Board Policy

Board Policy

Norms for Board Meetings | Board Policy By-Laws Non-Partisan Policy Non-Partisan Policy Outline Action Policy Outside Committees, etc. VOTER Policy Communications Policy VOTER Advertising Policy

Norms for Board Meetings


LWVO Board Policy

ADOPTED AS OF AUGUST 2009 FOR FY 2009-2010 REAFFIRMED AUGUST 2010 FOR FY 2010-2011 Revised Nov. 2011 for FY 2011-2012 Reaffirmed August 2012 for 2012-2013 Reaffirmed August 2013 for 2013-2014 Reaffirmed August 2014 for 2014-2015 Reaffirmed August 2015 for 2015-2016 Revised&Reaffirmed, July 2016 for 2016-2017 Revised & Reaffirmed August 2017 for 2017-2018

1. Introduction

a. Board Policy supplements LWVO By-Laws by specifying the general responsibilities of board members and outlining some general proceures for board operation. Board Policy is examined at least annually and is re-adopted by each Board. It may be modified to fit the needs of each Board as long as provisions are in accord with LWVO By-Laws. (By-Laws may be modified only by LWVO members at annual meeting.)

b. The Board of Directors is the administrative and policy-making arm of the League. It provides direction and leadership for carrying out members' decisions and is ultimately responsible for all plans, activities, and follow-through.

c. The Executive Committee (See By-Laws, IV.15 for composition and duties of the Executive Committee): The Executive Committee may act if the action is clearly supported by League positions and current Board policy. If there is doubt, the Board should be polled on the matter by Email, phone or letter, or the matter should be deferred to the next Board meeting.

d. Every Director shares responsibility for:

  1. Program/Action - local, county, regional, state and national items;
  2. Citizens Information/Voters Service - all those projects and services that inform citizens and encourage their participation in the political process;
  3. Organization/Management - all support functions that make the League 'go'. These include Development and Membership.
  4. In addition to these shared efforts, each director has specific responsibility for one portfolio or committee. A new director may initially come on board without a portfolio, or "at large", but there is an expectation that before the end of the board year he/she should take on responsibility as chair, co-chair, or a "shadow" chair-in-training, for a project or portfolio.

2. Board Director participation includes getting background information and training, cooperating and maintaining communications with the rest of the Board in creating and carrying out policy and plans, and maintaining portfolio continuity from predecessor to successor.

a. Background

  1. Basic Reading - Board Policies, "League Basics" (formerly "In League"), LWVO Member Handbook, League pubs relating to your portfolio, By-Laws, Budget, Program - LWVUS, LWVC, LWVBA, and LWVO positions.
  2. Continuous Reading - Oakland VOTER, minutes and attachments of Board meetings, applicable material from LWVC State and LWVUS forwarded to directors by the board president or others, or Duplicate President's Mailing (DPM) distributed to you. All Board members should sign up to receive LWVC News.

b. Meetings

  1. Board Orientation - Required
  2. Monthly Board Meetings - Required
  3. Annual Meeting - Required
  4. General and Special Meetings - Expected
  5. Workshops and Training Sessions (offered by State, area and local League) for updating and for information related to portfolio - Expected

c. Cooperation and Communication

  1. All Committee chairs will inform the Administrative Vice President of meetings so he/she can add them to the calendar, resolve calendar conflicts, and keep the office calendar up to date.
  2. Directors' reports to the Board should be concise. If time is short, Director's reports may be limited to matters requiring Board approval. Directors' report orally or in writing include the following, as time permits (see "How To Report To the Board" for specifics): progress in organizing a job or in getting it done, all reports of consensus meetings and proposed position statements, committee decisions, problems and/or reactions encountered, and important information from State or National Leagues relating to the portfolio.
  3. Directors shall ask Board approval to spend sums of money not budgeted, to hold a public or membership meeting, to publish something or distribute materials to the public (except publicity releases) to make a statement in the League's name, or to establish a policy. (see also 2.d.1.)
  4. Every note, letter, or document written for in-house League purposes shall be dated and shall include name of committee or person preparing document.
  5. At Board meetings Directors take note of the Board Mail Box - each Director checks the appropriate section, removing material intended for him/her.
  6. Decision making by Electronic Means : although most board meetings will take place in person, regular and special meetings may be held by electronic means (such as telephone conferencing, video conferencing and email) in accordance with LWV Oakland By-Laws Article IV Board of Directors, Section 11. Participation in Meetings by Conference Telephone, which require that all members have access to Email or to a telephone and that the Board has adoped discussion/debate procedures for asynchronous meetings (such as email that happens back and forth and not at the same time). Procedural requirements for an email meeting include the following : a) the President formally calls a meeting, giving the agenda and stating a beginning and ending time long enough to allow all members to participate; b) Board members' emailed responses to this call would establish the presence of a quorum; c) all motions, debate and votes are sent via "REPLY ALL"; d) Seconds are not required for motions; e) the President sends out reminder alerts as the time allowed for discussion and voting on a motion nears f) the meeting would end at the specified time, as announced by the President, unless formally extended - NOTE: because Board members must be permitted sufficient discussion time, email meetings can potentially last much longer than normal in-person meetings, perhaps a week or more. Any vote taken by Email must be unanimous.

d. Action and Advocacy Communications (See LWVO Action Policy)

  1. A Director must clear in advance with the Board (or, in an emergency, with the Executive Committee) all public statements, testimony, letters or material made or written on behalf of the League to any organization or governmental body or officials. Directors who are representing themselves, and not as spokespersons for the League, may speak spontaneously at public meetings, but should not mention the League. Directors who have high-visibility, including the President, the chair of Voter Service, and the chair of the Action committee, must not speak spontaneously at public meetings, except in regard to process or clarification or information and then only in line with League positions and principles.
  2. All communications from the League are normally signed by the President.
  3. Copies of any such letters , testimony, statements, or material shall be filed with the President, in the Director's portfolio, in the Action portfolio, in the office Chronological file, with the LWVC Management-Training Vice-President, and as appropriate with the legislative office of LWVUS, LWVC, LWVBA, or Alameda County Council.

e. Continuity

  1. Portfolio continuity is maintained through: receiving a portfolio from one's predecessor; holding an early turnover meeting with the predecessor and the President, Administrative Vice President, or Program Vice President; and delivering an Annual Report to the Membership.
  2. Each Director maintains the portfolio and keeps it current by editing and culling portfolio files and by transferring the portfolio to the successor complete but free of extraneous materials. (If applicable to your portfolio, put copies of items listed below in the permanent office files.)
  3. Each Director, at the end of a study, upon leaving office, or at the end of the League year, whichever comes first, assures that the portfolio contains:
    a) Board Tools binder
    b) Names of Chairperson, committee members, and League and non-League resource persons
    c) Job description and relevant procedures
    d) Copies of materials prepared by the committee, including: unit discussion outlines, general meeting plans, VOTER articles, reports on presentations, consensus sheets, published materials, director's annual report, and reports of actions taken, including texts
  4. A complete set of the electronic files related to the portfolio or project should be sent to the office computer. A selection of the most important documents should also be posted to the :members only" portion of the website, making sure to ensure and maintain confidentiality of personal information.

