our policy on political activity
League of Women Voters Minnesota's political activity is carried out based on positions on issues, and never affiliated with party or political candidate.
Carrie Chapman Catt at the League's founding in Chicago, 1920
"In the League of Women Voters we have an anomaly; we are going to be a semi-political body. We want political things, we want legislation; we are going to educate for citizenship. In that body we have got to be nonpartisan and all-partisan. Democrats from Alabama and Republicans from New Hampshire must work for the same things."
Nonpartisan Political Activity
The nonpartisanship of League of Women Voters Minnesota (LWV Minnesota) is the basis of our public credibility and we carefully maintain it. All LWV Minnesota members bear responsibility for maintaining our reputation for fairness and objectivity.
The mission of LWV Minnesota is political and takes action on select governmental issues based on LWV Minnesota positions. LWV Minnesota encourages members to be informed participants in political activity, but as a nonpartisan organization, it neither supports nor opposes any political party or candidate.
LWV Minnesota directors in highly visible positions such as president, voter service chair and action chair are prevented from undertaking any action which would publicly identify them with partisan activity. While in LWV Minnesota leadership positions, they cannot run for public or party office, and cannot publicly support any poltical campaigns at any level of government.
The choice made by League of Women Voters (LWV) founders in 1920 to neither support nor oppose any political party or candidate for public office continues today. It ensures that the League of Women Voters' voice is heard above the tumult of party politics. This nonpartisan policy has added strength to League of Women Voters Minnesota's positions on issues. It has made possible wide acceptance of LWV voters service and other educational activities.
Local League Responsibility
While LWV Minnesota itself is nonpartisan, we are political. We support and oppose specific legislation and policy based on the study and consensus of our members. Our political work is never motivated by any political party, but rather by our mission to encourage the informed and active participation of citizens in government.
At the same time, we do encourage our members to participate fully in the party of their choice. It is an advantage to LWV Minnesota to have politically active members and, equally important, it can be a personally satisfying experience.
Each LWV Minnesota's board of directors is responsible for drafting and carrying out LWV Minnesota nonpartisan political policy in its community. Everything LWV Minnesota does should be measured against the yardstick of nonpartisanship. The board also is responsible for seeing that its members and the public understand LWV Minnesota's nonpartisan policy.
The goal is to ensure the credibility of LWV Minnesota as a nonpartisan organization. Establishing and maintaining a nonpartisan policy is one of the six basic requirements for LWV Minnesota recognition of local Leagues.