This year, the League of Women Voters celebrates our 95th anniversary. The League was founded by suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt on February 14, 1920 - just six months prior to the passage of the 19th Amendment, which secured women the right to vote. But working towards women's suffrage was just the very start. Our work - and our impact - expands far beyond 1920!
Over the past 95 years, state and local Leagues across the country have been fulfilling our mission of Making Democracy Work ® in the areas of voting rights, civic engagement, money in politics, environmental defense, health care and more. And we have a lot to show for it!
In honor of our 95th anniversary, here's a list of six things Americans like you have in part because of the League's work at the local, state and national level.
- Increased access to the ballot.
- Easy ways to register to vote.
A longtime leader in the voter registration arena, the League was a key player in the fight to pass the 1993 National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), commonly known as Motor Voter. The law opened the voting process to millions of Americans by requiring states to provide the opportunity to register to vote at government agencies like Department of Motor Vehicles and social services offices, as well as through mail-in voter registration. We continue to protect and fight for expansion of the NVRA at the state and federal level to ensure our electoral process is accessible to all eligible citizens. At the same time, Leagues across the country hold thousands of voter registration drives each year at baseball games, high schools, college campuses, libraries, naturalization ceremonies, bus stops and more! League volunteers help hundreds of thousands of Americans register to vote in major election years.
- Unbiased voter education information.
- A cleaner elections system.
- Cleaner air and water.
Climate change is the greatest environmental challenge of our generation. From the 1930s on, the League's interest in clean water expanded to include environmental action on all fronts, including fighting attempts to weaken environmental protections and pushing for strong environmental safeguards in the reauthorization of the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. Today, League supporters across the country actively campaign to urge the President and Congress to lead the world in the fight against climate change, including supporting the President's Climate Action Plan and opposing the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
- Improved access to health care and protection of reproductive rights.
We've accomplished a lot in the last 95 years, but there remains more to be done to ensure a better future for all Americans. As the League approaches its 100th anniversary, we're committed to stepping up our work to register more new voters and help all eligible voters participate in our electoral process. We'll also keep pushing for necessary legislation and regulations at the state and federal levels to protect our planet for future generations, keep secret money out of our elections and ensure that our elections are free, fair and accessible for all voters. Want to help make it happen? Join us in the fight.