Constitution

As Amended March 28, 2009

ARTICLE I

Section A, NAME

The name of this organization shall be the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri.

Section B, PURPOSE

The purpose of this organization shall be to promote the general welfare of the blind of Missouri and the nation, and to function as an integral part of the National Federation of the Blind.

ARTICLE II

AFFILIATION

Section A, RESPONSIBILITIES

The National Federation of the Blind of Missouri shall be an affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind and shall furnish to the President of the National Federation of the Blind annually, on or before February 1, a list of the names and addresses of its members and elected officers. A copy of the Constitution of the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri and of all amendments to the Constitution shall be sent to the President of the National Federation of the Blind without delay.

Section B, CHARTER REQUIREMENTS

The National Federation of the Blind of Missouri shall not merely be a social organization, but shall formulate programs and actively work to promote the economic and social betterment of the blind. This organization shall comply with the provisions of the Constitution of the National Federation of the Blind and the provisions of the contract appearing on the back of the Charter of Affiliation issued to state affiliates by the National Federation of the Blind. Policy decisions of the National Federation of the Blind (whether made by the National Convention or the National Board of Directors) are binding on this organization and this organization shall participate affirmatively in carrying out such policy decisions. As a condition of affiliation, it is agreed by this organization that the National Federation of the Blind (whether by the action of the National Convention or the National Board) has the power to expel or discipline an individual member and to expel or reorganize a state affiliate, local chapter, or division. In the event of reorganization, the assets of the affiliate, and its local chapters, or divisions belong to the reorganized affiliate, and the former affiliate shall dissolve and cease to exist. The name National Federation of the Blind, Federation of the Blind, or any variant thereof, is the property of the National Federation of the Blind; and this organization or any of its local chapters or divisions which cease to be a part of the National Federation of the Blind (for whatever reason) shall forfeit the right to use the name National Federation of the Blind, Federation of the Blind, or any variant thereof.

ARTICLE III

MEMBERSHIP

Section A, REQUIREMENTS

At least a majority of the active members of this organization must be blind. Active membership shall be of two (2) classifications: active members who are affiliated with local chapters, and active members who are not affiliated with local chapters.

Section B, ACTIVE CHAPTER MEMBERS

All active members of local chapters shall automatically become active members of this organization, with the right to vote, serve on committees, speak on the floor, and hold office.

Section C, ACTIVE MEMBERS AT LARGE

Any person who is not affiliated with a local chapter may become an active member of this organization by a majority vote of the active members present and voting at a convention or by action of the Board of Directors with the right to vote, serve on committees, speak on the floor, and hold office.

Section D, ASSOCIATE MEMBERS

Any person may be elected to associate membership in this organization either by the convention or the Board of Directors. Associate members shall have all the rights and privileges of active members, except that they may not vote, hold office, or serve on the Board of Directors. Associate members shall not pay dues.

Section E, Expulsion:

Any member may be expelled for violation of this Constitution or for conduct unbecoming to a member of the Federation by a majority vote of the active members present and voting at any regular business meeting of this organization, or by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors. The State Convention of this organization may reinstate any person who has been expelled unless such expulsion has been confirmed by the National Convention or by the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind, in which event the person may not be reinstated except by the National Convention or by the National Board. Any person who feels that he or she has been unjustly expelled from this organization may appeal to the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind, which may (in its discretion) consider the matter and make a binding decision.

ARTICLE IV

LOCAL CHAPTERS AND DIVISIONS

Section A, Local Chapters:

Any organized group desiring to become a local chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri, shall apply for affiliation by submitting a copy of its constitution and a list of the names and addresses of its members and elected officers to the President of the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri. When the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri, either in convention assembled or by action of its Board of Directors, shall have approved the application, it shall issue to the local chapter a Certificate of Acceptance. Annually, on or before February 1, each local chapter shall provide to the Recording Secretary of the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri, a current list of its members and their addresses. At the same time, each local chapter shall forward to the State Treasurer the state dues for each member of the chapter, a list of members and their addresses, and a detailed financial report of the chapter's activities for the past year. The fiscal year of this organization shall be the calendar year. As new members enter local chapters, their names and addresses shall be sent, without delay, to the Recording Secretary and the Treasurer of the state organization, and the state dues shall be sent without delay to the Treasurer of the state organization. No group shall be accredited as a chapter and no group shall remain a chapter unless a majority of its voting members are blind. The President, the Vice President (or vice presidents) and at least a majority of the Executive Committee or board of directors of the local chapters must be blind. The President of the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri shall be ex-officio a member of each local chapter. In the event of the dissolution of a local chapter, or if, (for whatever reason), a local chapter ceases to be a part of this organization, its assets shall become the property of the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri.

