SOCIAL POLICIES

Positions on Social policies including Education, Child Advocacy, Housing, Public Libraries, Needs of the Seriously Mentally Ill and Sexual Assault on Campus
Position In Brief: 
  • Education
  • Child Advocacy
  • Housing
  • Public Libraries
  • Needs of the Seriously Mentally
  • Sexual Assault on Campus

Education 

Goals: Public school systems should ensure quality education for all (before 1971) and seek to eliminate majority/minority group isolation. The system should provide an adequate financial program; quality counseling, and guidance programs; individualized, innovative curricula; and compensatory education programs. (1979) 

Curriculum: Individualized and innovative curricula should be designed to meet individual student’s needs. Compensatory education programs should be developed to enrich and increase educational opportunity. It should include content focused on technology and the arts. (before 1971) 

Desegregation: School boards should give high priority to the impact on desegregation efforts when deciding on sites for new school facilities or for the school closures. It should adopt attendance policies that act to reduce minority/majority group isolation. (1979) 

Financial/Budgetary: The financial program should include adequate funds for school operation and construction and provide employee salaries competitive with those of other similar sized districts within the state. (before 1971) Each year’s budget should be based on priorities established by the Board of Education with meaningful input from citizens, teachers, students, and administrators. The budget document should be more than an accounting tool; it should be well indexed with a glossary of technical terms. The budget should include information such as program costs directly related to the number of students served, cost trends over several successive years, and costs by program and object for the total budget. (1976) A district-wide budget advisory committee should be retained to advise the Board of Education. The committee should be broadly representative of school and community interests. Their membership should include teachers, students, parents and other community representatives. (1986) The information contained in the budget should be clearly defined and made understandable for the public. (1990) The district budget should reflect an appropriate balance between funding for academic achievement and student services. (2003) 

Counseling: should include both physical and mental health. LWVSD supports the concept of school-based health clinics, without limitations as to services offered. LWVSD Positions 2017 11 

 

Guidance and counseling programs should meet the needs of all students. (1990) Schools should provide a comprehensive quality counseling program for all students in grades K-12, which is developmental and systematic in nature, sequential, clearly defined and accountable, and proactive and preventive in its focus. The program should be in line with national, state, and county professional standards. A collaborative district and community counseling and guidance advisory committee should be established. (2003) 

Health Education & Fitness: School districts should ensure required physical education, nutrition, and healthy living classes and implement policies that positively impact nutrition and health. Vending machines in schools should contain only nutritious food and drinks. (2003) 

Referral Resources: Districts should develop a central database of referral resources for student services, available to staff, students, and the community. (2003) 

Early Childhood Education (2011) 

Elementary and unified school districts should have: 

  • pre-K teachers and administrators should collaborate with district and site staff to achieve a seamless continuum of curriculum and instruction; 
  • the collaboration should include a decision-making process regarding staff development activities, the distribution of funds allocated to school sites, and other relevant issues and programs; 
  • school readiness programs should provide universal access to preschools, be developmentally appropriate, voluntary and staffed with highly qualified personnel; 
  • outreach to and support for parents of young children should be institute to enable them to contribute to their child’s readiness to learn 

Child Advocacy 

LWV of San Diego County Position on Child Advocacy (1980) 

I. Child Abuse and Neglect 

Children of San Diego County have the right to grow up free of abuse and neglect, and so the League of Women Voters of San Diego County supports: 

1. emergency facilities including interim residences and a 24-hour hotline with information and referral capabilities; 

2. systematic training of those professionals involved with children to identify, respond to and treat victims; 

3. development of foster homes plus training and resources of providers of care; 

4. increased availability of treatment, such as counseling, to families under stress as well as to victims of abuse and neglect; 

5. coordination of all agency services dealing with abuse and neglect; 

6. increased emphasis on prevention of abuse and neglect through awareness programs and parenting education 

II. Child Day Care 

The League of Women Voters of San Diego County supports: 

1. provision of diverse, alternative forms of daycare for children, responsive to the widely different social and economic needs of families; 

2. creation of public, private and family day care programs that emphasize developmental rather than custodial activities, varying curricula to meet the needs of children of all ages, offering flexible hours and a sliding fee scale; 

3. parent education and involvement as essential to quality day care; 

4. government efforts to: 

a. allocate funds to meet day care needs; 

b. streamline zoning and licensing laws; 

c. increase supervision and training for day care providers; and 

d. expand infant care services. 

