[nfbmi-talk] Quarterly Membership Board Meeting of the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan 10/31/2010
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Sat Feb 12 23:10:43 UTC 2011
Call to Order,
Quarterly Membership Board Meeting of the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan 10/31/2010
-- Michigan and Superior Rooms Members are able to vote.
I. Call to Order 9:00 Board Roll Call and Introductions of Others Larry Posont Terri Wilcox, Mike Powell, Marcus Simmons, Peter
Zaremba, Melinda Latham, Matt McCubbin.
II. Fred Schroeder gave a statement.
III. Secretary's Report, Terri Wilcox. Bob Rihann made a motion to accept the Secretary's report, which was then approved.
IV. Treasurer's Report, Peter Zaremba.
NFB of Michigan Affiliate Account Statement of Activity
For the Period 8-28-10 - 10-25-10
Fund Beginning Balance on 8-28-10: $5,313.67
General Donations $509.90
Fund Raiser Sales $200.67
Youth trip registration fees & Donations $2,050.00
Dues & other misc. Rev. $27.00
Total Revenue $2,787.57
Advocacy and Legal Fees ($412.50)
Youth trip ($4,163.54)
May & August board meeting (room & lunch) ($887.20)
Affiliate Phone ($96.88)
Purchase fund raiser items ($373.65)
State convention flyer printing and Internet streaming ($232.24)
Routine Affiliate operation & Misc. Expenses ($82.29)
Total Expenses ($6,248.30)
Fund Balance: $1,852.94
Less Portion of Funds held for Youth Outreach ($1,220.88)
Funds available for General Useage: $632.06
Detailed Listing of Grant Fund expenditures
Initial Grant: $20,000.00
Summer program Expenses
Flyer Printing ($21.20)
Braille Camp ($5,700.00)
Science Camp ($5,328.00)
Culinary Camp ($5,400.00)
Funds applied to Youth Outreach Trip ($3,550.80)
Total Expenses ($20,000.00)
Grant Balance $0.00
NFB Newsline of Michigan Statement of Activity
For the Period 8/27/10 - 10/25/10
Fund Beginning Balance on 8/27/10: "$1,248.75"
Total Revenue $100.00
Total Expenses $0.00
Fund Balance: "$1,348.75"
Dave Robinson moves adoption of the treasurers report which was then approved. 121 people registered for the Convention.
V. Elections for A. President. Larry Posont was elected President for a two year term. B. First Vice President. Mike Powell was
elected Vice President for a two year term.
C. Second Vice President. Melinda Latham was elected Second Vice President for a two year term.
D. Secretary. Terri Wilcox was elected Secretary for a two year term.
Treasurer. Mary Wurtzel was elected Treasurer for a two year term.
Board Position. Donna Posont was elected for a one year term.
H. Board member's terms come up for reelection next year.
Board members are: Donna Posont, Marcus Simmons, Dave Robinson, and Matt McCubbin.
G. Convention Delegate and Alternate to National Convention. President Larry Posont and Vice President Mike Powell were elected as
our Delegate and Alternate to the 2011 National Convention.
F. Consumer Involvement Committee Representative. Fred Wurtzel is our new Consumer Involvement Committee representative. Geer Wilcox
is the alternate.
VI. CIC Report September 15. Mary Wurtzel made a motion to table the Consumer Involvement Committee policy until our next board
meeting in order for us to obtain more information. Dave Robinson seconded this motion. The motion was passed. At the last Consumer
Involvement Committee meeting there was a unanimous resolution made for the Commission to fund Newsline for five years. The Consumer
Involvement Committee report was given and a discussion ensued about making sure college policy room and board are included plus
upward mobility of Bep operators. Client/counselor relationships are important.
