Constitution of The National Association of Blind Merchants, adopted at the 2000 convention of the National Federation of the Blind
ARTICLE I. NAME
The name of this organization shall be The National Association of Blind Merchants.
ARTICLE II. PURPOSE
The purpose of the National Association of Blind Merchants is to serve as an active division of the National Federation of the Blind; to function as a mechanism through which blind entrepreneurs and interested sighted persons can come together in local, state and national meetings to plan and carry out programs to improve business opportunities and quality of life for the blind; to provide a means of collective action for blind business people; to promote the vocational, economic, business, cultural, and social advancement of the blind; to maximize opportunities under the Randolph-Sheppard Act; to strengthen and enhance state business enterprise programs; and to take such other action as will improve the overall condition and standard of living of the blind.
ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP
Members shall pay annual dues to this organization. Dues paid to State divisions, affiliates, and chapters will not apply toward membership to this organization. At least a majority of the members of this organization must be blind. All members have the right to vote, serve on committees, speak on the floor, and hold office.
Disciplinary Action. Any member may be expelled or suspended for violation of this constitution or for conduct unbecoming to a member of the Federation, by a majority vote of the members present and voting at any regular business session of this organization, or by a two thirds vote of the board of directors. Any person who feels that he/she has been unjustly disciplined or expelled from this organization may appeal to the board of directors of the National Federation of the Blind, which may, in it’s discretion, consider the matter and make a binding decision; but until or unless the action of discipline or expulsion is reversed by the National board, it shall continue in effect.
ARTICLE IV. OFFICERS AND THEIR DUTIES
There shall be elected at the regular business session of this organization, at the annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind, during each even numbered year, a president, a first vice president, a second vice president, a secretary, and a treasurer. The terms of these officers shall begin at the close of the business meeting at which they are elected. Officers shall be elected by a majority vote of the 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 members present and voting. The duties of each officer shall be those ordinarily associated with that office. The president and the vice presidents must be blind. To be elected, an individual must be present.
ARTICLE V. BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The board of directors of this organization shall consist of the five (5) constitutional officers and eight (8) additional members, four (4) of whom shall be elected for two (2) year terms at the business meeting at the annual convention, during even numbered years and four (4) of whom shall be elected for two (2) year terms at the business meeting at the annual convention during odd numbered years. The eight (8) board members 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 (3) of the board members. The board shall advise the president and shall have charge of the affairs of the organization between national conventions. At least seven (7) members of the board must be present at any meeting to constitute a quorum to transact business. The board may be polled by telephone, email, or mail ballot on any question. A majority of the board must be blind.
ARTICLE VI. SPECIAL MEETINGS
The president of this organization may call a special meeting of the body any time he/she or a majority of the board of directors deems such action necessary.
ARTICLE VII. COMMITTEES
The president may appoint such committees as he/she or the organization deems necessary. The president shall be ex officio a member of all committees.
ARTICLE VIII. AFFILIATION
The National Association of Blind Merchants shall be a division of the National Federation of the Blind and shall furnish to the president of the National Federation of the Blind annually, on or before January 1, a list of the names and addresses of it’s members and elected officers. A copy of the constitution of The National Association of Blind Merchants, and of all amendments to the constitution, shall be sent to the president of the National Federation of the Blind without delay upon adoption. The National Association of Blind Merchants 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. 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. This organization shall participate affirmatively in carrying out such policy decisions.
ARTICLE IX. DUES
The dues for this organization shall be paid on or before the day of the business session at the annual National Federation of the Blind convention. The amount for dues may be changed by a majority vote at the annual business session.
ARTICLE X. DISBURSEMENT OF FUNDS
The funds of this organization shall be deposited in a bank to be selected by the treasurer with the approval of the president. All financial obligations of this organization shall be discharged by check, issued on order of the president and signed by the treasurer or by an assistant treasurer approved by the membership or the board of directors, except that with approval of the board, some transactions may be paid in cash at the National convention.
ARTICLE XI. DISSOLUTION
In the event of the dissolution of this organization or if (for whatever reason) it ceases to be a division of the National Federation of the Blind, it’s assets shall be given to the National Federation of the Blind to be held in trust for a reorganized division. In the event that no division is organized for a period of two (2) years from the date this organization ceases to be a division of the National Federation of the Blind, the assets become the property of the National Federation of the Blind.
ARTICLE XII. AMENDMENTS
This constitution may be amended at any regular meeting of this organization by an affirmative vote of two thirds of the 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 constitution of the National Federation of the Blind and with the policies of the National Federation of the Blind.