The League of Women Voters has two separate and distinct roles.
- Voters Service/Citizen Education: we present unbiased nonpartisan information about elections, the voting process, and issues.
- Action/Advocacy: we are also nonpartisan, but, after study, we use our positions to advocate for or against particular policies in the public interest.
To conduct our voters service and citizen education activities, we use funds from the League of Women Voters Education Fund, which is a 501(c)(3) corporation, a nonprofit educational organization. The League of Women Voters, a membership organization, conducts action and advocacy and is a nonprofit 501(c)(4) corporation.
Glossary of League Lingo
There are certain terms that are unique to the League of Women Voters- “League Lingo.” Some are listed here to help new members.
ACTION: Promoting the League’s positions on local, state and national public policy issues to government officials, the media and the public.
ACTION ALERT: Request from the LWVUS or state League to take action in support of a League position.
ANNUAL MEETING: Local year-end business meeting to elect officers and directors, vote on bylaw changes and adopt a budget and program of work for the next year.
ASSOCIATE MEMBER: A non-voting member of the League, such as a person under 18 years of age or a non-citizen.
CONSENSUS: Collective opinion of a substantial number of League members, representative of the membership as a whole, after objective study of an issue. CONCURRENCE: Agreement by League members with a position on an issue reached by a small group of members or by another League.
CONVENTION: A state or national League meeting held every other year at which delegates elect officers and directors for the biennium, adopt program, make bylaw changes and adopt a budget, usually for one year. Local Leagues send delegates to state convention, local and state Leagues send delegates to national convention.
COUNCIL: An assembly of delegates held in alternate years to adopt a budget and assess program developments. Local Leagues send delegates to state council, state Leagues send delegates to national council.
EDUCATION FUND: The tax-deductible arm of national, state and large local Leagues, handling funds to be used only for educational purposes, not for action on issues.
LIFE MEMBER: A person who has been a member for 50 years or more. Life members are excused from dues payment and their Leagues pay no per member payment (PMP) for them.
ILO: Acronym for an Inter-League Organization, formed by local Leagues within a county, metropolitan area or region to act on issues that are beyond the local League area in scope.
MAL: Acronym for Member-At-Large, a member who resides outside the area of, and is not enrolled in, a local League.
MAL UNIT: A state-recognized group of Members-At-Large, in an area where there is no local League.
PMP: Acronym for Per Member Payment, the amount of money paid to the LWVUS and the state League Updated December 2009 24 on behalf of each member.
POSITION: A statement of the League’s point of view on an issue, arrived at through member study and agreement (consensus or concurrence), approved by the appropriate board and used as a basis for League action.
PRINCIPLES: Governmental standards and policies supported by the League as a whole. They constitute the authorization for adoption of program at all levels.
PROGRAM: Selected governmental issues chosen by members at the local, state and national levels for study and action.
PROGRAMS: Plans for speakers, discussion or other activities for League meetings.
UNIT: Groupings of members within large local Leagues to provide more opportunity for discussion. Units may be time-oriented (day, evening, lunch hour), geographically oriented, or both.
VOTERS GUIDE: Nonpartisan publication giving candidates’ qualifications and positions on selected issues.
VOTERS SERVICE: Year-round activity to help citizens be politically effective and to encourage their participation in the political process. Registering voters and presenting factual, nonpartisan information on candidates and election issues are basic voters service activities.
VOTING MEMBERS: All League members who are U.S. citizens and at least 18 years old.
WEEKLY LEADERS UPDATE: A LWVUS electronic mailing to all League board members sent out weekly. It includes information from the national League on Advocacy issues, Membership and League Support, Education Fund projects and grants and other important items of interest to League leaders.