The Local Program Positions for the LWVNYS well as the LWVNYS links and blog.
During the past year, it became evident that past LWVNYS voter guide policy on CANDIDATE NIGHTS needed to be clarified and amended. Leagues were confused as to whether different kind of events, i.e,debates, forums, meet the candidate nights, etc. all needed to follow same rules. Many local leagues had questions and were confused as to the different rules for candidate nights for federal candidates vs other candidates. While we had stipulated that there could be no "Empty Chair" for federal candidates based on FEC and FCC regulations, we had only strongly recommended that all leagues do the same for other candidates. There were leagues that followed our recommendations and there were some who did not. Thus, there was not one format all leagues followed. Inconsistencies can only lead to confusion.
The LWV has always been recognized as being the experts in running candidate debates. Now with the polarized political climate, it is more important than ever that we continue to be the gold standard. The LWVNYS board, after careful consideration of both the intent and wording, has voted unanimously to adopt these two policies.
It is extremely important that all leagues throughout New York state speak with one voice, have clear and consistent policies, and adhere to our nonpartisan policy. Therefore "open or empty" chair candidate meetings will not be allowed at any level of League for any elected position. Any League sponsored public event that invites a candidate for elected office will be considered a candidate meeting. A candidate meeting with only one candidate physically present is an "open or empty" chair candidate meeting.Constitutional Convention Education.<\i>
Sally Robinson, firstname.lastname@example.org
A wealth of information on the ballot proposal question on whether to hold a constitutional convention, including articles in favor and against the proposal, is available on the state League website at http:// http://www.lwvny.org/programs-studies/con-con-edu.html. This page is often updated with new articles and one concerning the myth of losing public pensions has just been posted (click here). Feel free to share part or all with your members and the public. It summarizes the issue very well.
....The report (referring to a report by Judie Gorenstein later in the Update) stresses the need for all
of us to make our state and local Leagues more effective by being more comfortable with new, nimble ways of doing things, while still being firmly committed to being nonpartisan. I am eager for change (hard though it is) but I find myself struggling with our nonpartisan policy when so many issues the League cares deeply about (health care, climate change, immigration, etc.!) - as well as the very structures of our democracy are under attack.
Yes, there is much we can say and do, and LWVUS has issued statements of outrage that we can use in our own Letters to the Editor in local media outlets, but sometimes I get frustrated with the limits as I watch party members propose candidates, gather signatures, and get about the business of trying to put people in office who agree with them. I even find myself tempted to run for office myself.
But countering those frustrations are my experiences with new advocates who are grateful to be with a group like ours that is listening hard to all sides and knows the ins and outs of advocacy at all levels in a deep and very useful way. It feels so good to introduce so many new people to the restrictive NYS election laws, see their outrage, and help direct their anger into informed and effective action. I hope you too are training activists, and keeping a close eye on your own governing bodies. Even my own county's legislature is reduced to a level of squabbling that I don't think I've ever seen before. We must insist on better government everywhere.
Meanwhile, on the state League board we send greetings and thanks to former board members Ann Burton, Georgia DiGregorio, Judy Middelkoop, Terri Parks, and Sue Wilson. and welcome new members Sheila Miller Bernson, Betty Ann King, Lori Robinson and Suzanne Stassevitch.
2. A concurrence with a LWV of Utah's position on Death with Dignity.
At the end of this month the Governor passed an executive order mandating all state agencies have voter registration forms and help individuals complete the forms. The League issued a statement urging the Governor to do more. In New York State, registration is not the issue. In 2016, New York had a record high of registered voters. The issue in New York is barriers to voting such as long lines and strict party change deadlines. We hope that in 2018 the Governor will focus and more meaningful reforms such as early voting. Our full statement is below:
While we appreciate Governor Cuomo's intentions, his proposed executive order will do little to address the issues New York State voters face on Election Day. Voter purges, strict registration and party change deadlines, and long lines at the polls cannot be fixed with enhanced voter registration. Studies show that voter registration is not a major issue in New York State. In 2016, voter registration in New York State reached a record high. Unfortunately, many of these newly enrolled voters faced barriers at the voting booths that deterred them from casting their ballot. While we agree that state agencies should take a more active role in voter registration, we would prefer to see an executive order that enacts early voting, alters registration deadlines, or allows or electronic poll books. The only way to truly empower voters and ensure ballot integrity is to make voting easier and more accessible.
