Cheryl Graeve, far left, with other League staff

In honor of 95 years of Making Democracy Work ®, LWVVUS staff members are sharing stories about their work with the League.

Cheryl Graeve, Senior Director, Membership and Field Support

Pictured: Cheryl Graeve, far left, with other League staff and volunteers

Years at LWVUS, other positions held (if applicable):
16 years

I care about the League’s work because:
I fundamentally believe in democracy and the power of people uniting to create better, more just communities. I especially care about the League’s work because we work hard to genuinely expand the voting franchise, to register and engage all voters – without a partisan lens. I care about the League’s work, too, because of the thousands of volunteers who are as passionate about democracy as I am, and I Iove being in that community of passionate activists!

My favorite experience with the League has been:
There are so many it’s hard to choose!  Perhaps one moment stands out as really touching my heart. It was when former national staffer, Betty Taira, shared her experience of being at the Heart Mountain Japanese Internment Camp in Wyoming as a little girl during WWII with the LWVUS interns and young staffers. I was so struck that she would come out of that experience, not bitter, but dedicated to educating others and actively participating in democratic organizations like the League to ensure that things like that don’t happen again. That intergenerational, civically-minded moment is one of my favorite League moments.

The most inspiring thing I’ve learned from the League and its members is:
That persistence matters. Being involved in issues for the long haul is what will really make long-term change, and League members hold that long, persistent and passionate view and tenacity not to give up. I guess it makes sense, since the League was born out of several generations of women fighting for the right to vote!

In 2015 and beyond, I look forward to the League:
As we march toward our 100th anniversary, I look forward to a League that stands out, strong, visible and proud and carries our mighty trusted democracy muscle forward with bold voices that protect the right to vote, that reduce the power of money and that engage a new generation of leaders to carry our democracy forward.

The League of Women Voters is celebrating 95 years of Making Democracy Work® at every level of government. In 1920, the League was founded as an outgrowth of the movement that secured women the right to vote to help new voters engage with their government. Today, the League empowers all voters to improve their local, state and national government. Learn more about the League of Women Voters and join our celebration!