The League of Women Voters of Glenview-Glencoe (LWVGG, the League) is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and seeks to influence public policy through education and advocacy. The League is nonpartisan in that it never supports or opposes candidates or political parties, and political in that it takes action on governmental issues for which positions have been adopted through member study and agreement.
League members, with some exceptions, should be encouraged, to seek and accept elective office in government and responsible positions in the private sector. At the same time, the League recognizes the need to impose some restrictions in order to preserve the nonpartisan nature of the organization. The board has the responsibility to maintain the nonpartisanship of the organization. This policy provides guidance to the President, Voter Service Chair and LWVGG Board of Directors to accomplish that goal.
The League of Women Voters (LWV) must be nonpartisan so that:
● its position on an issue can be readily accepted as unbiased and independent
● it will not be obligated to any political party or faction
● it can seek solutions in the public interest based on fresh inquiry and objective study
● its Voter Service work will have wide public acceptance and trust
● League membership will appeal to individuals of varying political views.
III. Guidelines for General Membership The League recognizes the importance political parties play in our government and encourages its members to work in the party and for the candidates and issues of their choice. Accordingly, all members, other than the President and Voter Service Chair, are encouraged to participate in any political party or governmental activity, provided that they act as individuals and not in the name of the League. Only the President or their designee may speak or act on behalf of the League and, when doing so, shall refrain from any partisan display or action suggestive of party affiliation or politics.
IV. League of Women Voters of Glenview-Glencoe Nonpartisan Activity Policy Guidelines for Board Members
A. Public Office, Boards, Commissions and Committees -- The President and Voter Service Chair shall not run for or hold an elected public office. However, all board members, including the President and Voter Service Chair, may accept appointment to national, state or local commissions, boards or committees where such service would not be in conflict with League program. A board member who decides to run for, hold or accept public office must notify the League board. If a conflict between a board member’s public duties and the official position of the League should arise prior to or during the term of office, the League board shall review the conflict and decide upon a course of action which shall be in the best interest of the League and its standing in the community. If a board member chooses to engage in political activity beyond the extent deemed to be in the best interest of the League, the board may ask for that member’s resignation from the board. There may be times when the League board decides other board or off-board positions are of particular sensitivity in the community and are therefore subject to review by the board to determine whether any aspects of this nonpartisan activity policy are applicable.
B. Support of Candidates for Public Office -- Individual board members, except for the President and Voter Service Chair, may support candidates of their choice, as long as they do so as individuals and not in the name of the League. This precludes the display of any League paraphernalia which identifies them as a League member. Because of the nature of their positions, the President and Voter Service Chair may not during their terms publicly support any candidate or political party including:
● serving as an election judge or in any other capacity requiring political party designation
● donating to candidates or partisan organizations
● attending any partisan events including fundraising events and victory celebrations
● wearing clothing, buttons or stickers advertising a specific candidate and placing yard signs at their residence.
In addition, the President and Voter Service Chair may not indicate a political affiliation or candidate preference in the media, including, but not limited to, interviews for newspaper stories, writing letters to the editor, and participating in the placement of endorsements in advertising, on websites or in social media. No candidate nominating petitions may be circulated during any League meetings. However, nominating petitions may be circulated apart from League meetings by members acting as individuals but not as representatives of the League.
C. Public Issues Board members are free to sign petitions or otherwise speak publicly for or against an issue as individuals but not as designated representatives of the League. However, the President may never speak in conflict with a League position, even as an individual. During the study of an issue, and before a League position has been reached, the President or their designee speaking in the name of the League should refrain from making any public statements for or against the issue. After the League position has been reached, the President or their designee may speak or testify publicly at meetings or hearings only in agreement with the League position, and not in disagreement with it. No petitions on public issues may be circulated during any League meetings unless they are in support of League positions and approved by the President as consistent with this nonpartisan activity policy.
D. Employment The board shall evaluate and resolve any questions of conflicts of interest arising from a board member’s employment.
V. Interpretation of League Events and Communications The League has a responsibility to be sensitive to community perception of League bias or League candidate support. Official League events and communications including, but not limited to, the website, monthly newsletter, social media accounts, and printed materials shall not create the appearance of partisanship or campaigning on behalf of specific parties or candidates. The President or their designee shall be responsible for the removal of any post in League communications that is not in keeping with this nonpartisan activity policy. The LWVGG or LWV logo shall not appear on any partisan communication material.
VI. Annual Review of Nonpartisan Activity Policy A Nonpartisan Activity Policy Committee, appointed by the President, shall be responsible for the annual review of this policy.“What does the League of Women Voters actually do?” That is a basic and important question. This piece looks at the history of both our country and the League and will highlight the positions which have been its hallmark over the years. The information contained here has been shortened and modified from a longer article on the LWVUS website.