What is our mission? How are we structured? What is our history? What can I do as a League Member?
The League of Women Voters has two separate and distinct roles.
Our Vision, Beliefs, and Intentions guide our activities.
Our members are also members of:
Your participation in League will expose you to a breadth of experiences and issues that will not only inform you but create greater possibilities for civic engagement than you might imagine. You can spend as much or as little time as you wish--but we promise there will always be a League opportunity you won't want to say no to. Whether you aspire to leadership or are keen to follow the lead of experienced members, the League will excite, use, and nurture your civic curiosity, ideals, or desire for action.
To begin to keep you informed as a member, you will receive the VOTER newsletter published monthly by the League of Women Voters of Glendale/Burbank. Additionally, you will receive a quarterly newsletter from the National and State Leagues.
The League of Women Voters is a unique, multi-issue, activist network that derives its strength from the energy and commitment of more than a hundred thousand members and supporters nationwide. It is a nonpartisan, political organization that encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy. The League is a force in public policy because its positions are based on sound, informed work at the grassroots level.
Although programs and priorities have changed over the years, the League has remained true to its basic purposes, which are:
To protect the League's nonpartisanship policy, board members agree not to run for nor hold political office. Additionally the President, Voter Service Director, and local Action Director may not take an active, visible role in a campaign for a political candidate nor for a non-League issue.
Full membership is open to all citizens of voting age, male and female, with associate memberships available for younger people and non-citizens. Joining the League at any level automatically confers membership at every level (national, state, county and local) and with that membership comes the opportunity to work on issues and voter service. Each member has a direct voice in the selection of officers and program.
The National Level
The work of the League at the national level (LWVUS) emcompasses public policy issues of national scope. Examples of action on national positions include improving the Food and Drug Act, supporting measures embodied in the Social Security Act, and supporting the United Nations. More recently, LWVUS has been a prominent force in campaign finance reform, as well as understanding globalization, trade and sustainable communities.
The State Level
The League in California (LWVC) has focused its attention on statewide issues including state laws concerning the welfare of women and children, and the maintenance of public school standards. More recently, LWVC has supported the merit system for government personnel, a state-wide master plan for water resource development, universal health coverage and redistricting.
The County Level
The League of Women Voters of Los Angeles County (LWV/LAC) concerns a regional leverl which encompasses all local Leagues within the County. LWV/LAC has focused on region-wide issues such as election procedures, juvenile justice, waste management, transportation, and land use. This group of local Leagues is organized as an Inter-League Organization or ILO.
The Local Level
The League of Women Voters of Glendale/Burbank was established in 1941. LWV of Glendale/Burbank has a long history of public policy engagement.
One of our League's strengths is voters service. We present nonpartisan televised forums for candidates for offices including Congress, State Assembly, Mayor, City Council, City Clerk, School Board and Board of Education.
We provide balanced, nonpartisan presentations on ballot measures to the community via the City television channel. We also give live presentations to community groups.
League members register voters all over Glendale and Burbank, including community colleges, hospitals, adult schools and movie studios.
Our members study issues of importance to our communities. Members do research and present their findings to the entire group, which then discusses them in a civil manner. The group then tries to reach a consensus. Once consensus is reached, the League may conduct advocacy on the issue. Last year, we studied the local election systems in Glendale and Burbank. This year, we are tackling the complex and lively issue of local campaign finance reform.
Board Of Directors
Officers and a Board of Directors, chose by election and by appointment, govern each level of the League the Glendale/Burbank board has the responsibility of maintaining the nonpartisan nature of the organization and decided whether or not to engage in action on issues based on the already adopted League positions.
LWV of Glendale/Burbank is directly supported by membership dues, gifts, foundation grants.
Members' recommendations go to the Board of Directors, which shapes and adopts a slate of issues for concerted emphasis by the members to be voted upon at the annual meeting. This slate of issues for emphasis ("program") becomes the compass for League work which can involve research, establishing consensus, taking a position, presenting information, and many forms of advocacy.
Study When the League's members have decided which issue to study locally, a committee of members is formed with a chair to fully study it through research, interviews, participation in governmental hearing, and attending conferences. The results of the study are presented to the members in the form of a report as well as in unit meetings for discussion and consensus on what position members decide the League should take, if any.
Positions Positions are established after members have studied issues of significance and achieved agreement on policies and practices that would best serve the public interest. Positions are periodically reviewed for current relevance. Without study and consensus on a given issues, the League has no position and takes no stand.
Action/Advocacy When a position is taken, the League works to translate the position into reality through the political process. Action may take the form of lobbying, coalition building, speaking out, publishing materials, testifying, and monitoring of governmental activity. Although the League is a nonpartisan organization and does not support or oppose any political party or any candidate, it does, however, take action on selected issues once they have been through the rigouous process of attaining status as a League position. It is important to understand that speakers and publication supporting a position that the League has taken after careful study are not the same speakers and publication which League uses to disseminate impartial information to voters as a service to help them make informed decisions
The Board of Directors decides the timing of action as well as the kind and degree of action the League will undertake. Often this will take the form of a "Call to Action" which notifies members that it is a particularly opportune time to express their opinions to representatives of measures affecting a position.
Annual Meetings This is a special type of general membership meeting held at the national, state, county and local levels, and is the forum where members decide the following:
Voter Service Voter Service is the strength and the most important part of the League's mission and is taken very seriously. The League furthers this mission of informing the public about voting procedures, urging citizens to vote, and providing factual, impartial information about issues and candidates, with the following materials, procedures and events:
Election Guides Prior to each election, the League of Women Voters of California researches and publishes an Election Guide entitled Pros and Cons addition, the League participates in the publication of the Easy Voter. All of these materials offer unbiased and easily understood information. It is distributed free to members, schools, libraries and interested community members.
Speakers Bureau LWV G/B trains its members to be speakers for groups and organization requesting information on the supporting and opposing arguments regarding ballot measures and topics of current study.
Candidate Forums The League is known for sponsoring candidate debates. The Glendale/Burbank League has presented Candidates' Forums for elections such as Congress, State Senate, State Assembly, Mayor, City Council, City Clerk, School Board and Board of Education. Our forums are broadcast live on the city television channel and are repeated numerous times prior to the election.
Voter Registration The League of Women Voters of Glendale/Burbank provides nonpartisan voter registration service where large groups of people are assembled. We also respond to requests from businesses to make onsite voter registration available to their employees. In coalition with other groups we encourage all citizens to accept their rights and responsibilities to participate in the political process. Designing ways to increase voter participation in diverse communities with Glendale and Burbank is a commitment of the League. We work hand in hand with the County Registrar on voter outreach projects.
Election Mangement The League of Women Voters of Glendale/Burbank manages the elections of many different organizations. The League has organized and overseen many types of elections such as ratification of residents' decisions about policies of their apartment buildings, election of community committees as required by the Community Redevelopment Agency, and common interest developments.
Action/Advocacy Action and advocacy on Glendale/Burbank's positions can take many forms including
Smart Voter is a California League sponsored web site that provides people with a state of the art source of voter information and a personalized ballot based on a specific address, that is available before elections. It also reports such information as polling place locations, candidates' profiles and positions, ballot measures with supporting and opposing arguments, and post election results.