Making Democracy Work

About the League

As a nonpartisan political organization, we encourage individuals to play an informed and active role in government. Working at local, state, and national levels, we welcome men and women to join us as we work together to influence public policy through education and advocacy.

Our Mission and Roles

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues and influences public policy through education and advocacy. The purposes of the League are:

  • To establish positions on public policy through members' research study and consensus and/or concurrence.

  • To take concerted actions that secure and support policies consitent with league positions.

  • To enhance citizen participation in federal, state and local government decisions.

  • To increase citizen particiapion in the election process.

The League of Women Voters has two separate and distinct roles.

  • Voters Service/Citizen Education: we present unbiased nonpartisan information about elections, the voting process, and issues.

  • Action/Advocacy: we are also nonpartisan, but, after study, we use our positions to advocate for or against particular policies in the public interest.

To conduct our voter service and citizen education activities, we use funds from the League of Women Voters of Wilmette Education Fund, which is a 501(c)(3) corporation, a nonprofit educational organization. The League of Women Voters, a membership organization, conducts action and advocacy and is a nonprofit 501(c)(4) corporation.

Our Vision, Beliefs, and Intentions guide our activities.

Other League Organizations

History of the League of Women Voters

90th Anniversary of the Ratification of the 19th Amendment -August 2010

August 2010 marked the 90th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment to the Constitution. The amendment guarantees all American women the right to vote. Achieving this milestone required a lengthy and difficult struggle; victory took decades of agitation and protest. Beginning in the mid-19th century, several generations of woman suffrage supporters lectured, wrote, marched, lobbied, and practiced civil disobedience to achieve what many Americans considered a radical change of the Constitution. Few early supporters lived to see final victory in 1920. The League of Women Voters was founded in the spirit of the suffrage movement. In her address to the National American Woman Suffrage Association's (NAWSA) 50th convention in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1919, President Carrie Chapman Catt proposed the creation of a league of women voters to "finish the fight" and aid in the reconstruction of the nation. And so, a League of Women Voters was formed within NAWSA, composed of the organizations in the states where woman suffrage had already been attained. The next year, on February 14, 1920, six months before the 19th amendment to the Constitution was ratified, the League was formally organized in Chicago as the National League of Women Voters. Catt described the purpose of the new organization: "The League of Women Voters is not to dissolve any present organization but to unite all existing organizations of women who believe in its principles. It is not to lure women from partisanship but to combine them in an effort for legislation which will protect coming movements, which we cannot even foretell, from suffering the untoward conditions which have hindered for so long the coming of equal suffrage. Are the women of the United States big enough to see their opportunity?"