Political but Non-Partisan: LWV Member Guidelines

The resurgence of civic activism makes this a very exhilarating time! To help us all better understand the scope and limits on our local League’s activism, the Admin Team put together the following FAQs with guidance from the Colorado LWV Board of Directors.

Q1: Can League members be active in political or partisan public activities?
A2: Yes.  The League encourages its members to be politically aware and active by speaking out for themselves.   A limited few members are restricted from politically partisan activity: the Spokesperson, PR chair, Voter Services chair, moderators of campaign forums.

Q2: Who decides whether League will take a public position or sanction an activity?
A2: LWV speaks out on issues only and never on political candidates or partisan matters.  The decision to take a public position or sanction an activity rests exclusively with the appropriate LWV board of directors — national, state or local; our local Admin team functions as a board of directors. Decisions by the national Board govern all state and local LWVs; decisions by state Boards govern that state and its local LWVs; and decisions by a local LWV governs its members only.

Q3:  Who can propose LWV take a public position or sanction an activity?
A3:  Members individually or a team may send a written proposal to Admin Team that spells out the proposed action and its sponsors and identifies and provides a brief analysis of all relevant national, state and local LWV Position Statements.

Q4: When is it ok for members to wear their LWV buttons in public?
A4:  Just generally around town is great visibility for the League.
At public events, such as city council meetings.
Members may wear their buttons at marches and public events where the League has not sanctioned the event, but they may not carry signs/placards or otherwise suggest the LWV endorses or is sponsoring the event.

Q5: How should members answer if someone asks them whether the League supports or opposes an issue?
A5:  Tell them that you can’t (aren’t authorized to) speak on behalf of the League.  The Spokesperson is authorized to speak on behalf of our Larimer County LWV, as well as other members specifically authorized by the Admin Team.

Q6:  If the person presses the question, how should I respond?
A6:  Remind the person again that you can’t speak for the League.  You can say that if they’re interested, you are willing to tell them what you personally think.

The Admin Team hopes that these FAQs are helpful.  If you have questions, contact Spokesperson Sarah Pitts at info@lwv-larimercounty.org

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