Adopted 8/18/10, re-adopted 7/20/11, 7/18/12, 1/23/13
Table of Contents
Conflict of Interest
Coalitions and Caucuses
Communications with the Community—The News Media
Publications – Editorial Policy
Editorial Procedures for LWVLC Materials
Delegates to Convention/Council
Office Management and Use
Guidelines for Use of the LWVLC Office
Membership Dues and Scholarships
Payment of Bills
Use of Mailing Permit
Extraordinary Gifts Policy: The Turnipseed Fund
Files Retention for LWVLC
DEFINITION OF POLICY
Policies are procedures or practices that become established through experience and usage and are then adopted as the best means of carrying out the purpose of the League of Women Voters as stated by its bylaws. Policies shall be reviewed and readopted annually by the board with or without amendment.
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization that neither supports nor opposes political parties or candidates for elective office. The members and community shall be informed of this policy when appropriate.
A. The spirit of nonpartisanship is exemplified by being actively and honestly nonpartisan. For League purposes “partisan activity” may be defined as activity that supports, opposes, or participates in a campaign, or engages in a task that is identified in the public mind with a candidate or political party. This should not be interpreted to limit League action when a League position happens to be similar to that of a candidate or partisan group.
B. In all cases, the undertaking of partisan activity by a board member must be brought to the board’s attention before that activity is undertaken. League leaders who are identified in the public eye as such should refrain from partisan political activities on behalf of parties or candidates.
C. Presidents shall resign from office before engaging in partisan activity. The board shall determine the extent to which such a resignation shall be publicized.
D. Presidents may attend gatherings for the purpose of meeting candidates for office but shall not hold such meetings in their homes. They may attend meetings where ballot measures are explained. They shall not engage in any activities that imply endorsement of a candidate or a measure in conflict with League positions.
E. The nominating committee will inform nominees of the nonpartisan policy.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Conflict of interest issues may arise in relation to a board member’s paid employment, service on other boards, personal lobbying, and so on that it may affect the League’s image and credibility in the community. A conflict of interest is not cause for a board member’s resignation when the following procedures are observed:
A. The board member with a possible conflict of interest discloses the material facts of the activity to the board of directors.
B. The board decides that the activities are or are not contrary to the interest, financial or otherwise, of the LWVLC.
C. The board of directors votes to approve or disapprove the board member’s activity.
The LWVLC recognizes that diverse perspectives are important and necessary for responsible and representative decision making. LWVLC subscribes to the belief that diversity and pluralism are fundamental to the values it upholds and that this inclusiveness enhances the organization’s ability to respond more effectively to changing conditions and needs. Further, the LWVLC recognizes the importance of working in coalition with diverse groups within Lane County to achieve mutual goals. The LWVLC affirms its commitment to reflecting the diversity of Lane County in its membership and programs. The LWVLC, in both its values and practices, affirms its belief and commitment to diversity and pluralism, which means there shall be no barriers to participation in any activity of the LWVLC on the basis of gender, race, creed, age, sexual orientation, national origin, physical or economic disability.
The Nominating Committee shall develop a manual or job description that includes a list of suggestions for leadership development and a process for soliciting suggestions for nominations for positions to be filled. The committee shall keep a record of its work in developing a slate and the contacts it has made with potential nominees and their responses. The committee chair shall convey this information to the succeeding committee for its use.
THE LWVLC ANNABEL KITZHABER EDUCATION AND ADVOCACY AWARD
In August 2005 the LWVLC established the Annabel Kitzhaber Education and Advocacy Award. This award will be presented to a League member or an outstanding citizen of Lane County for long-term commitment to the community in the spirit of League’s mission of education and advocacy. Criteria for the LWVLC Annabel Kitzhaber Education and Advocacy Award:
• Significant contribution to the principles of the League of Women Voters
• Positive impact in the community/League
• Participation/facilitation in public issues for the good of the community
• Long-term commitment to education and advocacy of public policy issues
• Statesmanship in dealing with divergent points of view
• Dedication to grassroots involvement of citizens in government.
