Positions on Public Policy Issues
The decision to take on certain public policy issues is done purposely and with the benefit of guidelines based on experience. The LWV arrives at its positions after careful consideration of all sides of an issue. No action is taken until a position on an issue has been agreed upon.
For local positions, this means the League of Women Voters of the Montclair Area forms a committee to study the issue and bring the information to the membership for consensus on a position.
On the state level, during program planning for each Local League in the state, decisions are made about keeping current positions, updating current positions or studying new issues for a position. If enough Local Leagues in the state support a new position or an updated position, a committee is formed to study the issue and it is presented to all the Local Leagues in the state for approval at the State Convention. The League of Women Voters of New Jersey focuses mostly on issues related to the State of NJ. For information about LWVNJ Positions :
On the national level, Local Leagues around the country can propose the same in their local program planning. If enough Local Leagues agree, it becomes a recommended issue at the national convention, where it can pass or be voted down, if it passes, a study committee is formed, and eventually the material from the committee is sent to all Leagues for consensus.
Two alternative processes can be used on the national level:
1. A convention delegate can suggest a new study, even if it is not recommended. If enough votes are cast at convention in favor of the study, it can become an issue for study by a committee with the same process as above or;
2. Leagues can propose a concurrence (not consensus) with a position already held by a state LWV, who has
studied the issue and arrived at a position.
For information about LWV US Positions : https://www.lwv.org/impact-issues
The Electoral College
One example of a long-time position acted on by the League of Women Voters of the US is the issue of the Electoral College. And the League has taken an opposing position.
The LWVUS history on the position is this: Position on Selection of the President as announced by National Board, January 1970, revised March 1982, updated June 2004 and revised by the 2010 Convention.
The position taken means that the League of Women Voters of the US believes that the direct-popular-vote method for electing the President and Vice-President is essential to representative government. With that, the League of Women Voters believes, therefore, that the Electoral College should be abolished. We support the use of the National Popular Vote Compact as one acceptable way to achieve the goal of the direct popular vote for election of the president until the abolition of the Electoral College is accomplished. The League also supports uniform voting qualifications and procedures for presidential elections. The League supports changes in the presidential election system – from the candidate selection process to the general election. We support efforts to provide voters with sufficient information about candidates and their positions, public policy issues and the selection process itself. The League supports action to ensure that the media, political parties, candidates, and all levels of government achieve these goals and provide that information.
LWV Montclair Area Advocacy in Action
A single Local League member, Doris Schapira, propelled an issue to the national level by spearheading a study on human trafficking. The LWV Montclair Area member led a grassroots effort to analyze the topic via the implementation of a two-year study on this human rights issue. It was first presented to, then approved by the Montclair Area League, then successfully accepted by LWVNJ, and finally by the LWVUS.
Members of LWV Montclair Area at the NJ Convention that approved a Human Trafficking Study
(from left to right, standing - Susan Marano, Mary E. Murphy,
seated - Doris Schapira, Liz Santeramo, Jennette Williams)