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League Positions

We take action on public policy by preparing testimony, lobbying legislators, and initiating advocacy campaigns on issues of interest to our members. Our guiding document for taking action is Impact on Issues, which contains the League's public policy positions.

This page will be especially helpful for League members and supporters to understand how the League takes positions and action on issues.

How the League Takes Positions

League positions reflect the consensus of the membership after studying an issue, debating it, and voting to adopt a specific position. These positions, enacted and evolved by members over the lifetime of the League, are the guideposts for all of our actions on issues. If members have not studied and come to consensus on an issue, we have no position and no stance on that issue. Issues can be studied and positions adopted at the National, State and local League levels.

League Positions

Impact on Issues is our guiding document on the League's public policy positions. Leagues use it to take positions to act in their own state or community. The positions in this document are updated every two years at the LWVUS Convention where delegates from Leagues across the country meet and vote.

Taking Action on Issues

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Each League works on issues at its own level of government. The National League focuses on the federal government, the State Leagues focuses on state government, and the local Leagues focus on local government. To work on issues at a different level of government, the local or state League must get support to do so. For example, a local League must get support from the State League to take action on state legislation.  League members are welcome and encouraged to act on their own behalf and contact their legislators without any mention of or attribution to the League.

Speaking with One Voice

Speaking with one voice is one of the most important tenets of the League. The national League is responsible for determining strategies and action policies that ensure that the League’s message on national issues is consistent throughout the country. Similarly, state Leagues are responsible for a consistent state message, and local Leagues must cooperate with one another to ensure that regional issues are addressed in a manner consistent with neighboring Leagues.

Speaking for the League

Usually the president of the National, State, or local League is the only person who speaks for the League in an official capacity, unless another person has been designated as the official spokesperson on a specific issue. The key is that this designation is explicitly made by the appropriate Board. This helps to ensure that the League speaks with one voice, which is essential for the League's effectiveness as an advocacy and lobbying organization.

The League's Two Hats

The League has two distinct hats: advocacy and voter engagement. League members can wear either hat but not both at the same time. Advocacy is work on an issue, like studying, educating, or taking a position. Voter engagement is serving voters through activities like voter education and election observation. Because these two hats are separate, we never put our positions in our voter guide or other voter education materials.

Advocacy Resources

League Lingo

A helpful resource for understanding terms that are unique to the League.

Advocacy vs Lobbying

A guide to the differences between advocacy and lobbying.

League Study Process

This handy guide from the Maine League shares how the League's study process works. This process is how the League forms positions on issues.

League Fund Clearinghouse

Collection of studies conducted by League members across the country.

Impact on Issues

The League's guiding document on public policy positions.

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