2024 National Convention Concurrence Planning

Re: “Proposed Concurrence at 2024 Convention: Updating LWVUS Privatization Position by adding LWVVT Privatization Position (2023)” (attached as last page)

The  League of Women Voters of Vermont asks other state and local Leagues to consider proposing a Concurrence at June 2024 Convention with language excerpted from the new LWVVT position on Privatization. This Vermont Update to the US Position on Privatization, which contains exact language from the LWVVT position (2023), will strengthen the ability of all Leagues to advocate on LWVUS program priorities, such as reforms to address widening disparities in health care access and health care outcomes among vulnerable populations, as well as inequities both exacerbated and made more visible by increasing corporate privatization of health care.

What help will we be looking for from YOU?!

To get the discussion of the new position on the Convention agenda, (and in the 2024-26 “Program”), we need as many Leagues as possible to join the grassroots campaign to get it there. Please start with these 3 actions.

Three Actions to Support This Concurrence

  1. Get on the agenda of your League’s Board to ask for their support, and if they agree, then:
  2. Email us to add your League’s name to the list of Leagues supporting this SPECIFIC LANGUAGE provided below into the response box, (along with LWV.org Program Planning links, etc)

Inform yourself–and get materials for informing others–about the value of the new position

Moving toward the Convention

All PHASES — Reaching out to local and state Leagues to see the value of the new position so we can

Get on the Agenda!

Lexicon for Special “League-terms”:


A concurrence at Convention is one of two processes recognized by the League for adopting or adding to an official LWVUS position (as published in the biennial Impact on Issues).

  1. One alternative is–after running an official STUDY on a nationwide basis, usually at least 2 years’ work, involving League representatives from many states on the Study Committee–each of the 50 states plus DC in a full consensus process, League by League to respond to questions that allow the Study Committee to draft a position around those answers for which there is consensus. The Board then reviews/ approves the position and, at Convention, the position is adopted as part of the Program.
  1. A second and faster, less laborious alternative is for any League, including LWVUS, to adopt or update an already created position by Concurrence. This involves offering a local or state League position (adopted after rigorous study by that League) to delegates at a LWVUS Convention. Proposed Concurrences that are “recommended” to be on the agenda at Convention by the Program Planning Committee require 2/3 of the credentialed delegates to vote in favor of its adoption. Proposed concurrences that are not recommended by the Program Planning Committee must first receive a majority of the credentialed delegates to vote that it be added to the agenda, and then a subsequent 2/3 vote to be adopted.

Note: The concurrence process can also be used by individual states or local Leagues to adopt a position already adopted by another League. For example, the CT DIgital Equity position had been adopted by New Mexico and Tennessee before being adopted at Convention 2022, just as the CA Criminal Justice position had been adopted by Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, and New York state Leagues before adoption at Convention 2022.

Note about Wording of Concurrences: A Concurrence vote is either to adopt or reject; no amendments or revisions are permitted. Similarly, prior to proposing an existing position for concurrence, no revisions are permitted except to adjust the coverage of the position (e.g., from local or state level League to National League, from state to federal scope) or to remove language appropriate to the smaller jurisdiction only. While the language of an existing position cannot be revised or rewritten without a new study process, a League can add language to an existing position by adopting that language as an update to an existing position through concurrence at convention.

All concurrences offer a “concurrence statement,” the language that will become the new position or that will be added to a current position.

Because the LWVUS has a Health Care position from 1993, the LWVNYS proposed concurrence at Convention 2022 offering excerpted language from its two NYS 2021 positions to add to the current US position. This did not change the position, although it did clarify and expand it.

Because the LWVUS did not, in 2022, have a position on Digital Equity, the Digital Equity concurrence statement, once adopted at Convention 2022, became the entire LWVUS position.


A caucus is a type of workshop that is held at the national convention, lasts approximately one hour, and deals with a particular topic. Its purpose is to educate, motivate, and engage fellow Leaguers in the work of the League.

We are encouraging everyone to attend two particular caucuses at the 2022 convention, (give titles and the official wordage we are sending to national). Look in your convention schedule for the time and place they will occur.

