Organizational Policies

Organizational Policies

LWVAA is a dynamic organization actively involved in local politics. The League is recognized as an essential resource that motivates citizens to become increasingly involved in civic affairs.

The principles that guide our organization...

The goal of the League of Women Voters is to empower citizens to shape better communities worldwide. 

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political membership organization that: 

  • acts after study and member agreement to achieve solutions in the public interest on key community issues at all government levels.
  • builds citizen participation in the democratic process. 
  • engages communities in promoting positive solutions to public policy issues through education and advocacy.

The League of Women Voters Education Fund is a nonpartisan public policy educational organization that builds citizen participation in the democratic process through its funding of voter education programs and services. 

We believe in: 

  • respect for individuals 
  • the value of diversity 
  • the empowerment of the grassroots, both within the League and in communities 

We will: 

  • act with trust, integrity and professionalism
  • operate in an open and effective manner to meet the needs of those we serve, both members and the public 
  • take the initiative in seeking diversity in membership 
  • acknowledge our heritage as we seek our path to the future.

Non-partisan Policy

The League of Women Voters Akron Area may take action on governmental measures and policies based on League Positions.  However, the League of Women Voters, as an organization, shall not support or oppose any political party or candidate.  The League encourages members to work as individuals in the political parties of their choice.  Political activity makes members more valuable to the League because of their political party experience; in turn, League members make valuable political party members because of their League experience.

While the League encourages political party participation by individual members, it must ensure that its actions as an organization, or the actions of those in leadership positions who are recognized in the community as spokespersons for the organization, are not in conflict with the League’s nonpartisanship policy.  To this end, League Board members must exercise care in their political activities during their term of office.

The guiding criterion in determining the appropriate activities for League Board members during their term of office is whether or not the League, as an organization, will become associated with specific political parties or candidates.  As circumstances vary from situation to situation and change over time, guidelines, rather than definitive rules have been established for the conduct of Board members with respect to political activities during their term of office.   

Guidelines

The President, Voter Service Chairperson and any other Board position deemed sensitive by the Board shall not:

  • run for or hold elective public office
  • work actively for a candidate's election campaign 
  • display signs, campaign buttons, etc. for a particular candidate
  • circulate  candidates' nominating petitions
  • engage in any political activity  that might reasonably be construed as League endorsement of a party or candidate

Examples of political activities that LWVAA Board members may undertake include:

  • attend events to meet a candidate
  • make contributions in their individual name to the party or candidate of their choice
  • serve as poll workers
  • sign nominating petitions for candidates
  • circulate petitions for ballot issues that are consistent with League positions 

Political activities of a Board member's spouse/partner or relative are considered to be independent of the political activities of the Board member and are not subject to these guidelines.  However, since the perception of an association of the League with political parties or candidates may be damaging to the reputation of the League for nonpartisanship, care must be taken to ensure that the League, as an organization, is not perceived by the community to be associated with a particular party or candidate.

Any LWVAA member engaged in a League activity or assignment shall maintain nonpartisanship in those situations.  Specific situations in which there are concerns that the League appears to have endorsed a party or candidate shall be evaluated on an individual basis by the Board.

Board members shall present questions about specific situations to the Board where the foregoing guidelines do not resolve the question.

Any announcements of Board members’ resignations or leaves of absence to pursue political activities should be carefully worded to avoid the appearance of endorsement of the activity of the resigning member.

Contributions to the League from individual office holders and candidates will be accepted; contributions from campaign funds will not.

Any LWVAA member engaged in a League activity or assignment shall maintain nonpartisanship in those situations.