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Constitution and Bylaws of the
Mississippi Council of the Blind, Inc.
As Amended

Go to Table of Contents
Go to Constitution
Go to Bylaws

Table of Contents

Article I – Name

Article II – Purposes

Article III – Membership, Dues, and Voting

Article IV – Officers

Article V – The Executive Board

Article VI – Powers and Duties of the Convention

Article VII – Committees

Article VIII – Parliamentary Authority

Article IX – Local Chapters

Article X – Amendment of Constitution and Bylaws

Article XI – Definitions

Bylaw I – Dues and voting

Bylaw II – Quorum

Bylaw III – Committees

Bylaw IV – Special Committees

Bylaw V – Convention

Constitution
of the
Mississippi Council of the Blind, Inc.,
As Amended

Article I
Name

The name of this organization shall be Mississippi Council of the Blind, Inc. and it shall be incorporated under the laws of the State of Mississippi.

Article II
Purposes

The purposes of the Mississippi Council of the Blind are:

  1. To improve the general welfare of persons who are blind and visually impaired.
  2. To elevate the social, economic, and cultural levels of persons who are blind and visually impaired in cooperation with programs of private and public agencies and organizations serving the blind and visually impaired.
  3. To conduct a program of public education so as to improve the understanding of the capabilities and problems of persons who are blind and visually impaired.
  4. To assist every member in becoming a registered voter.
  5. To engage in fundraising and all other acts necessary and incidental to the achievement of these purposes.

Article III
Membership, Dues, and Voting

  1. Membership shall be of two categories, Full Member and Junior Member.
    1. Full members shall be persons 18 years of age or over. Full members of the Mississippi Council of the Blind shall automatically be Full Members of the American Council of the Blind.
    2. Junior members shall be persons under 18 years of age. Junior members of the Mississippi Council of the Blind shall automatically be Junior Members of the American Council of the Blind. Junior members may not function as board members or officers, but may be called upon by the board to offer input on special issues.
    3. Membership shall be accomplished by filling out a membership form provided by the Executive Board.
  2. Dues for Full and Junior Members shall be paid in compliance with the bylaws.
  3. Each member attending an annual or special convention shall be entitled to one vote.

Article IV
Officers

  1. The Mississippi Council of the Blind shall have the following officers: President, Vice-president, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, and Treasurer.
  2. Qualifications: Any candidate for office shall be a member in good standing and a resident of the State of Mississippi.
    1. The President, Vice-president, and Recording Secretary must be blind or visually impaired.
    2. The Corresponding Secretary and Treasurer may be sighted.
  3. Term: These officers shall be elected for a two year term by a majority vote at the regularly scheduled annual convention and no person shall be elected to the same office for more than two consecutive terms.
  4. Duties:
    1. The President shall be the chief administrative official of the Mississippi Council of the Blind and shall be charged with the responsibilities of
      1. Carrying out the policies and the programs of the Executive Board.
      2. Presiding over all conventions and meetings of the Executive Board.
      3. Making appointments of committees. The President is empowered to appoint other representatives of the Mississippi Council of the Blind and any persons for assistance in the carrying out of the presidential office.
      4. Representing the Mississippi Council of the Blind whenever necessary.
      5. The President, or his/her appointed designee, shall poll the Executive Board whenever necessary between Executive Board meetings and a written record of this polling shall be attached to the minutes of the subsequent Executive Board meeting.
      6. In the event of vacancies on the Executive board, (members at large) the President shall appoint a replacement with the approval of the Executive Board to serve the remainder of the year.
    2. The Vice-president shall act as President in the event of the absence or the disability of the President and shall perform other duties prescribed by the membership or the Executive Board.
    3. Recording Secretary shall keep a record of all convention proceedings and minutes of all ExecuThetive Board meetings. Copies of the minutes of the preceding Executive Board meetings shall be distributed to Executive Board members two weeks prior to the next scheduled Executive Board meeting.
    4. The Corresponding Secretary shall:
      1. Handle all correspondence of the Mississippi Council of the Blind; and
      2. Mail Convention notices; and
      3. Keep a file of the names, addresses and date of joining of each member in good standing; and
      4. Within two weeks following the annual Convention, submit to the American Council of The Blind National Office all pertinent information about the Convention including the names of the incoming and outgoing officers and Board members.
    5. The Treasurer shall:
      1. Be custodian of all monies and commercial papers or goods of the Mississippi Council of the Blind.
      2. Keep an accurate written record of each financial transaction.
      3. Make a complete financial report at each regular and special convention and to the Executive Board at each regular and special board meeting.
      4. Make all financial records and reports available to any member in good standing upon request.
      5. Sign all checks on the Mississippi Council of the Blind State funds.
      6. Supply the Corresponding Secretary with a list of registered members at each convention.

