The League of Women Voters of Arizona has outstanding members who work collaboratively and collectively to create informative papers that serve to inform our members, Arizonans, the Press, and all others interested in having informative reports on topics relevant to LWVAZ priorities.
The League of Women Voters takes action on an issue or advocates for a cause when there is an existing League position that supports the issue or speaks to the cause.
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Message from the LWVAZ President,
Welcome to our website. Members of the League of Women Voters of Arizona are women and men living in communities across the state. The members engage in hands-on work to safeguard democracy and improve our communities. The LWV is citizen-powered democracy in action. We not only promote the values of democracy, we embody them.
The League is the original and preeminent grassroots citizens network, directed by the consensus of our members and committed to engaging citizens in our democracy so that it works for all Americans. Strictly nonpartisan, the League is at the same time wholeheartedly political and works to influence policy through advocacy.
On February 14, 2014. the League celebrated the 94th birthday of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the League of Women Voters.
Since our founding in 1920, promoting the right of every citizen to vote has been a principle of the League. The state and local Leagues sponsor debates and forums to educate voters about where candidates stand on important issues. We register voters, offer them information about issues and promote voter turnout.
The state League has championed the Clean Elections Act and the Independent Redistricting Commission. In 2011, the new Redistricting Commission was chosen and they drew the new federal and state districts which were used for the 2012 election.
The League does not endorse political parties or candidates, but does have a member consensus on issues. Members lobby state legislators and Members of Congress on certain issues.
Please explore the websites for the LWVUS, LWVAZ and local Leagues to find out what is happening in Arizona. Please join us in our efforts to make democracy work.
Celebrating the Past….Embracing the Future – League of Women Voters of Arizona
Celebrating the Past….Embracing the Future was the theme for the League of Women Voters of Arizona’s biannual convention held at Yavapai College, Verde Valley campus in Clarkdale on May 16 and 17, 2015. League leaders from around Arizona came together to celebrate 65 years of the League of Women Voters in Arizona. The convention began with a blessing from Apache elder, Vince Randall, who recalled a moment in the early 1960’s when the League of Women Voters of Arizona was asked by the courts to oversee a contentious tribal election for the Yavapai-Apache Nation.
Luncheon speaker, Vice Chief Justice John Pelander spoke about the importance of the merit selection process for judges and the performance review process of judges. The League of Women Voters of Arizona helped pass the citizen’s initiative that created them in 1974 and continue to defend them against attempts to weaken these important programs by the Arizona Legislature. Several League members around the state do sit on judicial performance review panels.
Jana Bommersbach, an acclaimed Arizona journalist spoke at the convention’s dinner on Arizona’s wild, wild, wild, crazy and wonderful history. Arizona’s original progressive constitution included voting rights for women, the citizen’s initiative process and the recall of judges. Voting rights for women and the recall of judges had to be removed before President Taft would approve Arizona’s statehood. Once statehood was granted, voting rights for women and recall of judges was quickly voted for by the legislature. Arizona was a very progressive state.
The work of the League delegates at the convention included the adoption of three priority areas of education and advocacy:
- Update on the issue of education funding. The League of Women Voters of Arizona supports a funding plan for public education that enhances the equal opportunity of all students. Through this update we will look at the overall funding situation for education in Arizona and what are the ways public education can be funded to insure quality education of all students.
- Voting rights for all eligible voters comes from the women’s suffrage movement and the creation of the mighty experiment – The League of Women Voters. Election law and election systems need to be continually followed to insure that the right to vote for all eligible voters is protected.
- Money in politics is the issue most talked about since the Citizens United ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. The most dominant figure in the 2014 election wasn’t a candidate. It was a dollar figure of $29.1 million spent on campaigns. With changes in campaign financing, it is appropriate for the League to look at issues around disclosure of contributions, strengthening Arizona’s Clean Elections law, and other related campaign finance issues in Arizona.
And lastly, League delegates elected new officers and directors for the Board of Directors of the League of Women of Voters of Arizona. The new president of the League is Shirley Sandelands from Tucson. Shirley is a strong advocate for voter education and outreach. She is passionate in providing opportunities for voters to learn about the candidates running elected office and the issues voters are being asked to vote on.
Other newly elected board members include 1st Vice President, Bonnie Saunders of Surprise; Secretary Joan Kaltsas and Treasurer Phylis Carnahan from Tucson; Barbara Robertson from Phoenix; and Sandra Goodwin from Dewey-Humboldt. Continuing board members include Mary Gresham and Pasty Frannea from Tucson. Presidents and representatives from the local League chapters in Arizona join the League board as appointed directors.
Robyn Prud’homme-Bauer, outgoing LWVAZ president, in her closing remarks to the LWV Arizona state convention stated. “The newly elected leaders of the League of Women Voters of Arizona will work passionately for the mission of the organization to encourage the informed and active participation of citizens in government.” To find out more about the work of the League of Women Voters of Arizona follow us on Facebook @LWVAZ or send us at tweet on Twitter@ LWVAZ.