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The League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus

Where We Stand


Scope

National - State - Local

Category

Representative Government - International Relations
Social Policy - Natural Resources

Social Policy Positions

Education

Support programs to achieve racial balance in the public schools of the metropolitan area.

Justice and Corrections

Support increasing the number of persons not jailed prior to trial by use of summons citations; support increased use of alternative sentencing such as community service, restitution, work release; favor expansion of alternatives to incarceration for non-dangerous offenders with drug/alcohol problems, mental illness, mental retardation; if construction is necessary, support construction of minimum-security facilities only. All local facilities should meet minimum standards of prisoner classification.

Land Use and Regional Planning

Adopted Apr. 23, 2012

1. Neighborhood Planning
Both older and newer neighborhoods should be vital, diverse, and have a sense of community.
The following characteristics should be sought:
a) A range of housing opportunities with a variety of good quality ownership and rental housing choices, densities, and affordabilities suitable for a diversity of income and life styles.
b) Life-long communities that meet the needs of all age groups.
c) A mixture of housing opportunities based on adoption and implementation of planning and zoning standards that reflect the shifting land use patterns in the central city and the changing lifestyles throughout the region.
d) Government incentives that encourage in both older and newer areas private sector development that reflects these land use planning and zoning standards mentioned in 1.c) above.
e) Sustainable and walkable neighborhoods with sidewalks, commercial establishments, public services, community services, parks and recreational facilities.
f) A wide choice of affordable, accessible and convenient transportation modes.
g) Accessibility for individuals with disabilities.
h) Preservation of historic sites, structures, and neighborhoods.

2. Regional Planning and Cooperation
(Note: It is important to keep in mind that Ohio is a Home Rule state, meaning that it is written in the Constitution that each local jurisdiction has the final say as to what happens within its borders. It is important, then, for each government entity to be able to show its citizens how they will ultimately benefit from cooperating with their neighboring governments.)

Regionalism should be promoted in order to encourage a high quality of life for all Central Ohio residents. Some ways to do that are by:
a) Encouraging environmental sustainability, containment of urban sprawl, balanced growth, clean water, and agricultural land preservation.
b) Using incentives to encourage development conducive to a balanced use of land and environmental standards.
c) Encouraging cooperation among government entities.
d) Designating areas, natural or man-made, for specific purposes such as wildlife and recreation
e) Distributing locally undesirable land uses equitably.
f) Encouraging units of government and business to work with public transit to improve access to jobs and to develop residential and commercial areas adjacent to transit systems.

3. Public and Stakeholder Participation
A wide range of public and stakeholder participation is key to developing successful neighborhood, urban and regional plans and reviewing development proposals.

Learn more...

Public Transit

Adopted May 2010
Connectivity and Mobility: It should be the ultimate goal of a transit system to connect with major places of employment; educational and medical facilities; shopping hubs; religious, sporting, and cultural venues; and other places where all people, including those with disabilities, go to work, shop, and play. Integration and coordination of different modes and providers of transportation is key. Where appropriate, consideration should be given to connectivity to adjoining communities outside Franklin County.
Cost: The cost of building, operating, and maintaining the system should be considered and preference given to economical systems that maximize ridership, recognizing that public transit benefits all communities and that government subsidies will be needed.
Customer Experience: Transit should be safe, convenient, comfortable, easy to use, and affordable for all Franklin County residents, including the elderly and people with disabilities.
Travel Time and Reliability: A public transit system should be efficient, and schedules and travel time should be reliable and predictable.
Land Use and Development: Advocates for and providers of public transit, as well as other stakeholders, should be actively involved in the development of central Ohio’s long-term plans for land use, economic development, and the reduction of urban sprawl throughout the metro area.
Environmental Impact: New transportation systems or modifications to existing systems should be designed to reduce or minimize pollution and consumption of energy.
Marketing: A concentrated marketing/education campaign is an important component of a successful transit system. Read more...

Levy-Funded Agencies

Support collaboration and cooperation among agencies in the planning for and provision of services; support availability of flexible funds, in addition to each agency’s base funds, to meet changing needs in the community; support availability of contingency funds, in addition to each agency’s base funds, to meet emergency needs in the community.

