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Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Voting and Election Experts, NPR’s Wade Goodwyn Address Delegates
WASHINGTON, DC – The League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) held its 51st biennial national convention this week in Dallas, Texas. The four-day gathering gave League members from around the country the opportunity to celebrate the organization’s accomplishments on voting rights, campaign finance reform and the environment, and to discuss important public policy issues.
In her acceptance speech, the League’s reelected national president Elisabeth MacNamara challenged delegates: “Our communities are stronger because the Leagues are there. Let’s not be afraid to keep getting in the way and make a difference on big money and campaign finance reform, redistricting, climate change and voters’ rights.”
MacNamara thanked members for entrusting her with a third term and the leadership of this storied organization approaching its 100th anniversary. “Thank you for faith in the League and the future.”
Throughout the gathering, delegates rallied around the League’s 2014 Power the Vote initiative for their elections work this year, and set the LWVUS program agenda for the next two years, vowing to continue our fight for voting rights and campaign finance reform. In addition, delegates reinforced the League’s efforts to combat climate change and adopted a three-part program focusing on key structures of American democracy, including campaign finance reform, the constitutional amendment process, and redistricting reform for the U.S. Congress. The League also adopted a position on human trafficking enabling state and local Leagues across the country to take action protecting victims of such crimes.
“League delegates are deeply concerned about the big money that is polluting our elections,” said MacNamara. “At Convention, we came together and pledged to educate our communities and fight in our legislatures to protect our democracy.”
Convention speakers included Houston Mayor Annise Parker, NPR’s Wade Goodwyn, Steven Murdock of Rice University, Governing Magazine’s Peter Harkness, Former U.S. Election Assistance Commissioner Ray Martinez, Ann McGeehan, the former Director of the Texas Elections Division, Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, Peter Levine of CIRCLE and Patrick Bresette of Public Works. All of the speakers commended the League for our work on behalf of neighborhoods and voters throughout the country and urged the organization to press forward using our community-based power on the critical issues of the day including money in politics, voter protection and environmental issues.
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.