Organization Elects Chris Carson of California as New National President

WASHINGTON, DC – The League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) held its 52nd biennial national convention this week in Washington, DC and set its agenda for the next biennium. Through the Making Democracy Work® campaign, the League will fundamentally reshape our democracy by engaging millions more voters in the election process and strengthening the laws that govern money in politics, redistricting and voting rights so that it is free, fair and accessible to all.

Today, Chris Carson of Burbank, California was elected unanimously by the more than 700 delegates gathered at the Marriott Wardman Park. Carson, elected to serve a two-year term, will be the national organization’s 19th president.

In her acceptance speech, Carson thanked members for entrusting her with the leadership of this 96-year-old organization. “It’s an honor and a privilege to stand here today, thank you for choosing me to be your president. There is no doubt that today, our political situation is appalling, but it is not new. Much of our society’s greatest progress is born out of challenging times and the same can happen today as we tap the power of women to create a more perfect democracy.”

Throughout the gathering, delegates rallied around the League’s 2016 Campaign for Making Democracy Work®, setting the League’s agenda for the next two years, vowing to continue our fight for the voters. In addition, delegates reinforced the League’s commitment to combat climate change and protect the environment, adopted strong statements on gun safety and DC statehood, and expanded its position on health care to include access to behavioral health services.

A League member since 1983, Carson served as the government director of the California League from 2005-2009 and was first elected to a two-year term on the League’s national Board in 2014. Carson has led the League’s redistricting reform task force for the past four years and has been the organization’s national advocacy chair since 2014.

Throughout the weekend, convention participants heard from a variety of speakers including Give Us the Ballot author and journalist Ari Berman, NPR’s Peter Overby, Joe Goldman of the Democracy Fund, Jennifer Lawless of American University’s Women & Politics Institute, Amanda Taub of Vox & the New York Times, Keesha Gaskins of Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Lake Research Partners’ President Celinda Lake. A panel of election experts on protecting and expanding the electorate was held on Saturday and included Christine Chen, APIAVote; Kristen Clark, Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; and Arturo Vargas, NALEO. All of the speakers commended the League and urged the organization to press forward using our community-based power on the critical issues of the day.

Contact: Kelly Ceballos, 202-263-1331 or kceballos@lwv.org.

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The League of Women Voters is celebrating 96 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!