Tomorrow will mark the 94th anniversary of the founding of the League of Women Voters by Carrie Chapman Catt on Feb. 14, 1920. Catt, a leading suffragist and brilliant strategist, devised the "Winning Plan", which led to the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment granting all women in the United States the right to vote. This was the culmination of a seventy-two year effort which began in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848. Visionary and courageous individuals throughout the country, including Zerelda Wallace, step-mother of Lew Wallace, were key suffrage supporters.

Catt created the LWV in 1920 to be a nonpartisan, multi-issue organization to encourage informed and active participation in government. From the beginning, the LWV has provided service to voters and influenced public policy through education and advocacy. The LWV does not endorse or oppose any candidate or political party and is now open to men as well as women.

Among services to voters, the League encourages citizens to register and vote. The Montgomery County LWV website ( ) provides contact information for city and county governmental officials and also links to state and national governmental agencies as well as to our state and national elected representatives and senators. The League sponsors candidate forums /debates with the Chamber of Commerce and BPW, conducts poll worker surveys and monitors polling locations.

The League provides information and voter registration booths at the Montgomery County Fair, Indiana State Fair, and Wabash Expo. The LWV has a "Voting Booth" at the Business and Professional Women's Reality Store for all 8th graders. The League researches, publishes, and distributes FOCUS on Montgomery County, the "Government Directory for Crawfordsville and Montgomery County," and other informational pamphlets all provided free to the public. The LWV also has an Observer Corps which regularly monitors more than twenty city and county councils, boards, and commissions, as well as school boards.

LWV members study local, state and national issues, and the League sponsors public informational evening meetings as well as the "Lunch with the League" noontime programs. Some of the public informational meetings this year have been held on Agriculture, Indiana State Resources for Small Communities, Health Care in Montgomery County, Vote Centers, Senior Programming at Parks and Recreation, NICHES: Northern Indiana Citizens helping Ecosystems Survive, MCED and Chamber of Commerce, New Vision for the Old Culver Hospital , and President Gregory Hess's recent "College Connection with the Community."

The League co-sponsored with Wabash College Library a monthly Green Issues Movie series in the summer and helped coordinate the five day Advocacy Training for Livable Communities in October. The LWV and MCED will be co-sponsoring the second "State of the Community" Tuesday, February 18, 7 p.m. at the Crawfordsville High School Auditorium.

The League collaborates with a number of other local organizations in outreach programs and sponsoring public forums in areas of mutual interest including Carnegie Museum, Main Street, Ivy Tech, Montgomery County Community Foundation, Purdue University Extension Service, and the Convention /Visitors Bureau.

The LWV of Montgomery County is an entirely volunteer organization with 138 men and women contributing countless hours working for good government. The annual Finance Drive, which funds all local activities, is conducted each year at the time of the League's anniversary. Contributions can be sent to the League of Women Voters (LWVMC) P.O. Box 101, Crawfordsville, Indiana, 47933.

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan, multi-issue organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase public understanding of major policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. All men and women are invited to join the LWV where hands-on work to safeguard democracy leads to civic improvement. For more information about the League, visit the website , send a message to LWV, PO Box 101, Crawfordsville, IN 47933, or e-mail