What Is the League of Women Voters?
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.
Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.
We envision a democracy where every person has the desire, the right, the knowledge and the confidence to participate.
We believe in the power of women to create a more perfect democracy.
What Does the League Do?
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 in DC, the Virgin Islands and Hong Kong. We never endorse or oppose political parties or candidates, but we are political.
Formed from the movement that secured the right to vote for women, the centerpiece of the League’s efforts continues to be the expansion of participation and giving 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.
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.
Origin of the League of Women Voters
"The League of Women Voters is not to dissolve any present organization but to unite all existing organizations of women who believe in its principles. It is not to lure women from partisanship but to combine them in an effort for legislation which will protect coming movements, which we cannot even foretell, from suffering the untoward conditions which have hindered for so long the coming of equal suffrage. Are the women of the United States big enough to see their opportunity?"
From the very beginning, it was apparent that the legislative goals of the League were not exclusively focused on women's issues and that citizen education aimed at all of the electorate was in order. Since its inception, the League has helped millions of women and men become informed participants in government. 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. 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.
Origin of the Clallam County League of Women Voters
The League of Women Voters' presence in Clallam County dates back to early 1967 when a group of women attended an organizational meeting held at Peninsula College. Representatives from the Washington State League attended and provided guidance on how to launch a local branch of the League. An executive board was established and minutes indicate that the new provisional league had 35 members. The national league program at that time was a study of China. Of interest to the league locally were the subjects of Hollywood Beach development and Dungeness Spit proposals.
Our League was recognized as an official chapter of the League of Women Voters of the United States in 1968. During the ensuing years, the League has organized local studies and advocated on many issues of significance to the residents of Clallam County. Highlights have included opposition to Port Angeles Harbor becoming an oil port and the development of positions on: natural resources including forests and water; growth management; local agriculture and sustainability; county charter government; health care for all; and local and state taxation.