Fall 2008 Edition
Published December 12, 2008
2008 League of Women Voters of Alabama

Abbreviated Program Planning for the 2009 Convention   

League Program is the chief business of every state convention, which revises and/or readopts existing positions and proposes new studies.  To preserve our League practice of grassroots democracy, any member can propose a study or change of the existing positions to a Local Board and any Board may propose a new study or revisions of LWVAL positions to the state board for consideration at Convention.  The 2007-2009 Program is at www.lwval.com, the third document in the left panel under Where We Stand.
Any proposals received by February 1 will be considered by the LWVAL Board for inclusion in the proposed agenda for Convention program.  

This year, amid the Off-Site Voting Consensus process and active Local League projects, Leagues may choose to use an abbreviated process.  Instead of a review and report on every LWVAL position, we ask you (a) to report any strong opinions about the positions that have arisen in your League since 2003 and (b) to offer any comments you have about the two proposals that have been in development: a new health care study and an expansion of the Coastal Zone Management position.   If you proposed a study of other voting issues in the Off-Site Voting Consensus, please mention those in your memo.  The Board will decide on program recommendations and send them to the Local Leagues in very early March with the convention packet.    

Health Care Review

On instructions from Convention 2007, a Review Committee with expertise in health care was formed:  Janet Widell, Auburn, Chair; Lynn Richardson, Tuscaloosa; Paulette Rowe, Birmingham; Judy Jones, Auburn; Anne Permaloff, Montgomery.  They recommend a new study with the goal of replacing the position.  Now it addresses chiefly hospital-based health care rather than community-based providers.  It omits developments in preventative efforts, new uses of nursing homes and assisted living centers for rehabilitation, mental health care, and alternative providers to doctors.  Funding sources have changed.  Electronic transfer of records raises new issues. State health care planning for all areas of the state, rural and urban requires review, including the ability of counties to support health care for their populations.  Recognition of the interrelations of problems requires better co-ordination of services, for example, among the state’s departments of health, mental health, corrections, and human resources.  Education and licensure of direct providers and the boards that regulate them also need examination. 

Natural Resources on the Coast

Since 2005 the LWV of Baldwin County has studied the environmental problems of their coast through a remarkable series of Forums that brought together the best experts and local government leaders.   They identified three critical areas: storm water management, wastewater management, and management of water quality.  The Legislature has passed a few local bills that partly address a few problems, but much remains to be done.  Their League quite rightly insists that the issues impact both the coast and the state as a whole.  
LWVAL’s original Coastal Zone Management position was adopted in 1980 by concurrence with the positions Baldwin County and Mobile had adopted after their study of coastal problems.  That adoption by State League allowed LWVAL to lobby the Legislature and state agencies, such as ADEM.  Revisions in 2003 removed outdated specifics but kept the general statements.  At that time it was understood that new specifics and possibly new topics would be added when the coastal Leagues were ready. 
Thanks to the efforts of Jeanne Lacey, Margaret Solberger, and Pat Laraway, the Board can consider recommendations for revisions or additions to the Coastal Zone position for the 2009 Convention.

What to do before February 1:
  • Send any suggestions approved by your Board for new  studies or revisions of existing positions in memo  form.
  • Send a memo on topics areas that are important to your  League within the three topics already proposed: Health Care, Coastal Zone  Management and new Voting issues.                                                                

Send the above, or a statement that you have no proposals at this stage, to Ruth L. Wright, Program Chair, at ruthwright@bellsouth.net with copy to Mary Lynn Bates, President, at jessmaryl@aol.com.
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      League of Women Voters of Alabama,
      call 205 871-8194 or visit on-line at http://www.lwval.org.