The League of Women Voters takes action on an issue or advocates for a cause when there is an existing League position that supports the issue or speaks to the cause.
Positions result from a process of study. Any given study, whether it be National, State, or Local, is thorough in its pursuit of facts and details. As the study progresses, a continuing discussion of pros and cons of each situation occurs. Prior to the results of the study being presented to the general membership, study committee members fashion consensus questions that are then addressed by the membership.
Additional discussion, pro and con, takes place as members (not part of the study committee) learn the scope of the study. After the members reach consensus, the board forms positions based on that consensus.
It is the consensus statement — the statement resulting from the consensus questions — that becomes a position. The League can then take firm action or advocate for a particular issue addressed by the position. Without a position, action/advocacy cannot be taken.
Local studies provide an opportunity to research a local issue, and perhaps will lead to a new position. Past studies that lead to positions are summarized with the LWV-Needham positions.
The League is currently in the research phase of a study on community use of town buildings.
At the May 2015 Annual Meeting, the board recommended and the membership approved the following study:
Proposal: A study of community use of town buildings in Needham.
Goal: The goal of the study is to research and review the community use of town buildings, including availability, cost, application process, guidelines, etc.
Background: Needham community groups and Needham voters have generously approved and supported buildings in town (including schools), and the town has been generous in allowing their use for some events. However, at times groups have been prohibited from using the buildings for meetings and events.
Study Committee: Carol Patey, Sally Toran, Lindsay Acomb, Susan McGarvey, Susan Welby, Debbie Winnick, and Karen Price
LWV-Needham participated in the recent study of Charter Schools in Massachusetts, completed with the passage of the new position on charter schools at the LWVMA Convention 2017.