Section B, Divisions:

Any organized group of special interests wishing to become a division of the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri shall apply for a charter by submitting to the President of the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri a copy of its constitution and a list of the names and addresses of its members and elected officers. When the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri either in convention assembled or by action of its Board of Directors, shall have approved the application, it shall issue to the division a Certificate of Charter. Annually, within fifteen days of the end of the State Affiliate Convention, each division shall provide to the Recording Secretary and to the Treasurer of the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri, a current list of its members and their addresses. On or before February 1 of each year each division shall forward to the State Treasurer a detailed financial report of its activities for the preceding fiscal year. The fiscal year of this organization shall be the calendar year. As new members enter a division, their names and addresses shall be sent, without delay, to the Recording Secretary of the state organization. The President of the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri shall be an ex-officio a member of each division. In the event of the dissolution of a division, or if (for whatever reason) a division ceases to be a part of this organization, its assets shall become the property of the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri. Divisions shall not pay affiliate dues for their members, except in the case where a person has not already had dues paid by themselves or a local chapter. In such a case dues must be paid at our annual state convention and immediately forwarded to the State Affiliate Treasurer.

ARTICLE V

OFFICERS AND THEIR DUTIES

Section A, Officers

There shall be elected at the regular annual convention during each odd numbered year, a President, a First Vice President, a Second Vice President, a Recording Secretary, a Corresponding Secretary, and a Treasurer. The terms of these officers shall begin at the close of the convention at which they are elected and qualified.

Section B, Election

Officers shall be elected by a majority vote of the active members who are present and voting. There shall be no proxy voting. If no nominee receives a majority vote on the first ballot, the name of the person receiving the fewest votes shall be dropped from the list of nominees, and a second ballot shall be taken. This procedure shall continue until one of the nominees has received a majority vote from the active members present and voting.

Section C, Duties

The duties of each officer shall be those ordinarily associated with that office. The President and the Vice Presidents must be blind. In the event of the absence of the Recording secretary from any board meeting the Corresponding Secretary shall take the minutes and attendance for that meeting.

ARTICLE VI

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Section A, Board Positions:

The Board of Directors (Board) of this organization shall consist of six constitutional officers and seven additional members, two of whom shall be elected for two year terms during odd numbered years and five of whom shall be elected for two year terms at the annual convention during even numbered years. The seven directors shall be elected in the same manner as that prescribed for the election of officers. The Board shall meet at the call of the president or on written call signed by any three of the Board members The Board shall advise the president and shall have charge of the affairs of the organization between conventions. At least a majority of the Board members must be present at any meeting to constitute a quorum on any question. A majority of the Board must be blind.

Section B, Impeachment of Officers and Board Members:

In the event that an elected officer or Board member fails to perform the duties of his or her office or Board position or performs his or her duties in such a manner as to cause harm to the organization or damage to the credibility of the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri, the Board of Directors may remove him or her from office or Board position. Such removal must take place at a meeting called in the manner described in Article VI Section One, and must attain a two thirds vote of those board members present and voting. When calling a meeting for the purpose of impeaching, the agenda must be stated, or sent in writing, to each member of the board of directors. The next business session of the membership in convention may reinstate such an officer or Board member by a majority vote of the membership present and voting. The membership at any convention assembled may also impeach an officer or Board member by a two thirds vote.

Section C, Filling Vacancies:

If for any reason a vacancy should occur on the Board of Directors during the term of that elected position, the vacancy shall be filled by an election held by the remaining directors at their next board meeting, or by the next convention, whichever comes first. The election shall follow the procedures set forth in Article V. If the office of President is vacated, the Vice Presidents ascend to the next office and the office of Second Vice President shall be filled by the election. If the office of First Vice President is vacated, the Second Vice President ascends, and the office of Second Vice President shall be filled. All other positions shall be filled as vacated.

