DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
An Affiliate of the American Council of the Blind
As Amended November 2013
We, the members of the DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COUNCIL OF THE BLIND, in order to provide for the carrying out of the purposes and objectives of this incorporated organization as expressed in its Certificate of Incorporation, do hereby establish these Bylaws.
ARTICLE I: Name
This organization shall be known as the DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA COUNCIL OF THE BLIND, hereinafter (DCCB).
ARTICLE II: Purpose
The purpose of this organization, a local affiliate of the
American Council of the Blind, hereinafter (ACB), shall be to promote the social, economic, cultural and general welfare of people who are blind and visually impaired residents of the District of Columbia and metropolitan area; stimulate the development of practical and self-help activities by working for improvement in local education, rehabilitation and other community services; and to foster the goals and objectives of The aforementioned national organization.
ARTICLE III: Membership
Upon payment of dues, any individual at least eighteen (18) years of age, whether blind or sighted, who is committed to the goals and objectives of DCCB is eligible for membership. At all times, blind and visually impaired persons shall constitute at least a simple majority of the membership. Each member shall have one vote at any meeting of the organization. All members of this organization are automatically members of ACB and agree to work for the goals and objectives of ACB.
ARTICLE IV: Dues
Section 1. Annual Dues, Life Members
1.1 Annual dues for all members shall be determined from time to time by a majority vote of the members and shall be set in excess of the required dues for ACB membership. Any person who shall pay such annual dues shall be deemed a Paid Member at the time of said payment and that term will continue through September 30th of the following calendar year.
1.2 Any member may elect to pay an amount to be designated by a majority of the voting members, whereupon he or she shall be deemed a life member whose dues shall, from the date of such payment, be paid up for the remainder of his or her life.
Section 2. New Members
Should any new member be admitted on or after April 1, the annual dues paid by such new member shall be deemed to be his or her dues for the remainder of that membership year and for the next full membership year.
Section 3. Arrears
- Any member who fails to pay dues for a current membership year, and whose failure to do so continues through December 31 of such year shall be deemed in arrears.
- No active member who is in arrears shall be permitted to vote or exercise the functions of any office held by him or her until his or her dues are paid up.
- Should any member in arrears continue to be in arrears throughout the entire membership year, and should he or she continue to be in arrears to January 1 of the next membership year, he or she shall be dropped from the membership roll; provided, however, that such member shall not be dropped from the membership roll until at least 30 days after notice has been sent to such member advising of the contents of this section and that he or she will be dropped from the membership roll unless all dues in arrears are paid.
Section 4. Reinstatement of Members Dropped
Any member dropped from the roll pursuant to the foregoing section may be readmitted to membership in the same manner new members are admitted.
ARTICLE V: Officers, Election, Duties
Section 1. Officers
The officers of DCCB shall be a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Information Officer, and three (3) additional members of the Executive Board. All officers shall be elected bi-annually at the regular September meeting of odd numbered years for a term of two (2) years. No officer can serve more than two (2) consecutive elected two (2) year terms.
Section 2. Manner of Election
Where more than one name is placed in nomination for any office, a secret ballot shall be conducted, and the nominee receiving the majority of votes cast shall be deemed elected. Should no nominee receive a majority vote on the first ballot, then a second election shall be held on which only the names of the two nominees receiving the highest number of votes on the first ballot shall be considered. Such additional secret ballots shall be
held as may be necessitated by ties to satisfy the requirement of this section that the successful nominee have a majority.
Section 3. Nomination
Candidates may be nominated by a nominating committee chosen by the President in advance of the election meeting, but in no event shall the right of members to place names in nomination for any or all officers from the floor at the election meeting be abridged. No member's name shall be placed in nomination in his or her absence unless he or she shall have confirmed his or her willingness to serve if elected.
Section 4. Affirmation
Each officer shall, upon election or reelection, repeat after the presiding officer the following affirmation:
"I do hereby solemnly affirm that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office entrusted to me to the best of my ability."
Section 5. Duties
- The President shall preside at all meetings of the DCCB and of the Executive Board, decide all questions of order, make all appointments not otherwise provided for in these Bylaws or by resolution of the membership, call special meetings of the DCCB or Executive Board not herein otherwise provided for when, in his or her judgment, the same shall be advisable, and perform all other duties imposed upon him or her by these Bylaws or by resolution of the membership or Executive Board.
- The Vice President shall preside at DCCB and Executive Board meetings in the absence of the President and perform such other duties as shall be assigned to him or her by the President or Executive Board. Should the office of President become vacant by reason of the death, resignation or recall of the President before the expiration of his or her term, The Vice President shall accede to the Presidency
- It shall be the duty of the Secretary to keep complete records and minutes of all DCCB and Board meetings and to have charge and custody of such records and minutes.
