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About Us: What is the League of Women Voters?

Mission Statement

League Principles

Organization

Press Releases 

Publications

Civics Education Study Fall 2013

Positions 

History

LWVKY Past Presidents



Mission Statement

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.  Members include both women and men.

 

 League Principles

    • The League of Women Voters believes in representative government and in the individual liberties established in the Constitution of the United States.
    • The League of Women Voters believes that democratic government depends upon the informed and active participation of its citizens and requires that governmental bodies protect the citizen’s right to know by giving adequate notice of proposed actions, holding open meetings, and making public records accessible.
    • The League of Women Voters believes that every citizen should be protected in the right to vote, that every person should have access to free public education that provides equal opportunity for all, and that no person or group should suffer legal, economic, or administrative discrimination.
    • The League of Women Voters believes that efficient and economical government requires competent personnel, the clear assignment of responsibility, adequate financing, and coordination among the different agencies and levels of government.
    • The League of Women Voters believes that responsible government should be responsive to the will of the people; that government should maintain an equitable and flexible system of taxation, promote the conservation and development of natural resources in the public interest, share in the solution of economic and social problems that affect the general welfare, promote a sound economy and adopt domestic policies that facilitate the solution of international problems.

 


Organization

LWV, like the nation’s government, is organized at three levels — local, state and national.  Although each League functions independently, all subscribe to the same principles.  One of those principles is to make a thorough study of an issue and come to member consensus on positions before taking action.

Local Leagues study and develop positions on local issues.  State Leagues do the same for state-wide issues.  At the national level, League members from the entire country develop the position statements.

It is this tradition of study and consensus that sets the League apart from most other organizations.  People trust the League because they know that we study issues carefully before taking action.

The League is also a grassroots organization.  In practice, this means that, instead of the national leadership setting the year’s agenda, League members engage in discussion and determine where and how the organization’s energy and resources will be focused in the coming year.  A process of giving “Directions to the Board” is part of the annual meeting at all levels.

History


The League of Women Voters is an outgrowth of the suffragist movement. Carrie Chapman Catt founded the organization in 1920 during the convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. The convention was held only six months before the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, giving women the right to vote after a 57-year struggle.

The League began as a “mighty political experiment” designed to help 20 million women carry out their new responsibilities as voters. It encouraged them to use their new power to participate in shaping public policy. From the beginning, the League was an activist, grassroots organization whose leaders believed that citizens should play a critical role in advocacy. It was then, and is now, a nonpartisan organization. League founders believed that maintaining a nonpartisan status would protect the fledgling organization from becoming mired in the party politics of the day. However, League members were encouraged to be political themselves, by educating citizens about, and lobbying for, government and social reform legislation.

“Naturally, this course has failed to please extremists of either brand,” noted the League’s first president, Maud Wood Park, in 1924. “The partisan radicals call the League conservative, the thorough-going reactionaries are sure that it is radical or worse.” This holds true even today. We are proud that the League is nonpartisan, neither supporting nor opposing candidates at any level of government, but always working on issues of concern to members and the public. The League has a long, rich history.  Read more about the League’s history on the LWVUS website.

 

 
What Does the League Do?

The League works with citizens through the American political process to bring about constructive change.  We REGISTER voters and DEFEND voting rights.  We MONITOR government activities – including city councils, school boards, state legislatures and the U.S. Congress.  We EDUCATE citizens abut their rights and responsibilities.  We SPONSOR candidate forums and public issue forums.  We STUDY issues in order to reach member consensus.  And we TAKE ACTION by lobbying, testifying and educating legislators on issues we care about.  As a nonpartisan body, the League takes action on ISSUES.  We do not support or oppose candidates or parties.

 View a short video produced to introduce the Kentucky League to the June 2016 LWVUS Council.

 


LWVKY Past Presidents

1920-1921         Mary Bronaugh, Louisville

1923-1924         Jessie Leigh Hutchinson (Teddy), Lexington

1924-1925         Mary Sweency  Lexington

1926-1927         Mrs. Keene Arnold, Versailles

1927-1928         Anna Settles, Louisville

1932-                Elizabeth Tachau, Louisville

1933-1935         Mrs. Frederick J. Corm

1935-                Mrs. Miller Haynes

1936-                Mrs. K.P. Vinsel (acting), Louisville

1938-0940         Mrs. A.L. Koethen

1941-1942         Mrs. Lewis Tachau, Louisville

1942-1943         Elizabeth B.Bruce

1944-1945         Elizabeth E. Taylor

1945-1947         Winifred Wilder

1947-1949         Joy Bale, Elizabethtown

1950-                Betty Ladd, Louisville

1951-                Jane Sherago, Lexington

1953-1955         Mary Belle Vandenbosch

1955-1957         Kay Bottigheimer, Louisville

1957-1959         Mrs. James R. Shepherd

1959-1961         Shirley Major    Louisville

1961-1963         Katy Christopherson, Louisville

1963-1966         Annie Mary Stroup, Lexington

1966-1968         Ruth Sanders, Louisville

1969-1969         Hilda Green, Louisville

1969-1971         Ruth Dietrich, Louisville

1971-1973         Beverly Rosenblum, Louisville

1973-1975         Margaret Schwert, Lexington

1975-1977         Pat Stewart, Louisville

1977-1981         Scottie Kenkel, Lexington

1981-1983         Attia Bowmer, Louisville

1983-1985         Douise Steelman, Lexington

1985-1986         Judy Marks, Louisville

1986-1987         Bunny Davey, Louisville

1987-1988         Corinne Whitehead, Paducah

1989-1989         Scottie Kenkel, Lexington

1989-1991         Mary T. Wakefield, Louisville

1991-1993         Carolyn Self &Elizabeth Spencer, Hopkinsville

1993-1995         Reva Hart, Elizabethtown

1995-1997         Jeanne Gage, Berea

1997-1999         Betty Hilliard, Elizabethtown

1999-2001         Terry Naydan, Lexington

2001-2003         Terry Naydan, Lexington

2003-2005         Joan Peoples, Berea

2005-2005         Catherine Mercer, Louisville

2006-2006         Joan Peoples, Berea

2006-2009        Teena Halbig, Louisville

2009-2010         Terry Naydan & Nita Smith, Lexington

2010-2014         Tammy Fagley, Cindy Heine, Lexington; Cecile Schubert, Richmond

2014-15              Tammy Fagley, Cindy Heine, Lexington

2015-17              Terry Naydan, Nita Smith, Lexington

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