Welcome to a new year of League! And what a year lies ahead for us!
We will be looking back at the history of women’s suffrage and moving forward together into our next century. Ninety-nine years ago, on August 26, 1920 the United States ratified the 19th Amendment to the Constitution and granted voting rights for some American women. The amendment was introduced in the US Congress in 1878, and took more than 30 years to pass. The State of Washington helped to lead the way being the 5th state to grant women the vote in 1910. The League of Women Voters was founded on February 14, 1920 as women recognized the need for educating themselves to be knowledgeable voters and take their place as full citizens. We will celebrate the centennial with a special event on February 14, 2020.
We will learn more about our history even as we work to fulfill the goals of the League: to empower voters and defend democracy. This fall we will participate in National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, Sept. 24. We have the opportunity to greet voters, help them register or update, and chat about what their important issues are. I encourage all our members to signup for one of the shifts at the 3 libraries around Mason County, Olympic College, or the Mason County Transit Center. Our new signup system is online for the first time! We will have voter registration training by the Mason County elections staff at the county auditor’s office, 10 to noon, Sept. 21. You may help with registration even if you are not able to attend the training because experienced Leaguers will be by your side.
Members will discuss the issues and write postcards to elected officials to support League positions on legislation and policy at our Post Card Parties. The first one will be Thursday, Sept. 26, 11:00 AM at Craft Pie & Art Bar, 118 S. 3rd, Shelton. You can enjoy delicious coffee and snacks or stay for lunch.
Our monthly meetings will begin at 11:00 AM for a half-hour social with time to get to know each other better as well as focus on some of our history. The programs and speakers planned will bring us new ideas about Voting Rights, and we will continue to focus on climate change and environmental issues locally and nation-wide.
I invite you to jump into these issues and opportunities to make a difference in our neighborhoods, Mason County, Washington State, and our country. I do believe that together, we make up an ant army that can move mountains to fulfill our vision:
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.
Together, we can do it!
Cindy Shotts, President