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Karen Leith, 8-1-2018
Hudson League of Women Voters well-suited

The League of Women Voters of Hudson was represented by President Maura McCaughey and Pat Simons at the League of Women Voters of the United States 53rd National Convention June 28 through July 1 in Chicago, Ill.

More than 1,000 league leaders from 49 states and the District of Columbia attended leadership workshops and heard from guest speakers about league priorities.

“We all want to see a League of Women Voters that’s suited to meet 21st-century demands, that works hard to court a new generation of leaders and activists, that looks like the people and communities for whom we so fervently advocate,” said Chris Carson, LWVUS president, in her opening remarks to the convention delegates and attendees.

Founded in Chicago in 1920, the League of Women Voters is active in all 50 states with more than 750 chapters across the country. “Convention was an incredible opportunity to connect with and learn from league leaders who are actively working in their communities to empower voters and defend democracy,” said McCaughey.

“LWVUS Convention draws the best and the brightest in a variety of speakers and trainers,” Simons added. “While it is a friendly atmosphere, it does not belie the professionalism and focused commitment of this grassroots organization.”

The convention kicked off with a conversation on redistricting, where attendees heard from Ruth Greenwood and Nick Stephanopoulos. Greenwood served on the legal team for the plaintiffs in the United States Supreme Court case Gill v. Whitford, which the high court decided in June.

“Partisan and racial gerrymandering is a huge problem in this country, and the league is fighting to make sure the voters elect politicians who truly represent their interests, rather than elected officials picking their constituents,” said Simons. “In Ohio, the league was a leader in successfully passing redistricting issues in 2015 and 2018. Both are great wins for all Ohio voters.”

Over the four-day convention, delegates voted on the priorities that the national organization should focus in for the next biennium. The “Campaign for Making Democracy Work” includes ensuring a free, fair and accessible electoral system for all eligible voters by focusing on Voting Rights, Improving Elections and advocacy for the National Popular Vote Compact, Campaign Finance/Money in Politics, and Redistricting.

The final night of convention attendees heard from Elaine Weiss, author of the Women’s Hour, at a banquet where leagues were recognized for empowering voters and defending democracy. League of Women Voters of Ohio won for strengthening democracy, recognizing their work in redistricting.

League of Women Voters of Hudson was a national finalist for Effective Member Engagement and Recruitment Award, recognizing their work with the Observer Crops Program.

“Hearing Elaine Weiss recount the final push for women’s suffrage in this country reminded me how important the League of Women Voters is to this day,” said McCaughey. “The number of women in elected offices do not reflect the demographic makeup of women in our communities. This is an important midterm election year and the league is committed to making sure the voters in Ohio have the resources they need to participate in November.”

  
  
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