The League of Women Voters of Hillsborough County History
The League of Women Voters of the United States was organized in 1920 by Carrie Chapman Catt shortly before the Women’s Suffrage Amendment was ratified. Its principal aim was to help the newly enfranchised women become politically educated, responsible voting citizens. There are Leagues in every state, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands with over 90,000 members.
The League of Women Voters of Florida was formed in 1939 by three local Leagues then in existence: St. Petersburg, Winter Haven and Winter Park-Orlando. Thirty local Leagues in Florida, plus one comprised of members-at-large, have over 4,600 members.
The League of Women Voters of Hillsborough County was organized in April 1949 with 60 members as an outgrowth of the Public Affairs Committee of the YWCA. In 1965, the name was changed to League of Women Voters of Hillsborough County to better reflect membership and concerns. For more than 60 years the League has studied many issues and has been active in calling for reforms. It has served as a training ground for many elected and appointed leaders.
Because Hillsborough County lacks the large retiree base on which most Florida counties rely for civic volunteers, the Hillsborough League has always been on the LWV cutting edge to find new ways to balance League procedures, a source of League strength, with available member time. This Hillsborough LWV is determined to continue as a meaningful citizen voice in local government.