League Policies

Nonpartisanship Policy

Approved at Annual Meeting on June. 2017

In this policy, Leadership refers either to members of a Board of Directors or members of a Steering Committee. Specific positions within those groups are noted where applicable.

The bylaws of the League of Women Voters of Westford state that the League “shall not support or oppose any political party or candidate.” Nonpartisanship guarantees the League’s effectiveness and credibility in carrying out its purpose of influencing public policy through action on issues and citizen information.

The League of Women Voters encourages its individual members to be politically active. All members are responsible for subscribing to the League’s nonpartisan stance for distinguishing, when necessary, between their activities as individuals and the League as a nonpartisan organization.

The Leadership is responsible for ensuring community understanding and confidence in the League’s nonpartisanship policy. The President, Spokesperson, and Voter Service Director shall refrain from all partisan political activity. Other members of the Leadership must use their discretion in choosing a level of personal political activity that does not associate the League of Women Voters, as an organization, with a political party or candidate.

Nonpartisanship Policy Guidelines

Approved by Annual Meeting on June, 2017

Every year, the Leadership adopts specific guidelines for itself. All members of the Leadership have the rights and responsibilities of being informed voters, including the right of affiliation with the party of their choice as a registered voter. The Leadership, except for those in President, Spokesperson,  or Voter Service roles, may:

  • Attend coffees for candidates.
  • Sign nomination papers.
  • Hold elected office.

The Leadershipmay be appointed to government committees and boards.

The Leadership should discuss with the President or Steering Committee:

  • Before circulating nomination papers.
  • Before visibly supporting a candidate or party (including displaying bumper stickers or signs, wearing buttons, telephoning for a candidate, contributing over $50, making a public endorsement, hosting coffees for candidate, attending candidate fundraisers).
  • Before running for elective office.

The Leadership must not:

  • Be campaign managers, precinct captains, or hold any other visible positions within any candidate’s organization.
  • Use the League’s name in association with any political party or candidate.

If a Leadership member cannot comply with these guidelines, she/he should resign from the Leadership. After resigning from the Leadership in order to comply with these policy guidelines, a member cannot return to the Leadership for at least one year.

The Leadership is encouraged to speak each other about questions when making choices involving their level of political activity. Leadership can also raise any questions about how these guidelines should be applied.

At all League meetings, the Leadership is responsible for:

  • Asking other members to respect the nonpartisanship policy of the League and refrain from partisan political activities (including circulating nomination papers and wearing political buttons).
  • Stating clearly the League’s nonpartisanship policy when partisan statements or activities do occur.

Conflict of Interest Policy and Guidelines

Approved by Annual meeting June, 2017

  1. Lobbying
    1. The President and Spokesperson may not lobby against or take public positions in opposition to or in conflict with an LWVUS, LWVMA or LWVWestford position. Other Leadership members may take these positions, but in doing so much be clear that they are not representing the League.
    2. In cases in which League program may apply but LWVUS, LWVMA or LWVWestford has not taken a position, Leadership members may publicly state a position that is in accord with League program, but in doing so it must be clear that they are not representing the League.
    3. In cases in which League program does not apply, Leadership members may publicly express their opinion, but in doing so it must be clear that they are not representing the League.
  1. Securing Appointments
    1. LWVWestford may encourage and assist League members in securing appointments to government boards, commissions, and committees. These recommendations shall be approved by the Leadership. 
    2. Recommendations for appointment to politically sensitive positions should be made with care. 
    3. Appointments for which party affiliation is a requirement will not be made. 
    4. Appointees shall serve as individuals rather than as formal representatives of the League unless the position was offered to the League.
  1. Serving on Boards

The Leadership may serve on the boards of other organizations; however, if a serious conflict arises between the two entities, it should be brought to the Board.

  1. Employment
    1. The Board shall evaluate and resolve any questions of conflict of interest arising from a Leadership member’s employment. 
    2. No Leadereship member may participate in any LWVWestford decision-making process when that person has an interest that may be seen as competing with the interests or concerns of the League. 
  1. Stipends

Leadership may not receive stipends, fees, or grants for League projects while sitting on the policy-making board that is responsible for administering the grant.

  1. Honoraria

Honoraria received by Leadership shall accrue to the LWVWestford.

  1. Specialists

Off-board specialists are subject to this policy in their area of specialty.

  1. Review
    1. This policy shall be reviewed annually by the LWVWestfordLeadership. 
    2. Copies of this policy shall be given to the Leadership.