The League of Women Voters of Indiana, as well as League of Women Voters of the United States, turns 90 years old this month. Governor Mitch Daniels has honored the League with a proclamation declaring Feb. 14 League of Women Voters "Making Democracy Work" Day.
League of Women Voters is a three-tiered grassroots membership organization. Operating at the local, state, and national levels, LWV remains strictly nonprofit and nonpartisan. Although its national and some state and big-city offices hire staff, the bulk of LWV effort is the work of volunteers.
The local Greencastle LWV was founded in 1954 and has about 25 members.
Known especially for its voter service, the League registers voters, monitors election procedures, observes public bodies, sponsors candidate forums, urges candidates to participate in information exchanges (both face-to-face and in cyberspace), publishes voters' guides in the Banner Graphic (usually the week before elections) and plans public meetings on topics relevant to the community.
Besides voter service, LWV studies selected issues and, if consensus is reached, advocates for the resulting positions.
"Every Hoosier man and woman should join League of Women Voters, which, despite its name, is actually coed," said League of Women Voters of Indiana president Karen Kay Leonard. "The League is an excellent place to learn. It is a stimulating place to converse. LWV is one of those rare groups where diverse members expect both to encounter new facts and ideas and also to engage in deliberations (always in a civil tone)."
On this 90th birthday, the league salutes its founders -- suffragists such as Carrie Chapman Catt and Maud Wood Park -- as well as those who have carried forward League work through the years. As one aspect of the year's celebration, LWV-Indiana plans a go-see tour to the home of the suffrage movement in Seneca Falls, N.Y.
At the same time, LWV maintains an observer at the Indiana Statehouse and participates in the Indiana Debate Commission. To be part of the distinguished unfolding of League activity is a privilege.
Contact Ann Newton at 653-3856 of the League of Women Voters of Greencastle for information or Karen Kay Leonard of the Indiana LWV via its Web site www.lwvin.org or by calling 317-241-8683.