Making Democracy Work

About the League

What is our mission? How are we structured? What is our history?

Our Mission and Roles

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

The League of Women Voters is a 501(c)3 organization which has two separate and distinct roles.

  • Voters Service/Citizen Education: we present unbiased nonpartisan information about elections, the voting process, and issues.

  • Action/Advocacy: we are also nonpartisan, but, after study, we use our positions to advocate for or against particular policies in the public interest.

Our Core Values

- We are a nonpartisan political membership organization.
- We believe that grassroots initiatives and consensus building are the strengths of our organization.
- We believe that our organization models the principles of good governance.
- We consider well before taking action and prepare well before beginning to act.
- We believe that citizenship requires knowledge, as well as the ability and will to act.
- We believe that the responsibility of good government rests on the shoulders of its citizens.
- We believe that the rights of citizens at home and abroad are interdependent

Other League Organizations

Our members are also members of:

League of Women Voters of Missouri.

League of Women Voters of the United States

There are chapters throughout Missouri. Find more information at:

Other State and Local Leagues.

External Resources

Current Bills in Federal Legislative Process - Federal legislation: bills summary and status, bills text, public laws by law number. Congressional record: most recent issue, text search for past issues, roll call votes. House and Senate Committees: home pages, schedules, hearings and reports. Legislative Search

VOTE411 - One stop shop for local election and candidate info, including polling place and more. Content is updated for upcoming elections 4-6 weeks before the election date. VOTE411

Citizenship

Civics Renewal Network - a comprehensive database of age and grade appropriate lessons. Lessons and resources are wide-ranging, and up to date for the 21st century. Civics Renewal Network

Core Documents of U.S. Democracy - Topics include historical documents, Declaration of Independence, Federalist Papers, Constitution, etc., regulatory, office of the President, demographic, economic and miscellaneous documents. Government Publishing Office

ELECTIONS/VOTING

Fair Vote - conducts research, analysis, education and organizing to ensure voters can exercise their right to vote and elect representatives who reflect the nation.s racial and political diversity. Their Voting and Democracy Research Center presents informative and objective research on the results and consequences of our elections. It provides its Monopoly Politics report and its data collections on plurality elections in the United States, redistricting in all 50 states and state election results. Fair Vote

CloseUp Foundation's "First Vote" - For high school students. A classroom-based voter registration, education, and citizenship program designed for use in one or two class periods. Gives students and teachers an opportunity to discuss the relationship between voting and other duties and responsibilities of citizenship. Closeup

Election Comic Strips for Vocabulary Development/Election Terminology Vocabulary Comic

First Time Voters - How Accurate Are Statistics & Polls? Learn about polls through the case study of a fictional election. Learner.org

National Election Studies - Guide to public opinion and electoral behavior. Provides tables and graphs that display the ebb and flow of public opinion and electoral behavior and choice in American politics since 1948. ANES

Civic Education Resources

American Bar Association (ABA) Division for Public Education - Provides publications, programs and resources designed to educate and inform youth, undergraduate college and university students and adults about the law and the justice system. ABA Public Education

EDUREF(Educational Resources Information Center) - More than 1100 lesson plans written and submitted by teachers from all over the United States. EduRef

Center for Civic Education - The Center is dedicated to promoting an enlightened and responsible citizenry committed to democratic principles and actively engaged in the practice of democracy in the United States and other countries. CFCE

Close Up - A nonprofit and nonpartisan civic education organization that offers week-long government studies programs in Washington DC that strengthen participants knowledge of how the political process works, increase their awareness of major national and international issues, and motivate them to become actively involved in the world around them. The programs are open to all, regardless of academic achievement, leadership experience, or financial status, and include sessions for students with visual, hearing, or physical impairments and other health concerns. Civics Immersion Program

C-Span Classroom - Free resources for teaching Civics & U.S. Government. Online student activities, programming information, an archive of support materials, lesson plans, and links to additional resources. CSPAN Class

Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE) - Hundreds of education resources from Federal agencies. <a href+'https://www2.ed.gov/free/index.html' target="_blank"> FREE

Teaching History - One-stop access to high quality Internet lesson plans, curriculum units and other education resources. Conduct full-text, subject, keyword, or title searches, then select desired grade or education level and submit the search. Teaching History

Lesson Plans & Resources for Social Studies Teachers Founded in 1921, National Council for the Social Studies is the largest professional association in the country devoted solely to social studies education. NCSS engages and supports educators in strengthening and advocating social studies. National Council for Social Studies

Social Studies Resources - Comprehensive list of government and history/social studies links. Site Directory

Teachers Network - Helps teachers integrate web-based lessons into the classroom. Access to curriculum and technical specialists. TeachNet

WNET School - New York City Channel 13's web service for K-12 teachers. Media With Impact

HISTORY

History and Politics Out Loud - An archive of politically significant audio materials; includes more than 100 recordings and transcripts of Lyndon B. Johnson, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr. and others. HPOL

MISCELLANEOUS

Look Who's Footing the Bill - Interactive lessons about the national debt. Education World

Pew Research Center - An independent opinion research group, sponsored by The Pew Charitable Trusts, that studies public attitudes toward the press, politics and public policy issues. The Center's main purpose is to serve as a forum for ideas on the media and public policy through its research. Pew Research

Social Studies School Service - Resource for buying supplementary learning materials, including books, CD-ROMs, videos, laserdiscs, software, charts, and posters. Editorial staff and teacher consultants evaluate titles and materials providing short and objective descriptions. Social Studies

WOMEN

Women in World History Curriculum - Biographies, lesson plans, resources. Women in World History

