Constitution and Bylaws
As adopted by the officers of Blind, Friends, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People elected on July 7, 1999 in Los Angeles California
• Amended by the membership on July 5, 2000 in Louisville Kentucky
• Amended by the membership on July 5, 2002 in Houston Texas
• Amended by the officers on February 13, 2003 through meeting electronically to be ratified by the membership on July 8, 2003 in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
• Amended by the membership on July 8, 2003 in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
• Amended by the membership on July 5, 2004 in Birmingham Alabama
• Amended by the membership on July 4, 2005 in Las Vegas Nevada
• Amended by the membership on July 3, 2006 in Jacksonville Florida
• Amended by the membership on July 7, 2008 in Louisville Kentucky
• Amended by the membership on July 6, 2009 in Orlando Florida
• Amended by the membership on July 12, 2010 in Phoenix Arizona
• Amended by the membership on July 11, 2011 in Reno Nevada
• Amended by the membership on July 9, 2012 in Louisville Kentucky
The name of this organization shall be Blind LGBT Pride International known as Blind LGBT Pride.
The purpose of Blind LGBT Pride is to provide for the betterment of the lives of those who are visually impaired and who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
A. Through a membership organization primarily of visually impaired persons who accept and affirm the purposes of Blind LGBT Pride.
B. By providing a forum for the views and concerns of visually impaired persons interested in issues facing those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.
C. By providing information about publications of interest to members that are produced in accessible format and by encouraging the production of such material in accessible format.
D. By facilitating the free exchange of ideas, opinions and information relative to matters of concern to blind people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
E. By seeking to assure adequate services to those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender by agencies and institutions serving the blind.
A. Affiliation with ACB
Blind LGBT Pride is organized and chartered as an affiliate of the American Council of the Blind. As an affiliate, Blind LGBT Pride and each of its members and affiliates individually, are bound by the Constitution and Bylaws of the American Council of the Blind.
B. Affiliation with Blind LGBT Pride
1. Blind LGBT Pride may grant recognition to any organization that seeks affiliation with Blind LGBT Pride at the Annual Convention of Blind LGBT Pride by majority vote, provided such organizations affirm the constitutional purposes of Blind LGBT Pride and that such organizations adhere to the Constitution and Bylaws of Blind LGBT Pride.
2. Each member of an affiliate must be a member of Blind LGBT Pride.
3. A majority of members of such affiliate must be legally blind as defined by the Internal Revenue Service.
4. The Board of Directors may grant provisional affiliation to an affiliate between conventions, but such grant must be ratified by a majority of members present and voting at the convention immediately following such action.
5. The Board of Directors may suspend the charter of an affiliate for cause, but such action must be affirmed by a majority of members present and voting at the convention immediately following such action.
6. Each affiliate shall name a representative to attend board meetings, but such representative shall not vote
A. A regular meeting of this organization shall be held once a year to be known as the ANNUAL CONVENTION.
B. A MAJORITY of all votes of voting members in good standing at the CONVENTION shall constitute a QUORUM to do business.
C. Monthly board meetings: Between the Annual Convention the Board of Directors shall meet on a monthly basis to conduct the business of the organization as outlined in Article VII. A quorum for conducting business shall be based on the number of occupied board positions.
D. Regularly scheduled board meeting shall be open to the membership, pursuant to published guidelines established by the Board.
E. Procedure: In the absence of procedures contained herein or in the Bylaws, all proceedings, of this organization shall be governed by ROBERTS RULES OF ORDER, NEWLY REVISED.
MEMBERSHIP, VOTING AND DUES
Any person who affirms the purposes of this organization is eligible to become a member of Blind LGBT Pride providing she or he complies with the provisions herein.
Each voting member and affiliate in good standing may opt to vote either by electronic ballot or by attending an Annual Convention of Blind LGBT Pride and shall be entitled to one vote. A person casting a vote on behalf of his or her affiliate may cast both his or her individual vote and the vote for his or her affiliate.