Article V
The Executive Board

  1. The Mississippi Council of the Blind shall have an Executive Board composed of elected state officers, six elected board members at large, and a voting representative from each local chapter. The Immediate Past President shall become a non-voting member of the Executive Board. No state officer or board member at large shall cast a vote on behalf of a local chapter.
    1. The members at large of the Executive Board shall be elected for three-year terms at an annual convention. Two members at large to the Executive Board shall be elected at each annual convention.
    2. No more than three members of the Executive Board may be sighted.
    3. The Elected State officers and members at large to the Executive Board will take office on June 1 following their election at the annual convention.
  2. The Executive Board shall be charged with the responsibilities of:
    1. Performing any functions which may be incidental in implementing the policies and programs adopted by the convention assembled.
    2. Formulating policies and programs as needed which may arise between conventions.
    3. Overseeing the efficient functioning of all officers and committee chairpersons.
    4. Managing all business affairs, approving a budget, and authorizing any non-budget expenditure in excess of twenty-five dollars.
    5. Authorizing all state fund raising projects and related expenditures.
    6. Filling vacancies among state officers for the remainder of the convention year by a two-thirds majority.
    7. Replacing at its discretion, state officer or board member at large after three consecutive absences from regularly scheduled Executive Board meetings by a two-thirds vote.
  3. The Executive Board shall conduct four regularly scheduled board meetings annually and may hold special meetings if necessary.

Article VI
Powers and Duties of the Convention

  1. The Mississippi Council of the Blind will hold regular annual state conventions, and may hold special conventions as hereinafter provided.
    1. Written notice of regularly scheduled conventions shall be sent each member in good standing at least thirty days prior to the convention giving time and place of the convention as selected by the Executive Board.
    2. A special convention shall be called by the Executive Board or fifty-one per cent of the membership who petition the Recording Secretary in writing. Written notice of the time and place of any special convention shall be given each member in good standing thirty days prior to such special conventions.
  2. A quorum at any annual or special convention shall be twenty members in good standing provided that the majority of these members are blind or visually impaired.

Article VII
Committees

  1. Any special committees that shall be elected by the convention assembled shall function under the direction of the Executive Board.
  2. The President shall appoint standing and special committees in accordance with the bylaws.

Article VIII
Parliamentary Authority

Roberts Rules of Order, Revised shall govern each regular and special convention and all Executive Board meetings except as otherwise provided for by the membership in convention and/or the Executive Board.

Article IX
Local Chapters

Local units of the Mississippi Council of the Blind may be organized to facilitate the work of the Mississippi Council of the Blind. Guidelines of the formation and governing of local chapters are:

  1. One must be a member of the State organization in order to join the local chapter, and a minimum of thirteen (13) members shall be required to constitute a local chapter.
  2. Each local chapter shall select a voting representative to serve on the Executive Board. The representative to the Executive Board from the local chapter must not be an elected member of the Executive Board and must not be a sighted person, unless there are fewer than three sighted persons serving on the Executive Board.
  3. Chapter financial and membership records must be made available to the Mississippi Council of the Blind Executive Board upon request, and chapter financial and membership reports shall be made at every annual state convention.
  4. Chapter Constitutions and Bylaws shall not conflict with the Constitution and Bylaws of the Mississippi Council of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind.
  5. All local chapters are required to engage in three (3) fund-raising projects, each year, with the proceeds from one (1) of those fund-raisers being donated to the State Chapter, and the proceeds from the other two (2) fund-raisers being retained in the Local Chapter Treasury.
  6. In the event that a local chapter disbands, all of its records and assets become the property of the Mississippi Council of the Blind.
  7. Members in good standing of any disbanded chapter shall continue to be members of the state organization if they choose to do so.
  8. In the event of the dissolution of the Mississippi Council of the blind, all of its records and assets shall be offered first to the American Council of the blind. If the ACB refuses them or no longer exists, they shall be given to a Mississippi charity which shall be specified by a majority vote of the organization's final assembly.

Article X
Amendment of Constitution and Bylaws

  1. The Constitution and Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the membership in attendance at any regular or special convention and must be recorded giving time and place of such amendments. Any proposed changes to the Constitution or Bylaws shall be submitted in written form to all members at least thirty (30) days prior to the assembly.
  2. This revised Constitution and Bylaws shall become operative on January 1, 1986.

Article XI
Definitions

As used in the Constitution of the Mississippi Council of the Blind, its Bylaws, and other documents and policies, the term “visually impaired” shall mean having the central visual acuity not to exceed 20/200 in the better eye, with corrected lenses as measured by the Snellen test, or having visual acuity greater than 20/200 but with a limitation in the field of vision such that the visual field subtends an angle not greater than twenty (20) degrees.

Bylaws
of the
Mississippi Council of the Blind, Inc.
As Amended

Bylaw I
Dues and voting

  1. Dues:
    1. Dues for Full members of the Mississippi Council of the Blind shall be $10.00 for a calendar year, (January 1- December 31.)
    2. Dues for Junior members of the Mississippi Council of the Blind shall be $2.00 for the same calendar year defined for full members.
    3. Renewal dues are due on January 1st and become delinquent after February 15th.
    4. Any new member joining on or after October 1st shall be a member in good standing throughout the subsequent calendar year.
  2. Voting:
    1. Any member whose dues are delinquent shall not be eligible to vote at an annual or special state convention.
    2. New members are eligible to vote upon payment of dues.

Bylaw II
Quorum

Sixty percent (60%) of the members of the Executive Board shall constitute a quorum at all Executive Board meetings.

Bylaw III
Committees

The Mississippi Council of the Blind shall have the following standing committees: Finance, Fund-raising, Membership, Service, Scholarship, Awards, and Service Projects.

  1. The Finance Committee shall be composed of the vice-president, the treasurer, and the immediate past treasurer and two additional members. It shall submit an annual budget to be approved by the Executive Board within one calendar quarter after the election of officers. If the immediate past treasurer is the President or Vice-president, this committee may consist of the Vice-president, the Treasurer, and three members appointed by the President.
  2. The Fund-raising Committee shall be appointed by the President and shall consist of two members of the Executive Board, plus one member of the finance committee, and 2 members at large. It shall function under the direction of the Executive Board, and shall work closely with all other committees to develop and implement successful funding of all projects and activities of the Mississippi Council of the Blind.
  3. The Membership Committee shall consist of the treasurer, plus one additional member of the Executive Board and one representative from each recognized chapter of MCB. The treasurer shall serve as the chair. This committee shall be responsible for compiling the membership roster, and shall work with the Executive board, and with each chapter to develop, coordinate and implement the membership recruitment efforts of MCB and ACB. It shall also work with members who are interested in the establishment of new MCB chapters.
  4. The Service Committee shall consist of three members appointed by the President and may be assisted by an individual making a referral. This committee shall follow guidelines previously approved by the Executive Board regarding each referral.
  5. The Scholarship Committee shall be appointed by the President and shall consist of three members, including one representative of the Finance Committee. This committee shall bring recommendations for all MCB scholarships to an executive session of the Executive Board no less than thirty days prior to the annual convention or thirty days prior to the event at which any scholarships are to be awarded.
  6. The Awards Committee shall be appointed by the President and shall consist of three members. This committee will bring recommendations for all MCB Awards to an Executive session of the Executive Board no less than thirty days prior to the event at which any award is to be presented.
  7. The Service Projects Committee shall consist of three members appointed by the President. It shall develop special events to encourage participation in MCB and to increase public awareness.

Each committee shall make reports to each regularly scheduled Executive Board meeting and other meetings as requested by the President, and shall operate under all policies and guidelines established by the Executive Board.

Bylaw IV
Special Committees

Special committees may be appointed by the President to perform a specific function as needed.

Bylaw V
Convention

Each annual and special convention of this organization shall form itself in to an official voting body at the first business meeting by the consideration and adoption of the treasurer's report by a majority vote. This organization shall not be bound by the requirements in Roberts' Rules of Order, Revised for the credentials, standing rules, and the program committees reports, to officially open a convention.

Amended April 17, 2010 at MCB State Convention
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