3. Board Tools

a. The Administrative Vice President shall provide each director with "Board Tools" which include the current Nonpartisan Policy.

b. All printed Publications from state and national Leagues may be be ordered by individual Directors if the publication costs are within the portfolio budget. If a director wishes to order publications whose cost exceeds the portfolio budget, such purchases should first be cleared through the president and the treasurer. Directors should feel free to download any relevant publications from the state and national League websites.

c. The roster is not to be sold or distributed publicly, regardless of the worthiness of the cause.

4. Child Care shall be arranged as needed at Board meetings; general meetings; regional, state, and national workshops; and at daytime unit meetings. Members using child care service shall pay a fee, except that the service is paid by the League for Board members during Board meetings. People desiring to have child care provided should give LWVO one week notice of that request.

5. Conflict of Interest - LWVO encourages elected officials to become voting members of the League. However, since there is a presumption of conflict of interest, neither an elected official nor a candidate for elected office may serve as spokesperson for the League, as a League observer of governmental bodies, as a member of the Board of Directors, or as a Chair of a League committee. See also the Non Partisan Policy.

6. Financial Administration (See By-Laws VIII)

a. Dues (See By-Laws VIII.2.) Dues are currently $65 per year. In order to make memberships available to all interested citizens, the Board has established a dues assistance fund to supplement, when needed, a person's ability to pay dues. The need may be communicated on the annual dues notice or to the treasurer. The treasurer and the dues secretary shall review the requests annually. They keep dues assistance matters confidential. $10 shall be the minimum paid by each member.

b. Other Income

  1. Development is a Total Board Responsibility. It is desirable to have a Development Committee with a Chair appointed by the President and approved by the Board. This committee will be responsible to:
    a) Organize the Annual All City Luncheon aimed at businesses and other contributors in the city
    b) Conduct a social-event fund-raiser tied when possible to a high-visibility LWVO activity (e.g. election)
    c) Request funds for a tax-deductible educational project (e.g. "Who Represents Oakland") as outlined in the LWVEF publication "The Way To Go".
    d) As needed, conceive and implement other fund raising projects such as grant requests.
    NOTE: Although it is easier to raise tax-deductible money, it is advisable to focus the Finance Drive and most fund-raisers on contributions without educational strings. Most League Work, including specific action on issues, needs unrestricted funds.
  2. Income is also derived from investments. The President shall appoint, with Board approval, an Investment Management Advisory Committee to advise the Board when action is needed or at intervals of every year, whichever occurs first. Income from bequests shall not be invaded without Board approval.

c. Expenditures

  1. Expenditures must be kept within the budget amounts adopted at Annual Meeting. Overspending in a category must be approved by the Board, as must any unbudgeted item. In either event, the Board must keep a balanced budget. The Budget Committee (see By-Laws IV.16.a-b) may bring recommended adjustments to the Board.
  2. Invoices, appropriately vouchered and approved, can be paid by the Treasurer directly to the vendors. Requests for reimbursement should be submitted to the Treasurer for payment with a voucher, a clear description of purpose and pertinent, dated receipt(s). Vouchers should include budget category. Reimbursement should generally be made within 7 working days. if the person incurring the reimbursable expense chooses not to take reimbursement, the voucher should still be completed and submitted, with the notation "contribution in kind".
  3. Per Member Payments (PMPs) shall be paid quarterly to LWVUS and LWVC, in April, July, October, and January. Annual PMP to LWVBA shall be paid in July. Tax deductible contributions may be used to pay one-half of PMP to LWVUS and up to 25% of PMP to LWVC.
  4. Expenses of delegates to LWVUS and LWVC conventions shall be paid to the best of our ability and as decided by each Board prior to convention. The registration fee of LWVO visitors to conventions and councils will also be paid upon prior approval of the Board.
  5. Budget allotments for miscellaneous small expenses for the president and vice presidents as agreed to by the Board should be paid in two installments at the beginning and at the middle of the fiscal year.
  6. A Director's expense may include a subscription to an outside organization's publication pertinent to the Director's portfolio.
  7. The League does not ordinarily pay dues, tuition, or membership or make donations to any other organization. Payments to other organizations for rent or services are permitted.
  8. LWVO shall pay for resource materials for Bay Area, state, and national study chairs and for Action subscriptions for Action chairs as budgeted.
  9. Charges to members and guests at General and Annual Meetings shall cover the costs of such meetings to the extent decided by the board.

d. Budget Building (See By-Laws IV.16. a-b) The Board of Directors shall present their general priorities for the next fiscal year in advance and as requested by the Budget Committee.

e. Education Fund

  1. LWVO may solicit tax deductible contributions for educational projects to be conducted by LWVO. Such contributions must be made payable to "LWV Education Fund". LWVEF deposits these funds to Oakland's Grant Service Account. LWVO will request approval for specific educational projects as needed in order to withdraw funds from the Grant Service Account.
  2. LWVO is permitted to raise tax deductible contributions (checks made payable to "LWV Education Fund") to pay one-half of the annual Per Member Payment due LWVUS and 25% of the annual PMP due LWVC.
  3. When requested by LWVO and approved by LWVEF, LWVO may annually withdraw funds from its Grant Service Account for a portion (but not more than one-half) of office operating costs.

f. Insurance

  1. General liability insurance is covered by LWVC and financed by our per member payments. Special events liability is also covered. For special events involving risks, LWVC insurance company should be contacted.
  2. Certificate of Insurance: Occasionally we may need to furnish a Certificate of Insurance, e.g. if requested by a landlord or owner of a site for a special event. There is no charge for this service, but we need to allow about three weeks for processing. We must also be aware that sometimes a property owner wants extra insurance for himself or herself; we must read contracts carefully: we will not indemnify property owners.

g. Treasurer

  1. Duties (See By-Laws V.5). The Treasurer shall present to the Board a monthly report on income and expenditures and current balances and shall report at least once a year in the Oakland VOTER. The Treasurer may report names of contributors in the VOTER, but not amounts, unless the contributor wishes the amount disclosed.
  2. The Treasurer shall prepare an un-audited nine-months financial statement for inclusion in the Annual Meeting Kit, and will publish in the VOTER a Fiscal Report (see By-Laws VIII.4). The Treasurer will file reports to the city, county, state, and federal agencies as required by law.


Adopted 5/9/81 (Amended: 1984, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2014, 2016, 2017)

BYLAWS for the regulation, except as otherwise provided by statute or its Articles of Incorporation, of the

League of Women Voters of Oakland, a California Non-profit Public Benefit Corporation.


