League Program Overview
League of Women Voters of San Antonio Area is a grassroots organization that gets things done! 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 emanates from the members, not from the Board of Directors. In League, “program” is the process of study and advocacy of issues and is a core component of our mission. Our program positions consist of all the prior issues selected by League members on which we reached consensus, and our advocacy is based on these positions.
The study of governmental issues is one of the basic functions of the League of Women Voters. Study is undertaken at all three levels: national, state, and local, and leads to both education and advocacy, two of the basic missions of the organization. The League's process for study has acquired a solid reputation for its in-depth and unbiased exploration of an issue submitted to its grassroots membership for informed discussion. During this exploration, members draw on balanced, pro/con materials, develop their own resources, turn to technical experts and public officials for information, and reach out to the community through public meetings, surveys, and media coverage. This is all part of the study and consensus process upon which League position is based.
Once a position is reached, the League uses its grassroots strength to influence public policy. Work is focused on priority issues every year, in order to channel the League's citizen power for the greatest impact.
Many of our positions date back to the early years of the League. To keep them fresh and up-to-date, we engage in a process called Program Planning at the annual meeting. League members review and readopt them at their annual meeting. League members review the program positions to decide if they should be kept, dropped (if achieved or no longer relevant), amended, updated, or restudied. This is also an opportunity to suggest new studies.
Local Leagues may work simultaneously on local, state and national program issues, but action may be taken only in those areas where the League has a position based on member understanding and agreement. The League gets involved in a myriad of issues that are affecting our community and reflect community concerns. Issues may range from local park facilities to election reform, from childcare to nuclear waste disposal, from air pollution to international trade, from mental health to energy policy and much more.
The program process includes the following steps:
- Formal adoption (by members at an annual meeting or by state/national convention delegates) of an issue for study.
- Members study and come to an agreement on broad concepts.
- Formulation of a position by the appropriate committee members and board of directors.
- Action as directed by the board of directors.
- Annual or biennial re-adoption of the position.
National League Positions Click Impact on Issues on LWVUS website
Impact on Issues includes the official LWVUS statements of position for each program area, briefly traces significant past actions and achievements, and indicates links among positions. The LWVUS public policy positions reflect the program adopted by the most recent convention of the League of Women Voters of the United States. Impact on Issues is updated following each biennial convention.
New LWVUS Positions from Convention 2016 (Do not yet appear in Impact on Issues)
Local League Action on State and National Issues
Local Leagues are encouraged to apply the positions from both documents to local or regional issues. It is the responsibility of the local League board to determine whether member understanding and agreement exist, and whether the action makes sense in terms of timing, need and effectiveness. Before taking action on regional issues a local League must consult with other Leagues that might be affected.
Local Leagues should consult with LWVTX or LWVUS, as appropriate, if they have questions about the applicability of positions to local or regional issues.