Due to the COVID pandemic, we have heard that this year’s convention will be both virtual and held in person in Denver, June 23-26. Normally caucuses are held in the morning before the convention begins, or in the evening after daily work of the convention ends. However, if the convention is held virtual like it was last year, caucuses may be held virtually a week before convention. LWVUS will keep Leagues and delegates updated to this year’s plans as the date approaches.

III. The materials made before Convention are still useful now for learning about the updated Health Care position, which is the context for the Privatization position update. In particular, the educational webinars to support the proposals are still relevant. For Healthcare, the video and slides of the educational webinar by members of the NYS Healthcare Update Committee (HCUC) Judy Esterquest and Barb Thomas presented to the LWV Colorado Health Care Committee on 2/5/22 are available for others to use: link for video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uym4AEzwoIo. Link to slides, powerpoint or pdf. (The powerpoint has the “script” in the notes section.) Link to transcript of webinar and Q&A.

Study the old position: The LWVUS position on privatization as of 2023 opposed privatization for “services fundamental to the governance of a democratic society.” It enumerated a list of such services that includes: “the electoral process, justice system, military, public safety, public health, education, transportation, environmental protection, and programs that protect and provide basic human needs.” https://www.lwv.org/sites/default/files/2023-02/LWV_ImpactOnIssues2022-2024.pdf (p. 67).   It seems, however, that the list does not include health care services, and the conditions that would allow or disallow privatization cover only the transfer of public good into private hands, not vice versa, from private investors back into public hands. 

What has changed since the position was written? Research by Vermont found that privatizing in health care had greatly accelerated after the national League’s study in 2010. Further, while almost all of the financial dealings of many of the private investors now in the health care markets are veiled in secrecy (so-called Private Equity), reports from reputable sources (e.g. Public Citizen, Senator Elizabeth Warren, lawyer Brandan Ballou) characterize their involvement as very destructive <link to reference page>.

How can it be improved? Therefore, the Vermont League was concerned that the circumstances of private investment in medical services and facilities have changed since 2010 when LWVUS did the study underlying the position in Impacts on Issues. To address their concern, at their state convention, the League voted to undertake an official study.

What did LWVVT study? The study committee compared health care services to criteria for “a public good”, and evaluated the effects on quality, cost, and accessibility of care of recent privatizing.  They also researched instances of DE-privatizing health care.

The Vermont League’s study, that became the foundation for their position, determined

What does a new position empower us to do?

When your proposed action is consistent with a position, what constraints are still placed on League members?

For non-priority federal issues, which is everything but “Making Democracy Work” and achieving diversity, equity and inclusion, DEI, an Action Alert from LWVUS is required. They are generally published in the bi-weekly “League Update.” When there is no active Action Alert, Leagues can file a Federal Action Request Form (FARF) to seek authorization from and coordinate with LWVUS. The relevant section in Impact on Issues is the description and link for the FARF https://www.lwv.org/federal-action-request-form. (Available on the Management Site.)

It’s almost a mantra: “Local Leagues may take local action on local issues and state Leagues may take state action on state issues. To take federal action—including legal action—state and local Leagues must seek authorization from and coordinate with LWVUS [using the form found at the link above].” 

This includes any effort aimed at influencing a decision on a federal issue, such as communicating with an elected or appointed official or government agency, joining a coalition, taking part in a national press conference or rally, writing a letter-to-the-editor in a national publication, sending a demand letter relating to a violation of federal law, or joining any legal action as a party (e.g., plaintiff, intervenor, amicus) to be filed in federal court using the LWV brand.

In the FARF, you will be asked, among other things, to explain how the proposed action is based on a “position”–that is, based on research and then ratified by the membership at a national convention. 

This clip, from the August 2023 monthly Zoom meeting for HCR4US membership and guests, explains how to use a position to guide action on legislation. In it, Harriette notes that the Health Care position, for example, does not list any bill numbers.  Judy explains that positions don’t support specific bills, but rather are used to evaluate whether a bill is consistent (or not) with the position, and thus we could (or could not) advocate for the bill.

How to use a position:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1O8FMFOm0a6imbXQWJmiu-KTU-S7ce-yG/view?usp=share_link

Thus, in the new position, subsequently adopted by the Vermont membership. criteria are outlined for both privatization and de-privatization, and health care is included as a public good which should not be privatized. See the position here

To View 2022 Concurrence Page (archived)

Support Vermont's New Position on Privatization

Health Care Reform for the US