2022-03-12 06:34:29 By : Mr. Jin Yong

YORKTOWN, Va. (WAVY) — Last holiday season, a Yorktown nonprofit came under fire after a committee selected a boat bearing political messages such as “Let’s Go Brandon” and “FJB” as the winner of the Yorktown Lighted Boat Parade.

Capt. Bill Berger’s winning trophy for “Best in Show” was taken away in December after a complication arose: Nonprofits such as the parade’s sponsor, the Yorktown Foundation, must abstain from participating in political speech.

“Let’s Go Brandon” and “FJB,” both of which appeared on Berger’s boat in lights, are phrases used to criticize President Joe Biden.

Nonprofit officials acknowledged the Lighted Boat Committee dropped the ball by not disqualifying the political boat. Walt Akers with the Yorktown Foundation said they had not properly advised lower groups on what the rules were.

On Tuesday, Akers sent 10 On Your Side an updated policy document for “appropriate messaging at sponsored events” by the Yorktown Foundation.

The first item on the list is “political speech,” followed by “divisive rhetoric.”

The document reads: “As a 501(c)3 organization, the Yorktown Foundation and its sub-ordinate groups are governed by IRS policies that limit our activities and speech. Further, because the actions of any subcommittee will reflect on the Yorktown Foundation as a whole, it is essential that our messaging remain as consistent as possible. To that end, this policy statement provides a set of guidelines for our subordinate groups that detail what language can and cannot be associated with the Foundation.”

Political parties and their members are allowed to participate, but it must be in an “apolitical manner.”

The document also says hate speech, hate symbols and other profane or inappropriate displays are banned from participating. Hate groups also cannot participate.

Click here to read the full document for the latest policy on Yorktown Foundation-sponsored events.

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