The treasurer shall preside at meetings of the DCCB in the absence of the President, Vice President and immediate Past President; shall have charge of all funds of the DCCB not otherwise provided or allocated; shall receive all funds of the DCCB, except as otherwise specifically provided by these Bylaws; and shall make disbursements only upon instructions of the Board or the membership of the DCCB as shown by the minutes of the Board or DCCB meetings, as the case may be, in accordance with these Bylaws. The Treasurer shall keep all records of transactions and make a full report thereon at each regular meeting of the DCCB. The report herein required to be made at the September meeting shall be an annual report covering all the transactions made during the preceding year. The closing date of the DCCB membership year shall be August 31
All disbursements shall be made by check. All checks in excess of three hundred dollars (300.00) shall be co‑signed by any two of the following: President, Vice President or Treasurer.
Any disbursements made by the Treasurer which shall not have been authorized by the DCCB or Executive Board as shown by the minutes shall be at the Treasurer's own risk, but such disbursements may be ratified by the membership or Board, and the effect of such ratification shall be the same as though the disbursements so ratified had been authorized.
- It shall be the duty of the Information Officer to carry on all the correspondence on behalf of the DCCB; to send out all notices to members required by these Bylaws or by resolution of the DCCB or Executive Board; To maintain DCCB's presence on electronic media, Thereby rapidly dispensing any Information to the membership which shall help to keep them informed of DCCB activities; to compose and edit the DCCB News or such other publication as the DCCB shall establish and, arrange for the duplication in, ink in braille and electronically, and the distribution thereof to the members; and to act as Secretary in the absence of that officer.
- The remaining Three officers, provided for in Section 1 hereof, shall serve on the Executive Board hereinafter provided for, and perform such other duties as may be from time to time assigned to them.
- The immediate Past President, who is made an ex officio member of the Executive Board by Section 6 of this Article, shall preside at all meetings in the absence of the President and Vice President.
Section 6. Executive Board
The aforesaid eight officers, together with the immediate Past President of the DCCB, shall constitute the Executive Board of the DCCB which shall meet at any time or place chosen by the President or any three members.
The Board shall have the power to act for the DCCB in all things which in its judgment require immediate action, and must report fully on its activities twice a year to the DCCB membership.
- It shall not have the power to obligate the DCCB's credit by authorizing disbursements of the DCCB's funds in excess of three hundred dollars ($300.00) in any one membership year without the consent of the DCCB as expressed by resolution of the membership.
- Any of its actions may be reversed by a two‑thirds vote of active members present and voting at any duly called DCCB meeting.
Section 7. Vacancies
When any office, except that of the President, shall become vacant during a membership year, the Board shall have power to fill it except when such vacancies shall have been occasioned by the recall of any officer pursuant to these Bylaws. If the vacancy is filled from among the Board members, then the vacancy created thereby shall be filled by the Board, and so on until a Board of eight members is reestablished. If the vacancy is occasioned by a recall, then it shall be filled by an election to be held at the next special or regular meeting of the DCCB.
ARTICLE VI: COMMITTEES
Section 1. Standing and Special Committees
The DCCB shall have the following standing committees, appointed annually: Membership, Beneficiary, Legislative, Auditing, and Social and Entertainment. It may have such other standing or special committees as it, the Executive Board or the President may think necessary from time to time to pursue the aims and objectives of this organization.
Section 2. Appointments
The chairpersons of the standing committees and the members of the Auditing Committee shall be appointed by the President with the advice of the Executive Board, and members of the respective standing committees shall be selected by the chairpersons thereof, with the advice of the President. The President shall have the exclusive power to appoint chairpersons and members of all other committees, but may consult the Executive Board whenever he or she sees fit.
Section 3. Duties of Committee Chairpersons
Chairpersons of all committees shall attend meetings of the Executive Board when called upon to do so and shall report to the organization when called upon to do so by the presiding officer. Any committee handlin funds shall report to the organization at a regular meeting at least once a year.
Section 4. Duties of Committees, Administration of Funds
- Special committees shall have such powers, perform such duties and make such reports as the resolution that created them or the President shall direct.
- The Membership Committee shall make recommendations concerning applications for membership submitted to it, and it shall be the duty of said committee to initiate actions to increase the membership of the DCCB and to aid the Board in contacting delinquent members and urging them to renew their attendance and repayment of dues.
- The Beneficiary Committee shall have charge of all beneficent and charitable activities of the organization. It shall have power to receive and spend funds donated to it directly, as well as those appropriated to it by the DCCB or Executive Board.
- The Legislative Committee shall keep the DCCB informed on matters of interest to the blind pending in Congress, the D.C. City Council or before executive agencies in the District of Columbia or the federal government. It shall, when it, the DCCB, the Executive Board or the President thinks it advisable, arrange for testimony before committees of Congress, the D.C. City Council or appropriate executive agencies, on behalf of the DCCB on such matters; and it shall perform such other duties, with reference to the drafting of proposed legislation or amendments to these Bylaws, as may be delegated to it from time to time.
