Making Democracy Work

League Lingo

There are certain terms that are unique to the League of Women Voters--"League Lingo." Some are listed here to help members.

ACTION: Promoting the League's positions on local, state and national public policy issues to government officials, the media and the public.

ACTION ALERT: Request from the LWVUS or state League to take action in support of a League position.

ANNUAL MEETING: Local year-end business meeting to elect officers and directors, vote on bylaw changes and adopt a budget and program of work for the next year.

ASSOCIATE MEMBER: A non-voting member of the League, such as a person under 18 years of age or a non-citizen.

CONSENSUS: Collective opinion of a substantial number of League members, representative of the membership as a whole, after objective study of an issue.

CONCURRENCE: Agreement by League members with a position on an issue reached by a small group of members or by another League.

CONVENTION: A state or national League meeting held every other year at which delegates elect officers and directors for the biennium, adopt program, make bylaw changes and adopt a budget, usually for one year. Local Leagues send delegates to state convention, local and state Leagues send delegates to national convention.

COUNCIL: An assembly of delegates held in alternate years to adopt a budget and assess program developments. Local Leagues send delegates to state council, state Leagues send delegates to national council.

EDUCATION FUND: The tax-deductible arm of national, state and large local Leagues, handling funds to be used only for educational purposes, not for action on issues.

HONORARY LIFE MEMBER: A person who has been a member for 50 years or more. Life members are excused from dues payment and their Leagues pay no per member payment (PMP) for them.

ILO: Acronym for an Inter-League Organization, formed by local Leagues within a county, metropolitan area or region to act on issues that are beyond the local League area in scope.

LEADERS UPDATE (formerly the "Presidents Mailing"): A weekly electronic LWV news briefing sent by the LWVUS president to state and local members who are listed as leaders in that LWV's database on the LWVUS membership website. LWV presidents are urged to share Leaders Updates with their entire board, off-board and committee chair lists.

MAL: Acronym for Member-At-Large, a member who resides outside the area of, and is not enrolled in, a local League.

MAL UNIT: A state-recognized group of Members-At-Large, in an area where there is no local League. PMP: Acronym for Per Member Payment, the amount of money paid to the LWVUS and the state League on behalf of each member.

POSITION: A statement of the League's point of view on an issue, arrived at through member study and agreement (consensus or concurrence), approved by the appropriate board and used as a basis for League action.

PRINCIPLES: Governmental standards and policies supported by the League as a whole. They constitute the authorization for adoption of program at all levels.

PROGRAM: Selected governmental issues chosen by members at the local, state and national levels for study and action. LWVSC's 2017-2019 Agenda for Action can be found here and the National League's Impact on Issues 2016-2018 can be found here

PROGRAMS: Plans for speakers, discussion or other activities for League meetings.

UNIT: Groupings of members within large local Leagues to provide more opportunity for discussion.
Units may be time-oriented (day, evening, lunch hour), geographically oriented, or both.

VOTERS GUIDE: Nonpartisan publication giving candidates' qualifications and positions on selected issues.

VOTERS SERVICE: Year-round activity to help citizens be politically effective and to encourage their participation in the political process. Registering voters and presenting factual, nonpartisan information on candidates and election issues are basic voters service activities.

VOTING MEMBERS: All League members who are U.S. citizens and at least 18 years old.