The League of Women Voters of California Education Fund conducts our voter service and civic education activities. It is a 501(c)(3) corporation, a nonpartisan non-profit educational organization, which:
- Builds participation in the democratic process.
- Studies key community issues at all government levels in an unbiased manner.
- Enables people to seek positive solutions to public policy issues through education and conflict management.
Donations made to the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund are fully tax-deductible.
Principles are concepts of government, supported by the League as a whole, which constitute the authorization for adoption of national, state and local Program.
The League of Women Voters believes…
- in representative government and in the individual liberties established in the Constitution of the United States.
- that democratic government depends upon informed and active participation in government and requires that governmental bodies protect the citizen's right to know by giving adequate notice of proposed actions, holding open meetings and making public records accessible.
- that responsible government should maintain an equitable and flexible system of taxation, promote the conservation and development of natural resources in the public interest, share in the solution of economic and social problems which affect the general welfare, promote a sound economy, and adopt domestic policies which facilitate the solution of international problems.
- that efficient and economical government requires competent personnel, the clear assignment of responsibility, adequate financing, and coordination among the different agencies and levels of government.
- that cooperation with other nations is essential in the search for solutions to world problems, and that the development of international organization and international law is imperative in the promotion of world peace.
- that every citizen should be protected in the right to vote; that every person should have access to free public education which provides equal opportunity for all; and that no person or group should suffer legal, economic, or administrative discrimination.
Visions, Beliefs, and Intentions
The goal of the League of Women Voters of California is to empower Californians to shape better communities worldwide.
We are a nonpartisan political membership organization, which:
- acts after study and member agreement to achieve solutions in the public interest on key community issues at all government levels
- builds civic participation in the democratic process
- engages communities in promoting positive solutions to public policy issues through education and advocacy.
We believe in:
- respect for individuals
- the value of diversity
- the empowerment of the grassroots, both within the League and in communities
- the power of collective decision making for the common good.
- act with trust, integrity and professionalism
- operate in an open and effective manner to meet the needs of those we serve, both members and the public
- take the initiative in seeking diversity in membership
- acknowledge our heritage as we seek out path to the future.
The League of Women Voters was formed in 1920 as an outgrowth of the movement to give women the right to vote following the passage of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That amendment was ratified in 1920, after a 72-year struggle. The League was characterized as a "mighty political experiment" designed to help 20 million women carry out their new responsibilities as voters. It encouraged them to use their new power to participate in shaping public policy.
Carrie Chapman Catt is generally credited as being the founder of the League. When she first wrote of how she envisioned the League in April 1919, she wrote, "The politicians used to ask why we wanted to vote. They seemed to think we want to do something particular with it, something we were not telling about. They did not understand that women wanted to help improve the general welfare of the people."
What issues has the League actively addressed?
Since its founding, the League has indeed helped improve the general welfare of the people. Some of the League's earliest causes included support for child labor laws, minimum wage, compulsory education and equal opportunity for women. Some of these issues affected the creation of laws that are still in force today.
A brief review of some other issues in which the League took a leadership role reads like a historical summary of our nation. The League has been involved in environmental issues, the fight against poverty and discrimination, the civil rights movement, reproductive freedom, health care reform and became a major advocate for campaign finance reform.
How does the League enhance democracy?
Many people talk about how we need greater participation from the public, but it may seem hard to find models of how to really put this to practice. The League of Women Voters is a model of participation in the democratic process at local, regional, state and federal levels.