Sponsoring a candidate debate is an important public service in keeping with the mission of the League of Women Voters to encourage informed and active participation in government. Candidate debates provide voters with an opportunity to hear the candidates discuss important issues and illustrate the differences between the candidates. The following policies shall apply to all candidate debates sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Lane County.
A. League Standards. The League will not be publicly identified with a debate or forum unless it has sufficient control over such factors as criteria for candidate participation, content, and format to ensure that League standards for fairness and non-partisanship are met.
B. Candidate Participation. To be included in a debate a candidate must meet the relevant requirements of the Oregon and U.S. Constitution and meet all requirements to be on the ballot according to state election laws. All candidates who are listed on the official ballot or who have announced a formal write- in campaign will be invited to participate in any League debate for a particular office. If only one candidate accepts the invitation, the debate will be cancelled or rescheduled. No substitute or stand-in is allowed for an absent candidate. The invitations should be written, lay out the ground rules of the debate, and be sent using a traceable form of mail delivery. The League understands that opening the debate to all candidates encourages a more open and frank discussion of the issues, whereas limiting the number of candidates may allow more in-depth questioning of the principal contenders. In the event that a candidate who has previously accepted subsequently withdraws from the debate and there is only one remaining participant in the debate, the following guidelines shall apply. If the candidate withdraws a week or more before the scheduled debate, the debate will be cancelled or rescheduled. If the candidate withdraws during the week preceding the debate and if there are no legal prohibitions against proceeding, the remaining candidate will be given the opportunity to respond to League and audience questions in a debate-like format, following the pre-established ground rules.
C. Legal Requirements. It is the policy of the LWVLC to comply with all regulations applicable to a 501© (4) organization including those of the Federal Election Commission and the Federal Communications Commission. In addition, if funding for the debate is obtained from a 501 © (3) non-profit organization, the relevant IRS requirements shall be met. Basic information about such requirements is found in the LWVEF Guidelines for State and Local League Debates adopted June 2007.
D. Public Access. Wherever feasible, some seating at the debate must be open to the public for no more than a nominal fee and/or complete unedited coverage must be accessible to the public through the media.
All action campaigns and new directions in action must be approved by the board.
A. Action will be based on the Principles of the League of Women Voters of the United States and on League positions at all levels.
B. Emergency action may be approved by polling the board.
C. All action will be reported at the next full board meeting.
D. Only the president(s) may speak for the The president(s) will represent the League when an official statement is appropriate. This responsibility may be delegated to another member when duties conflict.
E. It should be noted that the term “action” includes, but is not limited to, legislative activity (lobbying), campaigning for/against an initiative or ballot issue, monitoring, influencing rule-making, litigating, participating in or sponsoring events to arouse public awareness, and publishing information.
F. The following basic practices are designed to help the board achieve its action goals:
- Determine an advocacy agenda for the year,
- Encourage through careful planning the wise use of the League’s limited resources of member energy and funds,
- Safeguard the organization’s integrity and eliminate any suggestion of conflict or inconsistency in its public posture.
COALITIONS AND CAUCUSES
A coalition is a temporary alliance of organizations for some very specific purposes. Participation in coalitions is subject to the approval of the board and will be evaluated by the following criteria. The board shall be kept informed of any significant action by the coalition.
- Aims of the coalition mesh with League priorities.
- Issues and goals are timely on the LWVLC agenda.
- Other coalition members are in harmony with League positions on this issue.
- Coalition activity is more effective than the League’s alone.
- Demand on volunteer time is worth the effort.
- Cash or in-kind donations are worth the investment.
- The LWVLC is represented on the decision-making body.
A caucus is an informal meeting convened for the purpose of sharing information. Participation is by board approval and will be evaluated by the same criteria as is used for coalition membership, keeping in mind that this involvement is informal and that caucus members may or may not reach consensus and may withdraw at any time. The board shall be kept apprised of any significant action by the caucus.
COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE COMMUNITY – THE NEWS MEDIA
A. Board members who want to initiate contact with the media must first coordinate with the president(s) and the public relations chair.
B. When questioned by the media, committee chairs, when authorized to do so by the president(s), may answer questions about the League’s concerns and directions of study.They may explain the League’s positions but should never give personal opinions or speculate on possible future positions.
PUBLICATIONS – EDITORIAL POLICY
It is the responsibility of the board to approve or to establish procedures for the review and approval of all materials published in the League’s name and sent or given to its members and to set up procedures to check for accuracy.
A. Bulletin (ARGUS). The editor and the president(s) will make final decisions on material appearing in the ARG In addition, articles submitted by non-League sources must be approved by the board. The board will approve only those materials that are related to League program. Meeting notices for non-profit/ nonpartisan groups may be printed in the ARGUS so long as their position is compatible with the League’s position.
B. Advert Political ads for candidates will not be accepted. The board reserves the right to refuse any and all advertising.
C. The directory of members of the LWVLC is distributed annually to all members. The directory shall not be made available to nonmembers, commercial firms, or for partisan purposes. However, access may be allowed upon a vote of the board for appropriate use of address labels.
A. The League of Women Voters of Lane County maintains a website to inform and educate members and the The purpose of these guidelines is to provide guidance to the webmaster, board members, and other committee chairs about what types of materials may be posted and how frequently they should be updated.
B. It is the responsibility of the president or her or his designee to review and approve the posting of material to the However, these guidelines grant permission to post the following information, publications, and links without further review:
- Newsletters, everymember material, statements of position, other publications, and advocacy information of the League of Women Voters of Lane County, the League of Women Voters of Oregon (LWVOR), the League of Women Voters of Oregon Education Fund (LWVOREF), and the League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS),
- Links to the websites of the LWVOR, LWVOREF and LWVUS,
- Publications of and links to the websites of governmental agencies such as the Oregon Secretary of State, the Lane County Elections Division, other state of Oregon departments, and local governments,
- Notices of upcoming educational programs sponsored by the Eugene City Club and University of Oregon schools, departments, or institutions.
C. In order to comply with our non-partisanship policy, information about the activities of political parties may not be posted. Specific permission will always be required to post advocacy materials of groups other than the LWVLC, the LWVOR, and LWVUS even if leagues sometime work in coalition with these groups.
D. The LWVLC website shall be updated frequently and regularly to provide timely information. Without further direction, the webmaster shall post the monthly and quarterly newsletters of LWVLC, LWVOR, and LWVUS and the everymember material of the LWVLC as soon as published.
E. At least once a month, each board member and off-board chair shall review the postings related to his/her portfolio and inform the webmaster or, if approval is required, the president of necessary changes. The webmaster will make these changes as directed. Any new materials will be provided to the webmaster in an electronic form in an appropriate software format.
EDITORIAL PROCEDURES FOR LWVLC MATERIALS
A. The League of Women Voters of Lane County (LWVLC) appreciates the many efforts of its members to serve on committees, conduct research, study data, and prepare written material for distribution to members and to the In order to assist these members in preparing such material, the board provides the following editorial guidelines. All LWVLC material shall be reviewed before publication:
- The president or her designee shall edit materials such as newsletters, voters’ guides, directories, electronic materials, and media
- “They Represent You” is the responsibility of the Voters’ Service Committee
- Everymember material is reviewed by the Editorial Committee
B. General Rule of Procedure for Everymember Material. The LWVLC Board Program Chair provides copies of these guidelines for, and reviews them with, all chairs of study committees that are preparing written materials for distribution. All such materials must be reviewed and, if appropriate, revised by the Editorial Committee. Ordinarily, the material shall be submitted to outside readers for content review after the Editorial Committee completes its work.
C. Editorial Committee. The Editorial Committee comprises three to five The president(s) appoint members and a chairperson annually or as needed. The chair, or other designated member, of the study committee submitting materials shall participate with the Editorial Committee as it does its work.
