Local Leagues and League members across the state are taking part in two national LWVUS studies this fall and winter. The process began at the national League convention which adopted a study on the Constitutional Amendment process and an update to our campaign finance positions, under the umbrella topic “Structures of Democracy.”
Why do Leagues do studies? It is a process unique to LWV. We consider all sides of an issue, then reach member consensus leading to the development of positions on issues. This thoughtful process sets us apart and helps us retain our respected reputation.
Local League’s role in the process starts with the board/steering committee deciding which studies to take part in and finding members to plan these meetings.
This committee will work to review the study materials and put together programs and consensus meetings.
A League member’s role is to participate in the studies and join a consensus meeting—make your voice count! If your League is not holding information and/or consensus meetings, there are plenty of opportunities to join other Leagues, where you will be most welcome. See the calendar on the lwvma.org website. If you need help finding a consensus meeting, email the studies steering committee: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is consensus? Participating members discuss both pros and cons of an issue and arrive at a mutual agreement within the consensus group, often termed a “sense of the members” or member understanding. It is not a vote!
After the consensus meeting, the team working on each meeting will make a written recommendation summarizing the result of the consensus meeting to the local League Board/Steering Committee. That Board/Steering Committee will review the outcome, vote approval, and then assign one member to submit the report to the LWVUS study team. The Constitutional Amendment Study report is due Dec. 1; the Money in Politics Feb. 1.
How is a new or updated position reached? All the responses from local Leagues across the nation are reviewed by the national League study team. The LWVUS study team develops a proposed position for the LWVUS Board to review and adopt. Once adopted, it becomes the position of the League of Women Voters and becomes the basis for action.
Where do I start? Most of the materials for the two studies have been posted. The easiest way to get to these resources is to go to lwvma.org, look on the right under Quick Links, and choose LWVUS Constitutional Amendment Study and Money in Politics Review and Update. There are three webpages: overall and one for each study.
The Study Guides are a good place to start. They include background, links to reading materials, definitions, and consensus questions.
- Click here for the Study Guide for the Constitutional Amendment Study (scroll to the bottom for downloadable files).
- Click here for the Study Guide for the Money and Politics Study (scroll to the bottom for downloadable files).
Deadlines for submitting your consensus reports (one per League):
- Dec. 1 for Constitutional Amendment
- Feb. 1 for Money in Politics
There are two national email discussion groups, one for each study, that anyone can join: