NFB of MT – Constitution: Billings Chapter

Constitution of the Yellowstone County Chapter Of the National Federation of the Blind of Montana

Adopted January 9, 2013

ARTICLE I. NAME

The name of this organization shall be the Yellowstone County Chapter of the National Federation of the
Blind of Montana.

ARTICLE II. PURPOSE

The purpose of the Yellowstone County Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Montana shall
be:

  • to advance the general welfare of the blind of the Yellowstone County area, of the state of
    Montana, and of the nation;
  • to function as an integral part of the National Federation of the Blind;
  • to serve as a vehicle for collective action by the blind of the Yellowstone County area;
  • to operate as a mechanism through which the blind and interested sighted persons can come together
    to plan and carry out programs to improve the quality of life of the blind;
  • to provide a means of collective action for parents of blind children;
  • to forward the interests of blind students and provide them with a means of joint action and
    expression;
  • to promote the vocational, cultural, and social advancement of the blind;
  • to achieve the integration of the blind into society on a basis of equality with the
    sighted;
  • and to take any other action which will improve the overall condition and standard of
    living of the blind.

ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP

Section One: Active Members

At least a majority of the active members of this organization must be blind. Any person may become an
active member of this organization by a majority vote of the members present and voting at any regular
business meeting, and shall have the right to vote, serve on committees, speak on the floor, and hold
office.

Section Two: Associate Members

Any person may be elected to associate membership in this organization by a majority vote of the members
present and voting at any regular business meeting. 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 Three: Affiliation

Membership in this organization automatically establishes membership in the National Federation of the
Blind of Montana and the National Federation of the Blind.

Section Four: 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. 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/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. OFFICERS AND THEIR DUTIES

There shall be elected annually a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. The
terms of these officers shall begin at the close of the meeting at which they are elected and
qualified. Officers shall be elected by a majority vote of the active members who are present and
voting. Election shall be by voice vote, standing vote, show of hands, or roll call vote unless at
least four-fifths of the active members who are present and voting decide that a secret ballot shall
be used. 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. The duties of each officer shall be those
ordinarily associated with that office. The President, the Vice President, and a majority of the
Officers must be blind.

ARTICLE V. BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The Board of Directors of this organization shall consist of the four (4) constitutional 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 meetings. At least a majority of the members of the Board must be present at
any meeting to constitute a quorum to transact business. The Board may be polled by telephone or
mail ballot on any questions. A majority of the Board must be blind.

ARTICLE VI. MEETINGS

Section One: Regular Meetings

This organization shall hold regular meetings at a time and place to be determined by the membership.
At least 50 percent of active members must be present to constitute a quorum to transact business.

Section Two: Special Meetings

The President of this organization may call a special meeting of the body at any time he/she, or a
majority of the Board of Directors, deems such action to be necessary. At such a special meeting at
least 50 percent of active members must be present to constitute a quorum to transact business.

ARTICLE VII. COMMITTEES

The President may appoint such committees as he/she or the organization deems necessary.

ARTICLE VIII. AFFILIATION

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

The Yellowstone County Chapter 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 of Montana 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 and the National Federation of the Blind of Montana
(whether made by the National Convention or the National Board of Directors or the State
Convention or the State 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 action of the National Convention or the National Board or the State
Convention or State Board) has the power to expel or discipline an individual member and to
expel or reorganize a state affiliate or local chapter. In the event of reorganization, the
assets of this organization shall belong to the reorganized chapter or if no reorganization
occurs for a period of two years, to the National Federation of the Blind of Montana, and the
former chapter 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, if it ceases 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 IX. DUES

The dues of this organization shall be $5.00 (five dollars) per year, payable in advance. The
Chapter shall forward $5.00 (five dollars) per year to the National Federation of the Blind of
Montana for each member. A life-time membership may be secured for a fee of $100.00. No person
may vote who is delinquent in the payment of his/her dues.

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. If the members so vote, the Treasurer shall be bonded. All
financial obligations of this organization shall be discharged by check, issued on written order
of the President, and signed by the Treasurer.

ARTICLE XI. DISSOLUTION

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

ARTICLE XII. 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 received by the state affiliate
from the National Federation of the Blind and with the policies of the National Federation of
the Blind of Montana and the National Federation of the Blind.