D. Charge of the Editorial Committee. The Editorial Committee reviews the material for fairness, objectivity, clarity, correctness of language, and format. The committee is not responsible for critiquing the substantive content except for its adherence to League standards of objectivity and accuracy. The committee may refer to “Writing Style Guidelines for League Publications” in the League of Women Voters of Oregon’s Handbook for Local League Leaders.
If the Editorial Committee believes that more information is needed for clarification or that certain parts of the material submitted is inaccurate, the study committee is responsible for providing what is needed. Editorial Committee members should keep the following points in mind:
- Material should be interesting, easy to understand, and unbiased.
- Material must provide sufficient background information to assist readers in understanding what is being presented.
- Easy-to-obtain references may be included where additional background would be helpful (use reference guidelines of the American Psychological Association).
- Writing style should be consistent. For such things as the expression of numbers, the use of acronyms, capitalization, abbreviations, and others, the committee should refer to The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White, latest edition, or Garners Modern American Usage (2003).
- Jargon and slang should be avoided.
E. Time. The study committee is responsible for providing materials for review in a timely manner, keeping in mind that additional research may be required for clarity, accuracy, or completeness and that, in some cases, outside readers may be required to verify information. Study committee chairs will inform the Program and Editorial Committee chairs six weeks in advance that materials will be submitted either in hard copy or by electronic communication for editing and will provide copies to members of the Editorial Committee at least two weeks before the material needs to be reproduced. Editorial Committee members will read the material before their scheduled meeting.
F. Procedural Checklist for Study Committees. Please use the following checklist to assist in preparing study materials. Check that all requirements are met in a timely manner.
- The study chair informs the Program and Editorial Committee chairs six weeks in advance of printing that materials will be submitted for editing.
- A final committee draft is provided to Editorial Committee members at least two weeks prior to printing. This draft will have the following characteristics: double spacing, type size no smaller than #12, eight-page limit (based on single spacing) unless permission has been granted in advance by the president and Program Chair for additional pages; inclusion of League name and date of publication on every page.
- Editorial Committee members read and mark the initial draft prior to the called meeting, using a common style for marking drafts.
- The Editorial Committee meets and agrees by consensus to any changes in the material submitted.
- The Editorial Committee provides the chair of the study committee a copy of edited materials and a guide sheet that interprets editorial marks.
- The study committee makes all necessary changes, and the committee chair arranges for the preparation of the edited draft.
- The study committee sends the edited draft to expert readers where appropriate and feasible, giving them a deadline date for return.
- If the study committee makes substantive changes to the edited draft, these changes are submitted to the chair of the Editorial Committee, who selects two members of the Editorial Committee to review and edit the changed material.
A board meeting as used in the LWVLC Bylaws is any mutually agreed upon communication among all attending members, provided that all other by-law provisions for notice, quorum, minutes, etc. are followed. The communication may be by any appropriate medium, including telephone conference call, email, listserve, instant messaging, videoconferencing, or internet video conferencing, provided that all attending members can read or hear all discussion and interact with other members.
DELEGATES TO CONVENTION/COUNCIL
Delegates to convention/council shall be selected by board vote. Ordinarily, the president(s) will be selected as the primary delegate(s). Any delegate should intend to serve on the LWVLC board the following year.
OFFICE MANAGEMENT AND USE
A. The office and equipment will be used for League business unless authorized for another use by the board. Office space is available for use by all entities and levels of League with priority given to local needs.
B. When possible, LWVLC shall use recycled paper for its copier and publications. When serving food and beverages in the office and at all League meetings, LWVLC shall use reusable or recyclable containers to the extent feasible.
C. The office work order form shall be used and processed on a “first-come, first-served” basis.
D. With board approval, the president(s) will negotiate rental agreement, insurance premiums, and service/maintenance agreements for equipment owned by the League.
GUIDELINES FOR USE OF THE LWVLC OFFICE
A. Welcome to the office of the League of Women Voters of Lane County, Suite 101, 338 W. 11TH Avenue, Eugene, Oregon 97401. We hope that our facilities are comfortable and suitable for your meeting needs. The following guidelines will help us to make the most efficient use of the office space and will provide needed information for our guests.
B. Reserving Space
- 1. The conference room is available for use by all entities and levels of the League of Women Voters and by other groups when endorsed by LWVLC. Priority is given to local needs.
- Reserve meeting space by calling the office between 11am and 1:30pm on Monday/ Wednesday/Friday during the school year or Monday/Thursday during the summer months. The office worker will check the conference room calendar for room availability and will schedule meetings when appropriate.
- When meetings are scheduled back to back, the conference room should be vacated one half hour before the next meeting is to begin.
- Information on how to gain entry to the facility and how to lock up is available from the office worker. It will be given only to LWVLC members.
- If the meeting ends after 4pm or on weekends, there must be a League member present to assure that both the office and building are secured. Be sure the deadbolt at the top of the exterior door is in the locked position before locking the abutting door with a key.
- The League has only two on-site, designated parking spaces.
- There is two-hour free parking on the nearby streets.
D. Use of Office Equipment
- Copies for non-League purposes may be made on the office copier at ten cents per copy. Fees should be put into the receptacle provided near the copier.
- If long-distance calls and faxes are made from the office, a record of the calls and faxes should be left at the front-desk phone. The person or group making the calls, if not doing LWVLC business, will make restitution.
E. Serving Food and Beverages
- If food or beverages are served, visitors are responsible for cleaning up all debris.
- No smoking is permitted in the building.
The chair of the finance committee shall recommend finance committee members to the board of directors for approval. The finance committee shall raise the funds necessary to support budgeted amounts not covered by dues. Activities may include the following:
- Soliciting non-member contributions from the community;
- Soliciting member contributions;
- Raising additional funds by any other means approved by the LWVLC board.
MEMBERSHIP DUES AND SCHOLARSHIPS
PAYMENT OF BILLS
All expenses incurred by the League or its officers that are presented for payment or reimbursement shall be reviewed and initialed by the president(s) prior to reimbursement or payment by the treasurer.
A. Expense vouchers will be paid promptly on expenses allowed by the board. Members should attach receipts to a voucher and submit them to the treasurer. Authorized expenses for which a member does not want reimbursement will be entered in the treasurer’s accounts as a member contribution and as an expense item. These reimbursements and donations will be reported using the voucher form and do not require actual exchange of money. This allows more accurate records of the cost of doing League business. Members are neither encouraged nor required to make donations of their authorized expenditures.
B. Travel expenses will be reimbursed for delegates to state and national conventions, to state council, and to other meetings as authorized by the board. Expenses will be paid accordingly:
- Airfare will be paid at the lowest available fare. Tickets should be purchased sufficiently in advance to take advantage of all discounts.
- Automobile travel will be reimbursed at the IRS rate for charitable work.
- Delegates will be housed at the facility where the meeting is taking place. Reimbursement will be at the lowest available rate that allows each delegate her/his own bed.
- Registration fees and meals that are part of the meeting program will be paid by the League.
- Meals and incidentals not included with the registration fees and meals that are part of the meeting program will be reimbursed at a cost not to exceed the amount allowed by the IRS for meals and incidentals expense for that locality.
If projected expenses exceed budgeted amounts, the board will decide by vote whether a full complement of delegates will attend. Delegates will not be expected to contribute to the basic cost of attending.
USE OF MAILING PERMIT
EXTRAORDINARY GIFTS POLICY
A. Fund Name. Genevieve Turnipseed Fund
B. Fund Purpose. The Turnipseed Fund is established to support special projects of the LWVLC as it works to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation in government and to act on selected governmental issues.
C. Fund Sources. Unrestricted gifts (not Education Fund/tax deductible gifts) of $500 or more to the LWVLC may be deposited into the Turnipseed Fund at the direction of the board of directors. The board may decide not to accept gifts of items other than cash or cash equivalents.
