TCB Constitution

Revised August 2010

ARTICLE I - Name and Affiliation

This organization shall be known as the Tennessee Council of the Blind, hereafter referred to as TCB. TCB is an affiliate of the American Council of the Blind.

ARTICLE II - Purpose

The purpose of TCB shall be:

a. To expand the social, economic, and cultural opportunities for blind person in Tennessee, and to encourage and assist such persons in becoming more active, productive, and responsible members of the community;

b. To enhance the education and rehabilitative services available to blind persons in Tennessee;

c. To bring about greater employment opportunities for blind persons;

d. To inform such blind persons of available opportunities and services in education, employment, recreation, and other areas of common concern;

e. To inform the general public of the capabilities and accomplishments of blind persons and of the necessity of providing specialized education to enable such persons to meet their full responsibilities as citizens.

ARTICLE III - Membership

TCB members must be at least eighteen (18) years of age in order to vote and hold office. The majority of the total membership shall be legally blind. Membership shall consist of five (5) classes.

Section 1: Active Members

Any active member in good standing of any local chapter of TCB shall be deemed a member of TCB, provided that the chapter complies with the Constitution and Bylaws of TCB by submitting dues for such members. Members who join the chapter of TCB after March 1 of the year must have all dues paid not later than thirty days before the start of that year's convention to be eligible to vote at the convention.

Section 2: Active Members at Large

Any person who is in accord with the purposes of TCB shall be an active member at large if both state and national dues are paid.

Section 3: Honorary Members

Honorary membership may be bestowed on any person who has contributed significantly to the attainment of the purposes of TCB, and shall be entitled to all rights and privileges of active members except those of voting and holding office.

Section 4: Life Members

A person may become a life member by the payment of an amount set by the membership or the Board of Directors. A life member shall be entitled to all rights and privileges given to active members.

Section 5: Junior Membership

An individual under the age of eighteen (18) expressing an interest in TCB may become a junior member by paying a minimal amount of dues to be determined by the membership. Junior members shall be entitled to all rights and privileges of active members except those of voting and holding office.

ARTICLE IV - Dues

Members of local chapters, as well as members at large and junior members shall pay annual dues at times and in amounts to be set by the majority vote of the membership at the regularly scheduled convention of TCB. Honorary members shall not be subject to the payment of dues.

ARTICLE V - Local Chapters

Section 1: Affiliation

Any organized group of five (5) or more person, a majority of whom are legally blind, desiring to be affiliated with TCB shall submit a list of its officers and members to TCB. When TCB approves the application, its secretary shall issue a certificate of acceptance to the chapter.

Section 2: Annual Dues

The chapter secretary and/or treasurer shall submit annually the dues and a current list of members and their addresses to the secretary and treasurer of TCB.

Section 3: Chapter Constitution

When a local chapter is certified, a copy of its constitution and bylaws must be filed with the TCB secretary. A copy must also be sent to the TCB Webmaster.

Section 4: Rights of Local Chapters

Each chapter shall retain possession of its real and personal property.

ARTICLE VI - Officers and Their Duties

Section 1: Officers

The officers of TCB shall be: president, first vice-president, second vice-president, secretary, and treasurer. The president and vice-presidents shall be legally blind.

Section 2: Duties of the President

It shall be the duty of the president to preside at all meetings of TCB, to appoint committees, and to perform other customary duties of the office. Also, the president shall be the delegate to the national convention.

Section 3: Duties of the Vice-Presidents

It shall be the duty of the vice presidents, in order of their precedence, to perform the duties in the absence of the president, or upon request of the presiding officer. The first vice-president shall serve as the alternate delegate to the national convention. If such person is unable to attend, the responsibility shall fall to the next officer in line. If no officer attends, the president shall appoint someone at the convention to act as alternate delegate.

The first vice-president shall keep duplicates of all minutes taken by the secretary. The copies of the minutes shall be sent to the first vice-president no later than thirty (30) days following the annual convention and all board meetings.

Section 4: Duties of the Secretary

It shall be the duty of the secretary to record all proceedings of TCB, to keep a current roll of the members, to attend to all correspondence necessary in discharging the business of TCB, and to perform other duties as may be required.

Section 5: Duties of the Treasurer

It shall be the duty of the treasurer to collect all funds, to pay all outstanding bills, to keep a record of expenditures of TCB, and to report annually, after having all accounts examined by the auditing committee. TCB shall provide a surety bond of the treasurer in the amount equal to its total assets.

ARTICLE VII - Board of Directors

The Board of Directors shall consist of the five (5) constitutional officers, the immediate past president, and the president of each local chapter or representative appointed by the chapter's president. A majority of the Board must be legally blind.

Section 1: General Supervision

The Board shall have general supervision over the affairs of TCB between conventions. It shall study, formulate, and recommend policies and carry out the actions directed to it by the membership at any TCB convention and perform other functions as required.

Section 2: Budget

The Board shall present a proposed budget to the membership at the annual convention of TCB. However, in case of a reasonable or unexpected expense, the board, by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those present and voting, a quorum having been established, may exceed the approved budget, but in an amount not to exceed $500.00.

ARTICLE VIII - Election Terms of Officers and Directors

Officers shall be elected to their respective terms of office at the annual convention of TCB by a majority of members present and voting. Officers' terms shall begin at the adjournment of the convention at which they were elected.

