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Our Legacy

We believe in the power of women to create a more perfect democracy

That's been our vision since 1920, when the League of Women Voters was founded by suffrage leader Carrie Chapman Catt, just a few months before the 19th Amendment became law.

Our founders embarked on a “mighty political experiment” to empower women at the polls through grassroots advocacy and nonpartisan voter education.

Throughout the last century, we never stopped moving towards a future where every voter is empowered to play a critical role in our democracy. 

We’ve fought for the rights of voters, we’ve built alliances that strengthen democracy across the globe, and in the years since we hosted the Presidential debates, we’ve stood strong in our role as advocates for informed participation in government. 

But we haven’t always done it perfectly. 

The suffrage movement was not inclusive of all women, and neither was the League. Black suffragists were forced to walk at the back of parades. The League deliberately created barriers for women of color to join and lead the organization. The women who achieved power through the passage of the 19th Amendment were unfortunately reluctant to expand that power to other women who didn’t look like them.

The League of Women Voters has made mistakes. And as we move into our second century, we are striving to do better. 

The League today is more diverse, more inclusive, and more equitable. We know our work is stronger when all women’s voices are heard. As we look to our next 100 years, we aim to build power for the next generation of women leaders and voting rights activists.