Making Democracy Work

Positions on Issues

The League is a nonpartisan organization that takes action on policies in the public interest without ever supporting or opposing any political party or candidate. This page describes our positions.

Summary of Our Positions on Issues

The League is a nonpartisan organization that takes action on governmental measures and policies in the public interest without ever supporting or opposing any political party or candidate.

We support comprehensive planning and the implementation of a Land Use Plan for Tippecanoe County that is compatible with that of other counties in the region. We believe the common good of the overall community should have as much influence as the rights of the individual property owner.

We support governmental planning for, development of, and funding for parks, recreation and open space for Tippecanoe County. We support the preservation of the natural and historical heritage of our country. We support integrated development of recreational opportunities that encourage environmentally responsible development of the Wabash River corridor and foster cooperation among concerned park boards and other governmental entities. We believe such development should utilization of a combination of federal, state, local and private funds.

We support public and private sectors working together to actively promote waste reduction, source reduction, yard-waste composting and recycling in Tippecanoe County and in the solid waste district. We believe that effective solid waste decisions are not primarily engineering decisions but public policy decisions. We believe that the selection of a future landfill site should be part of an overall land use plan.

We believe that access to a basic level of health care is a right. We support public funding for long-term care services, health care planning, and for the medically indigent including prenatal care for the poor. We believe that public policy in a pluralistic society must affirm the constitutional right of privacy of the individual to make reproductive choices. We support rehabilitation and treatment as primary goals of the juvenile justice system. We support the establishment of long-term treatment facilities for juveniles and government funding for detention and treatment facilities.

We support cooperation among the various governmental bodies of Lafayette, West Lafayette, and Tippecanoe County, and the merging of departments with similar functions.

We support programs to prevent family violence and measures that protect victims and survivors of domestic violence through uniform law enforcement, human services intervention, violence prevention education, conflict-management training and safe housing. We support a holistic approach to the problems created by domestic violence.

The League believes that climate change is a serious threat facing our nation and planet. The League believes that an international approach to combating climate change -- including through energy conservation, air pollution controls, building resilience, and promotion of renewable resources -- is necessary to protect public health and defend the overall integrity of the global ecosystem. The League supports climate goals and policies that are consistent with the best available climate science and that will ensure a stable climate system for future generations. Individuals, communities, and governments must continue to address this issue, while considering the ramifications of their decisions, at all levels -- local, state, regional, national, and global.

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 United States on student visas. All persons should receive fair treatment under the law.

The League supports federal immigration law that provides an efficient, expeditious system (with minimal or no backlogs) for legal entry of immigrants into the United States. To complement these goals the League supports federal policies to improve economies, education, job opportunities, and living conditions in nations with large emigrating populations. In transition to a reformed system, the League supports provisions for unauthorized immigrants already in the country to earn legal status. The League supports federal payments to impacted communities to address the financial costs borne by states and local governments with large immigrant populations.

The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that one of the goals of social policy in the United States should be to promote self-sufficiency for individuals and families and that the most effective social programs are those designed to prevent or reduce poverty. Persons who are unable to work, whose earnings are inadequate, or for whom jobs are not available have the right to an income and/or services sufficient to meet their basic needs for food, shelter, and access to health care. The federal government should set minimum, uniform standards and guidelines for social welfare programs and should bear primary responsibility for financing programs designed to help meet the basic needs of individuals and families. State and local governments, as well as the private sector, should have a secondary role in financing food, housing, and health care programs. Income assistance programs should be financed primarily by the federal government with state governments assuming secondary responsibility.

Taking Action -- Local Positions

Positions on which the League of Women Voters of Greater Lafayette takes action are detailed in the local positions for 2018-2019

We also act on positions of the State and National Leagues.

Reaching Positions

In order to take action a League needs to have a position. The process of reaching a position is reflective, thorough, and deliberate. Any issue that is studied must be one where government action is necessary.

All local, state or national positions are reached through a complex process of member agreement and include the following steps:

  • Formal adoption by members of an issue for study
  • Study and agreement on broad concepts
  • Formulation of a position by the appropriate board of directors
  • Action or advocacy on the position
  • Annual or biennial re-adoption of the position

Once an issue has been adopted for study, a committee is appointed by the board. The committee pursues facts and details, and discusses pro and con responses to the issue. Based on the study and discussions the committee fashions questions that are to be addressed by the membership.

Information and questions are presented to League members. Members attend meetings where the study committee presents the information. Discussion follows and members reach consensus or concurrence. Consensus is not a simple majority nor is it unanimity; rather it is the overall sense of the group. Consensus means that agreement is reached using League responses to specific questions: concurrence means that Leagues have agreed on a pre-stated position.

Based upon the consensus/concurrence statement, the board then forms a position statement. Action and advocacy can be taken based on this position.