League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh

Rating: 4.75 stars   8 reviews

Issues: Civil Rights

Location: 425 Sixth Ave. # 1490 Pittsburgh PA 15219 USA

Mission:

Mission: The League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

The League of Women Voters Education Fund is renowned for its ability to make complex and controversial issues accessible to the non-expert citizen in a balanced, evenhanded way. And the LWVEF is an experienced trainer of community leaders and activists. A special and familiar focus of the League''s educational work is voting and elections. Leagues in communities across the nation provide voters with factual, nonpartisan information on candidates and ballot issues, whether through voter''s guides, candidate forums, town meetings or debates. Much of the League''s campaign to Make Democracy Work is spearheaded by the League of Women Voters Education Fund.

In Pittsburgh, the hub of the League’s program is our Community Information Center (CIC) funded in part through our account at LWVEF.  The CIC provides answers to questions from voters around voting, elections, government structure and practices, and more as well as compiling and publishing our Facts for Citizens legislative directory and Voters Guide to elections.

The cost to operate the Community Information Center and produce Facts for Citizens has been about $20,000.  This is a bare bones budget. With additional funding, the League could consider expanded CIC staffing, collection of the information to cover additional areas of Allegheny County in the web site edition of Facts for Citizens, and additional projects in Voter Service and Citizen Education.


Programs:

Smart Voter is an interactive web site designed to:

  • Provide voters with comprehensive, easy-to-use nonpartisan information about candidates and issues
  • Provide a means for candidates to provide information about themselves and their candidacy to voters, at no cost to the candidate, allowing candidates as much space as they need; information may include biography, priorities, endorsers, political philosophy, papers on three issues they choose, and contact information including a link to their campaign web site


Smart Voter:

  • Is available at all times to anyone with Internet access for all elections
  • Provides candidate information at all levels of government local, regional, state and federal
  • Emphasizes civil discourse related to issues and does not permit statements about opponents or other negative campaigning; statements are reviewed by League members before posting
  • Allows voters to find the candidates on their ballot and their polling place by entering their street address


The basic computer and technical support costs for Smart Voter in the 2009 election cycle were $1500.  In addition, printing and mailing costs for over 1000 candidate invitations were about $700.  Future costs will depend on stability of computer costs and number of candidates, which will be lower in 2008.  In addition, the program would be enhanced by some funds to spend on publicity.  We have budgeted $3000 for the 2010 election cycle.

     

     

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    EIN 53-0239013
    www.palwv.org/pittsburgh
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    Community Reviews

    Rating: 4 stars  

    I am a member of a local board in Utah, not the main board. I looked up our rating because of a dues issue upcoming at National. League has been very worthwhile and I work hard at educating our members and our neighbors about what's happening in our state. LWV is a "thinking person's organization." If you are thinking of joining, do go to our national LWVUS website and find your local group, you will never regret it except at the end of the legislative season, when you can't hear about another bill proposal. By the way, LWV is different at the local level than most NPO's because we only raise enough money to do our work--learn, educate, and inform. We raise little money and spend it mostly on those three things. And an office person, too.

    I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

    There are several ways in which LWV is very effective in Utah. A large group of members attend every Legislative session, sending a daily update on action there, on radio; emails go to state and local governments & all our members. We are highly respected for this. We are working on education policy positions, in small and large groups, very successfully. My work on "natural resources" has given us publicity and respect. LVW positions make policy differences here.

    If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

    find a way to attract more young people, college and newly employed ages, to join us. It would be good for them, and it would invigorate us.

    Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

    Definitely

    How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

    A lot

    Will you tell others about this organization?

    Definitely

    When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

    2012

    How did you learn about this organization?

    I belonged a zillion years ago when I was a young mother, joined here because I had free time and wanted to do something worthwhile and mentally stimulating.

    What is this organization's top short-term priority?

    Register more voters and stop the spread of restrictive voting rules. Locally we have an "ethics in government" problem and serious environmental challenges that need to be publicized and then receive educated public attention.

    What is its top priority in the long run?

    Nationally I believe registering and educating voters, and protecting voting rights are primary. Ethics in government run a close second. After that we care about the environment, schools and education, etc. Whatever it takes to produce an active, educated, and informed electorate which goes to the polls regularly and picks carefully.

