League of Women Voters of Denton
Summary of Program
The League of Women Voters, a non partisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation in government and influences policy through education and advocacy. The local support positions are the basis for local action by the League of Women Voters.
Whatever the issue, the League of Women Voters believes that government policy, programs, and performance must meet these criteria:
- Well-defined channels for citizen participation and review
- Coordination among agencies and levels of government
- Adequate financing
- Effective enforcement
- Competent personnel with clear responsibilities
This material summarizes League of Women Voters of Denton (LWV-D) program positions reached annually by member study and agreement. These positions are detailed in our Member Handbook. The positions are not in order by priority.
COMMUNICATION BETWEEN LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND ITS CONSTITUENTS
Part A: Denton City Council
Focus: To identify the mechanisms by which members of the Denton City Council communicate with their constituents and examine methods for facilitating such communication.
Scope: Develop a questionnaire that the League would use in interviews with City Council members. The objective would be to examine how Council members gather information on an issue and how much their decisions are influenced by constituent input.
- Analyze responses and detrmine where communication needs improvement.
- Consider ways to improve communication where needed.
- Present recommendations to City Council.
Explanation: We are unaware of how Denton City Council members communicate with their constituents. If the League can identify any impediments to communication we may be able to suggest methods for improvement.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN DENTON LWV-D supports economic development in general and the expenditure of tax dollars on economic development. In particular, we support:
- Marketing and promotional activities.
- Development and maintenance of a city owned infrastructure suitable for the effective conduct of business.
- A balanced program of municipal services provided by city government plus indirect support for services provided by other community entities.
- Judicious and limited use of tax incentives which are already in place for business and industry.
MUNICIPAL SERVICES Municipal government should provide for the health and welfare of residents through an array of services. Funding for essential services should be through taxes and usage charges.
- Denton Public Libraries (DPL) should be available to all to use on site, access electronically, or check out materials and adequately funded by the City and the Denton County Commissioners Court, rather than levying fees on patrons who check out materials. Funding should not be tied to imposing filters on library computers.
- Fees to co-fund municipal programs are appropriate, but ability to pay should be the major criterion.
- Municipal government should fund a broad range of social programs. Fees should be subsidized for low income and special needs citizens.
- LWV-D supports city, county and regional government participation in the planning and management of transport networks with emphasis on Denton.
- Public transportation for elderly and special needs to be financed by a combination of user fees, charitable donations and government funds.
SOCIAL POLICY/ HUMAN RESOURCES
- LWV-D supports a child welfare unit with an advisory board
- Development of a professionally drawn master plan for community services
- A Denton County Health Department with equitable and adequate funding
- A Health Department Advisory Board that solicits information, makes recommendations on services, evaluates effectiveness, reflects the diversity of the county, and promotes Health Department services.
- A mental health program with professionally trained and properly utilized personnel, adequate funding, and adequate facilities and services.
- Health care for the medically indigent with costs shared by all taxpayers, supplemented by charitable donations. Care should be provided effectively and efficiently and be well publicized.
- Adequately funded programs to reduce domestic violence and alleviate its effects.
ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
- LWV-D supports a juvenile probation officer for Denton County
- More immediate court appointment and speedy consultation of lawyers for indigent prisoners
- Adherence to legal standards for county jails
- Increased emphasis on rehabilitation and use of alternatives to incarceration wherever possible
- Completely separate facilities for women inmates and adequate female staff
- Separate and adequate juvenile detention facilities
- Continued funding for successful programs
- Adequate salaries and benefits for probation office employees
LWV-D supports city, county, and regional government participation in planning and management of parks, open spaces, water resources, drainage, flood control, industrial sites, solid and liquid waste disposal, mineral extraction, agricultural and forest lands, and unique historical, geological or ecological sites. We support the requirement of environmental impact statements for all public projects, housing and industrial development.
LWV-D supports the council manager form of government and periodic review of the city charter.
DENTON INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT LWV-D supports equal access to quality education for all students. We support measures to promote:
- Programs to develop each student’s capabilities to the fullest.
- Increased use of para-professional and volunteers to improve counseling and health services and truancy and absenteeism.
- Continuing efforts to maintain full racial integration; attract and hold good teachers with financial incentives and high quality working conditions; strengthen instruction in basic skills; improve library service; provide ESL instruction; reduce inequities in supplies and equipment; new buildings to meet expanding population; provide a more esthetic school premises.
- Improvement of communication between school and community.
- One fair, clear, definitive statement on discipline applied consistently to all schools and by all teachers.
- Programs designed to encourage prevention of pregnancy and encourage pregnant girls and fathers-to-be to remain in school.
- Comprehensive human sexuality education, including communication skills, anatomy and physiology, abstinence and contraception, and risks of teen pregnancy.
- Peer counselor programs and discussion groups on sexuality issues.
- Low cost childcare services located on site.
- A teen student health directory referring community agencies and services.
- An increase in school taxes if it becomes necessary to reach these goals.
- LWV-D opposes the voucher system approach, as well as choice options that do not promote racial integration and/or equal access to quality education.
- LWV-D supports free, universal preschool for four-year-olds with transportation to school.
- We support fundraising and marketing activities that promote the mission of DISD but we do not support sacrificing control of curriculum, providing specific training for outside entities to the exclusion of others, and using students to raise funds.