Making Democracy Work

Making Democracy Work

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.

Medicaid Expansion: Who Benefits? - September 10, 2015

Virginia is one of approximately 20 states that have not accepted federal funds to expand the Medicaid health program to a broader population. Should we do so? What are the benefits and potential drawbacks? Please join us for a public forum. (Downloadable flyer here.)

September 10
7-9 pm
Jeffrey Connor-Naylor, Program Director for the Northern Virginia office of the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis
Mary Margaret Whipple, Regional Director for Community and Member Outreach for the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, and former state Senator
Dr. Jennifer Lee, Deputy Secretary for the Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources
Jody Steiner-Kelly, Director of Clinical Administration, Arlington Free Clinic
Joe Vidulich, Vice President, Government Relations, Fairfax Chamber of Commerce
The Hon. Barbara Favola, State Senator, 31st district

Arlington County Department of Human Services
2100 Washington Blvd., Sequoia Plaza
Visitor parking available across the street from 2100

To register, email

Why Redistricting Matters - June 4, 2015

Brian Cannon, OneVirginia2021
Sara Fitzgerald, League of Women Voters

If you missed the event, the video is here.

Sponsored by the Leagues of Women Voters of Arlington and of Falls Church, the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy's Northern Virginia Chapter, and OneVirginia2021

Thursday, June 4, 2015, George Mason University, Arlington Campus

Human Trafficking: Action Update

  • >>UPDATE, April 2015<<
    Virginia lawmakers unanimously passed, and Governor McAuliffe signed, a human trafficking bill. The law defines the offense and establishes penalties, providing a big help to law enforcement. Details here. Thanks to everyone for your advocacy!

Virginia has one of the highest rates of human trafficking in America, but we have NO ANTI-HUMAN TRAFFICKING LAW. We can change this. Here are easy things you can do:

1) Support a vigorous advocacy effort by the American Association of University Women by signing the group's petition here. The deadline is JANUARY 30, 2015.

2) Call or email your state Senator to say you support these bills:

3) Call or email your state Delegate to say you support this bill:

What We're Up To in 2015

Here are our recent Bulletins:

April 2015.

March 2015.

February 2015.

January 2015.

Let us know if you would like to join us in planning events or doing policy advocacy.

Love us? Then "like" us!

We post fun articles and news about Arlington on our Facebook page.

Who Can Afford to Live Here? Housing and Arlington's Future

Thanks for a great panel, everyone!

The Arlington County Board is considering recommendations from a major new study of affordable housing. Among the findings: Affordable housing is fast disappearing in our community.

The League held a forum on why that might matter for our economy, our quality of life, and our values.
Thanks to Emily and the staff of the Arlington Mill Residences for serving as our hosts.

And huge thanks to our insightful panel:
- Yvonne Aiken - Mom, resident, member of the board of the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing
- Catherine Bucknam, Director of Community Relations, AHC Inc.
- David Cristeal, Director, Arlington Department of Housing
- Russell Danao-Schroeder, Senior Housing Planner, Arlington County
- Harry Godfrey - Young professional, lifetime resident, commentator on affordable housing and the Millennial generation
- Nina Janopaul, President, Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing
- Pat McGrady, Senior resident, longtime affordable housing activist
- Walter Tejada, Arlington County Board Member

The conversation was moderated by the Hon. Mary Margaret Whipple, former state Senator and former Arlington County Board member.

Crossing Boundaries: A Forum on Transportation

Thanks to the League of Women Voters of the National Capital Area and all the participants for a fascinating forum on the future of transportation in our region!

Missed the event? Speaker highlights are here

Shyam Kannan, WMATA Director of Planning
Ross Capon, Railroads expert
Tom Fairchild, Technology & mobility expert
Stewart Schwartz, Coalition for Smarter Growth
Dan Reed, Planning consultant, Nelson Nygaard
Garritt Knapp, Center for Smart Growth, UofMD
Rich Kuzmyak, Renaissance Planning Group
Aldea Douglas, AARP

Back From Richmond: Thanks to Our Lawmakers

Thanks to Sen. Barbara Favola, Sen. Adam Ebbin, Del. Alfonso Lopez, and Del. Patrick Hope for a fascinating insider account of how they got good legislation through - and how they blocked some bad bills!

