We are a truly grassroots organization.
The League of Women Voters takes action on an issue or advocates for a cause when there is an existing League position that supports the issue or speaks to the cause.
Positions result from a process of member agreement about that topic which is reached by group discussion after thorough research and study on the topic is presented in an unbiased manner. The purpose of having a League position is to use that position to influence public policy.
Fairfax Area League in Action
The League of Women Voters takes action on an issue or advocates for a cause when there is an existing League position that supports the issue or speaks to the cause. Positions result from a process of study and member agreement. Any given study, whether it be National, State, or Local, is thorough in its pursuit of facts and details presented in an unbiased manner. The purpose of having a League position is to use that position to influence public policy All League positions result from thorough research on a selected topic that is presented to the members in an unbiased manner. Members are asked to give feedback on questions about the topic through a process called consensus (or concurrence) where, if there is enough member agreement on answers to the questions, a series of statements can be formulated about that topic. Those statements about the topic are called a "Position." Once a League board approves the wording of the position, it can be used by that League for advocacy and action. Without a position on the issue, action/advocacy cannot be taken.
Take Action Now
The Virginia Assembly is in session now. There are several bills pending that affect issues upon which the League of Women Voters has taken position. Now is the time to contact your state legislators in support of the League positions on the issues. The League of Women Voters of Virginia publishes action alerts for League members to act on in timely fashion. The LWV-FA recommends its members to review the Action Alerts at LWV-VA and call or write to their state legislators as soon as possible in support of our issues.
Here We Stand - Complete (Full statement of Fairfax Area League positions along with other League positions).
2017 Testimony and Action
We understand that FY2018 will be another challenging budget year. Because we believe they affect our safety, our mobility and our quality of life, we have singled out these four budget topics:
- Diversion First + We understand that you cannot launch the full expansion of services planned for the coming fiscal year. Diversion has measurable benefits for all of us, and it costs less than incarceration. That is why we urge you to devote whatever funding you can find to at least partially expand these services in the areas of most critical need. We believe that addressing mental illness is just as important as addressing cancer and that doing so is good for the entire community.
- Human Trafficking Prevention + We support your budgeting for a Human Trafficking Policy and Prevention Specialist. In 2016, the DC Metro area was the fifth largest hub in the country for human trafficking. We hope that having one person whose only job is to focus on this issue and be a point of contact for law enforcement and for social service agencies will help reduce this crime in our area. It is heartbreaking that girls 12 to 14 years of age make up the largest group of teens who are victims of sex trafficking. We support the collaboration of various County agencies that have developed lessons for sixth grade through high school to explain Human Trafficking and to educate teens about how to avoid becoming victims. We applaud all efforts to reduce this modern form of slavery in our area.
- Transportation + The League has long advocated for a dedicated funding source for Metro that would be sufficient for the company to maintain its infrastructure and equipment to meet current safety standards. We applaud your support of all County transit options and of the Silver Line extension. We are pleased that you have added four full-time positions to support our County and regional networks. We applaud your goal to make County destinations safely accessible to pedestrians and to bicyclists as well as to transit and to automobiles. We support your efforts to maintain and upgrade our transportation network and hope these measures will reduce congestion and air pollution.
- Parks and Libraries + While many of us consider them nice to have, for lower income families, Parks and Libraries are absolute necessities. The free classes, activities and internet access provide communication and recreational opportunities these families cannot obtain any other way.
Although we in the League approve of the Advertised Real Estate Tax rate, we also continue to support revenue diversification in Fairfax County. We urge you to adopt a meals tax and to impose or increase fees to provide property tax relief.
In the FY 2017 Advertised Budget, we saw many things we liked, but urge you to fully fund these particular items:
- $1.17 Million for the Office of Elections
- $70.57 Billion Transfer to Fairfax County Public Schools
- Diversion First program
- Salary Supplements for Public Defenders from money set aside in the Diversion First program
The League of Women Voters applauds the Board of Supervisors' efforts to provide basic services in our challenging economy. But you also play a key role in giving Virginians the tools they need to succeed and to prosper. That's why we urge you to support through funding or legislation:
- K-12 Education
- Local Authority
Women's Legislative Roundtable
- What We Do: We provide a non-partisan forum for the discussion of public policy issues and the legislation to address them.
- Why We Do It: As a non-partisan group, we can be a forum for citizens to learn about issues that state legislators are address in the General Assembly. We provide the opportunity for citizens to learn about what is happening at the legislature during the General Assembly session.
- How We Do It: Invite legislators of all parties to speak about and explain pending legislation. We allow non-profit groups to speak about issues that they are tracking and advocating.
League of Women Voters of Virginia rules for the Women's Legislative Roundtable (WLRT) are that:
- the WLRT be a forum for the exchange of information;
- the WLRT be inclusive of every interested woman in the state;
- the WLRT not advocate specific action on any issue, but alert participants to the facts of pending legislation affecting women with information on the possible impact;
- the WLRT involve as many Virginia Delegate and Senators as possible; and
- a sitting Senator or Delegate sponsor the WRT so that we may reserve a room in the General Assembly building and be listed on the day's calendar.
Turning Point Suffragist Memorial
Turning Point Plaza, located in Occoquan Regional Park (a part of the Northern Virginia Park Authority - NVRPA), was named for a "turning point" in the suffragists' movement to obtain the right to vote for women in America + the incarceration of more than 100 women at the Occoquan Workhouse in Lorton, near today's Occoquan Regional Park.
Turning Point Plaza (TPP) was originally created by NVRPA and LWVFA to serve as a memorial to the suffragists who were arrested, incarcerated and physically abused at the [then-nearby] Occoquan Workhouse, as well as at the D.C. jail, for picketing President Wilson's White House in 1917 for the right to vote. (The Workhouse was part of the DC jail system and across Route 123 from where Lorton Prison was later built. Today, Fairfax Water Authority's Griffith Water Treatment Plant sits on the land where the Workhouse was located.)