We are truly a grassroots organization...
The League of Women Voters will take action on an issue or advocate for a cause. We do this at the local, state, and national levels. However, we only take action or advocate once we have developed a League Position that supports the issue or speaks to the cause.
How we develop a League Position
To develop a League Position we go through a well-defined process that involves:
- Agreement of the League membership that an issue deserves further study
- Study of the issue
- Presentation of the study results to the members
- Membership discussion and consensus
- Creation of a Consensus Statement and Position
Agreement on a study
In a meeting of the members (or their representatives) at the National, State, or Local level, the issue is presented. If members agree that there is no current League Policy addressing the issue (or the existing policy needs updating) thry vote to create a Study Committee, staffed by volunteers.
Study of the issue
Any given study, whether it be National, State, or Local, is thorough in its pursuit of facts and details. As the study progresses, a continuing discussion of pros and cons of each situation occurs.
Prior to the results of the study being presented to the general membership, study committee members fashion a set of Consensus Questions that will be addressed by the membership.
Presentation of the study results to the members
In a meeting of the members, the Study Committee presents its results. Discussion, pro and con, takes place as members (not part of the Study Committee) learn the breadth and depthof the study. The Consensus Questions from the committee are reviewed and discussed.
Membership discussion and consensus
At the meeting, the League members may choose to send the study committee back to do more research, or they may come to consensus on the issue and appropriate actions to take.
Creation of a Consensus Statement and Position
The League Board at the appropriate level forms a consensus statement based on the members' consensus. This consensus statement become the League Position at that level. Firm action or advocacy can then be taken on the particular issue addressed by the position.