The League of Women Voters of Rome-Floyd County was represented by Anna Hobson Sato and Rebecca S. Moye at the League of Women Voters of the United States 53rd National Convention held June 28–July 1 in Chicago. More than 1,000 League leaders from 49 states and the District of Columbia attended leadership workshops and heard from guest speakers about league priorities.
“We all want to see a League of Women Voters that’s suited to meet 21st-century demands, that works hard to court a new generation of leaders and activists, that looks like the people and communities for whom we so fervently advocate,” said LWVUS president Chris Carson in her opening remarks to the Convention delegates and attendees.
Founded in Chicago in 1920, the League of Women Voters is active in all 50 states with more than 750 chapters across the country.
“Convention was an incredible opportunity to connect with and learn from league leaders who are actively working in their communities to empower voters and defend democracy,” said President of the Rome-Floyd League Hobson Sato.
The convention kicked off with “A Conversation on Redistricting,” where attendees heard from Ruth Greenwood and Nick Stephanopoulos. Greenwood served on the legal team for the plaintiffs in the United States Supreme Court case Gill v. Whitford, which the court decided in June.
“Partisan and racial gerrymandering is a huge problem in this country, and the league is fighting to make sure the voters elect politicians who truly represent their interests, rather than elected officials picking their constituents,” said Rebecca Moye, first vice president of the Rome-Floyd League. “In Georgia, the League is fighting back by educating voters about the effects of local redistricting in the Atlanta metro area.”
Over the four-day convention, delegates voted on the priorities that the national organization should focus on for the next biennium. The Campaign for Making Democracy Work includes ensuring a free, fair and accessible electoral system for all eligible voters by focusing on voting rights, improving elections and advocacy for the National Popular Vote Compact, campaign finance/money in politics and redistricting.
The final night of convention, attendees heard from Elaine Weiss, author of “The Women’s Hour,” at a banquet where Leagues were recognized with awards for their work on improving the voter registration process and educating voters about local issues important to their communities. The LWV of Coastal Georgia group was recognized as the most recent fully established League after completing the required two year member-at-large status. Rome-Floyd County looks forward to gaining full status early in 2019.
“Hearing Elaine Weiss recount the final push for women’s suffrage in this country reminded me how important the League of Women Voters is to this day,” said Sato. “The number of women in elected offices do not reflect the demographic makeup of women in our communities. This is an important midterm election year and the league is committed to making sure the voters in Rome and Floyd County have the resources they need to participate in November.”