Making Democracy Work

You Have More Power Than You Think!

List of easy ways to get involved

We Need Your Help!

Your voice matters in Richmond!

The General Assembly (GA) is in session and as expected it is a 60-sprint! To elevate our impact work, League of Women Voters of Virginia (LWV-VA) is hosting a 'Challenge' to get League members even more excited about engaging on issues that matter. The LWV-VA Board has set aside $1,000 for "prize" money, with prizes set as $700 for the local League that has the most advocacy contacts based on percentage of membership throughout the Virginia legislative session. Second "prize" will be $200 and third prize will be $100.

Together we can do this, Falls Church! Here's what we need from you:

1. Meet with, talk with, write to, or show up at an event that any State Delegate or State Senator will be at.

Examples--

Email Elected Leaders Del. Simon: DelMSimon@house.virginia.gov & Sen. Saslaw: district35@senate.virginia.gov For others, visit http://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/

Write a Postcard and hand deliver it in Richmond or mail it--'Sips & Civility' on January 31 is our next postcard advocacy meet-up (website's calendar for more information). Join us and do your advocacy work with friends.

Go to a Town hall: Jan. 20 & Jan. 27--check the calendar for details

Respond to a LWV-VA Action Alert: State Updates

Phone Your Elected Leaders: Del. Simon: (804) 698-1053 & Senator Saslaw: (804) 698-7535. For others, visit http://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/

Go to one (or more!) of the League's Legislative Roundtables (every Wednesday morning in Richmond at 8:30 am)

Participate in League Day--Feb. 7th (training the evening of Feb. 6th)

  • If you're are stumped about what to advocate for, tell the elected leader you want to see an end to gerrymandering, you want fair maps in Virginia, you want public financing for campaigns so that normal people can participate in politics, and you want early voting and automatic voter registration. You got this!

2. Open (And bookmark!) the shareable Google Spreadsheet link. Fill in the entries (the form will automatically save).

3. Repeat steps one and two! 😀

If you have questions or need more information about contacting your elected leaders or filling in the Google spreadsheet, contact our Falls Church volunteer coordinator -- amy.hjerstedt@gmail.com.

To learn more about bills in the GA, visit RichmondSunlight.com and/or LIS

To find other state GA leaders, visit Who's My Legislator.

Together we can elevate the power of the League and the importance of Virginia's representative democracy. Let's do this!

Join the League's National Lobby Corps!

Do you love to learn about national public policy? Now's your chance to serve our country and get a deep dive about what's happening in Washington, D.C. Become a national League volunteer lobbyist! Learn more about the issues impacting our country and help the League bring bills to U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives. You can bring education to the offices at the capital!

How can you join? Print and fill out the application. Then scan, mail, and/or take a picture of your application. Email scans and pictures of completed applications to the national chair of the Lobby Corps: Jackie Coolidge -- jcoolidge@schoolbench.com

Here's the link to the application.

Voter Registration!

Several times a year we get our our pens and computers ready to help our neighbors, friends, and high school students by registering them to vote.

When we have upcoming voter registration events, we'll let you know here! Mark this page! In the meantime, Get out the vote! Tell your friends and family how Virginia matters this year and we need all voters to help make democracy work.

Important note! Registering new voters (and updating current voters) requires official training. Here's more information:

1. Complete the Third Party Voter Registration Training

2. Underneath the PowerPoint slide show, on the same web page, there is an instruction in green italics. Be sure to click on it to go to the Survey Monkey questionnaire, which is the affidavit. After you have completed it, your name will be entered into the database for this year (you will need to do this training every year, but it only takes five minutes).

3. Every voter registration drive must have at least one League member. So now is a great time to join! Click here to join!

Policy & Candidate Forums

A member once said, "League forums are the best college level education you can get. But for free!" Grow you civic muscles and help us put on great forums for our community!

Here's how YOU can Help!

1. We need help sharing our events on Facebook, blogs, and email. Share with your other networks online and around town. Share with your friends and family. Carpool!

2. Volunteer to be a time-keeper, question gatherer (pick up index cards from audience members), or notes taker. Help others feel welcome by introducing yourself.

3. Join the League and then join the committee that is putting on the great event. Ask how you can do more!

4. Invite community leaders you know to join the audience. We want everyone to be deeply engaged.

5. Write an Op-ed to the newspaper describing what you learned and how you feel it is important for our community.

6. Share pictures of the event on Facebook and Instagram. Let others know how local politics is Important!


Observe Government Meetings

Easy And important!

1. Join the League of Women Voters

2. Sign-up to be an Observer Corps member (contact us!). Let us know what government meeting(s) you want to observe.

Here's what being an Observer Corps member means:

Observer Corps are a structured way for individuals to exercise their right to know. They provide a valuable service to the community. They help ensure that citizens are aware of the decisions that impact their lives and they promote government transparency and accountability.

An observer is an individual who attends a governmental meeting, notes what happens at the meeting, and reports back to the League and through the League to the community. By attending public meetings of local governmental bodies/agencies, observers learn more about what their government is doing. They learn about the issues facing their community and are empowered to take action, if warranted. They also learn how issues are being addressed.

Observers keep elected and appointed officials on notice; they let them know that someone is watching what decisions are being made and how they are being made. They help ensure that the issues facing their community are being handled "in the sunshine," in the open. Ideally, observers are monitoring both the issues being discussed as well as the process by which they are being discussed. While not every item up for discussion will relate to a League's priorities, ensuring that the meeting is being conducted in an open and acceptable way is critical to all of the League's efforts and the health of our democracy.

Observer programs are not vehicles for individuals to work personal or partisan agendas. Observers generally do not "act" on issues in these meetings unless serving as a designated spokesperson for the League, observers should not provide commentary or testimony on issues on behalf of the League. Instead, observers attend meetings to gather information. Through the process, their presence encourages better, more transparent government.