WASHINGTON, DC (June 12, 2012)– The League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) held its 50th biennial national convention this week in Washington, DC. The four-day gathering gave League members from around the country the opportunity to celebrate the organization’s accomplishments on campaign finance reform, the environment and election reform, and to discuss important public policy issues.
In her acceptance speech, the League’s reelected president Elisabeth MacNamara challenged delegates: “The League is not an end in itself. We are a training ground for democracy. That is what we have always been and that is what we will always be, working together to learn new ways to spread the word and encourage new generations to learn and engage.”
MacNamara thanked members for entrusting her with the leadership of this 92-year-old organization. “We are all in League together to make our community a better place; we are all in League to make our democracy safe by making it available to all; and we are all in League together in our faith in knowledge as power and education as the only way to make gains that will last.”
Throughout the gathering, delegates rallied around the League’s 2012 Power the Vote initiative for their elections work this year, and set the LWVUS program agenda for the next two years, vowing to continue our fight for voting rights, campaign finance reform and clean air, and voting to study agriculture. DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and Annenberg Public Policy Center's Kathleen Hall Jamieson were just a few of the high profile speakers that addressed the gathering.
“The League is fighting hard to overcome the impact of the Citizens United decision on money in elections and on the floor of convention, League delegates voted to condemn this tragic Supreme Court decision,” said MacNamara. “Now we must continue our important work to bring sunshine and disclosure to the flood of money in elections by passing the DISCLOSE Act of 2012 and continuing to examine a full range of additional steps.”
Convention speakers, including U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Trevor Potter, President of the Campaign Legal Center, Former Congressman Mickey Edwards (R-OK) and Political Reporter Eleanor Clift, urged the League to look closely at the steps needed to fix the broken campaign finance system and to press forward using our community-based power on behalf of all voters and for elections that are determined by the voters.
Said Attorney General Holder, “I urge you – regardless of the opposition you face – to stay true, and remain fiercely committed, to the principles that have always guided the League of Women Voters and that can ensure that the 21st will be another ‘American century.’"
CONTACT: Kelly Ceballos, 202-263-1331