Last update 12 September 2017, RKH. Edits determined at League of Laramie retreat, 13 August 2017.
(First version October 2015)
The purpose of these practices is to inform all members of how the Laramie League conducts its activities for greatest efficiency in accomplishing the League’s purposes. They are non-binding and subject to change by the Board. This document will be available to members for easy reference.
A. Non-Partisan Policy
Members are encouraged to participate in political action, but Board members shall follow the LWVUS Board’s non-partisan policy. No partisan materials or statements shall be made or displayed in any location (including vehicles) likely to be associated with a Board member, such materials including posters and signs, bumper stickers, attendance at events (unless at events for all parties and all candidates), social media compositions, and published letters. Any Board member who is unsure about the scope of proper activities can bring questions to the Board. Board members who wish to publicly support a party or candidate, or an issue not covered in the League program, shall resign from the Board, conforming to the Board’s discretion regarding an announcement to that effect, at which time their names will be removed from the public LWVL materials.
B. Observer Corps Policy
Observer Duties: A new Observer may introduce herself to the observed group’s Board or Chair before you starts attending, through a letter, message, or phone call, or ask the Observer Corps Coordinator to do so. At meetings, she should wear her League button and maintain a neutral demeanor, remaining silent, but introducing herself if asked; many groups are happy to see us. If asked to give her personal opinion, she must decline. If she must speak for herself under extraordinary circumstances, she shall state that her opinion is not necessarily that of the League of Women Voters of Laramie.
The Observer should find out (from the group itself, or from the government office, or website, or past observer):
- When and where the meetings take place, and how notifications of exceptions are distributed so that she can attend.
- Whether minutes, or other public accounts, are published, and where. Published minutes should be reviewed for discrepancies.
- Whether the group’s budget is available to the public, and how.
The League seeks general information on the conduct of meetings and participants, current and chronic issues, and (if any) neglected issues or questions. The Observer should monitor facts and claims presented, civility issues, and the general tenor of meeting.
We assume that most of these bodies carry on conscientiously. The Observer may take notes and make summaries at her or his discretion, and may send reports, if deemed necessary, to the Observer Corps Coordinator. An Observer who knows in advance that she or he will miss a meeting should call the Observer Corps Coordinator.
C. Communication Practices for Public Information, Security, and Privacy
Official public statements from the Laramie League shall come from President or a Co-President at the direction of the Board. The Laramie League website shall publish materials that are appropriate for and intended for the public at large. No reports or meeting minutes of a private nature will be included. For accurate reference, all documents should have an explanatory title, writer’s name, and full date.
Some skilled members may be designated as Internet administrators for purposes of authoring and managing our Internet presence. They should be aware of the behavior, limits, and procedures associated with the products used. Passwords will be changed at least annually by the President or her designee.
- Group e-mail service
- Laramie League e-mail messages, unless otherwise clearly marked, are intended for membership only, in accordance with the Communication Practices. Messages shall include the identity of the sender. The President or Co-Presidents, Secretary, or designees, will be the only ones who delete msgs from the e-mail server, and should do so regularly. The President or Co-Presidents or designee shall check for incoming messages regularly.
- LWV-Laramie web presence
- Contents shall be offered in accordance with the Communication Practices. The President or Co-Presidents, Secretary, or designees, shall check the website regularly for accuracy and completeness of content, and will be the only ones who edit, upload, or otherwise change the website.
D. Dues, Deadlines, and Membership
Dues for membership shall be defined at Full, Household (for more than one member at the same address), and Student levels. A non-paying member shall be dropped from the official membership roster when in arrears for six months (or next payment date, whichever is later) and after several notifications.
Scholarship dues will be offered as the budget allows, subject to the prospective member’s commitment to active participation. The opportunity will be announced through the university and local service organizations.
E. Public Meetings such as Candidate Forums; Recording
Participation by candidates in forums sponsored by the Laramie League implies consent to this Distribution of Forum Content policy.
- All forum content is the property of League of Women Voters of Laramie.
- No candidate is allowed to use or edit forum footage for campaign purposes and candidates must agree that they will not use any portion of the forum for political advertisement.
- Permission must be obtained from the League of Women Voters of Laramie to rebroadcast a forum in its entirety or to print excerpts (except by the media reporting on the event).
- Cell phones should be turned off as a matter of courtesy.
- The spoken introduction at the forum shall prohibit recording. Unauthorized electronic recordings are not allowed because the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires that forums must not be edited and must be broadcast in their entirety, either live or reasonably soon after they take place. Furthermore, the League of Women Voters of Laramie wants to ensure that information is not manipulated to create false or misleading impressions.
- The League of Women Voters of Laramie will post forums in their entirety on our local League Web site.
F. Maintenance of and access to current documents
The Secretary shall keep, in a repository where access is limited to members, up-to-date electronic and paper copies of (1) meeting minutes, (2) Laramie Voter newsletter issues, (3) the current Program, (4) the By-Laws and Policies and Procedures, and (5) Board membership and contacts, and (6) financial statements, where these items may be maintained by reference to the issue of the Laramie Voter that contains them. The Treasurer or designee shall maintain electronic and paper copies of the membership roster. The Board will select a suitable online repository, and all League members will have read-only access to these materials, through a process to be determined by the Board. The URIs of the web materials shall be published in each issue of the Laramie Voter.
G. Archiving LWV Materials
Official documents maintained by the Secretary such as minutes of meetings, the Voter, the Program, the By-Laws, and the membership roster, and other materials of interest, shall be sent to UW American Heritage Center for inclusion, at the AHC Archives staff discretion, in collection # 10437. The transfer shall be made when convenient, but within eight years to prevent loss of materials, while Voter Guide and Voter Services materials should be retained by Laramie League officers through two election cycles, for reference and suggestions.
- Holding and conducting Board meetings
- Board meetings shall start on time and be conducted in a brisk and business-like manner, with time for social interaction after adjournment. The formal meeting shall follow an agenda distributed in advance. If Co-Presidents are leading the group, they shall share, divide, and coordinate duties at their discretion, and advise the Board of practices they decide to adopt.
- Use of sub-committees, portfolios, and reports on matters of interest
- A member with an interest in a public issue may bring it to the attention of the Board. Not all matters of interest need be taken up officially. Documents or materials to be discussed should be distributed to Board members well in advance. Except for those portfolios identified as permanent in the By-Laws, portfolios, which are the assignment of individual Board or regular members to particular areas of concern aligned with the LWVL Program, are informal and voluntary. At the discretion of the presiding officer, the portfolio holder may give a very brief report at Board meetings of any developments that she believes to be important to the group, and she may be consulted when questions about that area arise. No other duties are attached.
- VOTER newsletter – content, how often to publish
- The Secretary or her designee shall publish an issue of the Voter at least semi-annually. It shall be distributed to all members, and available in both electronic and paper form, and published on the website, unless it contains material that should remain private to the group, or data about members that should be confidential, which may be omitted or redacted.