What Is the League?

PURPOSE

The League is a non-profit, non-partisan, national organization whose purpose is to promote informed and active participation of citizens in government at all levels.

HISTORY

The League came into being in 1920, the year women gained the right to vote. It grew out of the National American Women Suffrage Association, which spearheaded the 77 year drive to get women the vote. The local League of Women Voters was organized in Madison also in 1920. In 1971 it merged with the League of Women Voters of Middleton and became the League of Women Voters of Dane County.

MEMBERSHIP

Like government, the League functions on several levels — local, state, regional and national. People who join in Dane County also become members of the state and national Leagues. The League is a grass-roots organization that is open to anyone 16 years or older.

ORGANIZATION

The League is organized into local discussion units which meet monthly to discuss selected issues. These groups vote on the studied issues and make recommendations for social, political or governmental changes. These groups also make suggestions for new topics for study and for action plans.

In Dane County the League has several units that meet afternoon or evening. The League is governed by a Board of Directors, which is the administrative and policy-making arm of the League. It provides direction and leadership for carrying out member decisions and is ultimately responsible for all plans and activities.

The League acts in support of, or in opposition to, selected governmental issues which it has studied. It does not support or oppose candidates, factions or political parties. League members, as individuals, are urged to work in the political party of their choice. In order to protect the League's non-partisan policy, guidelines regarding the political activities of the Board of Directors are reviewed frequently.

FINANCING

The League is a non-profit organization financed in two ways: by member dues and contributions, and through community and national finance drives which enable public-spirited citizens to help support the work of the League. Dues are collected at the local League level. National, state and regional Leagues are supported primarily by local Leagues. The League of Women Voters of Dane County is a 501(c)(3) organization. Membership and any additional donations are tax-deductible.