The Unit meetings in February, as well as a General meeting to be scheduled, will be devoted to scrutiny of privatization of public utilities and other government functions. The goal is twofold: be prepared to respond to LWVUS by the May 1 deadline, and–perhaps most importantly–to build a foundation of knowledge and to formulate a position locally that will serve as the basis from which the Tulsa League can best respond to specific recommendations or proposals made at the state and local level that involve privatization.
The privatization of government assets, services and/or functions is not new. It has been going on throughout the history of the United States. It has recently become a hot topic locally with the recommendations of the KPMG study which was commissioned by Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett and by ongoing discussions at the state level, especially as it is applied to water resources.
It is timely that the National Convention of the League of Women Voters approved a study at its 2010 convention that focuses on privatization. The national study committee’s materials and consensus questions can be found here. The deadline for local League reports on privatization is May 1.
The scope of this study is as follows:
The purpose of this study is to identify those 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. It will review the stated goals and the community impact of such transfers, and identify strategies to ensure transparency, accountability and preservation of the common good.
The Program Committee will distribute study materials this month to all who are interested in engaging in this process. We need your input! Please make your voice heard in this important and timely conversation.