League of Women Voters of Iowa
State Board Policies
Adopted July 23, 2011
Relationship to Local Leagues
- No local League shall have more than one representative on the state nominating committee.
Political Activity Policy
The state League adheres to the Political Activity Policy on nonpartisanship of the League of Women Voters of the United States.
- The president shall not run for any elective office. Board members shall not run for state elective office, but may run for local or national office regardless of party designation, after consultation with the state board and notification of the president of their local League.
- The president shall not serve in any position in a political party. Board members shall not serve in political party positions at the state level.
- Board members may attend fund-raising events and make campaign contributions.
- Board members may not chair or administer fund-raising or political campaigns, chair a campaign event, or work in a significant way in the campaign of a candidate for state office. Board members may undertake such activities for candidates for local office. Board members may act as individuals, not as representatives of the LWVIA board.
Guidelines for Political Activity
Some suitable ways for state board members to participate in electoral politics include the following:
- All LWVIA board members may participate in party precinct caucuses.
- They may participate in any League voter’s service activities.
- They may encourage non-board members to participate fully in both partisan and nonpartisan activity.
- They may sign nominating petitions for candidates.
- The political activities of a spouse or relative of a board member should be considered as separate and distinct from the activities of the board member.
- Public notices released by the League announcing the resignation of a board member should be carefully worded to avoid the appearance of endorsing the resigning board member’s candidacy.
Some activities, which state board members should avoid, include the following:
- Taking an official position in a party organization, or in an organization endorsing candidates for a public office.
- Participating conspicuously in campaigns for individuals in such a way as to publicly identify the League member with said individual.
- Contributing conspicuously to any candidate or party in such a way as to identify the League member with said individual.
- Speaking at party organization meetings (attendance and voting for precinct officials are allowed).
- Carrying a petition for a candidate.
- Hosting or supporting a coffee or rally for candidates of one party. Attendance is encouraged.
- All official correspondence and communications from LWVIA shall be cleared through the State President.
- Major correspondence from state board members to local Leagues shall be cleared through the President (e.g., disbandment.)
- Board members writing a letter to a local League on a subject, which touches the area of responsibility of another board member, shall send a copy to that board member.
- New and revised position statements will be distributed to Local Leagues.
- Board members shall make phone calls when rates are low, if possible.
- All off-board chairs shall receive relevant state office communications.
- All material pertinent to a board member’s activities shall become part of that file and shall be handed to a successor.
- All board members shall maintain a file, which should include League Basics, Bylaws, Board Policies, Local League Directory, and all pertinent material related to their activities.
- Roll call vote shall be taken on highly contested or very controversial motions and shall be recorded in the minutes. Board members who have a conflict of interest shall abstain from those votes.
- Resignation will be requested following three unexcused absences from state board meetings over a two-year period.
- Volunteer Service: Volunteer hours and unreimbursed miles driven on behalf of LWVIA shall be tracked for the annual report. Any dollar expenditure not reimbursed is counted as a member contribution.
- No registration fees for state League meetings (state convention and League workshops) will be charged to board members or off-board chairs.
- Advance registration fees from local Leagues for state meetings shall not be refundable.
- Meals paid for by local Leagues in advance of state League meetings shall not be refundable after the established deadline.
- The treasurer shall prepare quarterly and annual financial reports to the board and at such other times as the board directs. The treasurer shall present a year-to-date report to the convention. A printed annual report shall be mailed to the local Leagues within three months after the close of the fiscal year.
- The president may designate another member of the executive committee to sign checks, in addition to her (him) self and the treasurer.
- Travel authorization and meeting registration fees for outside meeting attendance must be obtained from the president and the treasurer and one other board member. They must decide if the trip is warranted and if the expense involved fits within budget restrictions.
- The LWVIA may pay expenses for speakers at state League functions. Honoraria may be paid at the discretion of the board.
- Expense vouchers should be turned in to the treasurer at least every three months. Expenses turned in after that length of time will not be reimbursed unless waived by treasurer and president.
- LWVIA requires local Leagues to notify LWVIA if they seek grant funding.
- Actual board meeting expenses for state functions should be credited to the board line item.
- The committee chair shall be responsible for all committee materials.
- Committees may exceed budget only with board or executive committee approval.
- The executive committee shall be appointed by the state board and shall make decisions requiring attention before the next regularly scheduled board meeting.
- The chairperson of the nominating committee shall ask for nominations for open board positions from each local League, provisional League, Member-at-Large unit, and all other members-at-large. Any member or board may send suggestions to the nominating committee at least three months before the convention. Nominees for state board should be advised of potential difficulty of sending on both state and local boards simultaneously.
Membership and Organization
- A new local League shall have at least 15 paid and current members before it can be granted recognition as a provisional League.
- Members-at-Large shall pay dues at least equal to combined state and national PMPs (per member payments.) They shall receive state publications as determined by the state president.
Services to Local Leagues
- Any board orientation will concern those areas of League activity deemed to be in need of emphasis by the local League president and the person doing the orientation.
- A letter shall be sent to the local League president within a week of the board orientation summarizing the main points of the visit.
- Services to a newly recognized local League will continue at the provisional level for one year.
- Each state board member will serve as a liaison for at least one local League.
- The use of the membership list of name LWVIA by another organization shall be at the discretion of the state board using the following guidelines:
- Labels will be sold only to organizations and not-for-profit businesses, not to individuals and for-profit businesses.
- The purpose of the recipient organization must be similar to that of the League, i.e., education, and/or advocacy on public policy issues.
- Reciprocity will not be done. (This will enable us to keep accurate records of income from selling labels.)
- Labels are to be used only once and not duplicated.
- The state president shall sign letters to the Editor to newspapers of statewide circulation, which pertain to League policy or position.
Action-Legislative and Coalitions
- The state board (by vote of regular meetings) or the executive committee (by conference telephone call or e-mail) shall authorize major action on League positions. The president shall be consulted before taking any action.
- Recommendations on legislative action shall be submitted to the legislative committee, which shall approve or amend and make recommendations to the state board. Between board meetings, the decision on whether to support or oppose a particular bill in the legislature shall be made by the president, legislative director, and other appropriate people.
- Strategy for action may include combining forces with others seeking the same goals.
- Information may be shared and other viewpoints listened to in an informal give and take.
- The LWVIA may initiate or join in an action coalition to achieve results, provided these guidelines are followed.
i. The campaign for action must be clearly defined in terms of the overall goal and the time commitment anticipated.
ii. There must be state board approval for the use of the LWVIA name in any coalition effort.
iii. Local Leagues must be kept informed on all aspects of coalition action.
iv. The LWVIA must be able to withdraw whenever League goals diverge from those of the coalition.