Where LWV Stands

LWVUS Consensus Positions

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

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 POLICY
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.

LWVAZ Consensus Positions


LWVAZ PROGRAM POSITIONS (Abbreviated) For a complete listing of positions visit: http://www.lwvaz.org

GOVERNMENT
ARIZONA ELECTION LAW Consensus 1972; revised 1973, 1991; Reviewed 1995, 2009. Under review 2015-16.

  • The League of Women Voters of Arizona supports an accessible system of registration and election, with uniform and standardized procedures throughout the state. Therefore, the League supports:
  • Mail-in registration procedures, but opposes election day registration at the polls as an invitation to fraud.
  • Increase in pay for legislators.
  • Four-year terms for State Legislators, with no limit on the number of terms which they may serve.
  • An income tax check-off to provide partial funding of legislative elections through the subsidy of some television time for issue discussion by ballot qualified candidates.
  • A requirement for complete financial disclosure by candidates for public office.
  • A cap on gifts to public officials, and reporting of all gifts.
  • Prohibiting elected officials lobbying for remuneration of any kind for at least one year after leaving office.
  • Prohibiting election officials from using surplus campaign funds for personal use, or from taking them along when leaving office.
  • All government agencies being required to report all their lobbying activities, expenditures and gifts to public officials.
ELECTION SYSTEMS REFORM Consensus 2005; Amended 2008 The League of Women Voters of Arizona believes in the election system principle of greater vote representation. The LWVAZ maintains that election system reform that provides a stronger voice for the greatest number of voters should have a positive effect on voter participation.
Therefore, the LWVAZ supports changing the present election systems so that they more accurately represent the wishes of voters:
  • Adopting the Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) system for single seat races;
  • Adopting proportional representation for multi-seat races, specifically Ranked Choice Voting. Believes that education of the voting public is important to election systems.
  • Supports giving Arizona voters the option of more choice among election systems.
LEGISLATIVE AND CONGRESSIONAL REDISTRICTING Consensus 1967; Reviewed 1979, 1995,2005
The League of Women Voters of Arizona supports measures to ensure the regular redistricting of Arizona legislative and congressional districts on an "equal population" basis. The LWVAZ supports:
  • The retention of an independent commission to redistrict legislative and congressional districts at regular intervals, subject to judicial review. The Legislature itself should not be the reapportioning agency.
  • Legislative and congressional districts that provide more equitable representation, more accountability and responsibility, more competitive elections, and closer contact with constituents. (Footnote: To allow for greater flexibility, this position was amended on March 5, 2005, by removing the words "single member." As background information, three points were made: 1) impacts may differ in rural and urban districts, 2) the change is neither an automatic endorsement for multi-member districts nor an automatic opposition to single member districts, 3) even members who strongly favor multi-member districts often do so only when such districts are accompanied by other electoral changes.)
INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM Consensus 1976; Reviewed 1995, 2003; Revised 2004
The League of Women Voters of Arizona believes in the constitutional right of the people to enact direct legislation (enacting, amending, or repealing legislative acts and amending the Arizona Constitution); therefore, the League supports:
  • The requirement that only qualified electors (registered voters) may sign any initiative, referendum or recall petition.
  • The reduction of the required number of signatures on a statutory initiative petition to qualify placing it on the ballot from ten per-cent to not more than eight per-cent of the votes cast for governor at the last gubernatorial election.
  • The amendment of the constitution to limit the power of the Legislature to repeal or amend the initiative or referendum measures by means such as requiring more than just majority approval, or setting a minimum time limit before the Legislature can act on such measures, or some other limitation short of complete elimination of power.
  • Removal of the governor's power to veto initiative or referendum measures.
  • Funding sources (for initiatives) should be identified, if practicable.
  • The disclosure of financial contributions to committees supporting and opposing an initiative and referendum.
COUNTY GOVERNMENT Concurrence 1977; Reviewed 1995
The League of Women Voters of Arizona supports an amendment to the Arizona Constitution to permit counties to decide, by a vote of the people in each county, the governmental structure which best meets county needs.
The LWV of Metropolitan Phoenix supports home rule for Maricopa County. The LWV of Greater Tucson supports a long term goal of consolidated government for Pima County. The League position supporting local option for county governmental structure gives the LWVAZ a position from which to lobby, but does not restrict other local Leagues from positions they may take regarding their own county government.

CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM
Consensus 1983; Reviewed 1995. Under review 2015-16.
The League of Women Voters of Arizona believes that the political process must be open, equitable and honest. The process must provide opportunity for maximum citizen participation. There should be limits on the size and type of campaign contributions. There should be full disclosure of contributions and expenditures to combat undue influence in the electoral and governmental processes.

REORGANIZATION OF THE ARIZONA EXECUTIVE BRANCH
Consensus 1963; Revised 1965, 1968, 1969, 1974, 1985; Reviewed 1995, Amended, 2013
The League of Women Voters of Arizona supports measures to strengthen the executive branch of state government, and to integrate its administration by centralizing authority and responsibility in the governor's office.
The League of Women Voters Arizona believes that a clear line of succession in the Executive Branch of the State of Arizona should be more obvious to the public than it is in the current system where the Secretary of State assumes the role of Governor in times of absence, removal, resignation, death or other such changes. To avoid mid-term changes in party, continuity problems or policy reversals, League of Women Voters Arizona supports the creation of an Office of Lieutenant Governor with duties separate from that of the Secretary of State.
In addition, the League of Women Voters Arizona believes that the governor and the elected office, which is next in line of succession to the governor, should run on the same party ticket. If that office continues to be held by the Secretary of State, League of Women Voters Arizona strongly believe that all partisan aspects of elections should be removed from the jurisdiction of the Secretary of State and managed by an independent body/commission.

ARIZONA CORPORATION COMMISSION
Consensus 1983; Reviewed 1995
The League of Women Voters of Arizona supports the adequate protection and representation of consumers in the Arizona Corporation Commission process and supports measures to encourage conservation as well as the development and use of renewable energy sources.

JUDICIAL


JUVENILE JUSTICE
Consensus 1999
The League of Women Voters of Arizona supports early intervention programs beginning in elementary schools with the help of:
  • counselors, social workers, psychologists, volunteers in school programs and individualized programs, including those that foster self-esteem,
  • clinics on parenting skills,
  • conflict resolution skills training,
  • drug education.
Funding for the above should come from federal, state, local, private and corporate sources.
The League of Women Voters of Arizona supports measures for adequate funding with emphasis on prevention, rehabilitation, incarceration and non-incarceration facilities, and intervention programs, trained personnel and education for parents of problem children. State funding should be dispersed to the local levels.
The League of Women Voters of Arizona believes that programs and policies should be adopted which promote rehabilitation and education within the Juvenile Justice system and should include:
  • schooling while in detention,
  • counseling for the family and the individual while in detention,
  • alternative living and educational programs and experiences to prevent and discontinue gang involvement.
The League Women Voters of Arizona believes that for the protection of the community and schools, delinquent children should:
  • receive swift and firm justice,
  • be removed from dysfunctional homes after family intervention and long-term family counseling,
  • and be treated as an individual according to the age, need and type of crime and be sent first to juvenile court.
The League of Women Voters of Arizona supports laws that include:
  • swift punishment for weapon possession by juveniles,
  • swift and harsh punishment of adults who provide weapons to juveniles
  • the exchange of records among schools, court and social agencies but not to the public or the media,
  • a juvenile hearing before transfer to adult court.
The League of Women Voters of Arizona supports the concept of an approach to juvenile problems through Restorative Justice programs, which give priority to and accountability for wrongdoing by repairing the damage or harm done to victims and the community through a process of victim involvement, community participation, mediation and reparation. Skilled mediators should be involved in this process.

JUDICIAL SELECTION AND TENURE
Consensus 1969/ Reviewed 1995
The League of Women Voters of Arizona supports the selection of judges by appointment, with voter approval for retention; adequate judicial salaries; longer terms; higher qualifications for justices of the peace and magistrates; a judicial nominating commission, responsible to the governor; and a competency review commission.
To assure that our judges are free of political bias and possessed of the proper qualities of temperament and intellect, and yet retain ultimate control of the courts in the hands of the people, the League of Women Voters of Arizona supports:
  • Appointment of judges by the governor from list of qualified nominees submitted by a bipartisan commission of legal and lay members.
  • Retention of a judge in office, after an established period of time, only by a "yes" vote of the people, a "no" vote requiring a new appointment by the governor.
(This system of judicial selection and tenure has been adopted for Pima and Maricopa and Maricopa counties and is optional for other counties. Although we have basically accomplished our goal, we retain the position because in each session of the Legislature, there are efforts to return to the old elective system.)

LOWER COURT REFORM
Concurrence 1983; Reviewed 1995
The League of Women Voters of Arizona supports legislation which would give Arizona counties the option to consolidate their lower courts in order to promote uniformity in the administration and quality of justice, and effectiveness and efficiency in court administration.

REPRODUCTIVE CHOICE
Concurrence 1983; Reviewed 1995
The League of Women Voters of Arizona believes in the constitutional right of privacy of the individual to make reproductive choices.

SOCIAL POLICY


HUMAN NEEDS
Consensus 1971; Revised 1985; Reviewed 1995; Amended 2007
The League of Women of Arizona supports a state system that provides for a positive program to assist the economically disadvantaged in obtaining a greater measure of financial, physical and personal well-being, with emphasis on meeting basic citizen needs rather than on maintaining minimum expenditures.
In order to assist persons in need, to assure the basic essentials of health and adequate standards of living, reduce dependency, and break the welfare cycle, the state of Arizona should:
  • Assure supportive programs and services integrated with those for the general public on an available-to-pay basis, including legal services, comprehensive health care, child care, transportation, family planning, home management, family counseling, vocational training, and educational enrichment.
  • Work with private and public agencies, and utilize community services to the fullest.
  • Encourage recipients to work when possible, with child care, counseling, job training and financial incentives available and to participate in program development and implementation.
  • Disseminate information on welfare programs and interpret the needs of the community to the public.
  • Provide adequate funds for capable, qualified staff, manageable case loads, information and referral services, and accessible office facilities.
  • Administer funds and programs wisely, according to sound management and accounting principles, while preserving the rights and dignity of recipients.

VICTIMIZATION OF CHILDREN AND INTRA-FAMILIAL ABUSE
Adopted 1985; Revised 1995
The League of Women Voters of Arizona believes that government, both state and local, including the state legislature and state and local agencies, should assure that necessary services are readily available to serve and protect the abused. These persons should be the focus of careful and timely long- range planning by these agencies and by the courts. Adequate resource allocations shall be made within child protective and state agency budgets, within police and law enforcement budgets, and within the court system to assure the proper training and education of those who deal with these issues.
The League of Women Voters of Arizona supports violence prevention programs in all communities and action to support:
  • Public and private development and coordination of programs that emphasize the primary prevention of violence.
  • The active role of government and social institutions in preventing violent behavior.
  • The allocation of public monies in government programs to prevent violence.

EDUCATION


PUBLIC SCHOOL FINANCE
Consensus 1975, 1979; Reviewed 1995; Revised 1997; Concurrence 1999; Restated 2000. Under review 2015-16.
The League of Women Voters of Arizona supports a funding plan for public education that enhances the equal opportunity of all students. Such a plan should:
  • Provide for the equitable distribution of state funds, including capital funding.
  • Establish criteria for a quality education for all students prior to determining the formula for the distribution of monies.
  • Recognize the differences in the needs of school districts.
  • Provide funds for the special needs of school districts.
  • Include measures to equalize the ability of school districts to finance those portions of their budgets for which they are responsible on the local level.
  • Require governmental entities that establish mandated programs to continue funding for duration of the project.
  • Budget for transportation, social services and special education needs separately from base maintenance and operation support.
  • Ensure that all schools using public funds, such as Charters are held as fiscally accountable as are schools in regular established public school districts.

