As another election approaches, keep in mind that congregations may engage in elections in some ways, but not in others. In general, congregations may support issues, but not candidates. Issues can include, but are not limited to: civil rights, economic justice, and the environment. Congregations may not support individual candidates or political parties. To do so risks a congregation’s federal 501(c)3 tax-exempt status. It is also not inclusive, since congregations are generally not of one mind politically.
UUA.org has a recently updated website, 2012 Elections: Funding and Resources for Congregations, to guide congregations through the election season. Especially helpful is the UU Service Committee’s “Election Engagement Guide for Congregations” (PDF). Other resources on the website include “The Real Rules: UU Congregations and IRS Guidelines on Advocacy, Lobbying, and Elections,” plus ways to find local partners to work with, and video from a General Assembly 2012 workshop, “Values into Action, Unitarian Universalists Reclaiming Democracy.”