"A league of women voters to finish the fight and aid in the reconstruction of the nation.

~Carrie Chapman Catt


The History

In her address to the National American Woman Suffrage Association's (NAWSA) 50th convention in St. Louis, Missouri, President Carrie Chapman Catt proposed the creation of a "league of women voters to finish the fight and aid in the reconstruction of the nation." 

​The next year, on February 14, 1920 - six months before the 19th amendment to the Constitution was ratified - the League was formally organized in Chicago as the national League of Women Voters.
Principles that Guide our Organization

The goal of the League of Women Voters is to empower citizens to shape better communities worldwide.  The League of Women Voters is 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 citizen participation in the democratic process.engages communities in promoting positive solutions to public policy issues through education and advocacy.
League of Women Voters of Naperville
Meet The Team
  1. Leslie Hayward
    Leslie Hayward
    President (2016-2018)
  2. Jeff Knezovich
    Jeff Knezovich
    Vice President & Treasurer (2015-2017)
  3. Maria Manhart
    Maria Manhart
    Director (2015-2017)
  4. Annette Smith
    Annette Smith
    Director - Voter Service Chair (2015-2017)
  5. Becky Simon
    Becky Simon
    Director (2016-2018)
  6. Bette Lawrence- Water
    Bette Lawrence- Water
    Director (2016-2018)
  7. Susan Greenwood
    Susan Greenwood
    Director (2015-2017)
  8. Jill Versace
    Jill Versace
    Director (2015-2017)
  9. Peggy Heilig
    Peggy Heilig
    Director (2015-17)
​​
Voter Education

To conduct our voter service and citizen education activities, we use funds from the League of Women Voters of Illinois Education Fund, which is a 501(c)(3) corporation, a nonprofit educational organization. The League of Women Voters, a membership organization, conducts action and advocacy and is a nonprofit 501(c)(4) corporation.

We make voting easier through varied voter education programs. The League of Women Voters Education Fund conducts voter service and citizen education activities. It is a nonpartisan nonprofit public policy educational organization, which:

 - Builds citizen 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.

​​

Action and Advocacy

Since its inception, the League has helped millions of women and men become informed participants in government. In fact, the first league convention voted 69 separate items as statements of principle and recommendations for legislation. Among them were protection for women and children, right of working women, food supply and demand, social hygiene, the legal status of women, and American citizenship.The League's first major national legislative success was the passage of the Sheppard-Towner Act providing federal aid for maternal and child care programs.  In the 1930's, League members worked successfully for enactment of the Social Security and Food and Drug Acts. Due at least in part to League efforts, legislation passed in 1938 and 1940 removed hundreds of federal jobs from the spoils system and placed them under Civil Service.

During the postwar period, the League helped lead the effort to establish the United Nations and to ensure U.S. Participation. The League was one of the first organizations in the country officially recognized by the United Nations as a non-governmental organization; it still maintains official observer status today.







​​
Positions and Policy Studies


Protecting Voters
The League is dedicated to ensuring that all eligible voters – particularly those from traditionally underrepresented or underserved communities, including first-time voters, non-college youth, new citizens, minorities, the elderly and low-income Americans – have the opportunity and the information to exercise their right to vote. 
 
Educating and Engaging Voters
The leaders you elect make the decisions that affect you – your job, health care, energy costs, security and more. The League helps you to get registered, get to know the candidates and issues, and get out and vote.
 
Reforming Money in Politics
The League is deeply committed to reforming our nation's campaign finance system to ensure the public's right to know, combat corruption and undue influence, enable candidates to compete more equitably for public office and allow maximum citizen participation in the political process. We will continue this fight in Congress, with state legislatures, with the executive branch and, where appropriate, the courts.
 
Defending the Environment
The League supports legislation that seeks to protect our country from the physical, economic and public health effects of climate change while also providing pathways to economic prosperity.
 
Redistricting
Representative democracy depends on voters freely choosing their elected official         s, not elected officials choosing them. The League works to promote transparent and accountable redistricting processes and to end hyper-partisan practices that don't benefit constituents.
The League is dedicated to establishing a path to citizenship and helping immigrants become active participants in our democracy.
 
Reforming Immigration
The League is dedicated to establishing a path to citizenship and helping immigrants become active participants in our democracy.
 
The United States is a nation of immigrants, and the League of Women Voters has a long history of encouraging their participation in American society.  Immigrants have helped weave the fabric and identity of our nation, and we believe that it is critical for the U.S. to encourage their participation in our democracy. Our work around comprehensive immigration reform largely falls into the following categories: 

Advancing Health Care
The League is dedicated to ensuring access to affordable, quality health care for all Americans. We believe that all Americans should have access to a basic level of care, including birth control and abortion coverage.

Gun Safety
In efforts to protect public health and safety, the League supports a number of federal measures to limit the accessibility and regulate the ownership of guns. Since 1990, local and state Leagues have held community meetings, testified before state legislatures and organized rallies in efforts to implement gun safety measures that will protect all Americans.
 
Fixing Fiscal Policy
Keeping our government accountable for its budgeting and spending is necessary to a working democracy. Making sure we have funds to pay for programs and services that support citizens needs to be balanced with responsible spending.
 
Improving Government
The League strives to ensure that government at every level works as effectively and fairly as possible. This involves continual attention to issues of transparency, a strong and diverse judiciary, appropriate government oversight, and funding.
 
Global Democracy
The League works with activists and nongovernmental organizations abroad in efforts to improve transparency, accountability and good governance worldwide.