What is Observer Corps?
One of the important functions of the LWVOC is sending observers to monitor local governments around Orange County and report on what they are doing.
These reports are invaluable, giving us a clear view of how local governments are dealing with issues of importance to us, such as climate change, juvenile justice, underrepresented voters, and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Observers help keep our finger on the pulse of Orange County’s governments and determine when it’s time for us to take action and speak out on issues.
Members of LWVOC committees are encouraged to use the wealth of information available in our observers’ reports. They help you understand more about local government actions that have direct impact on the key issues and priorities of your committees.
Reports are available on the League website (www.lwvoc.org). Make sure to log on as a member. Go to Advocacy, then Government, and scroll down to the link to the document library, toward the bottom of the page. Click on the yellow folder icons for Advocacy Committees>Government>Government Observer Corps.
The Government Committee can always use a few more observers to attend meetings, take notes and write reports. Most positions require just a few hours (generally two meetings) each month. You’ll get a closer look at government in action and learn about issues facing your community. Click here to fill out an Observer Corps Volunteers form.
For more information, contact Susan Adams, Observer Corps Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Observer Corps Tips
Observer Corps is an on-going project of the Government Committee. We try to attend a representative sampling of local government meetings. (However, we do not attend Orange County School Board meetings, as those meetings fall under the purview of the Education Committee.)
- Decide which local government board/commission/council you will be attending.
- Become familiar with the names of the Commissioners, Council members and key staff.
- Get and review agenda for that meeting from online resources, prior to the meeting.
- Identify any issues of importance to LWVOC.
- Attend the meeting, noting actions taken and any significant responses by the commissioners, council members or speakers.
- Write a report about the meeting you attended.
- Your report should be no longer than 2 pages, and you may want to hyperlink to additional background or support material.
- In your report, avoid generalities; eliminate or explain jargon and technical terms.
- Cite relevant background.
- Check controversial statements to be sure of the facts.
- Provide some direct quotes from speakers and audience, if appropriate.
- Be sure your report is balanced and fair.
- A link to the audio/video recording of the meeting is helpful to others.
- Write your report as soon as possible after the meeting, while details are still fresh in your mind.
- Do not become an active participant in the meeting.
- Wear your LWVOC name tag and the large League of Women Voters button so that it can be seen from the dais to wherever you are sitting in the audience.