by Lunell Haught, LWVWA President
The midterm election may be over and the legislative session still weeks away, but the League of Women Voters of Washington is as busy as ever. So, what are League members up to? Here is a short list—we’d love to have you join us!
At the League, we want to try to understand what what is going on from multiple sources. Shop the competition and the allies. Knowing what others are saying and how they understand a situation is crucial to being relevant and effective. At the end of listening, try saying “Let me see if I understand you…”
Sometimes at the front, sometimes alongside, and sometimes at the back. Standing up and showing support for the values and principles we believe in makes it easier for others to do the same. Act based on your underlying values and find opportunities when the world asks you to stand up for them.
There is guidance on how to speak up on the League’s positions. The League is unique in that when we speak about public policy, we have our membership—local, state, or national—behind us, as our positions are based on member research and consensus. We can speak up because we have real authority on the subjects and because we have learned how to do so.
If you would like to learn how to speak up, we have two virtual workshops that will teach you how to communicate effectively with your legislators.
Speaking up also provides safety for those who think they are the only ones who think “that way” and they agree with the League, but are concerned about being the only one publicly sharing their opinion. Vulnerability can be a very real concern, so if you are willing and able to speak up, we’d love to have your voice.
Don’t just do something, stand there… and when you are finished considering the best strategy for demonstrating your values and moving them to the center of our culture, act. Relentlessly stirring up is a perfectly valid method to accomplish goals. Don’t give up. Pause and assess the situation, change your tactics if you must, but keep stirring. Be bold.