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Nonpartisan Political Activity Policies
LWVUS Nonpartisanship Policy
League Board members' experience equips them for public life—both for elective and appointive office in government and for responsible positions in the private sector. The external contacts, skills and experience that leaders bring to the League, in turn, benefit and enrich the League as an organization.
The LWVUS/LWVEF Board believes that Board members should not only be allowed, but also encouraged, to seek and accept non-League positions that confer these mutual benefits. At the same time, the Board recognizes the necessity of imposing a few basic limitations on Board members' political activity in order to protect the nonpartisan reputation of the League.
With this objective in mind, the LWVUS/LWVEF Board adopts the following guidelines.
1. Elected Office. The President/Chair shall not run for, nor hold, any elective office. Other Board members shall not run for, nor hold, federal elective office but may run for state and local office, regardless of party designation, after consultation with the LWVUS/LWVEF Board and with the presidents of the affected state and local Leagues.
2. Political Party Office. The President/Chair shall not serve in any position in a political party. Other Board members shall not serve in political party positions at the federal level and shall abide by their state and local Leagues' political activity policies regarding holding state and local party positions.
3. Campaign Contributions. The President/Chair may not attend fundraising events or make campaign contributions for federal candidates. Other Board members may attend fundraising events and make campaign contributions for candidates at any level.
4. Political Campaigns. The President/Chair shall not chair or administer fundraising or political campaigns, chair a campaign event or work in a significant way in the campaign of a candidate for office at any level. Other Board members may not undertake such activities for candidates for federal office but may do so for candidates for state or local office after consultation with the presidents of the affected state and local Leagues.
5. Additional Clarification. Board members shall present questions about specific situations to the LWVUS/LWVEF Board where the foregoing policies do not resolve the question.
This policy shall be reviewed and readopted by the LWVUS/LWVEF Board at the beginning of each new biennium.
LWVAL Nonpartisanship Policy
The League of Women Voters established and maintains its nonpartisanship policy for the purpose of furthering its political effectiveness. The record of nonpartisanship on candidates and parties is one of our best tools for effective participation on issues.
1. The League of Women Voters of Alabama follows the broad policy of nonpartisanship as laid down by the national League. This policy states:
a. The League neither supports nor opposes any political candidate or any political party
b. It takes a position on issues only.
c. It arrives at a position on an issue from membership consensus and/or concurrence based on study and discussion.
The LWVAL Board has the responsibility of maintaining the nonpartisanship of the League of Women Voters of Alabama.
2. The following Board members shall resign to run for or hold elected office, or to take an active and visible campaign role for a political candidate: President, Voter Service Chair, Legislative/Action Chair.
3. Other Board members who plan to run for or hold elected office or to engage in active and visible political activity shall notify the State Board. She/he shall resign if the State Board decides that the activity would affect the community’s perception of the League’s nonpartisanship.
4. When a Board member resigns to work actively for a candidate or to run for office, the announcement should be made in the newsletter. The replacement should be announced at the same time.
5. Members in leadership roles representing the League of Women Voters have the responsibility to insure the nonpartisanship of any meeting and its environment.
6. When acting in public as a League representative, Board members should be sensitive to their responsibilities and must not allow partisanship to be discernible.
7. The political activities of a spouse or household relative of a Board member shall be considered as separate and distinct from the activities of a Board member.
8. Conflict of Interest Policy: Board members shall not lobby for a position in opposition to, or in conflict with, an LWVUS or LWVAL position, except as provided below. Board members do have the right, as individuals, to lobby their own representatives or Members of Congress on any side of an issue making clear that they do not represent the League of Women Voters.
Readopted 7-97, 6-2001.
Amended and readopted 7/05
LWVGT Nonpartisanship Policy
The League of Women Voters of Greater Tuscaloosa follows the broad policy of nonpartisanship laid down by the National League:
The League neither supports nor opposes political candidates or political parties;
It takes position on issues only;
It arrives at a position on an issue from membership consensus or concurrence based on study and discussion.
It agrees with policy positions taken by another League
All members of the Board have the responsibility for maintaining this policy. This is essential for maintaining the reputation and integrity of the League.
This policy shall be distributed and discussed at the orientation of new Board members.
Board members may, if they choose, participate in various political activities if they make it clear that they do not represent the League, for example:
affiliating with a political party;
making a financial contribution to a candidate;
attending party fund-raising events and rallies.
However, any Board member must resign from the Board before running for office. The League Spokesperson, current Coordinator, Voter Service Chair, Action Chair, or other highly visible League representatives, as determined by the Board, may not participate in the following partisan activities:
displaying or distributing partisan campaign materials, e.g. marked sample ballots, posters, bumper stickers;
sponsoring or co-sponsoring any political meetings;
canvassing by telephone;
working at campaign headquarters;
serving as an officer or on the Board of a political party or organization.
When a Board member resigns from the Board to run for office or work for a candidate, the announcement should be made in the newsletter (The Voter).
The political activities of a spouse or household member shall be considered as separate and distinct from the activities of a Board member.
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