Making Democracy Work

History of the League of Women Voters of Loudoun County

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What we have done since our founding in 1946

Decades of Making a Difference!!

1946:
  • Organized to become the first rural League of Women Voters (LWV) in Virginia. At this time, Leagues were forming in Charlottesville-Albemarle, Arlington-Alexandria, Fairfax County, Richmond, and Rockingham County. All these local Leagues worked together to reestablish a Virginia State League.
  • Loudoun County members studied and supported an international food program in coalition with the LWV of the US.

1950s:
  • Published a "Know Your County" booklet based on a study of the Loudoun County government. (This was a requirement to become a local League at the time).
  • Held first fundraising drive for support of the League.
  • Studied mental health needs in the area.
  • Studied local education needs. Based on this study, the League opposed the use of public monies for private schools, worked to keep the schools open during the massive resistance era, and instituted a drive to collect petition signatures for a ballot referendum on changing the form of local government from the Traditional to County Executive. (Under the traditional form, the local school board is appointed by a three member School Trustee Board which is appointed by the Circuit Court Judge. Under the County Executive form, the appointments are made by the Supervisors.)
  • The League petitions were challenged for veracity, the challenge was settled in Court, the referendum was on the ballot but was defeated.
  • During this action, the League got a reputation in some circles of being slightly "pink." (this was the McCarthy Era) and the organization lost some members.

1960s:
  • Following a State League study of the Virginia Constitution, members worked for annual sessions of the General Assembly.
  • Members worked for desegregation of the County schools which was accomplished under a Court order in 1967.
  • We supported free textbooks for public school students, more teacher training and better salaries.
  • In response to a request of the Board of Supervisors, the Loudoun League conducted another drive to collect petition signatures for a referendum to change the form of government from Traditional to County Executive. Again the signatures were challenged for veracity, but the Supervisors voted to put the referendum on the ballot and again it was defeated.
  • We organized a Public Nominating Forum to provide for public participation in the nominating process of School Board candidates.
  • We supported land use planning for the County by professional planners.

1970s:
  • We studied and supported ways to promote the environment beneficial to life by protecting natural resources.
  • We supported County participation in the Northern VA. Park authority. Also supported purchase of park land by the County.
  • We supported alternative methods of financing local government to relieve the effects of the real estate tax on land use.
  • We created a weekly "Know Your County" program on WAGE radio.
  • We published "Know Your County" and "Know Your Schools" publications.
  • We held candidate forums.
  • We published "Facts For Voters."
  • We acted as volunteer registrars, conducting voter registration.
  • We held a public forum on Transferable Development Rights.
  • We sponsored an all day forum on "The Population."
  • We sponsored a three-day seminar on "Visions."
  • We studied and worked to protect water resources.

1980s:
  • We supported the protection of watersheds in the County.
  • We supported the regular pumping of septic tanks and checking of distribution boxes.
  • We supported adequate shelter for abused women and children.
  • We supported a program to collect hazardous waste.
  • We supported recycling.
  • We supported a zoning ordinance which supports the comprehensive plan.
  • We acted as volunteer registrars.
  • We studied the effects of Virginia being a Dillon Rule State.
  • We supported Family Life Education in K-12 in Loudoun schools.
  • We supported affordable housing in the County.

1990s:
  • We registered seniors in the high schools annually.
  • We met with the County's General Assembly representatives.
  • We sponsored candidate forums for County Board of Supervisors.
  • We studied ways of financing education at the State level.
  • We acted as volunteer registrars.
  • We studied the local Juvenile Justice system.
  • We spoke at Board of Supervisors meetings in favor of full funding of the school division budget and competitive salaries for our teachers.

2000s:
  • We sponsored a public forum titled "How Do We Measure Success in Our Schools?"
  • We opposed the Parental Rights Amendment.
  • We sponsored a community forum about safety in our schools.
  • We supported the Loudoun School policies which prohibit possession of any weapon on school property or at any school function.
  • We opposed state legislation to provide school tuition tax credits or vouchers and we worked in coalition with the Loudoun Education Association and the NAACP to lobby our members of the Virginia State Legislature in our opposition.
  • We registered High School students and other citizens to vote at the schools, festivals, and events.
  • We sponsored candidate forums live and on WAGE radio for town elections.
  • We began the annual "Meet Your Legislator" event where high school students and legislators meet and discuss the issues.
  • We published nonpartisan Voter Guides about the candidates and the issues for distribution before elections.
  • We began the annual Celebration of Women's History Month in March of each year.
  • We began utilizing Democracy Net (Dnet), an online League service to provide voters access to critical information about the candidates and the issues before an election.
  • We sponsored a community forum to discuss the controversial ballot referendum for Regional Sales Tax for Transportation Use.
  • We sponsored community discussions on the Zoning Ordinance revisions, Resources for our immigrants, and the United Nations.
  • We conducted homeowner association elections in retirement communities.
  • We hosted a delegation of Swedish journalists and government officials on election day 2008 so they could learn more about the U.S. voting process.
  • We participated in a documentary film, "Pink State Politics: Women Voters in Virginia."
  • We participated in Vote411.org.