League Policies

Nonpartisanship Policy

Approved by the Board on May 26, 2015

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 Board of Directors is responsible for ensuring community understanding and confidence in the League’s nonpartisanship policy. The President and Voters Service Director shall refrain from all partisan political activity. Other members of the Board of Directors 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 the Board on May 26, 2015

Every year, the Board of Directors adopts specific guidelines for Board members. All Board members have the rights and responsibilities of being informed voters, including the right of affiliation with the party of their choice as a

registered voter. Board members, except for the President and Voters Service Director, may:

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

All Board members may be appointed to government committees and boards.

Board members should discuss with the President:

  • 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.

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

Board members are encouraged to speak to the President about questions when making choices involving their level of political activity. The President can recommend if the entire Board needs to discuss any questions. Board members themselves can also bring to the Board any questions about how these guidelines should be applied.

At all League meetings, every member of the Board of Directors 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 the Board on May 26, 2015

    1. Lobbying
      1. Neither officers nor Board members may lobby against or take public positions in opposition to or in conflict with an LWVUS, LWVMA or LWVWestford position.
      2. In cases in which League program may apply but LWVUS, LWVMA or LWVWestford has not taken a position, officers and Board 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, officers and Board members may publicly express their opinion, but in doing so it must be clear that they are not representing the League.
    2. 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 Board of Directors.
      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.
    3. Serving on Boards
      Officers and Board members 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.
    4. Representing Other Organizations
      1. Board members may not make public statements on behalf of another organization without approval of the President or vice-president.
      2. The {resident or vice-president may not make public statements on behalf of another organization unless the organization is a coalition partner.
    5. Employment
      1. The Board shall evaluate and resolve any questions of conflict of interest arising from a board member’s employment.
      2. No Board 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.
    6. Stipends
      Officers and Board members may not receive stipends, fees, or grants for League projects while sitting on the policy-making board that is responsible for administering the grant.
    7. Honoraria
      Honoraria received by officers and Board members shall accrue to the LWVWestford.
    8. Specialists
      Off-board specialists are subject to this policy in their area of specialty.
    9. Review
      1. This policy shall be reviewed annually by the LWVWestford Board of Directors.
      2. Copies of this policy shall be given to each Board member.