| Join the League of Women Voters of Juneau |

LWV of Juneau

League Principles

The League of Women Voters believes in representative government and in the individual liberties established in the Constitution of the United States.

The League of Women Voters believes that democratic government depends upon the informed and active participation of its citizens and requires that governmental bodies protect the citizen’s right to know by giving adequate notice of proposed actions, holding open meetings and making public records accessible.

The League of Women Voters believes that every citizen should be protected in the right to vote; that every person should have access to free public education which provides equal opportunity for all; and that no person or group should suffer legal, economic or administrative discrimination.

Juneau Capital

The League of Women Voters believes that efficient and economical government requires competent personnel, the clear assignment of responsibility, adequate financing and coordination among the different agencies and levels of government.

The League of Women Voters believes that responsible government should be responsive to the will of the people; that government should maintain an equitable and flexible system of taxation, promote the conservation and development of natural resources in the public interest, share in the solution of economic and social problems which affect the general welfare, promote a sound economy, and adopt domestic policies which facilitate the solution of international problems.

The League of Women Voters believes that cooperation with other nations is essential in the search for solutions to world problems, and that the development of international organization and international law is imperative in the promotion of world peace.

Program

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.

History

In 1920, Carrie Chapman Catt, a native Iowan, organized the League of Women Voters of the United States. The League’s first goal was to teach women how to exercise their new right to vote. The scope was soon enlarged to include service to all citizens. Political action based on knowledge gained from study became the cornerstone of the League’s diverse agenda.

 

Nonpartisanship

The League may take political action on issues on which members reach agreement. The League never supports or opposes any political party or candidate for elective office. However, the League encourages its members, as individuals, to take part fully in the political process. Because of scrupulous adherence to this nonpartisan political policy, the League takes action in the public interest.

Action

Once members reach agreement and a position is stated, local, state, or national Leagues take action by:
• lobbying
• working with other organizations
• speaking out through letter-writing and telegram campaigns to legislators and through personal visits to legislators and administrative agencies
• publishing and distributing pertinent materials
• testifying at legislative and administrative hearings to assure citizen input in policymaking decisions
• monitoring elections and other government activities
• litigating to help clarify laws in the public interest.
The League observes meetings of local, regional, state, and national governmental bodies. Observers do not speak for the League but attend meetings to listen, to learn, and to make factual reports of the proceedings.

 

Membership

Membership in the League of Women Voters is open to everyone.
• Voting members are citizens at least 18 years old who are enrolled in a Local League.
• Associate members are persons enrolled in a Local League who are under 18 years old or who are noncitizens.
• Life members are voting members who have belonged to the League for 50 years. Life members pay no dues.

Two or more members living at the same address qualify for a household membership. One person pays full dues, and the second person makes a half-payment of dues.

A person may join the League at the local, state, or national level. Membership in the League usually encompasses all three levels.

Voters Service

The League is perhaps best known for its varied services to voters. The League directs its efforts toward encouraging citizens to register, to vote, and to take part in government and politics. Voter Service activities include sponsoring candidate meetings, debates, or interviews; conducting voter registration drives; providing information about voting to the public through the print and electronic media; and getting out the vote on election day.

 

Citizen Information

Educating citizens about government is a major League activity. Through community forums, political directories, and factual studies of governmental issues, the League provides information necessary for an informed electorate. Community organizations often turn to the League for speakers or moderators of panels.

Publications

One important tool for carrying out League’s goals are publications that are researched, written, and distributed by members at every level. National catalogs are available. Publications may be purchased by members and the public.

A newsletter called the Voter is sent by each League level to its members. Local Voters are published quarterly, state Voters quarterly, and the National Voter bi-monthly.


Organization

The League of Women Voters works on the local, state, and national levels. Members of the Local League elect their officers and board of directors at an annual meeting. Each Local League is entitled to send delegates to state and national conventions. For all three levels of League, local members decide what will be studied, what action will be taken, how League money will be spent, and who League leaders will be. The League is a grass-roots organization, and members are very protective of this approach.

 

Contact Us | ©2014 League of Women Voters Juneau - P.O. Box 22048, Juneau, Alaska 99802