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Date: 12/16/2021
Subject: Help LWVCO With Positions For Action Review
From: Beth Hendrix



Action Alert

Positions for Action Review (Program Planning)

 

In Preparation for LWVCO Convention 2022

Campaign for Making Democracy Work

 

December 17, 2021

 

The League of Women Voters of Colorado wishes you a very happy holiday season!

 

It is that time in the LWVCO cycle when the state League turns to local Leagues and state League units for input regarding annual review of LWVCO’s Positions for Action. All chapters are asked to consider if an addition, deletion, change, or concurrence -- each requiring extensive study -- should occur to any LWVCO or LWVUS position. This process gives members and Leagues the opportunity to balance the pros and cons, assess possible support, and consider the viability of issues and positions important to them and their region. This is one of the ways League remains a grassroots organization.

 

Positions for Action Review, a three-part process that is a core component of the League’s mission, is composed of planning/review, study and consensus, and advocacy. While it is important for every League to hold a Positions for Action Review meeting as an essential League process, it is not essential that every League select an issue or position for further study. However, it is important for all Leagues to complete and submit a Response Survey, whatever their recommendation may be.

 

Members should prepare for participation in Positions for Action Review by looking at LWVCO Positions For Action 2019-21 and LWVUS Impact On Issues 2020-22. (For future reference, these documents may be found in LWVCO’s Document Library.) In addition to these publications, other relevant documents in the folder include a copy of this letter, the text of the Response Survey, and “LWVCO: How We Decide What to Study.”

 

Members should evaluate possible positions by asking...

  • Is there widespread member interest?

  • Is this a timely issue?

  • Is government action the most effective way to address the problem?

  • Does the League have adequate resources (money, volunteers to implement a study or review?

Resources & Volunteer Time

A recommendation of a new study, review, or concurrence is a request to give the recommendation a high priority for the year at both the local and state League levels. As a result, Local Leagues may find it necessary to drop other activities in order to participate in the study.

 

Concurrence
The Response Survey includes the option of recommending an issue for concurrence. The proposed concurrence must be based on a previous study from another state or from a local League position, and you need to provide the title and scope of the position your League proposes for concurrence, the name of the League that did the original study, the location (usually a URL) of the position, and, hopefully, the study itself.

 

Positions for Action

For the upcoming year and once again, the state League suggests members take a close look at our current positions as found in Positions for Action and in the national issues book, Impact on Issues. Over the years we have studied and come to consensus on many topics within Representative Government, International Relations, Natural Resources, and Social Policy. In addition, we have a set of adopted principles. Further, it is possible to cross issue areas to take action on an issue of particular interest. In other words, we suggest Leagues and League members find creative ways to use our current positions while also basing action on League principles.

 

Consequently, the board of the LWVCO recommends that no new study or review be adopted and that more emphasis be placed on moving forward with our goals as exemplified in the position statements. In other words, we should focus on taking action instead of studying. To free up resources and unite League across the state, we must focus; thus, we suggest that during your planning efforts, you strongly consider the state board’s recommendation to add no new studies or reviews to the agenda for the year of 2021 and work on the Campaign for Making Democracy Work.

 

Example Components of the League-wide Campaign for Making Democracy Work

 

Voter Service/Voting Rights

  • Ensure that Colorado remains one of the best states when it comes to preventing voter suppression.

  • Register students, new citizens, those in underserved communities, and those having served their term of incarceration

  • Ensure people are informed about voter registration when they sign up for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and interface with other government agencies

  • Work to pass universal voter registration

Improving Elections

  • Continue to work with coalition partners on the implementation of Amendments Y and Z (redistricting)

  • Educate and advocate on National Popular Vote Interstate Compact

  • Educate and advocate on Alternative Voting Methods

  • Campaign Finance/Money in Politics

  • Provide training and resources for writing legislation/ordinances

  • Provide training and examples of actions that can be taken at the state and local level based on current positions (e.g., transparency, corruption, disclosure)

Other Areas of Focus from the 2020 LWVUS National Convention

  • Immigration

  • Healthcare

  • Climate Change

  • Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)

  • Justice Reform

  • Reproductive Choice

LWVCO asks you to strongly consider grabbing the opportunity to work on these essential initiatives. 

 

If your League should decide to suggest a new issue, state this on the Response Survey. A statement of scope, as requested on the survey, lists the areas to be explored, the emphasis on an aspect of the issue, and the parameters of the study. 

 

**Should you have questions about planning this year, please email Toni Larson.

 

The deadline for submitting a Response Survey to LWVCO is Tuesday, March 1. The Response Survey is hereThank you for taking the time to participate in this important statewide planning activity!


Barbara Whinery 
Vice President, Planning

 

Lena Brown

Director at Large, Issues Planning


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