The following list describes the formal process by which The League of Women Voters does studies and takes positions on issues.
Studies are done on statewide issues based on scopes of work approved by the membership at biennial conventions.
These studies are conducted by committees appointed by the League President and reviewed by both issue experts and reading committees of League members who edit for characteristics such as neutrality, thoroughness and readability.
Following publication of studies, the League holds consensus meetings at which members who have read the studies answer questions about the study material which gets collected and consolidated to form an official opinion.
Those consensus meeting responses are consolidated to frame a League position, based upon which the League may take action for or against specific legislation.
Studies are funded by the Education Fund because they are informative to the public. Any action taken post-consensus is not funded by the Education Fund.
The following statements represent the consensus positions of the League of Women Voters of Yakima County as adopted after studies of the issues involved. These positions provide the basis for all action taken by the League on these issues.
LWVYC supports the Yakima Valley Conference of Government (YVCOG) in its goal to “improve the Valley’s livability and secure its future” through:
its creating a forum to address an ever-growing list of regional concerns and conducting the research for development of studies and plans needed to address these issues;
its maintaining research and resources, including Yakima Valley Regional Transporta-tion Plan and the Obligation and Closure Report, which compiles all federally funded transportation projects in the county;
its providing census and grant information to government entities in the Valley; and
its providing information valuable for local and regional planning to county and city governments.
LWVYC believes that all county residents are entitled to court proceedings in a safe environ-ment. League encourages the establishment of adequate security procedures, personnel and separate facilities for all participants in court proceedings.
The League of Women Voters of Yakima County believes that Yakima County’s land is its most valuable but finite resource; that land ownership and use, both public and private, implies stewardship to preserve and enhance that resource.
Planning for and management of land resources must be a recurring and shared responsibility of all appropriate levels of government. Inter-jurisdictional cooperation and coordination is necessary to insure consistent, simple, efficient and responsive service.
Public as well as private interests must be respected in land use decisions, taking into consideration the factors of economics; social, environmental and energy concerns; and design and performance standards.
Effective citizen involvement must be insured from early and continuing stages in both planning and management of land resources.
To these ends, the League of Women Voters of Yakima County supports efforts of government(s) to:
1. Maintain an effective comprehensive plan:
Support processes for planning which are long range and recurring, allowing for creativity, innovation and flexibility to meet changing conditions.
Support effective planning in and between county, municipalities and the Yakama Nation.
Encourage active citizen participation in all phases of planning.
Encourage neighborhood planning efforts.
Enforce land use regulations consistently.
2. Preserve the county’s agricultural lands:
Require a minimum of twenty (20) acres zoned agricultural, except where specialized or intensive crops provide for productive and economic farm units at lesser acreage.
Develop flexible and/or alternative mechanisms to encourage retention of lands in productive agriculture.
Encourage development in and near towns and cities, establishing buffer areas within which future in-filling will be contained.
Investigate feasibility of developing hillsides for home-sites, with concern for environment, engineering, utility and service impact such as fire and police.
Support efficiencies of irrigation systems to maximize use of water for agricultural production.
LWVYC supports sanitary landfill for disposing of solid waste while anticipating new management methods and techniques for more efficient and economical disposal practices which continue to enhance sanitary, health, safety and ecological standards with these considerations:
Disposal Sites: Located away from heavily settled areas, sites are engineered for efficiency and aesthetics with capacity for long life, sufficient cover material, minimum ecological disturbance, and capacity for reclamation and improvement for future site use.
Storage and Collection: Standards are clear for storage and transportation by public and private haulers with loads covered and secured.
Recycling: Recycling and salvage to be facilitated with effective and aesthetic collection centers for plastics, glass, cans, etc.
Citizen Participation: Citizens are supported in urging governmental units to recycle and adopt new techniques as available.
