Making Democracy Work

LWVDV Local Positions

LWVDV Local Positions

GOVERNMENT

CAMPAIGN FINANCING, PROCEDURES, AND PRACTICES (1983)

The LWVDV supports high standards for campaigns, increased public awareness of and community involvement in the election process, campaign finance practices which will ensure full disclosure of campaign contributions, and adherence by office holders to strict conflict-of-interest provisions. The League supports:

1. Extensive and equitable media coverage for candidates.

2. Timely, complete, and easily accessible disclosure of the amount and source of campaign contributions, including those made by or to independent committees. The League supports adding the following to the 6O-Day Election Report:

   a. An accurate financial summary for the entire campaign period.

   b. An alphabetized list prepared by each candidate of all disclosed contributors for the entire campaign period.

3. An improved format for government-issued voter pamphlets, including use of large, easily readable type.

4. Improved voter information standards which will ensure relevant, accurate, and easily understandable information. The LWVDV supports campaign literature and political advertising which is clearly identified as to its source and as "paid political advertising."

5. Standards for campaign practices which enable candidates to compete equitably and which speak to the issues. The LWVDV encourages candidates to enter into voluntary agreements for fair campaign practices.

6. A campaign ordinance provision that would define a large campaign contribution as a conflict of interest for an elected official when voting on an issue of economic benefit to the contributor.

7. Effective monitoring and enforcement of city and county campaign laws and ordinances. The LWVDV supports:

   a. Greater public involvement in the monitoring and enforcement process.

   b. Creation of a county-level election committee to educate voters, advise candidates, monitor elections, enforce campaign laws and ordinances, and process complaints.

CIVIL SERVICE (1974)

The LWVDV supports a modern, flexible, centralized, responsive county civil service system based on merit. COUNTY AND CITY GENERAL PLANS (1973+1974) The LWVDV supports the concept of a Contra Costa County general plan as a guide to major land use in unincorporated areas of the county. The League also supports the use of city general plans as the guide to land use within incorporated cities. These plans should be effectively implemented. The LWVDV supports:

1. Measures and policies to preserve open space, parks, and agricultural land. The League supports the concept of cluster development and planned unit development as a means of maintaining open space in residential areas.

2. A coordinated transportation system which includes planning and implementation of alternate means of transportation to the private car, as well as adequate provision for pedestrian and bicycle paths.

3. Equality of opportunity for access to housing. A high priority should be placed on maintaining the housing element of each general plan; this should include a definite program for implementation.

4. Careful management of growth while balancing social, economic, and environmental criteria with energy concerns.

5. A careful and detailed review at least every five years of the county general plan, and adoption of ordinances to implement any resulting amendments.

6. Full involvement of planning commissioners in long-range and current planning with delegation of minor decisions on variances and subdivisions to the zoning administrator or to a separate board of adjustment.

7. Thorough and careful study by each planning commission and its respective legislative body (Board of Supervisors or city council) of requests for rezoning which may be contrary to the general plan for that jurisdiction.

8. Appointment of qualified planning commissioners. Service on the county planning commission should be limited to no more than two consecutive terms.

9. Better coordination between the planning agencies of the county and those of the cities for planning of unincorporated areas which are within the spheres of influence of the incorporated cities and for resolving issues of mutual concern.

EDUCATIONAL FINANCE (1992) (Adopted by concurrence with positions adapted from an LWV-Davis study.)

The LWVDV supports measures to involve the community at significant points in each district's budget process, particularly in the setting of priorities. LWVDV supports the following objectives:

1. Early publication of and adherence to a budget activities calendar which is well publicized throughout the community and which allows opportunities for formal public input through channels such as public hearings and advisory committees.

2. District policies requiring ongoing school-based and district-wide citizen advisory committees which review priorities annually. Such committees shall represent all segments of the community.

3. Early, well-publicized public hearings as a part of the priority-setting process and on other significant issues affecting the budget.

4. Use of the local press and district and school newsletters to inform the public on such matters as current policies, policy changes, agendas of board meetings and hearings, and school board proceedings.

5. Budget documents which are understandable to the community. Such documents should include detailed explanations of numbers, presented in graphic and narrative form; comparisons with previous budgets and actual figures; descriptions of programs that reflect true costs.

The LWVDV supports balanced district budgets with financing at a level adequate to meet the educational needs of students. LWVDV supports the following objectives:

1. Determination of class size, services, and programs based on educational needs rather than as a means of balancing the budget.

2. Maintenance of an adequate contingency fund reserved for emergencies.

3. Extended cooperation between school districts, community groups, and governmental agencies in bearing some of the costs of education. These may include such items as recreation, maintenance, transportation, health and welfare, etc.

4. A local tax as a legitimate tool for balancing the budget. (Such support is not to be construed as a blanket endorsement of all local taxes. Each must be considered on the merits of the specific issues and requires membership understanding and agreement. )

PUBLIC LIBRARY SERVICES (1991) (Adopted by concurrence with positions resulting from studies done by LWVs of Los Altos, Marin, Mountain View, and San Diego.)

The League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley (LWVDV) supports public libraries as a basic service of government with adequate funding by local, state, and federal governments.

LWVDV supports free access by all persons to public library service as a means of lifelong education and learning, and as a major source of knowledge and information necessary for informed, active participation in a democratic society. Objectives of this position:

1. Recognition of the essential service of free public libraries in a democratic society and government's basic obligation to provide the service with adequate funding.

