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News / Articles

Advocate for Change—All of Us

Karen Nicholson, LWVAA Advocacy Chair | Published on 9/27/2023

As LWVs…

An important aspect of the LWV is that we speak as one voice.  That means only the president or someone designated by him or her speaks FOR the LWV.  We only speak on issues on which we have positions, reached after study and agreement.  An individual League may remain silent on an issue, but can never speak against a LWV position.

As Individuals…

The LWV encourages members to speak out as individuals.  Individuals give their own reasons and do not identify themselves as LWV members because we may not have a position on a point you want to make.  Contacting officials is an important way we make democracy work. 

As Individuals on Behalf of the LWV…

 When there is an action alert from the local, state, or national LWV, usually emailed to you, individuals are encouraged to contact the named official(s), identify yourself as an LWV member, and use the letter provided.   You may use the letter, as is, or edit it with the talking points that most resonate with you.  Those talking points can also be a basis for conversation if you choose to call your official(s).

Whether the local, state and national LWV speak, or LWV members speak as members responding to action alerts, or members speak as individuals representing themselves, speaking out and letting our voices be heard is important to a functioning democracy.  Advocacy is a basic tenet of the League of Women Voters.

How you can be a part of Advocacy!

At the membership meeting in September, some suggested topics on which  LWVAA should particularly pay attention.  Note we may or may not have positions in these areas.  If we do have positions, they may or may not address the specificity these people had in mind.  We don’t take the lead in statewide legislation.  We can pay attention and see if there is an opportunity to advocate on any of these positions, by speaking to elected officials, writing letters to the editor, or otherwise having our voice heard.  More education can also serve a purpose.

  • Recycling— where does trash really go?  Are recyclables really being recycled?

  • Education—vouchers, charter schools

  • Trash— roads, vacant lots, cleanup 

  • Homeless plan

  • Local Control, specifically HB 2127

  • Austin Police Association

  • Hiring & retention, specifically city manager & city & county attorneys

  • Zoning

  • Transportation 

More Volunteers Needed

Several people have stepped forward to pay particular attention to issues and our elected officials.  Julie Kyle will follow education for us.  We badly need someone for the environment.  We currently are part of a group involved with energy and renewables, and we need a liaison for that group.

Our observer corps is gaining momentum.  Karsen Crow and Elizabet Morris are observing City Council, Levente McCrary - AISD, and Fannie Akingbala - County Commissioners.   It would be ideal to have two people observe each group because the groups can meet often and meet for a long time.  Karsen reports the first meeting she observed was a marathon.  

If you have an issue you’d like to follow for us or can be part of our Observer Corps, or just want more information, please contact Advocacy Chair - Karen Nicholson.

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