CONSTITUTION
SILICON VALLEY COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
Adopted February 21, 1987
Amended May 16, 1992, March 15, 1997, September 20, 1997, June 19, 2004 and September 20, 2008.

ARTICLE I. NAME

The name of this organization is the SILICON VALLEY COUNCIL OF THE BLIND.


ARTICLE II. PURPOSE

The purposes of this organization are as follows:

2.1. To provide a forum for the blind community in the "Silicon Valley" area to discuss and take action upon timely and relevant issues of concern to them;

2.2. To awaken the public to the fact that blind individuals are an integral part of the community, that they have abilities and accomplishments as well as special needs, and that they want opportunities in all areas to be contributing members of society;

2.3. To enhance blind persons' awareness of their potential, their rights, and their responsibilities to themselves and to society;

2.4. To cooperate with other organizations in the development of model systems and services that make possible the use of computer technology to enhance the productivity and the quality of life for blind people;

2.5. To participate in community affairs and activities to promote programs for the welfare of blind and other persons;

2.6. And to be affiliated with the California Council of the Blind, and through it, with the American Council of the Blind, participating fully in those organizations and the achievement of their goals.


ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP

Section 3.1. Any person who is at least 16 years of age and who currently lives in California is eligible for membership in this organization.

Section 3.2. A majority of the membership of the organization must consist of legally blind persons.

Section 3.3. All members must pay annual dues to this organization. Amount and manner of payment of dues will be prescribed in the Bylaws. If a member fails to pay dues in the amount and manner specified by the Bylaws, that member ceases to be in good standing. The payment of dues immediately and automatically returns a member to good standing.

Section 3.4. Any member in good standing has the right to vote at any membership meeting of the organization and all other rights and privileges of membership as provided in this Constitution and in the Bylaws.

Section 3.5. The Board of Directors or the Membership has the authority on majority vote to censure, suspend--or on 2/3 vote to expel a member for the following:

3.5.1. Failure to conduct him/herself according to the rules of the organization in meetings, and between meetings when involved in organization activities.

3.5.2. Unauthorized actions by the member on behalf of the organization.

3.5.3. Harassment of, threats to, or other abusive behavior to members of the organization.

3.5.4. Mis-use of confidential information including dissemination to non-members.

3.5.5. Physical acts of violence against members or non-members which can be verified by trusted witnesses.


ARTICLE IV. OFFICERS AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Section 4.1. The Board of Directors of this organization is composed of five (5) Officers and three (3) Directors and the immediate past President.
The Officers are President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary and Treasurer. Any current member in good standing is eligible for election to the Board of Directors except that the President, the Vice President and a majority of the Board must be legally blind.

Section 4.2. Each Officer shall serve for a one-year term. No person may serve more than four (4) consecutive terms in the same office. The Directors shall serve two-year terms and may not serve more than three(3) consecutive terms of office in this position.

Section 4.3. The duties of each officer shall be those usually ascribed to the position, as well as any duties which may be prescribed by this Constitution or by the Bylaws.

Section 4.4. The Board of Directors shall meet at the call of the President or at the written call of any four of the other Board members. The Board shall act for the organization between membership meetings in a manner consistent with the policies set by the general membership.

Section 4.5. When any vacancy occurs on the Board of Directors it shall be filled by election at the next regular meeting of the membership. The person elected to fill the vacancy shall serve for the remainder of the term created by the vacancy. This partial term shall not be counted toward the maximum number of terms he/she may serve.

Section 4.6. Officers and Directors shall be elected at the November meeting in the year immediately preceding the year in which their term commences. The terms of officers and directors shall commence January 1 of the year and term for which they were elected.


ARTICLE V. MEETINGS

Section 5.1. The Regular Meetings of this organization shall be held on a monthly basis at least four (4) times annually. Written notice of Regular Meetings must be provided to the membership at least ten (10) days before the meeting. This communication must contain a preliminary agenda and any Constitutional Amendments that will be considered at the meeting. Publication in a newsletter of the organization shall be considered adequate notice. The notice provision of this section may be suspended for a single meeting by a two-thirds vote at that meeting.

Section 5.2. The first regularly scheduled meeting of each calendar year shall be designated as the Annual Meeting. At this meeting, major annual business, other than elections, will be conducted.

