Our Mission

The League of Women Voters of Ames & Story County, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

Vision, Beliefs, and Intentions: The principles that guide our organization

The goal of the League of Women Voters is to empower citizens to shape better communities worldwide.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political membership organization which:

  • acts after study and member agreement to achieve solutions in the public interest on key community issues at all government levels
  • builds citizen participation in the democratic process. engages communities in promoting positive solutions to public policy issues through education and advocacy.

The League of Women Voters Education Fund is a nonpartisan public policy educational organization which:

  • builds citizen participation in the democratic process
  • studies key community issues at all governmental levels in an unbiased manner
  • enables people to seek positive solutions to public policy issues through education and conflict management.

We believe in:

  • Respect for individuals
  • The value of diversity
  • The empowerment of the grassroots, both within the League and in communities

We will:

  • act with trust, integrity and professionalism
  • operate in an open and effective manner to meet the needs of those we serve, both members and the public
  • take the initiative in seeking diversity in membership
  • acknowledge our heritage as we seek our path to the future.

Our Mission and Roles

The League of Women Voters has two separate and distinct roles.

  • Voter Education: we present unbiased nonpartisan information about elections, the voting process, and issues.
  • Action/Advocacy: we are also nonpartisan, but, after study, we use our positions to advocate for or against particular policies in the public interest.

Voter Education: We make voting easier through varied voter education programs.

The League of Women Voters Education Fund conducts voter service and citizen education activities. It is a nonpartisan nonprofit public policy educational organization, which:

  • Builds citizen participation in the democratic process.
  • Studies key community issues at all government levels in an unbiased manner.
  • Enables people to seek positive solutions to public policy issues through education and conflict management.

Action and Advocacy: We are truly a grassroots organization

The League of Women Voters takes action on an issue or advocates for a cause when there is an existing League position that supports the issue or speaks to the cause.

Positions result from a process of study. Any given study, whether it be National, State, or Local, is thorough in its pursuit of facts and details. As the study progresses, a continuing discussion of pros and cons of each situation occurs. Prior to the results of the study being presented to the general membership, study committee members fashion consensus questions that are then addressed by the membership.

Additional discussion, pro and con, takes place as members (not part of the study committee) learn the scope of the study. After the members reach consensus, the board forms positions based on that consensus.

It is the consensus statement -- the statement resulting from the consensus questions -- that becomes a position. Firm action or advocacy can then be taken on the particular issue addressed by the position. Without a position, action/advocacy cannot be taken.

Through this study process the Ames & Story County League adopts position on the local level.

State and national Leagues follow the same procedure to adopt state of Iowa and national positions.

Consensus/group discussion is the technique most often used in the League for reaching member agreement. It is a process whereby members participate in a group discussion of an issue. The consensus reached by members through group discussion is not a simple majority, nor is it unanimity; rather it is the overall sense of the group as expressed through the exchange of ideas and opinions, whether in a membership meeting or a series of membership or unit meetings.