Letter from the National President Evelyn B. Wofford, Spring 2021
Food for Thought
As stated in the League’s bylaws, one of the three responsibilities of the Ethics Board is “to review and evaluate the code of ethics, approve as written or recommend amendments, and publish the adopted document for the membership.”
Recently, the chair of the Ethics Board submitted the following report to the national president:
“Your Ethics Board met in early February, discussed, and approved the code of ethics as written. Although it may not be in the Ethics Committee’s area of responsibility, there were two suggestions that came out of the meeting. One is that there should be an orientation for new members that includes going over the code of ethics. It was suggested also that an annual review of the code of ethics be held during a branch meeting as a reminder of our professionalism. The code of ethics may be found under ‘member resources’ on the national NLAPW website.
—Alice Ann Glenn, chair, Santa Clara Branch
—Barbara Chamberlain and Pat Fisher, Santa Clara Branch
—Jill Adler and Louise Kantro, Modesto Branch”
This report has reminded me of how infrequently the membership of the League reacquaints itself with the League’s governing documents. Many members are unaware that like the code of ethics, the bylaws and standing rules are available to them through the League’s website. There is even an explanation of the difference between bylaws and standing rules, and the bylaws itself explains how the document may be amended.
In recent months, branch presidents have become reacquainted with one such method, thanks to an effort by the presidents of the Hawaii and Des Moines branches to ascertain the degree of support for an amendment that they wished to present.
Hardly a week goes by that the national office does not receive a question about a procedure or process that is addressed in the bylaws. The suggestion by the Ethics Board about reviewing the code of ethics is relevant to the bylaws and standing rules as well. The process may be tedious (we are, after all, creatives with right-brained dominance), but it is a necessary task if members are to understand fully the mission and scope of the League and how it functions as an organization.
It behooves us all to turn on our left brain from time to time and study the principles that govern us. It may be that in these changing times, changes need to be made. It may also be that even in these changing times, our guidelines continue to be viable.
Food for thought.