Section 5.3. A special meeting of the organization may be called by the President or by one-third of the membership. A five (5) day notice of the time and place must be given to the membership. Oral or written notice is considered adequate. The notice provision of this section may be suspended for a single meeting by a two-thirds vote at that meeting.

Section 5.4: At least 20% of the paid membership must be present and voting at all general meetings to constitute a quorum to transact council business.


ARTICLE VI. AMENDMENTS

Section 6.1. Amendments to this Constitution may be made after being presented at a Regular Meeting of the membership and after meeting the notice requirements set forth in Article V, Section 1. A two-thirds vote of the members present and voting at the next Regular Meeting shall be required for adoption. A copy of all amendments to this Constitution shall be forwarded by the corresponding Secretary to the State office of the California Council of the Blind.

Section 6.2. Bylaws may be established and amended at any Regular Meeting after notice is given as a part of the notice of the Meeting. A majority vote of those present and voting shall be required to establish or amend the Bylaws. Such Bylaws and any amendments thereto shall be forwarded to the CCB Office by the Corresponding Secretary.


ARTICLE VII. PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

Any parliamentary situation not covered by this Constitution or by the Constitutions and/or Bylaws of the California Council of the Blind or the American Council of the Blind shall be governed by the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order.


ARTICLE VIII. DISSOLUTION

The property of this organization is irrevocably dedicated to charitable purposes and in the event of liquidation, dissolution or abandonment of this organization, after providing for the debts and the obligations thereof, the remaining assets will not inure to the benefit of any private person, but will be dispersed to the California Council of the Blind, to the American Council of the Blind, or to another organization with similar or identical goals and legal status, in that order of preference.


BYLAWS
Adopted November 21, 1998

BYLAW I: BUDGET AND FINANCE

Section 1.1: Annual Budget

At the beginning of each year, the Board of Directors shall present to the membership an Annual Budget, detailing expected income and expenditures for the year. The budget shall be published in the Newsletter before the regular meeting at which it is to be adopted. After the Annual Budget has been adopted, the membership must approve all expenditures which are beyond budgetary amounts or for a purpose not covered in the budget. The budget may include an item such as "Miscellaneous" or "Discretionary", which may be used for unforeseen or emergency expenditures, in the sole discretion of the President for amounts of up to fifty dollars ($50) and of the Board of Directors for amounts greater than fifty dollars ($50).

Section 1.2: Records and Procedures

All funds of the organization shall be kept in a bank selected by the treasurer with the approval of the Board of Directors. The original bank statement shall be sent by the bank to the President. He/she shall make a copy of it to keep on file. The President shall then forward the statement and its associated checks in their entirety to the Treasurer. All expenditures shall be made by check signed by the Treasurer or by electronic transaction upon authorization by the President. The Treasurer will keep a record of the transaction numbers. Arrangements may be made by the Board of Directors so that another officer can sign checks or authorize expenditures in the absence or inability of the Treasurer or the President to serve. However, two officers shall always be involved.

When cash is received, the Treasurer and another person appointed by the President shall both count the cash, and each keep a record of the amount received.

Upon the reconciliation of the counts, the treasurer, or another officer serving in the treasurer's absence, shall deposit the cash in the bank so that its expenditure can be handled in the normal way as described above.

Section 1.3: Reimbursement of Expenses

Expenses incurred by members which have been authorized may be paid upon receipt by the Treasurer of appropriate receipts and expense information. Required receipts and expense information include items such as the following:
1.3.1. Airline or other travel receipts or mileage documentation when traveling by automobile;
1.3.2. Hotel receipts where applicable;
1.3.3. Meal and other expenditures noted on paper unless such expenses exceed $20 in which case a receipt is required.
Automobile mileage is reimbursed at the same rate available to Federal employees.

Prepayment of expenses may be made with specific authorization by the President to the Treasurer. If a case arises where the President requests prepayment, the Treasurer may approve the request or refer it to the Vice-President for a decision. A decision by the President or Vice-President is binding and not subject to appeal.



