What Is the League of Women Voters' Mission?
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.
What Does the League Do Now?
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 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.
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.
Other League Organizations
History of the League of Women Voters
Read a short history of the League of Women Voters.
History of the League of Women Voters of Jackson County
The League of Women Voters of Jackson County joined the League of Women Voters of the United States in 1927, just 7 years after the formation of the group in February of 1920 in Chicago. It, like the LWVUS, formed from former members of the National American Women’s Suffrage Association, who had spent many years fighting for the right for women to vote.
One could say they came in with a bang, because they organized within a month of the most disastrous tornado in US and Midwest history. The tornado of 1927 came through southern Illinois, wiping out parts of Jackson County, especially Murphysboro.
The LWVJC was active from the earliest days, pushing for local issues like court reforms which would allow women to serve on Juries, and child labor laws which would reduce the amount of child labor on local farms.
They lobbied with other leagues across the country and state for the creation of the United Nations in the 1940s, passage of the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act in the 1970s. In the 1960s they studied and lobbied for the managerial form of city government for Carbondale. In the 2000s they studied water privatization and fought for a city ordinance that would prohibit the sale of our water system without significant public input.
Believing the best voters are informed voters, the LWVJC has organized public candidate forums for every election, bringing to the public candidates for governor, congress, city council and county offices. The number of individuals registered to vote in Jackson County by the members of the LWVJC is in the thousands. It has provided a voice of reason and study in the chaotic political scene.