Making Democracy Work

What We Do

Below is a quick rundown of League activities. Each activity offers many and varied opportunities for members to help. Volunteering is a great way to join in activities with League friends who have the same goals and interests as you.

VOTING, ELECTIONS, ADVOCACY

Voter Registration: Voter registration is the kind of activity that helps keep our participatory democracy alive. To encourage citizen participation in government, League volunteers set up voter registration tables every year at the Memorial Day Parade, in front of super-markets, and at town events on the Green.

Candidate Debates: Each election cycle, League-hosted candidate debates provide a great public service. Voters get to know the candidates: their qualifications, past experience, and positions on critical issues. The debates also feature questions from the floor. Committee volunteers determine the location and date, communicate with the candidates, arrange for publicity, time debaters and screen questions from the audience.

Voter's Guide: Every election year, the League distributes its popular Voter's Guide, identifying local and state candidates and their stances on significant local and state issues. This four-to-six page insert is published in the Fairfield SUN. Voters also find the free Voter's Guide at local venues such as the town's three libraries and two train stations. Committee volunteers submit questions to the candidates; coordinate with political party chairs, the publishing newspaper, the Town Clerk, and the Registrars of Voters. They design, edit, and arrange for the Voter's Guide publication and distribution.

LWVCT Public Issues Grassroots Lobby Corps: Call or email elected officials on issues of your choosing. LWVCT specialists provide the background information and Action Alerts on your topic(s) of interest. You provide the important "voice"―from your community.

Study Groups: Members form a study committee to research a selected governmental issue, assembling the facts, interviewing outside sources, analyzing the pros and cons, and formulating a position on the subject. The resulting position is presented to the full membership for consensus. After agreement is reached on an issue, the League attempts to educate and convince the public and to lobby directly with elected officials. Action may be by emails, letters, phone calls, testimony, in person visits, etc.

INFORMATIVE PUBLIC PROGRAMS

Legislators Panel: Early each year, the League invites the Fairfield State Senator and State Representatives to an informal question/answer discussion of state legislative issues. You get to know your state legislators, keep up with the legislation of the past year, and hear what the parties and the legislators plan for the coming year. The public is invited. Committee volunteers arrange for the venue, work with the moderator, and help at the event with welcoming the public and the Q&A to the candidates.

Fairfield LWV Informs: The League sponsors a variety of presentations by leaders with expertise on topics of local, state, and national interest. We sometimes sponsor joint events with other Connecticut Leagues and other organizations such as the Fairfield Museum and History Center. The public is invited.

Symposium on International Relations (SIR). Each year The League of Women Voters of Connecticut Education Fund, Inc. sponsors a conference on a global issue concerning international relations. A panel of outside experts is assembled for an in-depth discussion of the issue. Local leagues invite a limited number of local high school students who are selected by the school. Recent SIR topics have been "The Tensions of Global Migration", "Water, Water Everywhere But Not a Drop...", and "Media:Where in the World is the Truth?"

ONGOING OPPORTUNITIES--SOCIAL AND OTHERWISE

Book Discussion Group: Fiction or non, this group selects, reads, and discusses recent and not-so-recent publications related to American life, government, history, overseas policies, allies, or whatever else strikes them as interesting or wonderful. The group meets every four weeks or so, everyone's schedules allowing. Discussions are casual, lively, and informative.

Fall Membership Recruitment Evening: In the fall, the League holds a membership recruitment evening. Current members are encouraged to invite acquaintances who might like to join our League. A social hour is enjoyed by members and guests and a guest speaker delivers an address. Refreshments are served.

Annual Dinner: In the spring, a dinner is held for the membership. Board members are elected, the budget is reviewed, areas of study are approved, attendees hear a guest speaker, and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow Leaguers.

Bi-Annual Tag Sale: An opportunity to clean your home of items no longer useful, but still desirable, and give them to a good cause. Proceeds are used to help fund our programs and avoid increases in dues.

Board Meetings: The Board meets monthly, usually on the second Thursday evening, in the home of a member. All members are invited and encouraged to participate in decisions ― large and small.