Mission & History
The League of Women Voters Baltimore City is part of a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. We work locally to empower voters and defend democracy.
History of the League of Women Voters and Baltimore City
Founded in 1920 after passage of the Nineteenth Amendment giving women the right to vote, the League of Women Voters of the United States followed in the footsteps of the National American Women’s Suffrage Association. The mission of this new organization was to encourage women to exercise this new right to participate in the electoral process and to provide them with the information necessary to ensure they were informed voters.
This remains the central mission of the League of Women Voters, with the addition over the years of focused advocacy around issues that its members have investigated, discussed, and agreed upon by a consensus process. In recent years, the League has welcomed men as active members.
In its present form, the League of Women Voters exists on the national, state, and local levels. Dues paid to the local League means membership in the state and national Leagues as well.
The archival collection of the League of Women Voters of Baltimore City is held by the University of Baltimore Special Collections & Archives where it is available for public access and research.
Their online digital exhibit centers on the legacy of women's suffrage and shows how the League is a direct descendant of that movement. This exhibit highlights examples of the League's work, advocacy, and history over the course of one hundred years.
The LWV Baltimore City’s digital exhibit
Baltimore City’s Sadie Crockin (1880 – 1965) was a leader, a community organizer, an activist, a suffragist, a mother, a wife, and perhaps above all an inspiration – a true Upstander. A natural orator, Crockin embraced her abilities as a public speaker to fight for the causes in which she passionately believed. From her part in the fight for women’s votes to aiding in the growth of Hadassah, encouraging voter education, and supporting Maryland’s immigrant community, Crockin left behind a legacy of women inspired to take up their cause.
She was the founder of the Baltimore City League of Women Voters in 1920. The City League honors Sadie Crockin by naming its 501(c)(3)tax deductible fund after her. Donations to the Sadie Crockin Memorial Fund support voter education and registration activities including publication of the Voters’ Guide and Guide to Elected Officials, candidate forums, and voter registration initiatives.
Activities of the League
Since 1920, the League of Women Voters of Baltimore City has researched, debated and advocated for a variety of local social-political issues, such as transportation, housing, environmental concerns, campaign reform, urban renewal, city government, education, police relations, civil rights and many others. It bases its advocacy activities around positions arrived at after careful study conducted at either the city, the state, or the national level.
During elections, the League of Women Voters of Baltimore City produces Voters’ Guides, provides information about voting, assists in voter registration drives, and hosts forums and debates for candidates. Our local city League has also created education programming and outreach activities to teach about the voting and elections process. The League researches and produces studies and informational fact sheets; conducts forums and sponsors speakers on local, state, and national issues; distributes informational brochures and pamphlets; and provides information to the public on national, state, and local issues. Members of the League also advocate at the city and state level on issues of importance to Baltimore City that are covered by positions previously studied and approved at one or more levels of the League of Women Voters.