B. The Board of Directors shall consist of the officers, a delegate at large to be appointed by the President with the approval of the Board of Directors, the Immediate Past President, and one director to be selected by each affiliate.
A majority of the Board of Directors shall be blind or visually impaired.
Officers shall be elected by the majority of the votes cast at any state convention.
Term of office shall commence on January 1 of the year following the date of the election beginning in 1993.
Each affiliate shall submit the name of their selected director to the ACBNY Secretary no later than December 31 of the year preceding that director's term of service. Directors shall serve for terms of 1 (one) year, except in permanent unforeseen exigent circumstances. Directors may succeed themselves.
C. No member of the Board of Directors shall receive compensation for services to ACBNY. Officers and delegates may receive reimbursement for actual expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.

ARTICLE VIII POWERS and DUTIES

A 1. The convention. Any voting member may make or second motions, nominate officers and committee members and serve on committees. Only voting members may be elected to office. To be eligible for nomination and election to State Office, a candidate must have been a member in good standing of ACBNY for at least one year. The convention shall determine the time and place of its meetings.
A 2. The convention shall select the site of at least the following year's state convention from among the proposed sites submitted to it. However, if no proposal is submitted or if the convention declines to approve any of the submitted proposals, the Executive Board shall select the site for at least the following year's state convention. In this case, the Executive Board must select a site within 60 days following the present year's state convention. State conventions may be planned and contracted for more than one year in advance with the approval of the convention.

B. Officers.
1. The Secretary shall, in addition to the usual duties of this office, furnish board members with minutes in accessible form of all board and business meetings no later than sixty days after the meetings. The Secretary shall also provide the President with a list of all motions adopted at general membership and Board of Directors meetings.
2. The Treasurer shall, in addition to the usual duties of this office, forward to the Secretary the names of all those eligible to vote at each meeting of the Board of Directors.
C. The Board of Directors shall be the governing body between conventions provided that it make no decisions and take no actions in conflict with existing decisions and actions of the convention.
D. The Executive Board shall consist of the officers, and shall, in the event emergency action is needed between board meetings, make decisions, provided that they do not conflict with existing decisions of the convention or Board of Directors.
E. The Newsletter Editor shall be responsible for the preparation and dissemination of the ACBNY newsletter.

ARTICLE IX STANDING COMMITTEES

ACBNY shall have Standing Committees and other committees as provided in the Council By-laws.

ARTICLE X MEETINGS

A regular meeting to be known as the annual convention shall be held once a year. A majority of those members present on the convention floor and eligible to vote shall constitute a quorum. Other meetings may be held during the year at the discretion of the Board of Directors. All major matters dealing with policy shall be enacted at the annual convention.

ARTICLE XI AMENDMENTS

This Constitution may be amended at any regular convention by a two thirds vote of those members present and voting. Such proposed amendments must be presented in writing to the Constitution and Bylaws Committee no less than 60 days before the beginning of the state convention. Written copies of the proposed amendments must be sent to each affiliate at least 30 days prior to the beginning of the convention.

ARTICLE XII DISSOLUTION

In the event of dissolution, all assets shall become the property of the American Council of the Blind, Inc., upon satisfaction of all outstanding liabilities.

ARTICLE XIII PARLIAMENTARY Authority

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern this Organization in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order the Organization may adopt.

By-Laws

1. ACBNY hereby establishes the following committees:

A. Constitution and By-Laws:


This committee shall consist of a chair and not less than three other members to be appointed by the President. The chair shall serve as parliamentarian during convention meetings.

B. Finance Committee:


This committee shall consist of three members elected by the membership with no member being an officer. The chair shall be selected by the president from those elected.

C. Funds Committee:


This committee shall consist of a chair and not less than three other persons to be appointed by the President. Its duties shall consist of initiating, monitoring, and conducting fundraising activities.

D. Legislative Committee:


This committee shall consist of a chairperson appointed by the President and one member selected by each affiliate. This committee shall support no legislation which conflicts with the policies of ACBNY and shall endorse no unwritten legislative proposals.

E. Newsletter Committee:


This committee shall consist of the Newsletter Editor and not less than three other members to be appointed by the President. Its duties shall consist of writing, obtaining, and editing articles for the newsletter. Articles shall be solicited from ACBNY members, but may also be obtained from other sources when the editor deems their content appropriate. The Newsletter Editor shall be the chair of this committee.

F. Nominating Committee:


This committee shall consist of one person to be selected by each affiliate and a member at large selected by the board of directors. The President shall appoint a chairperson who shall have no vote except in case of a tie. This committee shall propose a slate of officers and members of the finance committee. The committee may not nominate its members to office. Meetings of this committee shall be closed.

G. Resolutions Committee:


Within sixty days after the close of each state convention, the President shall appoint a chairperson and not less than four members to serve as a resolutions committee. This committee shall receive and review all resolutions to be considered during the next convention. All resolutions submitted to the committee by noon of the day twenty-one (21) days prior to the convention business meeting ,except in case of unforeseen exigent circumstances, shall be reported with or without recommendation.

H. Convention Coordinating Committee:


The committee shall consist of a chairperson to be known as the convention coordinator and two members appointed by the President. It shall prepare and submit proposals for the site of the annual state convention and shall assist any member or affiliate which may also wish to submit such a proposal. It shall provide assistance to the host committee in planning and organizing of the convention and shall assure compliance with any guidelines or requirements which may be adopted for the organization of the convention. Should the convention be hosted by ACBNY as a whole, the convention coordinating committee shall be the host committee for the convention. In this case, the convention coordinator may appoint additional members to serve on the host committee.

I. Membership Committee:


This committee shall consist of a chair and three members to be appointed by the President. The Membership Committee chair shall be charged with the responsibility of maintaining a roll of the members of each affiliate, the members at large, organizational members, and junior and associate members not belonging to an affiliate and Life members.
During the course of the year, each affiliate shall provide the Membership Committee chair with changes, additions to and deletions from its membership roster.
The Membership Committee chair shall furnish the Newsletter Editor with an up-to-date roster of all ACBNY members, and shall furnish the Treasurer with a list of all members at large, organizational members, and junior and associate members who are not members of affiliates and Life members.
The Membership Committee members shall assist the Membership Committee chair in performing these functions, and shall be responsible for recruiting and helping affiliates recruit new members and communicating whenever possible with former members, encouraging them to rejoin.

Amended October, 2013


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