League Lingo

Otherwise known as "do you understand what I'm saying?" One of the best things about the League is its long and rich history. All those years of working out procedures and terms can sometimes leave newer members a bit confused. Here is a glossary to help newcomers get up to speed!

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 LWVDC for League members and friends to take action at a specific time in support of a League position.

ANNUAL MEETING: Local year-end business meeting to elect officers and directors, vote on by-laws changes, and adopt a budget and program of work for the next year. LWVDC holds its Annual Meeting in April.

CONCURRENCE: Agreement by DC League members with a position by another League.

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

COUNCIL: A national assembly of delegates held in alternate years to adopt a budget and assess program developments. State leagues, including DC, send delegates to the national Council held in odd numbered years.

CONVENTION: National League meetings held in even numbered years. Delegates adopt program, elect officers, adopt a budget for the coming year, and act on proposed by-laws changes. Local and state leagues send delegates to national convention.

The DC Voter: Newsletter published by the League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia.

ILO: Acronym for Inter-League Organization. Leagues in a geographic area may join together to work on activities. An ILO has a governing board. LWVDC belongs to the National Capital Area ILO, LWV-NCA.


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 to the National League.

PMP: Acronym for Per Member Payment, the amount of money paid to the LWVUS on behalf of each member.

PORTFOLIO: The particular job assigned to a board member, chairperson, or off-board member e.g. membership, treasurer, secretary, etc.

POSITION: A formal statement of the League’s point of view on an issue, arrived at through member study and agreement (consensus or concurrence) 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.

STUDY: The process (two years normally) of research and educating ourselves on an issue prior to taking consensus and arriving at a formal position.

VOTERS GUIDE: Nonpartisan publication giving candidates’ qualifications and positions on selected issues. LWVDC publishes our Voter Guide online at www.Vote411.org.

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

VOTING MEMBER: League members who are current in their dues.