We are truly a grassroots organization...
The League of Women Voters takes action on an issue or advocates for a cause when there is an existing League position that supports the issue or speaks to the cause.
Positions result from a process of study. Any given study, whether it be National, Regional, 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 consensus questions that are then addressed by the membership.
Additional discussion, pro and con, takes place as members (not part of the study committee) learn the scope of the study. After 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 or advocacy can then be taken on the particular issue addressed by the position. Without a position, action/advocacy cannot be taken.
Once the position is approved by the respective League's board, it can be used for advocacy and action immediately. See the Action Alerts page to see the issues on which we are currently taking action.
DEFINING "ADVOCACY" VS. "LOBBYING"
It is common for Leagues to support their advocacy activities with only non-charitable contributions. However, this is unnecessary. Leagues may, and are encouraged, to use charitable contributions to support their non-lobbying advocacy activities. Advocacy encompasses pleading for or against causes, as well as supporting or recommending positions....Therefore, it is important to understand the difference between the broad concept of advocacy and lobbying, which is a specific advocacy technique. While lobbying can be part of an advocacy strategy, advocacy does not necessarily include lobbying.
Lobbying is defined as an attempt to influence specific legislation, including both legislation that has already been introduced in a legislative body and specific legislative proposals that the League may oppose or support. There are two types of lobbying: direct lobbying and grassroots lobbying. . . .
For complete details, go to Defining Advocacy vs. Lobbying on the LWVUS website.
The LWVNCA has positions on airports, regional governance, transportation, water, and other issues. Click on the Positions page to view or download the PDF of LWVNCA Positions on which we take action.
Read how the LWVNCA and member Leagues mounted an advocacy campaign to obtain dedicated funding for Metro (regional transportation) from D.C., Maryland and Virginia legislatures. Click here