VII. Resolutions. We voted on, and passed our Resolutions. They are on the website at
WHEREAS, the Michigan Commission for the Blind has adopted a new policy regarding the services it provides to college students, and;
WHEREAS, the Michigan Commission for the Blind severely limited the participation of consumers including college students and
college administrators in the review of this new policy, and;
WHEREAS, the new college policy includes a Statement of Financial Needs and Resources asking students how much they have
contributed to disability related services including Personal Equipment, Medical Expenses, Personal Assistants or Attendants, and
WHEREAS, such as statement of financial needs and resources eludes to the adoption of a means test, and;
WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan has previously adopted a resolution opposing the use of a means test
for providing services to college students,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan in convention assembled this thirty-first day of
October 2010 in the city of Dearborn Michigan to condemn and deplore the use of a financial needs form by the Michigan Commission
for the Blind when administering services to college students, and;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization call upon the Michigan Commission for the Blind Board of Directors to take a more
active role in standing up for the rights of blind consumers when adopting and reviewing new policies as defined by Michigan Public
WHEREAS: David Robinson and Christine Boone are highly qualified and experienced workers in the field of Blind Rehabilitation
with more than 30 years each of service to blind people; and
WHEREAS: Both Boone and Robinson are long-time members of the National Federation of the Blind; and
WHEREAS: David Robinson was fired for no reason while professionally carrying out his job duties while enjoying the overwhelming
support of Business Enterprise Entrepreneurs whom he assisted to operate their businesses; and
WHEREAS: David Robinson advocated on behalf of blind entrepreneurs to properly enforce the legally mandated priority of Business
Enterprise Operators to sell food and related products on state property, sometimes in opposition to officials who were illegally
operating businesses while on the state of Michigan payroll on state property, as verified by a ruling from an Administrative law
WHEREAS: Christine Boone was fired for allegedly violating state rules prohibiting employees from possessing or using firearms
on state property; and
WHEREAS: Mrs. Boon never handled or possessed any firearms on state property during her employment at the Michigan Commission
for the Blind; and
WHEREAS: Christine Boone consistently had highly rated performance evaluations and actively worked to build support among staff,
students and consumers of the Michigan Commission for the Blind Training Center and raise the standards and expectations for all
blind individuals who were students during her tenure; and
WHEREAS: A number of entrepreneurs in the Michigan Commission for the Blind Business Enterprise Program had their licenses
illegally revoked, thus depriving them of income; and
WHEREAS: These blind entrepreneurs were NFB members and in leadership roles in the Business Enterprise Program; and
WHEREAS: Director Patrick Cannon Personally traveled to Hazell Brooks' (the president of the NFB Merchants Division and Chair of
the Elected Operators Committee) cafeteria in the General Office Building in Dimondale, MI, one of the entrepreneurs who was
unlawfully attacked, and removed her from her facility in violation of the Randolph-Sheppard Act, an action which was later reversed
by the Michigan Commission Board of Directors; and
WHEREAS: MS Brooks had repeatedly asked for assistance from the Business Enterprise Program to stop illegal catering and had
been openly critical of the Commission's unwillingness or inability to confront and halt the illegal catering of food and the
illegal operation of an employee run store during working hours; and
Whereas: These attacks on innocent people by the Director of the Commission for the Blind present a pattern of attack upon
members of the National Federation of the Blind, in violation of their Civil Rights under the 1st and 14th amendment, the ADA, the
Rehabilitation Act, Michigan Public Act 260, Michigan Public Act 220 and a basic moral and ethical code of conduct inherent to the
trust placed in public officials by the citizens of our nation.
WHEREAS: The actions of Patrick Cannon are designed and intend to bully and intimidate members of the national Federation of the
Blind from speaking out about mismanagement, inept management, poor decision making, violation of state and federal laws and rules,
improper influence over decision-making in state government, ineffective enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which
Cannon has statewide responsibility and a myriad of other misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, in convention assembled, this day of October 2010, in Dearborn Michigan this organization condemn and
deplore the actions of Director Patrick Cannon of the Michigan Commission for the Blind, for his wanton, vicious and immoral attacks
on blind people who exercise their constitutional right to freely assemble and express their views about public programs and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization seek all avenues of assistance, advice and counsel to take all available actions
including, court, administrative and public information to stop this common bully and power abusing person from injuring others and
seek all compensation available on the behalf of these injured parties from the state government and Director Cannon personally as
provided for under law.
Whereas: A bedrock foundational principle of democracy is the existence of an informed citizenry.