Section 1. Name. The name of this corporation shall be the League of Women Voters of Oakland (herein referred to as the "League"). The League is an integral part of the League of Women Voters of the United States (herein referred to as the "National League"), the League of Women Voters of California (herein referred to as the "State League"), and the League of Women Voters of the Bay Area (herein referred to as the "Bay Area League").

Section 2. Form. The League shall be a non-profit public benefit corporation incorporated under the laws of the State of California.

Section 3. Principal Office. The principal office of the League shall be in Oakland in a place determined by the Board of Directors (herein referred to as the "Board"). The Board is granted full power and authority to change the office from one location to another.


Section 1. Purposes. The purposes of the League are to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation in government, and to act on selected governmental issues.

Section 2. Political Policy. The League shall not support or oppose any political party or any candidate.


Section 1. Eligibility. Any person who subscribes to the purposes and policy of the League shall be eligible for membership.

Section 2. Types of Membership. The membership of the League shall be composed of Voting Members and Associate Members.

a. Voting Members shall be those who are sixteen years of age (herein referred to as "Member"). There are three types of Voting Members:

  • those who pay dues as provided in Article VIII, Section 2
  • those who receive a gift membership or receive partial subsidy from the dues assistance fund
  • those who are Honorary Life Members. Honorary Life Members are League Members who have been members of the League for 50 years and are exempt from paying dues.

b. Associate Members shall be those who are not yet sixteen years of age. Associate members also pay dues.

Section 3. Termination of Membership. Membership may be suspended or terminated in the manner set forth in this Section.

a. Resignation. A Member may at any time voluntarily resign by delivering a written notice to the Secretary. Resignation will be effective on the date and time of the receipt of such notice.

b. Automatic Termination. League membership automatically terminates upon the death of a member.

c. Board Suspension or Termination. The Board may suspend or terminate a membership and suspend or expel such a member for nonpayment of dues, or for conduct which the Board shall deem inimical to the best interests of the corporation, including, without limitation, flagrant violation of any provisions of these Bylaws. (A suspended Member shall not be entitled to exercise any of the voting rights set forth in these Bylaws.)

To suspend or terminate a membership, the Board shall use the following procedure:

  • The Board shall give the Member who is the subject of the proposed action at least fifteen (15) days' prior notice of the proposed action and the reasons for that action. This notice shall be in writing.
  • The Member may submit a written statement to the Board regarding the proposed action no less than five (5) days before the effective date of the proposed action
  • Prior to the effective date of the proposed action, the Board shall review any such statement submitted and shall determine the mitigating effect, if any, of the information contained therein on the proposed action.


Section 1. Powers and Duties. The Board of Directors of the League (herein referred to as the Board) shall conduct the activities and affairs of the corporation and shall exercise or control all corporate powers, subject to the limitations of the Articles of Incorporation and these Bylaws. The Board shall plan and direct the work necessary to carry out programs on selected governmental issues as adopted by the National League Convention, the State League Convention, the Bay Area League Convention, and the Annual Meeting.

The Board may delegate the management of the activities of the corporation to any person or persons, a management company, or committees however composed, provided that the activities and affairs of the corporation shall be managed and all corporate powers shall be exercised under the ultimate direction of the Board. Without prejudice to such general powers, but subject to the same limitations, it is hereby expressly declared that the Board shall have the following powers in addition to the other powers enumerated in these Bylaws:

a. To select and remove all agents and employees of the corporation; prescribe powers and duties for them as may not be inconsistent with the law, the Articles, or these Bylaws; fix their compensation; and require from them security for faithful service.

b. To conduct, manage, and control the affairs and activities of the corporation and to make such rules and regulations not inconsistent with law, the Articles or these Bylaws, as they may deem best.

c. To authorize the issuance of memberships of the corporation from time to time, upon such terms and for such considerations as may be lawful.

d. To borrow money and incur indebtedness for the purposes of the corporation, and to cause to be executed and delivered, in the corporate name, promissory notes, bonds, debentures, deeds of trust, mortgages, pledges, hypothecations, or other evidences of debt and securities.

e. To approve or reject proposed changes to the By-laws of the Alameda County Council of the League of Women Voters.

Section 2. Number of Directors. The authorized number of Directors shall be no more than twenty (20) and no fewer than twelve (12) until changed by amendment of these Bylaws.

Section 3. Qualifications. All Directors must be voting Members of the League who demonstrate an understanding of League policy and procedures.

Section 4. Selection of Directors. The total number of Directors shall not exceed 20. At least twelve of these Directors, including all the Officers of the League (see Article V), shall be elected at the Annual Meeting, by a majority of the voting Members present. The elected Directors shall appoint such additional Directors, as they deem necessary to carry on the work of the League. No more than one third of the total number of Board members may be appointed.

Section 5. Term of Office. The elected Directors shall hold office for a term of two years or until their successors have been elected or appointed. The appointed Directors shall hold office for a term of one year or until the conclusion of the next Annual Meeting.

Section 6. Vacancies. a. Definition of Vacancy. A vacancy or vacancies in the Board shall be deemed to exist in the case of the death, resignation or removal of any Director, or if the authorized number of Directors be increased.

b. Determination of Vacancy. Subject to the provisions of Section 5226 of the California Non-profit Public Benefit Corporation Laws, any Director may resign by giving written notice to the President or the Secretary or the Board. Such resignation will be effective when received unless the notice specifies a later time. If the resignation is effective at a future time, a successor may be selected before such time, to take office when the resignation becomes effective.

The Board may declare vacant the office of a Director who has been declared of unsound mind by a final order of court, or convicted of a felony, or been found by a final order or judgment of any court to have breached any duty arising under Chapter 2, Article 3 of the California Non-profit Public Benefit Corporation Law.

(No reduction of the authorized number of Directors shall have the effect of removing any Director prior to the expiration of the Director's term of office.)

c. Filling Vacancies. A vacancy in the Board may be filled in the same manner as the Director whose office is vacant was selected. Vacancies may also be filled at a Board meeting, by majority vote of the remaining Directors in office, even though less than a quorum, or by a sole remaining Director. A successor Director shall serve for the unexpired term of the predecessor and until a successor has been selected and qualified.

Section 7. Regular Meetings. There shall be at least nine (9) regular meetings of the Board annually. The President shall notify each Director of all regular meetings at least two weeks before any such meeting, giving the time and place of the meeting. No action shall be invalidated because a Director did not receive proper notification, if the action was taken at a regular Board meeting attended by three-fourths of the Directors.

Section 8. Special Meetings. Special meetings of the Board for any purpose or purposes may be called at any time by the President, any two Officers, or any four Directors.

Special meetings of the Board shall be held upon four (4) days' notice given personally or by telephone, telegraph, fax, email, other electronic means, or the LWVO website. Any such notice shall be addressed or delivered to each Director at such Director's address, email address, or telephone number.

a. as it is shown upon the records of the corporation, or b. as it has been given to the corporation by the Director for purposes of such notice, or c. if such address is not shown on such records or is not readily ascertainable, at the place in which the meetings of the Directors are regularly held.

Section 9. Effective Time of Notice. Notice by mail shall be deemed to have been given at the time a written notice is deposited in the United States mails, postage prepaid. Any other written notice shall be deemed to have been given at the time is it is personally delivered to the recipient or is delivered to a common carrier for transmission, or actually transmitted by the person giving the notice by electronic means, to the recipient. Oral notice shall be deemed to have been given at the time it is communicated, in person or by telephone or wireless, to the recipient or to a person at the office of the recipient who the person giving the notice has reason to believe will promptly communicate it to the receiver.

Notice of a meeting need not be given to any Director who signs a waiver of notice or a written consent to holding the meeting or an approval of the minutes thereof, whether before or after the meeting, or who attends the meeting without protesting, prior thereto or at its commencement, the lack of such notice to such Director. All such waivers, consents and approvals shall be filed with the corporate records or made a part of the minutes of the meetings.

Section 10. Quorum. A majority of the actual number of Directors constitutes a quorum of the Board for the transaction of business, except to adjourn as provided in Section 12 of this Article IV. Every act or decision, done or made by a majority of the Directors present at a meeting duly held at which a quorum is present, shall be regarded as the act of the Board, unless a greater number be required by law or by the Articles. A meeting at which a quorum is initially present may continue to transact business even if Directors leave, as long as any action taken is approved by at least a majority of the required quorum for such meeting.

Section 11. Participation in Meetings by Conference Telephone. Regular and special meetings may be held by electronic means (such as telephone conferencing, video conferencing and email).

a. Members of the Board may participate in a meeting through use of conference telephone or similar communications equipment, so long as all members participating in such meeting have access to a telephone and can hear one another.

b. Members of the Board may participate in a meeting using Email provided that all members have access to Email and that the Board has adopted discussion/debate procedures for asynchronous meetings (that happen back and forth and not at the same time). Such procedures will address the amount of time to be allowed for the meeting, establishment of a quorum, and the flow of communication.

Section 12. Adjournment. A majority of the Directors present, whether or not a quorum is present, may adjourn any Directors' meeting to another time and place. Notice of the time and place of holding an adjourned meeting need not be given to absent Directors if the time and place be fixed at the meeting adjourned, except as provided in the next sentence. If the meeting is adjourned for more than twenty-four (24) hours, notice of any adjournment to another time or place shall be given to the Directors who were not present at the time of the adjournment. This notice shall be given prior to the time the adjourned meeting is reconvened.

Section 13. Rights of Inspection. Every Director shall have the absolute right at any reasonable time to inspect and copy all books, records and documents of every kind and to inspect the physical properties of the corporation of which such person is a Director.

Section 14. Committees. The Board may appoint one or more committees each consisting of two or more Directors or off-Board members and delegate to such committees any of the authority of the Board, except in the following cases:

  • The approval of any action for which the California Non-profit Public Benefit Corporation Law also requires approval of the members, or approval of a majority of all Members;
  • The filling of vacancies on the Board or on any committee, which has the authority to act on behalf of the Board;
  • The fixing of compensation of the Directors for serving on the Board or on any committee;
  • The amendment or repeal of Bylaws or the adoption of new Bylaws;
  • The amendment or repeal of any resolution of the Board which by its express terms is not so amendable or repealable;
  • The appointment of other committees of the Board or the Members thereof;
  • The expenditure of corporate funds to support a nominee for Director after there are more people nominated than can be elected; or
  • The approval of any self-dealing transaction, as such transactions are defined in Section 5233(a) of the California Non-profit Public Benefit Corporation Law.

Any such committee must be created, and the members thereof appointed, by resolution adopted by a majority of the Directors then in office . Any such committee may be designated an Executive Committee or by such other name as the Board shall specify. The Board may appoint, in the same manner, alternate members of any committee who may replace any absent member at any meeting of the committee. The Board shall have the power to prescribe the manner in which proceedings of any such committee shall be conducted. In the absence of such prescription, such committee shall have the power to prescribe the manner in which its proceedings shall be conducted.

The regular and special meetings and other actions of any such committee shall be governed by the provisions of this Article IV applicable to meetings and actions of the Board unless the Board or such committee shall otherwise provide.

Minutes shall be kept of each meeting of each committee.

Section 15. Executive Committee. a. Composition. The Executive Committee shall be composed of no fewer than five, but no more than 7 members of the Board, including the President, treasurer and additional board members as appointed by the Board. One member more than half of the number on the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum.

b. Duties. The Executive Committee shall transact emergency business between meetings of the Board and shall exercise such additional power and authority as may be delegated to it by the Board. The proceedings of the Executive Committee shall be reported to the Board at its next meeting for ratification.

Section 16. Budget Committee. a. Composition. The Budget Committee shall be composed of the Treasurer, the President, and one Director who shall have been nominated for appointment by the President and elected by the Board, plus one or more members. The Treasurer shall not be eligible to serve as Chairperson of the Budget Committee.

b. Duties. The Budget Committee shall prepare an annual budget for the League (see Article VIII, Section 3) and submit it to the Board at least three months prior to the Annual Meeting

Section 17. Fees and Compensation. Directors and members of the committees may receive such compensation, if any, for their services, and such reimbursement for expense, as may be fixed or determined by the Board.


Section 1. Enumeration and Election of Officers. The Officers of the League shall be President, two or three Vice Presidents, Secretary and Treasurer. It is strongly recommended that the President and at least one Vice President be elected in odd-numbered years, and that the other officers be elected in even-numbered years.

Section 2. President. The President shall preside at all meetings of the organization and of the Board unless the President designates someone else to preside instead. The President may sign or endorse checks, drafts and notes in the absence or disability of the Treasurer. The President shall be ex-officio a member of all committees except the Nominating Committee and shall have such usual powers of supervision and management as may pertain to the office of President and perform such other duties as may be designated by the Board.

In the absence or disability of the President, the Executive Committee shall possess all the powers and perform the duties of that office until the office is filled. In such an event, a single Vice President may sign or endorse checks, drafts and notes in the absence or disability of the Treasurer.

Section 3. Vice Presidents. The Vice Presidents shall perform such duties as the President and the Board may designate.

Section 4. Secretary. The Secretary shall keep or cause to be kept, at the principal office or other such place as the Board may order, a book of minutes of all meetings of the Board and its committees, with the time and place of holding, whether regular or special, and if special, how authorized, the notice given thereof, the names of those present at Board and Committee meetings, and the proceedings thereof. The Secretary shall also keep minutes of the Annual Meeting and shall sign with the President all contracts and such instruments when so authorized by the Board.

The Secretary shall keep, or cause to be kept, at the principal office, or other such place as the Board may order, such as a designated page in the League website, the original or a copy of the corporation's Articles and Bylaws, as amended to date. The Secretary will keep or cause to be kept a copy of the most up-to-date version of the Articles and Bylaws on the LWVO website. The Secretary shall keep the seal of the corporation in safe custody, and shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Board.

Section 5. Treasurer. The Treasurer is the chief financial officer of the corporation and shall keep and maintain, or cause to be kept and maintained, adequate and correct accounts of the properties and business transactions of the corporation. The books of account shall at all times be open to inspection by any Director.

The Treasurer shall deposit all moneys and other valuables in the name and to the credit of the corporation with such depositories as may be designated by the Board. The Treasurer shall disburse the funds of the corporation as may be ordered by the Board, shall render to the President and the Directors, whenever they request it, an account of all transactions as Treasurer and of the financial condition of the corporation, and shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Board.


Section 1. Endorsement of Documents, Contracts. The Board, except as otherwise provided in these Bylaws, may by resolution authorize any Officer or agent of the corporation to enter into any contract or execute and deliver any instrument in the name of and on behalf of the corporation, and such authority may be general or confined to specific instances.

Unless so authorized by the Board, no Officer, agent or employee shall have any power to bind the corporation by any contract or engagement or to pledge its credit or to render it liable for any purpose or amount.

Section 2. Representation of Shares of Other Corporations. The President or any other Officer or Officers authorized by the Board are each authorized to vote, represent and exercise on behalf of the corporation all rights incident to any and all shares of any other corporation or corporations standing in the name of the corporation. The authority herein granted may be exercised either by any such Officer in person or by any other person authorized to do so by proxy or power of attorney duly executed by said Officer.

Section 3. Constructions and Definitions. Unless the context otherwise requires, the general provisions, rules of construction and definitions contained in the General Provision of the California Non-profit Public Benefit Corporation Law shall govern the construction of these Bylaws.


The League is empowered to indemnify its Officers, Directors and Agents to the extent provided, and within the limitations imposed, by the California Non-Profit Public Benefit Corporation Law.


Section 1. Fiscal Year. The fiscal year of the corporation shall commence on the first day of July of each year.

Section 2. Dues. Annual dues shall be determined by the Board and shall be payable by each Member who is not a Life Member on the first day of July of each year. Initial dues paid by new Members shall be prorated as directed by the Board. Any Member who fails to pay dues within sixty (60) days after they become payable shall no longer be a Member of the League (see Article III, Section 3).

Section 3. Budget. The Board shall submit a budget for the ensuing year to the Members for adoption at the Annual Meeting. The budget shall provide for the support of the League. A copy of the proposed budget shall be sent to each Member with the notice of Annual Meeting (see Article IX, Section 5).

Section 4. Fiscal Report. The Board shall make available to the Members by posting on the League's website on an annual basis, a fiscal report containing the following information. Such report shall be sent not later than 120 days following the end of the League's fiscal year.

  • The assets and liabilities, including the trust funds, of the corporation as of the end of the fiscal year.
  • The principal changes in assets and liabilities, including trust funds, during the fiscal year.
  • The revenue or receipts of the corporation, both unrestricted and restricted to particular purposes, for the fiscal year.
  • The expenses or disbursements of the corporation, for both general and restricted purposes, during the fiscal year.
  • A copy of any report of independent accountants, or, if there is no such report, the certificate of an authorized Officer of the corporation that such statements were prepared without audit from the books and records of the corporation.

Section 5. Report on Transactions with Interested Persons. Within 120 days of the end of the corporation's fiscal year, the Board shall send to the Members a report on any transaction in which the corporation, its parent or subsidiary, was a party and in which any Director or Officer of the League had a direct or indirect material financial interest. The report shall briefly describe: . Any covered transaction during the previous fiscal year involving more than 10% of the annual budget, or which was one of a number of covered transactions in which the same interested person had a direct or indirect material financial interest, and which transactions in the aggregate involved more than 10% of the annual budget.

  • The names of the interested persons involved in such transactions, stating such person's relationship to the corporation, the nature of such person's interest in the transaction, and where practicable, the amount of such interest; provided, that in the case of a transaction with a partnership of which such person is a partner, only the interest of the partnership need be stated.

Section 6. Distribution of Funds on Dissolution. In the event of a dissolution for any cause of the League, all monies and securities which may at the time be owned by or under the absolute control of the League, shall be paid to the State League. All other property of whatsoever nature, whether real, personal, or mixed, which may at the time be owned by or under the control of the League, shall be disposed of by any Officer or employee of the organization having possession of same to such person, organization, or corporation, for such public, charitable, or educational uses and purposes as may be designated by the Board.


Section 1. Membership Meetings. There shall be at least three meetings of the membership each year. Time and place shall be determined by the Board. Special meetings of the membership may be called by 5% or more of the membership. Notice of a membership meeting shall state the date, time, place, and purpose of the meeting.

If a special meeting is called by members, the request for the meeting shall be submitted in writing, specifying the general nature of the business proposed to be transacted and shall be delivered personally or sent by registered mail, telegraph, fax, or e-mail to an Officer. The Officer receiving the request shall promptly cause notice to be given to the members that a meeting will be held. The date for such meeting shall be fixed by the Board and shall not be less than twenty (20) nor more than ninety (90) days after the receipt of the request for the meeting by the officer. If the notice is not given within twenty (20) days after the receipt of the request, persons calling the meeting may give notice themselves.

Section 2. Annual Meeting. An Annual Meeting shall be held between May 1 and June 30, the exact date to be determined by the Board. At the Annual Meeting the Members shall:

a. Adopt a local program for the ensuing year (see Article XI, Section 3) b. Elect Officers and Directors (see Article X, Sections 3 and 4) c. Adopt a budget (see Article VIII, Section 3) d. Transact such other business as may properly come before it.

Section 3. Voting. Each Member shall be entitled to one vote only at any meeting of Members. Absentee or proxy voting shall not be permitted. (See also Article X, Section 4.)

Section 4. Quorum. A quorum shall consist of 10% of Members as of the record date.

Section 5. Notice of Annual Meeting. Written notice of each Annual Meeting shall be given not less than thirty (30) days nor more than sixty (60) days before the meeting date to each Member. Such notice shall state the place, date, and hour of the Annual Meeting and those matters which the Board, at the time of the mailing of the notice intends to present for action, but, subject to the provisions of the applicable law, any proper matter may be presented at the Annual Meeting for such action. The notice shall also include the names of all those who are nominees for Officers or Directors at the time the notice is sent.

Notice of Annual Meeting may be given by any one of the following methods, as determined by the Board.

  • by mailing such notice addressed to the last known address of the Member, as shown by the League records, or
  • by publishing such notice in the publication which is the official organ of the League and by mailing a copy thereof to each Member, or
  • by any other method provided by these Bylaws or determined by the Board in accordance with the applicable law.

Section 6. Record Date. The Board may fix, in advance, a record date for determining the Members entitled to notice of the Annual Meeting or entitled to exercise any rights in respect of any lawful action. The record date so fixed shall be not more than sixty (60) days nor less than ten (10) days prior to the date of the Annual Meeting, nor more than sixty (60) days prior to any other action. When a record date is so fixed, only Members of record on that date are entitled to notice, to vote, or to exercise the rights for which the record date was fixed.

If no record date is fixed by the Board, the record date for determining Members entitled to notice of the Annual Meeting shall be at the close of business on the date on which the Board adopts the resolution relating thereto, or the sixtieth (60th) day prior to the date of other such action, whichever is later.

Section 7. Inspection of Corporate Records. Subject to Sections 6330, 6331, and 6332 of the California Non-profit Public Benefit Corporation Law, Members may do either or both of the following for a purpose related to such Member's interest as a Member:

  • Inspect and copy the record of all the names, addresses and voting rights of Members at reasonable times, upon five (5) business days' prior written demand upon the corporation, which demand shall state the purpose for which the inspection rights are requested, or
  • Obtain from the Secretary of the corporation, upon written demand and tender of a reasonable charge, a list of the names, addresses, and voting rights of those Members entitled to vote for the election of Directors, as of the most recent record date for which it has been compiled or as of a date specified by the Member subsequent to the date of demand. The demand shall state the purpose for which the list is requested. The Secretary shall make the list available on or before the later of ten (10) business days after the demand is received or after the compilation date specified in the written demand.

The corporation may, within ten (10) business days after receiving a demand, as set forth above in subparagraph (a) or (b) of this Section, deliver to the person(s) making the demand a written offer of an alternative method of achieving the purpose identified in said demand without providing access to or a copy of the list. Any rejection of the corporation's offer shall be in writing and shall indicate the reasons the alternative proposed by the corporation does not meet the proper purpose of the demand made pursuant to subparagraph (a) or (b) of this Section.

The accounting books and records and minutes of proceedings of Members and the Board and committees of the Board shall be open to inspection upon written demand on the corporation of any Member at any reasonable time for a purpose reasonably related to such person's interests as a Member.

Section 8. Inspection of Articles and Bylaws. The League shall keep in its principal office or in the office of the President or Secretary or other such place as the Board may order, the original or a copy of its Articles and of these Bylaws as amended to date, which shall be open to inspection by Members, at all reasonable times during office hours. ARTICLE X NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS

Section 1. The Nominating Committee. . The Nominating Committee shall consist of five Members, two of whom shall be Directors. It is recommended that the Chair or another member of the Membership Committee be a member of the Nominating Committee. The Chair and two Members, who shall not be Directors, shall be elected by the Annual Meeting. Nominations for these offices shall be made by the current Nominating Committee. Further nominations may be made from the floor of the Annual Meeting. Nominating Committee members shall hold office for a term of one year or until their successors are elected and qualified. The other members of the Committee shall be appointed by the Board at its first regular meeting following the Annual Meeting and their term of office shall expire concurrently with the term of office of the elected members. No more than one Member shall serve on the Nominating Committee for two consecutive terms.

  • Any vacancy occurring in the Nominating Committee shall be filled by the Board.
  • The President shall send the name and address of the Nominating Committee Chair to the Members. It shall be the duty of the Nominating Committee Chair to solicit from Members suggestions for nominations for the offices to be filled.

Section 2. Suggestions by Members. Any Member may send suggestions to the Nominating Committee.

Section 3. Report of the Nominating Committee and Nominations from the Floor. The report of the Nominating Committee of its nominations for Officers, Directors and the Chair and two members of the succeeding Nominating Committee shall be sent to the Members with the notice of Annual Meeting (see Article IX, Section 5). The report shall be presented at Annual Meeting. Immediately following the presentation of this report, nominations may be made from the floor by any Member, provided that the consent of the nominee shall have been secured.

Section 4. Election. The election shall be in charge of an Election Committee appointed by the president at Annual Meeting. The election shall be by ballot, except that if there is but one nominee for each office it may be by voice. However, upon the written demand made by a Member at Annual Meeting before voting begins, the election shall be by ballot. The candidates receiving the highest number of votes of those persons voting are elected.


Section 1. Principles. The governmental principles as adopted by the National Convention, and supported by the League as a whole, constitute the authorization for the adoption of Program.

Section 2. Program. The Program of the League shall consist of action to implement the principles and those governmental issues chosen for concerted study and action. Issues shall include those adopted at the Bay Area, State, and National Conventions, and local issues adopted at the Annual Meeting.

Section 3. Adopting the Local Program. Members may make suggestions for Program to the Board no later than two months prior to the Annual Meeting.

The Board shall consider the suggestions and shall formulate a proposed Program which shall be submitted to the Members, together with a list of any items suggested by members but not recommended by the Board, with the notice of Annual Meeting (see Article IX, Section 5).

At Annual Meeting: . A majority vote of those present and voting shall be required to adopt the Program proposed by the Board. . Any item suggested to the Board, but not recommended by the Board, may be adopted, provided that consideration is ordered by a majority vote and the proposal receives a three-fifths vote for adoption.

Section 4. Changes To Program. In case of altered conditions, changes in the Program may be made between Annual Meetings, provided that (1) information concerning the proposed changes has been sent to all Members at least two weeks prior to a general membership meeting at which the change is to be discussed, and (2) final action by the membership is taken at a subsequent meeting.

Section 5. Member Action. Members may act in the name of the League only when authorized to do so by the appropriate Board of Directors. They may act only in conformity with and not contrary to, a position taken by the Local League, Bay Area League, the State League, and the National League.


Section 1. National Convention. The Board or the Members, at a meeting before the date on which the names of delegates must be sent to the national office, shall select delegates to that convention in the number allotted the League under the provisions of the Bylaws of the National League.

Section 2. State Convention. The Board or the Members, at a meeting before the date on which the names of delegates must be sent to the state office, shall select delegates to that convention in the number allotted the League under the provisions of the Bylaws of the State League.

Section 3. Bay Area Convention. The Board or the Members, at a meeting before the date on which the names of delegates must be sent to the Bay Area League office, shall select delegates to that convention in the number allotted the League under the provisions of the Bylaws of the Bay Area League.


The rules contained in Robert's Rules of Order, Revised shall govern the corporation in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these Bylaws.


These Bylaws may be amended at any Annual Meeting by a two-thirds vote using the following procedure:

a. Proposal for Bylaws amendments shall be submitted by any Member to the Board no later than two (2) months prior to an Annual Meeting.

All such proposed amendments, together with the recommendations of the Board, shall be sent by the Board to the Members with the notice of Annual Meeting (see Article IX, Section 5). The failure of any Member to receive such notice shall not invalidate the amendments to the Bylaws.

