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HomePositions- LWV of US & PA


In February 2024, the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh adopted a new Gun Safety Position.  This local position will be proposed for adoption by concurrence at the LWVUS National Convention in June, 2024.    Scroll down for more information.  

Where We Stand

In the Beginning...

When the LWV was first formed, the women were
not only committed to voting, but were anxious to
make known their opinions on numerous public issues. 
They were determined that the newly enfranchised
women would cast informed votes

At their first meeting, they listed 69 different items that they wanted to address. 
They did some prioritizing and formed study committees to look into the most
important issues and report back to the membership.  These study committees
and the issues they examined became the basis for the League's “Program”


"League Basics" from LWVUS

"Throughout its history, the League of Women Voters has been a dynamic, changing organization, adapting procedures to meet current and future needs. League leaders make their communities stronger, healthier, and more vibrant. This handbook and the additional information available on the League Web site ( are essential tools to help League leaders be more effective and to help make the organization more effective."

LWVUS Education Fund Clearinghouse

The League of Women Voters Education Fund Clearinghouse contains studies and research conducted by League members. Visitors may download and print the documents. League members may submit documents for this site.

The purpose of this site is to share League study documents among some 800 national, state and local Leagues and with the public. Leagues can save time by not reinventing study materials and see how other Leagues have approached a tough issue. Leagues can also gain inspiration for program planning.

Program, Positions, Principles, and Program Action
Accordion Widget
What are "Program" and "Positions"?
What are "Program" and "Positions"?

Since then, Program has expanded to include items at all levels of government. Suggestions for study topics have always been provided from the grass-roots (members) and selected by delegates at annual meetings or state or national conventions. National and state study items have routinely been researched by board members at the appropriate level and study information provided to the local leagues, along with certain questions (pro and con), that guided the discussion at local, or Unit, meetings. 

The goal was always to reach consensus on the questions, which were then sent to the national or state League. The board members compiled the responses from the local leagues and from that determined the League’s opinion, or Position, on the issue at hand.  League members and local leagues may then use these positions to lobby elected officials on those topics. Local Leagues follow similar procedures when they determine a local issue that they feel needs to be studied.

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More about "Program" from LWVPA.
More about "Program" from LWVPA.

Program. The program of the LWVPA shall consist of action to implement the Principles and Program of the LWVUS and those state issues chosen by the convention for concerted study and action as follows:

a. Local League and recognized ILO Boards may make proposals to the state board at least three (3) months prior to the convention:

b. The state board shall consider these proposals and formulate a recommended program which shall be sent to the presidents of local Leagues and recognized ILOs at least six (6) weeks before the convention;

c. The convention shall adopt a program by three-fifths (3/5) vote of those present and voting on each subject presented to it. A program proposal submitted by a local League board at least three (3) months prior to convention but not recommended by the state board may be adopted only if its consideration is ordered by majority vote of the convention and the vote on adoption comes at a following session.

Accordion Widget
What are "Principles"?
What are "Principles"?

Principles. The Principles are concepts of government supported by the League and are the authorization for adoption of national, state, and local program. They may be amended by the national convention. Click here.

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What is "Program Action"?
What is "Program Action"?

Program Action. Local Leagues and recognized ILOs may act on state program only in conformity with positions taken by the LWVPA and the LWVUS. Action taken on program by local Leagues, recognized ILOs*, or individual members shall be consistent with Statement of Policy for Local Leagues in Pennsylvania as adopted at convention and council.

*Definition of ILO: Inter-League Organizations that may address regional issues.


League of Women Voters 

of Greater Pittsburgh

LWV of Greater Pittsburgh
Policy Positions

League of Women Voters of
Greater Pittsburgh Public Policy Positions

Each year, the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh reviews the 
Public Policy Positions adopted in the prior year to determine which continue to be important, which are no longer relevant and which other issues have become important enough to require study during the program year. 

Position statements are organized under four major categories:  

Representative Government, Natural Resources, Social Policy, and Community Specific Positions. 

LWVPGH Public Policy Positions here.

Where We Stand graphic: to understand how the League acts on policy positions, click on the image (right).


Where We Stand

A League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh Study: (2013 - 2014)
Gun Safety in a Civil Society:
A Study by the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh (2013-2014)
Unfettered gun ownership in Allegheny County has created a public health and safety issue that affects all communities in this area. In 2013, the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh undertook a study which accepted the current laws covering gun ownership as a given, acknowledging the measurable and damaging impacts on the health and lives of our residents and the way guns contribute to mental health and suicide.