WHEREAS: One means of gaining information is to have access to current events on a timely basis; and
WHEREAS: In this highly competitive job market. every bit of information about the applicant's career field could mean the
difference between being hired or being passed over in favor of a more informed applicant; and
WHEREAS: Newsline provides in-depth local, national and international news 24 hours per day every day via more than 300
publications available daily as they are available to the sighted public through the ubiquitous means of the standard touch tone
telephone thus being available to be read and reread at the readers discretion,; and
WHEREAS: the total statewide cost of Newsline is less than $80,000/year to serve nearly 2,800 subscribers, less than
$30/year/subscriber, comparable to the cost of a 1 month subscription to an average Michigan Daily. Newsline is provided free of
charge to any qualified print disabled resident of Michigan; and
WHEREAS: In October of 2009 Governor Granholm eliminated the funding for Newsline by executive order. No official of Michigan
Government notified the NFB of Michigan of this action until August of 2010 less than 60 days before Newsline funding ran out for
the 2010/2011 fiscal year, thus preventing the NFB from having adequate time to find adequate funding during this difficult
financial time in our state; and
WHEREAS: The NFB of Michigan raised the NewsLine funding crisis to the Consumer Involvement Council which in turn voted
unanimously to recommend to the Michigan Commission for the blind Board to fully fund Newsline for 5 years while a permanent
Funding source could be found and put into place; and
WHEREAS: It is appropriate for the Commission for the Blind Board to fulfill its policy-making role by creating policy to provide
access to periodicals for Michigan's blind citizens as part of its mission under the Rehabilitation Act and P.A. 260to provide
assistance to blind people to seek and acquire employment and improve the general welfare of blind people by assisting in becoming
informed citizens and becoming first-class citizens.
WHEREAS: Director Cannon has acted in his authority as agency director to provide $20,000 as a stop-gap means of temporarily
funding Newsline while a permanent means of funding Newsline can be arranged. Though helpful, this funding is inadequate to address
the mid and long-term crisis facing Newsline.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, this 31st day of October, in convention assembled in Dearborn, Michigan, that this organization call upon
the Michigan Commission for the Blind Board to affirmatively act upon the recommendation of the Consumer Involvement Council and
work with the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan to provide a means for full and permanent funding for Newsline.
WHEREAS, Leader Dogs for the Blind is a major and well recognized provider of services to the blind of Michigan and the entire
WHEREAS, Leader Dogs for the Blind as a private nonprofit organization solicits and receives donations from the general public
and many organizations such as lions clubs throughout Michigan, and;
WHEREAS, Leader Dogs for the Blind portrays to the public the image of helping blind persons, yet only has one blind staff
person out of a staff of over 120 people, and;
WHEREAS, Leader Dogs for the Blind should be well aware of the abilities of blind people and should actively seek qualified
blind persons for staff positions,
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan in convention assembled this thirty-first day of
October 2010 in the city of Dearborn Michigan that this organization strongly urge Leader Dogs for the Blind to take the necessary
steps to recruit blind persons for staff positions.
RESOLUTION 2010-05 Was not passed by the convention.
WHEREAS, blind persons throughout this country rely on accommodations that are accessible to conduct their daily lives, and;
WHEREAS, all businesses including retail, wholesale, and services by law and also because it just makes good business sense, to
provide blind persons accommodations that enable them to transact business in an efficient and timely manner, and;
WHEREAS, legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and other laws governing public accommodations have
been established, and;
WHEREAS, a number of incidents where accommodations have not been provided to blind persons have been reported to us thus
causing the blind person to be unable to complete his/her business,
THEREFORE, be it resolved by the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan this thirty-first day of October 2010 in
convention assembled in the city of Dearborn Michigan that this organization take the necessary steps to assure such reported
incidents are followed up with by assisting the business to accommodate the blind person and providing suggestions for future
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization establish a way to work with all businesses throughout Michigan to assist them on
how best to provide accommodations for the blind.
WHEREAS: The Michigan Department of Education, Low Incidence Outreach has been very helpful to blind children who participate
in various educational and life skill building activities sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan by providing
financial support and facilitating the provision of grants for various youth opportunities for blind youth in Michigan; and
WHEREAS: this support has assisted nearly 100 children to benefit from such events as traveling to Washington, DC to meet with
the Michigan Senate and Congressional delegation, Braille camp to strengthen Braille skills, Culinary camp to strengthen Daily
living skills, Science Camp to experience state-of-the-art adaptive science equipment which assists blind students to fully
participate in science labs and field work, a trip to Sault Ste Marie to tour and learn about the locks and Great Lakes Shipping,
participate along with 40,000 people in the annual Governor's Mackinac Bridge Walk and to participate in the annual State Convention
of the National Federation of the Blind where they will meet hundreds of successful blind role models and learn about opportunities
for blind people; and
WHEREAS The National Federation of the Blind has thoughtfully planned the activities to include a wide variety of experiences
that harmonize with and support the Expanded Core Curriculum, The National Agenda and build skills and knowledge around the Science,
Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related topics; and
WHEREAS: Collette Bauman has worked cooperatively and in an encouraging manner to provide these high-quality experiences for
blind children from throughout the state.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan, on this day of October in convention assembled in
Dearborn Michigan that, this organization thank Collette Bauman and thank the Michigan Department of Education Low Incidence
Outreach for their affirmative efforts to provide quality, enriching and empowering experiences to blind youth of Michigan.
