Making Democracy Work

LWVCA 2016-17 Positions

After thorough LWVCA discussion, recommendations for the local program were voted on during May's annual meeting.

I. Action

A. Citizen Participation in Government Hear the keynote speaker at the LWVUS convention, Ari Berman, author of Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America. Listen and Learn

  • Promote and encourage participation by all citizens in the electoral process, particularly those demographic groups that historically have lower percentages registered and voting.
  • Promote campaign finance reform.
  • Promote & provide opportunities for citizens to be better informed on public issues and candidate positions.
  • Rebuild civic participation by strengthening the process including poll workers and changes in precincts.
  • Promote and encourage diversity in representation.
  • Improve the voting process ensuring that the voting process is fair, secure, accessible, recountable, and accurate.

Citizen participation resources

B. Financing Public Schools The members of LWVCA believe that fiscal constraints imposed by the 2006 Property Tax Valuation Reform Act of 2006 jeopardize the ability of SC school districts to provide every child, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability or economic status, with opportunity for an excellent education.

The LWVCA supports amendments to Property Tax Valuation Reform Act of 2006:
  • To expand the reasons why voters in local school districts may override the millage cap to meet unexpected expenses and provide opportunities that its residents want for their children, and
  • To allow school districts and local governments to seek alternative methods of raising and distributing revenue.
The LWVCA supports action by S.C. General Assembly to:
  • Assure timely flow of state funds to school districts so as to minimize their need to borrow money.
  • Fully fund all State-mandated expenses, in particular teacher pay raises.
  • Conduct a comprehensive review of State education fiscal policy & redesign a funding system in which allocation formulas are aligned with actual costs of educating children to high standards.
Action on behalf of this position will include:
  • Advocate for amendments to the Property Tax Valuation Reform Act.
  • Join with state & local advocacy groups.
  • Create public awareness through forums, position papers.
  • Monitor implementation of Property Tax Valuation Reform Act & its impact on the CCSD.

Public School Finance Resources

C. Public Transportation

Advocate citizen oversight and actively support plans to review and expand regional public
transportation services emphasizing:
  • An equitable and dedicated source of funding for regional public transportation services
  • An improved area transportation system that addresses the specific needs of residents of Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties, particularly in relation to job access programs
  • Provisions for alternative methods of regional transportation
  • Provisions for land-use planning in relation to bus and light rail corridors, as well as future transportation hubs
  • Provisions for an efficient, environmentally sound, and fully coordinated system
  • Citizen participation/input in distribution of funds
  • Fiscally responsible management

Public transportation resources

D. Regional Planning

  • Promote regional planning mechanisms that reconcile economic and environmental issues and concerns in ways that can benefit all.
  • Manage growth so as to protect the Lowcountry ecosystems, including wetlands and water quality.
  • Promote the production and preservation of affordably-priced housing.

Regional planning resources

E. Public Health

  • Promote access to health information and care.
  • Support access to comprehensive health information including medically accurate and age appropriate sexuality education, preventative screenings, and immunizations." .
  • Advocate for local ordinances or state legislation to promote smoke-free environments in workplaces and other public places including restaurants and bars.

For background, see Public health resources

See the result of the League's 2017 consensus on healthcare.

F. Criminal Justice

  • Advocate for prisoner rehabilitation programs in South Carolina prisons and jails.

  • Advocate for LWVSC's policy positions on illegal drugs: Illegal drug use should be considered a public health issue. Drug use and addiction should be addressed by substance abuse treatment and education programs instead of incarceration.

Also, please read the LWVCA's Drug Study Background and Report and for more information Criminal justice resources

IV. Other Positions

The League of Women Voters of the Charleston Area supports:
  • Continued equalization programs for assessment of property in Charleston County
  • Consolidation of city/county government services
  • The Council-Administrator system of government in Charleston County
  • Comprehensive county library systems
  • Implementation of home rule
  • Solid waste management/recycling programs and education on benefits of source reduction; coordination with other local organizations
  • Programs for children at risk, with emphasis on early intervention regarding teenage pregnancy, violence, and youth programs and facilities at tax-supported and other licensed sites
  • A consolidated Charleston County, Berkeley County, and Dorchester County School Districts in which:
  • Every child has the opportunity for an excellent education.
  • The role of the District Board of Trustees is to set policy and standards for achievement in the District.
  • The Superintendent of Schools implements policy established by the Board of Trustees and is accountable to the Trustees to meet the established standards.

Green Schools
  • Promote to school boards and elected officials the benefits of green schools in our community, such as reduced energy costs, increased public health, positive environmental impacts and cost savings.
  • Collaborate with local, state or national groups to promote the benefits of green schools in our community.
  • Encourage local school districts, for existing buildings, to:

1) Set sustainable performance standards including, but not limited to, energy efficiency, waste reduction, indoor air quality;
2) Document and report on the performance of each school regarding these standards;
3) Take reasonable action to improve performance as measured by the adopted standards.

  • Encourage local school districts, for new construction and major renovation projects, to:
    1) Adopt sustainable building design, construction and performance standards including, but not limited to, positive environmental impact, public health, energy efficiency, waste reduction, indoor air quality, cost savings; and
    2) Construct and substantially renovate buildings according to the adopted standards.

Be sure to read the LWVCA's Green School Study Background and Findings and look at Other green buildings resources

Safeguarding Democracy: Quest for a More Diverse Judiciary

The LWVCA also continues to work alongside other Leagues to promote the importance of fair and impartial courts nationwide. Since October 2009, the League has been focusing on promoting independence and diversity at all levels of the state judiciary to enhance the legitimacy of our system of justice in the eyes of an increasingly diverse public. A continuation of the status quo will "affect the way citizens look at the role courts play in their communities, erode the trust in the courts, question the right of equality under the law, and negatively affect the perception of the judiciary as fair and impartial."
Please visit the Greenville League's Judicial Independence And Diversity Website to learn more about how the South Carolina Judicial Branch is organized and operates.

State Positions

The League of Women Voters of South Carolina (LWVSC) adopts its program at its convention held in odd-numbered years. The entire current program of LWVSC can be found here.

For more specific discussion of certain positions, please see:

National Positions

The League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) adopts program at its convention held in even-numbered years. The entire current program of LWVUS can be found here.

For more specific discussion of these positions, please see:

State Education Priorities 2016-2017

Continue support for the LWVSC positions in the Collaborative Agenda for Pre-K-12 Public Education, a statement of goals and recommendations by representatives of the major educational organizations in the State. Continue to support LWVSC positions on bringing quality education to the students in the Abbeville districts. Focus on closing the achievement gap in the Charleston area and on early childhood education and early literacy initiatives