CONSTITUTION OF THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND OF NEW JERSEY
As amended November 2015
ARTICLE I – NAME
The name of this organization shall be The National Federation of the Blind of New Jersey.
ARTICLE II – PURPOSE
The purpose of this organization shall be to promote the general welfare of the blind of New Jersey and the nation, and to cooperate with the National Federation of the Blind in its various activities.
ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP
Section One: Active Members
At least a majority of the active members of this organization must be blind. Active membership shall be of two classifications: active members who are affiliated with local chapters, and active members who are not affiliated with local chapters.
- All active members of local chapters shall automatically become active members of this organization, with the right to vote, serve on committees, speak on the floor, and hold office.
- 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 Two: Associate Members
Any person may be elected to associate membership in this organization either by the convention or the board of directors. 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: Expulsion
Any member may be expelled for misconduct or neglect of duty by a two thirds vote of the active members present and voting at any regular business session of the organization.
ARTICLE IV – LOCAL CHAPTERS
Any organized group desiring to become a chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of New Jersey shall apply for affiliation by submitting to the president of the National Federation of the Blind of New Jersey a copy of its constitution, and a list of the names and addresses of its members and elected officers. When the National Federation of the Blind of New Jersey, either in convention assembled or by action of its board of directors, shall have approved the application, it shall issue to the local chapter a certificate of acceptance. Annually, on or before January 1, each local chapter shall provide to the secretary of the National Federation of the Blind of New Jersey a current list of its members and their addresses. At the same time, each local chapter shall forward to the State treasurer the State dues for each member in the chapter. As new members enter local chapters, their names and addresses shall be sent without delay to the secretary of the State organization, and their State dues shall be sent without delay to the treasurer of the State organization. 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 National Federation of the Blind of New Jersey 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 were elected and qualified. Officers shall be elected by a majority vote of the active members present and voting. There shall be no proxy voting. 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 active members present and voting. The president and the 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 of this organization shall consist of the five constitutional officers and six (6) additional members, three of whom shall be elected for two-year terms at the annual convention during even numbered years, and three of whom shall be elected for two-year terms at the annual convention during odd numbered years. At the meeting at which this constitution is adopted, two of the six directors shall be elected to one-year terms, and two shall be elected to two-year terms. Upon creation of the fifth and sixth board positions, one of them shall be elected to a one-year term, and the other shall be elected to a two-year term. The six directors 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 of the board members.
The board shall advise the president and shall have charge of the affairs of the organization between conventions. At least six (6) members of the board must be present at a meeting to constitute a quorum to transact business. The board may be polled by telephone, mail ballot or electronic mail on any question.
If, for any reason, a position on the Board of Directors is vacated, the membership of the affiliate shall be informed as soon as possible. If the vacated office is neither that of President nor that of First Vice President, the President, with advice and consent of a majority of the remaining Board, shall determine whether or not to fill the vacancy by appointment. If the vacancy occurs within ten (10) months after the most recent election for that office, it may additionally be filled by special election at the subsequent state convention. Whatever decision has been made shall be transmitted to the affiliate membership within thirty (30) days after notification of the vacancy. The new Board member shall remain in office until the next regularly scheduled election for that office. If the office of President Is vacated, the First Vice President shall immediately assume that office. If the office of First Vice President is vacated, including to fill the office of President, the Second Vice President shall immediately assume that office, and the vacancy of Second Vice President shall be addressed in the manner prescribed above.
ARTICLE VII – MEETINGS
Section One: Annual Meetings
The 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 fifteen active members must be present to constitute a quorum to transact business at any annual convention.
Section Two: Special Meetings
The president of the organization may call a special meeting of the body at any time he, or the majority of the board of directors, deems such action to be necessary, but at such special meeting, fifteen active members must be present to constitute a quorum to transact business, and written notice must have been sent to the membership at least ten days prior to the date of the meeting.
ARTICLE VIII – COMMITTEES
The president shall appoint such committees as he or the organization deems necessary.
ARTICLE IX – AFFILIATION
The National Federation of the Blind of New Jersey 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 1, a list of the names and addresses of its members and elected officers. A copy of the constitution of the National Federation of the Blind of New Jersey and of 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 FEDERATION OF THE BLIND 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 delegate unless he or she is an active member in good standing. To the extent of the resources of the organization, the expenses of the 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 $1.00 per year paid in advance. In accordance with Article IV of the constitution, local chapters shall pay the State dues of their members. Members who are not affiliated with a local chapter shall pay their dues before or during the time of the annual convention. A lifetime membership may be secured for a fee of $100.00. No person may vote who is delinquent in the payment of his dues.
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 this organization shall be discharged by check issued on written order of the president, and signed by the treasurer.
ARTICLE XIII – DISSOLUTION
In the event of dissolution, the assets of the organization shall be given to the National Federation of the Blind.
ARTICLE XIV – 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 has been read at a previous business session.