Letter to the Editor

LWV president speaks on organization’s goals

Friday, November 22, 2019

To the Editor:

From the beginning, the League of Women Voters has been a nonpartisan grassroots organization whose leaders believed that citizens should play a critical role in our democracy. For nearly 100 years the League has stood strong, growing into the vital force we are today: Changing our political system and supporting millions of voters.

In 1920, our founder Carrie Chapman Catt believed that within five years, a League of Women Voters could give millions of women voters a crash course in civic engagement and launch them into the American political system. As one early leader described it, the League is “like a university without walls ... whose members enter to learn and remain to shape the curriculum.”

We are focused on the belief that government of the people, by the people and for the people cannot function without active involvement of the people.

The League of Women Voters was born out of the suffrage movement. We acknowledge that the history of the movement in the United States does not always give the whole story — the efforts of women of color were minimized or left out entirely. The League of Women Voters recognizes that, even in its formation and in succeeding years, we did not include women who did not look like its white founders.

Embracing and acknowledging the mistakes of our past is part of what we as an organization must do as we work toward becoming a more inclusive organization that works to improve democracy for everyone through our continued work at national, state and local levels.

The Greencastle chapter of the League of Women Voters is turning 65 this month, however we are not ready to retire: We continue to work in this community to educate voters about the issues through our candidate forums and questionnaires, advocate for better government transparency by educating the public and our government officials about the Open Door Law and Access to Public Records Act, foster better communication through the Community Conversation program and educate our own membership and the community on issues of race/privilege/diversity.

We also work on the state and national level to end gerrymandering, fight voter suppression, end the influence of big money in our elections, fight to protect our planet from the physical, economic and public health effects of climate change, ensure access to health care for all and pass common sense, fair immigration policies that ends the separation of families, and provides a path to citizenship.

Leslie Hanson


Greencastle League of Women Voters