League of Women Voters | Advocate
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After careful study and discussion with the membership, LWVN develops positions regarding important public policy issues on the local, state and national level. These positions become the basis for advocacy work with the public and their elected representatives.  The national organization of LWV frequently takes legal action when states or the federal government have infringed on the rights of citizens to have access to the ballot or to run a free and fair election.

 

Members identify  current local issues that merit our organization’s attention through their approval of the annual Strategic Focus. 

 

Once topics have been researched and members polled to develop a consensus, LWVN begins advocacy activities when appropriate. LWVN  was a respected and vocal advocate for the creation of metropolitan government in 1963. It continues to ensure high standards in governmental conduct through representation on the Metro Council Board of Ethical Conduct.

 

Concerns about the future of Metro Schools prompted LWVN to develop positions opposing public funding of private school vouchers as well as opposition to authorization of for-profit charter schools in the state.

 

LWVN volunteers, in collaboration with Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC), assist as “citizenship coaches” for Nashville residents applying for U.S. naturalization citizenship. As one of the founding member groups for the Coalition for Education on Immigration, LWVN supports local policies that make Nashville a “welcoming city” for immigrants and refugees, including those fleeing Middle Eastern countries for crisis.

advocate1League members communicate frequently with the Davidson County delegation in the state legislature to advocate for the priorities adopted by the state league, LWVTN. Policies that promote expanded voting access, preserve sunshine laws, and maintain open government are perennial issues.

Additionally, LWV supports good government policies that protect the rights of citizens, maintain a social safety net for our most vulnerable, ensures quality public education, and is fiscally responsible.  During the legislative session, LWV members receive weekly action alerts from LWV lobbyist, Stewart Clifton.  Members who are not receiving the alerts should contact lwvnash@gmail.com

In keeping with the League’s national election reform agenda, LWVTN continues to advocate steps that Tennessee can take to increase voting accessibility including:

* Secure on-line portals for voters to change their address

* Permanent and portable statewide voter registration

* Expanded early voting sites and dates

* Permission for college/ university students to use college ID’s for voting identification.

LWVTN successfully promoted legislation to allow online voter registration beginning in fall 2017.

 

Through coalitions and collaboration with other organizations, League volunteers amplify their voice.

 

* LWVTN representation on the board of Tennessee Coalition on Open Government, www.tcog.info reflects the organization’s commitment to transparency in government.

 

* A member of the Tennessee Health Care Campaign http://www.thcc2.org/, the League is a strong advocate for InsureTennessee and other programs that promote healthy outcomes for all citizens.

 

* As an organizational member of Tennessee Conservation Voters http://www.tnconservationvoters.org, the League advocates for standards to preserve water and air quality. Inadequate regulations of fracking and ridgetop removal are major concerns.

 

* LWVTN supports public funding for quality voluntary pre-K programs as well as full state funding of the Basic Education Program (BEP) to address K-12 educational needs for all students in the state.

LWV keeps a sharp focus on fundamental issues that “make democracy work”. Access to the polls and the maintenance of a fair and free election system are paramount. LWV advocates for the promotion of the Help America Vote Act, joining lawsuits as needed to ensure its implementation.

 

In recent years, there has been increasing concern about the impact of federal, state, and local efforts to suppress access to the polls. LWV works vigorously to oppose intentional and unintentional procedures that limit access to voting for all eligible citizens.

 

Using a broad, research-focused process for building consensus among members nationwide, LWV has developed position statements on a number of issues, such as:

– Campaign finance reform

– Creation of non-partisan redistricting commissions

– Procedures for amending the U.S. constitution

– Access to quality health care

– Enforcement of air and water quality standards