Making Democracy Work

About the League

What is our mission? How are we structured? What is our history?

Our Mission and Roles

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy. We never support or oppose any political party or candidate.

The League of Women Voters has two separate and distinct roles.

  • Voters Service/Citizen Education: we present unbiased nonpartisan information about elections, the voting process, and issues.

  • Action/Advocacy: we are also nonpartisan, but, after study, we use our positions to advocate for or against particular policies in the public interest.

Our Vision, Beliefs, and Intentions guide our activities.

Other League Organizations

Nearby Leagues:
League of Women Voters Jackson County, http://www.jacksoncounty.il.lwvnet.org
LWV of St. Louis and St. Louis County

Our members are also members of:

League of Women Voters of Illinois, http://www.lwvil.org
League of Women Voters of the United States, http://www.lwv.org

History of the League of Women Voters

Read a short history of the League of Women Voters.

The Edwardsville Area League of Women Voters began as a provisional league organized in 1954. At that time, League status was dependent upon solid community backing and financial support from the business community. This requirement was completed and in l956 the Edwardsville League was granted permanent status. In the early days, members went door- to- door with requests for financial donations from local businesses. The meetings were held at the Presbyterian Church where the bulletins were printed on the mimeograph. Those were also the days of cigarette smoking at meetings--now thankfully over--and afternoon meetings, since many members did not work outside the home.

The Edwardsville Area League has supported several important causes over the years. We supported changing the way Illinois voters elect the State Legislature, and worked with the Edwardsville Ministerial Alliance helped to enact Open Housing, which made it illegal to discriminate on the basis of color in the sale or rental of a house. We helped establish the Human Relations Commission to ensure that the law was complied with. Much time and effort went into making these changes, and taken together they constitute a quite a remarkable achievement.

Another big issue on which the League historically took a stand is health care, highlighting the benefits of a single-payer system.