Making Democracy Work

Our Positions

We take action on our positions.

We reach our positions after study and consensus.

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. Firm action or advocacy can then be taken on the particular issue addressed by the position. Without a position, action/advocacy cannot be taken.

The Los Angels County Inter-League Organization has adopted positions on certain issues important to our local communities.

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY POSITIONS IN BRIEF 2012-2014

GOVERNMENT

COUNTY GOVERNMENT (Adopted 1976; amended 1978; studied and amended 2004) Support for a more efficient, responsible, representative, economical, visible and accountable county government; support for an appointed chief executive with charter status. The League does not support an elected CEO. The League neither supports nor opposes enlargement of the Board of Supervisors, but, if expansion is proposed, there should be careful consideration of the costs involved. Support for a separate audit department. Support for certain changes in the present procedures for establishing boards, commissions and committees. Any division of Los Angeles County should be based on rational boundaries and provide social and economic equity. However, the League does not favor division of or secession from the County. The League favors mandatory membership in Southern California Association of Governments, but opposes direct election of SCAG officials. The League supports developed unincorporated areas either incorporating or annexing to adjacent incorporated areas.

LOS ANGELES COUNTY BUDGET (Adopted 1993) Support for policies and processes that encourage meaningful public involvement before and during the budget preparation and adoption process. Support for a strong leadership role by the board of supervisors in setting budget priorities based upon serving the public good, and including assessment of needs, consideration of cost and program effectiveness and accurate, open and timely accounting and auditing reports. Support for maximum and effective use of existing revenue sources; active pursuit of potential sources of revenue; strong local control of under-funded, mandated programs and services; and guidelines to follow when insufficient revenue forces cutbacks in the county budget.

ELECTION PROCEDURES (Adopted 1964; amended 1983; revised 1994; amended 2002, amended 2010) Support of ease of registration including postcard registration with simplified forms and greater availability, with safeguards against fraud. Support of County Registrar of Voters providing continued and increased voter education to encourage maximum informed voter participation. Support of easily understood analyses of all ballot measures with printed summaries of the texts and information about how copies of the full texts may be obtained. Support of a voting system which meets the criteria of accuracy, efficiency, economy, and voter encouragement. Support of an effective election commission charged with evaluating the operation, recommending improvements and assessing the feasibility of new voting methods. Support for Instant Run-off Voting (IRV) in single seat election.

GRAND JURY (Adopted 1981) Support of the Los Angeles County Grand Jury function as mandated by law in 1980 with the exception of the function of the witness' counsel. Witness' counsel should be permitted to be present in the hearing room. Support for adequate funding. Grand jury members should represent a wide spectrum of the community. Members should be well-trained and qualified for jury duty. Information about the functions and recommendations of the Grand Jury should be given broad dissemination for greater public awareness.

NATURAL RESOURCES

AIR QUALITY (Adopted 1971; amended 1989) Support of the governmental efforts to attain established ambient air quality standards in the Los Angeles region, with emphasis on cooperation and co-ordination among all units of government; and measures to encourage research and control of air pollution.

LAND USE (Adopted 1974; revised and amended 2002; revised and amended 2006) Support for comprehensive regional planning consistent with LWVC Sustainable Communities Action Policy including strong, enforceable, environmental protections; for planning which is responsive to the public; for acquisition of additional open space; and for study and reform of tax policies to improve land use.

TRANSPORTATION (Adopted 1967; restudied and revised 2002) Support of the concept of public transportation as a public service with equity and political accountability in its provision; locally administered circulation areas responsible for adequate community and feeder systems; a multi-county transit authority having appropriate links among transit, land use and economic, social and environmental concerns which is responsible for planning, operation and construction of an integrated rapid transit system; ongoing coordination of transportation systems to achieve effective and efficient public service and continuing public education to promote awareness and use of those systems. Support adequate transit financing, including highway user taxes, flexibility in the use of funds and public subsidy for operating expenses.

WASTE MANAGEMENT (Adopted 1984, 1985) Support for actions by local government to promote solid and hazardous waste reduction. Support for the transfer of authority for siting solid waste management facilities from the local governmental level to a county or regional level, and for incentives to communities for accepting a solid waste facility. Support for the participation of the County in a regional agency with authority to site hazardous waste facilities. Support for actions and programs to protect public health and the environment from the effects of hazardous waste. Support for adequate funding of solid and hazardous waste management programs by a combination of sources. Support for the participation of local government as needed in the provision of waste management services; such participation could range from providing information and encouragement to private industry and/or acting as the provider of last resort.

