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Policy on Taking Public Positions
Approved by MAVA Board on July 21, 2004
Role of the Public Affairs Committee
- Study and provide information/education on
public affairs issues of interest to MAVA Members.
- Solicit information from MAVA Members and others
on timely public affairs issues impacting MAVA Members and the volunteer
- Make recommendations to the MAVA Board and
Membership with regard to MAVA's platform and public affairs positions.
- Provide rapid response to the media, in public
forums, and so forth, consistent with MAVA's Policy on Taking Public Positions
as outlined in this document.
- Learn about lobbying/advocacy laws, regulations
and policies pertaining to MAVA and 501c3 organizations and assist MAVA to
remain in compliance through education and reminders.
and/or Public Affairs Chair and/or their Designees
Responsibilities of MAVA Spokespeople
consistent with MAVA's platform and prepared to respond with key messages.
emergency positions or those that emerge before or after the platform is established,
communicate with the Membership and/or Board for comments and/or position
approval, wherever possible, prior to speaking/taking action. A timeline for response
will be provided and the spokesperson will go with the majority position of
those who responded, with the option to indicate that the issue is still under consideration
by the organization, if in the judgment of the spokesperson that is the most
advisable course of action.
contacted and an immediate response is required, the designated spokesperson is
authorized to speak with the media or organization representative seeking information,
using his/her own judgment, consistent with platform, positions and best
practices for the field.
spokesperson on behalf of MAVA in the area of Public Affairs will notify the Public
Affairs Chair and MAVA President of the specific contact, informing them of the
fact that the contact has taken place, as well as the content of the communication.
Information should also be provided about the response received. In the case of an article or written
communication, a copy should be sent to the MAVA Public Affairs Chair and
regard to proactive media outreach, the Membership, Public Affairs Committee
and Board will review and approve policy positions prior to making contacts and
will work in coordination with the Public Relations Chair. (A timeline for
response will be provided and the spokesperson would go with the majority position
of those who responded, with the option to indicate that the issue is still under
consideration by the organization.)
Process for Obtaining Board/Member Approval for Policy Positions
above. At MAVA Board Meetings and annual
meetings, through surveys which may be in writing or electronically submitted. Posting of information on the website, through
newsletters, and so forth will be carried out by the MAVA Administration.
Rapid Response Policy
President/Public Affairs Chair will keep members apprised of timely issues and
the overall MAVA platform with assistance from the MAVA Administration. MAVA
Members are free to express their own opinions as individuals. Members may not
represent MAVA unless they are a designated spokesperson through editorials,
policymaker contacts, etc. Public Affairs Committee Members with particular
expertise may be called upon as needed by the MAVA President/Public Affairs
Chair to be MAVA spokespeople on specific topics. The President/Public Affairs
Chair may also designate other qualified MAVA spokespeople form the Membership
to speak to issues within their areas of specialty/expertise.
Public Affairs/Policy Platform Development Process
platform will be developed through a written and/or electronic survey of membership,
to surface/define issues. The draft platform will be distributed to the membership
for review. Each issue will require a majority vote of MAVA Members who
participate in the vote. The Public Affairs Committee may prioritize issues in order
to determine which one/s to most emphasize.
See rapid response policy
above for emergency or emerging issues.