League of Women Voters of Illinois Records

Institution: University of Illinois at Chicago - Special Collections and University Archives
Richard J. Daley Library
801 S. Morgan St., Room 3-330
Chicago, IL 60607
Phone: 312-996-2742
Date: 1916-
Extent: 46 Linear Feet
Finding Aid

Biographical/Historical Note:
Spawned from the National American Woman Suffrage Association's 72-year campaign for woman's suffrage, the National League of Women Voters was formed in Chicago in October of 1920. The League maintained a non-partisanship reputation while focusing on key issues of interest to women such as a woman's status in the United States, social issues, and preventing war. Throughout its history, the League of Women Voters of Illinois has distributed election and government information to members and non-members alike. Each year league members create specific programs of action that direct lobbying efforts on issue-oriented subjects at the local, state, and national level of government. The Illinois League of Women Voters called for several state constitutional conventions to allow women on juries, to reapportion Congressional districts, and to provide for easier passage of Constitutional Amendments. In the 1960s and 1970s, the league began arguing for more comprehensive urban planning policies, environmental preservation, and bureaucratic accountability. Also during this time, the Illinois League filed amicus curiae briefs in several court cases, including Tometz v. the Board of Education of Waukegan City School District No. 61 (which involved gerrymandered school boundaries that perpetuated racial segregation), and the Metropolitan Sanitary District v. U.S. Steel (Lake Michigan pollution).

Scope and Content Note:
This collection reflects the activities of the League of Women Voters of Illinois. The bulk of the collection consists of reports, pamphlets, booklets and correspondence between the state board of directors and local league presidents. Though the league began operations in 1920, most of the documents within this collection relate to the years between 1950 and 1982. Though the collection contains documents from around Illinois, members and local leagues in and around the Chicagoland area produced most of the materials. The collection contains board reports, staff correspondence, newsletters, memoranda, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, brochures, various governmental studies, court cases, and candidate questionnaires.

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