The League of Women Voters plans annually during the month of January. This month membership looks at League studies and positions and votes to retain, drop, update, or propose new or updated studies.
- Retain means to keep a position as written, with no change.
- Drop means to remove a position completely. All further advocacy would be discontinued. It may not be again incorporated back in without a new study.
- Update means to study the position topic for informational purposes only.
- Restudy means to undertake a review of a position to potentially change it.
Studies are important beginnings for unified action and advocacy for the League.
Basically there are three kinds of studies, all vary in length from one year to two years, and all begin in January:
- National – These studies are adopted (or not) at national conventions held every other year. If adopted, all Leagues in the nation are asked to participate.
- State – State studies begin with proposals submitted by local Leagues that are approved as recommended or non-recommended at state conventions held every other year. The studies are voted on and approved by the local League representatives present at convention. Then all local Leagues are asked to participate.
- Local – Study proposals are discussed at local League meetings held in January of each year. These studies are achieved with the help of local League membership, and may take a year or two to complete. The League is thorough.
The Whole Point: Once studies are completed, positions are created which can be used for advocacy by state and local Leagues.
Take a look at many studies done across the country by local, state and the national League here –> https://sites.google.com/a/leagueofwomenvoters.org/clearinghouse/home
Here is a look back at 2021’s planning –
TAKE A STAND WITH 2021 PROGRAM PLANNING
By Sheila McGinnis, LWVOR Program Chair
League ‘Program’—proposing a study and developing a position to support advocacy—is on the LWVOR’s winter schedule. For the next few months LWVOR members will consider if changes to current positions are needed and, if appropriate, recommend a potential topic for statewide study. Keep in mind that the state League ‘program’ focuses on study and advocacy, the first step to shaping policy. Studies are used to develop a League position on a statewide issue, which is the basis for advocacy for or against the issue. [Note this review of state positions overlaps with local review of local positions. State study proposals are due to LWVOR February 1; local units have their own local study proposal deadlines].
To conduct a study, a small group of members statewide may spend 12—18 months researching and studying a statewide concern to write a report on the issue. Local units across the state will discuss the report findings to reach consensus on the issue’s policy implications, and then a committee drafts a position for member agreement.
If you’re interested in organizing and leading a study, form a committee (we recommend 5 people) to develop a proposal, organize a work plan, and conduct the study if it’s approved. Submit a written proposal (topic, scope, goals, committee chair/members, rationale, resources, timeline) for LWVOR approval, due February 1.
Your committee may be interested in matters of governance, natural resources, healthcare, or other local service or area of concern. Talk with Action committee members to identify topics that need a position for advocacy. Or examine the positions of other Leagues at local, state, or national levels for possible adoption by ‘concurrence’ (which usually requires obtaining permission from that League). You will study and report on this policy issue to reach member consensus regarding a position on the stance LWVOR will take in advocating for this issue.