1) ELECTRONIC VOTING
Each voting member and affiliate who will not be present at the Annual Convention of Blind LGBT Pride and who opts to vote electronically, does so with the understanding that they will not be able to cast a vote for a candidate running from the floor.
Members shall remit dues in accordance with the Bylaws herein contained.
A. The Board expects of itself and its members ethical and businesslike conduct. This commitment includes proper use of authority and appropriate decorum in group and individual behavior when acting as Directors. Failure to do so will subject a Board Member to disciplinary actions contained in Section H of this Article. Board Members are expected to attend all board meetings. Failure to attend three consecutive board meetings may result in disciplinary action as delineated in Section H of this Article.
B. The officers of this organization shall consist of a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, the Immediate Past President and three At-Large Board Members.
C. These officers together constitute the organization's Board of Directors.
D. A majority of the members of the Board of Directors shall be legally blind.
E. The term of office of each officer shall be two years and shall begin at the close of the Annual Convention at which he or she is elected. The positions of President, Treasurer and one Board Member At Large are elected in even numbered years and the positions of Vice President, Secretary and two Board Members At Large are elected in odd numbered years. A one time exception will be made in 2010 where the positions of Vice President and Secretary elected at the 2010 convention will serve one year terms. The Vice President and Secretary positions will resume being elected for two year terms again starting in 2011.
F. Only a voting member of the organization may be elected to office.
G. If a vacancy should occur between Annual Conventions in any position on the Board of Directors, except the President, the Board of Directors, in conformity with the requirements for holding office contained herein or in the Bylaws, may by a majority vote elect an individual to serve in the position until the next Annual Convention, at which time, if necessary, the membership shall elect a successor to serve for the remainder of the term. If a vacancy should occur in the office of the President, the Vice President shall succeed to that office and shall serve for the remainder of the term.
H. Removal from office:
1. An officer may be removed from office for her or his failure to adhere to the provisions of the Constitution or Bylaws.
2. The Board of Directors shall have the power to suspend a Board Member, which will result in permanent removal from office if the Board Member in question does not request a hearing.
3. The Board of Directors may vote for an officer's suspension only after the officer for whom suspension is contemplated has been given twenty-one days' notice at his or her postal address of record in a pre-determined format which is accessible to that individual or at an email address that had been given by that individual as the preferred location to contact her or him.
4. A quorum for a meeting to suspend an officer shall be three Board Members and the vote to suspend must be unanimous.
5. The officer against whom suspension is contemplated may not cast a vote.
6. If the suspended Board Member does request a hearing prior to the next Annual Convention, a two-thirds vote by Blind LGBT Pride members present and voting at that convention shall be required to confirm permanent removal from office.
POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE CONVENTION AND OF THE OFFICERS:
The Annual Convention of this organization shall be the ultimate authority within this organization on all matters except those matters delegated herein or in the Bylaws to the final authority or discretion of the officers.
A. Officers of this organization shall perform the usual functions of their offices as prescribed in Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, unless otherwise provided for herein or in the Bylaws.
B. The Board of Directors shall be the governing body of this organization between conventions, provided that it shall make no policy decisions and take no official action in conflict with existing decisions or actions of the convention.
C. Any voting member of this organization may make or second motions, propose or second nominations, serve on committees, and are eligible for election to office at each Annual Convention or special membership meeting of this organization.
This Constitution and Bylaws may be amended at any Annual Convention of this organization, Constitutional amendments by a two- thirds vote and Bylaw amendments by a simple majority vote of those present and voting.
This organization may be dissolved only at an Annual Convention by a four/fifths vote of the members present and voting.
A. Any assets held by the organization upon its dissolution shall become the property of the American Council of the Blind, or a like-minded organization.
A. Dues for membership in the organization shall be twelve dollars per year and shall be paid to the Treasurer or to the person or persons designated by the President.
B. Student membership shall be six dollars, per year and shall be paid to the Treasurer or to the person or persons designated by the President.