D. Fund Distribution. Upon the approval of the board, the principal and/or interest of the Fund may be used for special projects such as education, advocacy, technology, capital improvements, and outreach activities. Funds shall not be used for operational expenses of the office or the organization with the exception of per member payments to LWVOR or LWVUS. A written proposal for the special project that includes the goals of the project, a description of the activity or purchase, and a budget is required. The proposal may originate from LWVLC members and/or the board.
E. Fund Accounting: The Turnipseed Fund moneys may be commingled with other League funds, but the treasurer shall maintain separate fund accounting for the donations, earnings, and expenditures of this Fund and report that information to the board at least quarterly and to the membership at least annually.
The investment policy is intended to provide guidelines for the investment of amounts that are in excess of the resources needed to pay for budgeted operating expenses. An investment fund shall be established for the management of these amounts as well as of amounts temporarily not needed for the payment of expenses.
Goal. The League intends to use growth in its investments and perhaps some of the principal to sponsor activities that promote the League’s mission and goals.
Investments. Investments are to be placed with federally insured financial institutions. Appropriate investments include money market accounts, which allow for stabilization when cash fluctuations occur, and certificates of deposit, which generate better returns.
Management. The LWVLC’s Board of Directors must approve any changes in this policy or in asset allocation. The Board will evaluate investments during the annual budget process. Ordinarily, the Board will approve any decisions regarding investments. In an emergency or when time is of the essence, the treasurer shall notify the president before making any withdrawals or deposits to the investments.
Records. The treasurer’s duties include but are not limited to the care of receipts, statements, and other documents from the financial institutions. The treasurer shall file all of these records in the LWVLC office as they are received.
FILES RETENTION FOR LWVLC
We are overwhelmed by paper. These are guidelines to help you decide what to toss and what is valuable League information.
A. Develop a system for your portfolio/job.
B. Date everything. Dated material will help you decide what to toss later on. Mark each item with a P for permanent including any historical material or T for temporary including government reports. It is useful to keep your files in chronological order, the most recent item in front.
C. Keep 1 year
- Rough drafts of material written by your committee
- Reports returned from units
- Clippings from newspapers of general information
- Two copies of consensus reports submitted by Lane County for state and national studies
D. Keep 2 years
- Local and state board minutes, treasurer’s reports
- State Issues for Action and national Impact on Issue publications
- Government reports and studies, other background information
E. Permanent Items – Committees: after six years, transfer them to the League historic files
- Two copies of every-member material
- Two copies of discussion leader’s material
- Two copies of consensus reached – if local
- Two copies of position statements
- Newspaper clippings mentioning the League
- Action – letters, testimony, in program subject-matter files
- Know your town studies
- Local voter’s guides
LWVLC Organizational Files
A. Business and Financial Files – Keep 4 complete years.
- Bank statements
- Treasurer’s reports
- Insurance policies
- Office and equipment leases and formal agreements
B. Permanent Items – After 6 years, transfer outdated versions to the League historic files.
- Board policies
- Incorporation papers
- Tax exempt identification number and papers
- IRS tax filings (Form 990EZ)
- Oregon Department of Justice filings (CT-12)
- Litigation papers
- Action – letters, testimony, in a chronological file
- Annual meeting minutes, workbooks
- Board minutes
- Budgets and annual financial reports
- Membership directories and lists
- Newspaper articles on League activities (scrapbooks)
- Press releases for special events
- Publications including They Represent You, LWVLC Issues for Action, and special education forum reports, etc.
- Recognition as a provisional League, local League, and state and national correspondence re status of LWVLC
LWVC Historic Files and Archives
A. These files are the permanent archives for LWVLC and the only place where this information is likely to exist.
B. These files may be boxed and stored at the LWVLC office or archived with the University of Oregon Library or Lane County Museum.
After six years, items in the permanent committee and organizational files will be transferred to the Historic Files unless they are needed for current programs.