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About Us

The League of Women Voters - Rhode Island, a multi-issue nonpartisan organization, offers an opportunity to become informed on and to work on issues members care about -- from health care to environment to election reform. The League of Women Voters of Rhode Island is a 501(c)(4) organization.

Basic Characteristics of the League
(excerpt from The League in Brief)

  • Nonpartisan Stance. Belle Sherwin, League president from 1924 to 1934, institutionalized the League's nonpartisan stance.
  • Grassroots Action. Members may act on behalf of the League when authorized by the appropriate board. Institutionalized in 1946 when the League changed from a federation of state Leagues to a unified association of members.
  • Citizen Education. Part of the League's mission is to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation in government.
  • Advocacy. The League's mission also includes taking action on governmental measures and policies in the public interest. Study before action became standard during the presidency of Belle Sherwin.
  • Consensus. Belle Sherwin introduced the consensus process to achieve member support for controversial issues.

Roots of the LWV
(excerpt from The League in Brief)

  • Suffrage Movement. In July 1848, the first national convention for women was held in Seneca Falls, New York. The convention dealt with the social, civil, religious conditions and rights of women. The women at this meeting decided to fight for the right to vote.
  • National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). In 1890 the National American Woman Suffrage Association was formed. In 1916, a group split from NAWSA to form the National Women's Suffrage Party with the goal of forming a separate political party for women.
  • In February 1920 NAWSA became the National League of Women Voters. On August 26, 1920, the 19th amendment (which gave women the right to vote) was ratified and became part of the Constitution.
  • Carrie Chapman Catt is credited as the League's founder. Maud Wood Park was the first president of the League.
  • The League of Women Voters of the United States. In 1946 the National League of Women Voters became the LWVUS, changing from a federation of State Leagues to a unified association of members. Its purpose was to promote political responsibility through informed participation in government.

The League of Women Voters of RI Education Fund

The Rhode Island League of Women Voters Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) organization. The Education Fund provides members of the League of Women Voters, as well as the general public, with information and educational services on elections and on current public policy issues.

Susan B. Wilson, a founding member of the League of Women Voters South County, was a passionate proponent for education and civic engagement. In 1964 she helped organize the local chapter of the League and, when the state switched from paper ballots to mechanical voting machines, she made sure voters knew how to use the new technology. She held workshops for adults in the local schools and was tireless in her work and commitment to voter service and education. In 1983, Camilla Wiener, then President of the League of Women Voters South County, nominated Susan to receive a League of Women Voters Rhode Island award for her outstanding volunteer service. Her commitment to the League even continued after her death with a bequest to the League of Women Voters Education Fund targeted at promoting voter service and education.

 


The League neither supports nor opposes candidates for office at any level of government.

© Copyright 2009-2017 League of Women Voters of RI. All rights reserved.
One Richmond Square, Suite 220 A-W Providence, RI 02906 (401) 339-9766
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 LWVRI is a 501(c)(4) organization. Funding for this internet site was provided by the Rhode Island League of Women
 Voters Education Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization. The Education Fund provides members of the League of Women Voters,
 as well as the general public, with information and educational services on elections and on current public policy issues.
Information in regard to advocacy is not the intent of this internet site.

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