LWVMNEF Studies, Projects and Reports
Public Policy Information and Studies
Studies and Reports
LWVMNEF Public Policy Information and Studies
Every two years at the League of Women Voters of Minnesota State Convention, the delegation adopts a study to be conducted over the next two years. A study committee is appointed of League members from throughout the state of Minnesota. The committee researches the topic, organizes informational meetings and public forums, writes a report, and produces study guides. At the end of the study period, Local Leagues discuss the subject and give input to the committee which is used to form the League's position on the issue.
Past studies include:
A new one-year project for 1999-2000 is Changing Faces, Changing Communities, which will focus on immigration, race and diversity in the State of Minnesota through Community Circles. Community Circles is a process for small-group deliberation, developed in 1990, that uses discussion materials provided by the Study Circle Resource Center of the Topsfield Foundation, based in Connecticut.
The purpose of the project is to initiate discussion on immigration, race and diversity, and all of the accompanying issues, such as jobs, schools and language differences. The Community Circles will bring a cross-section of individuals – people who don't usually have dialogue with others on current issues and don't usually take public action – and opinion leaders together in face-to-face discussions. After several discussion sessions, these small groups will propose action plans, as necessary and appropriate for their communities, to implement social programs or educational materials, or to affect policy.
Citizen Information Service
The League's Citizen Information Service answers questions about governmental issues, voting and elections. Through this service, LWVMNEF responds to thousands of requests during the year and is a valuable resource to the people of Minnesota. Call (651) 224-5445.
LWVMNEF Voter Service
The League of Women Voters of Minnesota Education Fund (LWVMNEF) provides nonpartisan information to the public about citizenship, voting and public policy issues.
During the past election, the League of Women Voters of Minnesota Education Fund produced a series of televised debates among gubernatorial and US Senatorial candidates. The LWVMNEF also provided voter information on the Internet, including voter guides and on-line debates between candidates for statewide office. With the assistance of an 800 telephone number and the use of a database from the Secretary of State's office, the LWVMNEF was able to provide citizens throughout the state with the location of their polling places and other election information.
Nonpartisan general election debates between major candidates for Governor of Minnesota and US Senate were sponsored by LWVMNEF in Fall 2002, and were available to voters on television, radio and via the Internet. In addition, LWVMNEF provided professional direction and support to local Leagues in sponsoring legislative and congressional debates in the congressional districts via radio and television.
Voter Guides are printed and distributed statewide before the Primary and General Elections in the Fall of each even election year. The Guides include information about candidates for Governor and Constitutional offices, U.S. Senate and Congress, judicial positions and any Constitutional Amendments. The Voter Guide is also accessible via the Internet.
Volunteers staff a telephone bank in the period immediately preceding the primary and general elections in the Fall of each even election year. Election information includes precinct locations and registration process information, as well as lists of candidates.
The League of Women Voters of Minnesota became the principal sponsor of the Minnesota Compact in 1998. This project's purpose is to raise the level of political discourse in Minnesota elections.
Money and Politics
The League of Women Voters of Minnesota Education Fund held a statewide survey of 1998 candidates for election, to assess effects of fundraising, campaign finance rules and restrictions on the campaigns.
The Road to Election Day video and booklet explain how to participate in the election process starting with the caucus and ending with the general election. All the recent changes in Minnesota election and voting law are fully explained. The addition of the Reform and Green Parties as major political parties is an example of the changes in the political scene covered. The booklet provides more complete information and contains handy lists of political party phone numbers and of important election dates.
LWVMNEF Publications and Conferences
This experiential K-6 citizenship curriculum is based on the Preamble to the United States Constitution. The seven lessons tackle issues such as diversity, fairness, personal and community stability and safety, and what it means to be part of a group. Each lesson includes teacher guidance, specialized upper and lower elementary sections, activities for each lesson, suggested literature for coordinated reading assignments, and includes the National Civics Content Standards addressed by the lesson.
A Spanish language secondary school citizenship curriculum.
The League of Women Voters of Minnesota Education Fund has taken in the Leaders of Today and Tomorrow (LOTT) program. LOTT is a program that encourages the participation of women students in public leadership and community involvement, especially on the local and state level. Through a series of seminars, the program connects current and future decision-makers, educates women on how to affect the public policy process and cultivates a context for civic responsibility and action. LOTT helps young women with career and skill assessment, as well as job seeking skill development. Mentorship is a component of the program that the LWVMNEF would like to add, as well as additional student scholarships. As LWVMNEF assumes sponsorship of this program, it is faced with additional costs for the Education Fund.
This citizen lobbyist handbook is a must for those who want to be effective lobbyists. The spiral bound handbook is full of practical advice on how to write effective letters to legislators, protocol for testifying before a committee and tips on lobbying in person. Maps, phone numbers, addresses and general information about the Minnesota Legislature and the U.S. Congress are all included.
Indians in Minnesota
Research and writing was recently completed for the fifth edition of the LWVMNEF book, Indians in Minnesota, which will be published by the University of Minnesota Press. The book is a survey of the contemporary experience of Ojibwe and Dakota and other Minnesota Indians living both in reservation and urban settings. It provides factual and statistical information, an objective view of Indian issues and concerns and their relationship to federal government.
LWVMNEF printed and distributed a revised edition of the highly regarded publication by LWV Minneapolis Breaking the Cycle of Violence to citizens and policy makers throughout Minnesota. This 55 page publication discusses the problems of violence in our society and possible prevention measures.