About Us: What We Do
Voter Services/Citizen Information
Activity is directed toward encouraging citizens to register and vote and to participate in government and politics. The League does this by sponsoring debates and providing nonpartisan information about voting procedures, candidates and ballot issues. Voter Service projects are eligible for funding through LWV Education Fund.
One of the reasons for the political effectiveness of the League is its reputation for thorough study. Complete facts, the pros and cons, are researched before consensus and action. Members study and discuss the issues in small units so that everyone has an opportunity to express an opinion.
The League of Women Voters is an action group. However, it may take action only on issues which have been extensively studied and on which the members are agreed. When the League has a position on any issue, separate material is published to promote the League’s stand. This is not funded by the Education Fund to ensure the distinction between League Action and Voters Service information.
- Providing information to members and the public
- Building public opinion
- Supporting or opposing legislation
Action methods include:
- Testifying at public hearings
- Use of public forums and the media
- Panel discussions
- League publications
- Letters to public officials
It is the responsibility of each League Board to direct and plan League Action which may include “calls for Action” to the membership.
As a Member You Can
- Elect officers and directors
- Attend unit meetings
- Volunteer for resource committees
- Attend general meetings
- Volunteer for service committees
- Participate in program selection on all League levels
- Help make the voice of the League heard
The League structure is designed to give members every chance to voice their views. Because League is a grassroots organization, every member is encouraged to become a member of a study or action committee. This is the key to League success.
The League’s program consists of governmental issues chosen by the members for concerted study and action. At program-making meetings the members discuss their ideas for local, state and national program. The proposals are submitted to the Board. Individual members may also submit proposals. The Board considers all proposals and then presents a recommended program for consideration at the annual meeting or convention. Final decision on state and national program is made by delegates to respective biennial conventions. The recommended program requires a majority vote for adoption. A non-recommended item may also be placed before the delegates; it usually requires a larger vote for adoption.
Criteria which must be considered when selecting program:
- The issue must be one on which governmental action is needed.
- The issue must fall within the Principles of the League.
Board of Directors
At each level of League, Boards are elected by the membership to manage the activities of the League. There are usually five elected officers: President, two Vice Presidents, Secretary and Treasurer. The remainder of the Board (depending on the size of the League) is composed of a number of elected and appointed directors. Each member of the Board has a portfolio (a specific area of responsibility). - Study, Program, Voters Service, Finance, Membership, Legislative, Organization, Public Relations, Publications, Voter Registration, Observers.
Established to study public issues of League concern A study committee researches, clarifies, and develops a focus for League consideration. It then becomes a resource committee with responsibility to present facts to the members. In small Leagues the material is presented directly to the membership. In large Leagues where there are several units, the material is presented at a briefing session which is attended by representatives from each unit. They in turn present the material to the members of their unit.
There are also committees for other categories of League work (Voters Service, Membership, Budget, etc.). These committees carry out the balance of the League’s work.
The League maintains observers at meetings of various local, regional, state and national governmental bodies. Observers do not speak for the League but attend these meetings to listen, learn and to make factual reports of the proceedings. The League’s reputation as a civic monitor has been earned by the Observer Corps of the local Leagues.
The League of Women Voters of Pullman adopts Position statements based on study and member agreement. Once the League adopts a position it can then be used to shape public policy. See the complete list of Positions for the LWV of Pullman.
Voters Service and results of League studies and League action are conveyed to the public via the printed and electronic media. Press conferences, public service announcements and programs on radio/television, educational material in the form of brochures and pamphlets, statements given to governmental bodies, speakers bureaus-and beyond this, the members’ enthusiasm as they build community respect for League opinion; meeting friends, fellow employees, potential contributors-all are a part of the plans and techniques to promote the League’s purpose.
The League has a large and growing list of educational publications on local, state and national issues. Highly respected, League publications are the result of thorough research. Members receive many useful and informative publications from the League:
- Pullman Voter – LWV of Pullman’s Monthly Newsletter
- Washington State Voter – LWV of Washington’s Monthly Newsletter
- TRY, They Represent You - Directory of Elected Officials
What We Have Done
- NATIONAL: The League of Women Voters was organized in 1919 after suffrage for women was passed by Congress and ratified by the states. Since that time the League has kept pace with changing times. The League has worked hard to improve the legal status of women and the welfare of children and to improve legislation protecting the consumer. The League championed the reorganization of Congress, and has led the struggle to fight air and water pollution. The League is concerned about equal opportunities for all citizens in education, employment and housing.
- STATE: The League of Women Voters of Washington was organized in 1920. Over the years the LWVWA has given sustained attention to issues dealing with the judicial system, election laws, government, state finances, children’s services and the environment.
- LOCAL: Local Leagues have spearheaded improvements in the structure and efficiency of town and city governments, have worked on such issues as public schools, housing, health services, sanitation, tax reforms, city charters and local planning.