2022-2023 Local Action Priorities
The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.
We will make Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) inherent in all our internal operations and consider DEI across all programs, with an eye to increasing membership diversity.
We will promote civil engagement in all of our work so that we can build relationships and learn from each other. We will support this work under the leadership of the “Coordinator of Civil Discourse” to be appointed by the board. This team will explore ways to reduce polarization in our community and to promote healthy, respectful conversation on issues that matter to us all.
We will focus on education and advocacy in support of LWV positions and principles in the following areas:
Citizen Education - Voters Services: With the national Campaign for Making Democracy Work® as our focus, we will engage tri-county citizens in our nation’s democratic processes through service and education by registering voters, encouraging informed voter participation in all elections and advocating for a free, fair and accessible electoral system for all eligible voters. Priorities include:
Train member and community volunteers in the voter registration process including use of VOTE 411 and deploy trained volunteers into the community and in partnership with community events
Advocate for electoral methods that increase voter representation and participation, particularly in communities with low registration and turnout (for example, “no excuse” absentee voting; increase in days, locations, and hours for absentee voting)
Educate, register to vote and engage underrepresented groups, (for example, youth, minority, rural and low-income communities, former offenders, and pre-trial detainees.)
Work to increase numbers of poll workers
Increase candidate and voter participation in VOTE411 voter guide, (for example, outreach in health centers, community festivals.)
Work to expand our Citizen Education presentation team and educational topics (for example, electoral system options such as single-member districts, ranked choice voting; how government works in SC)
Provide virtual or face-to-face candidate forums in urban, suburban and rural communities to ensure that citizens have a full understanding of candidates’ platforms, experience and areas of expertise.
Provide candidate training for those interested in running for public office and encourage underrepresented groups to participate
Criminal Justice: We will focus on a range of policing issues, including profiling, sentencing, mental health, and the school-to-prison pipeline. We will pursue re-entry programming and voting rights for former offenders and pre-trial detainees. We will actively seek to work with other organizations to educate the public to effect positive change.
Education: We will emphasize the importance of local school boards and advocate for a high quality, public education system that is adequately funded, equitable, transparent, and accountable. We will support full school staffing with qualified teachers, nurses and support staff as well as student access to both physical and mental health professionals. We will support effective school partnerships with parents and the community, for example, School Improvement Councils and parent-teacher associations. We will support the LWVSC on Education Finance Reform legislation.
Good Government and Ethics: We will educate our communities on Democracy and the supporting election systems and institutions. We will continue to highlight and monitor the impact of redistricting by advocating for a fair process as county and city maps are drawn in 2022 . We will focus on voting processes and advocate for national voting rights legislation. We will advocate for state-wide ethics reform and methods to counter misinformation. We will work with LWVSC to support and advocate for legislation related to those topics.
Healthcare: To improve the health outcomes of South Carolinians, we will advocate for the accessible, affordable, and equitable distribution of comprehensive health care, which includes medical, dental, behavioral, and public health services. We will collaborate with community partners and other League workgroups to inform residents of South Carolina about proposed and existing legislation that is consistent with positions identified by the League of Women Voters at the state and national levels. Specifically, our efforts will focus on:
Accessible, affordable, and equitable health care
Immigration: We will educate members and the community on local topics and policies. A work group will be created to focus on ways to support and advance League positions on Immigration. We will reach out to immigrant communities to identify specific needs that can be addressed through collaboration with community partners and other League workgroups.
Natural Resources: We will frame our understanding of the environment as an eco- system where all living creatures co-habitate and humans are but one species of many. We will focus on citizen education, public awareness, and local advocacy on issues such as water quality, climate change, and responsible land use management. We will leverage the work of local partners while focusing our efforts on areas where we see opportunities to create or defend a healthy environment for our greater community.
Race and Gender Equity: We will partner with racial, cultural, and gender empowerment groups on issues such as ratification of the ERA and domestic violence. In all our priorities and with a DEI lens, we will highlight and educate on the impact of disparities in equity in areas such as Voters Services, Healthcare, Education and Immigration. Through the arts, media, and events, we will participate in and shine a light on the significant accomplishments of individuals and organizations, past and present, who have contributed to racial and gender equity.