[Note: Where “chapter” is used, please understand that “special affiliate” is also invoked.]
1. Establishing affiliation with FCB:
Pursuant to FCB Const., Art. III, Membership:
C. Any organization having at least five (5) members, the majority of whom are blind, may apply for affiliation.
D. Applications for chapter affiliation must be approved by the FCB Board of Directors. Applications for member-at-large must be approved by the FCB Membership Secretary.
2. Identification of chapter:
The chapter should identify itself in either its Constitution or By-Laws, as well as identify its affiliation with FCB and ACB, and provide a DBA (doing business as) name (if desired). Such language might read something like:
ARTICLE I - Name
The name of this chapter shall be: [INSERT NAME OF CHAPTER]: a chapter of the Florida Council of the Blind (FCB), a state affiliate of the American Council of the Blind (ACB). The d.b.a. of this chapter shall be [insert DBA] and the official abbreviation of this chapter’s name shall be: [INSERT ABBREVIATION].
3. Responsibilities and privileges:
Affiliation with FCB, brings with it certain responsibilities and privileges.
a. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
1) Payment of annual dues (Const., Art. V, and By-Laws, Art. II(A), Art. III(A & B)
2) Payment of assessments (Const., Art. V & By-Laws, Art. III€)
3) Filing reports in a timely manner (By-Laws, Art. III(B))
4) Making annual accounting in a timely manner (By-Laws, Art. III(B, C, & F))
5) Regularly participating at the State level as an FCB Board representative (Const., Art. VI(B, D, & E) and By-Laws, Art. II(B), Art. VII(A-C)), and convention delegate (Const., Art. IV(A), Art. VI, and By-Laws, Art. II(B))
6) Serving on committees as assigned by the FCB President and committee Chairs (Const., Art. VIII, and By-Laws, Art. VIII(A))
Failure to fulfill these responsibilities may result in loss of voting privileges (By-Laws, Art. III(D), suspension, or expulsion. (By-Laws, Art. V).
b. Privileges include, but are not limited to:
1) Access to and reliance on ACB’s and FCB’s extensive experience, institutional knowledge, expertise, support, and the benefit of collective advocacy Const., Art. II).
2) The right to vote at FCB meetings (Const., Art. IV, and By-Laws, Art. II)
3) The opportunity to run for FCB offices (Const., Art. VI, and By-Laws, Art. I€, Art. II(B), Art. VI, Art. IX(A))
4) The opportunity to serve on FCB committees (Const., Art. VIII, and By-Laws, Art. VIII(A))
5) Receipt of FCB publications, such as the White Cane Bulletin and the Braille Forum (Const., Art. II(H) and Art. VIII, and By-Laws, Art. VIIIF
1) Pursuant to FCB Const., Art. V, Dues and Assessments: Dues and Assessments shall be paid on an annual basis as set forth in the By-Laws.
2) FCB By-Laws, Art. III, Dues and Assessments (A-G) sets forth the amount of dues owed to FCB per member of chapter, as well as from each member at large (A and B), while Sub C and Sub F set forth reporting requirements, Sub D sets forth penalties for non-submission or untimely submission of reports, Sub E discusses assessments paid by chapter, and Sub G discusses various financial waivers for new chapters.
e. Denial of voting privileges:
Pursuant to FCB By-Laws, Art. III (D), denial of voting privileges at FCB Board meetings and Annual Conventions, members of chapters who wish to represent a chapter as a voting member at FCB Board meetings or Annual Conventions, must:
1) Designate that chapter as their Primary chapter, and
2) Ensure that all chapter dues have been paid in a timely manner: any member who is not current with their dues may not serve as a Board Rep or Convention Delegate (By-Laws, Art. III(D))
f. Board representatives and Convention delegates:
Pursuant to FCB Const., Art. VI(B), Officers and Board of Directors, There shall be one (1) FCB Board Representative selected from the primary members of each chapter. FCB Const., Art. V, Voting, states, each chapter in good standing shall be accorded delegates pursuant to the rules set forth in FCB By-Laws, Art. II, Voting (A and B).
Pursuant to FCB Const., Art. X, FCB and Chapter Properties:
A. All chapter assets, real and personal, shall be held in both the name of the Florida Council of the Blind and the Chapter.
1. Reversion of property:
Pursuant to FCB Constitution, Article X:
B. Upon dissolution of any chapter, all properties will revert to the FCB.
C. Upon dissolution of the FCB, all assets, after payment of financial obligations, may be transferred to the American Council of the Blind or another organization of or for the blind as designated.
2. Before resorting to dissolution:
Dissolution of chapter is an extreme action that should be taken only after all reasonable efforts to preserve the chapter as a viable entity have been exhausted. Such reasonable efforts include, but are not limited to:
a. Engaging in constructive dialogue within the chapter to identify and resolve issues and concerns
b. Working with the chapter FCB Liaison to address issues and situations that pose a threat to the chapter’s viability
c. Working with FCB, the Board, and/or the Executive Committee to resolve issues and concerns, and/or
d. Working with ACB entities/representatives to address and resolve issues and/or concerns.
3. Dissolution protocols:
Because dissolution is such an extreme action, chapters are encouraged to set forth a rigorous protocol only through which and only after which the chapter can be dissolved. Language setting forth this dissolution protocol may be set forth in either the chapter’s Constitution or its By-Laws, and may read something like:
A. Dissolution can only occur following a meeting of the Board of Directors at which at least ¾ (three fourth’s) of the members present vote to recommend dissolution.
B. Written notice of the proposed dissolution must be provided to all members at least 30 (thirty) days prior to the regular or special meeting at which dissolution will be voted upon.
C. This chapter may only be dissolved by a ¾ (three fourth’s) vote of the membership at a regular or special meeting.
D. At the time of dissolution, all properties of the chapter shall revert to the Florida Council of the Blind.