What is our mission? How are we structured? What is our history?
The League of Women Voters is a three-part organization encompassing national, state, and local Leagues. LWVUS sets the guiding principles of the LWV and sets national policy and positions. State Leagues act to foster statewide consensus on policy related to state issues and acts as an aid to local Leagues. Local Leagues work on local issues in accordance with national and state policy and provide voter education and voter registration.
LWVGR may take action on local government measures and policies in the public interest in conformity with the Principles of the League of Women Voters United States (LWVUS). It shall not support or oppose any political party or candidate.
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.
Our Vision, Beliefs, and Intentions guide our activities.
The League seeks to remove barriers to participation in any League activity on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, national origin and socio-economic position.
The League seeks to promote diversity and pluralism through its programs, committees and partnerships with other organizations.
Samples of LWVWC's activities by decade include the following
In the 1920's, LWVWC challenged a local vote tally, obtained affidavids to support their contention, and won support for training of election judges.
In the 1930's, when women were finally able to serve on juries, Dr. Mildred Berry arranged a jury school for members of LWVWC.
In the 1940's, considerable efforts were made to establish a county health department, which would become a reality decades later.
In the 1950's, LWVWC delegates to national convention stood up to the McCarthy intimidation by adopting the Freedom Agenda and bringing Bill of Rights education to their communities.
In the 1960's, the Local Government Committee of LWVWC organized a luncheon featuring a John Howard Association speaker to raise awareness regarding the need of a new jail. Not long after this pivotal event, a citizen's committee for a new jail was established (although the jail would not become a reality until 1976.)
through citizen education efforts, the League successfully called for an Illinois Constitutional Convention in 1968, hoping to address the dire need for a new state constitution.
In the 1970's, the Protect Our Water and Environmental Resources (POWER) was established to address the issue of groundwater protection.
In the 1980's, a League-sponsored study of environmental issues led to a voice in the Byron, Illinois nuclear plant licensing, thereby improving plant safety.
In the 1990's, the LWVWC launched the Youth Groundwater Festival (YGF) as well as a State of the Community event, during which elected officials and citizens discussed relevant issues.
Through seven prosperous decades, LWVWC has addressed Voter Service, Education, Economic Welfare, Public Health, Government Structure, and International Relations.
The League of Women Voters of Rockford The Rockford League of Women Voters was founded April 22, 1922, two years after the state organization had been established. Among the Rockford Leagues's charter members were: Julia Lathrop, noted for her work on the Children's Bureau and the League of Nation's Commission; Mabel Ashton Johnson, the founder of the Visiting Nurses Association; and Kate O'Connor, a founder of the State League of Women Voters and coordinator of Illinois' welfare program for women and children. The Rockford League's first President was Mrs. William C. Free. Through a concentration on such topics as International Relations, Economic Welfare, Government Structure, Public Health, and Voter Services, the Rockford League pursues its purpose "...to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government." (By-laws, amended April 26, 1980). These efforts have involved the Rockford League in redevelopment projects, the push for a state constitutional convention, and a serious review of local government structure. In all their activities, the Rockford League of Women Voters remains politically nonpartisan.