National Association of Blind Merchants Constitution
Constitution of The National Association of Blind Merchants, adopted at the 2005 convention of the National Federation of the Blind and amended at the 2021 national convention.
ARTICLE I. NAME
The name of this organization shall be The National Association of Blind Merchants.
ARTICLE II. PURPOSE
The purpose of the National Association of Blind Merchants is to function as a mechanism through which blind entrepreneurs and interested sighted persons can come together in local, state and national meetings to plan and carry our programs to improve business opportunities and equality of life for the blind; to provide a means of collective action for blind business people; to promote the educational, vocational, economic, business, cultural, and social advancement of the blind; to maximize opportunities under the Randolph-Sheppard Act; to strengthen and enhance state business enterprise programs; and to take such other action as will improve the overall condition and standard of living of the blind. Such purpose shall be limited to those allowed by the Internal Revenue Code, Section 501(c)(3).
ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP
Members shall pay annual dues to this organization or pay a lifetime membership. Dues paid to State divisions, affiliates, and chapters will not apply toward membership to this organization. At least a majority of the members of this organization must be blind. All members have the right to vote, serve on committees, speak on the floor, and hold office.
Disciplinary Action. Any member may be expelled or suspended for violation of this constitution or for conduct unbecoming to a member, by a majority vote of the members present and voting at any regular business session of this organization, or by a two-thirds vote of the board of directors.
ARTICLE IV. OFFICERS AND THEIR DUTIES
There shall be elected at the regular business session of this organization, at the annual convention of the National Federation of the Blind, 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 business meeting at which they are elected. Officers shall be elected by a majority vote of the members who are present and voting. There shall be no proxy voting. If no nominee receives a majority vote on the first ballot, the name of 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 members present and voting. The duties of each officer shall be those ordinarily associated with that office. The president and the vice presidents must be blind. To be elected, an individual must be present.
ARTICLE V. BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The board of directors of this organization shall consist of the five (5) constitutional officers and ten (10) additional members, five (5) of whom shall be elected for two (2) year terms at the business meeting at the annual convention, during even numbered years and five (5) of whom shall be elected for two (2) year terms at the business meeting at the annual convention during odd numbered years. The ten (10) board members 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 (3) of the board members. The board shall advise the president and shall have charge of the affairs of the organization between national conventions. At least eight (8) members of the board must be present at any meeting to constitute a quorum to transact business. The board may be polled by telephone, email, or mail ballot on any question. A majority of the board must be blind.
ARTICLE VI. SPECIAL MEETINGS
The president of this organization may call a special meeting of the body any time they or a majority of the board of directors deems such action necessary.
ARTICLE VII. COMMITTEES
The president may appoint such committees as they or the organization deems necessary. The president shall be ex officio a member of all committees.
ARTICLE VIII. AFFILIATION
The National Association of Blind Merchants shall be an independent partner of the National Federation of the Blind.
ARTICLE IX. DUES
The dues for this organization shall be paid on or before the day of the business session at the annual National Federation of the Blind convention. The amount for dues and lifetime memberships may be changed by a majority vote at the annual business session.
ARTICLE X. DISBURSEMENT OF FUNDS
The funds of this organization shall be deposited in a bank to be selected by the treasurer with the approval of the president. All financial obligations of this organization shall be discharged by check, issued on order of the president and signed by the treasurer or by an assistant treasurer approved by the membership or the board of directors, except that with approval of the board, some transactions may be paid in cash.
ARTICLE XI. DISSOLUTION
In the event of the dissolution of this organization, its assets shall be given to the National Federation of the Blind, if, at the time of dissolution, it is exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, to be held in trust for a reorganized division. In the event that no division is organized for a period of two (2) years from the date this organization ceases to exist, the assets shall become property of the National Federation of the Blind.
In the event that the National Federation of the Blind is not exempt under section 501(c)(3) at the time of dissolution, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(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.
ARTICLE XII. AMENDMENTS
This constitution may be amended at any regular meeting of this organization by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members present and voting.