A2Ethics.org Nonpartisanship and Political Activity Statement

(Effective: July 24, 2009 -- Last updated: April 14, 2012)

A2Ethics.org is independent and nonpartisan.

As a nonprofit organization, we are privileged to do justice to the rules allowing us to be and to remain tax-exempt. These rules include public statements addressing the subjects of nonpartisanship and political activity.

We prefer the rhetorical flourishes of manifestos. But bold and bald statements are also binding. Below are the nonpartisanship and political activity statements we believe in and support for our organization and for the engaged and engaging affiliated staff and civic ethicists who represent A2Ethics.org. Any changes to this statement will be posted on this page and identified by the "last updated" date shown above.

Nonpartisanship Statement
Political Activity Statement
Permissible Political Activity and Participation
Do you have resources on Nonpartisanship and Political Activity?
Any other questions?

Nonpartisanship Statement

A2Ethics.org is committed to intellectual independence and nonpartisanship in offering public forum statements and commentaries on our website; and in our events, programs and activities.

A2Ethics.org has a moral obligation to establish for A2Ethics.org-affiliated staff and our civic ethicists the ground rules for enjoying the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, free speech and voluntary association.

A2Ethics.org-affiliated staff and civic ethicists may share expertise, give briefings and consult with candidates and campaigns on a non-exclusive basis. This also means that our staff and civic ethicists don't make promises to give preferential access and closed-door advice to candidates and campaigns. All public forum statements and commentaries, events, programs and activities of A2Ethics.org are available to anyone regardless of their political affiliation.

In addition, our affiliated staff and civic ethicists may not appear as surrogates for candidates on our website, in other media or in public and should resist the temptation, though it may be a strong one, from representing or counseling them at public events or in media appearances.

That said... A2Ethics.org-affiliated staff and civic ethicists are expected to, and likely will, have outside activities and income opportunities beyond their relationship to A2Ethics.org. Affiliated staff and civic ethicists are therefore welcome to participate in political activity on their own time and on their own behalf.

Again, that said--and now we are talking to our engaged and engaging affiliated staff and civic ethicists-- never rely on our meager A2Ethics.org resources, nor represent yourselves as acting for A2Ethics.org.

And don't forget, A2Ethics.org-affiliated staff and civic ethicists: when you do participate in political activity on your own time and behalf,  you need to make it explicitly clear that you and your views do not represent A2Ethics.org.

Political Activity Statement

A2Ethics.org does not participate in candidate campaigns for public office. Further, we do not financially support or favor specific candidates. And you won't find us declaring our membership or allegiance to a particular party.

A2Ethics.org’s mission and purpose in promoting ethical issues discussions and in creating ethics events, however, does mean that we serve as a potential resource, information and education source in the political arena. Our work puts us in contact with elected officials and candidates for office of all parties, in addition to appointed officials, media professionals and the public.

Equally important, A2Ethics.org is committed to fostering new ideas, innovations, reforms and redesigns of institutions, policies, traditions and practices. Our affiliated staff and civic ethicists are encouraged to engage all people, including politicians and policymakers, to make ethics integral to their public agenda. Or to any of their agendas. We know we can't be choosy here.

Permissible Political Activity and Participation

There are scores of ways A2Ethics.org can participate in the political life of our community and in the 'stir of the world.'

In fact, our podcasts, events, programs and activities give our affiliated staff, our civic ethicists, and you the unique opportunity to bring ethics into the conversations we have and in the actions we take to make the ‘good life’ permanent.

A2Ethics.org can be involved in political process initiatives, including endeavors to examine public sector responsiveness, good governance and reform legislation and programs.

The major example where A2Ethics.org is in the advance guard of political innovation efforts: our plans to develop a new career--the independent civic ethicist--through our Civic Ethics: Cultivating A New Field. Additional advocacy ideas include: the commentary to campaign for "Making Arts Spaces, Polling Places" and our  promotion of graphic artists involved in redesigning national and state ballots.

A2Ethics.org can encourage debate and emcee viewpoints and banter from all sides on ethics issues that are politically consequential, or even ones that are inconsequential. Several of the issues we have embraced are of great concern to you and are issues we continue to follow:

Arts and its impact on communities
Buying Local and the Environment
Citizen Journalism and the New Media
Education and Teaching
Health Care
Veterans' Affairs
Workplace and the Economy

The A2Ethics.org sponsored Ethics Without Borders venture publicizes the podcasts and issue advocacy work of A2Ethics.org in four areas that coincide with four basic human rights:

Caring for Culture=the right to have access to culture;
Saving Schools and Scholars=the right to an education free from violence;
Water for All in the World=the right to water; and
Civic Ethics: Cultivating a New Field=the right to open dissent and equitable participation in civic life. 

Do you have resources on Nonpartisanship and Political Activity?

For more information about other nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations, interested in nonpartisanship and political activity, including the ethics issues in government and politics, the following links may be useful:

Center for Responsive Politics
Center for Deliberative Politics
Generation Engage

Any other questions?

If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions regarding this nonpartisanship and political activity statement, please send us an email at: [email protected].