As Amended October, 2004; May, 2020
Article I MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Qualifications.
Any blind or sighted person who has demonstrated a constructive interest in the goals and policies of the National Federation of the Blind is eligible for membership in the organization.
At least a majority of the members of this organization must be blind. Members of this organization have the right to vote, serve on committees, speak on the floor, and hold office.
Members and applicants for membership must not indulge in attacks upon the officers, Board members, leaders, or members of the National Federation of the Blind or its affiliates outside of the organization. This requirement shall not be interpreted to interfere with the right of a member to carry on a political campaign within the organization for election to office, or to achieve policy changes. No member may join or support any temporary or permanent organization inside the Federation that has not received the sanction and approval of the membership and/or the Board of Directors.
Section 2. Members of Local Chapters.
All members of local chapters shall automatically become members of this organization. Persons may become members of local chapters by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the chapter members present and voting at a regular chapter meeting.
Section 3. Members at Large.
Any person who is not affiliated with a local chapter may become a member at large of this organization by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present and voting at a regular meeting or by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Board of Directors.
Article II LOCAL CHAPTERS
Section 1. Application for Membership.
Any organized group desiring to become a local chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota, Inc. (NFBM), shall apply for affiliation by submitting to the president of NFBM a copy of its articles of incorporation, bylaws and minutes if any, or its constitution and a list of the names and addresses of its members and elected officers. When NFBM, either by action of its members or by action of its Board of Directors, shall have approved the application, it shall issue to the local chapter a certificate of acceptance after receipt of state dues for the first year of affiliation. No group shall be accepted as a chapter, and no group shall remain a chapter, unless at least a majority of its voting members is 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 chapter must be blind. The president of the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota, Inc., shall be an ex officio member of each local chapter.
Section 2. Chapter Reports.
Annually, on or before March 1, the president or secretary of each local chapter shall provide to the Treasurer of NFBM any state dues collected by the chapter, along with the names and addresses of the members who paid. As new members enter local chapters, their names, addresses and state dues shall be sent without delay to the Treasurer of NFBM, either by the member directly or by the chapter.
Section 3. Distribution of Assets of a Former Local Chapter.
When a local chapter ceases for any reason to be affiliated with NFBM, the former chapter's assets shall become the property of NFBM.
Article III DISCIPLINE
Any local chapter or member may be suspended, expelled or other-wise disciplined for misconduct or for activity unbecoming to a chapter member of this organization by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Board of Directors of NFBM or by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members of NFBM present and voting at a regular or special meeting. If the action is to be taken by the Board, there must be a good cause and a good faith effort must have been made to try to resolve the problem by discussion and negotiation. If the action is to be taken by the members at a meeting, notice of such action must be given fifteen (15) days prior to such a meeting of the members. If a dispute arises as to whether there was good cause, or whether the Board made a "good faith effort," the members shall have the power to make final disposition of the matter; but until or unless the members reverse the Board’s action, the ruling of the Board shall continue in effect.
Article IV OFFICERS
Section 1. Officers and Duties.
There shall be elected at the annual meeting of the members held during odd-numbered years a president and a secretary. At annual meetings of the members held during even-numbered years there shall be elected a vice-president and a treasurer. The president and vice-president of this organization must be blind. The duties of each officer shall be those ordinarily associated with that office, and all officers shall be voting members of the Board of Directors.
Section 2. Election.
All candidates for each office shall be nominated from the floor at the time of the election. Officers shall be elected by secret ballot; the nominee receiving the majority of the votes for each respective office shall be declared elected to that office. If no nominee receives a majority vote on the first ballot, 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 regular members present and voting. There shall be no proxy or cumulative voting. The term of all officers shall begin at the close of the meeting at which they are elected and qualified.
Article V BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Section 1. Election of the Board of Directors.
The Board of Director of this organization shall consist of the four officers elected at the annual meetings and five additional members, two of whom shall be elected for two-year terms at the annual meeting of the members during even-numbered years and three of whom shall be elected for a two-year term at the annual meeting of the members during odd-numbered years. The five Directors shall be elected in the same manner as that prescribed for the election of officers.
Section 2. Meetings.
