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The League of Women Voters started after women got the right to vote. 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.” On February 14, 1920 – six months before the 19th amendment to the Constitution was ratified – the national League of Women Voters was formally organized in Chicago. Catt promised the purpose of the new organization would be:

     "a living memorial...dedicated to the memory of our brave departed leaders, to the sacrifices they made for
     our cause...use their new freedom to make their nation safer for their children and their children's children.

     What should be done, can be done; what can be done, let us do."
LWV Founder Carrie Chapman Catt

The year 2020 is the Centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment.
The year 2021 is the Centennial of the formation of the LWV LaPorte County.
Join us as We Celebrate 100 Years of Empowering Voters and Defending Democracy!

Carrie Chapman Catt (marching in center dressed in white) was featured on the cover of Time, inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame, and received the American Hebrew Medal. In 2016 a statue was dedicated to her and other suffragists in Nashville, TN —the state that cast the deciding vote for the 19th Amendment.

Suffragists parade, New York, 1915.

Library of Congress LC-B201-3643-12


Carrie Chapman Catt, LWV Founder, asked if women were up to the challenge that was ahead of them. Maud Wood Park was one of the first League leaders to answer Catt's challenge. She became the first national president of the League of Women Voters (LWV). Before ratification of the 19th amendment, Park steered the women’s suffrage amendment through Congress. From the very beginning, however, it was apparent that the LWV legislative goals were not exclusively focused on women’s issues. Rather, the effort expanded to citizen education of voters' rights for the entire electorate.


Since its inception, LWV has helped millions of women and men become informed participants in government. In fact, the first LWV convention voted 69 separate items as statements of principle and recommendations for legislation. Top issues included protection for women and children, the rights 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 removing hundreds of federal jobs from the spoils system and placing them under Civil Service.


During the postwar period, the League assisted in the establishment of the United Nations and ensured 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.


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:


Voter Services and Citizen Education

We present unbiased nonpartisan information about elections,
the voting process, and issues.


Action and Advocacy

We are nonpartisan, but after study, we use our positions to advocate
for or against particular policies in the public interest.




The League of Women Voters of Indiana is a nonpartisan
public policy educational organization which:


 • builds citizen participation in the democratic process

 • studies key community issues at all governmental levels in an unbiased manner

 • enables people to seek positive solutions to public policy issues through education
• provides conflict management


We Believe In:

 • respect for individuals

 • the value of diversity

 • the empowerment of the grassroots, both within the League and in communities


We Will:

 • act with trust, integrity and professionalism

 • operate in an open and effective manner to meet the needs of those we serve, both   
   members and the public

 • take the initiative in seeking diversity in membership

 • acknowledge our heritage as we seek our path to the future.




Jo Ann Engquist, Co-President

Bonnie Schaaf, Co-President
Regina Ruddell,1st Vice President
Sarah Haefner, 2nd Vice President

Barb Collins, Treasurer

Amy Black, Secretary
Jessica Arnold, Director

Peg Cunningham, Director

Phyllis Lay, Director


If you would like to join the LWVLC, please EMAIL us!



2019 LWVLC Board of Directors (L-R) Bonnie Schaaf, Barb Collins, Sarah Haefner, JoAnn Engquist, (back row) Amy Black, Ed Ryscuck