- The League of Women Voters believes in representative government and in the individual liberties established in the Constitution of the United States.
- The League of Women Voters believes that democratic government depends upon the informed and active participation of its citizens and requires that governmental bodies protect the citizen’s right to know by giving adequate notice of proposed actions, holding open meetings and making public records accessible.
- The League of Women Voters believes that every citizen should be protected in the right to vote; that every person should have access to free public education that provides equal opportunity for all; and that no person or group should suffer legal, economic, or administrative discrimination.
- The League of Women Voters believes that efficient and economical government requires competent personnel, the clear assignment of responsibility, adequate financing and coordination among the different agencies and levels of government.
- The League of Women Voters believes that responsible government should be responsive to the will of the people; that government should maintain an equitable and flexible system of taxation, promote the conservation and development of natural resources in the public interest, share in the solution of economic and social problems that affect the general welfare, promote a sound economy and adopt domestic policies that facilitate the solution of international problems.
- The League of Women Voters believes that cooperation with other nations is essential in the search for solutions to world problems, and that the development of international organization and international law is imperative in the promotion of world peace.
- The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that all powers of the U.S. government should be exercised within the constitutional framework of a balance among the three branches of government: legislative, executive, and judicial.
What are the Principles?
The Principles are “concepts of government” to which the League subscribes. They serve two functions:
- Authorization for adoption of national, state, and local program.
- As a basis for taking action at the national, state, and local levels.
The Principles are a direct descendant of the Platform, which served from 1942-1956 as the national repository for “principles supported and positions taken by the League as a whole in fields of government to which it has given sustained attention.” The Platform has disappeared from League vocabulary, but the Principles survived.
When taking action under the Principles, the appropriate board authorizes action once it determines that member understanding and agreement do exist and that action is appropriate. As with other action, when there are ramifications beyond a League’s own governmental jurisdiction, the League should consult other Leagues affected.
The Principles are broad when standing alone, so caution must be used when considering them as a basis for action. It is best to use the Principles in conjunction with League positions to which they apply.