By RAY QUIROGA
Port Isabel-South Padre PRESS
A group of area women are on a mission to better inform local voters.
Madeleine Sandefur of Laguna Vista and Rose Timmer of Brownsville are among the core members of the League of Women Voters of Texas – Rio Grande Valley.
A relatively new organization in the Valley, the chapter was formed when Cameron County women led by Rielly Morgan Cromwell saw the need to better educate the voter on local, state and national issues as well as the candidates who are vying for political office.
A nonpartisan group, the LWV-RGV has hosted forums, staged voter registration drives and printed informative election materials such as voters’ guides for the general public. The league membership also includes men and encourages informed and active participation in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy. “We do not support or oppose any political party or any candidate,” Timmer said.
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 founders believed that maintaining a nonpartisan stance would protect the fledgling organization from becoming mired in the party politics of the day. However, 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 LWV-RGV will be sponsoring a voter registration drive at the Port Isabel Public Library on Monday, April 8, from 9 a.m. – noon. Anyone who is not presently registered to vote is welcome to come that morning so they will be eligible to vote in the May as well as the November elections.
For more information on the local chapter, contact Madeleine Sandefur at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read this story in the March 28 edition of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.