C. Lifetime memberships shall be three hundred dollars, and shall be paid to the Treasurer or to the person or persons designated by the President. Lifetime membership dues shall be paid in one installment or in a series of installments over a period not to exceed one year.
D. Dues may be subject to change by a majority vote by members present at the Annual Convention.
E. Dues may be waived for an individual at the discretion of the president or his or her designee.
VOTING BY BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Between annual conventions, the Board of Directors may cast any needed vote by mail or by electronic means.
A. Said organization is organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future Federal Tax Code.
B. No part of the net earnings of the organization shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the organization shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in the purpose clause hereof. No substantial part of the activities of the organization shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the organization shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provision of this document, the organization shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by an organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future Federal Tax Code, or (b) by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future Federal Tax Code.
C. Upon the dissolution of the organization, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 5O1(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future Federal Tax Code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose. Any such assets not disposed of shall be disposed of by the Court of Common Pleas of the county in which the principal office of the organization is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.
A. Each group requesting affiliate status must submit the following, for Blind LGBT Pride Board approval, prior to receiving recognition as an affiliate
1. A copy of the proposed affiliate’s Constitution and Bylaws.
2. A full membership list with each members full information as set forth by the Blind LGBT Pride board and ACB.
3. A signed “Service Mark and Trade Name Agreement”.
B. Each affiliate must keep their Membership list submitted to Blind LGBT Pride up to date.
C. Each affiliate will pay Blind LGBT Pride dues, as specified in these bylaws, each January for all of its members.
D. The charter of an affiliate may be suspended by the board of directors, to be ratified by a majority vote of the membership at convention for:
1. Being more than two (2) months overdue in payment of annual dues (due date January 15th).
2. Failing to supply the board with an up-to-date list of its members every year by February 15th.
3. Failing to satisfy the Board with respect to its purposes or membership.
4. Conducting or participating in activities contrary to the good reputation of Blind LGBT Pride.
E. Before the Board adopts a motion for the provisional deletion of an Affiliate the Affiliate concerned is provided, by mail, with a notice of the provisional deletion motion and the reasons upon which it is based.
F. The affiliate has thirty (30 calendar days), to provide the board with reasons why the provisional deletion should not be adopted.
G. When a motion of provisional deletion is adopted by the Board, the Affiliate concerned has the right to appeal the action to the Board.
1. The appeal must be received by the Board within thirty (30) calendar days of the mailing of notice of provisional deletion to the Affiliate.
2. The Boards vote on the appeal shall be conducted according to the voting procedures outlined in these Bylaws, and will be held within two (2) months upon receipt of the appeal.
3. The Membership shall vote to affirm the Boards action or take other action by a majority vote.
4. If the vote of the membership is to sustain the provisional deletion, the deleted Affiliate will be removed from the roster of Affiliates immediately after the vote of the membership and the Secretary shall enter the deletion to the roster of Affiliates and inform all Affiliates accordingly.
5. If no appeal is made, the memberships action to delete shall be effective immediately.
H. All members of such deleted Affiliates may retain their privileges of membership and shall become Members-at-large of Blind LGBT Pride.
A. Blind LGBT Pride will maintain an “Endowment Fund” for the purpose of generating interest income to be used for services such as web costs and convention program support.
B. All funds from “Life memberships” and other donations specifically donated to be placed in the “Endowment Fund” will be added to the fund and the fund will be invested in “Secure” investments. The interest will be re-invested until the principle reaches ten thousand dollars, at which time the interest can be transferred to the convention or general account.
The Secretary shall provide each member and affiliate in good standing an electronic ballot at least 7 days in advance of BPI’s annual Business Meeting at the ACB conference/convention.
Each ballot shall contain language regarding members and affiliates who vote electronically do so because they will not be present at the annual conference/convention and therefore forfeit the option of voting for a candidate running from the floor.
Electronic ballots must be received by the Secretary no later than 5 PM convention time on the day of the business meeting. Ballots received later than 5 PM will not be counted.
Electronic ballots will be treated as confidential.
Electronic votes will be included in the tally of the votes cast at the business meeting.