Making Democracy Work

About the League

Introduction

The League of Women Voters is organized to parallel the three levels of government: national, state, and local. The League of Women Voters of the United States is headquartered in Washington, D.C. Each of the 50 states has its own state League. In addition, there are state Leagues in Washington D.C, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The League of Women Voters of California is headquartered in Sacramento. There are over 1000 local Leagues, 69 of them in California. In some areas, local Leagues have formed Inter-League Organizations (ILOs) to address regional concerns. At all levels, the Leagues are governed by a volunteer president and board of directors.

National

The League of Women Voters was founded in 1920 by Carrie Chapman Catt in response to the passage of the 19th amendment to the Constitution, which granted suffrage to women. Among its accomplishments, the US League has worked hard to improve the legal status of women and the welfare of children; to extend the merit system in the federal civil service; to improve the Food and Drug Act and other legislation protecting consumers; and to support several measures later embodied in the Social Security Act. The US League championed the reorganization of Congress; civilian control of atomic energy; and Home Rule for the District of Columbia. The League has been devoted to the principle of internatianal cooperation for over 50 years. It has consistently supported the United Nations and the Trade Agreements Program. The League is concerned about equal opportunities for all citizens in education, employment and housing. Water quality and air quality are other long-standing concerns of the League.

State

In 1911, when California became the sixth state to grant women the right to vote, women who were interested in participating in politics and civic life founded the California Civic League. In 1921 it became California Civic League of Women Voters, and in 1925 the official name became League of Women Voters of Caiifornia. Over the years LWVC has spearheaded efforts to reform campaign finance and the referendum and initiative processes. It has sought equitable reapportionment laws and has sponsored senatorial and gubernatorial debates. The election ballot guides published by the League are highly regarded by the public.

Regional

In order to work together on county-level problems, the four local Leagues in Orange County formed an Inter-League Organization (ILO) called LWV of Orange County. Issues studied have included county government, mental health and medical care for the indigent.

Local

The League of Women Voters of North Orange County dates back to 1957, when the League of Women Voters of Fullerton was formed. Six years later, in 1963, the League of Women Voters of La Habra was formed. In 1984 the smaller La Habra League merged with the Fullerton League. In recognition of the merger, and to give equal status to the four other cities already part of the Fullerton League (Brea, Buena Park, Placentia, Yorba Linda), the two existing Leagues were dissolved and a new League was formed under the name of The League of Women Voters of North Orange County. In 2005, the cities of Cypress and La Palma joined the North Orange County League. Click here to see a list of our Board Members and Directors.

The NOC League has been an effective force in the community. In 1967-69 the local League conducted a study of community library needs that led to the establishment of a new library in Fullerton. It has also worked on such issues as housing, child care, local land use planning and solid waste disposal in the North Orange County area. The League recently presented community forums on Civil Liberties, the No Child Left Behind Act, and Judicial Independence. At election time, LWVNOC moderates candidate forums for city council and school board contests in all eight NOC communities as part of our Voters Service work. We also conduct non-partisan presentations of the Pros and Cons of the ballot measures.

Other League Organizations

Our North Orange County League is one of four local Leagues in Orange County. The others are:

  • Capistrano Bay Area
  • Central Orange County Area
  • Orange Coast

Our members are also members of:

See other Leagues in California and other state Leagues and local League websites.