Constitution


CONSTITUTION OF THE BAY STATE COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
As Adopted by the General Membership 5/2/1992
Revised 4/20/2013

Article I: Name

The name of this organization is Bay State Council of the Blind (BSCB).

Article II: Purpose

The purpose of BSCB is to serve as a democratic vehicle for collective and political action by blind persons so that they may promote the full social, economic, and cultural integration of blind persons into their respective communities, this state, and the nation.

Article III: Affiliation

BSCB is an affiliate of the American Council of the Blind (ACB). It shall work in good faith to implement the philosophy and policies of ACB.

Article IV: Membership

Any person is eligible to become a member of BSCB upon compliance with the membership provisions contained herein:

  • A. Members of BSCB shall include the members of its chapters and any persons admitted as members-at-large and all BSCB life members.
  • B. A majority of members of BSCB must be blind.
  • C. Each member of BSCB attending a general membership meeting, with the exception of junior members, shall be entitled to one vote. There shall be no proxy voting.
  • D. To be eligible for junior membership, a person must be a high school student between sixteen (16) and eighteen (18) years of age. Junior members may not vote at meetings of this organization, but may vote as members of committees on which they serve. A junior member shall attain full membership at the first convention following his/her eighteenth birthday, or at the beginning of the next calendar year, whichever comes first.
  • E. All members shall have rights, privileges, and responsibilities of membership as defined in this Constitution and Bylaws, and shall be bound by the same.

Article V: Chapters

  • A. Any qualified organization with similar purpose and with at least seven (7) members wishing to become a chapter of BSCB shall apply to the Board of Directors. Such application must be approved by a majority of the Board.
  • B. An organization wishing to become a chapter of BSCB must be recognized as conducting business principally in Massachusetts. The following three (3) conditions must be met: A majority of the members must be blind. A majority of the Executive Board must be blind. The president and vice president must be blind.
  • C. Each chapter shall be bound by this Constitution and Bylaws.
  • D. In applying for affiliation, a chapter must provide the following:
  • 1. A complete list of names and addresses and other information as requested by the treasurer.
  • 2. A complete list of the chapter’s officers.
  • 3. Copies of any Articles of Incorporation, Constitution and/or Bylaws.
  • 4. Appropriate per capita dues to cover membership for all members except BSCB life members.

Article VI: Dues

  • A. Dues shall be paid on an annual basis except by BSCB life members.
  • B. The dues for members of chapters shall be paid on a per capita basis except for BSCB life members.
  • C. The amount of all dues shall be as set forth in the Bylaws.
  • D. Any member or chapter failing to pay dues in accordance with the terms specified in the Bylaws shall be deprived of the right to vote in subsequent meetings where voting occurs in the calendar year. Members not paying dues as stated above shall be dropped from the roster at the end of the calendar year.

Article VII: Officers

  • A. The officers of this organization shall be as follows: a president, a first vice president, a second Vice president, a secretary, a treasurer, and the immediate past president. A majority of board members, including the president and vice presidents, must be blind. The term of office for all officers shall be two (2) years. Officers shall be elected in even numbered years at the annual convention of the organization. Should the immediate past president also be elected to another office or board position, that person may hold both positions, but shall have one vote.
  • B. In addition to the six (6) officers, this organization shall elect four (4) members to the Board of Directors. They shall have two-year terms and be elected in odd numbered years at the annual convention of the organization. A majority of directors must be blind.
  • C. The officers and directors of this organization shall constitute the Board of Directors. Board members shall assume their duties immediately following the convention at which they were elected.
  • D. No board member of this organization except for the treasurer shall be elected to more than three (3) consecutive terms to the same office. Partial terms do not count against these three (3) terms.
  • E. Members of the Board of Directors shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for expenses reasonably incurred in the performance of their duties. No member of BSCB who is employed by the organization may serve on the Board of Directors.
  • F. All officers and directors shall be elected by a majority vote at the annual convention of the organization.
  • G. If the president is unable to complete his/her term of office, the first vice president shall assume the office of president, and an election shall be held by the board to fill the position of first vice president. This person will serve until the next convention. It shall be the responsibility of the Board of Directors to fill any other vacancies which may occur on the board between conventions.
  • H. The treasurer of this organization must be bonded.

Article VIII: Meetings

Meetings of this organization shall be held at least once a year, with one of these meetings being designated as the annual convention. A majority of all members registered and attending the convention, or ten (10) percent of the total membership, whichever is greater, shall constitute a quorum to do business. All meetings of this organization other than the annual convention may be held in person, by telephone or via other electronic conferencing methods. Members participating in a meeting via telephone or other approved means shall be considered present for the purpose of determining a quorum.

Article IX: Disciplinary Actions

Any chapter or member may be suspended, expelled, or otherwise disciplined by a two-thirds majority vote of the Board of Directors. Such a vote may be taken only after a good faith effort by the board to resolve the conflict has been unsuccessful. The member or chapter shall be given at least thirty (30) days notice of a scheduled board hearing where the situation will be discussed. The member or chapter may appeal the decision of the board to the membership at a general membership meeting within three hundred and sixty-five (365) days from the date of the original decision. Notification shall be sent to the chapter or member thirty (30) days prior to the scheduled meeting, where the appeal may be presented before the membership. The member or chapter shall be granted thirty (30) minutes to present their appeal to the membership, who may sustain or overturn the board’s decision by a majority vote. The members of the chapter, or individual member, shall be eligible to vote on their own behalf.

Article X: Procedure

All proceedings of BSCB shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order, Current Edition.

Article XI: AMENDMENTS

  • A. This Constitution may be amended at any convention of this organization by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting according to procedures contained herein, provided that:
  • 1. Any proposed amendment must be submitted in writing to the secretary not less than sixty (60) days prior to the opening date of the convention. A synopsis of each amendment will be prepared by the Constitution and Bylaws Committee chair and shall be submitted to the membership in the convention announcement mailing. Any member wishing to receive the full text of an amendment may notify the secretary to request a copy.
  • 2. In the event a proposed amendment does not meet the aforementioned procedure, it may be considered if a two-thirds majority of the members vote to consider the issue.
  • 3. Proposed amendments shall be read to the assembled convention two (2) times before final action is taken.
  • 4. The bylaws may be amended at any convention of this organization by a majority vote, provided that such amendments are submitted in writing to the secretary no later than the opening of the convention, and read to the members before the time of final action.

Article XII: Dissolution

Upon the dissolution of this organization, all money and assets shall be turned over to the American Council of the Blind, or to an organization with a similar purpose.