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League of Women Voters marks 85th birthday


February 16, 2005 - The League of Women Voters celebrated its 85th birthday earlier this week, according to a news release.

Founded by Carrie Chapman Catt on Feb. 14, 1920, generations of engaged league members have dedicated their lives to making democracy work. Over the past 85 years, the League of Women Voters has achieved an impressive list of accomplishments in the fields of citizen engagement and political reform and will continue to build on those successes in the future.

"For 85 years the league has been committed to citizen education. While we celebrate that history, we look forward to meeting the continuing challenges of empowering our citizens through the ballot" Nancy Bowser, president of the League of Women Voters of St. Louis, stated in the release.

During the past election cycle, the St. Louis League of Women Voters conducted 11 candidate forums, answered more than 2,500 telephone inquiries and distributed more than 10,000 Voters Guides. The league provides voter registration at every U.S. naturalization ceremony in St. Louis.

The voter education effort continues with a number of candidate forums planned for the March and April local elections and an ongoing voter information hotline.

The League of Women Voters is a unique organization that seeks to make democracy work through educating new citizens and first time voters about their democratic rights and responsibilities. The league acts on public policy issues after careful study and consensus and creates a public dialogue about issues important to the community. The league also works internationally, sharing expertise and providing training to civic organizations worldwide.

One of the most successful programs of the past year has been the national "Five Things You Need to Know on Election Day'' campaign, the release stated.

"The league strives to make democracy work for all citizens. We have spent 85 years — a lifetime — encouraging citizens to take part in their government and their communities. We will continue to help Americans understand the fundamental importance of citizen involvement in our democracy," LWVUS President Kay J. Maxwell stated.

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