Making Democracy Work

LWV US Consensus & Positions

LWVUS PUBLIC POLICY POSITIONS (Abbreviated) League of Women Voters of The United States

The positions listed below are simple summaries of detailed positions. For a complete listing of positions visit:

REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT Promote an open governmental system that is representative, accountable and responsive.

VOTING RIGHTS Citizen's Right To Vote. Protect the right of all citizens to vote: encourage all citizens to vote.

DC Self Government and Full Voting Representation. Secure for citizens of District of Columbia rights of self-government and full voting representation in both houses of Congress.

ELECTION PROCESS Apportionment: Support apportionment of congressional districts and elected legislative bodies at all levels of government based substantially on population.

Campaign Finance: Improve methods of financing political campaigns in order to ensure the public's right to know, combat corruption and undue influence, enable candidates to compete more equitably for public office and promote citizen participation in the political process.

Election of the President: Promote the election of the President and Vice-President by direct popular vote and work to abolish the Electoral College; support the use of the National Popular Vote Compact as one acceptable way to achieve the goal of the direct popular vote for election of the president until the abolition of the Electoral College is accomplished; support uniform national voting qualifications and procedures for presidential elections; support efforts that provide voters information about candidates, positions, policy issues and process by the media, political parties, candidates and all governmental levels.

CITIZEN RIGHTS Citizen's Right to Know/Citizen Participation: Protect the citizen's right to know and facilitate citizen participation in government decision making. Individual Liberties: Oppose major threats to basic constitutional rights.

Public Policy on Reproductive Choices: Protect the constitutional right of privacy of the individual to make reproductive choices.

Congress and the Presidency Congress: Support responsive legislative processes characterized by openness, accountability, representativeness, decision-making capability and effective performance.

The Presidency: Promote a dynamic balance of power between the executive and legislative branches within the constitutional framework and that accountability and responsibility to the people require that unnecessary secrecy between branches be eliminated.

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Promote peace in an interdependent world by working cooperatively with other nations and strengthening international organizations.

UNITED NATIONS Support a strong, effective United Nations to promote international peace and security and to address the social, economic and humanitarian needs of all people.

Support UN efforts to encourage adherence to international agreements, protect the world's environment and achieve equality for women in civic and political life.

Support basic principles of UN charter and measures to make the Security Council a more representative body reflecting diverse interest of member nations and the world's people.

TRADE Support U.S. trade policies that reduce trade barriers expand international trade and advance the achievement of humanitarian, environmental and social goals and democratic values.

US RELATIONS WITH DEVELOPING COUNTRIES Promote US policies that meet long term social and economic needs of developing countries. Paramount among these interest are reducing the risk of military conflict, promoting the sound management of global resources, protecting human rights, stimulating economic growth and improving the quality of life in developing countries.

ARMS CONTROL Reduce the risk of war and increase global stability through support of arms control measures. [Position was updated in full during 2010 convention + see website for details.]

MILITARY POLICY AND DEFENSE SPENDING Work to limit reliance on military force; examine defense spending in the context of total national needs. Reduce tensions among nations and minimize the risk of conflicts worldwide through the use of diplomacy, mediation and multilateral cooperation.

IMMIGRATION The League of Women Voters believes that immigration policies should promote reunification of immediate families; meet the economic, business and employment needs of the United States; and be responsive to those facing political persecution or humanitarian crises. Provision should also be made for qualified persons to enter the U. S. on student visas. All persons should receive fair treatment under the law.

NATURAL RESOURCES Promote an environment beneficial to life through the protection and wise management of natural resources in the public interest. Promote the management of natural resources as interrelated parts of life-supporting ecosystems.

RESOURCE MANAGEMENT Promote resource conservation, stewardship and long-range planning based on population growth assessments with the responsibility for managing natural resources shared by all levels of government.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTIONS AND POLLUTION CONTROL Preserve the physical, chemical and biological integrity of the ecosystem, with maximum protection of public health and environment.

Air Quality: Promote measures to reduce pollution from mobile and stationary sources.

Energy: Support environmentally sound policies that reduce energy growth rates, emphasize energy conservation and encourage the use of renewable resources.

Land Use: Promote policies that manage land as a finite resource and that incorporate principles of stewardship.

Water Resources: Support measures to reduce pollution in order to protect surface water, groundwater and drinking water.

Waste Management: Promote policies to reduce the generation and promote the reuse and recycling of solid wastes; ensure safe treatment, transport, storage and disposal of all hazardous wastes.

Nuclear Issues: Promote the maximum protection of public health and safety to the environment.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION Promote public understanding and participation in decision making as essential elements of responsible and responsive management of our natural resources. Support public right-to-know and education of environmental risks and issues.

AGRICULTURAL POLICY Promote adequate supplies of food and fiber at reasonable prices to consumers and support economically viable farms, environmentally sound farm practices and increased reliance on the free market.

SOCIAL POLICY Secure equal rights and equal opportunity for all. Promote social and economic justice and the health and safety of all Americans.

EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY Support ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and efforts to bring laws into compliance with the goals of the ERA.

Support non-discriminative and equal access to education, employment and housing. LWVUS supports equal rights for all under state and federal law. The LWVUS supports legislation to equalize the legal rights, obligations, and benefits available to same-gender couples with those available to heterosexual couples. LWVUS supports legislation to permit same-gender couples to marry under civil law. The League believes that the civil status of marriage is already clearly distinguished from the religious institution of marriage and that religious rights will be preserved.

FISCAL POLICY Tax Policy: Support adequate and flexible funding of federal government programs through an equitable tax system that is progressive overall and that relies primarily on a broad based income tax. Federal Deficit: Promote responsible deficit policies. Funding of Entitlements: Support a federal role in providing mandatory, universal, old-age, survivors, disability and health insurance.

HEALTH CARE Promote a health care system for the United States that provides access to a basic level of care for all US residents and controls health care costs.

MEETING BASIC HUMAN NEEDS Support programs and policies to prevent or reduce poverty and to promote self-sufficiency for individuals and families. Support income assistance programs, based on need, that provide decent, adequate standards for food, clothing and shelter. Provide for essential support services and public transportation. Support policies to provide decent housing and a suitable living environment for every American family.

CHILD CARE Support programs, and policies to expand the supply of affordable, quality child care for all who need it.

EARLY INTERVENTION FOR CHILDREN AT RISK Support policies and programs that promote the well being, development and safety of all children.

VIOLENCE PREVENTION Support violence prevention programs in communities.

GUN CONTROL Protect the health and safety of citizens through limiting the accessibility and regulating the ownership of handguns and semi-automatic assault weapons. Support licensing procedures and regulation of firearms for consumer safety.

URBAN POLILCY Promote the economic health of cities and improve the quality of urban life. Support federal strategies of economic development assistance and general financial assistance when appropriate.

Whatever the issue, the League believes that efficient and economical government requires competent personnel, the clear assignment of responsibilities, adequate financing, coordination among levels of government, effective enforcement and well defined channels for citizen output and review.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING Concurrence with New Jersey Human Trafficking position (June 2014): The League of Women Voters opposes all forms of domestic and international human trafficking of adults and children, including sex trafficking and labor trafficking. We consider human trafficking to be a form of modern day slavery and believe that every measure should be taken and every effort should be made through legislation and changes in public policy to prevent human trafficking. Prosecution and penalization of traffickers and abusers should be established, and existing laws should be strictly enforced. Extensive essential services for victims should be applied where needed. Education and awareness programs on human trafficking should be established in our communities and in our schools.