Study Materials for “Raise the Age”

Raise the Age Concurrence Materials (responses due Jan. 1, 2016)

Background on Raise the Age Forum

The NYS League is seeking concurrence from local leagues on four principles that would guide LWV efforts to “Raise the Age” in New York.

  1. Children under the age of 18 are not adults and their treatment within the juvenile justice and criminal court system should relate to their stage of development.

  2. Children should not be held in adult jails.

  3. Rehabilitation is the purpose of the juvenile justice system.

  4. The legal rights of children should be protected.

We would like panelists to comment briefly on these principles.   A discussion and consensus meeting will follow the panelists’ remarks.

LWV 100TH Anniversary

100th Anniversary Activities

The NY Cultural Heritage Tourism Network is sponsoring a NY Women’s Suffrage Centennial Conference, 1917-2017, in Seneca Falls on Oct. 1, 2015. The conference is to provide awareness, stimulate interest and nurture partnerships in preparation for the Centennial Celebration of women’s right to vote in NYS. The state League is participating in this conference as we plan our events, educational forums and materials to celebrate both the centennial of the women’s right to vote AND the League’s 100th anniversary. Members who are interested are encouraged to attend the conference. The link is:

Informal Get Together–members, friends, potential members

Informal Get Together for League members, Newly Elected Officials, friends and potential members

Wednesday, November 18th, 5-6:30 pm

at Finger Lakes Tasting Room

31 Main St. Cortland, NY

  • League members, friends and potential members will meet and share interests–political or other.
    Wine, beer and soda are available for purchase.

    Appetizers provided
    Prices for tasting – 4 wines, $5. A bottle of wine can also be shared.

Preparing for State Convention 2015

Preparing for State Convention 2015

Included in this email are directions to all leagues on developing a Program, i.e. any new issues selected for concentrated study, which positions need to be updated, and which existing positions are maintained for possible action, for 2015-2017.  “Program” really means positions, so this is the time to determine which positions we want to keep, delete, update/revise or even consider new studies for new positions.  We hope you will review our present program and recommend any changes through the process noted in these guidelines.


Results of the two studies considered this year by all local Leagues, on term limits and ballot access, will be announced at the Convention after all results have been collated and the board has accepted the results. Similarly, the results of the update on the position on Constitutional Convention delegate selection will be announced at Convention also. These positions or changes are not included in the current LWVNYS Impact on Issues.


Grassroots and League “Program”

In a grassroots organization, it is vital that all members have the opportunity to participate. The League “Program” is determined by members and consists of federal, state and local issues. National issues are adopted at LWVUS Convention, state issues at LWVNYS Convention and local issues at local Leagues’ annual meetings.  Please share the information in this report with your members and encourage member participation in the making of the LWVNYS 2015-2017 Program.  This process provides every member an opportunity to influence new areas of study and the issues that will direct League action during the 2015-2017 League years.



December – February           

Local Leagues review LWVNYS Summary of Public Policy Positions (and the underlying complete position in LWVNYS Impact on Issues) and discuss possible revisions and additions at a general membership meeting. Revisions and additions would be done through dropping positions, updating positions, or new studies.  Local League boards, using the outcome of the general membership meeting, forward their recommendations on the attached form to the state League by February 20, 2015. This is the only method for suggesting new studies to be adopted at Convention 2015 and the February 20 deadline for submission must be met.  Changes in Program cannot be suggested for the first time at Convention.



State Board reviews recommendations from local Leagues and develops a Proposed Program for consideration by delegates to State Convention.



Proposed Program is sent to local Leagues in Pre Convention Kit.  It includes recommended and non-recommended program items, submitted by the February 20, 2015 deadline.  Local Leagues review the Proposed Program. They may decide, early on, to establish a League network to rally support for certain items on the recommended or non-recommended lists.



Convention delegates adopt a 2015-2017 Program either as proposed by the state League board or as amended by the inclusion of non-recommended items.



