In this work we present efforts to understand the properties of hydroxide in anion exchange membranes. First, we review the available reactive hydroxide molecular models and rationalize the selection of a model. Then aqueous cation systems are introduced as an analogue for anion exchange membranes. We show that hydroxide solvation structure has minimal temperature dependence, but that the concentration has a strong effect dependent on the identity of the cation. Last the electrostatic potential is calculated for four cations used in anion exchange membranes. The electrostatic field is shown to have a very different size, shape and intensity for the cations considered, which we postulate will lead to different local environments around the cations.