NOTES ON CHANGES MADE: 2003: Changed to allow Board to approve changes to Alameda County Council by-laws 2004: Changes made to reflect operation with Executive Committee, and to change dues date from September 1 to July 1. 2006: Changed to set minimum number of authorized Directors. 2007: Changed to bring Articles II & III of LWVO Bylaws into conformity with LWVUS Bylaws, and to add to Article IV Section 11 wording to describe Meetings of the Board held by electronic means. 2014: Changed to align the Bylaws with the current reality of how the League operates. Changes affect Section 2.a Voting Members, Section 8 Special Meetings, Article V Section 4 Secretary, Section 14 Committees, Section 16 Budget Committee, Article VIII Section 4 Fiscal Report, and Article X Section 1 Nominating Committee. 2016: Article III, Section 2 changed the minimum age for membership from 18 years of age to 16 years of age. Also removed reference to citizen of the United States to person of the United States 2017: Article IV, Section 15a changed the composition of the Executive Committee from five members of the Board including the President, Treasurer and additional Board members to no fewer than 5, but no more than 7 members of the Board including the President, Treasurer and additional Board members.

League of Women Voters of Oakland Board Non-Partisan Policy

Adopted June 2007, reaffirmed Sept. 2008, revised Sept. 2009, revised July 2011 re-affirmed July 2012; revised and reaffirmed Aug. 2013 for 2013-14; Re-affirmed Aug 2014 for 2014-2015 Revised Oct. 2015 for 2015-16; Re-affirmed Aug 2016 for 2016-2017

The League of Women Voters of the United States has a national policy of nonpartisanship, which over the years has proven to be one of the League's greatest strengths. In League context, nonpartisanship means that the League neither supports nor opposes a party or candidate. This policy applies to a person who has been elected, appointed, is acting, or has been nominated to be on the Board of Directors and to any members who represent the League before the public. It is a local Board's duty to see that its nonpartisan image is preserved, that what it does and what it says are not influenced by a party or candidate, or in support of or opposition to a party or candidate. Unintentional support or opposition is often unavoidable when a party's or candidate's position coincides with League position. This policy's guideline stresses, however, that Board members maintain nonpartisan attitudes at all League meetings and at all public appearances when representing the League. When individual League members discuss their own partisan views, they must do so as individuals, not as representing the League.  If Board members wish to be active in a partisan campaign. they should follow the guidelines below. In borderline cases, the Board member is requested to bring questions about political activities to the Board well in advance of elections. The Board must make sure the community and League members themselves cannot reasonably infer that the League is supporting or opposing a political candidate or party. In exercising its judgment, the Board takes into account the local situation, member and community understanding of the League, community attitudes towards politics. The Board retains the option to consider and approve individual Board member requests for flexibility or special consideration relating to any of the following guidelines.

1. An LWVO Board Member may: (See exceptions in #3 below)
a. Hold an appointive office while serving on the Board, with Board approval
b. Recommend and support a candidate for appointive office
c. Hold a Board position while that member's spouse is serving in or running for elective office
d. Be informed - in fact, Board members are encourage to become so - about the candidates and issues in an election by such means as they feel necessary, e.g., by attending a rally
e. Support a political party or candidate for elective office where the Board member's name is not in the public eye, e.g., attend the local organization's meeting, work in partisan headquarters, or attend a fund raiser (paid admission) for a political party or a specific candidate for elective office. Note: Board members should not "advertise" their Board position while doing political work.
f. Distribute League educational materials at public meetings including partisan rallies. However, LWVO Board approval is necessary before a Board member may distribute other League material such as position papers at a political party or elective candidate's meetings.

2. An LWVO Board Member may not:
a. run for or hold elective office while on the Board
b. be an officer of a political club; however, a Board member may be an active member of a political club
c. appear as an endorser on public campaign literature while identifying himself/herself as a League member. This does not preclude contributing to a candidate or political party or being listed as a contributor in the public record.
d. identify her/himself as a League member in publicly expressing an opinion that is in opposition to a League position, such as positions supporting or opposing State or local ballot measures.

3. In addition, the President, Voters Service Chair(s), and other Board members who regularly identify themselves as League spokespersons may not:
a. Work in a partisan headquarters
b. Attend fund raiser (paid admission) for a political party or a specific candidate for elective office
c. Participate in a campaign which is in opposition to a position supported by the local League

4. Petitions and other campaign-related materials will never be circulated at LWV meetings and events:
a. for any candidate
b. on a topic where there is no LWV position of support

Board Non-Partisan Policy Outline

Adopted June 2007, reaffirmed Sept.008, revised Sept. 2009, revised July 2011, Aug. 2013, Aug. 2014, reaffirmed Aug 2016

The preceding two pages are the official version; what follows is an unofficial summary

Distribute materials:
YES Educational materials at a public meeting, including a partisan meeting
NO At League meetings, petitions for any candidate or issue for which there is no LWV position or support
Need Approval Materials other than educations (including position papers) at a party or elective candidate's meeting

Appointive office:
YES Recommend and support a candidate for an appointive office
Need Approval Hold an appointive office

Elective Office:
NO Run for or hold elective office while on the Board 
YES Spouse run for or hold elective office

Partisan/Political Party:
YES Personally support a political party (see Section 1e in full version)
NO Hold an office in a political party while on the Board
NO Member's name in the public eye
NO "Advertise" your League Board position while doing partisan work
NO Name appear as an endorser on contributor list on public campaign literature, if identified as a League member.
YES Publicly or write on behalf of a political party, elective candidate, or associated issue, as an individual
NO Same as above, but while identifying oneself as a League member

President/Voter Service Chair/League Spokesperson:
NO Work in partisan headquarters
NO Attend a fundraiser for a political party or elective office
NO Participate in a campaign in a position in opposition to a League position

LWVO Action Policy

Adopted 1/05, re-affirmed 7/2011, re-affirmed 7/2012, re-affirmed as edited Aug. 2013 for 2013-2014; re-affirmed Aug.-Sept. 2014 for 2014-2015; Re-affirmed Aug 2016 for 2016-2017; Revised August 2017

The Action Committee is responsible for coordinating all action (letters, testimony, lobbying) taken by the LWVO. This ensures a uniform voice and coordinated action. When action is proposed by someone + an individual or LWVO committee + other than the Action Committee, the proposed action should be sent to the Action Committee at least one week prior to the board meeting in order for the Action Committee to be able to add its comments to the proposal.

Whenever possible, any action taken by LWVO (including letters, testimony, lobbying) should be approved by the Board at a regular meeting.

When action needs to be approved between regular Board meetings, the proposed action shall be presented to the Executive Committee for approval. The Executive Committee may, at its discretion, ask that the action be referred to the whole Board for approval. Criteria for referring action to the whole Board might include:

  • Action outside the boundaries established by previous Board approval (totally new area of action)
  • Action likely to be highly controversial
  • Action that is complex
  • Lack of agreement among the Executive Committee about the proposed action

If the Executive Committee determines that the action requires full Board discussion, it will be delayed until the next scheduled Board meeting. The proposed action should be circulated among Board members before the Board meeting, and discussion may take place via email, but the final decision should be taken at a regular Board meeting.

