Constitution and ByLaws


Guide Dog Users of Washington State
Constitution and Bylaws

November 1, 2014


CONSTITUTION


ARTICLE I. NAME

A. The name of this organization shall be Guide Dog Users of Washington State, (GDUWS).

B. The name of GDUWS shall not be used by any person or organization without the expressed written consent of the President and/or the Board of Directors of GDUWS.


ARTICLE II. PURPOSE

A.The purpose of this organization is to promote the special interests of the legally blind of Guide Dog Users of Washington State (GDUWS); as well as expand equality, independence and opportunity for guide dog users.

B. GDUWS shall promote the acceptance of guide dog teams by members of the general public, and all agencies, employers, educational institutions, and commercial establishments in the State of Washington.

C. GDUWS shall work for the enforcement of legal provisions, both civil and criminal, governing the rights and responsibilities of a guide dog team in the areas of public access, employment, housing, transportation, personal injury and recreation.

D. GDUWS shall serve as a resource for any person or business having questions or concerns about guide dogs working in the state of Washington.

E. GDUWS shall provide technical assistance to The Washington Council of the Blind, (WCB), prior to its annual convention to ensure the appropriateness of relief facilities for all guide dogs in convention, and to otherwise assist WCB as may be appropriate.

F. GDUWS is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, 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.


ARTICLE III. DISSOLUTION

A. The orderly dissolution of GDUWS can proceed under the following conditions:

(1) A written proposal of dissolution must be distributed to the membership by mail or electronically at least 30 days prior to a vote being taken;

(2) A formal motion and voting process must be followed at a general or special meeting.  A quorum shall not be required in this specific situation;

(3) An eighty-five percent favorable vote if there is a     quorum, and a ninety-five percent favorable vote if the quorum is not satisfied, shall be required for the motion to pass.

B. Upon a vote of dissolution by the membership and after paying all of its debts and obligations, all remaining GDUWS funds shall revert to Guide Dog Users, Inc., GDUI; if GDUI no longer exists, all funds shall revert to the Washington Council of the Blind, (WCB); if WCB no longer exists, all funds shall revert to the American Council of the Blind, (ACB).

C. If ACB no longer exists, upon the dissolution of the organization, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(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 of organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.


AFFILIATIONS

A. GDUWS may affiliate with any organization.


MEMBERSHIP AND VOTING

A. Any person eighteen years of age or older may become a member of GDUWS.

B. The majority of GDUWS members shall be guide dog users.

C. All members in good standing shall have the right to cast their individual votes at any meeting of the membership. There shall be no proxy voting.

D. Local chapters of GDUWS may be organized in accordance with the following requirements:

1. Any organization making application for chapter status shall have no fewer than three members, the majority of whom shall be guide dog users.

2. Any organization making application for chapter status shall have a constitution at the time of application, and shall submit said constitution to the Board of Directors of GDUWS for its consideration and review.

3. All applicants for chapter status shall be approved by a majority vote of the Board of Directors and of the membership.

4. Each chapter shall pay to GDUWS, the annual amount equal to the per capita dues as set by GDUWS.

5. Each chapter of GDUWS shall be entitled to one chapter vote in any Annual or Special meeting of the membership for each six chapter members or a majority fraction thereof. Each chapter shall select a delegate who shall cast the chapter vote.

E. This organization, in accordance with due process provisions of WCB, By a two-thirds vote of the Members present and voting, may expel, suspend or otherwise discipline any member for conduct which is inconsistent with the Constitution or policies established by the chapter, providing that members involved in the proposed action shall receive written notice of this action at least ten days prior to the meeting and provided that notice of the action shall be announced in a previous meeting and provided that the member named in this proposed action shall receive a fair hearing by at least a majority of the Board of directors. If expulsion, suspension or other disciplinary action is proposed between meetings, the President or a majority of the Board shall call a special meeting to vote on this action. The member named in this action shall receive a fair hearing with due process as described above.


OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS

A. The officers of GDUWS shall be President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The President and Vice-President shall be legally blind and guide dog users.

B. The President and Treasurer shall be elected on odd numbered years and shall serve for a term of two years. The Vice President and Secretary shall be elected on even numbered years and shall serve for a term of two years. Terms of all officers shall begin on the first day of January following the meeting at which they are elected. The President and Vice-President shall not serve for more than two consecutive full terms in the same office.

C. Officers shall perform the usual duties of their office as provided in Roberts Rules of Order, Current Edition, unless otherwise provided for by this constitution or such bylaws as may be enacted.

