YIMBY Action Endorsement Procedure

This procedure will be assessed before and after each election cycle to ensure healthy and efficient decision-making. Beyond the particulars of the processes outlined here, we encourage all YIMBY Action Members to keep in mind that our endorsement procedure is meant to help us find agreement and effectively make decisions.

Elections can be especially intense times when tensions run high. We remind members to always treat one another with respect and assume good intent, even when passionately disagreeing about issues important to them.

We hope that this endorsement procedure will help our increasingly large and federated organization make decisions in a transparent way in line with our overarching mission of abundant housing for all.

  1. Endorsement procedure management, oversight, and delegation
    1. This endorsement procedure is managed and overseen by the Board, under the advisement of Leads.
    2. The Board can be reached by emailing [email protected] or through the @board user group on YIMBY Action’s Slack online community.
    3. At its discretion, the Board may delegate any responsibilities or tasks described in this document to other parties including but not limited to the Leads Council, relevant Leads, all Voting Members, and committees.
  2. Endorsement powers
    1. YIMBY Action may endorse or oppose any initiative, measure, legislation, policy, candidate for political office, advisory petition, or action.
  3. Definitions
    1. Rough consensus: General agreement as determined by the Board.
      1. When recommendations are made by rough consensus of the Leads Council, they are forwarded to the Board with information about the strength of agreement and dissenting opinions.
      2. YIMBY Action endeavors to gather input as broadly as possible and with clearly stated timelines.
  4. Ballot endorsements
    1. A vote by Voting Members is required in order for YIMBY Action to endorse or oppose any item that will appear on a government-issued ballot.
    2. YIMBY Action will endorse in geographic areas where a local YIMBY Action Affiliate Club exists and wants to make endorsements.
  5. Non-ballot endorsements and actions
    1. Staff and the Board are authorized to take non-ballot endorsement action guided by The YIMBY Action Core 4. For legislation, initiatives, and housing project advocacy, all due effort will be made to rely upon local knowledge from YIMBY Action Members and especially local Leads.
    2. The Leads Council may initiate non-ballot endorsement action and processes by making a recommendation to the Board based upon rough consensus of Leads.
    3. Any member may initiate non-ballot endorsement action by lobbying a Lead, member of the Board, or Staff to bring a matter to the Leads Council for consideration.
  6. Candidate questionnaires and debates
    1. Candidate questionnaires and debates are encouraged.
    2. Candidate questionnaires are developed by the relevant Affiliate Clubs, pulling from the YIMBY Action core questionnaire where appropriate, and guided by The YIMBY Action Core 4. Disagreements about questionnaire content will be escalated to the Leads Council or Board for settlement.
  7. Voting Membership
    1. For the purposes of any matter put to vote by the Board, the following are considered Voting Members of YIMBY Action:
      1. Paid YIMBY Action Members: Recurring monthly or annual donation must be active at least 90 days before an endorsement ballot is issued and remain active at the time of its issuance.
        1. The number of days paid membership must be active in advance of an endorsement ballot may be reduced for a specific election by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Board.
      2. Volunteer Members: Volunteer Membership must be valid at least 90 days before an endorsement ballot is issued and be valid at the time of its issuance.
    2. Voting Members are responsible for keeping their home and email addresses current with YIMBY Action in order to automatically receive ballots for the relevant jurisdictions. You can update your address by emailing [email protected].
    3. Voting Members are permitted but not required to vote outside their home jurisdictions.
      1. Voting Members are responsible for being aware of endorsements taking place in any non-home jurisdictions of interest, the relevant Slack channel being a recommended method for accomplishing this, and may request any ballot by emailing [email protected] up to 72 hours prior to the close of voting. Ballot requests submitted after this deadline may be fulfilled but are not guaranteed. If there is sufficient demand, YIMBY Action will endeavor to design a process by which members can designate ongoing interest in specific non-local jurisdictions or all endorsement ballots.
      2. Voting Members are encouraged to weigh in only on ballot items about which they are well-informed.
  8. Endorsement ballots
    1. Votes will be ranked choice except in circumstances where ranked choice voting does not make sense due to the rules of the race as determined by the Board.
    2. Ballots must include the option of No Endorsementfor all matters, which count toward the total number of votes cast.
    3. The option to abstain must be stated clearly on endorsement ballots, and abstentions do not count toward the total number of votes cast. Members may abstain from any vote by not voting on any option.
    4. Recommendations presented to Voting Members on endorsement ballots:
      1. The Board may make recommendations for any item under endorsement consideration by YIMBY Action. Such a recommendation must have the support of two-thirds (2/3) of the Board to be presented to YIMBY Action’s members as YIMBY Action Recommendation.
      2. The Leads Council may submit recommendations to the Board for consideration based upon rough consensus of Leads.
        1. YIMBY Action Affiliate Clubs may create educational materials to help members understand candidates and issues. Leads are especially encouraged to use their knowledge to inform the membership.
  9. Endorsement Voting Technical Procedures
  10. Runoff votes
    1. In order to achieve the most thorough ballot guidance possible:
      1. When the first vote results in No Consensus, the Board may, under the advisement of Leads, authorize runoff votes between the top options.
      2. The Board, under the advisement of Leads, may endorse candidates as 2nd and 3rd choices.
  11. Early endorsements
    1. The Board, under the advisement of the Leads Council, may recommend or make an early endorsement for a certain candidate or ballot measure by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote.
  12. Emergency action by Board
    1. The Board may take emergency action on endorsements at any time by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote. This includes but is not limited to making, changing, or revoking endorsements.
    2. The Board will consult with relevant Leads when considering these actions.
    3. Candidates are advised not to misrepresent YIMBY Action’s endorsement.

Want YIMBY Action to make endorsements in your area? Interested in becoming a YIMBY Action Lead? See our YIMBY Action Affiliate Club Application for more information.