BYLAW II: CONVENTION DELEGATE ELIGIBILITY, SELECTION, AND DUTIES

Section 2.1: Purpose and Scope

This Bylaw embodies all official rules applying to the delegate and alternate delegate elected to represent the Silicon Valley Council of the Blind (SVCB) at state conventions of the California Council of the Blind.

Section 2.2: Eligibility

2.2.1. Delegate and alternate delegate must have been members in good standing of SVCB for not less than one (1) year;
2.2.2. Delegate and alternate delegate may not have served in either position for the preceding official convention of the California Council of the Blind;
2.2.3. An individual who has served at any previous time as delegate or alternate delegate must have complied with all policies specified in these bylaws regarding provision of financial documentation.

Section 2.3: Selection

The delegate and alternate delegate are selected by the general membership of the SVCB. Such selection must occur at a general meeting of the membership at least thirty (30) and no more than ninety (90) days prior to the convention of the California Council of the Blind at which such service is to be rendered.

Section 2.4: Financial Considerations

Reimbursement of actual expenses is permitted in accordance with Bylaw I. However, such payment may be limited as specified in the Annual Budget for conventions held in the Bay Area, for Northern California conventions held outside the Bay Area, and for Southern California conventions.

Section 2.5: Responsibilities

Before attending the convention, the delegate and alternate delegate are responsible for gathering whatever information they need to be responsible attendees of the state convention. They are to secure reasonable travel and lodging arrangements which can meet their needs as well as reasonably reduce costs to SVCB. While room sharing is not required it is suggested as one way of reducing expenses.

During the state convention, the delegate is responsible for the following:
2.5.1. Attendance of general sessions at any time when a vote may be required from SVCB;
2.5.2. Attendance of the entire business meeting as scheduled in the California Council of the Blind agenda;
2.5.3. Attendance at functions as requested by the SVCB President.

The alternate delegate is required to be in attendance at any function which the delegate cannot attend as specified above. In addition, there is an implicit assumption that the alternate delegate will attend as many of the functions as possible as listed above unless other arrangements which seem more beneficial to the SVCB membership have been made between the delegate and alternate delegate.

Also, delegate and alternate delegate are expected to attend other important functions of the convention such as Board of Directors meetings, informational seminars, and any other convention program items that seem of importance to the membership of SVCB.

After the State convention, the delegate and alternate delegate are jointly responsible for providing written and oral reports of major actions of the California Council of the Blind and activities at the state convention. The oral report, if requested, is to be available at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the SVCB and may not exceed ten (10) minutes for the actual presentation. Questions and answers are at the discretion of the presiding officer at the time. The written report is required not less than seven (7) nor more than thirty (30) days following the close of the state convention. The written report is to be in an appropriate form for publication in the SVCB monthly newsletter. The report is subject to change or return by the newsletter editor.

Section 2.6: Casting the Vote

It is the responsibility of the delegate to cast the official votes for SVCB. In cases where the delegate is unable to cast the vote, the responsibility passes to the alternate delegate. The delegate and alternate delegate are responsible for voting on behalf of the entire membership of SVCB, including those members not present at the convention. The method chosen for determining how the vote is cast is selected by the delegate and alternate delegate. The method chosen and used is to be announced to the attendees at the convention insofar as possible by the delegate and alternate delegate.


BYLAW III: ANNUAL CALENDAR

At the Annual Meeting, the Board of Directors shall present to the membership a schedule of meetings and other events to be held by the organization during the year. This schedule, the Annual Calendar, shall be published in the Newsletter before the meeting at which it is to be adopted. After it has been adopted, deviation from it, other than for reasons of natural disaster or other emergency, must be approved by the membership.


BYLAW IV: DISCIPLINARY PROCESS

Disciplinary process pursuant to Article III, Section 5 of the Constitution. "To censure is to warn a member or officer that if a certain behavior continues, the next step is suspension or expulsion." The purpose of censure is to reprimand with hope of reforming him/her so he/she won't behave the same way again; to be done by two members of the board in private. If the behavior listed in Section 5, Article III, continues, the Board votes on whether to suspend.

Suspension would continue until the next general meeting following newsletter publication, at which time, prior notice having been given, the membership by majority vote may reinstate, continue the suspension of--or by 2/3 vote expel--the member in question. The suspended or expelled member has the opportunity to petition the Board for reinstatement.


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