Making Democracy Work

Action and Advocacy

We are truly a grassroots organization...

WHAT WE DO--FOCUS FOR ACTION

The League of Women Voters takes action on an issue or advocates for a cause when there is an existing League position that supports the issue or speaks to the cause.

Positions result from a process of study. Any given study, whether it be National, State, or Local, is thorough in its pursuit of facts and details. As the study progresses, a continuing discussion of pros and cons of each situation occurs. Prior to the results of the study being presented to the general membership, study committee members fashion consensus questions that are then addressed by the membership.

Additional discussion, pro and con, takes place as members (not part of the study committee) learn the scope of the study. After the members reach consensus, the board forms positions based on that consensus.

It is the consensus statement -- the statement resulting from the consensus questions -- that becomes a position. Firm action or advocacy can then be taken on the particular issue addressed by the position. Without a position, action/advocacy cannot be taken.

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2018-2019 LWVHHI/BA PROGRAM PLAN

LWVHHI/BA ACTION PRIORITIES FOR 2018-2019

Making Democracy Work

Voter rights and voter access

Redistricting

Off-shore Seismic Testing and Drilling

Education

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LOCAL PUBLIC POLICY POSITIONS

ELECTORAL DEMOCRACY

Redistricting (Adopted 2018)

We support the drawing of voting district lines following the decennial census that reflect strict anti-gerrymandering standards at all levels of government, in accordance with the LWVSC redistricting position. More specifically, we support the adoption of these standards to redistricting maps drawn at the County Council, School Board and Town Council levels of government.

NATURAL RESOURCES

Beach Management (Adopted 2003-2004; revised 2018): We support beach management projects that are for the public good rather than for the benefit of private property. Such projects should make use of re-nourishment methods first and employ hard structures only when nourishment alone is ineffective. Clear goals and quantitatively designed measures of each project's success should be established and ensured by careful, professional monitoring over the long term. If a hard structure is demonstrated to adversely affect nearby beaches, mitigation, re-design or removal should be required.

Drinking Water and Sewer Service (Adopted 2015) We support the conservation and preservation of available drinking water and the availability of sewer service.

Off-Shore Seismic Testing and Drilling (Adopted 2018) We believe that seismic testing in an attempt to locate deposits of oil or natural gas off South Carolina's Atlantic shore would severely endanger the ocean's living creatures and that any uncertain benefits that might be realized from off-shore drilling there are far outweighed by the potential for great damage to the state's natural environment, its tourist-based economy, and the health and quality of life of its residents.

Sensitive Land Areas (Adopted 2015) We support the preservation of sensitive and historic land areas and tree cover. Waterways (Adopted 2004-2005) We support preservation and protection of Outstanding Resource Waters and the quality of other local waterways. We are opposed to marinas on Outstanding Resource Waters.

Wetlands (Adopted 2003-2004; revised 2015): We support the preservation and protection of wetlands, area beaches, and local waterways, including but not limited to Calibogue Sound, the May River, the Colleton River, and the Okatie River.

STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Transparency (Adopted 2015) We support transparency in local government decisions.

TRANSPORTATION

Accommodations Tax Funding (Adopted 2003-2004) Accommodations Tax (A-Tax) monies may be an appropriate source of funding for regional public transportation

Comprehensive Transportation Plan (Adopted 2003-2004) County Council should put a comprehensive transportation plan in place within a reasonable time

LWVSC (STATE) PUBLIC POLICY POSITIONS OF PARTICULAR INTEREST

EDUCATION

State funding issues (including Act 388) and needed response for poor rural districts (2015)

Support state initiatives to prevent the inappropriate use of public funds for private and religious education (2018)

ELECTORAL DEMOCRACY

Open and thorough study, evaluation and selection of new voting machines (2015)

STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Protection of home rule for local governments. (2015)

Transparency in local government decisions (2015)

STATE AND LOCAL TAXATION

Comprehensive tax reform for SC (2015)

State and local taxation recommendations with special attention to concerns for natural resources, infrastructure, and education (2015)

LOCAL AREAS OF INTEREST TO BE MONITORED

EDUCATION

Board of Education (2015)

School District budgeting process (2015)

NATURAL RESOURCES

Land purchases with public funds and use of Rural and Critical Lands revenue approved by referendum (2015)

Land use decision-making process of Planning Commissions and Town and County Council (2015)

Comprehensive Plan Reviews (2015)

TAXATION

Local revenue and taxation (2015)

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Advocacy Resources

The League Speaks

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LWV National President Carson Condemns Racist Comments

Friend,

We are appalled and disgusted by President Trump's racist statement made during a bipartisan meeting about Immigration yesterday. Language and ideals like this have no place in our society, and certainly not in our White House. (For full text see below)

letter from league president on racisist comments
Copy of letter from US LWV League President

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Letter to the Editor of the Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette: Abbeville Ruling, December 1, 2017

To The Editor:

Our state Supreme Court's decision to dismiss its landmark Abbeville ruling, 24 years in the making, marks another set-back in ensuring equity in education for all our state's students. That stark education disparities exist between the poorer and more affluent districts in our state was made clear to many of our citizens in the 2005 documentary "Corridor of Shame," which depicted the deplorable state of the under-resourced rural schools along the I-95 corridor.

The League of Women Voters of Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Area differs with the court's assessment that since the 2014 Abbeville ruling there have been "transformational" changes in education in our state. Although some steps have been taken, they are small and fail to deal with an inequitable education funding formula in need of an overhaul.

Now that the court has retreated on this issue, it is the responsibility of the General Assembly to make good on its recent public assertions that it wants to ensure a 21st century quality education for all our students. This means moving far beyond the "minimally adequate education" requirement posed in our state Constitution.

Maintaining the status quo is unconscionable.

Nancy Williams, Co-President League of Women Voters of Hilton Head and Bluffton Area

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Letter to the Editor of the Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette: Off-shore Seismic Testing, July 13, 2017

The League of Women Voters of Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Area strenuously oppose seismic testing Regarding the proposed "Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Geophysical Surveys in the Atlantic Ocean," the League of Women Voters of Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Area strenuously oppose seismic testing in the waters off our coast as a prelude to possible offshore drilling for oil and gas. These tests, which are loud and jarring, are detrimental to all marine life. The economy of South Carolina depends on the health of the marine animals off our shore for fishermen, crabbers, and oystermen, and are important to our tourism industry.

Whatever benefits might be realized from offshore drilling, should seismic testing reveal substantial oil and gas deposits, are far outweighed by the substantial damage to our environment, health and quality of life. The negative impact on our fisheries, business climate and tourism industry would be enormous. Seismic testing and offshore drilling must not be permitted off the shores of the State of South Carolina

Nancy Williams and Dot Law, Co-presidents, League of Women Voters of Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Area

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Letter to The Island Packet/Beaufort Gazette: Election Assistance Commission, April 17, 2017

Along with the League of Women Voters of the United States, the League of Women Voters of Hilton Head Island/Bluffton area is very concerned about the current movement in Congress to terminate the Election Assistance Commission (EAC). With continuing controversy about the accuracy, conduct and participation in American elections, this is not the time to abolish the only federal entity devoted exclusively to improving election administration on a bipartisan basis.

The EAC does invaluable work to improve our nation's election systems on a voluntary, non-regulatory basis. It oversees the federal voting system certification program that sets standards for the upgrade of America's voting machines and that 47 states depend on to maintain their voting machines. The EAC also improves accessibility at the polls for more than 37 million voters with disabilities. Finally, local election officials rely on the EAC to provide best practices on voting and election administration.

The EAC instills confidence in our election system. Rather than eliminating the EAC, Congress should provide the agency with resources and a renewed commitment to sponsoring and encouraging information state and local officials.

Elections are the life blood of a democracy. We urge readers of The Island Packet/Beaufort Gazette to join us in asking Representative Mark Sanford to oppose The Election Assistance Commission Termination Act.

Fran Holt, President League of Women Voters of Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Area

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Letter to County Council: National Golf Course Property Development, February 21, 2017

D. Paul Sommerville, Chairman Beaufort County Council 1509 Pigeon Point Road Beaufort, South Carolina 29902

Dear Chairman Sommerville:

The members of the League of Women Voters of Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Area urge the Beaufort County Council to move with extreme caution before approving a development as large as Scratch Golf LLC is proposing for the Hilton Head National Golf Course property.

The impact on the natural environment would be huge--new demands on our regional water supply, possible pollution of air and water, destruction of green space and wildlife habitat. The impact on the built environment would also be huge--long lines on roads and bridges, greater use of energy, expansive impervious surfaces leading to erosion and water pollution and trapping of heat. We are also concerned the development, as currently proposed, would overburden services provided by government including schools, the sheriff's department and fire protection.

As stated by the League of Women Voters of South Carolina, we believe in promoting "an environment beneficial to life through the protection and wise management of natural resources in the public interest by recognizing the interrelationships of air quality, energy, land use, habitat preservation, waste management and water resources." We urge the members of the Beaufort County Council to proceed with such goals in mind when agreeing to the parameters of this proposed development.

Thank you for considering our views.

Sincerely,

Fran Holt, President
Sally McGarry, Natural Resources/Land Use Committee Chair
League of Women Voters of Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Area

cc: Members of Beaufort County Council