League of Women VotersCarrie Chapman Catt founded the League of Women Voters in 1920, six months before the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Catt was certain the new voting responsibilities would need support, as would oversight to ensure voting rights remained protected.
The League of Women Voters (LWV) relies on grassroots organizing to encourage people to use their voting power to shape public policy and to play a critical role in advocacy. The LWV has always been committed to maintaining a nonpartisan stance and does not oppose or endorse candidates or political parties, but LWV can and does lobby for government and social reform legislation.
LWV OF THE MIDLAND AREA
The LWV-Midland provisional league began in kitchens and living rooms with a group of women from Church Women
United. It was recognized as a 93-member full-fledged league the following year, with Pinky Snow as president.
LWV-Midland has not shied away from controversy. President Mary Dee Rieke (1971-1973) remembered one financial advisor so incensed by the League’s position on education financing, he “vowed not only to withhold his own future support, but also to encourage all his acquaintances to do likewise,” and one public forum was “so rowdy, it had to be temporarily adjourned as a cooling off period.” In the early 1980s, tensions rose after the LWV called for more public input regarding the proposed nuclear plant.
LWV-Midland serves the community by providing information about candidates and issues for general and local elections, hosting candidate forums, sponsoring programs and discussion groups, such as the Great Decisions program, and providing voter registration information. LWV-Midland has provided Voter Guides since 1971 and has aired candidate forums on Midland cable television (now MCTV) since 1989. The first online voting guide, at VOTE411.org was published in 2012.