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Ninety-three years ago today, the 19th amendment to the Constitution was passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification. The 19th amendment would take over a year to be ratified. It would not be until August of 1920 when women finally gained the right to vote. In between June 4, 1919 and August 18, 1920, the League of Women Voters was founded with the expressed intent to help 20 million women carry out their new responsibilities as voters.
We were founded by Carrie Chapman Catt during the convention of the National American Women Suffrage Association on February 14, 1920. The League began as a "mighty political experiment.” The League encouraged women to use their new power to participate in the democratic process by shaping public policy. From the beginning, the League has been an activist, grassroots organization whose leaders believed that citizens should play a critical role in advocacy. League founders believed that maintaining a nonpartisan stance would protect the fledgling organization from becoming mired in the party politics of the day. However, League members were encouraged to be political themselves, by educating citizens about, and lobbying for, government and social reform legislation.
Today, we reflect back on our history and pay respect to the women who paved the way for women’s suffrage and the founding of our organization.