We also investigated how the current gun ownership laws economically impact our community by diverting funds to security and protection expenses and away from other worthwhile needs and benefits.  Partnering with a Deliberative Democracy consultant in Pittsburgh, a series of community engagement sessions were conducted to learn if it is possible to live with guns in a civil society.


Step 1:  Initiated the Study Process including member consensus. The LWGPGH identified four approaches after a process of research that included review of peer-reviewed research, news articles, and video recordings of previous forums on gun safety and gun violence. In addition, LWVGP members attended several community meetings and interviewed numerous stakeholders.


Step 2:  Held three Community Forums to facilitate discussion and review of the Study.  The four approaches shared were: Public Health, Focus on Violent Criminals/ Illegal Guns, Focus on "Root Causes" of Violence, and Focus on Individual Rights and Responsibilities. Twelve strategies were introduced. The forum process included pre/post surveys, a discussion guide and small group breakout. 
Click on the image for the Document.

gun safety Power Point image

Step 3: Created a  PowerPoint to communicate the results of the Study Process and to provide a comprehensive approach for future ADVOCACY of citizens.
Click on the image for the PowerPoint.

New Gun Safety Position
from the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh
(Approved 1.8.24)

Gun Safety Position 


The League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh (LWVPGH) conducted a local study focused on Gun Safety in a Free Society. We concluded that the US has a Gun Culture that is poorly understood and largely unregulated, but now a permanent part of our lives. Negative aspects of this gun culture have begun to negatively affect the quality of life in local communities and the strength of our Democracy overall.


LWVPGH feels strongly that our country needs to develop a comprehensive approach on multiple levels of government and in our societal life to manage our gun culture in a way that promotes the Common Good. Our goal is a society that manages its gun culture to provide an atmosphere of trust and confidence by all citizens that they can live freely without fear of gun violence, while also providing for safe ownership and handling of guns by responsible gun owners for legal uses.

After consulting with many stakeholders, including gun owners and law enforcement officers, and considering many potential solutions, the LWVPGH endorses a public health approach to reducing gun violence. We believe that is the key departure from current approaches which have been through restrictive gun regulation and police action/law enforcement.

LWVPGH Gun Safety Position, here.


he 1994 Convention adopted by concurrence a position on Violence Prevention, based on state and local League work. The League subsequently endorsed the Violence Against Women Act, which Congress passed and the President signed in 1994 as part of a comprehensive crime bill. In the 2010s, the League supported authorization of the Violence Against Women Act through a stand-alone bill and as a part of the appropriations process. After the Violence Against Women Act expired in 2019, the League joined coalition partners pushing for reauthorization of the legislation through stand-alone legislation. The League also pushed for reauthorization of the legislation through the appropriations process. In 2019, the League supported the International Violence Against Women Act of 2019 (IVAWA), which seeks to take effective action to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls around the world as a matter of basic human rights and to promote gender equality, economic growth, and improved public health around the world. LWVUS UN Observers also hosted a forum with member of Congress in conjunction with the Interparliamentary Union on the topic of Violence Against Women Politicians. The forum provided insight on how violence against women in politics impacts democracies, discussed preventive action, and shared best practices utilized around the world.

LWVUS Position Statement of Position on VIOLENCE PREVENTION, as adopted by the 1994 Convention:
The League of Women Voters of the United States supports violence prevention programs in all communities and action to support:
• Public and private development and coordination of programs that emphasize the primary prevention of violence.
• The active role of government and social institutions in preventing violent behavior.
• The allocation of public monies in government programs to prevent violence.

LWVUS GUN POLICY: The League’s Position Statement of Position on Gun Policy, as adopted by 1990 Convention and amended by the 1994 and 1998 Conventions:
The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that the proliferation of semi-automatic/automatic weapons in the United States is a major health and safety threat to its citizens. The League supports strong federal measures to limit the accessibility and regulate the ownership of these weapons by private citizens. The League supports regulating firearms for consumer safety.


League of Women Voters 

of Pennsylvania

LWVPA Where We Stand 2023-2025

Positions in Brief

Representative Government

Apportionment & Redistricting
LWVPA supports apportionment and redistricting based substantially on population of all voting districts, with additional consideration given to compact and contiguous territory and with respect given to municipal boundaries.

Election Laws
LWVPA supports effective election laws and uniform procedures.

