League of Women Voters
New Members FAQ

What are the benefits of League membership?

As a member of the League you belong to a network, organized on the local, state and national levels, which is committed to making democracy work. Whether you have time to be an active volunteer or simply want to show your support, you will be part of a movement working toward active engagement of citizens in their government.

This is your League. The more time and talent you invest, the more you will gain from being a member. Be actively engaged and involved regardless your level of physical involvement; there is no shortage of opportunities for planners, thinkers, and doers.

What does the Buffalo-Niagara League support?

The LWVBN only works on issues that have been adopted as official “positions.” Once we have a position, we can act on it. A description of how we arrive at positions is posted on our Study and Advocacy page. Our current positions are listed in our Local Program Focus 2021-2022.

There are also state and national positions that we support and that form the basis on which we make our local position decisions. The positions of the New York State League are found in Impact on Issues in New York State 2020 and LWV national issue positions are detailed in Impact on Issues 2020-2022.

Though the League takes positions on issues, the League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization that does not endorse political parties or candidates.

How does the Buffalo-Niagara League make decisions?

The LWVBN makes decisions carefully, following procedures established over many decades on the local, state, and national levels. While this means that we may take longer than other organizations to come to a decision, most League members believe that this approach ensures thoughtful and meaningful action.

Issues or requests for action usually come through one of our committees, although individual members (or groups that aren’t formal committees) are welcome to propose actions as well. For example, a committee might decide that it wants to write a letter to the Common Council or the Buffalo News to lobby in support of, or opposition to, a particular item. (Note that such letters are always signed by the current League president(s), not by the person who actually writes it.) Proposals for action must be presented to the Board for approval.

When the action does not fall under an existing position, however, the process is a bit more complicated. Before taking action on something new, League procedures require that a formal study process be undertaken. The result of a formal study is a written document that proposes a new position for the League to adopt. The study and proposal are presented to the membership at the next Annual Meeting, and the whole membership votes on whether to adopt the new position.

What is the Buffalo-Niagara League working on?

Each committee has its own agenda for the year, see the committees page.

When does the League of Women Voters of Buffalo-Niagara meet?

The LWVBN has an Annual Meeting each year in June, a holiday lunch usually in December; and a summer picnic usually in July. The League has a consensus or concurrence meeting when there is a need to act on a study for a new League position.

Most months, the League holds an educational or informational event for members and/or the general public. You will find these events listed on our web site's front page, in our monthly newsletter, and in the calendar.

The Board of Directors and most League Committees and Interest Groups meet according to their own schedules, usually once a month each. Check the calendar for all upcoming meetings: New members are encouraged to attend any meeting that fits their schedule. If there is no meeting that fits your schedule, there are other opportunities to be involved.

What is the time commitment?

The LWVBN offers a wide range of opportunities for involvement, depending upon your availability and level of interest.

Some members support League activities with their dues alone, some attend social events and educational forums, some volunteer for time-limited projects, and some organize major projects or assume board positions.

The level of involvement is up to you. Find what interests you personally and see how you can make a difference. The more involved our members are, the more we can influence what happens in our community.

Have a question that’s not answered here?

Email us at membership@lwvbn.org

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