LWV Rights and Responsibilities Policy

LWV Member Rights and Responsibilities Policy
Approved by the LWVUS Board of Directors April 29, 2023

I. Introduction
The purpose of the Member Rights and Responsibilities policy is to ensure that all active members of the League of Women Voters (LWV)[1], including Board members, members of state and local Leagues, members-at-large (MALs), and Inter-League Organizations (ILOs), are committed to maintaining the mission and integrity of LWV. The grassroots influence of LWV is strengthened by a unified understanding of the responsibilities of being a League member as well as what members can expect from LWV. The Board of Directors of the League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) and its Governance Committee will review these policies from time to time and revise as needed.

II. Member Rights
Individuals who join the League of Women Voters as voting members become part of a highly trusted, 100+ year-old organization comprised of a large grassroots network of activists, with Leagues in 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, the US Virgin Islands, and Hong Kong. LWV is committed to providing opportunities for members to amplify their individual political power by participating in local, state, and national League actions. Additionally, League voting members in good standing[2]:

1. Are automatically members of their local and state Leagues and LWVUS.

2. Can join any local League they choose. However, an individual may be a voting member of only one local League and its related state League.

3. May participate in LWV-sponsored events and activities, including access to members-only opportunities.

4. Can participate in their local League’s annual meetings and their state and national LWV conventions according to the bylaws of their local and state Leagues and LWVUS.

5. Elect their local, state, and national leaders according to the respective local and state Leagues’ bylaws and the LWVUS Bylaws.

6. Are eligible to run for LWVUS leadership positions and leadership positions in their local and state League according to the respective bylaws.

7. Are entitled to full participation in LWV without barriers as stated in the local, state, or national Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policies.

III. Member Responsibilities
To promote the success of LWV and help ensure a safe environment for collaboration, all members must:

1. Abide by the applicable rules of LWVUS and their state and local Leagues as set out in each League’s bylaws and official policies.

2. Abide by the applicable nonpartisan policies when acting on behalf of LWV. LWV members are free to participate in partisan politics on their own, including campaigns and being a candidate themselves, but they must not identify themselves as a LWV member or use any League’s nonpublic resources when doing so. Members in LWV leadership positions should further consult their local, state, and national LWV nonpartisan policies.

3. Abide by the applicable diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies.

4. Engage in behavior that promotes respectful discourse and refrain from physically or verbally abusive behaviors toward any LWV member, employee of any League, or members of the public when participating in LWV activities, including undertaking any duties they may have as leaders of a League, promoting LWV policy positions, or identifying themselves as LWV members. This includes online activity. LWV is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all, particularly for members of historically marginalized groups.

5. Commit LWV to action only when authorized to do so by their state or local League or LWVUS.

6. Not act in opposition to a League position or policy when authorized to act on behalf of LWV or when identifying themselves as LWV members. Members are not required to agree with all LWV positions and may choose to not participate in activities that promote positions they oppose.

7. Not make statements on behalf of LWV or purport to represent LWV through any public medium, including online media, unless specifically authorized to do so by their state or local League or LWVUS.

8. Comply with all LWVUS brand standards to protect its trademarks.

IV. Compliance and Resolution Process
The LWVUS Guidelines for Policy Compliance and Resolution provides information on how to report or resolve a violation of the Members’ Rights and Responsibilities Policy. [insert link to compliance and resolution guidelines.]

V. Guidance
Contact LWVUS at governance@lwv.org for questions or further guidance regarding these policies.

1 The terms League of Women Voters, the League, and LWV refer to all levels of the organization unless noted otherwise.

2 A League member is considered in good standing if an individual has complied with membership dues requirements and the individual is in compliance with LWV member responsibilities as set forth in this document.