Our Mission and Roles
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy. We never support or oppose any political party or candidate.
The League of Women Voters has two separate and distinct roles.
Voter Services/Citizen Education
We present unbiased nonpartisan information about elections, the voting process, and issues. To conduct our voter service and citizen education activities, we use funds from the League of Women Voters of Colorado Education Fund, which is a 501(c)(3) corporation, a nonprofit educational organization
Action and Advocacy
We remain nonpartisan, but, we use our positions to advocate for or against particular policies in the public interest. The League of Women Voters takes action only after members have studied an issue and agreed on a position.Our Vision, Beliefs and Intentions guide our activities.
OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM
The 2021-2022 LWVLPC Leadership Team welcomes you
Board of Directors
Laurie Meininger, President
Diane Goodchild, Vice President
Siggy Palmer, Treasurer
Martha Mason, Secretary
Trish Pegram, Director at Large
Alex Lemmel, Director at Large
Jean Aaro, Past President
Vacant – Voter Services Team
Diane Goodchild – Membership Team
Alex Lemmel – JEDI Team
Jan Phillips – Health Care Action and Advocacy Team
Gale Zander-Barlow – Climate Action and Advocacy Team
Vacant – Communications & Technology Team, Webmaster
What does nonpartisan mean to us
Since its founding, the League of Women Voters committed to neither support or oppose any political party or candidate for public office. This tradition continues today to ensure that the League’s voice is heard above the tumult of party politics. The non-partisan has added strength to the League’s position on issues. It has made possible wide acceptance of League voter service and other educational activities.
Nonpartisan means that the League never supports or opposes political parties or candidates or appointees. All League members need to remember that the League’s reputation for fairness is long-standing and hard-won and needs to be guarded.
Although we DO NOT support candidates, we do research, recommend, and support ballot issues that are supported by League positions. The League is a political organization and encourages members to participate fully in the party of their choice. It is an advantage to the League to have politically active members, and equally important, it can be a personally satisfying experience.
“In the League of Women Voters we have an anomaly; we are going to be a semi-political body. We want political things; we want legislation; we’re going to educate for citizenship. In that body we have got to be non-partisan and all-partisan. Democrats from Alabama and Republicans from New Hampshire must work for the same things.” – Carrie Chapman Catt at the League’s founding in Chicago, 1920
What does this mean for Members?
Individual League members are encouraged to be politically active. However, when they participate in partisan activities, they may not identify themselves as League members. A League will be a strong and effective political force to the degree that it can deal with and accept controversy and live with uncertainty. Keep in mind that conflict of interest may arise between a “board” member’s paid employment and her or his role in the League.
No member (including officers) may speak for the League unless they have first obtained review and approval by a majority of Administrative Team of the proposed statement.
Key Member Restrictions
Certain individuals who have high public visibility as officers or leaders of the League (Key Members) are restricted from partisan activity.
STATE & LOCAL LEAGUES
MEMBERS & SUPPORTERS
VOTERS REACHED IN 2018
VOTING RIGHTS VICTORIES
The League of Women Voters of La Plata County is a nonprofit, non-partisan political organization that encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government; works to increase understanding of major public policy issues; and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Our members, women and men ages 16 and up, volunteer their time year round to help Make Democracy Work!
We are a member of the national League of Women Voters which was formed when women finally gained the right to vote in 1920. Throughout the League’s nearly 100 year history and working in all states, the League focus has been to expand participation and give a voice to all Americans. It never endorses, supports or opposes any political candidate or political party. We are also a member of the state League of Women Voters of Colorado
History of the League of Women Voters
Access the Archives of the League of Women Voters of La Plata County maintained at Fort Lewis College in The Center of Southwest Studies Collection M139.
A short History of the League of Women Voters.
The League of Women Voters started after women got the right to vote.
In her address to the National American Woman Suffrage Association’s (NAWSA) 50th convention in St. Louis, Missouri, President Carrie Chapman Catt proposed the creation of a “league of women voters to finish the fight and aid in the reconstruction of the nation.” Women Voters was formed within the NAWSA, composed of the organizations in the states where suffrage had already been attained.
The next year, on February 14, 1920 – six months before the 19th amendment to the Constitution was ratified – the League was formally organized in Chicago as the national League of Women Voters. Catt described the purpose of the new organization:
“The League of Women Voters is not to dissolve any present organization but to unite all existing organizations of women who believe in its principles. It is not to lure women from partisanship but to combine them in an effort for legislation which will protect coming movements, which we cannot even foretell, from suffering the untoward conditions which have hindered for so long the coming of equal suffrage. Are the women of the United States big enough to see their opportunity?”
Maud Wood Park became the first national president of the League and thus the first League leader to rise to the challenge. She had steered the women’s suffrage amendment through Congress in the last two years before ratification and liked nothing better than legislative work. From the very beginning, however, it was apparent that the legislative goals of the League were not exclusively focused on women’s issues and that citizen education aimed at all of the electorate was in order.
Since its inception, the League has helped millions of women and men become informed participants in government. In fact, the first league convention voted 69 separate items as statements of principle and recommendations for legislation. Among them were protection for women and children, right of working women, food supply and demand, social hygiene, the legal status of women, and American citizenship. The League’s first major national legislative success was the passage of the Sheppard-Towner Act providing federal aid for maternal and child care programs. In the 1930’s, League members worked successfully for enactment of the Social Security and Food and Drug Acts. Due at least in part to League efforts, legislation passed in 1938 and 1940 removed hundreds of federal jobs from the spoils system and placed them under Civil Service.
During the postwar period, the League helped lead the effort to establish the United Nations and to ensure U.S. Participation. The League was one of the first organizations in the country officially recognized by the United Nations as a non-governmental organization; it still maintains official observer status today.