The League of Women Voters of San Francisco is a nonpartisan political nonprofit that defends democracy. We provide education to encourage people to vote in elections and participate in government. We also engage in advocacy to influence public policy that benefits the community. People of all genders are welcome.
We do not support or oppose candidates or political parties.
LWVSF is fully committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in principle and in practice. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are central to our current and future success in engaging all individuals, households, communities, and policy makers in creating a more perfect democracy.
There shall be no barriers to full participation in LWVSF on the basis of gender, gender identity, gender expression, ethnicity, race, native or indigenous origin, age, generation, sexual orientation, culture, religion, belief system, marital status, parental status, socioeconomic status, language, accent, ability status, mental health, educational level or background, geography, nationality, work style, work experience, job role function, housing status, immigration status, thinking style, personality type, physical appearance, political perspective or affiliation, and/or any other characteristic that can be identified as recognizing or illustrating diversity.
The League of Women Voters of San Francisco is nonpartisan. This means we do not support or oppose any political parties or candidates. Our nonpartisan stance adds strength to our positions on issues and makes possible the wide acceptance of our voter services and education.
There are many ways we remain nonpartisan. Our board members may not hold or run for partisan elective office, serve in an official position in a political party, work in certain significant ways for political campaigns, nor make contributions to campaigns or candidates for partisan office or political parties. The political activities of a board member are separate and distinct from those of their spouse, partner, or relative.
In 1911 California women earned the right to vote. That same year, San Francisco women founded the San Francisco Center to promote voter education and women’s suffrage. In 1920 the San Francisco Center became part of the League of Women Voters of the U.S. The League had just been founded by Carrie Chapman Catt during the convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association just six months before the ratification of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted women the right to vote.
“The politicians used to ask why we wanted to vote. They seemed to think we want to do something particular with it, something we were not telling about. They did not understand that women wanted to help improve the general welfare of the people.”
— Carrie Chapman Catt, April 1919
Since 1920, the League has helped improve the general welfare of the people. Some of the League’s earliest causes included support for child labor laws, minimum wage, compulsory education, and equal opportunity for women. Our work on some of these issues affected the creation of laws that are still in force today.
A brief review of some other issues in which the League took a leadership role reads like a historical summary of our nation. The League has been involved in environmental advocacy, the fight against poverty and discrimination, the civil rights movement, reproductive freedom, health care reform, and campaign finance reform.