Making Democracy Work

2015-2016 Consensus Studies

LWVUS Advocacy for 2016

The LWVUS Board set federal legislative priorities for the second session of the 114th Congress at its January board meeting. The League has many positions from which to take action but establishing a focus for our national advocacy is a critical responsibility of the LWVUS Board as it is for every League Board. In setting priorities, the Board considers a number of factors, the most important of which is focusing League effort where it can have the greatest impact. For 2016, the LWVUS legislative priorities are ranked in two tiers. The first tier priority is Representative Democracy, which includes voting rights and election administration, money in politics, redistricting reform and work on a constitutional convention, as described above. The second tier is Climate Change. And we continue to watch action on several issues including immigration, health care, reproductive rights and environmental protection.

Note: For more information about any of these issues, please click on the links highlighted above.

LWVUS Money in Politics Consensus Study

Nine members of the Montrose County League of Women Voters and two community members, Paul Janzen and Robert Manley, participated in the first Money in Politics consensus meeting held on January , 2016 on this vital issue. During the two-hour session, each question and its sub-parts presented by the LWVUS was carefully dissected, thoroughly discussed with scintillating input, and finally answered. We came away feeling quite pleased with our work and each took home some ideas and perspectives that she/he had not considered prior to the meeting! Our meeting on January 14 brought out seven stalwart Leaguers and a repeat of the important time as above described.

While we were able to reach consensus on the balance of the questions, the three that caused much consternation and discourse were Part 1 Question 1d, should the goals and purposes of campaign finance regulation be to ensure that economic and corporate interests are part of the election dialogue (the word "ensure" was the issue); 2b, if an officeholder or her/his staff gives greater access to donors, is that political corruption; and, Part 11 Question 2a, should spending by the press to influence a candidate election by newspapers be banned, limited, or unlimited.

The consensus report was filed with the national League on January 28, 2016 and can be viewed by clicking on the link below. We are looking forward to receiving the results of this nationwide consensus study!

Money in Politics Consensus Report Form

LWVUS Calls for Constitutional Convention Safeguards

The League of Women Voters of the United States has announced a new position calling for safeguards to govern the constitutional convention process of proposing amendments to the U.S. Constitution. http://lwv.org/press-releases/constitutional-convention-needs-safeguards

LWVCO Behavioral Health Study

Click here to download the LWVCO Behavioral Health Task Force Report.

BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CONSENSUS QUESTIONS

The League of Women Voters of Montrose and Delta counties reached a consensus of "strongly agree" on each of the following consensus questions:

I. Parity and Accessibility

A. Behavioral health care should be on par and integrated with physical health care.

B. All people should be able to access affordable, quality in- and out-patient behavioral health care, including needed medications and supportive services.

II. Children's Behavioral Health

A. Colorado should emphasize and make available early and affordable behavioral health diagnosis and treatment for children and youth from early childhood through adolescence.

B. Colorado should support early and appropriate diagnosis and treatment for children and adolescents that is family-focused and community-based.

III. Case Management

A. People with behavioral health challenges, including those who are chronically homeless, must have access to safe and stable housing.

B. Colorado should have effective re-entry planning and follow-up for people released from both behavioral health hospitalization and the criminal justice system.

C. Colorado should have problem-solving or specialty courts, including mental health and drug courts, in all judicial districts to provide needed treatment and avoid inappropriate entry into the criminal justice system.

IV. Education

A. Health education - from early childhood throughout life - should integrate all aspects of social, emotional, and physical health and wellness.

B. Every effort should be made to decrease the stigmatization of, and normalize, behavioral health problems and care.