Making Democracy Work

About the League

Spells out the League mission, describes League actions and advocacy, summarizes League history, and provides site assistance for those with poor eyesight.

League Mission

The League of Women Voters, a political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase the understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. The League is a non-partisan organization in that it never supports individual candidates or parties.

Actions and Advocacy

The League of Women Voters takes action on an issue or advocates for a cause only when there is a formal League Position to refer to that supports the issue or speaks to the cause.

League Positions result from a process of thorough study and determination of the consensus opinion of League membership. Any given study, whether it be National, State, or Local, is thorough in its pursuit of facts and details, both positive and negative. As the study progresses, a continuing discussion of pros and cons of each situation occurs. Prior to the results of the study being presented to the general membership, study committee members fashion consensus questions that are then addressed by the membership.

Additional discussion, pro and con, takes place as members (not part of the study committee) learn the scope of the study. Every question on which consensus is reached is kept. The others are eliminated.

It is the consensus statement - the statement resulting from the consensus questions - that becomes a "position." Firm action or advocacy can then be taken on the particular issue addressed by the position. In the absence of a formal position, action/advocacy cannot be taken.

League History

The League of Women Voters is a political organization of women and men founded in 1920 to "finish the fight" after women won the right to vote. Through advocacy, the League works at the local, state and federal levels to make your voice heard and to keep you informed. The League lobbies on issues concerning all levels of government upon which members have studied and reached a consensus position.

Throughout our history, League members have led grassroots movements for universal voter registration and campaign integrity, the right of reproductive choice, civil rights, clean air and water, safe and affordable housing and child care. Early in our history the League was committed to establishing child labor laws and equal pay for women. We were an advocate for peace-building through the United Nations and other international organizations in the 1940s. The League fought against discrimination in education, employment and housing in the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1970s and 1980s, the League supported action to clean up the environment, to stop the arms race, and to promote equality of opportunity. This past decade we have worked strenuously to eliminate remaining obstacles to voter registration in the United States.

Local League Activities

Education - to further democratic government through an informed and active citizenry.

Organize and present public forums on topics of interest to the community such as land use planning, immigration reform, county budget issues, transportation funding and proposals for LNG projects off our coast. Participate annually in celebration of Women's History Month, International Women's Day, U.N. Day, and the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Study issues of import locally as well as to the state and nation, and participate in discussions to reach consensus on positions. Issues include diverse topics - land use planning, state energy policy, immigration reform, community colleges, the county budget, and environmental impact reports for local projects.

Observer Program - to monitor decisions by elected officials and hold them accountable.

Monitor the Ventura County Board of Supervisor meetings, the various city council and planning committee meetings, and the Ventura Housing Agency.

Voter Service - to inform citizens about all levels of government and how individuals can influence them. LWVVC:

Sponsors forums prior to elections for county supervisor, city council, school board and state legislative candidates. For each election, distributes thousands of Easy Voter guides on ballot propositions; supervises the on-line Smart Voter site for local candidates. Distributes CDs to provide nonpartisan unbiased Pro and Con arguments on ballot measures to numerous organizations in Ventura County each election. Registers voters throughout the county; answers a public information line for voter's questions. Moderates forums on local, state and national issues. Received an award from the LWV of California in 2007 for outstanding Voter Service to Ventura County. Conducts college student elections; runs polling sites for Ventura County.

Advocacy - To study, develop consensus positions based on information and discussion, and act. LWVVC:

Advocated for for affordable housing and farm worker projects in the county. Supported the Ventura County Coalition on Homelessness in their Ten-Year Strategy to End Homelessness. Advocated for support and passage of the Simitian bill to require an improved process for considering and making decisions on LNG projects. Advocated for a 1/4% sales tax for county open space. Submitted comments on each stage of the process of public testimony on the environmental impacts of proposed LNG projects. Opposed amendments to the City of Ventura ordinance on Campaign Finance for City Council candidates. Supported the Ventura County Campaign Finance Reform ordinance. Supported a larger allocation of new transportation funds for public transit.

Membership Services - to make a difference in our communities. LWVVC Members:

Publish a monthly newsletter, the Voter, and maintain a website. Enjoy access to all LWV - national, state, and local - on-line and published materials with information on legislation and opportunities for individual action. Have leadership and skill building opportunities in a wide variety of areas. Attend many informative and entertaining events.

Site Assistance

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