Making Democracy Work

Job Descriptions

The following are typically board positions.

All Board Members

  • Attend monthly board meetings. These are generally 2 hours plus any preparation or follow-up required.

  • Maintain a file containing a job description and details of how to carry out the duties of the office. Pass this file on to your successor.

Action Chair

From MPCPolicies, under Non-Partisan Policy:

The President and the Action, Publicity, and Voter Service chairs will not host fundraising activities which are exclusively partisan or hold coffees for candidates or put partisan bumper stickers on their cars or campaign signs in their yards. Monetary contributions to campaigns should be smaller than the reporting threshold for individual donors (now $100). (Other members of their households are not restricted from these activities.) If these League officers hold office in a neighborhood association, they should be alert for potential conflicts with League positions.

Goals:

  • To carry out Action Priorities adopted as part of the annual League Program.

  • To generally advocate for League positions. Advocacy is targeted primarily to local elected or appointed officials, and can be based on local, state, or national League positions. Advocacy can also be directed to state or federal officials, if coordinated through the LWVOR or LWVUS, respectively. Advocacy is also used to persuade public opinion to League's positions.

Tasks:

  • Initiate advocacy when the opportunity arises, such as a public hearing on an issue on which the League has a position, especially if it is a priority issue. Respond to requests/recommendations for advocacy from members or Interest Groups.

  • Research local, state, and national positions and how positions have been used in the past to determine whether League positions support the proposed action.

  • Make recommendations to the Board for action on specific issues. Prepare or coordinate with other members to prepare advocacy material, such as testimony, letter to the editor, or other public statement of the League's position.

  • Attempt to generally follow issues coming before elected bodies to identify opportunities to take action to further League positions.

  • Form an Action Committee (or work with an Interest Group) to monitor long-term issues.

  • Schedule Legislative Interviews at the beginning of the legislative session.

Time Requirements: About 10 hours per issue or meeting/event. Action priorities should be set or time commitments could increase to over 20 hrs per week, especially for tasks 6 and 7 above.

Focus Editor

Goal: Inform members, prospects, and selected community leaders about League activities.

Job description:

  • Prepare a format to be used each month.

  • Set a deadline for all materials to be e-mailed to editor. Currently that is 20th of the month.

  • From board meetings, be aware of what should be included in the Focus.

  • Attend League meetings/events and take notes of highlights and photos of the speakers.

  • Write article for the Focus and include photos.

  • You may ask other people to do this.

  • Put articles into the format.

  • Edit them for spelling, grammar, clarity.

  • Cut as needed to fit space.

  • Use clip art to illustrate articles. Use photos of League meetings/events.

  • Proof the draft. Ask a second person to proofread.

  • Put final Focus in PDF and e-mail to: Local League members, prospects, others.

  • E-mail Focus to Circulation Chair (currently Elsa) to print and mail to the few LWV members without e-mail.

  • Put Focus on League webpage and e-mail Tina that it's there.

Time: Average of 12 hours per month spread over several days.

Fundraising

Goal: Provide a portion of the money needed to operate the local League

Duties:

  • Discuss with the Budget Committee how much money will need to be raised for the fiscal year and the purpose of the fund to be raised.

  • Seek a variety of potential methods of fundraising to suggest to the Board.

  • Seek the Board's approval of fundraising plans.

  • Advertise the fundraising projects appropriately--Focus, e-mail, etc.

  • Prepare and attend all fundraising events.

  • Ensure that all money raised is given to the treasurer in a timely fashion.

  • Report to the Board the progress made on the fundraising goals as the fiscal year proceeds.

  • If the Fundraiser is on the board, attend all board meetings and perform any other board duties as required.

Time: An estimated 25 hours for the fall fundraiser and periodic short periods of time as other funds come in.

Membership

Goals: Recruit new members and provide educational materials to show and promote League activities.

Tasks:

Fall Brunch: Organize and supervise the Fall Brunch to which members are encouraged to bring potential guests. Specifically:

  • In the spring suggest to the board two or three potential speakers who will attract prospective members to the Brunch. Also suggest locations (such as Roth's in West Salem, which we've used for several years). With board guidance choose a date in September and reserve the location. Contact the board's first choice for the guest speaker.

  • During the summer board planning meeting finalize plans for the Brunch, including activities which encourage prospective members to join the League.

  • Before and during the Brunch: Collect funds from the attending individuals to be deposited in the League's bank account. Make sure the proper amount of food is served.

Orientation: In the fall (and possibly also the spring): Provide new-member orientation programs with speakers and appropriate educational materials. To facilitate this orientation, invitations are sent to all new members with a RSVP to determine attendance. Reserve a room for the orientation and provide snacks and refreshments for those attending.

Other: Attend, as needed, various functions where new membership recruitment may occur, such as an information booth at the Willamette University Job Fair, Chemeketa Community College, etc.

Time: About 10 hours for the brunch; 3-4 hours for the orientation. The work is in spurts, not all at once.

President

Description of President's duties, from MPC By-Laws:   Section 2. The President. The president or the president's designate shall preside at all meetings of the organization and the Board of Directors. The president may, in the absence or disability of the treasurer, sign or endorse checks, drafts, and notes. The president shall be, ex officio, a member of all committees except the Nominating Committee, and shall have such usual powers of supervision and management as may pertain to the office of the president and shall perform such other duties as may be designated by the Board.   From MPC Policies, under Non-Partisan Policy:

The President and the Action, Publicity, and Voter Service chairs will not host fundraising activities which are exclusively partisan or hold coffees for candidates or put partisan bumper stickers on their cars or campaign signs in their yards. Monetary contributions to campaigns should be smaller than the reporting threshold for individual donors (now $100). (Other members of their households are not restricted from these activities.) If these League officers hold office in a neighborhood association, they should be alert for potential conflicts with League positions.

Public Statements... The president is the spokesperson for the LWVMPC. Board members and other members may be designated by the president or board to represent the LWVMPC and its positions.

Goals:

  • Provide leadership to the board in planning the year's activities and carrying out the plans.

  • Speak on behalf of the League to the community.

  Tasks:

  • Prepare Board-meeting Agenda, in consultation with Board members, to send out about a week before monthly meetings. 

  • Conduct Board meetings, encouraging full participation by all members Review draft of Minutes prepared by Secretary before they are sent to Board.

  • Write a column for the Focus each month.

  • Serve as conduit for LWVUS and LWVOR information to appropriate board members. (May delegate this duty of reading the e-mailed and other communications to an assistant.)

  • Be available by e-mail and phone to board members to provide guidance, support and encouragement.

  • Preside at public meetings of the League (or delegate to another member).

  • Sign official letters and give League testimony (or delegate to another member).

  • Complete LWVOR and LWVUS forms (with assistance from appropriate board members).

  • Represent LWVMPC at LWVOR Council and Convention and at LWVUS Convention, if possible.

  • Be positive and enthusiastic.

  Time Requirements: 

At the minimum, several hours per week.  Regular checking of e-mail and phone messages, forwarding information, responding to inquiries, requests, etc., can involve an hour or more a day.    Depending on how involved in League work the president wants or needs to be (such as attending committee meetings), the job can involve many hours per week.

Past President

From the Bylaws: The Immediate Past President, who will be a voting member of the board, will act as an advisor to the President and board. If the Immediate Past President is unable or unwilling to serve, another Past President may be elected to this position.

Duties: This position was established as a way to support/mentor the incoming President and Board by providing some continuity and institutional memory.  No specific portfolio is assigned, leaving it to the individual to choose what focus she might want to pursue.  For example, she could co-chair along with another Board member (such as Fundraising) or arrange special events (such as Winter Party or Field Trips).

Program VP

Goals: Ensure that the adopted program is carried out during the year and that there is a General meeting or Units each month. (See also Vice Presidents below.)

Duties:

Summer: Draft a calendar of Unit and General meetings topics based on adopted program.

Summer & during the year:

  • Maintain contact with the people who are organizing each Unit or General meeting.

  • If there is no topic topic ready for a specific month, offer suggestions to the board of possible topics for an informational meeting.

Early Winter:

  • Plan and preside at the Program Planning meeting in January.

  • After the Program Planning meeting put a Recommended Program together for board consideration and approval.

Late Spring: Preside at Annual Meeting over the Program part of the agenda.

Time:

  • Preparing the year's Calendar takes several hours.

  • Depending on how well the Update and Study committees are operating, the amount of time needed to consult or help them will vary.

  • However, it is not the obligation of the Program Chair to carry out work that Update and Study committees are supposed to do.

Publicity

From MPC Policies, under Non-Partisan Policy:

The President and the Action, Publicity, and Voter Service chairs will not host fundraising activities which are exclusively partisan or hold coffees for candidates or put partisan bumper stickers on their cars or campaign signs in their yards. Monetary contributions to campaigns should be smaller than the reporting threshold for individual donors (now $100). (Other members of their households are not restricted from these activities.) If these League officers hold office in a neighborhood association, they should be alert for potential conflicts with League positions.

Goals:

  • Increase the League's visibility in the community.

