The League of Women Voters promotes political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government. The League is nonpartisan; it does not support or oppose any political party or candidate. However, it does act on public issues based on positions reached by member agreement. The League will not be party to any events sponsored or publicly support by any political party, candidate, or partisan third party political or social organization. While the League urges its members to be politically active as individuals, board members' activities must be limited to preserve the League's nonpartisan position. Only to the extent that the public and its elected officials are convinced of the League's genuine nonpartisanship will the League be able to render effective voter services and gain a wide base of support for its positions on governmental issues. It is therefore important that members and the public understand the following: All League members are expected to keep the League activity and their political activity separate and distinct. For example, members may not:
• Distribute League material with material for a candidate, a party, or partisan political or social organization
• Distribute partisan information, petitions, display campaign buttons, or insignia at any League-sponsored activity, including meetings.
• Attend partisan events (whether sponsored by a political party or partisan group overtly supporting or opposing a party, candidate, or agenda as representatives of the League or distribute League
materials at these events.
• Place League bumper stickers, pins, etc. next to partisan materials on cars or clothing.
• Publicly identify their political preferences while working on voter services activities.
The LWV of Arlington shall neither elect nor appoint to the board any member who, within the previous six-month period, has held or run for elective office. Board members shall neither run for nor hold elective office. If a board member declares for an elective office, the member must resign from the board. The League will word the public notice announcing the resignationof a board member to run for political office in a way to avoid the appearances of endorsing the resigning board member's candidacy.
Board members may serve on any public board, commission, committee or coalition that does not have a competing interest with the League; however, that board member does not represent the League unlessofficially designated as the League representative by the board. Guidelines for Board Members and Committee Chairs The President, Vice President, Voter Services and certain Directors (e.g.,finance and membership), and committee chairs, if publicly identified with the League, shall not participate in any political campaign, political party activity or that of any political or social partisan organization or make social media posts for or against any candidate, party, office holder or
political or social partisan organization
• Campaign openly including on social media, or work in a significant capacity for a candidate for public office.
• Hold an official position in a campaign, political party organization or partisan political entity that endorses candidates for public office.
• Run or serve as a delegate to a party convention.
• Hold office in a partisan political or social organization.
• Speak publicly or in any way work against a League position.
However, all board members may:
• Attend informational political functions of a non-fundraising nature.
• Make financial contributions to candidates, if the board member's name is not then used to solicit additional funds. Attend and participate in party mass meetings in the absence of a primary (i.e. caucuses).
• Serve as an officer of election (including chief or assistant chief) or assistant registrar.
• May participate in other political activity if it is done in an inconspicuous, nonpublic manner, which would not cause them to be identified publicly as supporting any candidate or political party.
• May participate in activities such as preparing mailings, filing,
attending campaign/party events. Board members should use discretion in their political activities,
based on their own personal situation and strongly they are
identified with the League.
If there is doubt about the appropriateness of an activity, the board member should ask for a decision from the board at its next meeting. The political activities of a board member's spouse or other family members should be considered separate and distinct from the board member's own activities and are not covered by the above policy. The nominating committee shall make prospective board members aware of the requirements of this policy. This policy shall be reviewed by the board every year and published annually in a fall in the Newsletter.
League of Women Voters of Arlington, Virginia Reviewed/Updated 01June 2019