Donna Crocker introduced our speakers, Ann Havlik, Co-President of League of Women Voters, Vera Wallen, an active member since 2001 and, Emily Penfield, Past President and current Cambrian. Donna explained that the League of Women Voters was founded by the Suffragette Movement which led to women in California getting the right to vote in 1911.

Ann Havlik began her presentation by telling us how her mother, Emily Penfeld first got interested in voting rights. When she was in 2nd or 3rd grade, one of her classmates came to school dressed in a beautiful dress. Everyone wondered why she was so dressed up. She explained that her grandfather asked her to put on her best dress that morning because they were going someplace very special. Her grandfather, an immigrant, explained that he was allowed to vote for the very first time and wanted her to come with him on this special occasion.

From that moment, Emily realized what a privilege it is to have the right to
vote. The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

Ann explained that the League of Women Voters' goal is to empower citizens to shape better communities worldwide.

We are a nonpartisan political membership organization, which:

  • acts after study and member agreement to achieve solutions in the public interest on key community issues at all government levels

  • builds citizen participation in the democratic process

  • engages communities in promoting positive solutions to public policy issues through education and advocacy

    The League has fought to get women to vote. It is amazing that women of color and Native American women did not get the right to vote until 1965!! They are now pre-registering high school students, as young as 16. When they are eligible to vote, the League will send them a notice reminding them about the upcoming election and encouraging them to vote for the first time.

    For more information, go to http://www.LWV.org.