League of Women Voters of the Austin Area Kickoff Event

The League of Women Voters (LWVAA) invites members and the public to its Fall Kickoff event from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m., Sunday, September 7 in the Trinity United Methodist Church Sanctuary on 4001 Speedway, Austin, 78751. Hear about planned LWVAA activities for the 2014-15 year and get involved.

Evan Smith, CEO and editor-in-chief of the Texas Tribune, will speak about the state of the political scene in Texas – covering such topics as the 2014 primary election results, the current state of the political parties in Texas, whether political platforms influence voters’ decisions, and other matters that may impact voter turnout such as photo ID, gender issues, and money in elections.

Evan Smith spent more than a decade as editor of the Texas Monthly, co-founded the Texas Tribune (a nonprofit, non-partisan public media organization), and hosts “Overheard with Evan Smith,” a weekly interview program that airs on PBS stations across the country.

For questions, email lwvaustin@lwvaustin.org  or call 512-451-6710.

Anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote

Ninety-four years ago on August 26, after decades of tireless advocacy, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the 19th amendment, granting women the right to vote. The fight for universal suffrage continues today, so as we mark this historic anniversary, we are reminded how valuable our right to vote remains.

With the signing of this constitutional amendment, the work of the newly formed League of Women Voters, which was founded to finish the fight for suffrage, really began. An estimated 25 million women were, with the stroke of a pen, eligible to vote. The task of registering and informing those new women voters was enormous. Add to that the understandable desire of those who had worked so long and hard for woman suffrage to make a difference with their votes.

It is tempting to look back on those early days of the League for inspiration, especially as we look forward to a federal midterm election where much is at stake, but where too often voter enthusiasm is low. While it may be challenging, we are also inspired by the fact that so many Leagues and members are already out in their communities registering and educating voters through voters’ guides, candidate forums and VOTE411.org.