ED FUNDING SOURCES FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS
The League of Women Voters of Arizona recognizes the inequities of the local school property tax. Therefore, the League supports these measures:
  • Decrease reliance on the local school district property tax.
  • Utilize statewide taxes for support of public school education.
  • Require development impact fees to be paid to local school districts.
  • Continue use of trust land monies.
  • Maintain a policy of local control on spending decisions.
  • New monies should be additional funds and not supplant present state funding.
The League of Women Voters of Arizona also supports the following aspects of funding for public schools:
  • School districts in Arizona retain ability to bond for building or renovation of schools and for capital expenditures.
  • School districts retain the ability to hold override elections.
  • Bond and override elections are determined by a simple majority vote.
  • Legislature levies taxes for schools by a simple majority vote.
  • Realistic allowances are made for inflation.
  • Continued centralized collection and distribution of funding to local school districts enabling distribution of these funds to provide:
  • A certain basic amount of money for each student,
  • Financing over and above the basic amount to ensure equal opportunity for each child,
  • Equal or equivalent maintenance of buildings,
  • Equal or equivalent supplies,
  • Strong leadership and quality teaching.

ED CITIZEN PARTICIPATION
The League of Women Voters of Arizona supports the principle that the governmental entity closest to the school district constituency can best make decisions that will enhance the equal educational opportunity of all students. Therefore, the League suggests these policies:
  • The state distributes public school funds equitably to school districts and set minimal general educational guidelines without inhibiting local decision making.
  • Local school districts determine how funds are allocated in school district budgets.
  • Citizen participation is essential, including funding and representative decision making.
The League of Women Voters of Arizona supports policies and practices that encourage responsive government and informed citizen participation in the school district budgeting process. Therefore, the League supports the following:
  • The school district budget format should call for specific information, such as program detail, salary schedules, and capital improvement programs.
  • The school district budgeting schedule should include citizen input in time to allow for citizen influence on the allocation of funds in the budget.
  • Advisory committees, open to all citizens in the school district community, should provide citizen input into the budgetary process.

ED ADDITIONAL CONCERNS
The League of Women Voters of Arizona is also committed to these goals:
  • Public funds should be used only for public schools and not for vouchers to private schools, including tuition tax credits, waivers, or direct payments to parents for school expenses of their children.
  • Reorganization of any school districts should be to enhance the educational opportunities of all students.
  • Funding for charter schools may negatively impact funds available to local school districts and standardized sequential curriculum may not be utilized.

CHARTER SCHOOLS
Concurrence 1999, Concurrence 2013
The League of Women Voters of Arizona supports the following:
  • Charter schools are public schools that are privately operated.
  • Charter schools should be held to the same high standards as all Arizona public schools.
  • All public schools should be permitted and encouraged to innovate. They must be allowed flexibility on class size, length of school day, teaching techniques, and special subject focus (such as science, the arts, technology).
  • Charter schools need more initial direction as they are started and organized to comply with legal requirements.
  • All public school teachers must be well qualified.
  • The curriculum must comply with the Arizona State Standards. Test score results and school ranking must be easily available to the public.
  • Academic evaluation of charter and traditional public schools needs to be equitable. However, there is still insufficient oversight of charter schools. The state staff should be adequate to monitor student achievement.
  • Schools that close must arrange for an orderly transfer of students and return to the State available money and property that has been given to them from the State's General Fund.
  • The Arizona Constitution states that all public schools must be funded for proper maintenance, improvement, and development. It is imperative that sufficient funding be provided to assure steady progress in teaching and learning. This would better prepare students with the tools to thrive in a competitive and changing world.
  • Open enrollment has given parents and students more options for school choice. However, the availability of public information must be more accessible to all.
  • A better tracking system of students is even more important due to school choice or open enrollment.

AIMS: HIGH-STAKES TESTING (Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards)
Consensus 2005
The League of Women Voters of Arizona believes that no single "high-stakes" test (AIMS) should be the deciding factor for graduation from high school. The LWVAZ supports a diploma being awarded to students who satisfactorily complete their course work.
The League of Women Voters of Arizona supports the use of AIMS (or other government-mandated tests) for the following purposes:
  • Identifying and alleviating students' academic difficulties, in a timely manner;
  • Identifying necessary changes in curriculum, methods, and materials.
The League of Women Voters of Arizona believes it is important for government-mandated tests to be well-crafted, meaningful, and well-matched with the Arizona Standards. Therefore the LWVAZ supports the following:
  • Utilizing Arizona educators from K-12 to develop and write the questions and educators from institutions of higher learning to evaluate the tests in their areas of expertise.
  • Validating the tests to be sure they reflect the Arizona Standards and appropriate grade levels. If "high-stakes" testing for high school graduation continues in Arizona, the LWVAZ recognizes that provisions need to be made for those who fail. Therefore, the LWVAZ supports retesting students who fail AIMS during their high school years.

NATURAL RESOURCES


LAND USE
Consensus 1975; Reviewed 1995
The League of Women Voters of Arizona supports:
  • Action to achieve a physical environment beneficial to life, with emphasis on achieving an optimum balance between human needs and the carrying capacity of the land and its resources.
  • Statewide land use planning which should include economic, social and environmental components, basic services, transportation, new concepts of community design, the best use of resource conservation measures in land use planning, with emphasis on the effects of population growth and distribution.
  • Measures to preserve open space and natural habitat, identify and regulate areas of critical concern, including fragile areas, historic areas, riparian habitats, renewable resource lands, and natural hazard lands.
  • Statewide authority over areas and activities outside of local government jurisdiction, or which their governmental bodies fail to regulate.
  • Protection of private property in accordance with the Fifth Amendment, but retaining the government's right to regulate the use of land through its power to protect the public health, welfare and safety, the decision whether a regulation constitutes a partial taking should be determined by the courts.
  • Requirements for evaluation of economic, social and environmental impacts of major land use projects, whether initiated by government agencies or by private interests.
  • Policies which assure the quality of the environment for people of all economic levels.
  • Policies which assure the quality of the environment for people of all economic levels.
  • Increased coordination and communication among land use agencies at all levels of government, and between those agencies and the public.
  • Requiring any boards, commissions or agencies having authority or responsibility over land use planning to be comprised of individuals representing a balance of diverse citizen interests and concerns.
  • Public input into all stages of planning and decision making.
  • Increased technical and financial assistance to localities for growth management, encouragement of local communities to use innovative planning and regulatory techniques, and to incorporate measures to conserve energy, integrate transportation planning, consider availability of water and other resources.

WATER
Consensus 1975, 1979; Revised 1995, 2009
The League of Women Voters of Arizona supports the following goals:
Water resource management should ensure:
  • The sustainability and long-term productivity of water resources of the state and their future availability at reasonable costs. (Reasonable cost is defined as costs that fairly and accurately reflect the value of this precious resource.)
  • The equitable utilization of water resources.
  • Conservation of water resources.
  • Prevention of harmful contamination of our surface and groundwater supplies from all sources.
  • Coordination at all levels of government + federal, state and local + in planning for and managing water resources.
  • Availability of detailed information on all groundwater withdrawal and hydraulic characteristics of aquifers.
  • Energy consideration to be included as part of any water management plan.
  • Public participation at all levels of water resource management planning.
Arizona water laws should:
  • Reflect the hydrologic cycle and treat all water as interrelated.
  • Recognize and provide for physical differences between various areas of the state.
  • Define and quantify ground and surface rights.
  • Consider priority of use and coordination of planning for water and land if water rights are transferred.
  • Recognize riparian habitats as beneficial use.
  • Assure that riparian habitats and in stream flows are protected when any new water rights are granted, or when there are water exchanges or changed uses.
  • Clarify and strengthen in stream flow rights.
  • Provide for incentives for stream/habitat restoration.
  • Provide authority to:
  • Limit non-beneficial or wasteful use
  • Limit new water uses in areas of long-term shortages
  • Decide which users should have priorities in times of shortages.
  • (The administration of the above should be determined at the state
  • level, with emphasis on implementation and enforcement at the local
  • or regional level.)
  • Require conservation of water by large individual users, such as large industries and agricultural entities, and encourage conservation by all other users. Tax incentives should be utilized.
  • The League urges public education on water conservation.
Amended & Re-adopted 1995, 1997, 2003, 2005, 2009 Re-adopted 1999, 2001

LWVMP Consensus Positions

CHARTER HOME RULE FOR MARICOPA COUNTY The League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Phoenix supports charter home rule for Maricopa County.
As defined in the Arizona Constitution, an elected charter committee is required to compose a proposed charter. Maricopa County voters would then vote on the proposed charter as well as appointment vs. election of row officers and taxation as additional and separate questions. (Updated May 2014)

EDUCATION
The League of Women Voters Metropolitan Phoenix supports adequate and appropriate vocational and technical education.

ENERGY
The League of Women Voters Metropolitan Phoenix supports measures to encourage conservation and the use and development of sustainable and environmentally sound energy sources.

Consensus: How It Happens

The League of Women Voters is a proudly non-partisan organization that supports no candidates or parties. However, LWV is political. This is the LWV process.
PROGRAM STUDY, CONSENSUS AND POSITION STATEMENTS
At every level, League program consists of those governmental issues that members choose for concentrated study, consensus, and action. At each year's program planning meeting, members discuss their ideas for local, state, and national program. Their proposals are submitted to the respective administrative team or board of directors. Each board then considers the proposals forwarded to it, formulates a recommended program, and presents it to the membership at local annual meetings or to delegates at the state or national convention.
When an issue for study has been adopted, the board appoints a chairperson of a "study committee". This person in turn finds other members to serve on the committee. Taking part in a study is an excellent way to become familiar with and involved in the League.
The study committee researches the designated topic and presents all its information to members at the local team meetings, where it is absorbed and discussed. Members strive to reach consensus, or agreement, and clearly state their stand--called a Position or Position Statement--on a particular issue. Consensus is not a simple majority, nor is it unanimity, but it means an overall sense of the group. It is the committee's responsibility to present all sides of the issue to members for their consideration, and with each team or group reaching consensus, it is possible to find out what members think on the whole. However, the minority opinion will also surface.
If the state League is studying the topic, usually on a statewide issue, then it becomes a state consensus, and, similarly, a national consensus if the study was conducted at that level on a national issue. In all cases, the consensus is reached through local Leagues participating at their local meetings, which is why member attendance is important. From the consensus comes the statement of what the League supports or opposes.
Another process for obtaining a League position is through concurrence, or agreement with some other League entity's proposed statement. League members or boards can concur with recommendations or a statement from a task force, a resource committee, a unit group, or any League board--another local board, any state board, or the national board.

ACTION

The League of Women Voters "speaks with one voice" national, state and local Leagues take part in and support consensus positions. Once members reach agreement and a position is stated, local, state or national League may take action by:

  • lobbying
  • working with other organizations
  • letter writing and email campaigns and personal visits to legislators and administrative agencies
  • publishing and distributing pertinent materials
  • testifying at legislative and administrative hearings to assure citizen input in policymaking decisions
  • monitoring elections and other government activities such as council, commission or committee meetings
  • litigation to help clarify laws in the public interest.
LWV takes action only when there is an existing League Consensus Position that supports a specific issue or speaks to a certain cause. While some of positions may or may not be favored by a political party, all were achieved by careful, nonpartisan consideration.

LWV Metropolitan Phoenix Contact Information

Phone
480-231-6426

Mailing Address
1155 S. Power Rd. Suite 114-58
Mesa, AZ 85206

Email
infoLWVMP@gmail.com