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  • BPI: Where Equality Matters...
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  • BPI: Where Equality Matters...
  • 713-614-3322
  Blind LGBT Pride International Constitution and Bylaws As Amended By the Membership of Blind LGBT Pride International at Los Vegas on July 14, 2014 (see further history below) *A0  Constitution *A1 Article 1 Name 1. ARTICLE 1 1.0  NAME: The name of this organization shall be Blind LGBT Pride International (BPI) known as Blind Pride. The name “Blind LGBT Pride International” shall not be used by any person or organization without the expressed written consent of the President and/or the Board of Directors of BPI. *A2 Article 2 Purpose 2. Article II 2.0 Purpose The purpose of Blind LGBT Pride is to offer advocacy, education, programs, alliances,and support for persons who are either blind or vision impaired  and who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. *A3 Article 3  Affiliation 3. ARTICLE III 3.0  AFFILIATION: 3.1. Affiliation with ACB Blind LGBT Pride is organized and chartered as an affiliate of the American Council of the Blind. As an affiliate, Blind LGBT Pride and each of its members and affiliates individually, are bound by the Constitution and Bylaws of the American Council of the Blind. 3.2. Affiliation with Blind LGBT Pride 3.2.1. Blind LGBT Pride may grant recognition to any organization that seeks affiliation with Blind LGBT Pride at the Annual Convention of Blind LGBT Pride by majority vote, provided such organizations affirm the constitutional purposes of Blind LGBT Pride and that such organizations adhere to the Constitution and Bylaws of Blind LGBT Pride; And meet the following criteria: Any organization having at least seven (7) voting members, the majority of whom are vision impaired or blind, may apply for affiliate status with BPI by the submission of its Constitution and Bylaws, as well as dues and membership lists as set forth in the Bylaws of BPI. 3.2.2. Each member of an affiliate Shall be a member of Blind LGBT Pride. 3.2.3. A majority of members of such affiliate must be legally blind as defined by the Internal Revenue Service. 3.2.4. The Board of Directors may grant provisional affiliation to an affiliate between conventions, but such grant must be ratified by a majority of members present and voting at the convention immediately following such action. 3.2.5. The Board of Directors may suspend the charter of an affiliate for cause, but such action must be affirmed by a majority of members present and voting at the convention immediately following such action. 3.2.6. Each affiliate shall name a representative to attend board meetings, but such representative shall not vote *A4  Article 4  MMeetings 4. Article 4 4.0. MEETINGS: 4.1. Annual Convention 4.1.1. A regular General meeting of this organization shall be held once a year to be known       as the ANNUAL CONVENTION. 4.1.2. A MAJORITY of all votes of voting members in good standing at the CONVENTION shall constitute a QUORUM to do business. 4.2. Teleconference Meetings; Regular or Special General Meetings of the membership  may be conducted       between Annual Conventions using  telephonic and other electronic communication methods. 4.2.1. Regular General Membership Meetings. 4.2.1.1. One or more Meetings of the Membershipp   may be scheduled  on a regular basis as provided for in the by-laws. 4.2.1.2. A regular General Membership Meeting may conduct any normal business         not specifically  spelled out in this Constitution and By-laws as related to the Annual Convention. 4.2.1.3. Notification of Regular General Membership Meetings shall be given           at least 21 days  by  notice  in the Newsletter of the BPI. and/or other electronic  or telephonic means. 4.2.1.4. At least 15 Members or 10percent of the total membership, whichever is greater, must be present by teleconference  to constitute a quorum to conduct business. 4.2.2. Special Membership Meetings. 4.2.2.1. The Board of Directors or at least 10  members may call for an emergency  or special Teleconference meeting of the General Membership to deal with any specific urgent Business that  needs to be handled outside of Regular General Meetings of the Menbership. 4.2.2.2.  Special Meetings  may only deal with items defined  in the agenda of the call for the meeting. 4.2.2.3.  Notification of Special Meetings must be given at least 2 weeks prior to the Meeting.   Such Notification shall be as to include as many of the membership as can be reasonably provided for by the call. 4.2.2.4. A quorum for a special Meeting must require the presence at the teleconference of at least 20 members.  or 15 percent of the total membership, whichever is greater. 4.3. Monthly board meetings: 4.3.1.  Between the  General Meetings of the Membership the Board of Directors       shall meet on a monthly basis to conduct the business of the organization as outlined in Article 7. 4.3.2. A quorum for conducting business shall be based on the number of occupied board positions. 4.3.3. Regularly scheduled board meeting shall be open to the membership, pursuant to published guidelines established by the Board. 4.4. Procedure: In the absence of procedures contained herein or in the Bylaws, all proceedings, of this organization shall be governed by ROBERTS RULES OF ORDER, NEWLY REVISED. *A5  Article 5  Membership, Voting, and Dues 5. ARTICLE 5 5.0. MEMBERSHIP, VOTING AND DUES 5.1. Membership Any person at least 16 years of age who affirms the purposes of this organization is eligible to become a member of Blind LGBT Pride providing she or he complies with the provisions herein. 5.2. Classes of Members are as follows: 5.2.1. Voting member: Anyone over the age of sixteen who supports the mission of BPI. 5.2.2. Student Member: Anyone currently enrolled in a secondary or post-secondary educational institution. Student member shall have full voting rights. 5.2.3. Life Member: Anyone over the age of sixteen who supports the mission of BPI. Life Members shall have full voting rights. 5.2.4. Affiliated Member:  any member who joins a recognized affiliate of BPI. Affiliated Members are  Voting members of BPI. 5.2.5. Associate Member: Any ally or friend who supports the mission of BPI. Associate members shall have full voting rights. 5.2.6. Supporting Member: Any individual or organization that supports the mission of BPI. Supporting members do not have voting rights. 5.2.7. Honorary member: An individual or organization for whom BPI offers special recognition. Honorary members do not have voting rights. 5.3. Dues Members shall remit dues in accordance with the Bylaws herein contained. Dues are considered donations to the BPI as a non-profit organization  and therefore are non-refundable. 5.4. Voting 5.4.1. Each Individual who is deemed to be a member in good standing shall be entitled to 1 vote. 5.4.2.  An affiliate shall be entitled to 1 vote for each 7 members on its official role properly submitted to BPI as prescribed in the ByLaws 5.4.3.  When voting, the official representative for an affiliate of BPI       shall cast his individual vote along with the vote(s)  to which the affiliate is entitled. 5.5. ELECTRONIC VOTING Each voting member and affiliate who will not be present at the Annual Convention of Blind LGBT Pride and who opts to vote electronically, does so with the understanding that they will not be able to cast a vote for a candidate running from the floor. *A6 Article 6 Officers 6.  ARTICLE 6 6.0. OFFICERS: 6.1. The Board expects of itself and its members ethical and businesslike conduct. This commitment includes proper use of authority and appropriate decorum in group and individual behavior when acting as Directors. Failure to do so will subject a Board Member to disciplinary actions contained in Section 6.8. Board Members are expected to attend all board meetings. Failure to attend three consecutive board meetings may result in disciplinary action as delineated in Section 6.8. 6.2. The officers of this organization shall consist of a President, a Vice-President, , Secretary, a Treasurer, the Immediate Past President and Four At-Large Board Members. 6.3. These officers together constitute the organization’s Board of Directors. 6.4. A majority of the members of the Board of Directors shall be legally blind. 6.5. The term of office of each officer shall be two years and shall begin at the close of the Annual Convention at which he or she is elected. The positions of President, Treasurer and two  Board Members At Large are elected in even numbered years and the positions of Vice President, Secretary and two Board Members At Large are elected in odd numbered years. 6.6. Only a voting member of the organization may be elected to office. 6.7. If a vacancy should occur between General meetings of the Membership in any position on the Board of Directors, except the President, the Board of Directors, in conformity with the requirements for holding office contained herein or in the Bylaws, may by a majority vote elect an individual to serve in the position until the next General Meeting of the Membership, at which time, if necessary, the membership shall elect a successor to serve for the remainder of the term. If a vacancy should occur in the office of the President, the Vice President shall succeed to that office and shall serve for the remainder of the term. 6.8. Removal from office: 6.8.1. An officer may be removed from office for her or his failure to adhere to the provisions of the Constitution or Bylaws. 6.8.2. The Board of Directors, by a two-thirds vote of those present, may vote to initiate disciplinary actions in the form of a suspension hearing. 6.8.3. The Board of Directors may vote for an officer’s suspension only after the officer for whom suspension is contemplated has been given twenty-one days’ notice at his or her postal address of record in a pre-determined format which is accessible to that individual or at an email address that had been given by that individual as the preferred location to contact her or him. The notice shall contain reason(s) for the hearing and its date and time. 6.8.4. A quorum for a meeting to suspend an officer shall be five Board Members and the vote to suspend must be a two-thirds vote of those board members present. 