The NATIONAL League of Women Voters was founded in 1920 during the convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. just six months before the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, giving women the right to vote after a 72-year struggle.
For years, membership in the League of Women Voters’ Chicago Chapter remained at a plateau, but all that changed after the Presidential election last November.
Frustrated voters – many of whom are younger women (and men) joined the League in droves. Membership doubled to more than 300.
“A lot of people began to realize that the civic work we do really matters,” says Annie Logue, a financial consultant and professor who is the League president. “Rather than posting their disappointment on Facebook or signing change.org petitions, people were looking for ways to take action. Just because your preferred candidate didn’t win doesn’t mean you have to give up your voice.”
The League of Women Voters is a 97-year-old non-partisan organization whose mission is to encourage active participation in government through education and advocacy. Members can participate in a variety of ways, including voter registration drives, lobbying elected public officials, helping organize numerous events often featuring elected public officials, and serving as moderators for political candidate forums. Issues they address and take positions on include the environment, healthcare,housing, and better government.
“We are also very concerned about attempts at voter suppression,” says Logue. “The President’s Advisory Committee on Election Integrity has requested voter records from all 50 states, ostensibly to investigate instances of illegal voting. Many believe they’re simply trying to discourage certain groups of people from voting. We can’t let that happen.”
For more information, including how you can help,visit lwvchicago.org