Tahoe Donner Campaign Guidelines
Tahoe Donner is a community, first and foremost. In order to ensure that campaigns, membership votes, and elections serve positively to build and sustain the Tahoe Donner community consistent with its neighborly character, the following guidelines and best practices are recommended:
1. Speak Respectfully. Candidates and advocates have the right to express their views. However, to build and sustain our community’s neighborly character, while exercising this right, candidates and advocates are expected to speak and act with decency, consideration, and respect.
2. Show Courtesy. The right of candidates and advocates to engage in campaign activities must be balanced by the members’ right to privacy and the peaceful enjoyment of all Tahoe Donner Association property and facilities. Thus, candidates and advocates are expected to be respectful of members and to honor their privacy.
3. Bring A Positive Message. Candidates and advocates are encouraged to campaign for something or someone, not against something or someone. Negative personal attacks distract from the issues and disaffect the voters.
4. Be Inclusive. Campaigns are won the same way communities are built: by addition, not by division and subtraction. Candidates and advocates are encouraged to practice the politics of inclusion, not exclusion.
5. Focus On Your Own Message. It is recommended that candidates and advocates focus on defining and presenting their own views and their own positions to the members.
6. Practice Civility. Candidates and advocates should refrain from attacking, berating, bullying, belittling, insulting, harassing, threatening, or otherwise disparaging candidates or other community members.
7. Be Factual. Candidates and advocates should take care to avoid distributing or disseminating information to the members which is inaccurate or which may be false or materially misleading. This includes refraining from making statements known to be false about the backgrounds, affiliation, or positions of candidates or other community members.
1. Social Media. When using social media, candidates and advocates should follow the campaign conduct guidelines outlined above and abide by the rules of the social media site.
2. Bulk/Mass Communication. The use of the Membership List, personal bulk email or contact lists, and/or other publicly available member contact information cannot be controlled by the Tahoe Donner Association. So members are not overwhelmed by bulk/mass communications, it is recommended that candidates and advocates prioritize communication quality over quantity. Features that automatically resend emails to non-openers should not be used.
3. Bulk/Mass Communication Unsubscribe Links. Candidate and advocate communications delivered via any bulk/mass email or text marketing service shall display a prominent, automated unsubscribe link. If the recipient chooses to unsubscribe using the link, the recipient will be permanently removed from the sender’s distribution list. Candidates and advocates should clearly identify themselves on their unsubscribe link, e.g.:
Click this link to unsubscribe from the “X” campaign email list.
4. Membership List. Association members, including candidates and advocates, may request the official Membership List for communications reasonably related to the requester’s interest as a member, including for communications related to elections and other membership votes. Requests for the list must be made in writing using the Tahoe Donner Association Membership List Request Form available at the administrative office.
To ensure that the most accurate and up-to-date information is used, candidates and advocates should request the current membership list. To promote legal compliance and member privacy, candidates and advocates should not share the Membership List with anyone outside the campaign’s organizational structure.
5. Membership List Opt-Out Right Notice. Tahoe Donner members may opt-out of sharing their personal contact information that is included in the Membership List with other members by notifying the Association in writing, or by submitting their request via the opt-out form on Tahoe Donner’s website. This opt-out remains in effect until changed by the member, and will not affect a member’s ability to receive official communications sent directly by the Tahoe Donner Association.
Candidates and advocates sending bulk emails or texts to members should also remind members about their right to opt-out of sharing their personal contact information with other members by adding the following sample language beneath their unsubscribe link:
Tahoe Donner members are legally entitled to obtain copies of the Membership List to communicate with other members about issues relating to our community. To exercise your legal right to opt-out of sharing your contact information with other members, please visit TahoeDonner.com/optout.
OTHER CAMPAIGN PRACTICES
1. Campaign Signage. Campaign signage shall not be posted in or on Association owned or controlled common area or common facilities or property unless expressly authorized by the Association. Campaign signs are permitted on private property (lots owned by a member) within Tahoe Donner with the owner’s express permission. Any election related signage must comply with the Town of Truckee regulations that exist at the time of the Election. As of 2021, the regulations provide that temporary political signs may be posted 60 days preceding the election and must be removed within 14 days following the election and may be located within the Town of Truckee right of way as long as they do not create sight distance conflicts or other safety hazards. (See Town of Truckee website for more information.)
2. Door Hangers, Pamphlets, and Other Handouts. When distributing handouts in Tahoe Donner, please abide by the spirit of Tahoe Donner’s Common Courtesy Guidelines by taking care to respect the privacy and property of others, and by being careful not to contribute to a litter problem. Because door hangers or other materials visibly left on vacant homes for weeks or months present a safety and security issue, this campaign practice is strongly discouraged.
1. Campaign Economically. Escalating campaign spending can reduce confidence in the fairness of our elections, undermine the political equality of our members, and present financial barriers of entry to those considering running for the board of directors. To de-escalate campaign spending, candidates and advocates are encouraged to run economical campaigns, employing cost-effective campaign outreach techniques. Many electronic and grassroots campaigning techniques can be used effectively in Tahoe Donner for little to no cost.
1. Conduct of Community Leaders. Community leaders, such as board members, committee or task force members, club officers and Tahoe Donner employees, are expected to conduct themselves during elections and membership votes with a level of decorum that is both becoming and worthy of community leaders. By policy, Tahoe Donner may establish additional specific standards of decorum for different types of community leaders.
2. Endorsements. Personal written endorsements made by individual community leaders, as defined above, should prominently display a disclaimer dissociating their private endorsement from any official Tahoe Donner groups or bodies with which they are affiliated. The following language is provided as a model:
This endorsement does not represent the views or opinions of Tahoe Donner or any official Tahoe Donner groups or bodies.
3. Board Members. A director is obligated to act and speak in all matters pertaining to Tahoe Donner in accordance with his or her fiduciary duties and the Director Code of Conduct, including during elections and other membership votes. Specific guidance for directors, including any conditions or restrictions related to endorsements and other campaign activities, is contained in the Board of Director Code of Conduct.
By following these guidelines and best practices, candidates and advocates can present their views and illuminate the issues while conducting neighborly campaigns with the respect and courtesy that members want and deserve.