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.
A study of the approaches to improving communication between Needham residents and Town Meeting Members was approved at the May 2018 Annual Meeting.
A committee and subcommittee are researching the topic and will report progress at the 2019 Annual Meeting.
In 2018, LWV-Needham completed its study on community use of town buildings.
Position on Community Use of Town Buildings
The study and consensus meeting concluded that the following local position related to town government should be recommended to the Board and the membership:
Support maximizing the availability of town buildings for community use and ensuring that the town has a consistent, user-friendly process to obtain information, arrange for their use and provide support during their use.
At the study’s consensus meeting, the following were agreed upon:
LWV-Needham is participating in the study of the Ballot Question Process in Massachusetts. The consensus meeting will be in January 2019.
LWV-Needham participated in the study of Charter Schools in Massachusetts, completed with the passage of the new position on charter schools at the LWVMA Convention 2017.
LWV-Needham has participated in recent national studies including Agriculture, Constitutional Amendments, and Money in Politics. There are currently no national studies.