League of Women Voters celebrating 93 years
Published: February 14, 2013
Font size: [A] [A] [A]
ST. THOMAS - As the national League of Women Voters celebrates its 93rd anniversary today, the local chapter of the group is connecting with the national organization to do what it does best - educate themselves and others about threats to their voting rights.
Leaders from the local chapter of the League of Women Voters participated in a webinar conference Wednesday on an upcoming Supreme Court case that advocates say could overturn basic provisions to protect voters from discrimination.
As part of its 93rd anniversary celebration, the League announced an initiative to mobilize its members nationally against the court's ruling in the Shelby County, Ala. v. Holder case.
In the U.S. Supreme Court case, the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 will be reviewed. The federal law ensured every American citizen, regardless of race, an equal right to vote.
The League of Women Voters was founded Feb. 14, 1920, in Chicago, Ill., by Carrie Chapman Catt during the last meeting of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, about six months before the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution gave women the right to vote. The League currently has 800 chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Virgin Islands chapter was formed in 1968 and has about 45 members now, according to president Gwen-Marie Moolenaar. The local chapter has two units, one in St. Croix and one for the St. Thomas-St. John District.
The Virgin Islands chapter has three working committees: Planning and Environmental Quality, Voter Service and Government Services and Operations.
In the territory, the League is widely respected and considered a valuable resource to weigh-in on important issues facing the Virgin Islands. Moolenaar said they often are called to testify before the V.I. Legislature. The League also writes letters to senators and the governor on various issues and tried to work behind the scenes to get things done in the territory.
- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.