PACE: How Endorsements Are Made
The goal of any endorsement by the PACE Committee is to elect candidates who support NASW policy positions and increase visibility for NASW in the process. NASW also gains candidates’ recognition, improves connections with elected officials, advances NASW’s policy agenda, and builds respect for NASW as a powerful and committed activist organization.
PACE’s policy positions are based on issues found in NASW’s policy statements as outlined in Social Work Speaks, and more local issues that have been identified by the Chapter board, staff and the PACE Committee.
Chapter PACE committees have the authority to endorse or make financial contributions to candidates only for state and local office. National PACE oversees federal races because of the national strategy that takes into consideration goals of the entire association.
- PACE members consult with chapter staff and other sources and compile information about the candidate’s viability and support for key issues of concern to the social work community.
- PACE often interviews candidates in person or on the phone, and may ask them to fill out a questionnaire with their views on certain issues.
- If the candidate has been elected before, PACE researches the candidate’s voting record.
- The PACE Steering Committee endorses candidates for office after reviewing the information that has been collected by the above methods.
- Once the endorsement decision is complete, PACE communicates to members through the NASW Currents, the PACE web page, and the PACE mailing list, and communicates to the candidates in writing.
Endorsements of political candidates are done on the basis of several criteria, not by political party affiliation. Agreement with every NASW position is not required. Criteria may include
- issues that the candidate supports or opposes
- viability of the campaign, such as money raised and name recognition
- whether the current officeholder is seeking re-election
- specific assistance in achieving NASW’s legislative goals
- building an electoral presence for future campaigns
- leadership position of the incumbent, such as committee assignments
- affirmative action considerations for candidates from underrepresented groups.
Levels of Endorsement
PACE gives the following types of support to each candidate:
- letter of endorsement
- financial contribution
- members to volunteer on campaign phone banks and distribute literature
- mailing to NASW members in the candidate's district informing them of our endorsement
- Listing supported candidates in our newsletter “Currents” and on our website.