Positions & Advocacy
We are truly a grassroots organization ….
The League of Women Voters takes action on an issue or advocates for a cause when there is an existing League position that supports the issue or speaks to the cause.
Positions result from a process of study. Any given study, whether it is National, State, or Local, is thorough in its quest for facts and information.
FORMULATING LEAGUE POSITIONS
LOCAL GOVERNMENT ISSUES
For a solely local issue, a topic is presented by interested League members, and volunteers are identified who will work on the topic. Once approved by the Board of Directors, a Study Committee is authorized to thoroughly and objectively research the topic.
As the study progresses, on-going discussions by the Study Committee, including informational community discussions take place, examining the pros and cons of the issue. It is essential that members have an opportunity to become informed before being asked to make decisions on the topic under consideration. The completed study is presented to the general membership along with “consensus” questions for the membership to civilly debate and discuss.
Consensus is defined as the collective opinion of a substantial number of members, representative of the membership as a whole. The statement(s) resulting from the consensus questions becomes a League position when approved by the Board.
State or National Issue
To advocate locally on a State or National position previously adopted by the LWV-VA or the LWVUS, the local League does not need to perform a full-blown study. Instead, it can establish a committee to examine how the position may be relevant to the local community. The committee explores, discusses, and recommends the specific steps that could be taken locally to help carry out the state/national position.
The committee also prepares a brief summary of the issue and recommends effective action steps. Members discuss and reach a consensus or agreement on the particular action steps that the League proposes to recommend. The Board of Directors formulates the position statement based on the League members’ consensus.
It is the consensus statement–the statement resulting from the discussion and consensus/agreement–that forms the position. Only then can the action or advocacy be taken on the particular issue addressed by the position.