The March Lunch with League highlighted the dangers of rhetoric to democracy. Our speaker, San Jose State Professor Ryan Skinnell, did an excellent job in describing the importance of debate to democracy and how to keep those conversations respectful and focused.
The League of Women Voters has always been nonpartisan. We never support or oppose a political party or candidate. However, the issues that the League prioritizes are sometimes categorized as coming from the progressive side of the political spectrum. Is this an obstacle for us to have a membership base that reflects the diverse values of our community? I don't know. We don't ask members what political party (if any) they support, nor do we discuss what candidates they are voting for. It is literally not our business.
What is our business is to empower voters so their voices -- and whatever it is they want to say -- are heard. And we go on the assumption that each of our members wants to defend democracy as our way of government, even if we may differ on how democracy could or should be improved.
This spring we are making a concerted effort to invite more people to join the League. We don't care about their age, gender, ethnicity, race, religion, or their political party. Our goal is to make the League a safe space for sharing differing opinions as we pursue our goals of building citizen participation in the democratic process and engaging communities to help develop solutions to public policy issues through education and advocacy.
If you are not yet a member, please join us. If you are already a member, please reach out to people you know and encourage them become part of the League.