Making Democracy Work

About the LWV

What is our mission? How are we structured? What is our history?

Our Mission

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy. We never support or oppose any political party or candidate.

The League of Women Voters has two separate and distinct roles.

  • Voters Service/Citizen Education: we present unbiased nonpartisan information about elections, the voting process, and issues.

  • Action/Advocacy: we are also nonpartisan, but, after study, we use our positions to advocate for or against particular policies in the public interest.

To conduct our voter service and citizen education activities, we use funds from the League of Women Voters Education Fund, which is a 501(c)(3) corporation, a nonprofit educational organization. The League of Women Voters, a membership organization, conducts action and advocacy and is a nonprofit 501(c)(4) corporation.

The LWV of Shelter Island

The LWVSI, with a membership from year to year that includes 36-40 members -both men and women--was formed in 1999. The LWVSI has grown in recent years from the 10 women who first incorporated the chapter almost two decades ago to provide the community with information about elections and Island issues in an unbiased manner. We do not support or endorse political candidates or any political party although most members are active volunteers in the community and may serve on Town committees and task forces.

The LWVSI ha for many years, in partnership with the Shelter Island Association(SIA) conducted candidate forums for Town offices and judgeships. Before this time the SIA held its own forum. In joining forces we were able to ensure better attendance at the forums while maintaining our non-partisan policy.

Finally, we actively promote voter participation with registration drives and distribution of our stickers--"Just Voted"-- at the polls on election day to enhance voter awareness.

How We Are Organized--Other League Organizations

LWVSI is a member of the Suffolk County Inter-League that includes the LWV chapters of Brookhaven, the Hamptons, Huntington and Shelter Island.
LWVSI hosts a reception for its fellow Suffolk County Leagues in 2010

The LWVSC is active in representing us before the Suffolk County Legislature; serves on a number of legislative task forces and committees; and takes up county-wide issues such as the reapportionment of Suffolk County Legislative districts. LWVSC also publishes an annual Directory of Public Officials.

LWVSI is also a member of the LWV of New York State that takes up statewide issues and is active in communicating with and lobbying the State Legislature. The LWVNY website presents a wealth of detailed information about voter education as well as the statewide legislative agenda.

There are 48 chapters and 3 Members-at-Large (MAL--leagues that are just being formed)in New York State. The LWVNY has a number of free online publications available to the public including a Guide for College Students and a Guide for First Time Voters to name just a few.

Finally, all 50 state leagues fall under the auspices of the national association, the LWV of the United States. The LWVUS represents the League before Congress; conducts studies on various important political issues through a consenus process; and holds biennial conventions that bring together voting members of all 50 states. The LWVUS website also provides important voter and league-member information.

History of the League of Women Voters