The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan and political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.
As members of the League of Women Voters, we must agree to actively uphold the three basic tenants of our organization. First is the idea that our political actions occur only after League study and must be supported by national, state, and local positions. The political positions that we take on policy issues are in fact, formed by member consensus. Therefore, I remind each of you of the personal role you have in shaping the future of our organization.
Second, is the fact that the League is nonpartisan, meaning that as members of the organization we do not support nor oppose a political candidate. Rather, we aim to educate the public on all of their options for candidates and measures so that voters are empowered to form their own opinions at the ballot. This is important because in a polarized and partisan political environment the League of Women Voters provides a place for civil discourse on important issues.
So how do we navigate a Presidential election as members of the League where we have our own political affiliations and causes that we wish to champion? How do we maintain the legitimacy of our organization when we feel compelled to act in support, or opposition of a political candidate?
We remember that as League members our work is only effective to the public when we maintain our nonpartisanship. We remember that we have the fortitude to uphold the founding principles of this organization, where education and advocacy is achieved through our nonpartisan, unbiased approach. And we remember the final tenant of our organization where we speak with one voice.
I do not want to silence League members from actively participating in government as individuals, but I do challenge each of you to speak with one voice as League representatives. This means that members may act as individuals, but they must not invoke the name of the League or appear to be representing the League unless authorized to do so by the President.
The League philosophy of speaking with one voice, maintaining our nonpartisan approach, and taking positions only after study and member agreement is what sets us apart from other political organization. I thank you for being an important part of this process and for understanding the need for added care when you represent the League.
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