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National League Of Women Celebrates 100 Years, More Than 700 Chapters

During the September League of Women Voters of Warren board meeting, the National League of Women Voters’ 100th anniversary was recognized with buttons and ribbons. The new “Women Vote – 19th Amendment USA” forever postage stamp was shown to the board. Standing, from left, are Phyllis Wright, vice president of communications, and Susan Stout, secretary. Seated, from left, are Susan Swab, president, and Jennifer Bliss, vice president of programs.

The National League of Women Voters is celebrating its 100th anniversary with more than 700 chapters in the United States.

The Warren chapter of the League of Women Voters is 58 years old. The league continues its commitment to register voter, educate and mobilize voters to be stronger, and more effective, in maintaining citizen’s rights to vote.

The first national president of the League of Women Voters was Carrie Chapman Catt, a suffragist and peace activist who helped secure the 19th amendment earning the women’s right to vote. She was born in Wisconsin, moved with her family to Potsdam, N.Y., to be farmers, then relocated in Iowa were she graduated from Iowa State University. Her early career was a teacher, a superintendent and then joined the suffrage movement in the 1880s realizing her mother lack the same voting right as her father. She was elected to the National American Woman Suffrage Association filling the seat vacated by Susan B Anthony. She then founded the National League of Women Voters to educate women on political issues and served as the organization honorary president until her death in 1947. With her speaking abilities she travelled the U.S. focusing exclusively on the U.S. constitutional amendment, leaning support toward President Woodrow Wilson’s war effort and gave attention to other issues as child labor and world peace. She is quoted to have said, “There are whole precincts of voters in the country whose united intelligence does not equal that of one representative American Women. In the adjustment of the new order of things, we women demand an equal voice, we shall accept nothing less.”

Today’s national and state League of Women Voters prepared tools as VOTE411.org, an election information website utilized by millions of voter each election cycle. The national league continues to fight for voter rights and to stop voter suppression tactics and discrimination, looking into campaign reforms as money and politics, redistricting across states, adding the ERA amendment to the U.S. Constitution, improve access to health care, as well as recognizing that climate change is a scientific reality that must be addressed to ensure a sustainable planet for everyone

Current officers of Warren’s League of Women Voters are Susan Swab, president, Susan Stout, secretary, Christa Williams, treasurer, Jennifer Bliss, vice president for programs; Michelle Gray, vice president for membership; Phyllis Wright, vice president for communications; and Sally Beckerink, vice president for voter registration. The league continues to prepare the government directory leaflet every other year funded by the Sally Sokolski Memorial Fund of the Community Foundation of Warren County. The local league plans studies on local issues through community programs and news media, plus increase voter awareness and citizen responsibility with students in their classrooms studies.

Recently the League of Women Voters of Warren celebrated the suffrage centennial and 100th anniversary of passing the 19th Amendment and Women’s Right to Vote. Other highlights were recognizing local noble women of the era, and provide speakers on the suffrage movement, developing displays and participating in others organizations celebrating the movement. The league worked with Melissa Becker, Warren High School teacher, who participated in training and now uses the Harvard Case Method of teaching classroom history. The league continues to work with FairDistrictPA to stop Pennsylvania’s gerrymandering of voting districts with educational programs.

The league is a nonpartisan organization that does not promote a candidate or legislator or other government official, but takes stands on legislative and government issues affecting citizens, their families and communities. The local league’s web site is www.lwvwc.org and can be contact at lwvwc@yahoo.com

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