Good Government, Transparency, and Citizen Participation

Citizen Participation and Access

“The League of Women Voters believes democratic government depends upon the informed and active participation of its citizens and requires that governmental bodies protect the citizen’s right to know by giving adequate notice of proposed actions, holding open meetings, and making public records accessible.” LWVUS Principles “We must promote an open governmental system that is representative, accountable and responsive.”

League of Women Voters® of Oregon works to encourage active and informed participation in government and to increase understanding of major policy issues. The League seeks to empower citizens to understand governmental issues and to participate in the political process.

What does this mean for us? You can

1. Observe government in action: See our Observer Corps

Here is our recent invitation to participate.

One of the exciting developments of the last year in our local League of Women Voters Klamath chapter is the gathering momentum of the Observer Corps. We have been making a presence in the community, monitoring city and county meetings, such as the City Council, The Klamath County Commissioners, and the Klamath County School Board. It’s been amazing to see how much coverage a small core of people can accomplish. But we can accomplish so much more with your help. That’s why we invite any and all of you to join us in this very satisfying community work.

The National League of Women Voters encourages this activity at local chapters, not just to observe meetings, but also to make recommendations on behalf of the public interest, which we have already started to do with good results.

Perhaps it is best said in the words of Leslie Lowe: “It seems to me the best job we can do as LWV Klamath at this point is to show our elected officials that transparency and community involvement is very important, and they best not ignore that. So being present as the county develops a strategic plan is of value to make sure that they really consider the whole community and not just the folks that look like them.”

This is vital work for our time and certainly vital for our place. We are uncovering a general disregard for transparency and a lackluster attitude to community involvement in Klamath.

2. Make your voice heard: The League of Women Voters says,

Citizen’s Right to Know/Citizen Participation – (We) Protect the citizen’s right to know and facilitate citizen participation in government decision-making.

3. Become an informed voter

4. Vote in all elections and races

see- When We All Vote, US Vote Foundation

5. Support local groups that work fairly and democratically (emphasis on facts, research, fairness, inclusiveness, respect)

Rural Organizing Project (“Bridging Divides, Defending Dignity”)

Next Up Oregon

Common Cause

Conference on Civil and Human Rights

6. Help new voters

7. Learn about Oregon’s democratic participation rates

8. Research what other groups say about the meaning of good government.