Statement Regarding Candidates for UUA President
The use of the democratic process—embodied in our 5th Principle—is fundamental to our faith. The importance of the democratic process in electing our UUA president is reflected in the UUA bylaws that require the Presidential Search Committee (PSC) to nominate at least two candidates for president so there can be a contested election. A contested election allows for an airing and discussion of different visions and priorities for the future of Unitarian Universalism.
Just over one month ago, the PSC fulfilled its mission and nominated two candidates. We are grateful for their service in this new approach to electing our president.
However, one of those candidates has now withdrawn. Our bylaws do not permit the PSC to nominate an additional candidate at this time. I believe it is essential that we fulfill the intent of the bylaws by democratically electing our next president through an election with at least two candidates.
The only process recognized in our bylaws for a candidate not nominated by the PSC to run for president is by petition. To run by petition, our bylaws require that a candidate receive the support of at least twenty five member congregations as reflected by a vote of either the boards of those congregations or of a duly-called meeting of the members of those congregations. Of course, support for this individual’s petition to run does in no way preclude a congregation from supporting the petition of another individual who might decide to run by petition before the February 1, 2017 deadline for doing so.
The PSC has forwarded to the Secretary of the Board the name of a candidate whom it vetted through the nominating process. That individual has agreed to run by petition and the name of the candidate will be released soon.
I have asked the Elections Campaign Practices Committee to facilitate the petition process for this candidate and for any other candidate-by-petition that might emerge.
Accordingly, I call upon member congregations to support the democratic process by supporting the petition of this candidate to ensure that we have a contested election for president.
I look forward to the robust discussion of the future of our Unitarian Universalist movement that the campaign for president will foster.
Jim Key, Moderator
February 24, 2016