League of Women Voters of Texas

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OUR MISSION: The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

OUR GOALS: The League acts after study and member agreement to achieve solutions in the public interest on key community issues at all levels of government. We build citizen participation in the democratic process. We engage communities in promoting positive solutions to public policy issues through education and advocacy. Through the Education Fund, we study key community issues in an unbiased manner and we enable people to seek positive solutions to public policy issues through education and conflict management.

OUR BELIEFS AND INTENTIONS: We believe in respect for individuals, the value of diversity and the empowerment of the grassroots, both within the League and in communities. We also believe in the power of collective decision-making for the common good. We act with trust, integrity and professionalism. We operate in an open and effective manner to meet the needs of those we serve, both members and the public. We take the initiative in seeking diversity in membership. We acknowledge our heritage as we seek our path to the future.

OUR STRUCTURE AND PROCESSES: Founded as a "living laboratory of democracy," we are organized on three levels to model the three levels of government. We make key decisions by consensus because we believe in governing with the consent of the governed. When representative democracy rather than direct input is needed, Leagues select delegates to elect state and national board members, revise bylaws and adopt a budget as well as a program of study and action. We study before we act because democracy rests on an informed citizenry that actively involves itself in governmental process

OUR TRADITIONAL WORK: "Mission work" falls into categories we call Program and voters service/citizen education. Program consists of study and action. It rests on grassroots-level input and includes program planning and adoption efforts to reach positions by consensus or concurrence and a range of advocacy activities to implement those positions. Voters service includes candidates, debates and publications such as "Voting in Texas" and voters guides that promote informed involvement in the election process. Citizen education provides balanced information about public policy issues by means of educational conferences and publications such as "Facts and Issues." Advocacy work is conducted by the League of Women Voters of Texas, the membership organization. Voters service and citizen education activities are sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Texas Education Fund. These two legally distinct organizations make up what the public perceives as the state League.

OUR FOCUS: Public policy issues are our focus. Issues make us relevant to our communities. Members join because of an interest in either issues in general or a specific issue. People support us either because of the positions we advocate or our ability to educate people in an unbiased manner about public policy issues or candidates' views on issues.

OUR APPROACH TO ISSUES: We are a multi-issue organization working in the general areas of government, international relations, social policy and natural resources. We tackle issues via study and research citizen education or advocacy depending on public needs, political reality and internal resources. Sometimes we use the contacts we make on all sides of an issue during our studies to facilitate the public policy dialogues of diverse interest groups. We use voters guides and candidate debates to inform voters about candidates' positions on issues. We publish legislative directories such as "When You Go to Austin" so citizens can find their legislators and share their views on issues.

OUR VISION: To empower all citizens to shape better communities across the state.