  • Inform the community of League programs, forums, and other activities.

Tasks:

Summer: Receive the list of reporters/editors and e-mail addresses from previous Publicity Chair and update that information. If possible, make appointments to meet the reporters and editor.

During the year:

  • From board meetings become aware of planned events that should be advertised to the community.

  • Ask the event organizers to e-mail information about the event to you well in advance.

  • Fill out the event forms on the Statesman Journal and other newspapers' websites.

  • Draft press releases to e-mail to identified reporters and/or news editors.

  • Design posters for distribution to well-travelled public spaces in Salem and other cities, if possible. (After identifying poster locations, try to gather a small committee to do distribution.)

Time: The summer duties can take many hours if you are able to meet with reporters/editor. Publicizing an important event (such as a forum) can take up to 14 hours a month. For a general-membership meeting it will take less time (perhaps 2 hours) to prepare and e-mail press releases; designing and distributing posters takes additional time.

Secretary

From the Bylaws: The secretary shall keep a complete record of all general meetings and all meetings of the Board of Directors; shall notify all officers and directors of their election; shall sign with the president all contracts and other instruments when authorized by the Board; and shall perform such other functions as may be incident to the office.

Role:

  • Serves as the official recorder of League business

  • Takes minutes of Board meetings, annual meetings, and other meetings at which decisions are made.

Before the meeting:

  • Arrives on time and attends all meetings.

  • If can't attend a meeting, notifies the president well in advance and helps to find a replacement secretary.

  • Reviews agenda carefully and reviews all board reports.

  • Collects corrections to the previous month's minutes from Board members.

During the meeting:

  • Documents League decisions:  records motions word-for-word and includes who makes and seconds the motion, the vote, and the outcome.

  • Provides a record of League deliberations and action for present and future reference.

  • Notes who is in attendance, who is presiding, who makes and seconds motions.

  • Reports on corrections to the previous month's minutes and notes those in the current month's minutes.

  • Participates in Board discussions and decision-making.

After the meeting:

  • Reviews and types up minutes as soon as possible after meeting.

  • Incorporates Board reports into minutes or includes as attachments.

  • Sends minutes to President to review before sending to the whole Board.

  • Sends minutes to the Board, LWVOR office, and LWVOR liaison

Treasurer

From the Bylaws: The treasurer shall collect and receive all moneys due; shall be custodian of these moneys; shall deposit them in a bank or banks or other financial institution designated by the LWVMPC Board and disburse them upon order of the Board; shall present financial reports to the Board at its regular meetings and to the membership at the Annual Meeting. At least quarterly, the remaining balances of budget line items shall be reported to the Board. All financial records shall be open to the membership upon request.

Summary of duties:

  • Pay bills, make deposits, and keep records thereof;
  • Make a few brief government reports;
  • Provide regular reports to the Board;
  • Keep membership data: report to state and national Leagues and help with local directory;
  • Serve on Budget Committee

Time estimate: Averages 2 hours a week, not including board meetings and email discussions.

Voter Service

From MPC Policies, under Non-Partisan Policy:

The President and the Action, Publicity, and Voter Service chairs will not host fundraising activities which are exclusively partisan or hold coffees for candidates or put partisan bumper stickers on their cars or campaign signs in their yards. Monetary contributions to campaigns should be smaller than the reporting threshold for individual donors (now $100). (Other members of their households are not restricted from these activities.) If these League officers hold office in a neighborhood association, they should be alert for potential conflicts with League positions.

Goal: Educate LWV members and the public about candidates and issues on the ballot.

Timeline:

Feb./March:  Recruit Voter Service Team members to chair sub-parts of the work (Voters' Guide distribution, live forums, CCTV forums, ballot measure education, and update of Directory of Elected Officials)

Summer:  Plan for the fall events.  (Details of what to do are in the Voter Service files.)

Sept./Oct.:  Carry out the plans for forums, ballot measure education, etc.

Jan.:  Update the Directory of Elected Officials

Estimated time: The busy times are:

  • The last week of August and the month of September before a general election, when the V. S. chair may spend 20-30 hours a week; October is also busy but less so.

  • Before other elections if there are candidate forums to arrange is another busy time, perhaps 10-15 hours a week.

  • There are a number of LWV members who are experienced at and enjoy Voter Service activities, and they should be called on to help with the work. No one should try to do the job alone.

Vice Presidents

From the Bylaws: The two vice-presidents, in order of their rank, shall, in the event of absence, resignation, disability, or death of the president, possess all of the powers and perform all of the duties of that office....The vice-presidents shall perform such other duties as the president and the Board may designate.