LWV Public Policy Positions
The League of Women Voters of Virginia (LWV-VA) carries on Public Policy advocacy activities before the Virginia General Assembly, as well as in other civil society fora. Similarly Local Leagues carry on Public Policy advocacy in their local geographic area or regional area. “Positions for Action” Positions for Action, 2019-2021 Biennium (Click to full Document) are LWV-VA State-level or National-level Policy Positions or Resolutions adopted by Delegates at a Biennium Convention, either by a “Consensus” or a “Concurrence” decision-making process as a result of conducting in-depth issue studies. Action Program Dashboard(Click to full document.)
A “Policy Position” is the official statement setting forth the League’s point of view. The League’s advocacy, at all League levels, can only include those issues the League has studied and adopted a Policy Position. To further influence Public Policy, on a local, State, and National level, the League engages in advocacy and educational activity through dissemination of information to Government officials, the public and League members. The League also tracks Issues of Interest for which the League has not conducted a study. Official testimony or “Speaking on behalf of the League” is only done by the League President or a designated League Representative.
Authorization. The governing LWVUS Governing Principles, adopted by the National Convention and supported by the League of Women Voters as a whole, constitute the authorization for the development and adoption of the LWV-VA Action Program. (See Appendix)
Action Program. The LWV-VA Action Program is the education and advocacy platform that consists of actions to implement the LWVUS Governing Principles, as recommended by the LWV-VA Board of Directors, or upon advice of the Council, through adoption of issue policy positions chosen for concerted study by the LWV-VA Biennium Convention delegates, the Positions for Action.
Program Study Issues. The LWV-VA Program Study Issues consists of those Virginia State Government-level issues chosen, for concerted study and action at the LWV-VA Biennium Convention, by a majority of those delegates present and voting.
Resources. The Biennium LWV-VA Positions for Actions” provides League members with the LWV-VA State-level Policy Positions on the adopted issues for study. The LWVUS “Impact on Issues: A Guide to Public Policy Positions” (www.lwv.org) provides members National-level Policy Positions adopted.
Public Policy Advocacy
The LWV-VA Legislative Director is the official League Lobbyist to the Virginia State Legislature. League advocacy topics are set out in the League’s annual “List of Legislative Priorities” based on Public Policy Positions Issue Studies and subsequent adoption either by the LWV-VA or the LWVUS. During the Legislative Sessions, the Director issues alerts, calls-to-action, and information reports on key Legislative Committee activities, to the general LWV-VA membership.
The LWV-VA Board Directors employ virtual tools to provide Public Policy leadership and skill training tutorials, such as Webinars and arranges Expert Speaker Round Table Discussions for the general LWV-VA membership.
The LWV-VA hosts an Annual Fall Workshop, an annual Virginia Legislative League Day, Legislative Round Table Discussions with elected officials when in Session, a Biennial Convention, and a Biennial Council Meeting. LWV -PWFA Delegate attend the events.
Issue Study Opportunities
The LWV-VA provides opportunities for Local League members to participate in State-Level Issue Study Committees. The 2021 Biennium Convention delegates approved four (4) studies to be reported for approval at the 2023 Convention, and if adopted will become official LWV-VA Public Policy:
CHILD CARE (Chair: Maria Posey firstname.lastname@example.org)
Establishes a position study to examine the nature of Virginia’s childcare system. Due to the pandemic, hundreds of facilities have closed, thousands of families (mostly women) have had to choose between caring for their children or continuing to work, ad millions of dollars have been spent to prop up a system that was broken to begin with. We must build a childcare system that works equitably for all Virginians, and, with a strong position, the League of Women Voters can be a strong voice in that process.
EDUCATION FUNDING (Co-Chairs: Elizabeth Obenshain email@example.com, Merry Jennings firstname.lastname@example.org)
Establishes a position study on whether State funding is equitable and ensures high quality education for all K-12 students.
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE (Chair: Linda Cole email@example.com)
Establishes a study that reviews the LWV-VA natural resource position to address how Virginia can best support environmental justice initiatives to halt or prevent future racial and economic environmental inequalities.
MONEY IN POLITICS (Chair: Janet Boyd firstname.lastname@example.org)
Establishes a study to cover the full scope of financing campaigns from a donation through its expenditure, including: public disclosure of the donor, transparency in actual use of funds before and after the election, limits on personal use, and Virginia executive branch structure to conduct effective oversight an enforcement.
The LWV-VA in 2021 introduced a new study approach through “Issue Groups.” Early in the 2019-2021 Biennium, the LWV-VA Board began to recognize the League should consider exploring how it could better achieve Program management and its Public Policy advocacy objectives. In response to identifying the need for Organizational Maintenance, the Board came up with the “Revolutionary” new infrastructure Program management concept,” Issue Groups.”
The concept was introduced to the League membership in a December 2, 2020 Pre-Session Legislative Round Table LWV-VA Notice, “The role of the new “Issue Groups” is to help the League identify [Public Policy Issues] and develop legislative and regulatory reform actions to help us achieve goals. In addition, they can identify educational opportunities for interested members. The initial activity includes fourteen (14) Issue Groups: Affordable Housing; Behavior.al Health; Campaign Finance; Child Care; Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI); Domestic Violence; Education; Election Security; Environment; Gun Violence Prevention (GVP); Justice; Redistricting; Transportation; and Voter Access. The new Issue Groups provides another opportunity for Local League members to participate in the formulation of LWV-VA Public Policy Positions.