Making Democracy Work

About the LWV of the National Capital Area

The purpose of LWVNCA shall be to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation in government, and to act on selected governmental issues of a metropolitan, regional or interjurisdictional nature such as energy, water and transportation.

Our Mission and Roles

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. We never support or oppose any political party or candidate.

The League of Women Voters has two separate and distinct roles.

  • Voters Service/Citizen Education: we present unbiased nonpartisan information about elections, the voting process, and education residents on public policy issues.

  • Action/Advocacy: we are also nonpartisan, but, after study, we use our positions to advocate for or against particular public policies or legislation in the interest of good governance.

To conduct our voter service and citizen education activities, we use funds from the League of Women Voters Education Fund, which is a 501(c)(3) corporation, a nonprofit educational organization. The League of Women Voters, a membership organization, conducts action and advocacy and is a nonprofit 501(c)(4) corporation.

Our Vision, Beliefs, and Intentions guide our activities.

History of the League of Women Voters of the National Capital Area

The League of Women Voters of the National Capital Area (LWVNCA) was formally established in 1963. The orginial name was The League of Women Voters - Metropolitan Washington Council.

Members of local Leagues surrounding the nation's capital began informal meetings on regional issues as far back as 1958. In 1962 with the Metro system coming to the area the meetings became more regular, often including a representative of the National League (LWVUS). The meetings culminated in a "Agreement of Cooperation" in 1963 formalizing the group as an Inter League Organization (ILO). LWVNCA was incorporated in 1972.

Ms Madeline Dorothy Naumann played a major role in establishing the organization. She was a member of the League of Women Voters of Arlington County. She was elected our first president and served between 1963 to 1966. The biennial Madeline Naumann award was named in her honor in 1998.

History League of Women Voters of the United States

Past LWVNCA Presidents

1963-1966 Madeline Dorothy Naumann, -- LWV of the Washington Metropolitan Area (LWVAR)

1966-1968 Cynthia Hannum -- (LWVPG); Founded the Lobby Corp in 1970

1968-1970 Beverly Beidler -- (LWVA)

1970-1973 Irene Hill -- (LWVMC)

1973-1975 Patricia Jensen + (LWVFA: also Former President of LWV of Virginia and LWV of Iowa and served on the LWVUS board 1982-86)

1975-1976 Kay Morrison -- (LWVMC)

1976-1978 Sarah Jane Phillips -- (LWVFA)

1978-1980 Pat Watt -- (LWVFA)

1980-1983 Kathy Ziffer -- (LWVMC)

1983-1985 Ellyn Swanson -- (LWVDC)

1985-1987 Natalie Testa -- (LWVMC)

1987-1989 Ruth Dixon -- (LWVDC)

1989-1991 Pat Brady -- (LWVFA also served on the LWVUS Board 1992-98)

1991-1993 Ethelyn Bishop -- (LWVPG)

1993-1995 Beth Cogswell -- (LWVAR)

1995-1997 Katy Cannady -- (LWVA)

1997-2001 Naomi Glass -- (LWVDC)

2001-2005 Barbara Sherrill -- (LWVAR)

2005-2009 Melpi Jeffries -- (LWVMC)

2009-2013 Elinor Hart -- (LWVDC)

2013-2015 Virginia Long -- (LWVFC)

2015-2019 Kathy McGuire -- (LWVMC)

2019- present Co-presidents: Linda Softli --(LWVDC) & Joyce Starks -- (LWVPGC)