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."
Join the League/Renew Your Membership
Want to join the League? Click here for the Member Application form – 2023-24. Please be sure to fill out this application and mail with your check payable to LWV CVA to: League of Women Voters, PO Box 2786, Charlottesville, VA 22902. Or use the online link below to pay by credit card, but we must have your application sent by mail to complete the membership.
When is it time to renew your League of Women Voters Membership? Our membership year is based on the fiscal year, so your dues are due July 1 for the upcoming year. You will receive notice in June to renew your membership for 2023-24.
Please note: Members who join (or renew) after the first day of the fiscal year and before four months prior to the start of the fiscal year shall pay full dues. If you became a member in the four months prior to the start of the fiscal year (i.e., March to July 1, 2022) you do not have to pay dues for the coming fiscal year. Life members and students have no dues.
To pay/renew your dues by credit card online:
Individual Membership: $65
Household Membership (two persons at the same address): $90
Student Membership: Free to students who are at least 1/2 time
Life Members (persons who have been members for 50 years or more): No dues
You may also pay by check, payable to LWV CVA, and mail to League of Women Voters, PO Box 2786, Charlottesville, VA 22902.
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 of the Charlottesville Area encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. We do not endorse or oppose candidates for political office, or political parties. We are committed to applying the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of our operations and activities. We support governmental policies that apply these principles in addressing the social, environmental and economic problems in our communities. We hold governmental officials accountable for decision-making that promotes widespread, informed and civil public participation.
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
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.
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
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.
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
Continuing the League’s mission to educate and enlighten the electorate, a series of seminars, called “Sunday Seminars” was launched in 2017. Until the covid pandemic hit in 2020, these seminars have been 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). With the pandemic shutting down in-person meetings, we have continued our Sunday Seminars as virtual (zoom) meetings. Zoom meetings have also been held for our active LWV CVA committees that meet monthly which include: International/Relations and Federal Government; Natural Resources; Gun Violence Prevention committee; In the spring of 2022, some committees were once again meeting in-person. The Member Handbook published yearly at the beginning of the fiscal year (July 1) lists active committees/contacts.The LWV CVA monthly newsletter emailed to members lists all meetings with date, time and place of the meeting, as well as contact information.
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: Member Application form-2023-24!
League of Women Voters
of the Charlottesville Area
PO Box 2786
Charlottesville, VA 22902
© 2023 LWV CVA. All Rights Reserved.