This article originally appeared in the New Jersey Tomato Press.

This month, the League of Women Voters kicks off a year-long celebration, marking the organization’s 95th anniversary. The League of Women Voters of Montclair Area, NJ joins our nearly 800 fellow local and state chapters in honoring this milestone.

“Ninety-five years after the League’s founding, members of the League in Montclair Area, NJ are proud of the great progress it has made in Making Democracy Work ®,” said Doris Schapira of Montclair, member of the Board of Directors of the League of Women Voters of Montclair

Area. “The League has involved thousands of voters in electing government decision makers and in holding them accountable for their actions.”

Breaking down barriers is one of the many achievements this local club has accomplished.

“Today's barriers to the right to vote certainly look different from the way they looked when the League was founded, but they remain threats to voter participation in Montclair Area, NJ all the

same,” Lois Donegan of Montclair, Board of Directors member, said. “Our efforts to take on discrimination and improve our government and our democracy continue today.”

Johanna Edge, treasurer, from West Caldwell, aded, “The League has been powered by the efforts of civic volunteers and activists in Montclair Area towns and throughout the United States over the decades, to successfully take on a range of key

issues. Not only have we undertaken sustained efforts to improve the voting process and to protect the environment in the Montclair

Area, NJ over the years, but the national League has played widely acclaimed roles in nationwide efforts, including the creation of the United Nations and the protection of Americans’ civil liberties from the 1950s on.”

As for the future, members promise much more.

“As we look to a vibrant future, we’re excited by the fact that our dedicated members across Montclair Area, NJ are increasingly being joined by significant numbers of online activists across the community and country, who share the League’s commitment to Making Democracy Work®,” said Elizabeth Santeramo, of Verona, member.

“We will continue to fight voter discrimination and to keep secret money out of our elections in order to ensure that our elections are fair, free and accessible.”

Other goals will be to push for more success for health care and more.

“We’ll also continue to push for improved access to health care as well as a sustainable planet for everyone," noted Board member Susan Marano of Bloomfield. "All the while, the League’s historic commitment to register, educate and mobilize voters is not only stronger, but more effective than ever, utilizing such tools as VOTE411.org, a

cutting-edge election information website utilized by millions of voters each election cycle.

Schapira and Santeramo added “We are proud that the League of Women Voters of the Montclair area recently enabled the League of Women Voters of the US and all the local and state Leagues

in the United States to have a position against human trafficking, enabling all Leagues in the country to lobby government officials and educate the public on this problem, in order not only to ensure better legislation but also to ensure the action on this legislation to make the world safer for all.”

As the League of Women Voters celebrates this historic anniversary, their centennial is on everyone's minds.

“Today, as we mark the League’s 95th anniversary, and see our 100th birthday quickly approaching, we celebrate our many accomplishments,” concluded Jennette Williams, Board of

Directors member from Montclair, “League members throughout the Montclair Area, NJ are keeping our eyes and our energies firmly on the future and the actions we will be undertaking to realize our goal: A better Montclair Area, NJ and a better America.”

The website for the League of Women Voters of the Montclair Area can be found at www.lwvmontclairarea.org

URL: 
http://lwv.org/content/league-women-voters-montclair-area-nj-celebrates-95th-anniversary