History of the League

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 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.

The Palm Beach County League currently has over 550 members, who are the grassroots of the organization. The League studies and reports on municipal and county issues while reflecting the State and National League positions, and provides county citizens with scores of community based programs. In the words of League founder Carrie Chapman Catt, “…No chance, no destiny, no fate can circumvent or hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul.”
In the words of Pam Goodman, LWV Florida President and member of LWVPBC: “The strength of the League is in our rich history of education and advocacy. The future of League is using those priceless treasures, combined with our proven credibility and integrity, to promote action on a multi-issue agenda. Our members are our strength. Dedicated and passionate to make change happen when needed. Always have. Always will be. League is so unique. Deeply rooted in history… flourishing with new thoughts and Action !”

Voter Service is often what the community thinks of first when the League is mentioned. It takes many forms: sponsoring candidate forums, debates and interviews; registering citizens to vote; get-out-the-vote campaigns; making voting information available through publications and speaking engagements; the pros and cons of constitutional amendments.

In-depth studies and white papers are issued to educate and inform local residents. To learn about issues in which the League is involved, click here.