ARTICLE XII

REPRESENTATION

 

The Association, either through the National Convention or the National Board of Directors, may appoint a delegate or delegates to national or international conferences (however they may be named or called) which conferences aim to achieve objectives consistent with those of this Association.

ARTICLE XIII

POLICY

 

The policy of the Association shall be determined by the National Convention, and shall be non-sectarian and non-partisan.

 

ARTICLE XIV

REGIONAL GROUPS

Section 1.

a. The Association shall have the power to organize affiliate groups to be known as regional groups; to issue, revoke, and amend their charters; to discipline their officers and members; to regulate their elections; to fix their dues; and, generally, to regulate their activities and the conduct of their affairs.

b. It shall be the policy of the Blinded Veterans Association that regional groups shall be allowed the greatest amount of freedom of action and liberty consistent with reasonable control by the National Authority.

Section 2.

 

Charters of new regional groups may be issued on the accepted application of five (5) or more Members and/or Associate Members in any area in which regional groups do not exist.  The Charter issued to any new regional group must contain the name of the State (or geographic area) in which the regional group is organized.

Section 3.

 

When, in the opinion of the National Board of Directors, it would be to the best advantage of the Members and Associate Members located within the jurisdiction of any existing regional group to divide such group area into two (2) or more new groups, the Board may take such action with the consent of the regional group concerned and may designate the area of jurisdiction of the new regional group. 

Section 4.

 

a. When, in the opinion of the National Board of Directors, the best interests of the Members and Associate Members of two (2) or more regional groups will be served thereby, the National Board of Directors may consolidate any two (2) or more regional groups with the consent of the active group or groups.

b. If one (1) or more groups become inactive, this action may be taken with the consent of the active group or groups.

c. In the event of such consolidation, all funds and records of the consolidated groups shall be delivered to the regional group formed by the consolidation.

Section 5.

a. Any group of ten (10) or more Members and/or Associate Members in good standing with the National Organization may incorporate without the permission of the National Organization.

b. No group of less than ten (10) Members and/or Associate Members may incorporate without the permission of the National Board of Directors provided, however, no group shall incorporate unless and until it has been in existence for at least a one-year period.

Section 6.

a. The National Board of Directors may cause any regional group to be investigated; and if such investigation establishes the fact or facts tending to prove that the regional group has willfully violated any of the provisions of these Bylaws, or is otherwise disqualified to continue as a affiliate body of the Blinded Veterans Association, the National Board of Directors may revoke the Charter of such affiliate body.

b. Such investigation can be held only after reasonable notice to the Members and Associate Members, and all of the proceedings of the investigation shall be open to any Member and/or Associate Member of the Blinded Veterans Association. 

c. Any decision of the National Board of Directors adverse to a regional group may be appealed to the next National Convention. 

Section 7.

 

Inherent in the revocation of any regional group charter is the loss of permission to use the name "Blinded Veterans Association."

Section 8.

a. In the event of the revocation of the Charter of any affiliate regional group, all of the property of such group, including all of its books, records, equipment, and funds, shall be delivered to the National Association to be held in trust by such National Association for a period of at least two (2) years.

b. If, within such two (2) year period, a new group shall be organized in the region formerly occupied by the group whose Charter has been revoked, then all such property, books, records, equipment, and funds shall be delivered to and become the property of the new group so organized.

c. If, after a five (5) year period has elapsed following the original Charter revocation, the group whose Charter was revoked has not been reorganized nor has a new group been formed in the region formerly occupied by the group whose Charter was revoked, then the following administrative actions shall be implemented by the National Board of Directors with respect to the property, books, records, equipment and funds of the group whose Charter was revoked:

       (1) All books and records shall be relegated to the archives of the National Association.
       (2) All property and equipment shall be disposed of as determined by the National Board of Directors.
       (3) All funds and other monies of the group shall permanently revert to the General Fund of the National Association.

Section 9.

 

The National Board of Directors may establish and adopt rules and regulations governing regional groups, and otherwise have supervision and authority over all affiliate or regional groups.

Section 10.

a. Immediately after its organization, each new regional group shall elect a President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer (provided that the group, in its discretion, may combine the offices of Secretary and Treasurer), and other officers from among its Members and/or Associate Members considered necessary for its operation and shall forthwith adopt and forward to BVA National Headquarters (Attn: Administrative Director) bylaws for its government and control.

       (1) Such bylaws shall not be effective unless or until approved by the National Board of Directors.
       (2) No bylaws, or provisions thereof, not required of all regional groups under the same or similar circumstances, shall be required of any one regional group.

b. To facilitate efficiency and good communications, a regional group shall submit an up-to-date listing of its officers (to include name, office held, address and telephone number with area code) to BVA Head- quarters (Attn: Administrative Director) immediately after its initial organization, and thereafter within thirty (30) days after an election of officers or any change of officer(s) for any reason.

Section 11.

 

All meetings at which regional group business is conducted, including the election of regional group officers, the election and instruction of delegates to the National Convention, the establishment of regional group policies and programs, and the spending of regional group funds, must be held in a location within the regional group's territorial boundaries as set forth in the regional group's Charter, issued pursuant to this Article XIV.

