Member Resources

Observer Corps

Excerpted from Observing Your Government in Action, published by the League of Women Voters Education Fund:

An observer is an individual who attends a governmental meeting, notes what happens at the meeting, and reports back to the League and (hopefully) the community. By attending public meetings of local governmental bodies/agencies, observers learn more about what their government is doing. They learn about the issues facing their community and are empowered to take action, if warranted. They also learn how issues are being addressed.

Observers keep elected and appointed officials on notice; they let them know that someone is watching what decisions are being made and how they are being made. They help ensure that the issues facing their community are being handled “in the sunshine,” in the open.

Ideally, observers are monitoring both the issues being discussed as well as the process by which they are being discussed. While not every item up for discussion will relate to a League’s priorities, ensuring that the meeting is being conducted in an open and acceptable way is critical to all of the League’s efforts and the health of our democracy.

LWV of Dakota County's Observer Corps is primarily focused on the Dakota County Board of Commissioners and its committees. However, observers are welcome to observe a meeting of a city council, a school board, the Metropolitan Council, or another local government body. So, how do you become an observer? The only requirements are that you must be an LWV of Dakota County member and read our Observer Corps Guidelines. After observing a meeting, please submit a report using this form: