The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.
The League in Action
The League of Women Voters is a peoples' organization that has fought since 1920 to improve our government and engage all Americans in the decisions that impact their lives. We operate at national, state and local levels through more than 800 state and local Leagues, in all 50 states as well as in DC, the Virgin Islands and Hong Kong. We never endorse or oppose political parties or candidates.
Formed from the movement that secured the right to vote for women, the centerpiece of the League’s efforts remain to expand participation and give a voice to all Americans. We do this at all three levels of government, engaging in both broad educational efforts as well as advocacy. Our issues are grounded in our respected history of making democracy work for all Americans.
The League of Women Voters has two separate and distinct roles:
Voter Service/Citizen Education
We present unbiased, nonpartisan information about elections, the voting process and current issues. To conduct our voter service and citizen education activities, we use funds from The League of Women Voters Education Fund, which is a 501(c)(3) corporation, a nonprofit educational organization.
After studying issues we use our positions to advocate for or against particular policies and legislation.
For more on League of Women Voters policy positions, see our Issues page.
Our Local League Program
ONLINE VOTERS GUIDE
Shortly before each election, an on-line Voters Guide is available at www.vote411.org
. This easy-to-navigate Guide provides extensive candidate information with a function for comparing the candidates in each race.
MEETINGS AND EVENTS FOR THE PUBLIC
We register voters and organize get-out-the vote campaigns that target groups that have not traditionally voted.
We sponsor Candidate Forums for local government and school board elections which are held in odd-numbered years.
Annual Legislative Interviews
We hold an annual meeting with local state representatives to discuss current issues and legislation.
Coffee, Conversation and Action
Before COVID-19, the League held informal get-togethers to discuss subjects of current interest to the community. Some topics are local such as How Local Government Works and Everything You Wanted to Know about Poll Workers. Some topics are of more general interest such as Does Your Vote Count, and Should we Abolish the Electoral College? These informative meetings provide information and often form the basis for League action. In this era of social distancing we will be looking into holding these meetings via Zoom or some other virtual means.
PUBLICATIONS FOR VOTERS
Legislative Reference Guide
A listing of all current area representatives, local, state and national with contact information is included in the Guide. We print and distribute the Reference Guide to libraries and the Township for new residents. The Guide is included in this website on the Your Representatives page.
The ABCs of Voting in Pennsylvania
A FAQ for voters. We distribute this brochure at events. It is also available by request.
LEAGUE ACTIONAt all three levels of the League - Local, State and National - members take action on important current issues like redistricting reform, insuring the security of voting machines, voting rights, fighting voter suppression, and gun control.
Action takes many different forms from public meetings, lobbying legislators, articles, videos, media appearances and joining with other like-minded groups to increase effectiveness. At the State and National levels it also includes litigation when necessary.
Why Should I Support the League of Women Voters?
The League is different from many organizations in that what it accomplishes comes directly from the involvement of its members. It is a grassroots organization
providing every member with opportunities to learn and educate others about government, and take action on public policy. We walk our talk: we believe that we need everyone to participate in order for our community to be strong, safe and vibrant. Whether you contribute your time, your money or both, you can feel confident that your investment in democracy goes further in the League.
Groups of League members meet to discuss topics in a respectful setting. They learn effective techniques for public discussion, how to advocate on specific policies, and what the issues beneath the rhetoric are. Our study and consensus process ensures that we are fully informed on issues
before we take a stand. We also host public forums and debates which are well known for being fair, transparent and civil. This approach has earned the League a global reputation for integrity and thoroughness.
Your participation in League will expose you to a breadth of experiences and issues that will not only inform you but create greater possibilities for civic engagement than you might imagine. You can spend as much or as little time as you wish. Whether you aspire to leadership or are keen to follow the lead of experienced members, the League will excite, use, and nurture your civic curiosity, ideals, or desire for action. We offer our members webinars, conference calls, workshops, other events and mentorship opportunities throughout the year, at the local, regional, state and national levels.
History of the League of Women Voters
The League of Women Voters was organized in 1920 as an outgrowth of the effort to secure voting rights for women. The League was formed by Carrie Chapman Catt and others in order to assist women in exercising that precious right.
Since its inception, the League has helped millions of women and men become informed participants in government. In fact, the first League convention voted 69 separate items as statements of principle and recommendations for legislation. Among them were protection for women and children, rights of working women, food supply and demand, social hygiene, the legal status of women, and American citizenship.The League's first major national legislative success was the passage of the Sheppard-Towner Act providing federal aid for maternal and child care programs. In the 1930's, League members worked successfully for enactment of the Social Security and Food and Drug Acts. Due at least in part to League efforts, legislation passed in 1938 and 1940 removed hundreds of federal jobs from the spoils system and placed them under Civil Service.
During the postwar period, the League helped lead the effort to establish the United Nations and to ensure U.S. Participation. The League was one of the first organizations in the country officially recognized by the United Nations as a non-governmental organization; it still maintains official observer status today.
See the History section of the League of Women Voters of the US website.