VIII. Law Suit. We estimate that reports will arrive this week. We will obtain Discovery from the Commission Board, even though they
were trying to avoid giving it to us.
IX. Support for Commission Board Appointments. We were not in the fight between the Governor and the Senate. Since the Governor sent
in appointments in April, Mike Gino and Margaret Wolf were rejected twice by the Senate. After elections, we can provide influence
as to whom we want on the board. Also, the governor could take a long time making appointments. Board members get travel and
lodging. The board is policy making.
X. New Business: There is a $2000 scholarship for students in Michigan. J.J. Meddaugh volunteers to lead Washington Seminar
XI. State Convention 2011. Proposals of $99 for Kalamazoo and $79 for Grand Rapids have come in. Carrie Bradley volunteers to work
on a bus to Florida for National Convention.
XII. Adjourn 11-58 by Larry Posont.
ARTICLE I. NAME
The name of this organization shall be the Ann Arbor Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan.
ARTICLE II. PURPOSE
The purpose of the Ann Arbor Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan shall be to advance the general welfare of
the blind of Ann Arbor the area, of Washtenaw County the state of Michigan, and of the nation; to function as an integral part of
the National Federation of the Blind; to serve as a vehicle for collective action by the blind of the area; to operate as a
mechanism through which the blind and interested sighted persons can come together to plan and carry out programs to improve the
quality of life of the blind; to provide a means of collective action for parents of blind children; to forward the interests of
blind students and provide them with a means of joint action and expression; to promote the vocational, cultural, and social
advancement of the blind; to achieve the integration of the blind into society on a basis of equality with the sighted; and to take
any other action which will improve the overall condition and standard of living of the blind.
ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP
Section One - Active Members
At least a majority of the active members of this organization must be blind. Any person may become an active member of this
organization by a majority vote of the members present and voting at any regular business meeting, and shall have the right to vote,
serve on committees, speak on the floor, and hold office.
Section Two - Associate Members
Any person may be elected to associate membership in this organization by a majority vote of the members present and voting at any
regular business meeting. Associate members shall have all the rights and privileges of active members, except that they may not
vote, hold office, or serve on the Board of Directors. Associate members shall not pay dues.
Section Three - Affiliation
Membership in this organization automatically establishes membership in the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan and the
National Federation of the Blind.
Section Four - Expulsion
Any member may be expelled for violation of this Constitution or for conduct unbecoming to a member of the Federation by a majority
vote of the active members present and voting at any regular business meeting of this organization. The state convention of this
organization may reinstate any person who has been expelled unless such expulsion has been confirmed by the National Convention or
by the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind, in which event the person may not be reinstated except by the
National Convention or by the National Board. Any person who feels that he/she has been unjustly expelled from this organization may
appeal to the Board of Directors of the National Federation of the Blind, which may (in its discretion) consider the matter and make
a binding decision.
ARTICLE IV. OFFICERS AND THEIR DUTIES
There shall be elected annually a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. The terms of these officers shall begin
at the close of the meeting at which they are elected and qualified. Officers shall be elected by a majority vote of the active
members who are present and voting. Election shall be by voice vote, standing vote, show of hands, or roll call vote unless at least
four-fifths of the active members who are present and voting decide that a secret ballot shall be used. There shall be no proxy
voting. If no nominee receives a majority vote on the first ballot, the name of the person receiving the fewest votes shall be
dropped from the list of nominees, and a second ballot shall be taken. This procedure shall continue until one of the nominees has
received a majority vote from the active members present and voting. The duties of each officer shall be those ordinarily associated
with that office. The President, the Vice President, and a majority of the Officers must be blind.
ARTICLE V. BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Board of Directors of this organization shall consist of the four (4) constitutional officers and two (2) additional members.
The two (2) Board Members shall be elected at the same time and in the same manner as that prescribed for the election of officers.
The Board shall meet at the call of the President or on written call signed by any three (3) of the Board Members. The Board shall
advise the President and shall have charge of the affairs of the organization between meetings. At least a majority of the members
of the Board must be present at any meeting to constitute a quorum to transact business. The Board may be polled by telephone or
mail ballot on any questions. A majority of the Board must be blind.
ARTICLE VI. MEETINGS
Section One - Regular Meetings
This organization shall hold regular meetings at a time and place to be determined by the membership. At least four 4 active members
must be present to constitute a quorum to transact business.
Section Two - Special Meetings
The President of this organization may call a special meeting of the body at any time he/she, or a majority of the Board of
Directors, deems such action to be necessary. At such special meeting at least four 4 active members must be present to constitute a
quorum to transact business.
ARTICLE VII. COMMITTEES
The President may appoint such committees as he/she or the organization deems necessary.
ARTICLE VIII. AFFILIATION
The Ann Arbor Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan shall be an affiliate of the National Federation of the
Blind of Michigan, and the National Federation of the Blind and shall furnish to the President of the National Federation of the
Blind of Michigan annually, on or before January 1, a list of the names and addresses of its members and elected officers. A copy of
the Constitution of the Chapter and of all amendments to the Constitution shall be sent for review to the President of the National
Federation of the Blind of Michigan and the National Federation of the Blind without delay.
The Chapter shall not merely be a social organization, but shall formulate programs and actively work to promote the economic and
social betterment of the blind. This organization shall comply with the provisions of the Constitution of the National Federation of
the Blind of Michigan d the provisions of the contract appearing on the back of the Charter of Affiliation issued to state
affiliates by the National Federation of the Blind. Policy decisions of the National Federation of the Blind and the National
Federation of the Blind of Michigan (whether made by the National Convention or the National Board of Directors or the State
Convention or the State Board of Directors) are binding on this organization, and this organization shall participate affirmatively
in carrying out such policy decisions. As a condition of affiliation, it is agreed by this organization that the National Federation
of the Blind (whether by action of the National Convention or the National Board or the State Convention or State Board) has the
power to expel or discipline an individual member and to expel or reorganize a state affiliate or local chapter. In the event of
reorganization, the assets of this organization shall belong to the reorganized chapter or if no reorganization occurs for a period
of two years, to the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan, and the former chapter shall dissolve and cease to exist. The
name National Federation of the Blind, Federation of the Blind, or any variant thereof is the property of the National Federation of
the Blind; and this organization, if it ceases to be a part of the National Federation of the Blind, (for whatever reason) shall
forfeit the right to use the name National Federation of the Blind, Federation of the Blind, or any variant thereof.
ARTICLE IX. DUES
The dues of this organization shall be $5 per year, Payable in January of each year, in advance of the elections. The Chapter shall
forward $1 per year to the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan for each member. The remaining funds go to the Ann Arbor
chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan. A life-time membership may be secured for a fee of $100.00. No person
may vote who is delinquent in the payment of his/her dues.
ARTICLE X. DISBURSEMENT OF FUNDS
The funds of this organization shall be deposited in a bank to be selected by the Treasurer with the approval of the President. If
the members so vote, the Treasurer shall be bonded. All financial obligations of this organization shall be discharged by check,
issued on written order of the President, and signed by the Treasurer.
ARTICLE XI. DISSOLUTION
In the event of the dissolution of this organization, or if (for whatever reason) it ceases to be an affiliate of the National
Federation of the Blind of Michigan, its assets shall be given to the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan to be held in
trust for a reorganized chapter in the area. In the event that no chapter is reorganized in the area for a period of two (2) years
from the date this organization ceases to be an affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan the assets become the
property of the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan.
ARTICLE XII. AMENDMENTS
This Constitution may be amended at any regular meeting of this organization by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the active
members present and voting, provided the proposed amendment has been submitted in writing and read at a previous business session
and provided it is in compliance with the provisions of the Charter of Affiliation received by the state affiliate from the National
Federation of the Blind and with the policies of the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan and the National Federation of the
OFFICIAL PLEDGE OF THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND
I pledge to participate actively in the effort of the National Federation of the Blind to achieve equality, opportunity, and
security for the blind; to support the policies and programs of the Federation; and to abide by its Constitution.
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