The League of Women Voters of Rensselaer County is part of an organization working at the national, state and local levels to encourage informed citizen participation in government.
The League is strictly nonpartisan; it neither supports nor opposes candidates for office at any level of government. Rather than supporting particular candidates or parties, the League uses the political process to influence policy through advocacy. These advocacy efforts are directed by the consensus of its members. The 900 state and local Leagues comprise a vast grassroots lobby corps that can be mobilized when necessary.
The League was founded in 1920, the same year that women in the United States received the right to vote through the 19th amendment to the U.S.Constitution. Although its name recalls that historic event,today the League welcomes both men and women as members.
Locally,the League of Women Voters of Rensselaer County (LWVRC) was founded in October 1939.1ts first president was Beulah Bailey Thull, who was one of Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt’s speechwriters at that time. Since its inception, the LWVRC has addressed such concerns as education, ethics and transparency in government, local environmental issues, and voter empowerment, and it continues to do so today.
What Does the League Do?
- Teaches citizens and non-citizens about their rights and responsibilities
- Encourages individual participation in the political process through voter registration, voting machine demonstrations, and other voter education
- Educates citizens about issues, legislation and candidates through voters’ guides, candidates forums, and debates
- Develops consensus through studies and in-depth analyses of issues by its members
- Monitors government activities from local to national
- Takes action/lobbies/testifies
- Promotes inclusion and diversity in the political process and in all League activities
What Kinds of Things Could I Do As a Member of the LWV of Rensselaer County?
As a member of the League, you could take part in such activities as:
- Monitoring and facilitating elections for community organizations
- Observing local government meetings, boards and councils
- Developing and distributing Voters’ Guides with information on candidates
- Introducing voters to the new electronic voting machines first used in the 2010 elections
- Registering new voters at community events and at a booth at the Troy Farmers Market
- Studying issues such as local government consolidation
- Reporting election results to the local news media
- Sponsoring a high school student for the League’s “Students Inside Albany” program
That Sounds Interesting, But I Can’t Make a Big Time Commitment
There are many levels of activity to choose from in the League. You can support the League by paying membership dues, which help fund our activities. You can participate in one or two events a year, or one a month.
I’m Worried That Everyone Will Be Much More Knowledgeable Than I Am
People come to the League with a wide range of interests, and no one is an expert on everything. Our purpose is to provide a friendly, supportive environment where people can learn from each other and have a good time as we join forces to effect change.
Membership in the League of Women Voters is open to women and men. Joining the League at any level – local, state or national – automatically confers membership at every level.
Because you want to make a difference. You know the future depends on people like you – people learning about the issues, speaking out and seeking positive solutions to the problems confronting the communities of Rensselear County, New York State, and the country. When you join the League of Women Voters, you’re doing something good for democracy – and good for you, your family, and your community. As a member of the League, you will:
- Stay informed about issues through publications and websites of the local, state, and national League*
- Make your voice heard in League-sponsored forums and government venues
- Sharpen your skills as a citizen through League-sponsored education and training seminars
- Develop friendships with other like-minded citizens
Your degree of involvement is, of course, up to you. You may simply support the League’s work through your dues and contributions. We do, however, hope that all members can find the time to attend the annual meeting of the Rensselaer League so you can meet other local League members and participate in developing our program agenda for the coming year. Beyond this you may choose to do many things, such as:
- Helping to register new voters
- Collecting Election Day poll results
- Serving on a study committee looking into an important issue
- Monitoring local government activities
- Assisting at candidate forums
- Contacting legislators on “Calls for Action”
- Assisting with preparation of League publications
- Becoming a member of the LWV Board of Directors
- Click on the link to the Member-Donor Form below. Print out and complete the member-donor form then mail it with your payment to the address indicated.
- An additional contribution, above and beyond your membership fee, is always welcome.
Please note that dues and contributions to the League are not tax deductible because the League is a lobbying organization. The membership period for the Rensselear League runs from July 1 of one year to June 30 of the next, but you can join at any time.
We look forward to meeting you!