- The Auditing Committee shall consist of two members, one braille reader and one ink print reader which members shall not be members of the Executive Board. Said committee shall consult with the Treasurer from time to time as to the manner of the keeping of his or her records, and make such periodic audits as it shall see fit. It shall make an audit of the Treasurer’s Annual Report, using all available reports, statements, minutes of Board and DCCB meetings and such other documents as it may see fit for such purpose, and report to the organization as to such audit not later than the regular meeting following the giving of said Treasurer’s Annual Report. For this purpose, the Auditing Committee shall not leave office at the annual September meeting but shall be discharged upon the giving of it’s report to the DCCB as herein provided. In addition to the said Treasurer’s Annual Report, the Auditing Committee’s report shall cover receipts and disbursements, if any, made by the Treasurer but not included in his or her report by reason of their having been made after the closing of his or her books but prior to his or her leaving office.
- The Social and Entertainment Committee shall aid the President in arranging programs for meetings and such other functions of the organization as shall be delegated to it from time to time.
- No committee, whether standing or special, shall have power to spend any DCCB funds not appropriated or donated to it, or to commit the organization’s funds or credit, without the consent of the Executive Board or the DCCB.
ARTICLE VII Meetings
Section 1. Regular Meetings
The DCCB shall hold regular meetings at least six (6) times a year, one of which shall be held in the month of September, at a specific date and place fixed by the Executive Board. Notice of the time and place of any meeting shall be given to the members at least two weeks prior to the date of such meeting. The notice may be sent in writing by postal mail or by electronic media.
Section 2. Special Meetings
Special meetings may be called by the President whenever, in his/her opinion, the same may be necessary or advisable. Written notice of such special meeting shall be mailed or delivered electronically to all members at least two weeks in advance thereof.
Section 3. Manner of Holding Meetings
- Ten (10) members shall constitute a quorum at any DCCB meeting.
- The order of business shall be as follows: (1) roll call of members; (2) reading of minutes of previous meeting; (3) Treasurer’s financial report; (4) Secretary’s report; (5) committee reports; (6) old business; (7) new business. Any item in the foregoing may be dispensed with at any meeting upon majority vote of the members present and voting.
- Any pending motion may be amended by a majority vote or upon the consent of moving party and his/her second, if any.
- A motion to reconsider or amend any action at the same meeting or an immediately preceding meeting shall require a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting.
- The President or other presiding officer shall determine all questions of order, but any member may appeal to the chair. Upon such appeal, it shall be the duty of such presiding officer to put the same to a vote; a two-thirds vote shall be necessary to overrule the chair.
- On any motion or other matter requiring a vote of the members, a roll call vote shall be ordered by the presiding officer upon oral demand of any two members.
- The DCCB may adopt such additional rules of order, not inconsistent with the foregoing, as it shall see fit, but where no bylaw or rule of order shall be applicable, Robert’s Rules of Order shall be deemed to govern the conduct of the meeting.
ARTICLE VIII: Recall of Officers and Expulsion of Members
Section 1. Recall of Officers
Any member may, at any organization meeting, demand the recall of any officer, and, if such demand or motion is then and there seconded by at least two members, the same shall be put to a vote at the next regular meeting of the DCCB following the meeting at which such motion or demand shall have been made and seconded, but a two-thirds vote shall be necessary to carry it. In no event shall the officer against whom such demand or motion is directed be denied the right to take the floor in his or her own defense, but the President or presiding officer may limit the time for such defense to not more than fifteen minutes.
Section 2. Expulsion of Members
Any member may be expelled from membership in this organization in the same manner provided for in Section 1 hereof for the recall or removal of officers.
ARTICLE IX: Distribution of Income and Assets
No portion of the income of this organization shall be paid to or inure to the benefit of its members as such. In the event of the dissolution of this organization, no portion of its assets shall be distributed to its members, but said assets shall be conveyed and transferred to some non-profit charitable corporation or organization for the benefit of people who are blind or visually impaired.
ARTICLE X: Amendments
These Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds roll call vote of the members present and voting, but such amendments must have been read to a meeting of the DCCB prior to the one at which such vote is taken. Such reading at a prior meeting may be dispensed with if such amendments shall have been presented to the membership in writing or by electronic media by the Secretary prior to the meeting at which they are adopted.
ARTICLE XI: Adoption
These Bylaws shall become effective and supersede the Constitution and Bylaws of the District of Columbia Council of the Blind now in effect upon their adoption by three-fourths of the members present and voting at a meeting subsequent to their having been made available in full to the membership.