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Local

Geneva recognizes 100th year of League of Women Voters

'We have a long, proud history of voter service'

The Geneva City Council approved a proclamation Monday from Mayor Kevin Burns declaring Feb. 14 League of Women Voters Day in the city. The proclamation recognizes that the league was founded on Feb. 14, 1920, six months ahead of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. Members of the League of Women Voters of Central Kane County recieved the proclamation. Llona Steele (left) Lynn Steele, Burns, Janet Craft, Jean Pierce and Bill Koehl.
The Geneva City Council approved a proclamation Monday from Mayor Kevin Burns declaring Feb. 14 League of Women Voters Day in the city. The proclamation recognizes that the league was founded on Feb. 14, 1920, six months ahead of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. Members of the League of Women Voters of Central Kane County recieved the proclamation. Llona Steele (left) Lynn Steele, Burns, Janet Craft, Jean Pierce and Bill Koehl.

GENEVA – Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns issued a proclamation at Monday’s City Council meeting declaring Feb. 14 as League of Women Voters Day in the city in recognition of the civic organization’s 100th year.

"Which will, of course, eclipse Valentine's Day," Burns said.

Aldermen voted unanimously to approve the proclamation.

League of Women Voters of Central Kane County member Jean Pierce said the league was founded on Feb. 14, 1920.

“The 19th Amendment was finally ratified about six months after that, and so we have a long, proud history of voter service and advocacy for issues,” Pierce said. “So thank you very much for recognizing that. … We appreciate this step you are about to take.”

After the 19th Amendment was passed, the league was designed to help the nation’s 20 million women “carry out their new responsibilities as voters by educating them about issues,” according to the proclamation.

Today, the league is composed of members in more than 700 local, county and state leagues in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands and Hong Kong, according to the proclamation.

“Leagues at all levels, among other activities, register voters, educate voters by holding candidate forums and publishing voter guides, publish public policy research and hold meetings on key issues,” the proclamation stated. “The league is a civic organization that has fought since 1920 to improve government and engage everyone in the decisions that impact their lives.”

First Ward Alderman said he just sent the league a donation yesterday – and hoped others would do the same.

“I’ve long admired the organization and the great work they do with voter education and voter turnout,” Bruno said.

Burns joked that Bruno was “an original donor from 1920.”

First Ward Alderman Tara Burghart said she heard about a recent successful voter registration drive at a high school.

“Are you doing a lot of voter registration at high schools right now and what kind of response are you getting?” Burghart asked.

League member Llona Steele said they’ve had a very positive response at voter registration drives at high schools.

“We’ve done Oswego East and they’ve invited us back,” Steele said. “They have a huge civics program. And so we register there almost every year.”

Steele said people think voter turnout is low because people are not registered.

“People are registered to vote,” Steele said. “They just don’t."

More information about the League of Women Voters of Central Kane County is available online at my.lwv.org/illinois/central-kane-county.

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