Friday, June 24, 2016

Election year reminder regarding prohibited political activity

FROM Corporation for National and Community Service notice, June 22:
As a general matter:  
Never mix election activity and CNCS resources—money or national service participants (AmeriCorps members, including VISTAs and NCCC, or Senior Corps volunteers). 
Specifically, don’t use federal funds, charge time to your grant directly or as match, accumulate service or training hours, or direct or allow national service participants to engage in prohibited political activities, which generally includes (but isn’t limited to):
  • organizing or attending political events, demonstrations, protests, petitions, rallies, etc.;
  • participating in, endorsing, or advocating for or against political parties, platforms, groups, or candidates;
  • conducting voter registration or other get-out-the-vote activity; and
  • posting election-oriented messages on social media (using CNCS funds or with reference to CNCS programs).
This is a general reminder, not a detailed summary of the law.  You can find the precise restrictions applicable to you or your program in your grant terms and conditions, member agreement, or related documents.
Of course, individuals may exercise their rights as private citizens to participate in political activities:
  • on their own initiative and personal time[1];
  • not affiliated with CNCS programs or supported by CNCS funds; and
  • not wearing any program insignia, logo, or uniform.
Again, it is very important to avoid any perception that CNCS resources (money or national service participants) are being misused.
Full notice: