How Does The League Select Issues for Emphasis?

In League, Program means the issues that we choose for concerted study, education and action at local, state and national levels. Program can include both education and action.

The Program Planning process is part of what makes the League a grassroots organization; each League member has the opportunity to influence the selection of issues where the local, state, and national League will focus time, talent and money.

Every two years, members of local Leagues engage in Program Planning. Based on the results of this, the Board of Directors makes recommendations to the biennial convention delegates about the program to be adopted for the coming two year period.


December 5, 2016

To: Local Leagues in Wisconsin

From: LWVWI State Board

Re: State Program Planning for 2017-18

With the election complete (except for the ongoing recount in which many of LWV members are actively participating) we can now focus on program planning for 2017-2018. As we learned at our Annual Meeting in Door County, several local Leagues have been conducting local studies of the impact of poverty in their communities. These local studies are at various stages, and they are focusing on different aspects of the problem. A summary of the studies we know of is attached.

After discussions held with local League representatives over lunch at Issues Briefing last month, the State Board concludes that these local efforts are not quite ready to serve as the basis for a statewide concurrence on a new League position on poverty. This was a possibility we considered, but now find to be premature.

Because of the wide interest in the issue of poverty, we would like for all Leagues to discuss the following questions at your program planning meetings. We would hope to compile your responses and use them as the basis for determining if a statewide study on poverty is appropriate and what its scope would be. Know that if we conduct a statewide study, all local Leagues would be expected to participate.

Although we much prefer that you respond to the online questionnaire, we are providing the following questions so you can discuss them with your League and then copy/paste your answers into the online form.

1. If the League were to conduct a study on poverty on a statewide basis, what should be the focus of the work, e.g., homelessness, health, employment, food security, child or elderly health, etc.?
2. Does your League know of some particularly good resources for such a study?
3. If your League is studying, or has studied, poverty at the local level, what is/was the scope of the study? If you have done advocacy on the issue, what state, national or local positions have you used in your advocacy?
4. Does the League need a state position on poverty, or are other, already existing state and national positions adequate for our advocacy in this area? (State positions are here:, with links into the individual positions. National positions are here: .)
5. If current state and national positions are not adequate, what additional areas need study and development?
6. If your League believes a state-level position on poverty is needed, what should be the scope of the study and the methodology for developing a new position?

As we do every year, the State Board invites local Leagues to propose state studies to update any state position (not just Poverty). If you propose an update, please include the following information in your proposal: a) The position that you believe needs updating; b) The scope of a statewide study needed to update the position; c) The methodology you would recommend for carrying out the study statewide; d) Whether your League can provide volunteer leadership to carry out the study.

Please respond online at by March 1, 2017.