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    Review from CharityNavigator
    Rating: 5 stars  

    My time with the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittburgh has been good and infulential. The members are very knowledgeable and equipped to share their expertise with the community.

    Would you volunteer for this group again?

    Definitely

    For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

    A lot

    Did the organization use your time wisely?

    Very Well

    Would you recommend this group to a friend?

    Definitely

    When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

    2011

    Was this review helpful? 
    Rating: 5 stars  

    When I married and moved to a new places, little did I know that the League of Women Voters would be one of my best "friends." It introduced me to civic concerns in cities like Philadelphia, Butler, and Pittsburgh: for example, saving a public health department in a reluctant community; sharing river resources in the Delaware Watershed; learning about U.S. foreign aid and trade during the Cold War; Governance reform in Allegheny County, and, more recently, the Marcellus Shale debate, schools for the next generations, and always informing citizens about candidates and hot topics.

    Everywhere, the LWV attracts men and women who want Good Government. It's a "2 for 1:" Know your Town and Know New Friends.

    Was this review helpful? 
    Rating: 4 stars  

    I HAVE BEEN A MEMBER OF LWV FOR FIFTY YEARS AND HAVE GROWN IN MY UNDERSTANDING OF IMPORTANT ISSUES, FROM ALL SIDES OF EACH QUESTION. oUR STUDY GROUP INVESTIGATES FACTS, DISCUSSES EACH ISSUE BEFORE COMING TO DECISION. IN THAT WAY LEAGUE HAS TAUGHT ME TO EVALUATE COMPLEXED ISSUES WITH FACTS AND REACH MY OWN DECISION. . I HAVE PARTICIPATED IN THE LEAGUE SPONSORED BI PARTISAN PUBLIC FORUMS ON ISSUES AND WITH CANDIDATES. PROUD TO BE AN INFORMED CITIZEN BECAUSE OF LEAGUE. OUR BOOK CLUB DISCUSSES AND READS NON FICTION BOOKS REPRESENTING ALL POLITICAL VIEW POINTS AND COVERING A BROAD AREA OF ISSUES.

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    Rating: 5 stars  

    As a long time League member, I note the many ways that the League has helped me grow. Developing leadership skills, understanding government on all levels, research and advocacy are among the important areas.
    Friends who are involved and concerned are a bonus.
    I recommend that all interested citizens (men and women) join this non partisan and effective organization.

    Please give--maintaining democracy is demanding!

    Was this review helpful? 
    Rating: 5 stars  

    I've been a member of the League of Women Voters for over thirty years. It has been an extremely empowering and rewarding experience. Informed and civil civic engagement is one of the most important gifts we can give to our society. League members do it with pride.

    I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

    Board membership and leadership

    Would you volunteer for this group again?

    Definitely

    For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

    A lot

    Did the organization use your time wisely?

    Quite well

    Would you recommend this group to a friend?

    Definitely

    When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

    2011

    What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

    Have more member/volunteers

    Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

    Friendships, skills, carefully weighed information

    How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

    Pride and urgency about how much it is needed

    Was this review helpful? 
    Rating: 5 stars  

    Sometimes we feel hopeless. "What can I do to change things?" The League provides an answer. It's one of the most patriotic things you can do - support League and join League. Promote informed voting. Encourage citizens to vote and help them to do so. You CAN do something!

    I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

    As a Board member, I've gotten back so much more than the effort I've put in. I feel involved and productive.

    If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

    The organization is in need of help to keep up with constantly changing technologies, so I help with that while feeding my inner geek.

    Was this review helpful? 
    Rating: 5 stars  

    9 people found this review helpful

    The League of Women Voters works to get all citizens involved and active in government. Local Leagues around the country have active and dedicated volunteers. Priorities are clean government and election laws, voting rights and civil rights. In recent years the League has supported strong environmental and health care legislation.

    I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

    personal growth and education in many areas of my life. I learned about public policy issues (taxes, healthcare, the environment, how government really works, voting laws) plus made good friends. I'm not as active now but am still involved.

    How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

    About every week

    When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

    2010-6-01

    Was this review helpful?