NAJA will host 2020 Elections online Aug. 26-Sept. 10

The Native American Journalists Association calls for 2020 Board candidacy declarations through Aug. 2; virtual candidate forum set for Aug. 25

The Native American Journalists Association rescheduled the 2020 National Native Media Conference for Sept. 15-19, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, NAJA will host the 2020 Board Elections online Aug. 26- Sept.10, 2020. 

NAJA is calling for candidate declarations to serve on the Board of Directors through Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020. There are three vacancies for 3-year terms, which will begin Sept. 11, 2020.

A virtual candidate forum will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020 starting at 4 p.m. PDT (6 p.m. CDT), where candidates will share their platforms and answer questions from membership. NAJA Election Chair Christine Trudeau will moderate.

NAJA has extended all existing annual memberships through 2021 at no cost. Current NAJA members will receive a unique link in the email associated with their NAJA membership for online voting. Members may only cast one vote per person and all votes will be verified so there are no duplicates.

Declaring Board Candidacy  
The NAJA Board of Directors is comprised of volunteers who dedicate their time and talents to strengthening journalism in Indian Country. Fundraising is a major function of the volunteer board, which supports membership and a pipeline of Indigenous talent into media careers, including the Native American Journalism Fellowship and the next generation of storytellers. 

NAJA board members will receive training as an elected representative of the organization through hands-on experience in writing sponsorship proposals and grants as well as understanding the fiscal responsibilities of leading a nonprofit organization.

Board members are required to attend monthly meetings and serve on designated committees. Meeting times are determined by the board. If an elected member misses more than three meetings due to unexcused absences, they may be removed from office. Board members are required to seek and secure funding for the organization.

Candidates must be verified NAJA members in good standing in order to be eligible to run for any position within the board. Associate members are not eligible for board candidacy. Read more about nominations and board elections in Article VII of the NAJA bylaws.

After the NAJA Election Committee has determined eligibility, candidates must then submit a biography, photo, current resume, and outline how they will address membership needs, meet fundraising goals and support the next 2021-2023 strategic plan (no more than 500 words) to the election committee. 

All candidacy declaration documents must be submitted to NAJA Election Chair Christine Trudeau, trudeau@naja.com by 5 p.m. CDT on Aug. 2, 2020.

Election Guidelines
The Native American Journalists Association bylaws state, under Article VII, Section 1, that the membership shall determine the election process.

In 1996, the NAJA membership voted to establish an Election Committee to organize and facilitate annual board elections. The following guidelines were adopted on June 22, 1996, in Bangor, Maine. It was later revised and adopted by the board on March 26, 2006, and updated in March 2009.

Declaration of board candidacy:

Candidates must declare their intention to run for the board between Jan. 1 and six weeks before the election (deadline: Aug. 2, 2020).

After their eligibility to run for the board has been determined, candidates shall submit a photo, bio and brief summary of what the candidate hopes to achieve through service on the board, including fundraising goals and ideas.

In addition, the NAJA Board of Directors has adopted the following definition of “media professional” and recommended procedure for the Election Board to follow:

“A media professional is defined as a journalist who works for either tribal media or mainstream media and earns 51 percent of his or her annual income through journalism. A journalist is someone who works in the gathering, writing, editing, photographing, publishing and disseminating of news as through, but not limited to, a newspaper, magazine, radio, television station, or World Wide Web publication owned and operated by a news media outlet.”

“Determining whether a board candidate is eligible to hold office shall be the responsibility of the Election Committee. When the NAJA office receives written notification that a NAJA member has declared his or her candidacy for office, the Election Committee has 21 days to notify the candidate in writing whether he or she is eligible to run for the NAJA board. The written determination of eligibility will be sent to the candidate, with copies to the NAJA President and Executive Director. Any candidate determined ineligible will receive an explanation for the ruling within the notification letter.”

“An election report shall be prepared and distributed during the annual membership meeting. The report shall include the list of board candidates and any explanations why a candidate was determined ineligible to run, along with general procedures followed during that year’s election process.”

(Note: This policy shall be published in every document that NAJA releases concerning board candidates)

Candidates must declare their intention to run for the NAJA Board no later than Aug. 2, 2020. 


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