LWV Local History
Jackson County has long played an active role in the work of the League of Women Voters over most of the last 100 years. In 2015 our local League was reborn with the support of President of the state League of Women Voters along with the mentoring of the Lansing League’s co-Presidents.
Under their guidance the Jackson Unit began to take form – monthly meetings were organized, members began to take on the functions of voter services and programming, as well as persuading Jackson political candidates to participate in forums and submit responses to questions for Vote411, the League’s online voter guide. The generosity and guidance of the Lansing co-Presidents and the Lansing Board laid the foundation for Jackson to develop into a growing, strong, independent League.
In December of 2017 the League of Women Voters Jackson Area was officially accepted as an independent League by the National League of Women Voters. In January 2018, the newly formed League held a day long retreat to help the members work together to set priorities and goals for a successful future. LWVJA began 2020 with a 6 member Board of Directors and a membership of 65 women and men including 7 college students.
Jackson Area League in Action
- Provides voter services to area residents including voter registration; presents nonpartisan information about elections, the voting process, and important local issues.
- Offers High School Senior Seminar on Voting History, Registering, and How to Vote.
- Registers college and high school students to vote. Registers citizens to vote.
- Held Candidate Forums educate electorate since 2015.
- Co-sponsor of JXN Community Forums.
- Participated in consensus studies on state and local Government Finance and Budgets, Seasonal Workers, Money in Politics.
- Provides information online at VOTE411.org on local candidates.
- Distributes print Voter Guide locally.
LWV National History
Since 1920 we have been an activist, grassroots organization whose leaders believed that voters should play a critical role in democracy.
The League of Women Voters was founded by Carrie Chapman Catt in 1920 during the convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. 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.
The League began 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. From the beginning, the League has been an activist, grassroots organization whose leaders believed that citizens should play a critical role in advocacy. It was then, and is now, a nonpartisan organization. League founders believed that maintaining a nonpartisan stance would protect the fledgling organization from becoming mired in the party politics of the day. However, League members were encouraged to be political themselves, by educating citizens about, and lobbying for, government and social reform legislation.
This holds true today. The League is proud to be nonpartisan, neither supporting nor opposing candidates or political parties at any level of government, but always working on vital issues of concern to members and the public. The League has a long, rich history, that continues with each passing year.