19th at 100: Commemorating the Suffrage Struggle and Its Legacies in Northeast Ohio Main MenuIntroductionThe Road to SuffrageThe Struggle at CWRUNotable FiguresAfter SuffrageEinav Rabinovitch-Fox2e56e3d6b4b5f137a53bf7f9d80912f3b70a7958Lauren Dostal628641db4e19e9efe2242726f29ce1860e9c6baeIsabel Fedewa20dc403a88a0fde6c4856bc25beccbae49174777Jewel Yoder Kuhns34ffc591dd6b165c1079a95ab2c0ba1ad4aecf01Kellyn Toombsef2469033dbca72962b50fe7dea33c71c0a45069Abbey Wellsef2cda5c08d1ad75ae8532e3f202032ddc31cee0
LWV Board of Directors
12020-05-11T17:17:09+00:00Einav Rabinovitch-Fox2e56e3d6b4b5f137a53bf7f9d80912f3b70a795882LWV Board of Directorsplain2020-05-11T17:23:32+00:00Library of Congress1920Einav Rabinovitch-Fox2e56e3d6b4b5f137a53bf7f9d80912f3b70a7958
In 1909, Emma Smith DeVoe first proposed the idea of an organization dedicated to educating women on the voting process at the National Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) convention. Attendees largely ignored DeVoe’s proposal, yet she decided to create an organization herself dedicated to the issue. She founded the National Conference of Women Voters in 1911, which mainly operated on the west coast. Following the passage of the 19th Amendment, the belief that women needed to be educated on the voting process and be encouraged to participate grew in popularity. Carrie Chapman Catt negotiated with DeVoe to merge her association with a new organization that would succeed NAWSA. Catt worried that DeVoe’s alignment with the radical Alice Paul would alienate conservative women. The merger occurred in 1920, officially creating the League of Women Voters.
Since its creation, the League has had an active role in politics, both at the national and local Politics. Each state has its own chapter of the organization. Additionally, many cities and counties have chapters dedicated to their local politics. While initially, only women could join the League, the organization began allowing men to become members in 1973. The League’s mission is to educate both men and women so they can make more informed political decisions. Since its founding, the League has maintained its nonpartisanship. While it has taken official positions on certain issues, it does not endorse candidates. In the Cleveland area alone, ten chapters exist to cover the whole community. The first Cleveland chapter of the League was formed in 1920. Belle Sherwin, a Cleveland local, became the first president of the League of Women Voters of Cleveland. As of 2020, Audrey Morris and Catherine LaCroix serve as co-presidents of the Greater Cleveland chapters.