Making Democracy Work

About the League

What is our mission? How are we structured? What is our history?

Our Mission and Roles

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy. We never support or oppose any political party or candidate.

The League of Women Voters has two separate and distinct roles.

To conduct our voter service and citizen education activities, we use funds from the League of Women Voters Education Fund, which is a 501(c)(3) corporation, a nonprofit educational organization. The League of Women Voters, a membership organization, conducts action and advocacy and is a nonprofit 501(c)(4) corporation.

Our Vision, Beliefs, and Intentions guide our activities.

Butte County League

The League of Women Voters of Butte County was launched in 1966 and has made its mark on the county, observing at meetings of governmental organizations, registering and educating voters about local and state initiatives, providing voter registration and information on a range of issues, studying land use, water, health care, education, juvenile justice, to name just a few.

Because of its non-partisan stance and its rational and information-based response to community issues, our League has earned the trust of citizens. We adhere to a set of principles as follows:

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

The League of Women Voters believes that every citizen should be assured 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, clear assignment of responsibility, adequate financing, and coordination among the different agencies and levels of government.

The League of Women Voters believes that responsible government should maintain an equitable and flexible system of taxation, promote the conservation and development of natural resources in the public interest, share in the solution of economic and social problems that affect the general welfare, promote a sound economy, and adopt domestic policies that facilitate the solution of international problems.

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

The League of Women Voters has studied and developed positions on matters in three general areas: government, human resources, and natural resources. These positions are called the League Program. Their goals are as follows:

1. To promote an open governmental system that is representative, accountable, and responsible to all citizens and that protects individual liberties as established in the Constitution.
2. To promote social justice by securing equal rights for all and combating discrimination and poverty.
3. To promote the wise management of natural resources in the public interest and an environment beneficial to all life.

The Butte County League Program has included:
-Butte County Government: Charter
-Housing
-Juvenile Justice
-Health Care Delivery
-Energy
-Water Resources of Butte County
-Bidwell Park
-Land Use and Planning
-Education
-Butte County Budgeting Process

At present we are focusing on city and county long-range planning for the preservation of clean water, agriculture, open space, and development that pays for itself. We continue to send observers to key governmental meetings, organize candidate forums for local, regional, state, and national elections, and collaborate with other organizations to educate and involve the community in issues that affect their quality of life.

Whatever the issue, the League believes that government policy, programs, and performance must meet these criteria:
-competent personnel with clear responsibilities
-coordination among agencies and levels of government
-adequate financing
-effective enforcement
-well-defined channels for citizen input and review Some Common League Terms

Program/study: Governmental issues on the local, state, and national levels chosen by the membership for concerted study and action. Issue must be one on which government action is needed, on which government can solve, and one for which League can help seek the solution. Issue must have current need, community interest, and foreseeable effective citizen action.

Consensus: Agreement among a substantial number of members representing the membership as a whole, reached after sustained study and group discussion.

Position: A statement of conclusions drawn from a study, usually with specific objectives that League would like to see implemented.

Vertical Position: Authorization for one level of League to take action on a basis of a position reached by another level of League.

Action: Directed toward influencing what governmental decisions are made; may be writing letters, distributing issue-oriented materials, lobbying, speaking, monitoring governmental activities<limited only by the ingenuity of League members. League action must be approved by the Board.

Unit Meetings: The traditional system of League to provide give-and-take on issues within a small group.

Non-Partisan: The League may take action on governmental measures and policies in the public interest. It shall not support or oppose any political party or candidate.

History of the League of Women Voters