Nearly a hundred years ago, the 19th Amendment was ratified, prohibiting the government from denying the right for citizens to vote on the basis of sex. This ended a century of protests and was the impetus for the founding of the League of Women’s Voters.
As a nonpartisan organization, the League was founded to influence public policy through education and advocacy and is a champion for every American to engage deeply in the democratic process.
Highly invested supporters and activists of the League’s Greater Tucson chapter, Harvey and Evelyn Lance, offered expertise on trade issues and delivered, sorted, and bundled League newsletters to the post office’s bulk mail department every month. Their care for the League and our democracy was a legacy that endured beyond their lifetimes. The League learned after Evelyn and Harvey’s passing that the couple had thoughtfully established a testamentary commitment to continue their support in perpetuity.
“The attorneys and other League chapters from whom we sought advice about their generous gift encouraged us to not try and manage these funds on our own,” said 17-year League member Shirley Sandelands, who was the President of the Board at the time and is now the League’s Advocacy Chair.
After researching their options, the League board members signed an agreement with the Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona establishing the League of Women Voters of Greater Tucson Education Endowment Fund. The principal is invested and JCF makes annual distributions to the League’s educational work as Harvey and Evelyn designated.
Among the many educational opportunities the Fund provides is Running and Winning, a one-day interactive workshop for junior and senior high school girls who exhibit leadership skills. The program aims to expand young women’s understanding and appreciation of public service and encourage their leadership in current and future endeavors with the ultimate goal of increasing the number of women running for office. The League’s educational work also includes voter registration, issue forums, non-partisan candidate debates and materials to equip voters for the polls.
Although women comprise 51% of the U.S. population, they currently hold only 20% of Congressional seats. For the first time in Arizona’s history, a woman will be elected to the U.S. senate, and across the country women are running for office in record numbers. JCF is proud and honored to support the critical education work of the League of Women Voters of Greater Tucson, which encourages all citizens to be informed and active participants in our democracy.
Janet Belkin, the League’s volunteer Voter Services Chair, believes that “A successful and enduring democracy needs the active participation of its citizens.” She advocates that “By casting your vote for a candidate who reflects your values and interests, you are directly affecting your future and the future of our country.”
Now is the time! The League reminds you that November 6th is Election Day. Get out and vote! Power our democracy, and let your voice be heard. Our freedom is in your hands.