Social Workers and Political Action

2 Jul

By Cindy Webb, MSSA, LISW-S    

Executive Director    

The membership survey is helping us understand your expectations and needs of NASW. So if you haven’t taken the survey, please do so by clicking here. This is our way to gain an understanding of what we are doing that is helpful and not so helpful. It is also a way for us to clear up any miscommunication or misunderstandings.  With that said, from our survey, I have found some members frustrated with our political action believing that we are a partisan organization supporting only liberal democrat candidates and agendas. To some extent we do lean more towards the democrat agenda because there are several similarities with NASW policies, developed by the NASW Delegate Assembly and the democratic platform. The Delegate Assembly is the representative, decision-making body – comprised of 277 elected delegates representing our diverse membership, people like you who come together every three years since 1981 to review and vote on our policies as a profession. We, at the Chapter, utilize these policy statements, from the current Social Work Speaks (Eighth edition) to guide our advocacy efforts. Before taking a position on state legislation, the Ohio Chapter compares the proposed policies with those in Social Work Speaks to determine level of consistency with our position. In turn, we seek to support candidates that support the policies that we deem critical.   

So are we partisan? Our NASW, OH PACE is diligent to be non-partisan. The last race PACE provided support was in 2008 at which time two Republican candidates were chosen out of a total of 10.   

  Upon meeting with Rep. Matt Dolan a Republican in the 98th District, in September of 2008 we found his concerns and interests paralleled ours. The committee elected to support Rep. Dolan’s campaign with a $2,000 donation — one of only two candidates that received this level of donation (our donations generally range between $200 and $250).   

Matt Dolan

The PACE committee unanimously voted to support Republican Kevin Bacon – Representative in 21st House District who has worked tirelessly supporting issues that align with many of NASW Policy Statements. Learn more about Rep Bacon at the Ohio House Website

Representative Kevin Bacon

At this time, the PACE committee is going through the arduous process of selecting candidates to support. The list of candidates has been reduced to 100 for review with 37 of those being Republicans.   

So, what can you do? If you are interested in this process, please join the PACE committee. You can find more information about our PACE at the Ohio NASW website and email us at if you are interested in being appointed to the NASW, OH PACE committee. All appointments go through our chapter president, Rebecca Sanford. OR If you have questions, concerns or just want to chat about the process please contact Bob Littmann ( the PACE committee chair who is very interested in hearing from members.

We are a membership organization. You have a voice. Please contact us in order for us to understand your perspective on the various issues we each face through our unique lens of the world.


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