Constitution

American Council of the Blind of Western New York
CONSTITUTION

ARTICLE I – Name
The name of this organization shall be the “American Council of the Blind of Western New York”, hereafter ACB OF WESTERN NEW YORK or ACB of WNY.

ARTICLE II – Purpose
The purpose of ACB OF WESTERN NEW YORK shall be to:
1. Educate the general public as well as the blind and visually impaired as to the rights, responsibilities, problems and potentials of blind and visually impaired persons; providing maximum opportunities to become self-sufficient, self-supporting and productive members of society.
2. Give particular and special attention to the special needs of blind or visually impaired residents in the Western New York and greater Western New York area including the counties surrounding Western New York unless another chapter is created.

ARTICLE III – Membership
1. Any person who is at least sixteen (16) years of age and who is concerned with the attainment of the goals and objectives set forth in Article II of this Constitution shall be entitled to membership in ACB OF WESTERN NEW YORK provided that at least 60% of the membership consists of blind or visually impaired persons at all times.
2. Each member shall be entitled to one (1) vote, to serve on committees and, except as provided in Article V and Article VI of this Constitution, to hold elective office.
3. The individuals participating in the initial two (2) organizing meetings shall be designated as charter members.
4. In order to become a member of ACB OF WESTERN NEW YORK, one must first pay the full amount that the organization has designated as dues for that fiscal year.
5. Any person who joins ACB OF WESTERN NEW YORK and pays his or her dues during the last three (3) months of any fiscal year shall be considered as “paid-up” for the fiscal year immediately following.
6. In order to remain a member in good standing of ACB OF WESTERN NEW YORK one must pay the full amount that the organization designates as dues for the fiscal year by the start of said fiscal year.
7. Upon payment of delinquent dues pursuant to section 6, a member will immediately be deemed in good standing within this organization. There shall be no attendance or participation requirements of members to be deemed in good standing except as set forth in Article VI, section 1, b, concerning meeting attendance by members of the Board of Directors.
8. Lifetime members- Any member who is considered a lifetime member of the state or national organization of ACB shall not have to pay those dues again to national or state. They may still have chapter dues unless a lifetime membership is set for the chapter.

ARTICLE IV – Meetings
1. Regular meetings shall be held on a monthly basis, except as when designated by the Board of Directors or officers.
2. Special meetings may be called by either the President or a majority of the Board of Directors at a time and place to be designated by the aforementioned.
3. Notice as to the time and place for the Secretary shall send each meeting of ACB OF WESTERN NEW YORK to all members at least seven (7) days prior to the date of such meeting. The secretary must send notification in the way the members themselves wish to receive notification of the meeting in print, electronically, phone call or any other reasonable format. A reasonable format can be determined by the officers or voted by the majority of the members if there is a need for a new format.
4. The quorum for all meetings of ACB OF WESTERN NEW YORK shall be five (5) members in good standing at the time the meeting is scheduled to begin, including at least two officers and two members of the Board of Directors.

ARTICLE V – Officers
1. This organization shall have four (4) officers:
a. President
b. Vice President
c. Treasurer
d. Secretary
2. Election of officers shall be by a simple majority vote of the members present and voting at the election meeting which shall be held in November of each year except for the first year where a prior election will also take place.
3. A nominating committee shall be appointed by the President no later than the regular meeting immediately preceding the election meeting. This committee shall present a slate of candidates for office to the Secretary in sufficient time for the Secretary to include the slate of candidates in the written notice of the election meeting. Nominations from the floor shall also be accepted at the election meeting.
4. Officers shall take office on January 1 except for the formation of this chapter following their election and serve for a term of three (3) years.
5. No officer shall hold the same office for more than two (2) consecutive terms nor serve in more than one (1) elective office in ACB OF WESTERN NEW YORK at any one (1) time if three terms were already served in the previous position. The only exception to this rule is if there is no one else to fill these positions.
6. The President and the Vice President of ACB OF WESTERN NEW YORK must be either blind or visually impaired.

ARTICLE VI – Board of Directors
1. a. The four (4) officers plus three (3) Board members-at large and the Immediate Past President shall comprise the Board of Directors of ACB OF WESTERN NEW YORK unless there is no past president.
b. Any member of the Board of Directors who is absent from more than three (3) consecutive meetings or does not maintain regular contact with the President of ACB OF WESTERN NEW YORK shall be removed from said position. However, thirty (30) days prior to removal from office, said person shall be notified in writing by the President.
2. Three Board members shall be elected at the same time as the officers and take office the same time as the officers. The board members may only serve two consecutive terms.
3. Either the President or a majority of the Board of Directors may call a meeting of the Board of Directors and designate the time and place for such meeting provided that each member of the Board of Directors receives notice of such meeting at least three (3) days in advance thereof.
4. The quorum for a meeting of the Board of Directors shall be a majority of the members of the Board of Directors.
5. The Board of Directors shall, at all times, be comprised of a majority of blind or visually impaired persons.
6. In the event that the position of President becomes vacant prematurely, the Vice President shall assume the Presidency for the duration of that term. In the event any other elected position of the Board of Directors becomes vacant prematurely, the remaining members of the Board of Directors shall choose a person to fill the vacant position until the next regularly scheduled election for that position.
7. Unless otherwise specifically set forth herein, all decisions of the Board of Directors shall be made by the majority of those Board members present and voting at the meeting or a majority of the total Board if a vote is being sought by mail or by phone or other electronic means.

ARTICLE VII – Fiscal Operation

1. The fiscal year of ACB OF WESTERN NEW YORK shall begin on January 1 and end on December 31 of each year except the first year.
2. ACB OF WESTERN NEW YORK shall establish and maintain a checking account at a bank to be designated by the Board of Directors, and once the account is established, all monies received by the organization shall be deposited therein, and all disbursements shall be made by check or electronic transactions with receipt drawn thereon.
3. All disbursements of funds must first be approved by either the President or a majority of the Board of Directors, and if the amount of the disbursement is to exceed $100.00, either a majority of the Board of Directors or at least the President, Treasurer, and one (1) Board member.
4. Dues will be set by the Board of Directors and voted on by the membership at a business meeting.
5. Persons not gainfully employed shall be eligible for dues at half the yearly rate.

ARTICLE VIII – Procedure
Unless otherwise specifically set forth herein, all meetings, business functions, and business operations of ACB OF WESTERN NEW YORK shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of ROBERT’S RULES OF ORDER REVISED EDITION, as revised from time to time.

ARTICLE IX – Affiliation
In order to facilitate the attainment of the goals and objectives set forth in Article II of this Constitution, this organization shall immediately apply for affiliation as a local chapter of the American Council of the Blind of New York State, Inc.

ARTICLE X – Amendment Procedure
1. Any member of ACB OF WESTERN NEW YORK may propose an amendment to this Constitution at any regular meeting; if the proposal is properly seconded, such amendment shall be voted upon by the membership at the next regular meeting.
2. The Secretary shall provide each member with the written text of any proposed amendment at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting at which the amendment is to be acted upon.
3. Affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the voting members present shall be required in order to adopt a proposed amendment to this Constitution.
4. The Secretary shall include notice as to the outcome of the vote(s) on any proposed amendment(s) to this Constitution with the written notice of the next meeting following the vote.

ARTICLE XI- Effective Date
This Constitution shall be the establishing document for the Western New York chapter of the American council of the Blind New York State Inc. and shall go into effect when the American Council of the Blind of New York State Inc. approves the establishing members vote on this document and it. This document was originally created on Monday September 15, 2014.
Date of approval: Pending approval by the board and state