League of Women Voters | Educate
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LWVN believes that democracy functions best with an informed and engaged public.  Through our monthly First Fridays programs, special forums, consensus studies, and background reports, we help the public learn more about the issues that impact our community and state.  We also serve as the eyes and ears of the public by attending and reporting the proceedings of the Davidson County Election Commission and other public meetings through our volunteer Observer Corps program.

Our Special Events are always open to the public so that individuals can make informed decisions about public policies and upcoming elections and referendums. Please see our monthly calendar for the most recent postings.

FIRST FRIDAY HOT TOPIC SERIES:

 

Nashville NextOur members and guests gain important insights about public policy issues in the news that impact Nashville as well as Tennessee. Our guest speakers address a wide range of topics including: homelessness, community planning, mass transit, and fracking. The public is always welcome to attend these free programs that are held at Second Harvest Food Bank, 331 Great Circle Road, in Metro Center on the first Friday of every month from 11:30 to 1:00 p.m. No reservations required. See our current online newsletter, The Voter, for more information about the featured speaker.

Observer Corps is a structured way for individuals to learn how government works and to share that information with others.  By attending public meetings of state or local governmental bodies, observers learn about the issues facing their community and are empowered to take action when warranted. At the same time, their presence encourages more transparent and accountable government and connects government officials with their constituents.

Observers attend governmental meetings, note what happens, and report back to the League and community. This non-partisan, unbiased information helps to foster confidence in government and allow the broader community to gain a better understanding of the actions of boards, committees, and governing bodies that impact our community.

LWV volunteers represent our non-partisan organization by:

  • Being courteous
  • Wearing a LWV button
  • Saving any personal agendas and political opinions for another day
  • Remembering that only LWV presidents and/or their designated spokesperson can officially speak on behalf of the League
  • Sharing brief summaries of your observations that LWV will post
  • Alerting Barbara Gay if you observe an issue that calls for an organizational response from LWV

A complete local listing of boards, commissions, and elected governing bodies can be found at http://www.nashville.gov/Government/Boards-and-Commissions.aspx.  Many of these meetings may also be viewed on Government Access Channel Comcast Cable Channel 3. State legislative committees can be found at www.tn.gov.

Observer Corps volunteers routinely observe and report on meetings of the Davidson County Election Commission and the Tennessee Election Commission.  For more information about how and when you can volunteer, contact Barbara Gay, Barbara.b.gay@gmail.com

SpeakerLWV chapters across the country study an important public policy issue in depth annually.  Members read documents, hear from knowledgeable authorities, and hold discussions before reaching consensus positions that can, in the future, be the basis for public policy advocacy.  Current topics are:

 

Money in Politics:  LWV members will update the League’s position on campaign finance to clarify whether financing a political campaign is protected speech under the First Amendment.  The campaign finance position will be updated through a study and consensus process to consider: (1) the rights of individuals and organizations, under the First Amendment, to express their political views through independent expenditures and the finance of election campaign activities; and (2) how those rights, if any, should be protected.

 

Constitutional Amendment:  LWV members will focus on the process of amending the U.S. Constitution including guidelines for evaluating amendment proposals and aspects of Article V of the Constitution that may be important in conducting such a convention.

 

ConstitutionStudy resources are available for this national study.