By Jean Lee
If only the politicians in Washington would talk with each other and try to reach consensus, they might get something done. Why don’t they listen to each other? Has exploring issues through conversing with others become obsolete? How willing are you to discuss issues like health care, fracking, immigration, or education? Do you prefer to hear a speaker on an important current topic, or read about it, keep your opinions to yourself and let other people solve problems?
The League of Women Voters has always been a grass roots organization. It all starts at the local level. Members like you discuss local, state, and national issues and then choose those you consider most important for study and action. After you approve the study, a committee gets together to learn as much as possible about the topic. You can be a part of that committee or learn more about the topic by hearing a speaker or committee reports. Your most important role comes next: a consensus meeting. At a consensus meeting you join other League members to discuss, learn what other League members think, and reach a consensus. The consensus is brought to the Annual Meeting in April, where you and other members decide whether this is what our league wants to use to advocate for the issue during the coming years. The next step is ACTION.
At the consensus meeting for fracking, 9 members out of 95 attended for discussion and consensus. We then tried an experiment. We sent the consensus questions for the state fracking study to each member to fill out via email. 21 members out of 95 filled it out. We appreciate those who took the time to give that feedback. We missed hearing from the rest of you. You missed out on being a part of discussions with interesting League members.
As you can see, you are important in making the League work. It is critical for you to be informed and then to participate in the consensus process. What would it take to get you to join in League discussions? Your voice is key to League decision-making. Your advocacy of issues that affect our city, court system, health care, schools, state and nation issues is needed as never before. Please let us know how we can help you to Be Involved!
Jean Lee, Co-President, League of Woman Voters of Manhattan/Riley County
Find us at: www.lwvmrc.org