NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SOCIAL WORKERS – COLORADO CHAPTER

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Date Policy Updated:   Nov 18, 2010
Approved by:  NASWCO Board of Directors

CHAPTER RESPONSE/POSITION ON LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVES

Purpose

National Legislative Initiatives - are managed by the National NASW office regarding federal issues.  The Chapter does not develop separate positions on federal legislative issues.

State & Local Legislative Initiatives – are developed and managed by the Chapter.  Initiatives include political issues, proposed bills, ballot initiatives, referendums, etc.  Such endorsement may be in the form of sending in a support/opposition letter, adding the support/signature of NASW Colorado to a group document and/or by directing members to a particular website or information for them to individually respond.

Policy

National Legislative Initiatives:

  • The Chapter will support positions taken by National NASW on federal issues
  • Requests from National to share information with Chapter membership on positions taken will be considered as appropriate based on time constraints.  NASW Colorado staff may forward such information to the Chapter Legislative Committee listserv, Chapter Board, and /or the Chapter membership at large.   Such information may be shared in meetings, by email, or via the Chapter website.  National NASW occasionally directs the Chapter office to send a letter.  In such cases, it is not necessary to gain consensus prior to sending out such correspondence.  A copy of the letter should be sent to the Board/Legislative Committee for information only.
  • A national organization may seek direct endorsement/support from the Colorado Chapter for an initiative that National has already endorsed.  The Executive Director shall send an e-mail with the request to the Executive Committee.  The Executive Committee determines if the request should go to the entire board and/or the Legislative Committee before acting upon it, or may choose to act on it directly based on time constraints and/or content.
     

State & Local Legislative Initiatives:

  • Requests that NASW Colorado take a position on specific initiatives may originate from Legislative Committee members, other Chapter Committees, Chapter Board members, members of the Chapter, and other organizations. 
  • A request is made to the Chair of the Legislative Committee, who oversees the process for developing a Chapter position on a legislative initiative.  
  • The legislative initiative is reviewed, discussed, and deliberated with the Legislative Committee, the Legislative Listserv, the Chapter Board, and other Chapter Committees as appropriate.  This process may be conducted in person, by phone, on-line, or via email in consideration of the time constraints.  Such time constraints requires the Chair set a deadline for responding/participating in the process.*
  • When the deadline for discussion is reached, the Chair conveys an overview of the discussion to the Legislative Committee.   The Legislative Committee then votes on a position the Chapter will take.  (*This step does not occur under an urgent time constraint; refer to Expedited Policy).
  • The Chair works in concert with Chapter staff to notify the Chapter Lobbyist, Chapter Board and Chapter members of the position taken.  Notification may occur in meetings, by email or via the website.
  • *Expedited Communication Procedure for Legislative Decisions:
    • If the time constraint is urgent, and the Chapter Lobbyists requires an immediate response to a legislative initiative, the Lobbyist will contact the Chapter Executive Director.  If possible, the E.D. will confer with the Co-Chairs of the Legislative Committee and the Chapter President (or a combination of such persons based on immediate availability) to determine a response.  If it is not possible to confer with any of the stated persons, the E.D. will determine a response that is in the best interest of the Chapter.  In the situation when the E.D. is not available, the Lobbyist will contact (1) the Co-Chairs or (2) the President for a response.  The person contacted will attempt to confer with the others and determine a response in the best interest of the Chapter.  In the rare circumstance that the Co-Chairs of the Legislative Committee do not agree on a legislative strategy, and it cannot be resolved, the Chapter President will make the final decision.