Making Democracy Work

Local Policy Positions

Public Policy Positions

About Positions

In League parlance, a position is a stand or commitment made by the League on an issue upon which consensus has been reached. A position's wording is developed by the Board, reflecting the body of opinion of League membership. Each level of the League (national, state, and local) develops positions.

Green Space

The LWV-SHR supports the improvement, expansion, and maintenance of existing parks and recreational facilities and of the continued efforts by the Hampton Roads cities to acquire additional land for open space, natural areas, linear parks and recreational use. The League feels that the cities should avoid giving up open space and recreational land for other purposes and believes that recreational areas or open space lost to public or private use should be replaced. The League considers natural areas such as Stumpy Lake and the Back Bay Watershed important to maintain an ecological balance and supports preservation of these areas. The League supports ordinances requiring tree preservation, replacement, and screening. Realizing that these programs must be financed, the League considers taxes raised for specific projects a viable way to fund new programs.

Gun Law Enforcement

The LWV-SHR supports the use of "crackdowns" as an effective deterrent to illegal gun possession. We believe that crackdowns should be targeted, rotating, and sporadic because there is evidence that these methods produce the best long-term deterrence. Recognizing that there could be civil liberties questions in promoting "crackdowns," we stress the need for specific, ongoing training with guidelines provided on respecting civil liberties. We support Community Policing as a very effective deterrent to illegal gun possession and we advocate additional funding of Community Policing to include additional coverage of drugs, geographical location, property, training and other yet-to-be-identified problem fields. We recommend that Police Departments report crimes committed by persons holding a concealed weapons permit. We regard this additional reporting as the only viable way to determine the efficacy of the concealed weapons law. We recommend that police persons be rewarded for merit and length of service in a uniform manner. We believe that all guns should be registered using the latest technology. We believe that gun registration should follow the gun when it is sold. We believe that all buyers of guns should have background checks We believe that all buyers of guns should be licensed. To obtain a license the applicant must be educated in gun safety and proficiency. We believe that law enforcement should not be outgunned. Large ammunition clips and "aftermarket" magazines should be limited. We believe in zero tolerance of guns in schools, public parks, public buildings and places of worship. guns should be prohibited in establishments serving alcohol. We believe that the state of Virginia should allow localities to enact gun regulations that meet the needs of their communities, even if those regulations are stronger than the state minimum.

Housing

The LWV-SHR supports decent and affordable housing for all residents. We realize that housing is a part of a larger social issue that includes health, economics, education, and esthetics. We believe that citizens of South Hampton Roads should insist that adequate housing be available in the communities.

Regional Cooperation

The LWV-SHR supports the concept of regional cooperation among local jurisdictions as a means for solving problems that cross jurisdictional boundaries such as when:

  • Large-scale operations can be expected to provide economies;
  • Services and specialized skills can be provided which some or all of the participating jurisdictions cannot provide alone;
  • Duplication of necessary but generally underutilized services in a single jurisdiction can be avoided;
  • Needs or problems are region-wide or spill over jurisdictional boundaries;
  • There is reasonable agreement on the existence of the need and the kind of service required;
  • Uniform or compatible methods of data collection can make available information that will aid local planning operations;
  • Actions of one locality have significant impact on its neighbors; and
  • Localities can benefit from knowledge of what neighboring jurisdictions are doing.

Transportation

Transportation

League of Women Voters of South Hampton Roads (LWVSHR) supports a balanced approach to transportation planning, emphasizing strategies that make maximum use of existing roadways and providing real alternatives to car use.

To maximize the use of existing and planned roadways, LWVSHR supports the construction of conveniently located park-and-ride lots to facilitate car pooling van pooling and express bus service to major employment centers. Provision for these lots should be included in the initial planning and construction of new roadways. They should be built at the same time as the High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV) lanes. LWVSHR recommends the creation of tax incentives to employers who give priority parking for car pools and to developers who provide park-and-ride space. We support the encouragement of "pedestrian friendly" commercial development. We have concluded that public transit: can and should play a larger role in reducing congestion; better serve those who depend on it (including the elderly, disabled, persons in need of education, training or transportation to jobs); should be funded at a level that will provide frequent, reliable service that is a real alternative to car use.

The light rail service being proposed between Norfolk and Virginia Beach would provide a viable alternative.

In order to adequately fund public transit service and construction, our League supports using a portion of any new local or regional highway construction tax for public transit funding.

The future of Hampton Roads + the economy, ports, military, and tourist industries and our quality of life + is dependent upon adequate transportation facilities. Prompt action at the state level is necessary to provide transportation funding to sustain future growth in this region.

The LWVSHR supports the need for major improvements to interstate Highway and Bridge/Tunnel River crossings in the Hampton Roads area to meet the future transportation needs in our region.

The LWVSHR believes that inadequate funding is the major transportation issue, and it supports the need to increase transportation revenues to fund new construction projects. The League prefers a dedicated source of transportation funding instead of general state operating revenue, and believes that a combination of funding sources such as fuel taxes, tolls and sales tax is necessary and preferable to relying on a large increase in a single funding strategy.

Low-cost efforts to reduce vehicle trips or miles traveled, such park-and-ride and employer- based ride sharing incentives, can provide some immediate relief and should be encouraged.

The LWVSHR supports efforts, such as Norfolk's light rail project, to increase the level of service and reliability of mass transit and light rail in the Hampton Roads region. This will improve transportation alternatives for people who cannot or prefer not to drive, as well as provide better access to high-density downtown areas.