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Position Statement Submission Instructions
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Position Statements are statements on issues of social and professional importance written with the general public as the audience. They may represent a response to emerging language related issues or commentary and/or future-focused shaping of language related issues and policies. This may include strong summaries of research supporting advancement or evolution of language related issues and policies. Position Statements should address issues of public and social importance related to language, rather than field-internal controversies.

Questions or comments on submission of Position Statements may be directed to the Chair for the Public Affairs and Engagement Committee at PAEC@AAAL.org.

All Position Statements must:

Include
i. The clearly-stated purpose and rationale
ii. The issue’s importance to the field as a whole
iii. The issue’s importance to the general public
iv. Where relevant, a brief summary of related representative research findings

Be accompanied by
i. A statement regarding the desired impact on public opinion or policy
ii. The names of the initiators of the Position Statement
iii. Recommendations for distribution and/or leverage in order to ensure maximum constructive impact on public opinion (i.e. recommendations regarding seeking support from other organizations)

Position Statements must refrain from any commentary constituting political activity, including commentary on any candidate for public office, as such organizational commentary can jeopardize AAAL’s tax exempt status.

Position Statements should, wherever possible, refrain from discourse which may be considered lobbying. This includes advocacy for adoption or rejection of legislation or urging AAAL members or others to take action to support or defeat legislation. Discourse supporting or denouncing legislation (with no direct call to action – whether by legislature or members/public) does not constitute lobbying. All Position Statements with discourse which may be considered lobbying are subject to Executive Committee approval with respect to monitoring for volume of activities as compared to overall AAAL operations.

Preparing, Proposing and Processing Position Statements

Position Statements are statements on issues of social and professional importance written with the general public as the audience. They may represent a response to emerging language related issues or commentary and/or future-focused shaping of language related issues and policies. This may include strong summaries of research supporting advancement or evolution of language related issues and policies.

Origination

  • Position Statements may be generated by any AAAL committee, task force, or any ten AAAL members in good standing.
  • Position Statements can and should be generated, and/or commissioned from other AAAL committees or members, by the Public Affairs and Engagement Committee.

Procedures

  1. Position Statements shall be submitted to the Chair of the Public Affairs and Engagement Committee.
  2. The Chair shall immediately upon receipt verify the membership status of all initiators and ensure compliance with Position Statement requirements noted above.
  3. The Chair shall circulate Position Statements to the full Public Affairs and Engagement Committee and the President of AAAL. Committee authority with respect to Position Statements shall be:
    1. Approve the Position Statement, as written.
    2. Revert the Position Statement back to the originating parties, with suggestion for revision.
    3. Reject the Position Statement on one of the following grounds:
      1. Contents of the Position Statement being outside the scope of AAAL’s mission or exempt purpose.
      2. Contents of the Position Statement being incompatible with AAAL Bylaws, Standing Rules, or strategic direction.
      3. Contents of the Position Statement constituting political activity, including commentary on any candidate for public office, as such organizational commentary can jeopardize AAAL’s tax exempt status.
    4. Upon approval of Position Statements by the Public Affairs and Engagement Committee, the names of initiators will be removed from the Position Statement and anonymity of initiators maintained.
    5. Position Statements approved by the Public Affairs and Engagement Committee will be submitted to the Executive Committee for approval. These will be submitted by the Chair to the President. The President shall circulate Position Statements to the full Executive Committee for vote at its earliest opportunity, and by email if necessary to ensure timely response. Executive Committee available action shall be the same as action outlined in paragraph D.1.c.ii. above.
      1. Note: Position Statements originating with the Executive Committee are not subject to further approval if approved by the Public Affairs and Engagement Committee
    6. Position Statements approved by the Executive Committee will be proposed to the AAAL membership and are subject to membership commentary and approval.
      1. Proposed Position Statements will be posted to the AAAL web site in a members-only area, with invitation for comment by AAAL members. An email inviting comment will be distributed to all AAAL members in good standing, with a clearly articulated deadline for comment.
      2. Proposed Position Statements may, but are not required to, be subsequently also be presented for commentary at any AAAL business meeting.
      3. The Public Affairs and Engagement Committee will review and evaluate all member commentary, and take one of the following actions:
        1. Submit the Position Statements to the membership for vote, as written.
        2. Revert the Position Statements back to the originating parties, with suggestion for revision based on member commentary. In this instance, the revised Position Statements shall be resubmitted to the Public Affairs and Engagement Committee, then Executive Committee, for approval, with no further commentary period prior to submission to the membership for vote.
      4. Proposed Position Statements will be voted on by the membership via ballot without meeting (Bylaws Article VI, §2). A Position Statement shall be considered approved if it receives a simple majority of the votes cast.
    7. Members may submit a “minority opinion” or “in response to” statement to be published with the Position Statement. Such statements may be submitted to the Public Affairs and Engagement Committee at any stage in the review process for a Position Statement, and for up to one year following its approval. These statements will be subject to the same policies and procedures outlined above for Position Statements (i.e. with regard to origination and providing a commentary period for membership), but are subject only to Public Affairs and Engagement Committee and Executive Committee approval.
    8. All approved Position Statements shall be posted to the AAAL website. They shall bear the following: This Position Statement may be disseminated without permission from AAAL.
    9. These procedures for submitting Position Statements shall be posted on the AAAL web site, and the link to such shall be included in each edition of the AAALetter.
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