Governmental Authorities
LWVPA supports measures to ensure that governmental authorities act in the public interest, that the powers of authorities are clearly defined, and that authorities are established only when the authority structure enhances the ability to provide a public service.

Initiative & Referendum
LWVPA supports adoption of popular initiative and referendum in Pennsylvania, with initiative permitted for both statutes and constitutional amendments.

LWVPA supports an efficient unified court system and a responsible, ethical judiciary that is free from political influence.

LWVPA supports improvements to the structure and practices of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

Municipal Government
LWVPA supports measures that enable local governments to operate more effectively.

Climate Change & Natural Resources

Natural Gas Extraction

LWVPA supports the maximum protection of public health and the environment in all aspects of natural gas extraction/production, site restoration, and delivery to the customer by requiring the use of best practices and promoting comprehensive regulation, communication, and adequate staffing across government agencies. We support the prevention of burdening the taxpayer with costs of industrialization and unanticipated consequences. We support the 2006 Pennsylvania Property Rights Protection Act without amendment, the adoption of minimum spacing requirements for wells, and the pooling of properties between corporate entities to maximize efficiencies and reduce risk in the extraction process. We support the maximum protection of public health and the environment in all aspects of natural gas transmission operations through improved siting, regulation, inspection, and enforcement that is transparent and responsive to stakeholder input.

Pipelines And Other Bulk Methods of Transporting Natural Gas, Hydrogen Gas, Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), Liquified And Gaseous Carbon Dioxide

LWVPA supports the maximum protection of public health and the environment in all aspects of natural gas transmission operations through improved siting, regulation, inspection, and enforcement that is transparent and responsive to stakeholder input.

Water Resources

The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that natural resources should be managed as interrelated parts of life-supporting ecosystems. Resources should be conserved and protected to assure their future availability. Pollution of these resources should be controlled in order to preserve the physical, chemical and biological integrity of ecosystems and to protect public health.

Land Use
LWVPA supports more comprehensive statewide land use planning and adoption of a comprehensive land use policy; support a comprehensive program for the preservation of agricultural and open space lands for Pennsylvania; promote environmentally sound agricultural practices in Pennsylvania.

LWVPA supports the 2006 Pennsylvania Property Rights Protection Act without amendment, the adoption of minimum spacing requirements, and the pooling of properties between corporate entities to maximize efficiencies and reduce risk.

Social Policy

Equal Rights Amendment

LWVPA supports the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and efforts to bring laws into compliance with the goals of the ERA.

Reproductive Choice

LWVPA supports the constitutional right of privacy of the individual to make reproductive choices.

Criminal Justice

LWVPA supports an effective, efficient, data-driven system that is fair to all and that treats everyone with dignity, guaranteeing constitutional rights to all regardless of community or economic status, and facilitating successful reentry to society of former inmates.  


LWVPA supports equal access to quality public education, to be achieved by participation of government and citizens at all levels and by adequate financing based on an equitable and flexible tax system.

Child Health And Welfare & Juvenile Justice

LWVPA supports promoting the health and welfare of children and youth and supports legal procedures, programs and facilities that enable Pennsylvania agencies and communities to meet the needs of children in the juvenile justice and child welfare system.

Family Issues & Laws

LWVPA supports gender neutral and equitable laws in marriage, divorce, property, child custody, and child support in Pennsylvania.

Fiscal Policy

LWVPA supports an equitable and flexible tax system for state and local government in Pennsylvania.

Collective Bargaining

LWVPA supports collective bargaining in the public sector that maintains the balance between the rights and obligations of employees and employers, with the goal of providing citizens with essential public services.


LWVPA opposes the legalization of additional forms of gambling in Pennsylvania.


LWVPA supports promoting energy-efficient and environmentally sound transportation systems that afford access to housing and jobs, relieve congestion and enhance the quality of life in communities of all sizes and supports predictable public funding that enables fiscally stable transportation systems to provide consistent levels of service.

Gun Safety

The League of Women Voters of PA believes that the proliferation of handguns and semiautomatic assault weapons in the United States is a major health and safety threat to its citizens. The League supports strong federal and state measures to regulate the ownership of these weapons by private citizens. The League supports regulating firearms for consumer safety, specifically to reduce all incidents of gun violence.


League of Women Voters US

 "Impact on Issues", click here .

Resources from Explainers and Graphics  web page:

5 Reasons to View LWVPGH Website

Recipe for a League Member

LWVPGH Membership Flyer

LWVPGH Program Cycle


Glossary of Terms