5. financial incentives to businesses to provide day care and tax exemptions to families for day care costs; 

6. allotment of day care sites in housing and industrial developments; the use of school sites as one alternative for the placement of day care programs. 

III. Juvenile Delinquency Prevention 

The League of Women Voters of San Diego County supports: 

1. a juvenile delinquency prevention effort that gives priority to providing opportunities for all youth to participate constructively in society and that will reduce the predisposition toward delinquency; 

2. educational programs which are relevant to child and youth needs and that prepare students for life experiences such as initial employment, family living and peer relationships; 

3. collaboration among schools and community resources to provide after-school activities, utilizing cross-age and peer involvement and making use of the skills and knowledge of the behavioral and life sciences; 

4. information sharing and joint efforts among public and private agencies to improve services to the young at-risk, and to develop primary prevention programs; 

5. cooperative community efforts to provide practical job and skills training leading to useful work experience; 

6. coordination and improvement of delinquency prevention services through public policy decisions in planning, evaluation and funding; 

7. adequate funding that assures continuity, and provides accountability for basic services, and encourages innovative programs that show promise of positive results. 

The positions on Child Abuse and Neglect and Child Day Care are integral parts of a Juvenile Delinquency Prevention program. Together, these three parts constitute the Child Advocacy position. 

Housing 

The League of Women Voters of San Diego supports: 

1. the development of economically and racially balanced communities in all parts of a city as well as in newly developing areas; 

2. inclusionary zoning as a tool to implement a balanced community policy; 

3. the use of city-owned land to facilitate the development of low and moderate income housing which includes the following guidelines: 

a. long-term leases to developers with discounts to encourage and enable maximum development of low and moderate-income units 

b. a minimum of 30% of the units in every development to be made available for low and moderate income housing at rentals set at HUD Section 8 existing fair market rates 

4. below-market financing should be obtained wherever feasible; 

5. a more active role by cities in the application for and utilization of available state and federal subsidy programs and innovative financing to increase the supply of low and moderate income housing; 

6. restrictive codes or ordinances that would slow down the conversion of apartments to condominiums; 

7. public housing as a high priority to assist low income family, elderly, and handicapped households; 

8. modifications in the municipal codes and zoning regulations that would facilitate the development of (1983, 1993) manufactured or modular housing in order to increase the supply of low and moderate income housing; 

9. development of manufactured or modular housing in city-owned land to accommodate low and moderate income households. (1978) 

Public Libraries 

League of Women Voters of San Diego County (1984) 

Support of public libraries as a basic service of government with adequate funding by local, state, and federal governments. 

Support of free access by all persons to public library service as a means for lifelong education and learning and as a major source of knowledge and information necessary for informed, active participation in a democratic society. 

Objectives: 

1. Increased recognition of the essential service of free public libraries in a democratic society and government’s basic obligation to provide the service with adequate funding; 

2. Use of all available funding for public libraries: 

a. recognition by local governments that they have the prime responsibility to finance public libraries; 

b. increased state and federal aid for public libraries, especially but not exclusively for capital improvements, special library projects, and inter-library cooperation; 

 

c. legislation for special tax for public libraries, if and when deemed feasible; 

d. Continued and increased funding from private sources for special projects, with library control of policy retained; 

e. opposition to charging fees for basic library services; 

3. Measures designed to increase the efficiency and economy of public library operations: 

a. consolidation of library functions or systems when service would be improved at the same cost or maintained at a lower cost; 

b. use of volunteers to supplement paid staff only if a librarian is available for their training and supervision; 

c. increased automation in all aspects of library operations to release staff for direct service to the public; 

 

4. Recognition of the need for branch libraries, with limited functions; 

5. Improved level and quality of public library service achieved through consolidation of functions and/or systems when consolidation is politically feasible and when it achieves cost savings that will not adversely affect, and wherever possible will improve the quality of service. 

