Advocacy and Action
League of Women Voters take action on issues. Advocacy is based on stated positions on issues; those positions, at the national, state and local levels, are developed through a thorough study and consensus among members. Actions from League advocacy include, but are not limited to the following:
providing information to League members and to the public
building public opinion
supporting or opposing legislation
Some of the ways to do this might include:
lobbying legislators or public bodies
speaking in support or opposition on an issue at Town Meeting
testifying at public hearings
providing public forums
communicating to members, public officials and the media
Local Leagues who want to take action can use local, state and national positions. For example, our local League does not have an explicit position on environmental issues, but there are excellent positions at the state and national level which would allow members to advocate on these priorities.
For our Acton-Area League, our positions can be found here. These positions fall into the categories of:
Land Use and Natural Resources
If you’d like to read about some of the ways in which League members in our area used these positions throughout our history, you can see examples here.
The positions of LWV Massachusetts are found in Where We Stand. LWVMA has positions for categories such as
Government, including voting and elections
Natural Resources and
Social Policy, including meeting basic human needs and education
Every other year at the state Convention, the membership chooses priority areas for action. The Action Priorities adopted by the League at its conventions prioritize our advocacy activity but do not limit it only to those areas.
Impact on Issues includes the official LWVUS statements of position for each program area, briefly traces significant past actions and achievements, and indicates links among positions. The LWVUS public policy positions reflect the program adopted by the most recent convention of the League of Women Voters of the United States. Impact on Issues is updated following each biennial convention.
How Does the League Develop Positions?
League positions are the result of a thorough process of study, discussion, consensus and adoption.
Study: At any level of League, a study begins with an agreement (at Annual Meeting, or Convention) to study the issue. A committee thoroughly reviews facts and details, and assembles documents and questions that will help members to weigh in on the pros and cons of an issue.
Discussion: These questions are presented to members for their discussion and to arrive at a consensus among members.
Consensus: It is the consensus statement – the statement resulting from the consensus questions – that becomes a position.
Adoption: A position is adopted at Convention or at Annual Meeting following completion of the Study
Advocacy or Action: Once the position is formally adopted by members, members can take action or advocacy on the particular issue addressed by the position. Without a position, action/advocacy cannot be taken.