The League of Women Voters of the San Antonio Area is a nonpartisan organization. We never support or oppose political parties or candidates. Our mission is to educate, inform and advocate.
We are a grassroots organization that gets things done! We take positions on issues only after careful study. We are composed of engaged citizens who understand the value of participating in our democracy. We care about the issues that affect our community, our region, our state and our nation. As a grassroots organization, League program priorities emanate from the members, not from the Board of Directors.
In setting legislative priorities, the Board considers the following:
- Opportunities for the League to make an impact
- Program decisions made at Annual Meeting (local level), Council (state level) or Convention (national level)
- Member interest
- Resources available to manage effectively.
Advocacy and Lobbying
Lobbying usually involves attempting to influence legislation. Advocacy covers a much broader range of activities that might or might not include lobbying. One way to differentiate between the two terms is to understand that lobbying always involves advocacy, but advocacy does not necessarily involve lobbying. Unlike propaganda, advocacy is expected to be non-deceptive and in good faith.
To be an effective advocate:
- One needs to know what is the issue/need or problem to be solved.
- What does it take to solve the need/ problem?
- Who makes the decision(s)?
- Understand the legislative rules and process.
- How, when and why to communicate and meet with decision-makers and policy-makers.
- What is the time frame for the decision to be made?
- Who is an effective partner(s) to join in your message?
The League of Women Voters
- Only acts on an issue when we have a local, state, or national position or are acting under League principles.
- Never lobbies in opposition to a League position.
- May use any local, state, or national position to lobby at the local governmental level only without asking for authorization from state or national
- Action as directed by the board of directors to ensure that the League speaks with one voice and is essential for our effectiveness as an advocacy organization.
The League encourages members to contact their legislators on key League issues because their action greatly enhances the League’s clout.
IMPORTANT to remember: Only a League spokesperson, usually the president, speaks in the name of the League. Leagues and League members should only lobby their own legislators. Individual members can take action on their own behalf.