Jennifer Wilson, Director of Program and Policy
Governor Cuomo proposed two reforms that would have made voting more accessible. Automatic voter registration and early voting would have reduced lines on Election Day and empowered voters to cast their ballot when it is most convenient. But these proposed reforms were once again left behind while the legislature adopted the budget. The legislature needs to act and pass comprehensive voting reforms during this legislative session. In this 100th anniversary year of women getting the right to vote in New York, it is time to bring our state into the twenty- first century and pass early voting and automatic voter registration.
--UNDER LWVUS POSITIONS Support of citizen rights, including reproductive rights.
Support of effective regulation of lobbying and ethics.
Support of standards to ensure equitable representation in the State legislature and Congress.
Support of improved measures to provide representation for legislative districts in case of a vacancy.
Support of responsive and responsible legislative processes which increase the role of the individual member and the committee system.
Support of procedural reforms in the constitutional convention process to promote openness and nonpartisanship as positive factors in deciding on support for a constitutional convention.
Support of the consolidation of government/shared services when it promotes effective and efficient operation of government.
Support of measures to assure a basic level of quality physical and mental health care, including regulatory incentives to encourage development of cost-effective alternative methods of delivery; funding for health promotion and disease prevention programs; provisions for effective citizen participation in health policy decisions.
Support of measures that enable individuals to assume responsibility for their own health and to participate in decisions, including extraordinary life-extending procedures and options for end of life.
Support for uniform eligibility and coverage of basic health care costs through public financing with single payer concept as an acceptable approach to implementing League positions on equitable access and cost containment.
Support of a unified state court system with improved provisions for judicial selection.
Support of statewide guidelines for law enforcement at all levels to prevent racial and economic profiling.
Support of measures to improve pretrial procedures in the criminal courts.
Support of measures to promote a fair and efficient jury system.
Support the rights of indigent defendants to representation at public expense.
Support of alternatives to incarceration.
Opposition to the death penalty, with life without parole as the primary alternative.
Support of legislation to raise the age of adult criminal responsibility to 18 years old.
---UNDER LWVUS POSITIONS Support for protection and management of New York's natural resources in the public interest, including energy conservation and energy options from renewable sources.
Support for measures to achieve watershed protection including limiting pesticide use and applying Best Management Practices.
Support for a state-established, intergovernmental system for land resource management.
Support for a proactive role for New York State in regional land use planning, containing urban sprawl and protecting sensitive areas.
Support of reconditioning of the New York State Erie/Barge Canal System and its development for recreational uses.
Support for preserving and enhancing the environmental integrity and quality of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Ecosystem.
---UNDER LWVUS POSITIONS Support for equality of opportunity, meeting basic human needs, childcare, energy-efficient and environmentally sound public transit, and gun control.
Support measures to meet the needs for affordable and accessible housing through use of state funds and incentives to localities
Support of a livable wage for all localities in New York State.
Support reforms for greater equity in education financing (K-12) for both pupils and taxpayers.
Support raising funds to provide New York's children with a sound basic education through increases in the New York State personal income tax, implemented in a progressive fashion.
Support for the replacement of the existing local residential property tax relief programs in which relief goes to all with programs based on need, with annual cost of living adjustment.
Oppose in principle the use of public funds to support non-public schools (K-12).
Oppose any increase in the maximum number of charter schools without improvements to the Charter School Act.
Support the funding of public higher education and the existing formula for financing the community system, 1/3 tuition, 1/3 state aid, and 1/3 county support.
Support a uniform equitable assessment and property tax system.
Support of measures to provide for openness and accountability in the operation of the New York State public authority system.
Support of a timely and responsive state budget.
Requested study of whether property tax cap is an appropriate way to fund government.
Support of measures that hold marriage to be an economic partnership with a presumption of equality between the spouses.
Opposition to measures that contain a presumption of joint custody of the children.
Support for equity in employment laws and practices and equal pay for jobs of comparable worth.
Support of measures to reduce the incidence and effects of domestic violence.
LWV State Policy Positions & LWV Local Program Positions
NYS Public Policy Positions
The League of Women Voters of New York State Education Foundation (LWVNYSEF) was established in 1950 as the Foundation for Citizen Education (FCE) to support the educational activities of the League of Women Voters of New York State. It is incorporated under the Not-for-Profit Corporation Law of New York and is classified as a public educational charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation is dedicated exclusively to the support and promotion of the educational programs of the League of Women Voters in New York State.
Give to LWVNYS Education Foundation Make a tax-deductible contribution to the Education Foundation using your credit card. If you prefer to write a check, please make them payable to the LWVNYS Education Foundation. If you have any questions, feel free to call the state League office directly at 518-465-4162.