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Mission & History

Mission and Vision

Mission

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

Vision, Beliefs and Intentions

The goal of the League of Women Voters is to empower citizens to shape better communities

worldwide.

We are a nonpartisan political membership organization.

We:

  • act after study and member agreement to achieve solutions in the public interest on key community issues at all government levels.
  • build citizen participation in the democratic process.
  • engage communities in promoting positive solutions to public policy issues through education and advocacy.

The League believes in:

  • respect for individuals.
  • the value of diversity.
  • the empowerment of the grassroots, both within the League and in communities.
  • the power of collective decision making for the common good.

The League will:

  • act with trust, integrity and professionalism.
  • operate in an open and effective manner to meet the needs of those we serve, both members and the public.
  • take the initiative in seeking diversity in membership.
  • Acknowledge our heritage as we seek our path to the future.

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 believes that democratic government depends upon the informed and active participation of its citizens 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 responsibilities, 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 the development of international organization and international law is imperative in the promotion of world peace.

Where Do the League Principles Come From?

The Principles are “concepts of government” to which the League subscribes. They are a direct descendant of the Platform, which served from 1942 to 1956 as the national repository for “principles supported and positions taken by the League as a whole in fields of government to which it has given sustained attention.” By 1956, the Platform had disappeared from the League vocabulary, but the principles survived as “The Principles”. They serve two functions, according to the LWVUS Bylaws: 1) authorization for adoption of national, state and local program as (Article XII), and 2) as a basis for taking action at the national, state and local levels (Article XII).

As for action to implement the Principles, the appropriate board authorizes action once it determines that member understanding and agreement do exist and that action is appropriate. As with other action, when there are ramifications beyond a League’s own government jurisdiction, that League should consult other Leagues affected.

The national board suggests that any action on the Principles be taken in conjunction with current League positions to which they apply and on which member agreement and understanding are known to exist. The Principles are rather broad when standing alone, so it is necessary to exercise caution when considering using them as a basis for action. Furthermore, since 1974 most of the Principles have been an integral part of the national program, most notably in the criteria for evaluating government that appear at the end of the formal listing of program.

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