League program at every level consists of those governmental issues that members choose for concentrated study and action. At each year’s program planning meeting, members discuss their ideas for local, state, and national program. Their proposals are submitted to the respective boards of directors. The board at each level then considers the proposals forwarded to it, formulates a recommended program, and presents it to the membership at the annual meeting or to the delegates at the state or national convention. There is also a procedure for placing non-recommended items before the meeting.
Certain criteria must be used when considering a program. The issue must fall within the Principles of the League and be one on which governmental action can be taken. Final decisions on state and national program are made by a vote of the delegates to the respective conventions. At the local level, this is done by the voting members in attendance at the annual meeting.
Once a study has been adopted, the board appoints a chairperson of the “resource,” or study, committee. This person in turn finds other members to serve on the committee. Taking part in a study is an excellent way to become familiar with and involved in the League.
The resource committee gathers information on the study item, analyzes the information, clarifies the issues, and identifies the problems. It is the committee’s responsibility to present all sides of the issue to members for their consideration. The study may also include tours, guest speakers, interviews, and other activities.
Before the League can act on the issue, members must agree in broad terms on various aspects of the issue. To formulate a position, the League takes consensus. Consensus, or agreement, is reached through group discussion. Members come to an overall “sense of the group” as expressed through the exchange of ideas and opinions. It is from this agreement that League formulates a position statement for action.
Another process for obtaining a League position is through the process of concurrence, or agreeing with a proposed statement. League members or boards can concur with recommendations or a statement from a task force, a resource committee, a unit group, or any League board–another local board, any state board, or the national board.