Section D, Vacated Positions:

Any officer or Board member who fails to attend three regularly scheduled meetings of the Board of Directors during his or her two year term shall by this failure be considered to have vacated his or her position on the Board. At the conclusion of the Board meeting at which the member had missed his or her third meeting, the Board or convention shall fill the vacancy as provided for in Section 3 of this article. Regularly scheduled meetings shall not include those held by telephone or special meetings of the Board.

ARTICLE VII

MEETINGS

Section A, Annual Convention:

The organization shall hold an annual convention, the time and place of which shall be fixed by the membership or, if this is not possible, by the Board of Directors. At least fifteen (15) active members must be present to constitute a quorum to transact business at any annual convention.

Section B, Special Meetings:

The President of this organization may call a special meeting of the body at any time he or she, or a majority of the Board of Directors, deems such action to be necessary. At such special meetings at least fifteen (15) active members must be present to constitute a quorum to transact business, and written notice must have been sent to the President of each local chapter and to the members of the Board of Directors at least ten (10) days prior to the date of the meeting.

ARTICLE VIII

COMMITTEES

The President shall appoint such committees, as he or she or the organization deems necessary.

ARTICLE IX

DELEGATES TO THE NATIONAL CONVENTION

This organization shall elect each year at least one (1) delegate and at least one (1) alternate delegate to attend the Convention of the National Federation of the Blind. No person shall be elected as a delegate or alternate delegate unless he or she is an active member of this organization in good standing. To the extent of the resources of this organization, as voted by its convention or its Board of Directors, the expenses of delegates and alternate delegates to the Convention of the National Federation of the Blind shall be paid.

ARTICLE X

DUES

Section A, Amount:

The dues of this organization shall be not less than five dollars ($5) per year payable in advance. The convention, by a majority vote of members present and voting, shall set the dues for the following year. If no action is taken the dues will not change.

Section B, Payment:

In accordance with Article IV of the Constitution, local chapters shall pay the state dues of their members. Members who are not affiliated with the local chapters shall pay their dues before or during the time of the annual convention. A lifetime membership may be secured for a fee of one hundred dollars ($100). No person may vote who is delinquent in the payment of his or her dues.

ARTICLE XI

DISBURSEMENT OF FUNDS

Section A, Treasurer's Responsibilities:

Funds of this organization shall be deposited in a bank to be selected by the Treasurer with the approval of the president. The treasurer shall be bonded. All financial obligations of this organization shall be discharged by check, internal bank transfers, or savings account withdrawals to conduct affiliate business. All transactions must be issued on order of the president and signed by the treasurer.

Section B, Absence of the Treasurer:

In the absence of the treasurer the president shall be the acting treasurer. The president shall be bonded. The president, acting as treasurer, shall not pay any obligations without the approval of the first vice president.

ARTICLE XII

DISSOLUTION

In the event of the dissolution of this organization, or (for whatever reason) it ceases to be an affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind, its assets shall be given to the National Federation of the Blind, to be held in trust for a reorganized affiliate in the state. In the event that no affiliate is reorganized in the state for a period of two (2) years from the date this organization ceases to be an affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind, the assets become the property of the National Federation of the Blind.

ARTICLE XIV

Section A, Amendments

This Constitution may be amended at any regular meeting of this organization by an affirmative vote of two thirds of the active members present and voting, provided the proposed amendment has been submitted in writing and read at a previous business session and provided it is in compliance with the provisions of the Charter of Affiliation provided by the National Federation of the Blind.

Section B, Bylaws

The organization may adopt a set of bylaws setting forth day to day policies including but not limited to financial, parliamentary, and responsibilities of officers and members. Bylaws may be enacted or amended by a majority vote of the members of the organization or board of directors at any meeting. Any action taken by the board of directors must be ratified or refused by the general membership at the next annual convention. The bylaws must be attached to this constitution so that the Constitution and Bylaws are a single document. The constitution is the supreme policy of the organization and shall override any policy enacted in the bylaws which conflicts with the constitution.