Making Democracy Work

League Study Groups

View the League's study groups on matters of importance to the nation, state and our local communities.

Study Group on the Coyote Valley

In 2018 the League will conduct a study on the future of the Coyote Valley. The study will review the existing Coyote Valley position in light of emerging information related to climate change with consideration on updating our current position to acknowledge and be consistent with state and local positions on climate change. The study will also review the opportunity to cross-reference with the League position on Urban Lands Surrounding Rural Areas and update the existing Coyote Valley Position as needed to meet changing conditions.

Study Group on Public Higher Education

In 2015/16 the League of Women Voters San Jose/Santa Clara will conduct a study on the status of California's higher education systems. Public higher education in California is at a crossroads. Almost daily, there are news articles about public higher education and the need for reform in terms of accessibility, which includes funding, affordability, preparedness, equity, and opportunities and barriers for success. This study was proposed and approved to develop a league position on public higher education in California including the CSU and UC systems.

Study Group on Money in Politics

The League of Women Voters has been an active participant in campaign finance reform for over four decades. It formally adopted a Campaign Finance position in 1974. It continually monitors, and when appropriate, advocates for campaign finance reform in legislative, judicial and regulatory forums at the federal and state levels. It lobbied strongly for the passage of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, cosponsored by Senators McCain and Feingold and passed in 2002.

In 2015/16 the League of Women Voters San Jose/Santa Clara conducted a study on money in politics for the purposes of reviewing and updating our current campaign finance position.


The San Jose/Santa Clara League is participating in the LWV California study on the initiative and referendum process. The reform ideas cover a wide range of possibilities, from throwing out the whole process as suggested by Peter Schrag in Paradise Lost to a wholesale embrace of the growing trend of direct democracy as represented by the initiative and referendum. In evaluating these ideas, the Study Committee is examining initiative and referendum history, process,and key concerns to uncover policy matters and solutions that will stand the test of time in shaping the League's positions in the future.

Study Group on Privatization of Government Services

In November 2011 The League of Women Voters began a study of the privatization of Government services. The purpose of this study was to identify parameters and policy issues to be considered in connection with proposals to transfer federal, state or local government services, assets and/or functions to the private sector. This study reviewed privatization goals and the community impact of such transfers, and identify strategies to ensure transparency, accountability, and preservation of the common good.

Study Group on the Federal Role in Education

The League of Women Voters conducted a National Study that looked at the role of the federal government in the education of our nation's youth.

Study Group on an Alternative Voting System

Is there an alternative system for voting that would ensure greater voter confidence and involvement as well as addressing other League governance policies?

In 2010 and 2011, the San Jose/Santa Clara League asked that question when it conducted a study of one such alternative system which is being used in several cities and towns in the U.S. This system is called "Instant Run-off Voting," (IRV) or "Ranked Choice Voting" (RCV). IRV/RCV has been used in San Francisco since 2004, and in November 2010 it was used for the first time in Oakland and other cities in Alameda County.