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Top Reflections From Our 102nd Birthday

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On February 14, 2022, the League celebrated its 102nd anniversary. In addition to events hosted by Leagues across the country, LWVUS hosted a virtual rally uniting us as One League Together, during which we celebrated over a century of accomplishments with words, song, and purple and gold pom-poms. 

The event featured speakers from the League, Black Voters Matter, the Workers Circle, and Declaration For American Democracy, and performers from the Peace Poets. Here are the reflections we're taking with us:

Democracy is never guaranteed.

-Dr. Deborah Ann Turner, director of the Board of the League of Women Voters of the US

The League has existed for over a century not only because of the ongoing support of pro-voter Americans, but also because its work continues to be relevant.

Hundreds of anti-voter bills were proposed in 2021, and we know that more are in the works. Redistricting is underway, and we're seeing gerrymandered maps across the US. The people of DC remain disenfranchised, and millions of young, Black, brown, female, disabled, and elderly Americans face disproportionate challenges when casting their ballot.

Democracy depends on us. To defend the freedom to vote in your community, find a League near you.

When Black people in Alabama are redistricted out of fair representation...when transgender college students are denied the ability to cast their ballot because their ID does not match up...when an elderly, Native American woman without reliable mail service is no longer able to have her ballot picked up by a voting rights organization...this is not only an injury to [them], but to all Americans.

-Noelle Damico, director of social justice for the Workers Circle

A democracy that is not representative of us all is not a true democracy. Americans have long valued the concept that every person is equally entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This cannot be true in a system that favors or challenges people based on their race, political party, or any other factors.

That's why we're fighting racial and partisan gerrymandering in legislation across the country, and why we've made our voting rights resource, VOTE411, completely available in English and Spanish. It's why we're dedicated to expanding our focus and learning from allied organizations so that we can build a better, more inclusive movement and fight for an America that represents us all.

Federal legislation is not the only place to make change. In fact, [federal bill] the Freedom to Vote Act was built off of legislative wins that had already happened across the country.

-Jana Morgan, director of Declaration for American Democracy

It's easy to focus on action and elections at the federal level, but state and local politics can be just as impactful. That's important to remember ahead of the 2022 primaries, when new representatives will be elected across all states, US territories, and DC. 

What's at stake in your upcoming elections, and how can you make your voice heard? Find out at VOTE411.

People literally cannot afford to vote because they cannot afford to stand in line, because we're seeing attacks on vote by mail, early voting, [etc].

-Wanda Mosley, national field director of Black Voters Matter

Many voting restrictions, such as limited voting hours that interfere with common work shifts, sparse polling locations that force voters to travel, and the restriction of early and mail-in voting, which exacerbates voting wait-times, make it more difficult for working Americans to cast their ballots.

Those who cannot afford to take time off work and/or travel long distances to cast their votes during limited windows of time are essentially shut out of the democratic process.

We fight for federal voting rights legislation that makes the vote accessible to all people regardless of their employment situation, location, or financial status.

Let your representatives know that they need to support pro-voter reforms.

Our founding members included tens of thousands of women immigrant workers, women who...after winning critical rights at work, turned their attention to the suffrage movement and fought for the right of all women to vote.

-Ann Toback, CEO of the Workers Circle

The voting rights movement does not stand alone. Rather, we work in partnership with the labor, racial justice, and climate preservation movements, among many others. Any issue that impacts a person's ability to live in a free and just system is relevant to voting rights work. 

We know we'll be working with all these movements and more in 2022.

Want to be a part of our 102nd year? You can support the League by joining or making a donation in celebration of our birthday!

Let's make this our strongest year yet.

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to empower voters and defend democracy.