San Francisco League History

Women in San Francisco, along with other Californians, earned the right to vote in 1911 and they started the San Francisco Center which promoted voter education and women’s suffrage in California. In 1920, the San Francisco Center became part of the League of Women Voters. 

The  League of Women Voters of San Francisco is a member driven,  volunteer, grassroots, non-partisan, multi-issue organization that  encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in  government. We work to increase understanding of major public policy  issues and to influence public policy through education and advocacy. We  are an organization of women and men who want to make a difference in  the political future of our communities. We do not support or oppose candidates or political parties.


The League of Women Voters was founded by Carrie Chapman Catt in 1920 during the convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association just six months before the 19th amendment to the Constitution (granting women the right to vote) was ratified.


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.” - April 1919, Carrie Chapman Catt 


Since 1920 the League has helped to 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. 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 issues, the fight against poverty and discrimination, the civil rights movement, reproductive freedom, health care reform and became a major advocate for campaign finance reform.

National League of Women Voters

California League of Women Voters


LWVSF Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy

The League of Women Voters of San Francisco is an organization fully committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in principle and in practice. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are central to the organization’s 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 this organization 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.