African American Women in Suffrage - Many African American women were highly active in the woman suffrage movement. In the antebellum period, like Anglo women, many black women became active abolitionists and supporters of women's rights. African American Suffragettes

Women's Suffrage and the Question of Color - An essay on race relations in the suffrage movement. Question of Color

The Suffrage Movement -A brief overview of women's suffrage. The Suffrage Movement

WOMEN'S ISSUES

Institute for Women's Policy Research - A non-profit, public policy research organization, IWPR informs and stimulates debate on public policy issues of importance to women and their families. IWPR

National Women's History Project - A non-profit organization providing information and publications about women's history. NWHP

National Women's History Museum - Founded in 1996, the NWHM is a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational institution dedicated to presenting, and celebrating the rich history of women's contributions that have shaped American culture and society. NWHM

Links for Kids

Ben's Guide to US Government - Virtual Ben Franklin explains branches of U.S. Government and how they started. Learn about citizenship, elections, symbols, and more. Ben's Guide

Congress for Kids - Interactive, fun-filled experiences designed to help students learn about the foundation of our federal government and how its actions affect them. Uncle Sam is the guide through website, introducing youngsters to a new skill or knowledge, or reviewing a skill they already have, or even testing their knowledge. Congress for Kids

First Gov for Kids - Provides links to Federal sites and sites from other organizations especially designed for young people. Links are grouped by subject. Kids.gov

Kids Voting USA - A nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to securing democracy for the future by involving youth in the election process today. Kids Voting USA

PBS Kids Democracy Project - Activities and lesson plans designed to: introduce the structure and duties of local, state and federal government; understand how government affects our everyday lives, through laws, institutions and services provided in the community; identify the duties of the U.S. president and skills necessary to be a good president; understand the history of voting rights in America, and how voting and other forms of civic involvement are essential to a healthy democracy. The online activities are designed for students in grades three to six, with accompanying lesson plans. PBS Election Central

Kids Guide to Congress A Kid's Guide to the United States Congress

Rock the Vote - A non-partisan, non-profit organization founded by members of the recording industry, dedicated to protecting freedom of speech, educating young people about issues, and motivating young people to participate by registering, voting, and speaking out. Rock the Vote

VoteSmart Classrooms - Activities for students or teachers to evaluate candidates and monitor their work. The Project Vote Smart Database can be used by students to find out more about those who wish to represent them or those who currently do. Votesmart

Civil Liberties

Defending Rights and Dissent - Freedom to dissent is essential to a functioning democracy, and every person under U.S. jurisdiction or control is entitled to Bill of Rights protections. At all times and especially when federal, state, or local governments propose or enact laws or policies that threaten or deny those rights, the people organize, exercising those same rights in the service of protecting them... Rights and Dissent

Center for Democracy and Technology - Works to promote constitutional liberties in the digital age. Concerns include free speech, government surveillance and data privacy. CDT

The Leadership Conference - A coalition of Civil and Human Rights organizations. Provides relevant and up-to-the minute civil rights news and information and contains searchable archives of news features and background information. Leadership Conference

First Amendment Center - Offers general information on First Amendment issues; news and information on how the courts understand and apply the First Amendment in various types of situations. Research materials are organized by topic under the five freedoms of the First Amendment: speech, press, religious liberty, assembly and petition. FAC

DIVERSITY

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) - A non-profit, grassroots organization dedicated to the advocacy of a positive image of Islam and equal treatment and rights for Muslims in America through media, protests, conferences, action alerts, and numerous publications. CAIR

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES

Library of Congress LOC

First Gov - Official U.S. government portal to 30 million pages of government information and services. Easy, one-stop access to all online U.S. federal government resources. Stats

Government Accountability Office - Provides extensive reports and testimony on a wide-range of issues including disaster preparedness, terrorism, homeland security, welfare federal budget, etc. GAO

Center for Effective Government - A nonprofit research and advocacy organization that focuses on the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the substantive areas that OMB oversees: federal budget, taxation and government performance; information and access; nonprofit action, advocacy, policy and technology; and regulatory policy. CFEG

U.S. Census Bureau Census

HOUSING

Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) - The Center presents a broad range of issues in the housing sector including emerging factors affecting housing and our communities. It publishes reports, working papers, conference proceedings, and research notes that can be downloaded. JCHS

ISSUES

Applied Information Resources - A public policy research and community information organization that provides citizen education on public issues. Content primarily focuses on the Greater Cincinnati area. AIR

Center for Public Integrity - Conducts investigative research and reporting on public policy issues in the United States and around the world. Public Integrity

Kids Count - A national and state-by-state effort to track the status of children in the U.S. Ten key measures comprise an index of child well-being used to rank states. Supplemental data on education, health, and economic conditions for each state is also included A project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Kids Count

LEGAL INFORMATION

Legal Information Institute - A comprehensive and easy-to-use resource listing general legal information and online resources. It contains many links to: US federal law sources; federal caselaw; state constitutions and codes; and US and state government information sites. Cornell

U.S. Courts - Offers information about and links to the federal court system. Courts

NEWS

Center for Media and Democracy - Investigates and exposes how the public relations industry and other professional propagandists manipulate public information, perceptions and opinion on behalf of governments and special interests. Media and Democracy

Stateline by Pew - Compiles a news report each weekday linking to the day's top news in the 50 state capitols, along with news stories and analysis by its staff of Washington-based reporters. It is a project of the Pew Research Center, a nonprofit subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts. Statelin

Political Information.com - A targeted search engine for politics, policy and political news. PolInfo