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Our History
National League of Women Voters: Beginnings

The national League was founded in Chicago on February 14, 1920 during the convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association by Carrie Chapman Catt, a leader of the women’s suffrage movement. The convention was held just six months before the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, giving women the right to vote after a 72-year struggle. Catt believed that once the 19th Amendment was passed, the League of Women Voters would be a “mighty political experiment” designed to help 20 million women carry out their new responsibilities as voters. From the very beginning, the League was a nonpartisan organization. Initially, the League focused its efforts on voter registration and political participation among women, but later broadened these efforts to reach all Americans.

The League is committed to active and informed citizen participation in government, including through voting. We envision a democracy where every person has the right, the knowledge, the desire and the confidence to participate.

The League is proud to be nonpartisan, neither supporting nor opposing candidates or political parties at any level of government, while working on vital issues of concern to our members and the public. 

The League of Women Voters of the United States is headquartered in Washington D.C.

More information about the national organization is available at

League of Women Voters of Greater Tucson: History and Background  


The League of Women Voters of Greater Tucson (LWVGT) was established on May 16, 1941, by a group of 34 women, including Mary Jeffries Bruce, Helen Congdon D’Autremont, Ora DeConcini, Georgie Scott Forbes, Margaret Knight, Kathryn Maxwell, Ada McCormick, Margaret Sanger, and Grace Sternberg.  Click here to see a list of Presidents from 1941 to Present .

  • The LWVGT’s priorities have included: voter registration; analyzing local, state, and national issues; and educating the public on local government and ballot issues.
  • Members have developed public education programs such as Women for a Change, Issues and Eggs, and Running and Winning.
  • The LWVGT has participated in global efforts including the Kenya Global Democracy Project.
  • The LWVGT continues to investigate and develop positions on many issues (Tucson’s urban growth, redistricting, health care, immigration, and transportation).

The League of Women Voters of Greater Tucson does not, has not, and will not endorse or oppose candidates or parties. We do not donate money to campaigns or advertise for or against candidates. We do criticize and praise sitting elected officials for their actions, but we do not get involved in their election campaigns in any way.

LWVGT Accomplishments

Some of the LWVGT’s achievements in our 80+ year history:

  • Advocated for an Arizona state law allowing women to serve on juries.
  • Advocated for the Tucson Master Plan on urban growth.
  • Advocated for an Arizona state law for merit selection of judges.
  • Advocated for the Arizona Motor Voter Law which made it possible to register to vote when obtaining a driver’s license.
  • Advocated for an Arizona state law funding free textbooks for Arizona students.
  • Advocated for an Independent Redistricting Commission initiative.
  • Developed program positions on energy, education finance, clean air, water resources, affordable housing, money in politics, charter schools.
  • Ensured that every vote was counted in the November 2018 election by joining in the Amicus Brief.

Download our 75th Anniversary Booklet

Storytelling Salons

Our 2020 Anniversary Committee hosted five Storytelling Salons to interview panels of members about their personal histories with the League of Women Voters and how this organization has shaped their lives. These videos are available on Youtube and Facebook.

  • Judy Bowser, Carol West and Judy Wood discuss their experiences serving as city council members in Madison, Wisconsin, Tucson, Arizona, and Slidell, Louisiana, respectively. Watch the video on Youtube.
  • Victor Bowleg, John Kaltsas, Adrian Barton and Rex Graham discuss what it's like to be men in the League of Women Voters. Watch the video on Youtube.
  • Gini McGirr, Joan Kaltsas and Susan Black are three former League of Women Voters presidents who have served in Leagues across the country. Watch the video on Facebook.
  • Shirley Sandelands, Carol Shearer and Sally Davenport, three past presidents of LWVGT, discuss their experiences. Watch the video on Facebook.