D. Two Directors shall serve on the GDUWS Board, each for a two-year term. Directors may serve no more than three consecutive full terms.

E. The officers and directors shall constitute the Board of Directors and shall be the governing body of GDUWS between meetings of the membership. The Board of Directors shall make no policy decision or take any official action which is in conflict with or contrary to any prior decision or action of the membership. The Board of Directors may cast votes by mail or by other electronic means.

F. In addition to the officers and directors, the immediate Past President shall be a member of the Board of Directors, with full voting privileges. The immediate Past President shall serve until there shall be a new immediate Past President or until elected to another position.

G. The President and Vice-President and a majority of the directors shall be guide dog users.

H. Election of officers and directors shall be by a majority of members present and eligible to vote at any election. Voting shall be by secret ballot or such other means as a majority of the membership present shall decide. If no nominee receives a majority of the vote on the first ballot, a second ballot shall be taken between the two nominees receiving the largest number of votes on the first ballot.

I. For the purposes of calculating the number of terms an individual has served in any office, a partial term, (any term less than a term provided herein), shall not be considered as a term in office.


MEETINGS

A. In the absence of provisions contained herein the constitution or the Bylaws, all proceedings of this organizational shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised.

B. All members in good standing shall have the right to cast their individual votes at any meeting of the membership. There shall be no proxy voting

C. GDUWS shall meet at least annually.

D. The President may call additional meetings upon a vote of a majority of the GDUWS membership or the Board of Directors. The time and place of any additional meetings shall be determined by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.

E.Twenty (20) percent of the membership shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of conducting business. A majority of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum of that body.

F. Board or membership meeting(s) may be conducted telephonically. All members participating must be able to hear each other at the same time. Before speaking on any issue, each member shall identify him/herself and be recognized by the chair. The secretary shall be responsible for tallying each vote cast and reporting the results.

G. No official votes may be obtained by poling individual board members not in attendance at a regular meeting or conference call.


FISCAL YEAR

A. The fiscal year of GDUWS shall be from January 1 through December 31.

B.  All fees, membership and other requirements of affiliation with other organizations shall be provided by GDUWS to those organizations


RESIGNATION OR REMOVAL FROM OFFICE

A. Any officer or director may resign from office by notifying the President in writing. The Board of Directors may, thereafter, in its discretion, elect a person to serve in the vacant office until the next annual convention.

B. Any officer or director may be removed from office for good and sufficient cause by a vote of two-thirds of the total membership of the board of directors. In no event shall the board vote to remove a person from office until the officer or director has been given notice in writing of the charges pending against him/her and is afforded an opportunity to appear and defend against the alleged charges. The Board of Directors may, thereafter, at its discretion, elect a person to serve in the vacant office until the next annual convention.

C. Grounds for removal of officers and directors shall be:

1. Failure to attend 3 consecutive meetings of the GDUWS Board of Directors without just cause.

2. Failure to pay dues or to otherwise comply with the membership requirements of GDUWS.

3. Failure to perform the duties of office as prescribed by the Constitution and bylaws of GDUWS.

4. Performance of the duties of office in a manner that is detrimental to the aims and purposes of GDUWS.

5. Personal conduct which brings discredit on GDUWS.

D. At the next annual meeting of GDUWS, the membership of this organization shall, if necessary, elect a person to complete the term for which the resigned or removed officer or director was originally elected.


AMENDMENTS


A. This constitution and bylaws may be amended by a vote of two-thirds of those eligible to vote and present at a called meeting in accordance with Article VI of the Constitution, provided that notice of proposed amendment(s) shall have been mailed or provided by an electronic format, to the membership not less than thirty days prior to a meeting.


FREEDOM FROM LIABILITY


A. All members of the board of the Guide Dog Users of Washington State shall be held free from liability from legal actions brought against GDUWS because of decisions made by the board in good faith for the good of the organization.


BYLAWS


1. Annual dues for GDUWS may be revised at any meeting.

2. Members holding lifetime memberships in ACB, WCB or GDUI shall pay GDUWS current dues less the amount of the dues as determined by the organization(s)holding the lifetime membership(s).

3. The President may appoint all members of committees within the organization unless otherwise directed by the membership or the Board of Directors.

This organization’s standing committees shall be:

A. Public relations/Fund-raising.

B. Advocacy.

C. Membership.

D. Event Planning.

The President may appoint ad hoc committees as the need arises.