NON PARTISAN POLICY
Revisions approved by Board November 3, 2011
The bylaws of the League of Women Voters state that the League “shall not support or oppose any political party or candidate.” This policy is essential to the strength, plausibility and effectiveness of the League in the community, the state and the nation. In order to uphold this responsibility, the League of Women Voters of Westport expects its Board members to adhere to the following guidelines to protect our nonpartisanship.
1. Public Office. A Board member may not run for, or hold, any partisan public office. A Board member may run for or hold a local non partisan elective office. In addition, a Board member may accept appointment to a local, state or national non partisan commission, board, committee, or task force after notifying the Board of such prospective service. In the event that the Board member will be serving as a representative of the Westport League in such appointive position, then the approval of the Board will be required.
2. Political Party Office. A Board member may not serve on the town committee of a political party. None of the Co-Presidents or Co-Vice Presidents for Voter Services may serve on the board of any organization affiliated with a political party.
3. Political Campaigns. The Westport League views participation in local caucuses, donations of political contributions and signing of petitions as an extension of the right to vote. However, Board members may not serve as a campaign manager or fundraising chair for any candidate for partisan elective office. In other campaign-related activities, such as appearances at fundraisers and campaign events, Board members should exercise discretion.
4. Social Media. A Board member should exercise discretion in using social media in connection with any political campaign, including but not limited to blogs and social networking sites, so as not to jeopardize the credibility of the League as a nonpartisan organization or impair the League’s effectiveness in the community.
5. Family members. The political activities of a spouse or relative of a Board member should be considered separate and distinct from the activities of the Board member. However, the public prominence of the Board member and the sensitivity of her or his position on the Board should be taken into account when employing this policy.
6. Resignation. A Board member should resign as soon as the Board has reached a decision that the circumstances make it unsuitable for her or him to serve on the Board.
7. Clarification. There shall be consultation with the Board if any question arises under this policy. A majority of the Board shall resolve the question.