APABA-DC POLICY AND ADVOCACY GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES 

Introduction

The Asian Pacific American Bar Association of the Greater Washington, D.C. Area, Inc. (APABA-DC) is a voluntary bar association with a diverse membership.  APABA-DC’s mission includes cultivating an understanding of the issues facing the Asian Pacific American (APA) community-at-large by being a voice for the APA community in the Washington, D.C. area and by serving as a resource for federal, state, and local agencies; members of Congress and their staff; and public service organizations involved in civil rights.  It is in this spirit that APABA-DC has created a Policy and Advocacy Committee (Committee) to promote awareness and an understanding of issues concerning justice, equality, fairness, impartiality, and opportunity for APAs and the greater Washington, D.C. community.  In doing so, the APABA-DC Board of Directors (“Board”) adopts the following guidelines and procedures regarding its participation in advocacy.

APABA-DC’s Policy and Advocacy Guidelines and Procedures (“Guidelines and Procedures”) establish a Policy and Advocacy Committee (“Committee”) and provide framework for evaluating proposed advocacy and policy work by APABA-DC.  The Guidelines and Procedures may be modified at any time by a super majority vote (at least two-thirds) of all the elected members of the APABA-DC Board.  Any questions concerning the APABA-DC Policy and Advocacy Guidelines and Procedures or advocacy and policy work in general may be directed to the Committee co-Chairs at community@apaba-dc.org or the APABA-DC President at president@apaba-dc.org.

 Composition of APABA-DC’s Policy and Advocacy Committee

The Committee shall be comprised of seven to ten individuals who are current members of APABA-DC in good standing.  The President shall serve as a member of the Committee.  There shall be two Committee co-Chairs, both of whom shall be appointed on an annual basis by the President-Elect in connection with the annual election and appointment of APABA-DC Board members to serve during the President-Elect’s term as President.[1]

The President and Committee co-Chairs shall jointly appoint additional Committee members on an annual basis.  All appointments (including the Committee co-Chairs and all Committee members) shall be submitted to the APABA-DC Board for approval.  The Officers of the APABA-DC Board (“Voting Board Members”) must approve all appointments (including co-Chairs and Committee members) by a majority vote consistent with the approval process for other appointed Board positions. 

All Committee co-Chairs and members shall (1) have a demonstrated commitment to the mission of APABA-DC; (2) have deep ties to the greater Washington, DC community; (3) be active in the Asian Pacific American community; (4) be familiar with issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community and/or communities in the greater Washington, DC area, such as civil rights, access to justice, equality, fairness, impartiality, and opportunity; and (5) be willing to share the responsibility for policy and advocacy work, including, but not limited to, identifying and recommending issues for consideration by the Board and drafting resolutions, letters of support or endorsement, memoranda, or press releases.

 Specific Procedures

  1. Any person or organization may request that APABA-DC engage in advocacy on a particular issue by contacting a member of the Committee.  In addition, Committee members may communicate with organizations that have non-partisan missions and advocate on issues affecting the APA and Washington, DC community in order to seek out advocacy and policy opportunities.   
  2. All proposals for advocacy or policy work must include a brief summary of the issue(s), a proposed course of action, and all documents and supporting materials relevant to the APABA-DC Board’s evaluation.  All such information must be provided to the Committee at least 10 business days in advance of any deadline.  The APABA-DC Board will consider only timely and complete proposals for advocacy and policy work.  However, the APABA-DC Board may at its sole discretion consider requests on an expedited basis.  In addition, the APABA-DC Board reserves the right to request additional materials or information before voting on any proposal.  The APABA-DC Board further reserves the right to table voting on any proposal in accordance with the procedures set forth below.   
  3. The Committee shall evaluate advocacy or policy proposals using the following criteria:  As a threshold matter, the Committee must determine whether the proposal (1) falls within APABA-DC’s mission statement and (2) is likely to have a sufficient impact on the APA community and the greater Washington, D.C. community-at-large.  If the proposal satisfies these two threshold criteria, then the Committee shall consider the following factors in evaluating each proposal:  (a) whether the proposed course of action reflects the views of the membership; (b) whether the issue is political or partisan in nature; (c) whether and the extent to which there is pending litigation; (d) whether there are alternative methods of advocacy; and (e) any additional criteria relevant to properly evaluate the particular proposal. 
  4. Any Committee or Board member who believes he or she may have a potential or actual conflict of interest regarding an issue or proposal shall disclose the conflict to the Committee or Board (whichever party is currently considering the issue or proposal) to the extent permitted by law and at the earliest possible opportunity.  The Committee of Board shall evaluate the nature of any such conflict and decide whether the member must be recused from voting on the proposal.  Following a full disclosure of any such conflict to the Committee or Board, the recused member may share his or her views on the issue or proposal with the Committee or Board.  All Committee members and Voting Board Members who have not been recused are eligible voters.       
  5. Upon a full consideration of the criteria and factors set forth above, the Committee shall vote on the proposal.  Decisions by the Committee to recommend a proposal must be made by a majority vote of all eligible Committee members.  If the Committee votes to recommend a proposal, the Committee shall forward to the Board the proposal (which shall include a brief summary of the issue(s), the proposed course of action, and all documents and supporting materials relevant to the APABA-DC Board’s evaluation, including, for example, all draft statements or resolutions, along with the reasons for its recommendation).  The Board shall vote on any proposal recommended by the Committee in accordance with the procedures set forth below.  If the Committee votes to reject a proposal, the Committee shall forward to the Board a brief summary of the proposal and the reasons for the rejection, but there shall be no vote by the APABA-DC Board.
  6. If the Committee votes to recommend a proposal, the Voting Board Members shall use the same criteria and factors outlined in paragraph 3 in deciding whether to ratify the Committee’s recommendation.  The Voting Board Members may request additional information or materials before voting on a proposal.  The Committee’s recommendation shall be ratified by a super majority vote (at least two-thirds) of all eligible Voting Board Members.  In addition, any eligible Voting Board Member may decide for good cause to table a Board vote on a particular proposal for up to, but not exceeding, 30 days from the date that any Voting Board Member moves to vote on the proposal.  Once a vote has been tabled for 30 days, no further extensions shall be granted, and the Voting Board Members shall vote on the proposal.
  7. The President shall notify the Committee of the Voting Board Members’ decision, and the Committee shall within a reasonable time take all necessary further actions to effectuate a decision. 
  8. The Committee must re-submit all standing policy statements and resolutions to the Voting Board Members after one year from the date of enactment for additional consideration and voting. 
  9. These Guidelines and Procedures may be changed by a super majority vote (at least two-thirds) of all Voting Board Members.
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The views expressed in this statement do not necessarily reflect the views of each member or officer of APABA-DC, its Advisory Board, or the general membership.


 

[1]           The APABA-DC Board intends to create two additional Board positions to co-Chair the Policy and Advocacy Committee.  The Vice President of Community Affairs and the Assistant Vice President of Community Affairs shall serve as co-Chairs for the 2015-2016 Board term.  The Vice President of Community Affairs shall serve as a Committee member for the 2016-2017 Board term.  Starting in the 2017-2018 Board term, Committee co-Chairs must have served as Committee members before being appointed as co-Chairs.

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2016

2017

 
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