The positions of the League of Women Voters are the result of thorough study of issues where governmental policies can make a difference. In addition to the LWVUS national positions, local Leagues and the state League choose topics for study, called the “Program.” On the basis of our positions, the League determines its priorities for action and advocacy. The League of Women Voters is a grassroots organization. At the local, state and national League levels, action on public policy can be taken only after member study and consensus or concurrence has led to a position. Consensus is a process whereby members through discussion decide the “sense of the group.” Concurrence is the act of agreeing with the positions reached by other Leagues after studying similar issues. Studies are also done to revise or update positions. Action and educating the public are the ultimate aims of all League programs.
The New Mexico League of Women Voters has positions that you can view here.
LWVCNM’s positions fall into several major categories, and are listed alphabetically within each category:
Drug Policy (2002, Rev. 2003, 2007, 2008)
LWVCNM supports drug court programs; treatment for all persons with drug addiction; and syringe exchange programs in Bernalillo County. These programs should be prudently and appropriately funded.
LWVCNM supports pain management for all persons through:
Cooperation among consumers, health care professionals and regulatory agencies to promote pain relief and to decrease abuse, trafficking, and diversion of pain medications;
Education of consumers including: awareness that pain can be treated; the variety of therapies available and how to describe to health care professionals the levels and types of pain they are suffering;
Training of health care professionals and providers including: awareness that pain can be treated; how to identify and treat pain; and when to refer for specialized treatment; and
Research on more effective pain treatments and therapies and widespread dissemination of research results.
LWVCNM believes pain management is the process of providing care to alleviate or reduce acute and chronic pain, which can also cause secondary disease processes (e.g., high blood pressure). This care may include pain medications and a variety of therapies proven by research to be effective.
Education (Rev. 2010)
Support of a requirement that functional competence in basic skills be demonstrated before a high school diploma is awarded.
Emphasis on basic skills that should include civics, the fine arts (including music, art, and drama) and ongoing technological developments, STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Identification of children at risk should begin early in the educational process and continue through high school. Remediation should be provided as early as possible.
An alternative path to a high school diploma should be available.
Support for community colleges that should offer certificates and associates degrees for a variety of careers. Such degrees could be terminal or transferable toward a four-year program.
Support for the protection of the First Amendment rights of public school students and library patrons.
Support for a selection policy for school and public libraries that allows for access to a wide variety of materials. Support for a purchase and distribution system of instructional materials for public schools that is timely and cost effective.
Support for the selection of basic instructional materials for the public schools by a committee which consists of administrators, teachers, and parents and that represents a cross section of the ethnic, geographic and economic population of the community.
In addition, resource persons who have expertise in the subject under consideration will serve in an advisory capacity.
Support for a selection procedure that includes:
- A fair and thorough evaluation of materials;
- A method for public examination and input;
- A strong conflict of interest policy.
Support for a policy that allows for informal resolution of controversy and a systematic reconsideration procedure for textbook and library materials.
Health Care (Rev. 2013)
LWVCNM supports comprehensive health care, mental health care, preventive and educational health programs, comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion, and home health care.
LWVCNM believes society has a responsibility to provide comprehensive health care for the indigent and supports mill levies as a means of funding such health care.
Housing (Rev. 2009)
Local government has primary responsibility for making available, facilitating, and coordinating provision of affordable, decent, and safe housing using federal, state, county, or city funds. This may also be done by coordination with private builders, nonprofit organizations, and/or foundations.
- We support the following guidelines for government assisted housing: Assistance for private affordable housing projects under the following conditions:
- The surrounding neighborhood has been involved early in the planning for the project;
- Regulatory variances which may be granted do not permit unsafe or unsightly conditions.
- Design review by a qualified panel.
- A variety of home ownership and rental opportunities in public or private affordable housing projects.
- An adequate maintenance system in all affordable housing projects. This system should include education and training for residents in maintenance skills.
- Encouragement of the formation of tenant organizations.
- Long Range planning, accountability, and neighborhood involvement in expenditure of federal Community Development.
- Block Grant funds for housing rehabilitation.
- Leadership in assistance for homeless programs which provide both shelter and services for targeted populations, particularly families and the mentally ill.
- Boarding houses as a way of meeting housing needs.
- Community-based residential care for the mentally ill.
Initiative and Referendum (Rev. 2009)
The LWVCNM supports the Initiative & Referendum process. However, we have reached a consensus on the need for revision of four specific sections of the Albuquerque City Charter. We support the appointment of a Charter Revision Committee to study the process for qualifying Initiative and Referenda, with a view to revising Article III, Section 3 of the Albuquerque City Charter that would:
- Increase the number of initiators needed to start the process;
- Increase the number of signatures required to compel an election;
- Refine the process of reviewing the petition title and summary; and
- Eliminate the requirement that the election must be held within 90 days after the date of filing the petition with appropriate signatures.
Local Government (rev. 2009)
- Support for the development of budgets that provide for long-range planning and evaluation programs.
- Support for municipal and county officials providing the media and citizens’ groups with simplified budget information. This should occur prior to public hearings as a means of preparing citizens for the budget process.
- Support for assessing the cost and effectiveness of programs supported by federal funds.
- Support for local governments to share in the New Mexico personal income tax as the most effective and equitable source of revenue.
- Support of combined form of government for Albuquerque and Bernalillo County.
- Support for coordinating municipal and county government with joint use of records.
- Support for nonpartisan local government elections.
- Support for:
1. The present Mayor/Council form of government for Albuquerque;
2. A significant increase in the number of signatures required on a petition before a person can be placed on the ballot as a candidate for mayor for Albuquerque. Preferably, the number of signatures should be based on either a percentage of voters having voted in the last mayoral election or of Registered voters, or of population of the city.
Land Use (Rev. 2009)
Land use decisions must be made with consideration for economic, environmental and social factors. We believe that it is possible to incorporate the principles of conservation of resources, to relate the use of land to its inherent characteristics and carrying capacities and still achieve an optimum balance between economic and social needs and environmental quality.
Support of development that protects natural resources and promotes the equal right of all to an environment beneficial to life.
Support of land use policies and techniques that promote orderly growth. These shall include:
- Urban infill, to include residential building in downtown and mid-city areas;
- Acquisition and appropriate use of open space;
- Preservation of agricultural lands as such;
- Utilization of mixed use in new development and in redevelopment;
- Revitalization of blighted sections of the community;
- Composition of neighborhoods to include a diversity of types of housing and of socioeconomic groups.
Support for coordinated municipal/county and regional planning and zoning.
Support for coordinated regional land use and transportation planning.
Transportation (Rev. 2009)
Support for coordinated regional land use and transportation planning. This planning shall include:
- Consideration of the impact of traffic congestion;
- The provision of viable transportation choices.
Support for a regional public transit system with a policy-making board that includes citizens with voting powers.
Climate Change Action
LWVCNM supports actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change in order to protect our region from the negative physical, economic, and public health effects. Our actions are to:
- Promote energy conservation and efficiency in transportation, buildings, and infrastructure, including energy efficient standards and land use policies that reduce vehicle miles traveled.
- Promote carbon pricing by market mechanisms such as cap and trade systems and carbon taxes.
- Promote a clean, low-carbon energy economy that is sustainable, including all forms of renewable energy and transportation infrastructure.
- Promote policies that mitigate impacts of climate change by adaptation in urban, rural, agricultural, and nature settings.
- Promote basic research and technology development, encouraging the use of a portfolio of technologies.
- Promote solutions that ease consequences of climate-related hardships to low-and-moderate-income households.
- Promote public access and involvement in the decision-making process.
Support for coordinated regional water planning.