NAJA will host 2021 Elections online Sept. 27-Oct. 8

NAJA calls for 2021 Board Candidacy Declarations through Aug. 20; virtual candidate “meet and greet” set for Sept. 24

The Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) is calling for candidate nominations and declarations to serve on the NAJA Board of Directors. There are three vacancies for 3-year terms, which will begin mid October, 2021. NAJA will hold an online election Sept. 27 through Oct. 8 to determine incoming board members. 

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. Board members are required to seek and secure funding for the 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. 

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. Once the 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 strategic plan (no more than 500 words) to the election committee. 

NAJA members in good standing must submit candidacy declaration and all supporting documents to NAJA Election Chair Tristan Ahtone, by 5 p.m. CDT on Aug. 20, 2021.

Election Guidelines
The NAJA bylaws state, under Article VII, Section 1, that the membership shall determine the election process.

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. 20, 2021).

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)

Read more about nominations and board elections in Article VII of the NAJA bylaws.

A virtual candidate “meet and greet” will be held at 6 p.m. CDT on Sept. 24 via Zoom. Register here.

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