League of Women Voters of the Charlottesville Area

"The League of Women Voters encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy."

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Welcome to the League of Women Voters of the Charlottesville Area (LWV CVA). This page was prepared to help introduce you to the League.

About the League

History: At the 50th convention of the National American Women Suffrage Association in 1919, then President Carrie Chapman Catt, proposed the creation of a “league of women voters to finish the fight and aid in the reconstruction of the nation.” On February 14, 1920, just six months before the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution giving women the right to vote was ratified, the National League of Women Voters was formally organized in Chicago. LWV CVA (then the League of Women Voters of Charlottesville/Albemarle) was granted full league status in 1946.

In 2012, at national convention of LWV US, approval was given to the merger of our league with the LWV of Fluvanna. With our merger came an expansion of our boundaries to encompass all areas defined by the Thomas Jefferson Planning District, which includes the city of Charlottesville and the five surrounding counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson. Our new name is the LWV of the Charlottesville Area, or simply LWV CVA.

Mission: The League of Women Voters, a non-partisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

Organization: The League Is organized to parallel the three levels of government, local, state and national. All levels of League are governed by an elected, volunteer board.

As a LWV CVA member, you are also a member of the national league (LWV US) and the Virginia state league (LWV VA). You will receive the National Voter and the Virginia Voter from each of these leagues periodically.

To support its activities, most local Leagues hold fund raising events. Donations made to fund general League activities are not tax deductible because of the advocacy actions of the League. Donations made to fund educational activities may be made to an LWV Education Fund and are tax deductible.

Membership dues paid to the local League primarily support the state and national Leagues through Per Member Payments (PMP). Only a small portion of dues is retained at the local level.

How the League Operates

WE STUDY:

Some topics are voted on to be studied more in depth and a committee is usually established to do the research. After an item is studied, membership may take a “position” (through a consensus process) and may undertake “action” regarding that position.

WE TAKE ACTION:

After a position is reached on an issue as result of a study, the League may “take action” to change or enact laws that reflect that position.

This action may include:

  • monitoring compliance with a law
  • writing letters to the editor or elected official or contacting them by e-mail
  • testifying at a committee meeting
  • joining or forming a coalition
  • joining or initiating court action

While the effort is political in that it seeks to affect the outcome of legislation or policy, it is nonpartisan because it is based on our position not on party affiliation. The League’s political effectiveness rests on its reputation for thorough study followed by action. “Study without action is futile: action without study is fatal” is an old League saying.

Occasionally you will receive a “call to action” or an “Action alert” for issues that are nearing a vote or decision, particularly ones which are hotly contested. It is important to write or call your elected representative when you get such an action call.

OBSERVERS:

League observers attend meetings of public bodies and monitor how the laws and policies are being carried out. The observer does not speak at these meetings but reports back to the League membership

VOTER SERVICES:

The League encourages citizens to register, vote and participate in government. They provide unbiased, factual information about voting procedures, candidates and ballot issues. Leagues host forums and debates, as well as provide voter guides for citizens to make informed decisions.

WHAT WE DO:

  • LWV helps voters
  • LWV encourages involvement of all citizens
  • LWV represents the public
  • LWV works to stimulate long-range cooperative planning for Central Virginia
  • LWV works to improve our schools and the lives of children
  • LWV works to protect the environment
  • LWV speaks out on tough problems

Where and When the League Meets

In 2017, continuing the League’s mission to educate and enlighten the electorate, a series of seminars, called “Sunday Seminars” was launched.  These seminars were in held in City/Space on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall, and were in addition to other meetings open to the public, including the annual Program Planning meeting (usually held in December).   Several active LWV CVA committees that meet monthly include:  International/Relations and Federal Government; Natural Resources; and newly formed, Firearms Safety Task Force committee.  Every year, the Natural Resources committee sponsors a community dialogue on a topic of interest, which in 2017, was “fracking.”

PRINCIPLES OF THE LEAGUE

The League of Women Voters believes in representative government and the individual liberties established in the Constitution of the United States.

The League of Women Voters believes that democratic government depends on the informed and active participation of its citizens and requires that government bodies protect the citizen’s right to know by giving adequate notice of the proposed actions, holding open meetings and making public records accessible.

The League of Women Voters believes that every citizen should be protected in the right to vote; that every person should have access to free public education which provides equal opportunity for all; and that no person or group should suffer legal, economic or administrative discrimination.

The League of Women Voters believes that efficient and economical government requires competent personnel, the clear assignment of responsibility, adequate financing and coordination among the different agencies and levels of government.

The League of Women Voters believes that government should be responsive to the will of the people; that it should maintain an equitable and flexible system of taxation; promote the conservation and development of natural resources; share in the solution of economic and social problems which affect the general welfare, and adopt domestic policies which facilitate the solution of international problems.

The League of Women Voters believes that cooperation with other nations is essential and that the development of international organization and international law is imperative in the promotion of world peace.

If you believe in the principles of the League of Women Voters, please join today!

Calendar

Date/Time: Wednesday, Sept. 19, 1:30 - 3 pm
Event: LWV CVA Natural Resources Committee Meeting
Place: University Village (small committee room) at 500 Crestwood Dr., Charlottesville
Contact: For further information, contact Sally Thomas, 434-295-1819
Date/Time: Tuesday, Sept. 25, 10:00 am
Event: National Voter Registration Day!
Contact: For further information, contact Pat Cochran, 326-7873
Date/Time: Wednesday, Sept. 26, 10:00 am
Event: LWV CVA International Relations/Federal Gov't Committee Meeting
Place: Home of Lois Sandy, 1666 Franklin Dr., Charlottesville, 296-8737
Contact: For further information, contact Elaine Longerbeam, 540-832-7296

League of Women Voters
of the Charlottesville Area
Mailing Address:
PO Box 2786
Charlottesville, VA  22902
Email:  lwv@lwv-cva.org

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© 2018 LWV CVA. All Rights Reserved.

The League of Women Voters never supports or opposes candidates for office, or political parties, and any use of the League of Women Voters name in campaign advertising or literature has not been authorized by the League.
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