POPULATION IMPACTS ON A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE (Adopted 1996) Support for education of League members and the public about the rate of population growth and the social, environmental, and governmental impacts associated with a large and rapidly expanding population. Support for population stabilization or reduction, moving as quickly as possible to a population size sustainable indefinitely without significant damage to quality of life for present and future generations. Support for the promotion and achievement of lifestyles and communities that can be sustained over the long term without damage to the environment, including but not limited to conservation and recycling efforts to minimize the costs of rising populations in terms of resource consumption, waste production, air and water quality, open space, wetlands and other natural resources. Support for governmental and individual policy planning and decision making that consider the carrying capacity of our region and the earth.

SOCIAL POLICY

COUNTY JAIL SYSTEM (Adopted 2012) Support for reducing overcrowding in the county jail system by improving jail computer systems, routing prisoners more efficiently, expediting pre-trial case management, and studying criminalization standards for possible modification. Oppose using private jails. Support for a variety of sentencing options for low-risk offenders. Support for providing comprehensive health care services for emergency, urgent, and on-going health problems, physical and mental, for all inmates; support for segregating mentally ill inmates. Support for offering basic educational and vocational training programs and social rehabilitation and re-entry programs to all inmates. Support for providing adequate public funding to maintain state standards. Support for effective, continual internal and external oversight of jail conditions and practices and for safe release practices.

CHILD CARE (Adopted 1987) Support for adoption of a comprehensive child care policy which recognizes the importance of accessible, affordable quality care for all children who need it; effectively administered with full and efficient use of all available funds and incentives to encourage private sector participation and coordination. Support for development of a model child care program for the children of Los Angeles County employees. Support of County assistance in the expansion of Resource and Referral Agency services.

FOSTER CARE - CHILDREN'S SERVICES (Adopted 1988) Support for a foster care system which considers the needs and feelings of the child to be primary; offers supportive and preventive services to keep the natural family together when feasible; and provides a nurturing home-like environment to enhance the growth and development of children in foster care. Support for services to encourage reunification of the family or permanent placement as quickly as possible. Support for assessment, placement, support services, counseling, education and training which enhance the child's self-esteem and encourage rehabilitation and self-sufficiency in older dependent and delinquent youth. Support for effective training of all personnel and care givers; enhanced recruitment of foster parents; adequate and promptly paid stipends reflective of costs of care; reasonable case loads; encouragement of and cooperation with the private sector. Support for a Dependency Court which encourages long-term assignments of judicial personnel who are qualified and sensitive to the needs and feelings of abused, neglected and ?at risk" children.

INCOME ASSISTANCE (Adopted 1972; amended 1980) State government should bear full or most of the responsibility for funding General Relief and for matching funds for income assistance programs. Eligibility requirements and regulations accorded families headed by a single parent should be extended to two-parent families with a working or unemployed parent and to General Relief applicants and recipients. The present program should be simplified into two systems: a job and training program for those who are employable and a simple assistance program for the non-employable.

JUVENILE JUSTICE (Adopted 1986) Support for a system that places emphasis on early identification and prevention, adequate funding and efficient use of resources for services to troubled children. Support for a system that emphasizes effective rehabilitation of the offender, recognizes the importance of accountability of the offender and the family, provides for punishment that is not only appropriate for the offense and the offender, but which also serves the goals of rehabilitation and protection of the community. Support of a county-wide system of services to status offenders, including limited secure detention for runaways, strengthening efforts to decrease truancy, voluntary probation and out-of-home placement, joint planning and coordination among public agencies and the private sector for these services. Support of contracting for limited services, but not for sovereign functions. Support for Dependency Court as a court of jurisdiction for status offenders requiring court intervention. Support of in-depth training for all personnel within the system, manageable case loads, availability of community placements in adequate numbers and adequate funding, and efficient use and coordination of resources throughout the system.

MENTAL HEALTH CARE (Adopted 1989) Support for an adequately funded mental health care system which provides comprehensive services to the acutely, chronically and seriously mentally ill of all ages; maintains optimal mental health services for all clients; places emphasis on meeting the needs of children; offers mental health services for the homeless; seeks additional funds for preventive services; implements a master plan to integrate services; raises awareness of critical unmet needs; and emphasizes case management.

SOCIAL SERVICES (Adopted 1972; amended 1980) Support for continued and improved supportive services for all who need them, with fees charged according to ability to pay when this is appropriate and cost effective for the service. Support for a system of social services which prevents and remedies problems; which keeps families together, unless the interests of the child would be better served in another way; which meets the needs of children and adults for protection; which has adequate and accessible information and referral services; which has sufficient personnel to deliver quality service; and which makes an effort to achieve good community relations.

Download our complete positions in pdf format.