6.8.5. The officer against whom suspension is contemplated may not cast a vote. 6.8.6. If the board votes to provisionally suspend an officer, a two-thirds vote by Blind LGBT Pride members present at the next General Meeting shall be required to confirm permanent removal from office. 6.8.7. A President so removed shall not serve as immediate past President. *A7  ARTICLE 7  POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE General Meetings of the Membership,   AND OF THE OFFICERS 7. ARTICLE 7 7.0  POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE General Meetings of the Membership,   AND OF THE OFFICERS: 7.1.  The General Meetings  of The Membership of Blind LGBT Pride International shall be the ultimate authority within this organization on all matters except those matters delegated herein or in the Bylaws to the final authority or discretion of the officers. 7.2. Officers of this organization shall perform the usual functions of their offices as prescribed in Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, unless otherwise provided for herein or in the Bylaws. 7.3. The Board of Directors shall be the governing body of this organization between General  Meetings of the Membership, provided that it shall make no policy decisions and take no official action in conflict with existing decisions or actions of the General Meetings of the Membership. 7.4. Any voting member of this organization may make or second motions, propose or second nominations, serve on committees, and are eligible for election to office   at any General membership meeting of this organization. *A8  Article 8  Amendments 8. ARTICLE 8 8.0.  AMENDMENTS: This Constitution and Bylaws may be amended at any  General Meeting of the Membership  of this organization; Constitutional amendments by a two- thirds vote and Bylaw amendments by a simple majority vote of those present, either in person or by electronic means,  and voting. *A9  Article 9  DISSOLUTION 9.  ARTICLE 9 9.0. DISSOLUTION: 9.1. This organization may be dissolved only at an Annual Convention by a four/fifths vote of the members present and voting. 9.2.    Any assets held by the organization upon its dissolution shall become the property of the American Council of the Blind, or a like-minded organization aligned with the purposes of BPI. *B0  Bylaws BYLAWS *B1 Bylaw 1 Dues B1.  BYLAW 1 B1.0.  Dues B1.1.  Dues for membership in the organization shall be as follows and shall be paid to the Treasurer or to the person or persons designated by the President. B1.1.1B. Voting Membership and Associate Membership annual dues shall be $15. B1.1.2. Student Membership annual dues shall be $10. B1.1.3.  Lifetime memberships shall be two hundred dollars. Lifetime membership dues shall be paid in one installment or in a series of installments over a period not to exceed one year. B1.1.4.  Affiliated membership dues shall be $10 per member representing $5 for ACB membership dues and $5 for BPI membership dues.  Dues representing ACB membership dues, should they change, shall increase or decrease proportionately. B1.1.5. Supporting Membership annual dues shall be $25. B1.1.6. Honorary Membership shall not be subject to dues. *B2  Bylaw 2   VOTING BY BOARD OF DIRECTORS B2. BYLAW 2 B2.0.  VOTING BY BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Between annual conventions, the Board of Directors may cast any needed vote by mail or by electronic means. *B3 Bylaw 3  IRS Compliance B3. BYLAW 3 B3.0.  IRS COMPLIANCE: B3.1.  A. Said organization is organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future Federal Tax Code. B3.2. No part of the net earnings of the organization shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the organization shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in the purpose clause hereof. No substantial part of the activities of the organization shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the organization shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provision of this document, the organization shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by an organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future Federal Tax Code, or (b) by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future Federal Tax Code. B3.3. Upon the dissolution of the organization, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 5O1(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. Any such assets not disposed of shall be disposed of by the Court of Common Pleas of the county in which the principal office of the organization is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes. *B4 ByLaw 4  Affiliates B4.   ByLaw 4 B4.0.  