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LWV of Greater Cleveland
Phone: 216-694-8919
2800 Euclid Avenue, Suite 518
Cleveland, OH 44115


P.O. Box 5310
Cleveland, Ohio 44101
©League of Women Voters ® of Greater Cleveland • League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland is a 501(c)(4) organization • League of Greater Cleveland Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) organization
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League Lingo


Action: Promoting the League’s Positions on local, state, and national public policy issues to government officials, the media and the public.

Action Alert: A request for action from local, state or national Leagues promoting their positions on public policy issues.

Annual Meeting: Year-end business meetings to elect officers and directors, vote on bylaw changes, and adopt a budget and program of work for the upcoming year. The League’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. Associate Member: A non-voting member of the League, such as a person under 16 years of age.


Associate Member:  A non-voting member of the League, such as a person under 16 years of age.


Ballot Issue: Policy items (such as initiatives, referenda, or constitutional amendments) placed on ballots for a vote of the people. LWVGC can make support or opposition statements on those issues where LWV policy positions exist. LWVGC also produces summaries that describe the ballot measure along with pros and cons. The League offers information on ballot measures through the Education Fund (the C3); advocacy on ballot measures occurs through the League’s advocacy arm (the C4).

Board of Directors: The governing body of the League (national, state, or local), who are typically elected as a group at the annual meeting. The nominating committee presents a slate of directors and officers. The League has an Education Fund 501(c)(3) and a 501(c)(4) board, both nonprofit, and usually include many of the same officers and directors. See separate entries for Ed Fund and Operating Fund for more details.


Caucus: An open meeting to discuss an issue that may or may not lead to presenting a viewpoint, resolution, or motion at a League council meeting or convention.

Civil Discourse: Engagement in discourse (conversation) intended to enhance understanding. Usually perceived as respectful and non-threatening. Consensus: Collective opinion of a substantial number of League members, representative of the membership. Reached after objective study of an issue. The opinion becomes the basis of a position. It is not a vote, and it does not necessarily mean all members agree with everything.

Concurrence: Agreement by League members with a position on an issue reached by another League, study committee, task force, or League board. The membership votes on concurrences at the convention or annual meeting following publication of material to provide members with information about the issue.

Convention: A state or national League meeting held every other year at which delegates sent by Local Leagues elect officers and directors for the biennium, adopt programs, make bylaw changes, and adopt a budget. The delegate count is based on the number of members in each local or state League and includes members of the respective Board of Directors. Leagues typically pay for delegates to attend.

Council: An assembly of League delegates held in alternate years to adopt a budget and access program development to assess program developments. Local Leagues send delegates to the state council and state Leagues send delegates to the national council. Non-voting members and guests are welcome to attend the state council, to enjoy training opportunities and networking opportunities.


DEI: Abbreviation for diversity, equity, and inclusion. The League is committed to DEI. Local, state, and national Leagues have DEI policies and programs for engaging with multiple communities.

Delegate: League members designated to represent their group at a Convention. They are informed, but not instructed, about how to vote/advocate at the Convention. Delegates are required to attend the plenary sessions of the Convention/


Education Fund or Ed Fund: The League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland Education Fund is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3)—a tax-exempt, charitable organization that provides an umbrella for local Leagues to be able to accept C3 charitable donations. The Education Fund sponsors and supports nonpartisan educational projects that help the public better understand major public policy issues and become active and informed participants in their communities and in their government. These projects include and other voter service projects, and the League’s issue studies and reports.


Forum: A public presentation of issues or candidates, typically hosted by the League and which may include others (such as the media) as part of voter education. The LWVGC and LWVUS websites provide information on how to stage a forum.


GOTV: Abbreviation for Get Out the Vote. This is a major function of many local Leagues and is designed to encourage all eligible citizens to vote.


Honorary Life Member: A person who has been a League member for 50 years or more. Life members are excused from dues payment and their Leagues pay no per member payment (PMP) for them.


ILO: Acronym for an Inter-League Organization, formed by Local Leagues within a county, metropolitan area or region to act on issues that are beyond the local League area in scope. Issue: The subject of a study, lobby.