Franklin County Children Services

Amended June 2010
Support efforts to communicate to the public the many ways FCCS is trying to assist families and children in the county and the legal constraints under which it must provide services; support liaison with the schools so that schools and FCCS staff can work as partners to get services to families before problems develop to the crisis state, and to motivate children to complete high school; support cooperation between FCCS and the Court, with the common goal of working together to benefit youth served; after careful review, support reasonable requests for future funding.

Community-Based Treatment

Amended June 2010
Support increased residential services for people with mental illness provided by the Franklin County Mental Health board; support maintaining nonresidential services for people with mental illness with emphasis on case management services, tailoring a service plan to the individual with follow-up; support increased residential services for people with mental illness provided by Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities; support monitoring and adequate supervision of group homes; support maintaining nonresidential services for people with mental illness; favor shared responsibility for funding among government, private sector, and consumers, with the greatest responsibility resting with state and local government; support coordination of funding and service delivery.

Addiction Services

Support availability of adequate funds to pay for alcohol and other drug treatment and prevention services; favor primary responsibility for funding for alcohol and other drug prevention services rest with the state/federal government; however, support a significant role for local government; support responsibility of individuals for contributing to paying for their own treatment, based on ability to pay; recognizing that there is a value to society at large to meet alcohol and other drug problems, support that government share the costs; support increase in funds for prevention services until there is parity between prevention and treatment services funding; support priority for providing linkages with other needed services (e.g., child care, housing, basic material needs, employment, reentry, etc.) when making judgments concerning limited public funding; support providing services to underserved population groups and underserved geographic areas.

Primary and Secondary Education

Support the use of public funds only for public schools. Support an elected State Board of Education whose responsibility is policy making/planning. Support state education standards as a method of attaining a high-quality education. Support state funding for education that guarantees a realistic and equitable level of per-pupil expenditures, and support local school districts’ assuming a reasonable share of the financial burden.

Higher Education

Support funding by the state to ensure that all Ohio citizens have access to higher education that provides general education and job preparation. Support Board of Regents, appointed by the Governor with confirmation by the Senate, to be a planning, coordinating board with broad policy-making powers.

Juvenile Justice

Support community-based, least restrictive placement; rights and humane treatment of children who are juvenile offenders; alternative educational services; gender-specific treatment programs; unbiased treatment regardless of race or ethnicity; statewide uniform standards for dealing with juvenile records. Oppose holding children in adult jails. Read more...

Capital Punishment

Support abolition of the death penalty and a moratorium on the use of the death penalty. Read more...

Education, Employment and Housing

Support equal access to education, employment and housing. Read more...

Equal Rights

Support ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and efforts to bring laws into compliance with the goals of the ERA. Support civil marriage for same-gender couples. Read more...

Fiscal Policy

Tax Policy: Support adequate and flexible funding of federal government programs through an equitable tax system that is progressive overall and that relies primarily on a broad-based income tax.

Education, Employment and Housing: Support equal access to education, employment and housing.

Funding of Entitlements: Support a federal role in providing mandatory, universal, old-age, survivors, disability and health insurance. Read more...

Health Care

Promote a health care system for the United States that provides access to a basic level of quality care for all U.S. residents and controls health care costs. Read more...

Meeting Basic Human Needs

Support programs and policies to prevent or reduce poverty and to promote self-sufficiency for individuals and families.

Income Assistance: Support income assistance programs, based on need, that provide decent, adequate standards for food, clothing and shelter.

Support Services: Provide for essential support services.

Housing Supply: Support policies to provide a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family. Read more...

Child Care

Support programs and policies to expand the supply of affordable, quality child care for all who need it. Read more...

Early Intervention for Children at Risk

Support policies and programs that promote the well-being, development and safety of all children. Read more...

Violence Prevention

Support violence prevention programs in communities. Read more...

Gun Control

Protect the health and safety of citizens through limiting the accessibility and regulating the ownership of handguns and semi-automatic weapons. Support regulation of firearms for consumer safety. Read more...

Urban Policy

Promote the economic health of cities and improve the quality of urban life. Read more...

Death Penalty

Support the abolition of the death penalty. Read more...

Immigration

Promote reunification of immediate families; meet the economic, business and employment needs of the United States; and be responsive to those facing political persecution or humanitarian crises. Read more...