Making Democracy Work

Issue Advocacy & Action

The League is a nonpartisan organization that conducts public forums on a wide array of issues of concern to the Arlington community. We also do policy advocacy on positions established through internal study and democratic consensus. We do not take positions on candidates or political parties.

Report on Virginia's Compliance with the National Voter Registration Act

The League of Women Voters of Virginia, working with local Leagues, monitors the implementation of the National Voter Registration Act, which requires voter registration materials to be available at social service agencies. The League's latest report is here.

Why Redistricting Matters: A Public Forum (Video)

Leagues of Women Voters around the country want to take the take the politics out of redistricting so that we voters are choosing our elected leaders, not the other way around.

On June 4, 2015, the Arlington and Falls Church Leagues, together with the Northern Virginia Chapter of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy Public Policy, sponsored a public forum to educate the community about the issues in the Commonwealth.

The video is here.

Speakers were Brian Cannon, OneVirginia2021; and Sara Fitzgerald, Redistricting Task Force, League of Women Voters of the US. Thanks to George Mason University for hosting the event.

Human Trafficking in Northern Virginia

The League of Women Voters of Arlington, in partnership with the League of Women Voters of Falls Church and AAUW of Falls Church, seeks to educate the community about the scourge of human trafficking in Virginia, especially Northern Virginia. Here is a list of resources for those who would like to get involved in policy advocacy and/or services to trafficked persons.

Legislative Advocacy, January 2016

On January 7, 2016, Arlington's state Delegates and state Senators heard from concerned citizens and issue advocates about their priorities for the 2016 legislative session in Richmond. The League sponsors this important forum each year, and we take the opportunity to support legislation of special priority to us. This year, President Kristin Goss urged Arlington's representatives to champion several issues that the League continues to educate citizens about to help influence policy. Below you will read Kristin's comments to our state Delegates and Senators:

Our top priority for this session is increasing access to voting for Virginia's citizens.

This is our top priority because all the other issues we care about -- from expanding health care, to reducing gun violence to halting global climate change + start with citizens' exercising their franchise and electing lawmakers who will champion these causes.

We are grateful, as always, for the members of our delegation who not only support voter access measures but also frequently patron them in the General Assembly.

We know that the politics of voter protection are challenging, particularly in a presidential election year. But we also know that recent voter suppression methods have made lots of people mad, and we are starting to see a most welcome counter-mobilization.

We hope that Virginia can join this movement. We are doing everything we can on the ground, and we are counting on you to do your part in the General Assembly.

This year, we are particularly excited about several bills:

HB 68 and HB 32, patroned by Mr. Sullivan, would create a true early voting system in Virginia and allow students with out-of-state college ID's to use those at the voting booth. We thank you, Mr. Sullivan, for these bills + you will have our fullest support.

Needless to day, we oppose applying the state's unnecessary Photo ID law to absentee ballot applications or electronic poll books.

And we oppose proof of citizenship for voter registration + again because such a requirement would only burden U.S. citizens who are already eligible to vote.

The League applauds the efforts by our two most recent Governors to restore the civic rights of felons, including voting rights. These individuals have paid their debt to society. And research shows that fully incorporating them as citizens will be good for them and good for society.

We would support legislation to automatically restore felon rights + HB 107 is one example. We would also obviously support a constitutional amendment to accomplish the same.

Non partisan redistricting is another issue that the League cares deeply about. As a founding member of One Virginia2021, we support two bills + HB 26, patroned by Delegate Sullivan, and SB 59, patroned by Senator Howell + to reduce the role of partisan politics in the process.

Throughout 2015, the Gallup organization regularly asked Americans what the most important problem was facing the US. Looking across the year, the most commonly cited top problem wasn't immigration, terrorism, or even the economy. No, the problem, on average, garnered the highest level of concern was government and politicians.

There is a crisis of confidence in government and politics. This crisis is especially acute among young people, whose talents we need to fill the 520,000 elective offices in the United States.

The crisis of confidence in politics is driven partly by the outsized influence of money and partly by the bitter partisanship gripping Washington and some might say Richmond.

We believe that efforts to empower citizens, particularly those who have tuned out, is one approach to the problem.

Empowering citizens means both reducing barriers to participation AND altering the perception (and reality) that the system is rigged against everyday people.