2. Recognition that basic library services include the following:

a. Provision of services for all users including children, young adults, and handicapped persons.

b. Open hours on weekday mornings, afternoons, evenings and on weekends.

c. Professional staff for children, young adults, reference, and administrative activities.

d. Provision of books, periodicals, documents, California and local history items, large print and audiovisual material, computer-based indexing, and an accurate and easily used catalog system.

3. Support of the use of all available funding for public libraries as follows:

a. Recognition by local governments that they have the prime responsibility to finance public libraries.

b. Increased state and federal aid for public libraries.

c. Support of increased tax revenues to bring library services up to adequate or better.

d. Continued and increased private funding to expand library facilities and supplement services. e. Opposition to charging fees for basic library services.

4. Support of measures designed to increase the efficiency and economy of public library operations.

a. Consolidation of library functions or systems to achieve cost effectiveness, maintenance and improvement of services, accessibility, and responsiveness.

b. Consideration of fees for special library services.

c. Use of volunteers to supplement paid staff.

5. Support of improvement of existing facilities or construction of new ones to make provision of essential services easier and to increase accessibility. Recognition that library facilities should be accessible to the public; should have adequate light, heating, study space, seating, storage space, work rooms for staff, access for handicapped persons, and parking; and should be clean and properly maintained.

SPECIAL DISTRICTS (1978)

The LWVDV supports:

1. Coordination and cooperation among districts, facilitated by the support and encouragement of the Board of Supervisors, the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), the Mayors' Conference, and other agencies.

2. Fiscal accountability of special districts, assisted by careful oversight and budget review by the Board of Supervisors and by adoption of fiscal policies which are meaningful to the citizen and which offer options in establishment of spending priorities.

3. Citizen knowledge of and participation in the governance by special districts.

4. A reduction in the number of districts through consolidation, annexation, and elimination. If a service can be provided by an existing governmental unit, it should be.

5. Election and appointment procedures which will guarantee a balanced representation of the public interest on boards and commissions.

NATURAL RESOURCES

TRANSPORTATION (1990)

The LWVDV recognizes the need for both long-term and immediate ongoing solutions to transportation problems. We support:

1. Improved public transportation.

2. A coordinated transportation system which includes planning and implementation of alternative means of transportation to the private car and adequate proviŽsion for pedestrian and bicycle paths.

3. Transportation Systems Management programs (TSM) which have wide citizen awareness and participation.

4. Measures to reduce traffic congestion, such as carpool lots near peripheral freeway interchanges and satellite parking for public transportation; adequate public transportation to BART stations to reduce traffic congestion; and shuttle bus service from parking areas to shopping areas and to public transportation.

5. Long- and short-term planning which includes:

   a. Solutions to such problems as oversaturation, excessive noise, poor air quality caused by traffic, and a variety of intersection hazards on arterials involving automobiles, pedestrians, and bicyclists.

   b. Planning and feasibility studies for new arterials or improvement of existing arterials, as well as addition of new and/or improvement of existing traffic control devices.

   c. Development of circulation plans to relieve areas of traffic congestion.

6. Implementation of traffic mitigations identified in new-development EIRs.

7. Separation of bicycle and pedestrian circulation from motor traffic and encouragement of safety training for bicyclists.

8. Encouragement of multi-use trails with appropriate surfaces for pedestrians, joggers, bicyclists, and equestrians.

9. Cooperation between neighboring cities to solve transportation problems through the following measures:

   a. Joint meetings of neighboring city councils, or their subcommittees, to discuss common transportation problems and possible mitigations.

   b. Consideration of new roads, improvements to existing roads, and sources of funding. New road construction should be done in conjunction with growth management if the additional capacity created by the improvement is not to disappear.

TRANSPORTATION RIGHT-OF-WAYS (1992)

The LWVDV supports the preservation of right-of-ways (ROWs) for the movement of people and goods. Criteria to be used in evaluating which ROWs merit support for preservation include:

1. Trip demand

2. Absence of alternative solutions to traffic problems

3. Cost/benefit trade-off

4. Availability for future use or acquisition

5. Current and anticipated population pressure/density

6. Environmental and economic impact

7. Accessibility (Can you get to it?)

The LWVDV supports the following measures to improve ROW planning:

1. More long-range planning

2. More interjurisdictional and interagency cooperation

3. Better financial accountability for distribution of transportation funds.

SOCIAL POLICY

JUVENILE JUSTICE (Amended 1983)

The LWVDV supports:

1. Vigorous, well-staffed, and effective services for juveniles and their families.

2. Emphasis on prevention of delinquency and on early rehabilitation through establishment of adequate treatment facilities in the child's local community provided by individuals, families, foster homes, crisis homes, group homes, churches, schools, and other community agencies, in coordination with city and county agencies.

3. Detention of juveniles as a last resort.

4. Measures that de-institutionalize juveniles designated as 6O1s; that is, children whose offense would not be a crime if they were adults, such as running away, having "delinquent tendencies," or being beyond parental control:

   a. Legislative change to a judicial system (e.g., family court) separate from the criminal justice system, which would have mandated control over 6O1s, along with:

  • Greater cooperation between agencies;
  • Diversionary programs which would keep 6O1s out of the criminal justice system;
  • Emphasis on early assessment and treatment of problems leading to runaway behavior; e.g., court-ordered counseling.

   b. Uniform county-wide procedures for handling runaways by law enforcement agencies with flexibility allowed for specific local situations.