League History… or is it “Her”story?
The League of Women Voters was founded in 1920 during the convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. That meeting was held six months before ratification of the Constitution’s 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote.
From it’s inception, the League has been an activist, grassroots organization, believing that educating citizens plays a critical role in advocacy.
The League got its official start in Florida in 1939, when women in Winter Haven, Winter Park and St. Petersburg initiated the Florida League of Women Voters. Our local unit became the Winter Park/Orlando League.
As Florida grew in population, the League membership also grew, adding men as well as women. In the ‘60s it became the League of Women Voters of Orange County.
Several members from LWV Orange County have served as president of the League of Women Voters of Florida.
The first League member elected to the Florida Legislature was Beth Johnson, from Orlando, who served in both the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate.