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Program Planning

DEFINITIONS, CRITERIA, AND GUIDELINES 

Reaffirm a position

Definition: Members are committed to the position and will be involved in supporting LWVNJ efforts to pursue position's goals. Member understanding and agreement exist.

Criteria: This is the option you will choose if you do not want to drop or update a position.

Drop a position

Definition: Position is not useful in its present form or is not supported by members. If delegates at convention drop a position, LWVNJ cannot use the position to lobby. Any future action must be taken on other related positions or will require a new study.

Criteria: consider the following questions
  • Is the position still meaningful today? 
  • Does the position represent current member thinking? 
  • Do members care enough about the position to take action and devote resources to it? 
Guidelines: List reasoning of members for recommendation to drop under “Comments.”

Update a position

Definition: A study of limited scope to reevaluate an existing position in light of new information, changed circumstances, and/or conflict with another existing position.

Criteria: consider the following questions:
  • Is new information available that might change the position? 
  • Have the circumstances surrounding the position changed significantly? 
  • Does the position conflict with another League position? 
  • Do members need a thorough update in order to have the understanding necessary to take action? 
  • Are there gaps in the position? 
Guidelines:
  1. The scope of the update must accompany your recommendation. The scope defines the parameters or limits of the update—the specific areas you wish to reexamine or expand and questions you want answered by the update. 
  2. Include an estimate of time and resources that are needed to accomplish the update. Do we have members with expertise or connections to those with expertise to gather needed research materials? 
  3. Consider looking for allies among other local Leagues to insure sufficient people resources to accomplish the limited study and to support it at convention.
New Study

Definition: Topic for member research and discussion in order to reach consensus and establish a position upon which LWVNJ may take action. A new study is usually a two-year process.

Criteria: consider the following questions: 
  • Assuming a two-year process to reach consensus, is the timing right to allow the League to act on the new position? 
  • Will League involvement make a difference? 
  • Is the issue one on which most League members will spend time and effort to study and come to consensus? 
  • Are members in your local League able to lead or participate in a study committee? 
Guidelines:
  1. Wording of a new study item should be easily understood, general enough for flexibility, yet specific enough to indicate the desired goals and scope. 
  2. A statement of scope of the study must accompany your recommendation. The scope defines the parameters of the study. It is an explanation in more detail of the limits outlined in the wording. It shows how broad or narrow an approach you wish to take. 
  3. Include an estimate of time and resources that are needed to accomplish the study. 
  4. Consider looking for allies among other local Leagues to insure sufficient people are available to research the issue, prepare meeting-ready materials for local Leagues, develop consensus questions, tally consensus responses and write the position. 
Decide if you wish to propose a consensus or concurrence process.
Consensus in the League is the process by which members, after study and group discussion, reach agreement, AND it is also the agreement reached, representing the “sense of the meeting” as expressed through the exchange of ideas and opinions. It is more than a simple majority, although it is not necessarily unanimity.

Concurrence is agreeing with a statement of position. A concurrence can be with what the Study Committee recommends or on a position reached by another League.

Procedure for Update or New Study: Study Committee Tasks
  • Examine wording and scope approved by delegates and gather research materials 
  • Determine what background materials should be recommended to local Leagues. 
  • Develop consensus questions or concurrence statement. 
  • Prepare meeting-ready discussion guide for local Leagues consensus or concurrence meeting. 
  • Evaluate responses and analyze against criteria for a valid state consensus or concurrence. 
  • Prepare position statement for consideration by the LWVNJ Board.