League of Women Voters | Rochester Metropolitan Area, Rochester, NY

The League of Women Voters in Rochester, NY

The League of Women Voters was founded by Carrie Chapman Catt in 1920, just six months before the 19th amendment to the U.S. March led by Susan B. Anthony demanding equal rights for women Constitution gave women the right to vote after a 72-year struggle.

The League began as a "mighty political experiment" designed to help 20 million women carry out their new responsibilities as voters. From the beginning, the League was an activist, grassroots organization whose leaders believed that citizens should play a critical role in advocacy.

The League is a nonpartisan, political organization which encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. The League is NOT limited to women — men can join in the fight as well.

Each member participates in the league as time and preference permit, but every member strengthens the voice of the League and increases our impact.

League projects

  • voter registration
  • nonpartisan voter information
  • moderating candidate debates
  • advocacy for campaign finance reform
  • scrutiny of public school funding
  • budgetary process reform
  • much, much more!


The standing committees of the League study issues and provide the research and organization of League Days which are held on the first Thursday of each month. The committees are:

  • Social Policy
  • Local Government
  • Voter Services
  • Natural Resources.

Our League

  • sponsors studies such as the Risks and Benefits of Local Development Corporations researched in conjunction with the Center for Governmental Research
  • registers voters
  • participates in naturalization ceremonies for new citizens
  • assists the Board of Elections with absentee ballots
  • conducts the Fair Election Campaign Practices initiative
  • plans dinner and luncheon programs to develop League awareness and present a forum for major addresses from public representatives on current topics.
  • hosts foreign delegations who study democracy and democratic institutions
  • provides publications such as Who Represents You, a listing of all public officials representing the Rochester Metropolitan area, which is available in printed form and also as a pdf document on our website.
  • publishes a monthly newsletter, The Voter, which provides current information on a monthly basis.

Our Diversity Policy adopted February 25, 2015

  1. The League of Women Voters of Rochester Metropolitan Area, in both its values and practices, is committed to inclusion and diversity.  This means that there shall be no barriers to participation in any activity of the League on the basis of economic position, gender, race, creed, age, sexual orientation, national origin, or disability.

  2. We recognize that diverse perspectives are important and necessary for responsible and representative decision making.  We believe inclusiveness enhances the organinization’s ability to respond more effectively to changing conditions and needs.

  3. We affirm our commitment to reflecting the diversity of our Rochester Metropolitan Area community.

Our Non-Partisan Policy approved Fall 1988; reviewed October 27, 2012

  1. The League of Women Voters-Rochester Metropolitan Area is a nonpartisan organization which does not support or oppose any political party or candidate.  In order to avoid public confusion of an individual’s activities with those of the League, each board member should exercise discretion and refrain from any activities which might make it appear that the League is supporting or opposing a party or candidate.

  2. It is the responsibility of each individual concerned to inform the board of any political activities being considered, and it is the responsibility of the board to decide when an individual must resign because of such activities.

  3. It is also the responsibility of the president to remind the nominating committee to discuss the League’s nonpartisanship policy with potential nominees.

  4. To aid in deciding what activities are appropriate, the following guidelines have been adopted for League board members:
    a. May not run for partisan public office, may not work publicly for candidates in partisan elections, and may not work publicly for a political party.
    b. May attend, but may not hostess, coffees or meetings for individual partisan candidates.
    c. May contribute a modest amount to any candidate or party. 
    d. Board members may attend fund raising activities with the exception of the president, vice presidents, the action director, the voters service director.
    e. May sign petitions for candidates or issues but may not carry a petition for a candidate.
    f. May work as an election inspector but may not be a poll watcher for a candidate.
    g. If there is a question of whether an action might compromise the nonpartisan policy, consult with the President.
    h. If a director serves for only part of a year, observation of the   nonpartisanship policy is required only for the duration of the time that the director holds that office.

  5. The political activities of a spouse or family member are considered as separate and distinct from the activities of a League board member.

  6. A League board member who wishes to actively support a candidate or engage in partisan politics must resign.  When such a resignation occurs, care should be taken to be sure that the attendant publicity does not create a partisan impression.  Those who have resigned may serve on the board at a future date when no longer involved in political activity.

Candidate Event Policy

Click here to see our bylaws.

P.O. Box 10573 · Rochester, NY · 14610
585.262.3730 · info@lwv-rma.org