The League of Women Voters is committed to making democracy work across the country and around the world. Join us in educating and encouraging men and women to be active citizens and address the issues that affect our lives - education, health care, and our natural resources.
Officers President: Karen Mitchell Vice President for Programs: Phillip Stone Vice President for Membership: Kathy Ellis Secretary: Christina Johanningmeier Treasurer: Alice Claggett
Board Members Linda Powers Bilanchone, Lisa Caldwell-Salters, Mary Ann Washington Deku, Dee Goforth, Becky Slayton, Sundra Proctor Smith, Takeisha Washington, Darcell Davis Williams
Mission, Core Values and History
Our Mission The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. The League does not support or oppose any political party or candidate.
Our Core Values We are a nonpartisan political membership organization. We believe that grassroots initiatives and consensus building are our strengths. We believe that our organization models the principles of good governance. We consider well before taking action and prepare well before beginning to act. We believe that citizenship requires knowledge as well as the ability and will to act. We believe that the responsibility of good government rests on the shoulders of its citizens. We believe that the rights of citizens at home and abroad are interdependent.
Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion LWV 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, 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, thinking style, personality type, physical appearance, political perspective or affiliation and/or any other characteristic that can be identified as recognizing or illustrating diversity. This is both our national and local policy.
Our National History The League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) was founded in 1920 at the final meeting of the Women’s Suffrage Association after the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the constitution. After the 72-year struggle to win women’s right to vote, LWVUS was formed to urge women to vote and become knowledgeable about political issues.
Our Local History The League of Women Voters of Spartanburg County (LWVS) was organized in 1975 by the Junior League’s Public Affairs Committee. The first meeting was held on March 18, 1975, and was attended by 47 people. The group undertook a community survey of Spartanburg County. A month later, after the survey was completed, there were 62 paid members.
The LWVS then began its work. Candidates’ forums were held. A guide to Spartanburg County was published. In 1977, we produced the study, The Use of Revenue Sharing and Community Development Money by the City and County. In 1977-78, a study of the corrections system was carried out, resulting in a position supporting alternatives to incarceration and a pre-trial diversion program. Next came a study of the availability of housing for low-income people that turned into a thorough study of public housing which at the time was not living up to the standards found in other counties across the state. Over the years, the Spartanburg League has entertained and educated several groups from other countries who were studying how our democracy works. LWVS continues its work with ongoing, regular voter registration, informative public meetings, encouraging recycling, and seeking air quality improvements, especially around schools.
Past Presidents, LWV of Spartanburg County
2019-2020 Karen Mitchell 2018-2019 Mary Ann Washington Deku 2017-2018 Kathy Ellis & Mary Ann Washington Deku
2009-2012 Mary Ann Washington Deku 2007-2009 Dianne Fergusson 2006-2007 Linda Powers Bilanchone 2005-2006 Rose Mary Ritchie 2003-2004 Marlene Saad 2002-2003 Bea Bruce 2000-2002 Mary Lynn Conway 1998-2000 Jacqueline Rollins 1997-1998 Kathleen Kempe & Karen Mitchell 1996-1997 Linda Powers Bilanchone 1995-1996 Alice Henderson 1994-1995 Linda Powers Bilanchone 1992-1994 Peggy Bain 1990-1992 Peggy Romine 1988-1990 Alice Claggett 1987-1988 Mary Lynn Conway 1986-1987 Nancy Harrison 1985-1986 Linda Yandell 1983-1985 Karen Mitchell 1982-1983 Linda Powers Bilanchone 1981-1982 Jeanne Price 1979-1981 Joyce Wiley Elhassani 1977-1979 Linda Powers Bilanchone 1975-1977 Dot Drennan