LWVSD Position on Financing for the San Diego City Library (1981) 

  • The LWVSD strongly supports the free use of basic library services. Public libraries are an obligation of local government. City funds must be augmented with state and federal funds. Additional methods to raise library funds also must be explored. 
  • If there is a Board of Library Commissioners, it should have significant, clearly defined responsibilities. Highest priority in budget appropriations should be given first to the acquisition of materials and secondly to staff salaries that are competitive with those of comparable jurisdictions and with city departments. 
  • LWVSD supports consolidation of city and county library systems, either complete or by major function. 

Needs of the Seriously Mentally Ill 

LWVSD supports city government responsibility for: 

  • streamlining access to and coordination of services such as income; housing, medical, social and employment services and giving recognition to the special needs of seriously mentally ill people; 
  • providing shelters which meet the special needs of seriously mentally ill people who are homeless; 
  • appropriate education, training, special support and referral services to enable police to respond effectively to disturbances involving seriously mentally ill people. This should be a consolidated county-wide effort; 
  • action-oriented blue ribbon task force to the problems of seriously mentally ill people including that of seriously mentally ill people who are homeless; 
  • involvement in buying or leasing the different types of housing needed by seriously mentally ill people; making use of a housing trust fund for such housing; 
  • stimulating the private sector to provide housing opportunities for seriously mentally ill people by removing zoning barriers and speeding up permit acquisitions; 
  • better coordination of mental health services by the city and county governments and the private sector. (1994) 

Role of San Diego County Government in Responding to the Impact of the Seriously Mentally Ill 

Regarding the County behavioral health system, the League of Women Voters of San Diego County supports the following objectives to benefit those affected by serious mental illness: 

1. Treatment and crisis management, and long term services and support. Services should be reasonably accessible to residents in all regions of the County, and should be taken to individuals who are not candidates for clinic-run care. Integrated services and support should include timely and affordable access to all necessary health care providers and medications that fully address physical health, mental health, and substance use disorders. 

2. Ensure that integrated mental health and substance use disorder services are part of a behavioral health system throughout the County, with full services available regardless of point of entry into the system (no wrong door). 

3. Ensure outreach services in all regions of the County for all residents who might need or benefit from the behavioral health system, using partnerships with the faith community, businesses, and other gateways into the community as well as traditional mental health community members. 

4. Exercise careful management, and leverage when possible, funds received from all sources in order to maintain continuity of services and supports during all economic conditions. Provide information and accountability for County behavioral health programs and spending in ways that the public can easily access. 

5. Provide an array of supports: a full range of housing that includes Housing First and other supported housing options, including shelter beds and permanent affordable housing; supported employment; supported education; opportunities for spiritual development; exercise and diet; training and support for family members; and inclusion of families in service and support development. 

6. Provide specialized law enforcement/clinical teams in all areas of the County, available when needed to respond to possible behavioral health crises on a 24/7 basis. 

7. Collect and use meaningful input from a broad range of community stakeholders, including people affected by serious mental illness, via innovative outreach to target audiences, with participation from collaborative groups that support the system of care. 

Sexual Assault on Campus 

LWVSD Position on Campus Justice & Sexual Assault (2015) 

San Diego Colleges and Universities should incorporate the following policies with respect to sexual assault on campus: 

a. Mandatory, ongoing sexual assault education for all current students. 

b. Multiple reporting options, including but not limited to, anonymous and confidential methods. 

c. An affirmative consent standard of “yes means yes.” 

d. Compliance with Title IX laws. 

e. The college or university code of conduct should be read and signed as read and understood by all students. 

The goals of College and University proceedings in San Diego regarding sexual assault on campus should ensure the rights of parties involved (complainant and accused) are protected, ensure timely resolution of school investigations, and ensure that student complaints are taken seriously. Further, the appropriate disciplinary actions for San Diego Colleges and Universities that fail to respond and act appropriately in cases of sexual assault are: 

a. Be cited and placed on probation. 

b. Title IX funds withheld. 

c. Receive a letter of reprimand from the Office of Civil Rights. 

d. Responsible administrator(s) disciplined and potentially removed. 

The League of Women Voters San Diego supports education on the topic of sexual assault before students reach college age. Also the San Diego Colleges and Universities should keep accurate records detailing the number and frequency of sexual assaults so they are easily accessible to the general public. Additionally, San Diego College and University officials should be required to report cases of sexual assault and rape to the local police department. 

Issues: 
League to which this content belongs: 
San Diego