Each year, our League agrees on a limited number of advocacy and educational priorities—what we call our “program.” Advocacy committees are grounded in formal policy positions, that League members have crafted from rigorous study and then adopted by a process of consensus or concurrence. Educational priorities may include issues where study is on-going. Additional issues can arise during the year, depending on member interest, and may become part of a subsequent year’s program. Like the National League, PWM categorizes some positions as “Watch-Dog issues,” meaning that we do not actively work on them unless something changes that we want to respond to or members, perhaps, new want to education and advocate on League positions or join one of the NYS-Wide Issues Committees.
“Making Democracy Work” Service Committees are another critical element of our work, all furthering our mission of educating and engaging voters, involving and engaging community voices, and providing spaces for voters and elected officials to engage each other — to encourage civil discourse across as broad a range of perspectives and communities as possible.
Our PWM League looks to the NYS League or the US League for policy positions that support our preferences on what we want to advocate for and educate about. Other issues we care about require study and advocacy within the League to adapt or update positions.
Electoral Reform & RCV/IRV (Ranked Choice Voting and Instant Runoff Voting)
We educate about and advocate for electoral systems (locally and in NYS) that reflect voter preferences better than our current system of plurality voting. PWM has adopted the LWVUS position to allow local advocacy and is educating about the LWVNYC position which specifically supports RCV. To learn more . . .
At the 2023 NYS Convention, delegates voted to form a study committee to research and recommend a LWV NYS position, which local Leagues can reach consensus about, likely in 2024. LWV of PWM is proud that one of our members is serving on this committee. To learn more ….
NYS Equal Rights Amendment Advocacy (NYS TF)
The NYS Legislature passed and Gov. Hochul signed the NYS Equal Rights Amendment in 2022. Because it is a constitutional amendment, it also needed to pass in the 2023 legislature which it did. It will now go the voters in the 2024 general election as the final step in amending the NYS Constitution.
This amendment is a priority for all League members, protecting against discrimination by the government based on a person’s ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, and sex — including their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes. It would also protect against any government actions that would curtail a person’s reproductive autonomy or their access to reproductive health care.
Guided by the LWVNY Positions on Healthcare and the LWVUS Position on Healthcare, we advocate and educate on NYS healthcare legislation that will improve public health, increase equitable access to health services, and reduce disparities of access and health outcome now associated with race, class, and ZIP Code. After rigorous study of how best to achieve comprehensive universal healthcare that is affordable for patients, taxpayers, and employers, the LWVNY supports the NY Health Act. We also support the NYS Rural Caucus and the LWV Rural Affairs Caucus (30 states) — advocating for healthcare, broadband, and voting rights. Members seek to expand the value of the LWV to rural areas. To learn more. . .
Redistricting Following the 2020 Census
We advocate for fair political maps for all elected offices; we oppose partisan and racial gerrymandering. In 2021 through 2022, using demographic data from the 2020 Census, we engaged our communities to influence the NYS Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC), encourage local organizing, testifying at hearings, and using the League software mapping tool People Powered Fair Maps™ . In 2023, due to local gerrymandering, LWV of PWM, in partnership with the NY Civil Liberties Union, has sued. Another suit, for the NYS Congressional redistricting, has a trial date set for early winter. To learn more. . .
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI)
We use a DEI lens to examine what we do — programs, internal processes, advocacy, and outreach —and what that may mean to communities we seek to serve, as we seek to make our League more equitable and inclusive. This includes what we do within our League, in our outreach to communities, and in the positions for which we advocate. Our DEI program priority aligns with the LWVUS and the LWVNY DEI programs. Learn more . . .
Candidate Forums: Voter Services
As a nonpartisan political organization, we offer voters in our communities the opportunity to hear and see candidates respond to their questions in shared spaces. Our reputation for being nonpartisan with respect to candidates and political parties has always been a source of strength to the League, a strength we guard zealously. It is a cornerstone of our “Making Democracy Work” initiatives to increase citizen engagement. If you are willing to maintain the discipline and integrity required for genuine nonpartisan activity and an unyielding commitment to civil discourse, consider volunteering to be trained and apprentice within our Voter Services team. To learn more . . .
Full-time students 16 to 25 are welcome to become voting members of our League, with no dues required. We welcome inquiries about (unpaid) internships and projects that align with our mission to engage our communities. In addition, we select and sponsor local high school students for the annual LWVNY Students Inside Albany conference which (pre-pandemic) offered in-person insider views of the legislative process. To learn more . . .
Voter Outreach: Registration & Education & Hosting Annual State of the Town Address
We maintain on-going voter information and registration efforts — with students, new citizens, and low-turnout communities. We offer trusteed educational materials in multiple languages. We host the Town of North Hempstead Supervisor’s State of the Town Address each year. We manage the election process for the TNH Housing Authority. We encourage citizens to make their voices heard by voting, and we offer space for them to hear elected representatives speak about their future plans and recent achievements. To learn more
Climate Change Legislation
We monitor public efforts to protect and sustain our natural resources, particularly the quantity and quality of our groundwater. We study how to reduce food waste, landfill, plastics, pollution and toxic contaminants. We educate and advocate on issues specific to Long Island and beyond to address the perils of climate change and to be better stewards of our Earth.
Equal Opportunity Legislation
We support the ERA nationally and lobby for NYS legislation to guarantee women equal opportunity and economic rights, by removing legal and economic barriers around pay, employment, access to credit and child custody. We also seek to protect women and families subjected to coercion, domestic violence, and human trafficking. To read more about LWV positions on social policy
Campaign Finance Reform
Energy, Agriculture, and Environment
Medical Aid In Dying
Governance & Election Legislation
We advocate for no-excuse absentee voting, early voting access, measures to maximize all valid votes and other legislation and regulation in NYS as well as nationality, as part of our “Making Democracy Work™” initiatives. To Learn More . . .
The 2023-24 PWM Program can be viewed here.
Our NYS positions can be found in the LWVNY Impact on Issues that govern our advocacy for/against NYS and local legislation.
The NYS Legislative Agenda lists the priorities for advocacy at the state level for all NYS local leagues.
Our National League positions can be found in LWVUS Impact on Issues that govern our advocacy for/against federal legislation.
Local and state positions may not oppose national positions. To preserve “one voice,” local leagues must not advocate in the name of the League to their Members of Congress, without direction from the National League. Of course, League members are encouraged to contact MOCs to express their views as engaged individual citizens.
Join us to help engage our communities to strengthen our democracy. Because our members work together on what we care about, we work on a host of issues — and provide numerous community services — some of which are listed below.
Some members offer specialized efforts, a few hours per month. Others are passionate about their issue, working with our PWM League, as well as Leagues around NYS and the US. Others help build coalitions of advocacy with allies who share our values of non-partisanship, inclusiveness, and civility working on issues of local significance.
We can help you find something that will allow you to team with us — at times and effort levels that work for you.