Making Democracy Work

LWVRI Positions on Issues

Introduction

LWVRI's Mary Chace testifying at the RI State House
The League of Women Voters advocates for issues and supports or opposes legislation based on its positions. After careful study, Leagues adopt positions through a process of consensus. Many of the League's positions are based on the League's Principles.

What are the LWVRI's Positions

The LWVRI has adopted positions on a variety of issues including: Voting and Elections, Public Policy, Social Policy, Financing Public Education in Rhode Island, Financing Public Libraries in Rhode Island and Environment and Natural Resources.

Background information and publications related to these positions are also available.

The LWVRI also used positions of the LWVUS to lobby and advocate in Rhode Island. The publication, Impact on Issues published by the LWVUS, lists all of the national positions. The LWVRI and local Leagues in Rhode Island also use positions that were determined by consensus on a national level. Those positions are published in Impact on Issues and may be read online or downloaded.

League Principles

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 of the United States believes that all powers of the U.S. government should be exercised within the constitutional framework of a balance among the three branches of government: legislative, executive, and judicial.

The League of Women Voters believes that democratic government depends upon informed and active participation in government 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 that provides equal opportunity for all; and that no person or group should suffer legal, economic or administrative discrimination.

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 that affect the general welfare, promote a sound economy and adopt domestic policies that 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 development of international organization and international law is imperative in the promotion of world peace.

How Positions are Established

Positions result from a process of study. Any given study, whether it be National, State, or Local, is thorough in its pursuit of facts and details. 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 (including those who were not part of the study committee) learn the scope of the study. After the members reach consensus, the board forms positions based on that consensus. 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. Without a position, action/advocacy cannot be taken.

The LWVRI has adopted positions on a variety of issues. Background information and publications related to these positions is also available The LWVRI also used positions of the LWVUS to lobby and advocate in Rhode Island. The publication, Impact on Issues published by the LWVUS, lists all of the national positions.