Making Democracy Work

Because democracy is not a spectator sport

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.
Chicago is a very proud league with a rich history. The League of Women Voters of the United States was founded here in Chicago on February 14, 1920. It was founded in anticipation of the ratification of the 19th Amendment which grants women nationwide the right to vote.

The new organization's founders realized that the right by itself was not enough: it had to be exercised. When women cast their first votes, the League was there to provide accurate, unbiased election information. The League helped American women exercise their new political rights and responsibilities in a way that was "political...but not partisan."

The Illinois League, followed by its local chapters, was formed shortly after the national organization. Membership is open to all persons, men and women, ages 16 and older.

UPCOMING EVENTS

picture of a suffragistTHEATER OUTING: TAMING OF THE SHREW

  • Sunday, November 12
  • 1:00 pm pre-show event, 2:00 pm performance

Join LWV Chicago for an outing to the Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier. Enjoy a special performance of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, set in 1919 during suffrage debate. See our Shakespeare and Suffragists page for details.


See our Calendar for all upcoming League activities.

RECENT NEWS AND EVENTS

BRIEFING: TAX INCREMENT FINANCING: A Controversy of Funding

LWV Chicago welcomed Tatia Gibbons Laforme, Chief Legal Counsel of Real Estate and Tax Services and Tanya Anthofer, Manager of Maps and Tax Extension, both from the Cook County Clerk's office. They walked attendees through the structure of TIFs and their use in Chicago today.

If you missed the event but still want to learn more, see our Briefing Materials page for reference documents.

tom dart in front of podium BAIL REFORM AND UNJUST INCARCERATION

At our September Chicago in Focus event, Sheriff Tom Dart discussed the changes he has been implementing at the Cook County Jail, and what more can be done. Thanks to CAN TV, you can view the discussion.


HONOR IDA B WELLS BARNETT - RENAME BALBO DRIVE

September 6, 2017 The League of Women Voters of Chicago announces today that it will support efforts to change the name of Balbo Drive, the heavily traveled street on the lakefront, and proposes that the street bear the name of Ida B. Wells Barnett. The group is asking city residents to contact their aldermen and ask for the name change to honor the suffragist, civil rights activist and investigative journalist who was an early leader of the civil and women's rights movements, worked against segregation in Chicago's public schools and helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Read the full press release.

The League suggests that citizens who wish to join in this campaign contact their aldermen. Locate aldermen information at: Ward and Alderman Search