The Board shall meet at least quarterly and may hold additional meetings either at the call of the president or at the written request of any three (3) Board members. At least five (5) members of the Board must be present at any meeting to constitute a quorum to transact business. Any action, which might be taken at a meeting of the Board of Directors, may be taken without a meeting if authorized by a writing signed by all of the Directors. Such action shall be effective on the date stated therein. Members of the Board of Directors may participate in a meeting of such Board by means of conference telephone or other means by which all persons participating in the meeting can hear each other. Such participation shall constitute presence in person at such meeting.
Section 3. Qualification.
No person receiving regular substantial financial compensation from this organization shall be an elected officer or Board member. A majority of the Board of Directors must be blind. All officers and board members must be regular members of this organization.
Section 4. Duties.
The Board shall advise the president and shall have charge of the affairs of the organization between meetings of the members.
Article VI MEETINGS
Section 1. Regular Meetings.
This corporation shall hold at least two meetings of its members each year, the time and place of which shall be fixed by the Board of Directors. At least thirty (30) regular members must be present to constitute a quorum to transact business at any meeting. Written notice must be mailed to the membership at least fifteen (15) days prior to the date of the meeting. Such notice may designate the meeting of the members as a convention.
Section 2. Special Meetings.
Special meetings of the organization may be called by the president, a majority of the Board of Directors, or by a petition signed by at least thirty (30) regular members in good standing, which shall be submitted to the president. Thirty (30) regular members must be present at a special meeting to constitute a quorum to transact business and written notice must have been sent to the membership at least fifteen (15) days prior to the date of the meeting.
Section 3. Parliamentary Procedure.
Consistent with the democratic character of the National Federation of the Blind, meetings shall be conducted so as to prevent parliamentary maneuvers that would have the effect of interfering with the expression of the will of the majority on any question or with the rights of the minority to full and fair presentation of their views. Roberts Rules of Order (revised) shall be used only as a guide in parliamentary procedures.
Article VII COMMITTEES
The Board of Directors shall appoint such committees as it or the membership deems necessary.
Article VIII AFFILIATION
NFBM shall be an affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind, Inc., and shall furnish to the president of the National Federation of the Blind, Inc., annually, on or before January 1, a list of the names and addresses of its members and elected officers. A copy of the ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION and Bylaws of NFBM and any amendments thereto shall also be sent to the president of the National Federation of the Blind, Inc. NFBM shall comply with the provisions of the Constitution of the National Federation of the Blind, Inc. NFBM shall comply with the policy decisions of the National Federation of the Blind, Inc., by affirmative participation of NFBM and its local chapters in carrying out such policy decisions.
Article IX DELEGATES TO THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND CONVENTION
The membership of the corporation shall elect each year at least one delegate and at least one alternate delegate to attend the convention of the National Federation of the Blind, Inc. Only members in good standing shall be eligible for election as delegate or alternate delegate. To the extent that the resources of the corporation permit, the expenses of the delegate and alternative delegate to the conventions of the National Federation of the Blind, Inc., shall be paid.
Article X DUES
The membership dues of this corporation shall be determined by a majority vote of the members present and voting at a regular meeting, payable on or before January 1. In accordance with Article II of these Bylaws, members may submit dues directly to the state treasurer, and local chapters shall forward any members' dues collected by the chapter to the state treasurer. Any member who fails to pay dues shall remain in good standing for a period of sixty (60) days, during which time notice of expiration of membership shall be sent by the secretary. At the end of this grace period, persons delinquent in the payment of their dues shall be dropped from membership.
Article XI FUNDS
The funds of this organization shall be deposited in a bank to be selected by the treasurer with the approval of the president. The treasurer and the secretary shall be bonded. All financial obligations of the corporation shall be discharged by check signed by either the president or the treasurer.
Article XII DISSOLUTION
In the event of dissolution, all assets of this organization shall be given to an organization with similar purposes that has a 501 C (3) certification by the Internal Revenue Service. In the event that the National Federation of the Blind, Inc. is such an organization, the assets of this organization shall be given to it.
Article XIII AMENDMENTS
These Bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting of the organization by affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the regular members present and voting provided the proposed amendment has been submitted to the membership with the written notice of the meeting.