If action is taken between Board meetings, it shall be reported at the next regular Board meeting for whole Board ratification.

For any proposed action, presentation to the Board or Executive committee for approval includes:

  • proposed testimony
  • text of letters to be sent
  • 'talking points' for lobbying efforts
  • Reference to the LWV position or principle cited for proposed action

Whenever possible, these documents (testimony, letters, talking points) should be circulated before the Board meeting.

Approval by the Board shall be by a majority vote of those present for the discussion and vote. The Board should use care in taking action in which there is not a consensus on the Board for the action.

Questions to be considered when taking action:

  • Do we have a position that covers the proposed action?
  • What are the consequences of not acting? What does the League's voice add? 
  • adopted 1/2005

Guidelines for LWV Member's Participation in Committees, Boards, or Commissions

2009 - reaffirmed by Board 2011/2012; 2013-2014; as edited 2014-2015; Re-affirmed Aug 2016 for 2016-2017

If you are asked as an individual to serve on a committee, board, commission or other body, you will not be officially representing the League. You should make this clear to those that are appointing you before you accept the appointment.

If you are appointed by the LWVOakland to serve in a position held for a League representative, you will be officially representing the League and your term will end when the term of the board that appointed you ends. The next board may reappoint you, or is free to designate a new representative.

While serving as an official League representative it is important to be aware that your comments, actions, and personal opinions expressed will be presumed by many to be the comments, actions and positions of the League and will affect their perception of the League. Even if you are not an official appointee, if you are well known in the community as a League member, you may be perceived to be speaking from the viewpoint of the League, so exercise caution.

Know the League position(s) that are pertinent to the body you are on. While the opinions you express will be personal, you may not speak in opposition to a League position while officially representing the League.

Your position does not authorize you to independently speak for the League, sign on to statements or to make commitments for action on behalf of the League. All formal statements and plans for action must be presented to the LWVxx board for approval/participation. "I have to take that back to my board" is often the appropriate response.

League representatives are responsible for reporting back to their Leagues, and should be especially mindful of the necessity to alert their League leadership when any items requiring action arise.

Some tips for being an effective League representative:

  • Do your homework before meetings
  • Note items which may need your Board's advice or approval, and seek same before responding publicly
  • Express yourself firmly, but calmly and courteously; measured response is a hallmark of a League member
  • Attend meetings regularly and be prompt
  • Be open to compromise; League positions are strong but rarely rigid
  • Expect that decisions made by a majority vote may not be your personal preference

VOTER Policy

Copy should be sent electronically either in email or (preferably) as an attached Word document.

Please try to observe the following conventions in your submitted pieces:

1. All dates should include the day of the week as well as the date (example: Monday, November 13 NOT just November 13.)

2. Leave one space after periods at the end of sentences. (The old rule of 2 spaces after periods that was used on typewriters is no longer used since computer fonts do not require the extra space to enhance readability.)

3. Headlines should simply be typed in bold in Title Case--Title Case means the first letter in each word is upper case and the rest of the letters are lower case. Do not use all capital letters (Example: League To Meet Monday, November 13 rather than LEAGUE TO MEET MONDAY, NOVEMBER 13). There is no need to make the font larger or different than that used in the text of the piece.

4. VOTER Policy:

The Board of the Oakland League has instituted a policy for submission of unsolicited articles to the LWVO VOTER. Under the policy any member of the Oakland League can submit a relevant article for consideration by the Board. The Board will make the final determination about whether the article will be printed and reserves the right to edit the article for both style and length.

All unsolicited articles must be received by the day before the scheduled Board meeting prior to the proposed month of publication in the VOTER. Board meetings are generally scheduled for the second Monday of every month. The actual date for the meeting appears in the VOTER calendar on the last page.


Communications Policy

League of Women Voters of Oakland
Communications Policy
Adopted March 2014; revised Aug. 2014 for 2014-2015; Re-affirmed Aug 2016 for 2016-2017; Revised August 2017


Consistency: All messages across all platforms should be consistent.

Timeliness: All communications should be timely.

Accuracy: All information should be as accurate and up-to-date as possible.

Privacy: Members personal information will be protected unless permission has been given for specific information to be shared.

Relevancy: All information communicated in all platforms should be relevant to the mission of the League of Women Voters. Relevancy shall be determined by the Communications Chair in consultation with the President as necessary to determine what is published in all platforms.

Content: Only non-partisan events and advocacy events consistent with LWUS, LWVC, LWVBA or LWVO positions will be promoted. "Action Alerts" specifically urging LWVO members to take action on an issue should originate from local, regional, state or national leagues. Links should only be established to websites or other media platforms of non-League organizations that have a mission and activities are in accordance with overall League principles.
Community Affairs: We want to support community partnerships and initiatives that reflect League priorities and values and will share events and activities as they apply. Moreover, we should not advertise requests for volunteers and money that compete with League needs unless they are obviously and directly related to League purposes and program.
Transparency: Decisions of the Board and activities of the League and its Committees will be made public.

Up-to-dateness: The best means to provide the broadest and most accessible methods of communication will be sought in order to provide our members and the public at large the most accurate, timely, and relevant information possible.

Advertising: In order to keep the nonprofit status with the US Post Office, advertising in the VOTERcannot include financial institutions or travel agents. See below for "VOTER Advertising Policy" adopted 2008 for more detail.


Process of announcing events and corrections in all media platforms:
Communications Chair coordinates information for all events. Organizer gives information to Communications Chair. Communications Chair is responsible for distribution of information.
Communications media platforms
To ensure timeliness, consistency and relevancy, the LWVO will have one website serving as a portal to all the many layers of the League, defined social media outreach, regular/weekly e-blasts, and a periodic Voter publication.

VOTER Advertising Policy

The League of Women Voters of Oakland accepts paid advertising for its monthly newsletter, The VOTER.
The following restrictions apply:

I. Legal (postal) requirements to keep our non-profit mailing status

  • No ads for credit, debit, or charge cards, or any similar financial instrument or account
  • No ads for insurance policies, or anything involving travel or travel arrangements
  • Each edition must:
    - Have a title printed on its cover page
    - Be printed
    - Have an identification statement with title, issue date, frequency of publication, name and address of LWVO, issue number
    - Consist of at least 25% non-advertising material

II. LWVUS standards

  • No partisan political ads

III. LWV Oakland standards

  • No political advertising
  • Include the words "Paid Advertisement" in small font by each advertisement
  • Business card sized (approximately 2" x 3.5"), landscape orientation
  • LWVO Board has final power to accept or reject any advertiser The cost for an ad is $150 per year (11 issues), or $50 for one-time advertisement, to be paid in advance. 

Adopted May 12, 2006 LWV Oakland