Advocacy at the State Legislature Policy

Objective: The League employs advocacy techniques to influence policy and legislation at all levels of government. After League members have reached consensus on issues and developed positions, the next step is to generate legislation through advocacy.

Policies and Procedures

Only the LWVNM President, Action Chair, and approved designees are authorized to advocate for LWVNM. The President or Action Chair authorizes the content of the testimony in advance. Advocates also testify in support of or in opposition to legislation using the language on LWVNM Factsheets or in the LWVNM positions.

If action is necessary between board meetings and without previous board guidance, a decision by the Executive Committee is sufficient. The action should be reported at the next board meeting.

Any action by local Leagues at the State Legislature based on state or national positions must be done in cooperation with the LWVNM Action Chair and Committee, and on behalf of the state League.

Local Leagues may lobby the state legislature on local or regional issues based on local positions after obtaining permission from the Action Chair and state President.

Advocating as an Individual

If you are not an official advocate for LWVNM, you can still lobby for League positions, but you should state that you are acting as an individual. You can give legislators the LWVNM Fact Sheet on the issue and let them know that you support the position. If you are a constituent, let your legislator know by putting your name and address on the sheet before handing it in. Using personal mailing labels is an easy way to do that.

Individual League members are free to take whatever action they wish on any issue at any level of government as long as they do so in their own name. To avoid confusion, League members are asked to not mention the League unless authorized to speak for the League.

Advocating for Other Organizations

If you are speaking for another organization as well as LWVNM, you may state only that both organizations support the bill to avoid uncertainty about the League’s position.

Committee Amendments

If there has been a substantive amendment to a bill in committee, you are asked not to speak until it has been reviewed and approved by the Action Committee, Action Chair, or the LWVNM President.