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Guest Opinion

Advocating for a better America


One hundred and four years ago, on Feb. 14 1920, the League of Women Voters was formed, six months before winning the fight for Women’s Suffrage. Its founders were those who had spent the previous seven decades fighting for this right to vote. And having achieved this goal, they decided that these new voters needed to understand the issues of the day, to become informed voters.

The initial goals of the League were to educate women to take part in the political process and to push forward legislation of interest to women. To this end, the League instituted a nonpartisan, grassroots process by which to reach positions on issues through study, discussion and consensus. Then, as now, the League was nonpartisan — never supporting or opposing any candidate or political party — but only addressing the important issues of the day.

Today, the League has positions on a wide array of topics from voting rights to environmental policy to education to the administration of elections to health care and beyond. Our positions at the state and national levels can be found on the LWVPA and LWVUS websites.

But taking positions is only the first step. It must be followed by advocacy.

Advocacy is when we speak out in favor of one of our positions or lobby for legislation supporting these positions. Advocacy includes letters to and visits with our legislators, op-ed articles or letters to the editors of our local newspapers, shared information on social media, public meetings and, occasionally, litigation.

Because we are a grassroots organization, we believe in the power of the electorate to make our government, at all levels, more accountable to the people. We urge you to speak out and speak up to your legislators on whatever issue matters to you. Legislators cannot represent us if they don’t hear from us.

And above all, you must learn where each candidate stands on the issues that matter to you and vote for those who best represent your interests. Do not focus only on the Presidential race — congressional and state representatives are critically important in deciding the direction our country takes.

Throughout the year, the League of Women Voters of Bucks County presents programs about the issues we care about. This year we are focusing on Education, Voting Rights, Open Primaries, the Electoral College, and Gerrymandering / Rules Reform.

To learn about upcoming events, and to see recordings of past ones, please visit the “Events” section of our website at

Jean Weston is the president of the LWV of Bucks County, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to providing voter education and services and advocating for issues. It envisions a democracy where every person has the desire, the right, the knowledge and the confidence to participate.

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