‘Making Democracy Work’: National League of Women Voters’ 100th anniversary
February 14, 2020, marks the centennial anniversary of the founding of the League of Women Voters and the passing of the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote. There are more than 750 local Leagues in the United States, which engage in advocacy, voter registrations, outreach, and leadership development.
The League is the only “nonpartisan” group that provides education on issues affecting citizen and their voting privileges and information on legislation in our democracy. Vote411.org is the “one-stop shop” for registration forms, voter photo ID requirements, early voting options, polling place locations, and more.
Most recent efforts nationally and especially in Pennsylvania have been civic engagements and education by increasing awareness of the fair redistricting process. This is a crucial component that will empower individuals to effectively advocate for their communities and hold their legislative leaders accountable to the voters.
This is the 58th year since the formation of the Warren League of Women Voters. The League bi-annually publishes a “Government Directory” leaflet funded by the Sally Sokolski Memorial Fund and the Community Foundation of Warren County. It includes contacts for federal, state and Warren County officials. In past years, a 24-page ” Know Your County” publication was prepared for Warren citizens to learn where to get help and to make contacts with county government-related organizations. Both publication as are online at www.lwvwc.org.
Examples of public education meetings will come in March when the League sponsors an informative program on the 2020 Census as part of Sunshine Week — March 11th at the Warren Library Slater Room from 4 to 6:30 pm. Periodically, “conversation and coffee” informal hours are held on issues for the public to hear from the professionals on various subjects.
High school voter registration occurs in cooperation with Warren County School District and Tidioute Community Charter School teachers to register high school students to vote, plus learn the importance of voting.
The Warren County Voter Registrar Director, Lisa Rivett, provides mock voting exercises with the voting machine in classrooms while League members provide education on current issues and voter registration.
Currently, in the Warren Public Library entrance is a LWV historical and current display of the 100th anniversary. The League has supported various suffrage era programs held by county organizations including the 2019 Fall presentation of Susan B. Anthony at the Struthers Library Theatre with funding provided by Zonta Club of Warren; and Traci Langworthy of Jamestown Community College speaking on local suffragette Elnora Monroe Babcock at the Wilder Museum, coordinated by the Warren County Historical Society suffragette programming. More anniversary celebrations will be coming this year, including Warren-native Penny Colman, author of suffragette books, at the Warren Public Library this summer. For information on joining the league or coming events, go to www.lwvwc.org.
For 100 years after the national League was founded in 1920, members of the League are proud of the great progress achieved with it coming to truly “Making Democracy Work.”