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Constitution of the National Federation of the Blind of Connecticut

Adopted December 4, 1971, at Meeting at Oak Hill School, Hartford
Amended September 18, 1976, at Board Meeting, West Willington
Amended November 8, 1992, at Board Meeting, Danbury
Amended November 5, 1995, at Board Meeting, Stamford
Amended November 8, 1998, at Board Meeting, New Britain
Amended November 4, 2012, at Board Meeting, Hartford
Amended November 2, 2019, at State Convention, Meriden
Amended November 1, 2020 at State Convention Zoom Board Meeting

Article I: NAME

The name of this organization shall be: National Federation of the Blind of Connecticut.

Article II: PURPOSE

The purpose of this organization shall be to promote the general welfare and education of the blind of the State of Connecticut, and the nation, and to cooperate with the National Federation of the Blind in its various activities.

Article III: MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. ACTIVE MEMBERS:

At least a majority of the active members must be blind. Active members shall be of two classifications: active members who are affiliated with local chapters and Divisions, and active members who are not affiliated with local chapters and Divisions. All active members shall pay dues.

  1. All active members of this organization, shall have the right to vote, serve on committees, speak on the floor, and hold office. Such persons may be voting members of only one chapter at a time.
  2. Members at Large who have paid their dues have the right to vote at the annual state convention and run for any position on the board of directors that is open.
  3. Any person who is not affiliated with a local chapter may become an active member of this organization by a majority vote of the active members present and voting at a Convention, or by action of the Board of Directors.

Section 2. ASSOCIATE MEMBERS:

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 3. EXPULSION:

Any member or chapter may be expelled from this affiliate because of misconduct or neglect of duty or continued opposition to the state or National Federation of the Blind by a two-thirds vote of the active membership present and voting at any regular business session or convention and/or by a three-fourths vote of the Board of Directors. All parties shall be given at least 14 days written notice of intent to expel.

Article IV: LOCAL CHAPTERS

Any local group desiring to become a local chapter of the NFB of Connecticut shall apply for affiliation by submitting to the President of the NFB of Connecticut a copy of its Constitution and a list of names and addresses, phone numbers, and email if applicable of its members and local officers. When the NFB of Connecticut, either in Convention assembled or by action of its Board of Directors, shall have approved the Constitution, it shall issue to the local chapter a Charter of Membership. Annually, on or before January 1st, each local chapter shall provide to the President of the NFB of Connecticut a current list of its members names, phone numbers, addresses and emails if applicable. At the same time, each local Treasurer shall forward to the State Treasurer its dues in the amount of $3.00 for each member of the chapter. As new members enter the local chapter, their names, phone numbers, addresses and email if applicable shall be sent without delay to the president of the State organization. State dues shall be sent without delay to the Treasurer of the State organization. Chapter shall assist potential online and submit such form to the National office.

No group shall be accepted as a Chapter, and no group shall remain a Chapter, unless at least a majority of its voting members are 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 NFB of CT shall be an Ex Officio member of each local chapter.

Article V: OFFICERS AND THEIR DUTIES

There shall be elected at the regular Annual Convention, 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 Convention at which they are elected and qualified. Officers shall be elected by a majority vote of the active members who are present and voting. There shall be no proxy voting.

If no nominee receives a majority vote on the first ballot, a run-off election will be held between the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes. If a tie occurs between two or more candidates receiving the second highest number of votes, see procedural addendum.

Should a vacancy occur in any office, except that of the presidency before the term expires, the office will be filled by a presidential appointment until the next state convention at which time an election will be held to fill the office of the unexpired term. The election shall be held in the same manner as that provided for the election of officers. The vacancy of President shall be filled by the succession of the Vice Presidents.

The President and Vice-Presidents must be blind. The duties of each officer shall be those ordinarily associated with his office.

Article VI: BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The Board of Directors shall consist of the five constitutional officers, and four additional members, two of whom shall be elected for a two year term at the Annual Convention during even-numbered years, and two of whom shall be elected for a two year term at the Annual Convention during odd-numbered years.

The Board shall, upon reasonable notice, meet at the call of the President, or on written call signed by any three of the Board members. The Board shall advise the President and shall have charge of the affairs of the organization between conventions. At least five members of the Board shall be present at any meeting to constitute a quorum to transact business. The Board may be polled by telephone or mail ballot on any question.

Article VII: MEETINGS

Section 1. Annual Convention:

This organization shall hold an Annual Convention, the time and place of which shall be fixed by the membership, or if this is not possible, by the Board of Directors. At least 15 active members must be present to constitute a quorum to transact business at any Annual Convention.

Section 2. Special Meetings:

The President of the 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; but at such special meetings, at least 15 active members must be present to constitute a quorum to transact business, and written notices must have been sent to the membership at least ten days prior to the date of the meeting.

Article VIII: COMMITTEES

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

Article IX: AFFILIATION

The National Federation of the Blind of Connecticut shall be an affiliate 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 1st a list of the names, addresses, phone numbers, addresses and emails if applicable of its members and elected officers, a copy of the Constitution of the NFB of Connecticut, and all amendments to the Constitution shall also be sent to the President of the National Federation of the Blind.

Article X: DELEGATES TO THE NATIONAL CONVENTION

The organization 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. No person shall be elected as delegate, or alternate, unless he is an active member in good standing. To the extent of the resources of the organization, the expenses of delegates, and alternate delegates, to the Convention of the National Federation of the Blind shall be paid.

Article XI: DUES

The dues of the organization shall be set by a vote of the board of directors, payable in advance, in accordance with Article IV of the Constitution. Local chapters shall pay the dues of their members. Members who are not affiliated with local chapters shall pay their dues before January 31st. A life-time membership may be secured for a fee of $100.00. A person must be a paid member at least fifteen (15) days in advance of a state convention to be able to vote at said convention.

Article XII: DISBURSEMENT OF FUNDS

The funds of this organization shall be deposited in a bank selected by the Treasurer, with the approval of the President. The Treasurer shall be bonded. All financial obligations of the organization shall be discharged by checks issued on written order of the President and signed by the Treasurer.

Article XIII: DISSOLUTION

In the event of the dissolution, all assets of the organization shall be given to the National Federation of the Blind.

Article XIV: AMENDMENT

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.

PROCEDURAL ADDENDUM

  1. Article V: Officers and Their Duties: Elections
    1. If two or more candidates receive the second highest number of votes, they will be included in a run-off election against the person receiving the highest number of votes.
    2. If there is a tie for the highest number of votes among three or more candidates, they will participate in a run-off election.

Amendment 11/3/2019 at State Convention

1. Article III: Membership:

  • Removal of; All active members shall be over 16 years of age.
  • Change all active members of local “Chapters” to Chapters and Divisions.
  • Add; Members at Large who have paid their dues have the right to vote at the annual state convention and run for any position on the board of directors that is open.

2. Article IV: Local Chapters:

  • Replace “approved the application” with approved the Constitution.
  • Replace issue to the local chapter a” Certificate of Acceptance” with Charter of Membership.
  • Replace “Annually or before “December 15th” with Annually on January 1st provide to the state.
  • Replace from “Secretary” to President…
  • Replace list of “names and addresses” to names, phone numbers, addresses and email if applicable wherever it is listed and replace “December 15th” with January 31st their state dues shall be sent without delay to the Treasurer of the State organization.
  • Regarding new members: their information shall be sent to the President replacing “Secretary.” New language added “Chapter Presidents shall assist new members in filling out the new member form online and submit such form to the national office.”

3. Article VII: Meetings, Section 2.

  • Change “he” to he/she when referring to the president.

4. Article IX: Affiliation

  • Change “names and address” of members to names, phone numbers, addresses, and email if applicable.

5. Article XI: Dues

  • Change “Members who are not affiliated with local chapters shall pay their dues before, or during, the time of the annual convention” to, shall pay their dues on or before January 31st.
  • Totally remove “any person affiliated with a local chapter…

Amendment 11/1/2020 at State Convention

1. Article IV: Local Chapters:

  • Change “Chapter Presidents shall assist new members in filling out the new member form online and submit such form to the national office.” The language will be changed to Chapters shall assist potential members with the Onboarding process. Those that decide to join will be helped with filling out the New Member form online and submit such form to the national office.
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