AFFILIATES: B4.1. Each group requesting affiliate status must submit the following, for Blind LGBT Pride Board approval, prior to receiving recognition as an affiliate B4.1.1. A copy of the proposed affiliate’s Constitution and Bylaws. B4.1.2. A full membership list with each members full information as set forth by the Blind LGBT Pride board and ACB. B4 .1.3. A signed “Service Mark and Trade Name Agreement”. B4.2. Each affiliate must keep their Membership list submitted to Blind LGBT Pride up to date. B4.3. Each affiliate will pay Blind LGBT Pride dues, as specified in these bylaws, each January for all of its members. B4.4. The charter of an affiliate may be suspended by the board of directors, to be ratified by a majority vote of the membership at convention for: B4.4.1. Being more than two (2) months overdue in payment of annual dues (due date January 15th). B4.4.2. Failing to supply the board with an up-to-date list of its members every year by February 15th. B4.4.3. Failing to satisfy the Board with respect to its purposes or membership. B4.4.4. Conducting or participating in activities contrary to the good reputation of Blind LGBT Pride. B4.5. Before the Board adopts a motion for the provisional deletion of an Affiliate the Affiliate concerned is provided, by mail, with a notice of the provisional deletion motion and the reasons upon which it is based. B4.6. The affiliate has thirty (30 calendar days), to provide the board with reasons why the provisional deletion should not be adopted. B4.7. When a motion of provisional deletion is adopted by the Board, the Affiliate concerned has the right to appeal the action to the Board. B4.7.1. The appeal must be received by the Board within thirty (30) calendar days of the mailing of notice of provisional deletion to the Affiliate. B4.7.2. The Boards vote on the appeal shall be conducted according to the voting procedures outlined in these Bylaws, and will be held within two (2) months upon receipt of the appeal. B4.7.3. The Membership shall vote to affirm the Boards action or take other action by a majority vote. B4.7.4. If the vote of the membership is to sustain the provisional deletion, the deleted Affiliate will be removed from the roster of Affiliates immediately after the vote of the membership and the Secretary shall enter the deletion to the roster of Affiliates and inform all Affiliates accordingly. B4.7.5. If no appeal is made, the memberships action to delete shall be effective immediately. B4.8. All members of such deleted Affiliates may retain their privileges of membership and shall become Members-at-large of Blind LGBT Pride. *B5 Bylaw 5 Endowment Fund B5.  BYLAW 5 B5.0.  ENDOWMENT FUND: B5.1. Blind LGBT Pride will maintain an “Endowment Fund” for the purpose of generating interest income to be used for services such as web costs and convention program support. B5.2. All funds from “Life memberships” and other donations specifically donated to be placed in the “Endowment Fund” will be added to the fund and the fund will be invested in “Secure” investments. The interest will be re-invested until the principle reaches ten thousand dollars, at which time the interest can be transferred to the convention or general account. *B6 ByLaw 6 Electronic Voting B6. BYLAW 6 B6.0.  ELECTRONIC VOTING: The Secretary shall provide each member and affiliate in good standing an electronic ballot at least 7 days in advance of BPI’s annual Business Meeting at the ACB conference/convention. Each ballot shall contain language regarding members and affiliates who vote electronically do so because they will not be present at the annual conference/convention and therefore forfeit the option of voting for a candidate running from the floor. Electronic ballots must be received by the Secretary no later than 5 PM convention time on the day of the business meeting. Ballots received later than 5 PM will not be counted. Electronic ballots will be treated as confidential. Electronic votes will be included in the tally of the votes cast at the business meeting. *B7 ByLaw 7 Committees B7. BYLAW 7 B7.0.  COMMITTEES: B7.1.  In addition to the committees listed below, the membership or the Board of Directors may establish such other standing, special, or ad hoc committees as needed to carry out the purposes of BPI. B7.2. Membership: The membership of each committee shall consist of the number of members necessary to serve BPI effectively. The President shall appoint as Chairpersons members in good standing who possess those qualities and experience needed to carry out the purpose(s) of the committee to which appointed. Committee Chairs serve at the pleasure of the President.  