The post-session forum was sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Arlington and the Arlington Branch of the American Association of University Women.

Human Trafficking: Here and Now - a Community Conversation

  • **April 2015 Update: Virginia lawmakers unanimously passed, and Governor McAuliffe signed, a human trafficking bill. The law defines the offense and establishes penalties, providing a big help to law enforcement. Details here. Thanks to everyone for your advocacy!

Virginia ranks 6th among all states in the number of calls to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, and Northern Virginia is a particular hotspot for this modern-day slavery. Gangs view Northern Virginia as a lucrative place to prostitute minors, and trafficking is a bigger moneymaker than drugs or weapons.

We need to learn, then act. Please join us for a community conversation with:

Detective Bill Woolf, Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force
Representative, Courtney's House
Lee Hopkins, Tahirih Justice Center

When? Sunday, January, 25, 2015, 3-4:30 pm
Where? Falls Church Community Center Art Room, 223 Little Falls Street Falls Church, VA
For information: 703 228 7096

Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Arlington, the League of Women Voters of Falls Church, and the American Association of University Women of Falls Church. Co-sponsors are the Arlington County Commission on the Status of Women; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Zeta Chi Omega Chapter®; Fairfax County Commission for Women; Northern Virginia Urban League Young Professionals Network; the Northern Virginia Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Inc.®; and the Northern Virginia Urban League.

Free and open to the public.

Review of Advocacy Positions

Thanks to everyone who took part in the League's annual review of our policy positions. This year we considered local and state positions, which form the basis of our advocacy for issues from voting rights to public education to environmental protection. We recommended no new studies and only minor semantic updates to our local education position.

If you're interested in the League's work, you can see our local (Arlington) positions here and our state positions here.

Pre-Session Legislative Hearing

The League is pleased to host the annual PRE-SESSION PUBLIC HEARING for our state Delegates and state Senators. This event is an opportunity for constituents to share your priorities with them: What issues should they be working on when the 2015 Legislative Session starts next month?

Thurs, December 18, 2014, 7-9 pm

County Board Room, Room 307; 2100 Clarendon Blvd, Arlington (Courthouse Metro)

Refreshments will be served.

Please spread the word!

Celebrating Our Members

Congratulations to League member Pat McGrady for being named an Arlington Housing (S)Hero for her promotion of affordable accommodations in the County.

The Alliance for Housing Solutions will honor Pat and other civic leaders at the Ellen Bozman Affordable Housing Award Celebration on Sunday, December 7, at 6:30 pm. Click the link to register to attend.

And thanks to all our new members for attending the lovely reception on December 4. Welcome to the League of Women Voters! We are excited to have so many talented newcomers to our ranks.

Read more about our work in our Nov-Dec 2014 Bulletin.


What's next for Columbia Pike? Read coverage of the League's Nov 19 community forum here.

Thanks to our fantastic panel: Takis Karantonis (Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization), Monique O'Grady (education activist and APS parent), Mary Rouleau (Alliance for Housing Solutions), and Lloyd Wolf (award-winning photographer).

What Is the League?

Women can vote. Why are we still here?

Because our democracy needs care and attention. Because we are fearless and relentless.

Read about our work in our September Bulletin

Like us on Facebook and share our stuff!

Join us. We have more projects than we can handle, and we are a fun and flexible bunch.

Are You Ready to Vote?

Virginia has a NEW VOTING LAW - requiring us to bring an official photo ID to the polls. Most Virginians know very little about this new law.

Below is what everyone needs to know - please link to this page and help spread the word.

Here's a quick summary of what you need to do to vote in Virginia on November 4.

Here's a short (English language) summary of the new Photo ID law.

Here's a short (Spanish language) summary of the new Photo ID law.

Questions? Call the Arlington Voter Registrar - 703 228 3456.

The People's Debate, Candidates for US Senator, October 13

The League of Women Voters of Virginia and AARP Virginia sponsored The People's Debate between U.S. Senator Mark Warner and challenger Ed Gillespie.

Watch it here.

Thanks to our media partners, WCVE-TV (PBS) and WTVR-TV CBS 6.

National Voter Registration Day

Thanks to all the volunteers who helped with National Voter Registration Day!

The League registered dozens of students (and a few teachers and staff members!) at H-B Woodlawn, Wakefield, Washington-Lee, and Yorktown.