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The League of Women Voters

Non-Profit Report:
The League of Women Voters


The League of Women Voters was founded in 1920 and is a non-partisan political organization. It encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Its name and its mission derive from the legacy of the women’s suffrage movement. Today, members are women and men age 18 and older.

The league works at the local, state and national level, plus in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. In Rochester, the local chapter is the League of Women Voters/Rochester Metropolitan Area. Local leagues set their local programs, priorities and dues; state leagues set the statewide agenda. Local committees are:

Health care–This committee supports continued health care reform on a national level, plus it studies and develops suggestions for regulations and infrastructure reform at the state level.

Local government–This committee promotes intermunicipal cooperation in service delivery to increase governmental efficiency. It urges the formation of a broad- based panel to indicate how to distribute sales-tax revenues equitably.

Natural resources–The monitoring of the Canal Recreation Way Statewide Master Plan is a focus of the committee. It also observes the county’s waste-management system and studies drainage systems, consequently taking positions on land use.

Social policy–The study of the local application of state and national league positions is at the heart of this committee. It takes action on issues relating to early intervention for children at risk and public policy on reproductive choices. It also supports measures for an adequate supply of low- and low-to-moderate-income housing.

Voters service–This committee provides non-partisan election materials (“Facts for Voters”) and lists of elected officials (“Who Represents You”). It also provides moderators for candidates nights and speakers for community groups.
Project Positive Campaigning–This is a project of the Rochester league that has been implemented by leagues across the country. The pamphlet compares positive and negative political ads, and outlines ways voters can support positive campaigning.
There are some 360 members of the local LWV. Membership is available at the following levels: individual, $45; household, $62; Susan B. Anthony level, $80; Carrie Chapman Catt level, $150; full-time student under 25, $15; plus there is a limited- income level of membership. Members receive a number of benefits, plus they choose the program at the annual meeting and decide league positions by consensus.
These league positions and subsequent actions have been recognized with two recent awards. LWV/RMA was a winner in the 1996 National Organizations Partnership Program for its work in responding to the needs of the disabled, and last month it received the Voter Service Award from the state league for its Project Positive Campaigning.
Financial Record Year ended June 30, 1998
Revenue %
Community support $20,000 44.26
Member support 19,143 42.36
Services/conferences/events 3,850 8.51
Meetings/lunches 2,000 4.43
Sales–publications, items 100 0.22
Bank interest 100 0.22
Total revenue $45,193 100

ExpensesEducation & community services $17,300 38.28
Operating costs 15,256 33.76
Support for national/state leagues 9,867 21.83
Member education/training 1,450 3.21
Organization 1,020 2.26
Community relations 200 0.44
Position support–action 100 0.22
Total expenses $45,193 100
Prospective budget. Figures are for LWV and the Foundation for Citizen Education, an arm of LWV.

DirectorsCarol Fisher, president
Ursula Reiners, vice president, development; retired
Jane Chase, vice president, action; real estate agent
Claire Tuttle, vice president, voter service; retired
Suzanne McNamara, vice president, program, and newsletter editor; part-time secretary to the
safety consultant, Marsh and McLennan Inc.
June Rogoff, treasurer/secretary; retired
Bee Bibby, local government co-chair, off-board member; retired
Hope Black, social-policy co-chair; retired
Gloria Haynie, social-policy co-chair; retired
Sue Marvel, health care chair; retired
Nancy Merritt, special-initiatives director; executive director, Institute for Ethical Leadership,
Colgate Rochester Divinity School
Judy Sandler, diversity director; retired
Jane Schmitt, natural-resources chair; retired
Pat Tobin, local government co-chair
Doris Van Vechten, membership director; retired

Researched by Julie K. Welch


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