What is a Position?
Study: The League of Women Voters takes action on an issue or advocates for a cause after a process of study at the national, state or local level that results in adopting a position addressing that particular issue. Members must study and come to consensus on an issue, in order to form a position. This thorough grassroots process ensures that our advocacy is well considered by a broad range of people, understood by our members, and we have a sense of the political environment.
Discussion: A League study is thorough in its pursuit of facts and details. Through discussion where all voices are heard and respected, members define the scope of the study. As the study progresses, a continuing discussion of pros and cons of each area of the issue occurs. Prior to the results of the study being presented to the general membership, study committee members fashion consensus questions that are then discussed by the membership.
Consensus: Consensus is the overall decision-making process by which substantial agreement among members is reached on an issue. After members reach consensus, the state, local or national board forms positions based on that consensus. LWV members vote to adopt positions at conventions or annual meetings.
League Position: It is the consensus statement that becomes a position. Action or advocacy can then be taken on the particular issue addressed by the position. Action can include public information meetings, letters, phone calls and meeting with those making decisions about an issue We understand that change does not happen overnight and members may work long and hard for years before change happens.
Redistricting: The League of Women Voters of the State of Michigan adopted a position on Redistricting in 2012 and took action and advocated for the next 6 years. In November 2018, Michigan voters approved a constitutional amendment to “establish a commission of citizens with exclusive authority to adopt district boundaries for the Michigan Senate, Michigan House of Representatives and U.S. Congress every 10 years.”
Not all studies result in Positions and advocacy but do serve to inform membership in areas of deep concern. They may also be a review of an established position for possible updating. In the last five years LWVJA has participated in a number of studies including:
- Property Tax Foreclosure Prevention (2020)
- Social Services System (2019)
- Agricultural Migrant/Seasonal Workers (2018)
- Government Finance (2017)
- Structure and Funding of Michigan’s Public Libraries (2015)
- Money in Politics (2015)
- Property Tax Foreclosure Prevention
- Health Care: Resolution to declare Racism as a Public Health Crisis (2020)
- LWV National Positions can be found on the LWV National Website.
- National League Positions and studies from across the nation can be found on LWV National Website in our League of Women Voters Education Fund Clearinghouse for studies.
Listed below are 16 positions Michigan’s state League holds in the areas of Government, Natural Resources, and Social Policy. More details on these positions can be found on the League’s State Website by clicking here.
- Redistricting For the State Legislature and US House of Representatives (adopted 2012)
- Election Laws
- Intergovernmental Relations Within Michigan
- Government Finance
- Great Lakes Ecosystem
- Land Use
- Solid Waste Management
- Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations
- Children and Youth
- Public Education (Pre-K-12) in Michigan
- Health Care
- Social Services System
- Structure and Funding of Michigan’s Public Libraries
- Agricultural Migrant/Seasonal Workers
- Prisons in Michigan