Local League: Organization of League members who reside in a specified geographical area. It operates somewhat independently of the state and national Leagues and has its own programs and activities. LWVGC is the Local League in Greater Cleveland. It includes both Members at Large (not part of any Chapter) and community-based Chapters.

LWV Lobbyists: Persons in the League who advocate, or lobby, for League positions with government bodies. The League has both contract lobbyists and a Lobby Team. The contract lobbyists are hired specifically to lobby state legislators and provide strategic guidance to the Lobby Team. The Lobby Team is composed of League volunteer lobbyists who advocate for legislation based on League positions that have been adopted after study and consensus or through concurrence.

LWVUS: Abbreviation for the League of Women Voters of the United States.

LWVUS Update: The biweekly newsletter from LWVUS on national League issues.


MAL: Abbreviation for member-at-large. In LWVGC, these are members who are not part of a Chapter.


Nonpartisan Policy: The LWVUS policy states that the “League of Women Voters does not support or oppose any political party or candidate.” Leagues take positions only on policy items. LWVGC has adopted a nonpartisan policy for its board members, voter service chairs, and chapter chairs.


Observer Corps: Monitoring local government meetings is a long-established practice of the League of Women Voters. Observers must be members of the League and attend one formal training. LWVGC monitors public meetings to assure there is transparency, accountability and citizen engagement that supports good government. We also monitor for issues that are relevant to the community and relevant to established League positions that give rise to our issue advocacy.

Operating Fund: The LWVGC Operating Fund is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(4)—a tax-exempt social welfare organization. This organization is responsible for all of the League’s advocacy work. Donations made to this organization are not tax deductible. The IRS does not require that a C4 be nonpartisan—it is a League requirement that Leagues are nonpartisan


Partner: A person or group that is working with the League on the same activity. On a program, a partner would be a group that jointly plans and executes a program and is different than a cosponsor.

Plenary: A meeting or session attended by all participants at a conference or assembly.

PMP: Acronym for Per Member Payment, the amount of money paid to the LWVUS and the state League on behalf of each member. It is based on the number of members registered at the end of January each year.

Position: Component of a Program. A formal statement of the League's point of view on an issue, through member study and agreement (consensus or concurrence), approved by the appropriate board, and used as a basis for League action. In applying LWVUS positions to issues, each League board—depending on the level of action—is responsible for determining whether member understanding, and agreement exists, and whether the action makes sense in terms of timing, need, and effectiveness. The position statement allows a League to take action to support or oppose specific legislation, ballot measures, or governmental activities.

Principles: Governmental standards and policies supported by the League as a whole. They constitute the authorization for adoption of program at all levels. Principles are published in the LWVUS Impact on Issues.

Program: Selected governmental issues chosen by members at each individual level for study and action.

Programs: Plans for speakers discussion or other activities fore League meetings.


Sponsor: An individual or organization that pays some or all of the costs involved in staging an event in return for advertising.

Suffragist: Women in the United States who advocated and lobbied for women’s right to vote in elections, and who became part of a national organization that believed in campaigning for the right to vote in elections. Prior to 1920, when the 19th Amendment was ratified, women in the United States could not vote in national elections.

Suffragette: Term used in the UK to refer to a suffragist. In the United States, it is considered negative and therefore is not used.

Study: A lengthy process of research and education on an issue prior to taking consensus and arriving at a formal position.


The Voter: Traditional name for a League publication for its members.

Toolkit: A set of materials used to accomplish a specific project, such as a GOTV campaign or voter registration.


Unit: Groupings of members within large local Leagues. Units may meet at varying times (day, evening, lunch hour) throughout the month.


VOTE411: The League’s website that provides online ballot information about candidates and issues for an election. Candidates and campaigns about certain issues prepare their own statements and those statements are posted as submitted, unedited by LWV.

Voter Guide: Nonpartisan publication giving candidates' qualifications and positions on selected issues. LWVGC Voter Guides are always available online at, and during some elections the League prints guides for distribution to voters.

Voter Services: Year-round activity to help citizens be politically effective and to encourage their participation in the political process. Basic voter service activities include registering voters, Get Out the Vote activities, and presenting factual, nonpartisan information about candidates and election issues.

Voting Members: All League members who at least 16 years old and are current on their dues. A person who joins LWV is a member at the local, state, and national levels.