Making Democracy Work

Because democracy is not a spectator sport

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy.
Chicago is a very proud league with a rich history. The League of Women Voters of the United States was founded here in Chicago on February 14, 1920. It was founded in anticipation of the ratification of the 19th Amendment which grants women nationwide the right to vote.

The new organization's founders realized that the right by itself was not enough: it had to be exercised. When women cast their first votes, the League was there to provide accurate, unbiased election information. The League helped American women exercise their new political rights and responsibilities in a way that was "political...but not partisan."

The Illinois League, followed by its local chapters, was formed shortly after the national organization. Membership is open to all persons, men and women, ages 16 and older.



  • Thursday, January 25
  • 5:30 - 7pm

Marisel Hernandez and James Allen, commissioners with Chicago Board of Election, will be speaking about the programs in place to encourage voter participation and protections to secure the vote.

For more details, see Chicago in Focus

See our Calendar for all upcoming League activities.


m Hill Hammock and Susan Kern
M Hill Hammock, Chair of CCHHS and Susan Kern, LWV Palatine

Health Care - A Right or Responsibility?

M. Hill Hammock, Chair of the Cook County Health and Hospital System, was the speaker for our November 30th Chicago in Focus event.

Mr. Hammock addressed a packed house on the current state of health care in the US today. Is health care a right or a responsibility? The Constitution does not define health care as a right. Is it individual responsibility or does the government have a responsibility to citizens as well? Ultimately, it will be the voters who decide.

logo of a voter checkbox

VOTER TURNOUT SUMMIT LWV Chicago and the UIC Political Department hosted the Voter Turnout Summit on November 17. The focus was to discuss opportunities and ideas to improve on Chicago's voter turnout, which was under 17% in the last special election. The program included both a panel discussion with distinguished guests and breakout sessions with voting specialists.

You can watch the panel portion thanks to CAN TV.

Panel Discussion Video


The recent increase in LWV membership is discussed in this Chicago Woman article. We welcome all these new members!

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On October 28, LWV Chicago volunteers were at on-hand at Chicago Housing Authority to help with voter registration and voter questions. Over 30 individuals submitted their registration forms, and our volunteers assisted others with online registration and mail-in applications. Reminder bookmarks for the March 20, 2018 primary were handed out with voter information resources as well.

Get involved with voter registration opportunities! Check out our Volunteer page and Voter Services committee.

Have our LWV members help your next voter registration drive! Contact for information.


September 6, 2017 The League of Women Voters of Chicago announces today that it will support efforts to change the name of Balbo Drive, the heavily traveled street on the lakefront, and proposes that the street bear the name of Ida B. Wells Barnett. The group is asking city residents to contact their aldermen and ask for the name change to honor the suffragist, civil rights activist and investigative journalist who was an early leader of the civil and women's rights movements, worked against segregation in Chicago's public schools and helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Read the full press release.

The League suggests that citizens who wish to join in this campaign contact their aldermen. Locate aldermen information at: Ward and Alderman Search