Making Democracy Work

League Lingo

Terms that have special meaning in the League

There are certain terms that have unique meaning in the League of Women Voters. Here is some League Lingo explained.

ACTION: Promoting the League's positions on local, state, and national public policy to government officials, the media, and the public.

ACTION ALERT: A request to members, often by email or social media, from LWVUS or the state League to take action in support for a League position.

ANNUAL MEETING: Year-end business meeting of the local League to elect officers and directors, vote on bylaws changes, and adopt a budget and program of work for the coming year. In Maine, our Leagues' fiscal years end in June.

CONSENSUS: The collective opinion of a substantial number of League members, representing the membership as a whole, after study and discussion of an issue. This is not the same as a vote of the majority, nor does it need to be a unanimously held opinion.

CONCURRENCE: Adoption of a position by one League with the position on an issue reached by another League. Concurrence is achieved by the consensus of members in a local, state or national League chapter agreeing to concur with a sister League.

CONVENTION: A state or national League meeting held in alternate years at which delegates elect officers and directors, adopt program, make bylaws changes, and adopt a budget. Local Leagues send delegates to state convention; local and state Leagues send delegates to national convention.

COUNCIL: An assembly of delegates held in non-Convention years to provide updates on program and budget and make changes, if necessary. Local Leagues send delegates to state convention; local and state Leagues send delegates to national convention.

EDUCATION FUND: The affiliate of the national, state, or local Leagues that receives tax-deductible contributions to be used only for educational purposes, not for action on issues.

HONORARY LIFE MEMBER: A person who has been a member of the League for 50 years or more, who is granted lifetime membership without dues obligation.

MAL: Member-At-Large, a member who is not enrolled in a local League, but who is a member of the state and national Leagues.

MAL Unit: A state-League-recognized group of members-at-large in a community where there is not a recognized local League.

PMP: Per Member Payment, the amount of money paid by local Leagues to our state and national affiliate on behalf of each member, currently $31 to LWVUS, $15 to LWVME.

POSITION: A statement of the League's stance on an issue, arrived at through member study and agreement (consensus or concurrence), approved by the board and used as a basis for action.

PRINCIPLES: Governmental standards and policies supported by the League as a whole. Membership in the League is open to all who endorse the Principles, and the Principles constitute the authority for adoption of program at all levels.

PROGRAM: Selected governmental issues chosen by members at each level (local, state, and national) for study and action.

PROGRAMS: Plans for speakers, discussions, or other activities at League meetings.

SPEAKING WITH ONE VOICE: Only the League president or her designee is authorized to speak for the League. Members are encouraged to take action on League topics as individuals without reference to their League affiliation. Action of federal issues is directed by our national affiliate. Action on state issues is directed by our state League. Action on local issues is directed by local chapters.

VOTERS GUIDE: Nonpartisan publication giving candidate qualifications and positions on selected issues, as well as explanations of ballot questions.

VOTER SERVICE: Year-round activity to help people be politically effective and to encourage their participation in the political process. Registering voters and presenting factual, nonpartisan information on candidates and election issues are basic voter service activities.

VOTING MEMBERS: All League members who are residents of the U.S. and at least 18 years old.