The League of women Voters of Yakima County supports stable funding of the Yakima Health District in the amount necessary to enable the District to provide protection for District citizens according to known, acceptable public health procedures and its continued setting aside of moneys in a contingency and reserve fund fir unforeseen expenses and emergencies. Among dependable means of funding that the League supports are:
Fee for service – where appropriate.
The Health District as a junior taxing district.
The League of Women Voters of Yakima County supports the belief that the following health services are essential:
Prevention and control of communicable diseases.
Inspection of restaurants and other s providing food services, including classes for food handlers
Planning and provision for proper handling of vaccines for immunization
Maintenance of records of vital statistics, births and deaths.
Collaboration with State and U.S. government on preparedness for bioterrorism activity
Education of the public about best health practices.
Investigation and reporting of hazardous substances, such as methamphetamines.
Collaboration with other health providers to carry out essential public health protection.
Provision of the services of public health nurses.
The League of Women Voters of Yakima County further supports increased communication among concerned agencies such as the Department of Agriculture, Department of Ecology, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Health District in order to promote collaboration on health problems.
The League of Women Voters of Yakima County believes that all children of Yakima County should be provided adequate health care, both physical and mental.
We believe that preventive health care and education are important for improving the quality of health for children in Yakima County, including behavior and mental health resources and dental care. We support the Yakima Health District’s administration of preventive programs.
We support Children’s Village, the Federally Qualified Health Care Clinics (Yakima Valley Farm Workers, Neighborhood Health Services and Community Health of Central Washington) Yakama Nation Tribal Health, and Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital’s out-patient programs for children and their continued cooperation and collaboration in providing children’s health care in Yakima County.
Children’s Village, as a provider to special needs children, is an example of the success of active cooperation among health care organizations within the community, as well as, bringing important assistance from outside the community through teleconferencing and specialty clinics. The League of Women Voters supports the concept and the work of Children’s Village.
We support the role of school nurses in identifying and monitoring health problems of school children. We believe in adequate funding for nursing personnel and adequate staffing relative to school population.
The League of Women Voters supports equal access to all forms of health care for all children in Yakima County.
We support programs encouraging partial payment of fees incurred in medical treatment based on the consensus that everyone should pay something.
Action to implement LWVUS National policy on availability of low and moderate income housing.
“The League’s dual commitment to work for fair housing and an expansion of housing supply for low-income families continues at every level of government. During the late 60’s and early 70’s the League worked for federal housing assistance programs set up under categorical grants; in 1974 its support for housing was channeled into aspects of the Housing and Community Development Act which consolidated federal assistance under the block grant approach.
The League continues to work for implementation and adequate funding for the full range of authorized housing subsidies for both rehabilitation and new construction. At the local level, literally hundreds of Leagues work for local housing initiatives and for enforcement of fair housing laws in their own communities; League members sit on housing commissions; Leagues work to remove obstacles to equal access to housing, such as discriminatory mortgage practices and restrictive zoning ordinances.” (LWVUS Impact on Issues 1978-80)
LWVYC supports adequate funding for library operations, maintenance, expansion, and replacement of facilities (RCW 27.12 and related law). League supports a vigorous system of library services which provide
current and diverse collections with increased access to information in all formats;
enhanced and expanded programs, partnerships and collaborations;
heightened awareness of the public library system and its diverse services;
safe physical infrastructure, innovative programming for all ages, and dedicated, responsive, and well-trained personnel;
resources and services that are an essential support to an informed citizenry and the democratic process;
the freedom to read, learn, and discover;
provides equal access to information ideas, and knowledge through books, programs and resources; and
creative, problem-solving approaches and community partnerships to deliver broadened services and establish new programs.
LWVYC supports measures to achieve and maintain a diverse and secure parks and recreation system accessible to all through
professionally supervised youth and volunteer participation in development and maintenance;
funding of future land purchase through budget or bonds with limited fees for designated events and no fees that limit participation in park programs or use by children; and
strong city and county parks departments directly responsible to the top administrative body, with citizen involvement in policy formulation and park planning, such as through an active parks and recreation citizen advisory committee.