For nearly 100 years the League has stood strong, growing into the vital force we are today: changing our political system and supporting millions of voters. Across the country, we continue to have impact in all 50 states, from local communities to the halls of Congress.
In 1920, our founder Carrie Chapman Catt believed that within five years, a League of Women Voters could give millions of women voters a crash course in civic engagement and launch them into the American political system.
The League was a safe-haven for women, regardless of formal party affiliation, to find their voices on issues that mattered to them. As one early leader described it, the League is “like a university without walls … whose members enter to learn and remain to shape the curriculum.” Over the nearly 10 decades of our existence, the League of Women Voters has applied the lessons learned in our earliest days to engage and empower all voters.
As we approach our 100th Anniversary we are reminded that government of the people, by the people and for the people, cannot function without active involvement of the people. Like our democracy, the League has been through prosperous times and lean times and the League remains a force for change today because our members and supporters have never lost sight of the importance of the voice of the people.
Even more important than our celebrated past or the impact we have in the present, are the hopes and goals we have for our future.
This toolkit is intended to encourage all of us to explore and celebrate our past, and shape our collective centennial celebration.
Thank you for all you are doing and all the plans you are making!
Wylecia Wiggs Harris