One of the broad overall goals of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Rapids Area is to assure a representative Government by promoting an open governmental system that is representative, accountable and responsive.
We promote social and economic justice and the health and safety of all Americans.
We work along with the State and National League of Women Voters to secure equal rights and equal opportunity for all.
Through the years we have engaged in numerous activities that help us obtain these goals.
Redistricting and Reapportionment
The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Rapids Area has monitored this process in Wisconsin Rapids and Wood County every time it has taken place since the 1970 census and has actively intervened twice to insure that each and every citizen of the county was equally represented.
League members attend meetings of various local, regional, state and national government bodies to observe. Observers do not speak for the League, but attend these meetings to listen, learn and make factual reports of the proceedings. At the present time there is particular emphasis on the meetings of the Wisconsin Rapids Area School Board.
The League monitors elections and other government activities. We are very conscious of the importance of a secret ballot and proper counting of ballots. Often members of the community will contact us to discuss actions or happenings they have observed at the polls or during the counting procedure.
Sharing Governmental Services
Our local League of Women Voters studied how shared revenues from the state are distributed to local communities. This included information on the services, revenues and expenditures for eleven townships, villages and the city of Wisconsin Rapids in South Wood County and Portage County.
We prepared extensive reports covering the results of this study and distributed them to each of the governmental bodies.
We then arranged meetings and invited representatives of these governmental bodies to meet and see if sharing services would offer a possible financial benefit to the communities.
Sharing services is still being considered by a number of communities.
Additional Governmental Issues
Most, if not all, of the Education, Health and Environmental issues we become involved with also have some element of government associated with them. This will become obvious when you read more about these activities in some of the other sections in our site. An example of this was our 1974 study of the Wood County Jail in which the League supported a policy of humane confinement which will ensure inmates' lawfully prescribed civil rights and offer materials and services to meet inmates' physical, mental and emotional needs.
Meeting Our Goals
The League takes action in a number of different ways depending on the level of government and the issues. These include: speaking out, publicizing, publishing, working with others, lobbying, testifying, and going to court.
Speaking Out: The League "Speaks Out" on important issues through letter-writing, e-mail and telephone campaigns directed to legislators and through personal visits to legislators and administrative agencies. In this manner we can make our voices heard in support of the law, the amendment, the regulation, or the policy decision we are backing.
Publicizing: The League publicizes it's position on issues, communicating it's concerns through the media, petition drives and specific issue campaigns.
Publishing: The League publishes and distributes issue-oriented material.
Working With Others: The League works with other organizations and in coalitions to plan lobbying strategies and support for League action goals.
Lobbying: The League lobbies on issues of national concern. The lobbying efforts of League in virtually every congressional district are supplemented in Washington by the League's national board members, the national staff, and a group of League volunteers who work as a lobbying corps. The state and local Leagues also apply pressure to help shape policies in the public interest.
Testifying: The League testifies at legislative and administrative hearings to assure citizen input in policy-making decisions.
Going to Court: The League goes to court to help clarify laws in the public interest.