LWVFA Program Materials: Studies and Informational Articles


For more about the League and LWVFA, read September 2016 Fairfax VOTER,  The League of Women Voters is Changing: Where We've Been, Where We are Going, and LWVFA's Role.

Transportation Positions

Read the May 2019 Fairfax VOTER, which focuses on updating our Transportation Positions.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES to accompany the LWVFA Transportation Position Update in the May VOTER

What’s Going On In Virginia in public Education?

Are Public School Funds Going to Private Schools?  Learn about the proposed LWV-VA Education Concurrence on Charter Schools and Vouchers.  At the 2017 Convention in Leesburg, the delegates adopted an ambitious LWV-VA Program for 2017-2019. Three items were approved for review or study by a committee or task force, including: research the pros and cons of charter schools, vouchers and other school choice options in Virginia. These reviews or updates can take up to two years to conclude through the League consensus process [hence the two-year time frame], however two of the adopted items are being proposed as “concurrences,” to be adopted at the 2018 LWV-VA Council on June 16, 2018.  The May Fairfax VOTER, focuses on the recommendation of the “Public Funds For Public Schools” Task Force (aka, School Choice Task Force).  The Task Force is proposing to add an entire section (Part III) to the LWV-VA Education Position—read the entire wording of Part III on pages EF1-EF7 or click on file below.  Read this material to learn why this proposal is needed, as well as the difference between forming a League position by concurrence rather than by consensus.  

Read or download the May 2018 Fairfax VOTER .  Additional resources are listed below as background for the article. Color Chart of School Choice Options in large font. (Chart is in May Voter)

The May 2018 Discussion Questions Report Form was changed as of May 3; Question number 3 was revised.  The file posted below is  named "RV-Ques 3"  1. May 2018 Discussion Questions Report Form – Education Concurrence- Revised(Word document format- when you click on this link, you will be asked to "save" the file, click OK and document will be saved in your documents folder ).  Discussion Resources: 2.  Acronyms & References[Education Concurrence]- SZ;  Acronyms & Resources from Carol Noggle ; 3.  Charter Education, Yes/No Matrix[Carol Noggle's file] ; 4.  LWV-VA Concurrence Policy, 2015 ; 5.  LWV-VA Education Position of 2003, with Part III, 2018 Concurrence statement added (created by SZ);  6.  School Basics Background Virginia[Carol Noggle] ; 7.  School Choice Approval Criteria Matrix (chart) as of 17March from Carol Noggle.

Sources for Concurrence & Article (from Carol Noggle): 8.   Appendix A - Public Schools & Democracy-Sources-Noggle; 9.   Appendix C– ReignRavitch.pdf ;10. Appendix D-ResourcesStandards22March-Noggle-RV

(Appendix D (formerly Appendix B) contains all the Sources and Resources for Standards & Requirements used by Task Force for  Concurrence Approval Criteria.  Created by Carol Noggle, Task Force Chair)


"FIFI” Is Not a French Poodle—It’s a Solution to Metro’s Problems and We Are Part of It.

You may have heard lately that Metro is in trouble.   The League of Women Voters of the National Capital Area (LWVNCA), of which LWVFA is a member, is working to be a part of the solution.  LWVNCA has joined a coalition of 22 organizations—called “FIFI”— which is an acronym for “Fund It/Fix It,” and its sole purpose is to “get Metro back on track” (pun intended).  Read this comprehensive article; learn when and why the League became an early and continuing supporter of Metro and discuss how we can be part of the solution which affects all of us, including Fairfax County and City, as well as the rest of the metropolitan D. C. area.

In addition to the March 2018 Fairfax VOTER, here are additional resources for the unit discussion groups:

The following articles provide more information:  Newspaper article on status of funding legislation in MD, DC and VA (Hopes run high….WaPo, Feb 21, 2018)Back2Good Chart (Feb 21 Update from WMATA) ; Deb Wake’s Feb. 22, 2018 Report to the LWVFA Board on Status of Transit in Virginia and FIFI, with links to latest reports ; Deb Wake’s CTB Meeting Notes email of Feb. 21, with links to newspaper articles and other reports ; Letter from FIFI to Elected Officials, January 18, 2018

January 2018, LWVFA "Book Club"

The January 2018 Fairfax VOTER  features our Book Club discussion of A NATION OF NATIONS: A Great American Immigration Story by Tom Gjelten. The book focuses on immigration in Fairfax County.   A brief review of the book is in the Article

Elections Have Consequences

Part i & ii, September and October 2017

How many times have you heard people say: “My vote won’t make a difference; I only vote in presidential elections; I don’t know who those people on the ballot are, so I’m not going to vote” (especially in local elections). To League members, those excuses are intolerable.   After all, we know voting does make a difference; research shows that who and how many people vote in a particular election can bring about results that differ greatly from predicted outcomes.  