Directors shall either be:

a. Automatically elected by virtue of holding the office of president of a local chapter or;

b. Appointed by the president of the chapter where they are registered as a member.

Section 1: Officers

Officers may serve no more than three (3) consecutive terms of two (2) years in one position or until their successors are duly elected and qualified.

Section 2: Director

A director shall serve no more than six (6) consecutive years. A term will begin at the end of the annual convention. Any resignation from the Board of Directors shall be submitted in writing to the secretary.

Section 3: Vacancies

Any vacancy among elected officers occurring between conventions of TCB shall be filled on an interim basis by the Board of Directors except for the office of president to which the vice president shall succeed. Election shall be held at the annual convention of TCB to fill the unexpired term. Service for less than one half (1/2) of an unexpired term shall not be counted in determining eligibility for any unexpired elected position.

ARTICLE IX - Committees and Their Duties

Section 1: The Auditing Committee

This committee shall consist of three (3) persons other than the treasurer appointed by the president at the annual convention of TCB. Its duties shall be to review the receipts and disbursements of the treasurer and report to the membership.

Section 2: The Credentials Committee

This committee shall consist of from three (3) to five (5) persons (including the treasurer), appointed by the president. Its duty shall be to determine those members who are eligible to vote.

Section 3: The Nominating Committee

This committee shall consist of from three (3) to five (5) persons appointed by the president. Its duty shall be to recommend qualified candidates for the offices.

Section 4: The Constitution and Resolutions Committee

This committee shall consist of from three (3) to five (5) person appointed by the president. Its duties shall be:

a. To consider current issues affecting blind persons;

b. To receive and present resolutions from the membership; and any changes to the constitution.

Section 5: Membership Committee

This committee shall consist of one (1) member from each Chapter appointed by said chapter's President. If a chapter does not designate a representative, the president of that chapter shall serve by default. The Membership Committee shall be responsible for developing and recommending activities to increase membership for consideration by the Board.

Section 6: Legislative Committee

This committee shall consist of one (1) member from each Chapter appointed by said chapter's President. If a chapter does not designate a representative, the president of that chapter shall serve by default. The legislative committee shall be responsible for reporting to the membership on legislation affecting blind and visually impaired persons. It shall also recommend to the Board of Directors specific actions to be taken by TCB.

Section 7: Fundraising Committee

This committee shall consist of one (1) member from each Chapter appointed by said chapter's President. If a chapter does not designate a representative, the president of that chapter shall serve by default. The Fundraising Committee shall be responsible for developing and recommending fundraising projects to the Board of Directors. It shall also recommend to the Board of Directors specific actions to be taken by TCB.

Section 8: Other Committees

The president may appoint other committees deemed necessary to carry out the purposes of TCB.

ARTICLE X - Disbursements of Funds

All TCB funds shall be deposited in a bank or other financial institution recommended by the treasurer and approved by the Board of Directors. All disbursements shall be made by check and signed by the treasurer. The president or his/her designated representative shall be a cosignatory on all TCB banking accounts and shall receive copies of all financial statements.

ARTICLE XI - Meetings

Section 1: Annual Convention

TCB shall hold a convention annually, the time and place to be determined by the membership, or if not, to be fixed by the Board of Directors. The membership shall receive all pertinent information concerning the convention sixty (60) days prior to the convention. Only in the event of a serious emergency or where the interest of TCB clearly dictates a change may the Board alter the time or place of meetings chosen by the membership. In such cases, the membership shall be notified immediately.

Section 2: Special Meetings

The president, two-thirds (2/3) of the Board of Directors, and/or two-thirds (2/3) of the membership may call for a special meeting of TCB at any time such a meeting is advantageous or deemed necessary, provided members are notified at least ten (10) days prior to the special meeting.

Section 3: Quorum

Fifteen percent (15%) of the active membership shall constitute a quorum at regular meetings of TCB. One-third (1/3) of the active membership, a majority of the Board of Directors, shall constitute a quorum at their respective special called meeting of TCB. A majority of the members comprising a special or standing committee shall constitute a quorum for a special called or regularly scheduled meeting of that committee.

ARTICLE XII - Amendments

This constitution may be amended at any annual convention by an affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of active members present and voting. The proposed amendment shall have been signed by at least five (5) active members in good standing and shall have been read to the convention one (1) or more days prior to the day on which the final action is taken. Any proposed amendment may be considered immediately if unanimous consent is given.

ARTICLE XIII - Bylaws

Bylaws, which may be deemed necessary for the interpretation and/or implementation of this constitution, may be adopted at the annual convention of TCB by a majority of the members present and voting.

ARTICLE XIV - Dissolution

After two (2) readings, this organization may be dissolved only at the annual meeting by a four-fifths (4/5) vote of the members present and voting. Upon the dissolution of the Tennessee Council of the Blind, all assets shall be distributed to the American Council of the Blind. If ACB no longer exists, these assets shall be distributed to an organization with similar purposes related to blindness that has received a Section 501(c)(3) Certification by the Internal Revenue Service.

ARTICLE XV - Parliamentary Reference

ROBERTS RULES OF ORDER NEWLY REVISED shall govern the proceedings of TCB, provided that they do not conflict with this constitution.