Hello members and friends of the League of Women Voters of Yakima County.

The League has a long history of women connecting. History is filled with women facing overwhelming odds and impacting change. This month we are celebrating Women’s Equality Day which marks the anniversary of the certification of the 19th amendment in 1920. This work began on the national level with the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention. There will be articles, blog posts, and more about this historic event in history and the impact of current decisions on women’s equality – this note was originally going to be about that. While reading, I kept thinking about the five women who organized the Seneca Falls Convention: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Mary M’Clintock, Martha Coffin Wright, and Jane Hunt. None of these women lived to see the certification of the 19th amendment. They were tackling huge issues, but they met, they talked about what they could do and encouraged others to join, and it grew.

I have had multiple conversations with people while hosting our booth at the Downtown Yakima’s Farmers Market. Some have voted and feel frustrated at the low voter turn-out, others said they were overwhelmed at the amount of research needed and ran out of time. Sadly, still more said their vote didn’t count and they no longer participated.

For more than a century, the League of Women Voters has worked to empower voters and defend democracy. We envision a democracy where every person has the desire, the right, the knowledge, and the confidence to participate. Voting is one way to participate, but there are many others – being involved makes voting easier. Ways to participate include joining a political party, help with a campaign, join a civic or community group, give an elected official your opinion on an issue, call Senators and Representatives, publicly support or oppose an issue or policy, run for office, write to a newspaper and so much more. The Yakima County League of Women Voters is working diligently to assist those who feel disconnected from the process – connected.

Those five women who organized the Seneca Falls Convention felt disconnected – but they joined together and talked about how to get people involved and they changed the world. Come join us as we work to not just encourage people to vote – but participate and join their voice with their neighbors. Together we feel the power of their voice and be engaged in the process. Together we can change the world.

Lee Murdock, League President