Legislation and Public Policy

During the 2020–2022 Administration, the GFWC Legislation/Public Policy Committee will be “Gathering Facts & Working for Change.” Our advocacy efforts are practical not political. The goals of this Committee during this Administration include:

  • Encouraging participation in the Legislative Action Center.
  • Educating members about GFWC’s legislative priorities.
  • Educating members about the local impact of civic engagement.
  • Mobilizing our members to raise a united voice to advocate for GFWC and national priorities.
  • Building relationships with the local, regional, and national decisions makers.
  • Establishing the GFWC name as a brand that lawmakers and the community recognizes.

What is Public Policy?

Examples of public policy are minimum wage laws, public assistance programs, safety in schools and domestic violence. The definition of public policy is the laws, priorities and governmental actions that reflect the attitudes and rules for the public.

What is a Resolution and Why we need them

A Resolution is a statement broken into sections for clarity. It should always have a title, usually the name of the bill if it pertains to a piece of legislation or the subject, if it is does not. The title is followed by a maximum of three “WHEREAS” statements, which contain the reasons why the legislation or subject is needed. The text of the bill will usually have a statement at the end providing the information needed. The “RESOLVED” statements provide the action desired. Adopted resolutions show an agreement by the membership on a viewpoint of an issue. Resolutions can be used as tools for advocating important issues at the local, state, and national levels.

What is Legislative Advocacy and why we need it

Legislative advocacy refers to efforts to influence the introduction, enactment, or modification of legislation. The most common means of legislative advocacy involves contacting a legislator, sharing your views on an issue, and asking him or her to vote a specific way on a bill. To participate, sign up for the GFWC Legislative Action Center. Get involved! One of the most important aspects of our system of government is that it is representative—those who make our laws represent us, so we can and should remind leaders of their responsibilities and offer constructive ideas. If we do, we can bring about public policy changes.

GFWC-NC Legislation and Public Policy

During this administration we are working on a plan to raise awareness on a North Carolina law that provides a ‘pregnancy exception’ that allows girls as young as 14 to be married. This is contrary to the health and well-being of young women. GFWC-NC Clubwomen have long been advocates for women and your help is needed. What can you do? Learn more about the issue. Share information with others, especially clubwomen, and look for opportunities to make change happen. Two major recommendations:

  1. Change the minimum legal age for marriage to 18 with no exceptions; and
  2. Remove section 51-2: “capacity to marry” from the NCGS – North Carolina General Statutes. This is the section that outlines provisions allowing 14-year-olds to marry.

In coming months there will be more information about how you can advocate for this important change to prevent underage marriage and give girls and women a better chance to grow into healthy, happy members of our community. Click here to read the full article.

News and Observer – Link to the article and video on Underage Marriage

Legislation and Public Policy Plan Project Ideas

  • Hold a legislative day for your club, during which you visit your state legislature or local council meeting to advocate for an issue or piece of legislation that is important to you and your community. Consider partnering with other groups.
  • For example, if the issue is domestic violence, consider partnering with a state or local advocacy group whose focus is domestic violence awareness and prevention.
  • Ask a GFWC member who works in the public sector to share the experiences that led her to her current position.
  • Make an appointment with a state or national legislator in his or her home office to discuss GFWC’s top legislative priorities.
  • If there is an issue before a legislative body that you want to advocate for or against, hold a letter-writing(email) campaign in your club

Project Tools