Section 12.

a. Each regional group shall be entitled to elect a delegate to the National Convention from among its Members and Associate Members in good standing and to instruct that delegate as to voting for or against any given subject, or for or against any particular candidate or candidates for office.

b. All regional groups are required to inform their Members and Associate Members, in writing, of the date/time/location of all regional group meetings. This specifically includes the meeting at which balloting will take place for the purpose of electing a delegate to the BVA National Convention and instructing said delegate as to candidates for National office and other issues.

       (1) A copy of the notice of meeting to elect and instruct delegates shall be sent to National Headquarters (Attn: Administrative Director) at the same time it is mailed to the Members and Associate Members. Failure to submit subject notice to the National Headquarters may result in the regional group's delegation not being seated at the National Convention.
       (2) In no instance shall notice be less than forty (40) days prior to the National Convention, or less than ten (10) days prior to that regional group meeting.
       (3) All ballots cast in writing, in person, or by proxy must be counted at that regional group meeting.

c. Credentials, certifying to the election of the regional group delegate, and instructions to him/her shall be in writing, signed by the regional group president, authenticated by the secretary, and in triplicate.

       (1) One (1) copy of such credentials and instructions shall be delivered to the delegate prior to the start of the National Convention.
       (2) One (1) copy shall be mailed to the National Secretary at the National Headquarters (Attn: Administrative Director) postmarked not later than twenty-one (21) days prior to the National Convention.
       (3) One (1) copy shall be retained in the regional group files.

d. When such delegate has been so instructed, he/she must vote in accordance with his/her instructions; and if he/she refuses to do so, the National Secretary shall cast a ballot for him/her in the name of the regional group issuing such instructions.

Section 13.

a. In order to be recognized by the Blinded Veterans Association as a regional group in good standing, a regional group shall:

       (1) Meet at least once during each fiscal year (July 1 - June 30).
       (2) Submit a copy of the minutes of its meeting(s) to National Headquarters (Attn: Administrative Director) within sixty (60) days of such meeting(s).
       (3) Submit an annual financial statement to National Headquarters (Attn: Administrative Director) on the forms provided for that purpose within three (3) months following the end of the fiscal year (not later than September 30).
       (4) Comply at all times with the BVA National Bylaws, as amended.
       (5) Comply with all written directives and other communiqués of the National Headquarters in a timely manner.

b. A regional group which fails to comply with any of the provisions of sub-paragraph a above may be placed in a "NOT IN GOOD STANDING" status by the BVA National Board of Directors/National Headquarters. A written warning will be issued by the National Headquarters thirty (30) days prior to such action being taken.

       (1) A regional group which has been placed in a "NOT IN GOOD STANDING" status will be officially notified in writing of such administrative action by the BVA National Headquarters (Administrative Director).
       (2) The following administrative sanctions shall be implemented by the National Board of Directors/National Headquarters against any BVA regional group, which is placed in a "NOT IN GOOD STANDING" status:

              (a) The group's delegation will not be seated at the BVA National Convention, and accordingly, the group's delegate will be precluded from casting any vote on the floor of the Convention.
              (b) The group's annual Life Membership Fund dividend/interest apportionment and quarterly dues apportionment's will be withheld by the National Headquarters until such time as the group is returned to a "GOOD STANDING" status by the National Board of Directors/National Headquarters.

       (3) A regional group will be officially notified in writing by the BVA National Headquarters (Administrative Director) at such time as it is returned to a "GOOD STANDING" status.

c. Regional group program activities shall be left to the discretion of the individual regional groups. 

d. Regional groups shall establish bank accounts in the name of the regional group and are encouraged to bond the account signatories.

e. In advance of undertaking any fund-raising, other than fund-raising conducted within the regional group involving no outside party and as described in sub-paragraph f. below, regional groups shall submit a program budget, and plan of fund-raising activities to the National Board of Directors for approval.

       (1) Written approval from the National Board of Directors shall be required before such fund-raising activities are initiated.
       (2) The regional groups shall be notified of the action of the National Board of Directors within sixty (60) days of submission of the fund-raising plan.
       (3) The advice of the Executive Director or the Administrative Director of the National Organization shall be obtained before submitting such fund-raising plans.

f. As specified in this sub-paragraph, regional groups planning limited, within-group fund-raising projects, may by letter or telephone, obtain approval of the fund-raising project from the Executive Director or the Administrative Director of the National Organization.

       (1) Fund-raising activities authorized under this sub- paragraph would include only those projects carried out by members of the regional group and which involve no outside party in any manner.
       (2) In carrying out fund-raising projects covered by this sub-paragraph, the words 'Blinded Veterans Association' or 'BVA' shall be used only as they appear in the official regional group name.
       (3) Examples of fund-raising projects covered by this sub-paragraph would be:

              (a) soliciting the regional group membership for cash and equipment donations to support regional group volunteer programs;
              (b) selling raffle tickets at regional group meetings;
              (c) auctioning donated items at regional group meetings;
              (d) holding yard sales or garage sales of donated items; and
              (e) selling tickets to regional group picnics, dances and similar events conducted solely by the regional group.

g. Regional groups shall obtain prior approval from the National Board of Directors before acting on Federal legislation.

h. Regional groups may work for legislation in their state legislatures, provided that all regional groups in a state agree on the action to be taken.