Issues

The following specific issues were selected for emphasis within California at LWVC Convention for the period July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2013:

After issues for emphasis are adopted by our members, and legislative priorities are adopted by our board, we take action.

Issues on which the LWVC has recently taken action:

Why We Chose These Issues for Emphasis

In the winter of even numbered years, members across California begin the program planning process by reviewing all existing positions and current issues with their local League members. After discussion, each local League chooses positions to be retained, reviewed, updated, and/or deleted as well as those that the LWVC should emphsize for the following two years. In spring, the LWVC board of directors evaluates the responses from local Leagues along with current state issues and available financial and human resources. The board develops a proposed League program. The proposed program could include issues for emphasis using existing positions or possible development of new or updated positions through the study process. In May, delegates to the LWVC Convention vote not only on the issues for emphasis, but also on: retention, update and deletion of positions; proposed studies; and the budget for these activities.

Our issues are selected through this grassroots process, with some modifications by the board over time (in order to be responsive to the changing needs of our state).

What is a Position?

The League of Women Voters of California takes action on an issue only when we have a position addressing that particular issue. If the members have not studied and come to consensus on an issue, the League has no position and therefore does not have a stand on that issue.

Our positions are divided into three areas:

We have also adopted action policies after extensive review of existing state and national positions in recognition of the interdependence among public policy issues. The review identifies common themes and examines potential competition among the goals of the positions to formulate an integrated approach.

We also have stands on national issues and International Relations. We have California-specific resources on the following topics:

 

How We Form Positions

Studies (whether national, state, or local) are a defined process lasting one to three years, during which we undertake thorough pursuit of facts and details, both positive and negative. Study committee members fashion consensus questions that are then asked of the membership as part of a study kit. Consensus is the overall decision-making process by which substantial agreement among members is reached on an issue. If the members reach consensus, the board forms positions based on that consensus. It is the consensus statement - the statement resulting from the consensus questions - that becomes a "position." Firm action can then be taken on the particular issue addressed by the position. Without a position, action can not be taken on that issue.

We have extensive resources about studies, consensus, positions, and taking action for members on our members only website. We also offer this short (2 page) article about how we take action.