The President shall, by appointment, fill vacancies that may occur in the chair of committees. The Chairperson of each committee shall appoint qualified members to serve on his/her committee and to fill vacancies within his/her committee. The President shall be an ex-officio member of all committees except the Elections committee. B7.2. Reporting: Each committee shall report to the Board of Directors, to the assembly at annual meetings, and/or through publications of BPI, on a needs basis or as directed by the President or Board of Directors. B7.3. Meetings: The President, the Chairperson, or a majority of committee members may call meetings of a committee. A majority vote of all members present and voting at a committee meeting where a quorum is present, shall decide matters of business. Such meetings may be by teleconferencing or other electronic means and in person with a majority of its members constituting a quorum. B7.4. D. List of Committees and Duties: The goals, objectives and duties of all committees shall be developed by each committee, directed by the Board of Directors, stated in this constitution, or by the membership in convention assembled. Once developed, these goals, duties, requirements, and responsibilities may be published as a set of standing rules for each committee or added to this constitution by way of amendments to the appropriate committee. B7.4.0. Committees B7.4.1.  Legislative and Advocacy With board approval, the Legislative and Advocacy committee shall develop and implement blindness and/or LGBT related advocacy strategies, follow and report on legislative issues,   and educate Membership and allies as to trending issues as needed. B7.4.2. B Budget/Finance The Treasurer shall Chair the Budget and Finance committee which shall be responsible for preparing and implementing an annual budget approved by the board of directors. B7.4.3.  Constitution, Bylaws and Resolutions The Constitution and Bylaws Committee shall be available to any member who wishes to propose amendments. It shall be responsible for sending notices of pending amendments and changes adapted to voting members. It shall initiate changes that it believes will make BPI more democratic and effective. B7.4.4.  Fund Raising The Fund Raising Committee shall seek and select methods of increasing the Council’s income. Its decisions shall be subject to the approval of the Board of Directors. It shall be responsible for carrying out fund raising activities which have been given such approval. B7.4.5.  Membership The membership committee exists to maintain BPI’s member base. It works to develop recommended strategies to outreach to new members and retain current members. This committee also works in conjunction with other committees to meet the mission and goals of BPI. B7.4.6.  Elections The Elections committee shall be co-chaired by the Parliamentarian and the Constitution and Bylaws Chair and shall carry out BPI’s nominating process and elections, in accordance with the provisions set Fourth by BPI’s constitution and bylaws. B7.4.7.  Programs The Program Committee shall be responsible for developing programs for BPI’s conference and convention and other meetings, as approved by the board of directors. It shall also serve as a hospitality committee as needed. *B8 Bylaw 8 Regular Telephonic Meeting of the Membership B8.  Bylaw 8 B8.0.  Regular Teleconference Meeting of the Membership If necessary, A Regular General Meeting of the BPI Membership will be held by teleconference the Third Saturday in January to conduct any published adgenda in the BPI Newsletter or other regular business not  specifically  designated as limited to the Annual Convention. *H0  History of Constitution and Bylaws Constitution and Bylaws As adopted by the officers of Blind, Friends, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People elected on July 7, 1999 in Los Angeles California • Amended by the membership on July 5, 2000 in Louisville Kentucky • Amended by the membership on July 5, 2002 in Houston Texas • Amended by the officers on February 13, 2003 through meeting electronically to be ratified by the membership on July 8, 2003 in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania • Amended by the membership on July 8, 2003 in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania • Amended by the membership on July 5, 2004 in Birmingham Alabama • Amended by the membership on July 4, 2005 in Las Vegas Nevada • Amended by the membership on July 3, 2006 in Jacksonville Florida • Amended by the membership on July 7, 2008 in Louisville Kentucky • Amended by the membership on July 6, 2009 in Orlando Florida • Amended by the membership on July 12, 2010 in Phoenix Arizona • Amended by the membership on July 11, 2011 in Reno Nevada • Amended by the membership on July 9, 2012 in Louisville Kentucky Ammendent by the membership on July 9, 2013 in Columbus Ohio As Amended By the Membership of Blind LGBT Pride International at Los Vegas on July 14, 2014   *QR  Quick Reference *A0  Constitution *A1 Article 1 Name *A2 Article 2 Purpose *A3 Article 3  Affiliation *A4  Article 4  MMeetings *A5  Article 5  Membership, Voting, and Dues *A6 Article 6 Officers *A7  ARTICLE 7  POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE General Meetings of the Membership,   AND OF THE OFFICERS *A8  Article 8  Amendments *A9  Article 9  DISSOLUTION *B0  Bylaws *B1 Bylaw 1 Dues *B2  Bylaw 2   VOTING BY BOARD OF DIRECTORS *B3 Bylaw 3  IRS Compliance *B4 ByLaw 4  Affiliates *B5 Bylaw 5 Endowment Fund *B6 ByLaw 6 Electronic Voting *B7 ByLaw 7 Committees *B8 Bylaw 8  Regular Teleconference Meeting of the Membership *H0  History of Constitution and Bylaws *QR  Quick Reference &*