This article originally appeared in the Journal & Courier.

By Patsy Hoyer

Democracy is not a spectator sport.

The League of Women Voters has been helping ensure democracy for 95 years. Celebration is in order. The League of Women Voters was founded in 1920, after women's right to vote became law. The suffragettes realized that women needed to know how to register to vote and needed nonpartisan information to make informed choices in the voting booth. The public still needs this information, and along the way men have become members.

The League also advocates for various issues after study, without regard for person or political party.

In Lafayette during the 1970s and '80s, we advocated for better solid waste management, obtaining an EPA grant to bring attention to this. We advocated for getting rid of the open dumps on the banks of the Wabash River, where runoff was polluting the water, and for city pickup of recycling.

The League has advocated for: expanded parks and recreational opportunities in Tippecanoe County for more than four decades; housing safety codes for rentals; reproductive health options; libraries; children in the juvenile justice system; and LGBT rights.

Voting rights and information continue to be core. We will be registering voters; maintaining Vote411.org, where candidates post their own views online during election seasons; co-hosting candidate and legislative forums; observing procedures at the polls; and following numerous bills in the state legislature. We are advocating for an independent commission to redraw districts as required by law every 10 years.

Why? We need a civil nonpartisan voice to help keep democracy working. Join us at lafayetteleague.com and friend us on Facebook.

Patsy Hoyer

president, League of Women Voters of Greater Lafayette

URL: 
http://lwv.org/content/happy-95th-anniversary-league-women-voters