In this two-part series on “Elections Have Consequences,” we delve into the some of the cause and effects of voter turnout, both nationally and locally, concentrating on Virginia’s elections—which we know occur every November and May (for most local town and city elections).  We look at the vagaries of the Commonwealth’s voting traditions and practices (including changing electoral laws through the years) in order to explain how important it is to vote in local and statewide elections; and how these elections can determine long-term policies—which gives credence to the phrase: “All politics is local.”   In September, we explain the “why” and in October, we  concentrate on “how” this information fits with upcoming elections and “how” you can use League issues to query the candidates on their positions.  

September 2017 Fairfax VOTER - Elections Have Consequences, Part I, covers national trends and Virginia's electoral turnout through the years.  Sources;  Pew Research article(May 2017) U.S. trails most developed countries in voter turnout ; VA Dept of Elections Chart of Voter Turnout for Presidential and Off-year Elections ;  VPAP Chart Historic Trends for House of Delegates

October 2017 Fairfax VOTER - Elections Have Consequences, Part II, covers Virginia's recent elections and 2017 Virginia legislation of interest to League positions.  SourcesLWV-VA 2017 Legislative Priorities with pertinent League position ;  Transparency Virginia 2017 Legislative Report ;  NYT Opinion June 2017 - Increasing Voter Turnout For 2018 and Beyond, Tina Rosenberg

Dillon's Rule - Revisited May 2017

Once again, LWVFA is looking at how Dillon’s Rule has affected, and may still be affecting (or not), Virginia localities and Fairfax County in particular.  Long-time Leaguers are groaning, and newer Leaguers are saying, “What is Dillon’s Rule?”  The May 2017 Fairfax VOTER article updates local governance trends and discovers some new wrinkles in this century-plus principle that the Commonwealth of Virginia follows.  A lot has happened since 2004—the last in-depth article LWVFA published on the topic—and we hope 2017 is the final installment.  The 2004 article is listed in Resources with link below.

Dillon’s Rule in 2017 - How Much Does it Matter?

May 2017 Fairfax VOTER Sources and ResourcesOctober 2004, Dillon's Rule: Good or Bad for Local Governments?



What do you know about hydraulic fracturing ("fracking" for short) and where it is taking place in Virginia? A small but mighty LWV of Virginia (LWV-VA) Fracking Study Committee has thoroughly researched this much debated, political and environmental issue and has produced a voluminous report called "Fracking in Virginia," the first part of which is presented in the January 2017 Fairfax VOTER. Part II follows in the February Fairfax VOTER Newsletter and contains the Consensus Questions for the LWV-VA "Fracking in Virginia" Study.



Additional materials for the discussion (both for January and February, 2017) are posted here: January 2017 Fairfax VOTER-in colorDiscussion Questions printed in January VOTER); Appendices (from the Study Report); References for the entire report (from the Study Report); Fracking Study Glossaryused in the Report.

Direct Link to the 11MB PDF file of the entire 20-plus page "Fracking In Virginia Study" Report is available HERE. To view background papers and other resources, including the latest updates on legislation in the General Assembly and DMME regulations that were adopted December 28, go to the LWV-VA Natural Resources website, http://www.lwv-va-natres.org/.


For previous LWVFA articles and topics from 2006 to 2015,

See:  Archives page

Below are recent and selected topics about which LWVFA has published articles in the Fairfax VOTER.  Articles and associated resources are listed in chronological order.  See "Newsletters & Archives" pages for complete list of VOTERs with topics.

May 2018  - LWV-VA Ed position

March 2018 - Metro FIFI

January 2018 - book club

Sept./Oct. 2017 - Elections Have Consequences

May 2017 -Dillon's Rule

Jan. / Feb. 2017 - Fracking in VA


2008 Program Materials: (January - June)

2008 Program Materials: (January - June)

2007 Program Materials: January - October 2007


2006 Program Materials:

2005 Program Materials:

2004 Program Materials: