Black Women Organized For Political Action-PAC
Guidlines & Criteria for Endorsing and Supporting Candidates & Issues
(Reference doc 2 per State Bylaws Article VI – BWOPA PAC)
Black Women Organized for Political Action’s Political Action Committee (BWOPA-PAC) is authorized under the organizations Bylaws, the organizations Guidelines & Criteria for Endorsing Candidates & and in adherence to California State law, to endorse and support candidates and issues of the organization’s choice. The endorsements should be in keeping, of course, with the primary principals of BWOPA. That being: To maximize the involvement and participation of African American women in the political process while working toward a political agenda that supports economic, social and political equity for African-Americans in general and women in particular. It is important to recognize that we also support and work for public policy issues and all people who seek and share these same goals.
II. Endorsement Process
STATE – Section A: The State PAC Board is authorized and responsible for adhering to the State Board bylaws, Guidelines & Criteria for Endorsing Candidates. After reviewing and discussing the state filed application/s for support and endorsements from candidates or groups seeking support/endorsement from BWOPA-PAC and upon a 60% agreement from the State PAC Board, a candidate or issues will be granted the BWOPA-PAC endorsement.
The State PAC Administrator is required to register report and file all appropriate reports to the required Federal and/or State Agencies regarding any financial contribution. All Chapters will adhere to the State PAC decisions regarding endorsements.
CHAPTERS – Section B:
The Chapter’s, in compliance with the State Bylaws (Article VI – Section 2 –A, B, C & D) and adhering to the following State PAC guidelines & Criteria shall establish and follow the following endorsement procedure:
- Propose a date and time for endorsement meeting
- Recommend the names and offices of candidates to be interviewed *
- Develop a series of questions to be asked of all candidates
- Establish timelines for the interview process
- Facilitate the discussion following the interviews
- Prepare the ballots, voting and tallying procedures
- Ballot Initiatives – prepare a summary and analysis of issues and where appropriate, a recommendation
- Interview candidates and ballot measure representatives at a regularly scheduled meeting so NO additional costs, other than reasonable overhead expenses, will be incurred during the meeting.
- The Chapter Political Action Chair(s) may recommend to the President & the membership that certain candidates be excluded from the interview process.
III. Endorsement Meetings
- Endorsement meetings will not take place prior to the close of filing for the respective office. Candidate forums are permitted and are encouraged to begin as soon as several candidates have declared their intention to run. The endorsement meeting MAY exclude a sat where an “early” endorsement has been granted.
- The State Board, Local Chapter/s or authorized endorsement committee is encouraged to hold the endorsement meeting at the first regular meeting following the close of filing or when necessary, call a special endorsement meeting.
- Early endorsements are only permitted under the following conditions:
- The candidate is a BWOPA member in good standing*
- Current or former elected or appointed official previously endorsed/supported by BWOPA
- Advocate/Supporter/Community Activist with a demonstrated history of engagement with BWOPA/and BWOPA related issues
IV. Voting Procedures
Chapters: All BWOPA members in good standing (dues current –must be paid at least 30 days prior to endorsement meeting) are eligible to vote. *
- There shall be one vote per member, no proxy voting allowed unless such a procedure has been established and approved by the organization prior to the endorsement meeting.
- Forty (40%) of the voting members in good standing of BWOPA shall constitute a quorum.
- Any candidate or issue receiving at least 60% of the vote by members of BWOPA present shall receive the recommendation for endorsement of the organization.
- The organization may select from the following voting options:
- Endorse or Support
- No Endorsement
- Dual Endorsement
- All elected or appointed Board Members and Chapter Officers are requested to refrain from endorsing any candidate or issue until the organization has taken its official position (See Policy for Board/Officers). After the organization has taken its position, all members are free to support any candidate or issue of her choice. The organization however, strongly encourages all members, but especially Officers, to support the candidate and/or issues officially endorsed by the organization.
- Voting is open to all membership categories with the exception of associate members.
V. Voting Jurisdiction
- Chapters are responsible and obligated to consider candidates and issues pertaining to their respective jurisdiction.
- National, State, regional or multi-jurisdictional elections are the responsibility of the State PAC Board
VI. Criteria for Voting
- BWOPA members are encouraged to first and foremost consider those candidates who support those issues and policies that most closely reflect those of our organization.
- BWOPA members are encouraged to review and discuss a candidate’s public history and track record in evaluating their ability to perform in the respective position they are seeking and on the basis of their campaign issues and their compatibility with the organization goals. During endorsement meetings, BWOPA members are encouraged to leave personal feelings at the door.
- BWOPA is committed to supporting and encouraging qualified African American candidates to run for office to enhance a much-needed presence at all levels of government. BWOPA members are strongly urged to consider these criteria in their voting.
- BWOPA as a dedicated and strong women’s organization is committed to not only supporting but also encouraging and training women to seek elected and appointed offices. BWOPA members are therefore urged to consider this criteria in their voting