Program Adoption

League of Women Voters of New Mexico


Revised August 4, 2013, April 5, 2014

Every two years League members are invited to participate in LWVNM program planning to help set the agenda for the following two years. Each League member has the opportunity to influence the selection of issues where the League will focus its time, talent, and money. To keep League program vital, it is important that a large number of League members participate in the state League program planning.

In early winter in Convention years (odd numbered years), each local League's program planning includes a review of the state positions. Local Leagues accomplish program planning in different ways, but all members are asked to review the current positions and decide which ones they believe should be retained, dropped, or updated.

By the end of February in Convention years, each local League reports the results of its program planning to its members and to the LWVNM Board. At the March meeting of the state Board, the local League president or designee should be prepared to explain its proposals. The LWVNM Board examines these recommendations along with the justifications and votes on which items to recommend to Convention delegates. Each topic submitted as part of program planning by local Leagues is listed in the Convention packet as either a recommended or non-recommended item. The state Board may also submit its own proposals. Members are notified of these decisions in the Spring La Palabra at least 30 days before the Convention.

With broad member participation in program planning, LWVNM can be assured of creating an agenda of study, action, and education for the next two years that will create enthusiasm for the work of the League. Delegates at the LWVNM Convention determine the state program by voting to:

ADOPT: Members decide to adopt a position after careful study or through a modified study and concurrence.

RETAIN/RE-ADOPT: Members decide to retain a position because it is still relevant.

DROP: Members decide the position is no longer useful in its present form or is not supported by most members. If dropped, action on this position will end. Any future action at state or local levels of League using this position would require a new study.

STUDY: Members recommend the League undergo a process of gathering information for discussion by members with the aim of reaching consensus and establishing a position on an important issue. Usually studies take two years to complete. In the course of the study, members can brief the Board on scope of inquiry, timing, emphasis and ways to handle the study and/or action phases. The Board takes this into account in planning for the year. (See LWVNM Policy on Studies and Positions).

UPDATE: When members indicate a review or analysis is needed to evaluate or possibly revise a position in light of new information, changed circumstances, and/or a conflict with another League position with the aim of considering change(s) to the position: A committee must develop the scope for the proposed update. In addition to considering the program planning input at Convention, the LWVNM Board can consider taking on new program at Council. Local Leagues are also encouraged to give input to the state Board at any time and to request information and/or advocacy efforts.


Action: Steps taken to influence public policy consistent with League positions and principles.

Letters, joining coalitions, public statements, lobbying, monitoring, and litigation are

among the techniques used to achieve goals. Action on behalf of LWVNM can be taken only after a person has obtained the approval of the LWVNM Board.

Action Alert: A request from the national, state, or local League board asking members to take action on a current issue on behalf of a League position.

Concurrence: Members are asked to concur, or agree with, a position rather than complete a study and consensus process. A concurrence statement may be a position held by another League or a decision statement recommended by a League board or study committee.

Consensus: Substantial member agreement is reached through group discussion or other methods of membership response. Consensus is the sense of the group based on information prepared by a study committee and guided by consensus questions.

Guidance to the Board: Delegates at Convention and Council recommend items on which LWVNM should focus its energy and efforts.

Issue for Emphasis: Timely and critical issue adopted by Convention delegates on which the

League will focus its agenda for the coming two years. Emphasis may include concerted action on an existing position, a new study or update, and/or education.

Position: Each position represents the League's stand on a public policy issue and the basis for action. A position is established through the study and consensus process or through concurrence. Positions are subject to regular review and must be reaffirmed by the membership at each Convention. A new position is approved by the state Board on a just-completed study. After the position is approved, the state League can act on the position pending adoption by the Convention. The League is said to "have a position," "act on a position," "take a stand" (based on a position).

Position modification: A position can be modified if LWVNM decides it is appropriate. The change must be recommended and justified by a League board or study committee.

Program: The LWVNM program consists of those governmental issues the League has chosen for concerted study and action at the state or local level.