  1. Hold a general membership meeting to provide an opportunity for grassroots input.  The meeting should be chaired by a local League board member with experience related to the state issues.  The chair will find the following references valuable in her/his efforts to guide the discussion:  LWVNYS, Impact on Issue (on state League website under Advocacy areas at, LWVUS, Impact on Issues (, LWVNYS, In League In New York State: A Guide To Managing Local Leagues Section 8, Pages 153-180 (http:/, LWVNYS Summary of Public Policy Positions 2011-2013(attached).  LWVNYS Impact on Issues has been updated as of the end of the 2014 legislative session in June, 2014. Information on many areas of our positions can also be found on the specific issue pages on the advocacy page of our website. If you have any questions, please call or e-mail the state office.


  1. Use the following guidelines to successfully develop recommendations for the 2015-2017 program:
    1. Review LWVNYS Summary of Public Policy Positions 2011-2013 and the underlying complete positions to recommend which positions should be retained, dropped, or updated.  The following definitions should be used to guide these decisions.
  1.         Retain – Members are committed to the position and will actively be involved in supporting LWVNYS efforts to pursue position’s goals.
  2.       Drop – Position is no longer useful in its present form or is not supported by members.  Action on this position will end.  Any future action will require adoption of a new study.

iii.      Update – A study of limited scope to reevaluate a position in light of new information, changed circumstances, and/or conflict with another position.  The aim is to consider position changes.

  1.       The Summary of Public Policy Positions is merely a convenient way to access our full positions. Amendments to the wording for editorial purposes, clarification or emphasis may be made but may not change

the scope of meaning of the underlying position as currently applied by the Board. It is recommended that such amendments be given as Direction to the Board.

    1. Please consider the following:
  1.         Have our goals been reached or is further action needed?
  2.       Is there need for monitoring?

iii.      Is member interest and understanding sufficient to continue the inclusion of this position.

  1. Before proposing a new study, review LWVUS Impact on Issues to be certain we have no national position on which to base action. Note that many of our positions in LWVNYS Summary of Public Policy Positions, are based on national positions.
    1. When considering an issue for study, answer the following questions:
  1.         Would a study of this issue result in a position that could be used to influence legislative action or state government policy?
  2.       Is there sufficient member interest in this issue, locally and statewide?

iii.      Can the League make a unique contribution by adopting this issue as a program item?

  1.       Is there leadership at the local and state League level to conduct a statewide study that would result in a valid consensus?
  2.       If a valid consensus is achieved and a position on the issue developed, do we have the local and state human and financial resources to work toward achieving the goal(s) of the position.


The guidelines cited above are not meant to discourage the recommendation of new studies but rather to encourage careful consideration.  The League is a grassroots organization with tremendous credibility, due in large part to its reputation for conducting valid studies resulting in positions that represent our grassroots.  As times change, the League must change but change should not result in a loss of quality.  It is also imperative that we remember that studies increase visibility and that when visibility is in the positive vein it should increase membership.  So, if your local League, after answering the above-cited questions, decides to recommend a study, your state board will review it thoroughly and consider its impact on all fronts.


All of these instructions, as well as a the 2011-2013 Summary of Public Policy Positions, and a Program Planning Response form are attached. You must have your response form into the state office by February 20, 2015.


Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions.





Laura Ladd Bierman

Executive Director

League of Women Voters of NYS

62 Grand St, Albany, NY 12207

Tel: 518-465-4162  Fax: 518-465-0812


Facebook: League of Women Voters of NYS

Twitter: @LWVNYS

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3 Attachments



Preview attachment 2011-2013 SUMMARY OF PUBLIC POLICY POSITIONS doc.doc


Preview attachment Description of Porg Plan process Dec 2014.docx

Description of Porg Plan process Dec 2014.docx

Preview attachment Prog Plan Reponse Form 2015.doc

Prog Plan Reponse Form 2015.doc