Making Democracy Work

League Action and Advocacy

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League Action, Advocacy & Positions

Action/Advocacy: we are nonpartisan, but, after study, we use our positions to advocate and lobby for or against particular public policies or legislation in the interest of good government.

The League of Women Voters takes action (lobbies) on an issue or advocates for a cause when there is an existing League position that supports the issue or speaks to the cause.

"League Positions" result from a process of study that includes research on the pros and cons of the issue. Any given study, whether it be National, Regional, State, or Local level, 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 respective League board forms consensus statements based on that consensus.

It is the consensus statement -- the statement resulting from the consensus questions -- that becomes a position. Firm action or advocacy can then be taken on the particular issue addressed by the position. Without a position, action/advocacy cannot be taken.

To review LWVNCA Positions, click here

Also see Program and Positions

Defining "Advocacy" vs. "Lobbying"


It is common for Leagues to support their advocacy activities with only non-charitable contributions. However, this is unnecessary. Leagues may, and are encouraged, to use charitable contributions to support their non-lobbying advocacy activities. Advocacy encompasses pleading for or against causes, as well as supporting or recommending positions....Therefore, it is important to understand the difference between the broad concept of advocacy and lobbying, which is a specific advocacy technique. While lobbying can be part of an advocacy strategy, advocacy does not necessarily include lobbying.

Lobbying is defined as an attempt to influence specific legislation, including both legislation that has already been introduced in a legislative body and specific legislative proposals that the League may oppose or support. There are two types of lobbying: direct lobbying and grassroots lobbying. . . .

For complete details, go to Defining Advocacy vs. Lobbying on the LWVUS website.

Other Resource Links

Library of Congress Thomas Site to research federal legislation.

Open Secrets Center for Responsive Politics. Site for finances of federal campaigns.