League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
September 17, 2009
The League has made me the person I am today. No other organization has given me such amazing opportunities to learn, network with fascinating leaders in their fields, and get involved in my community. I have been involved with all sorts of organizations and none give me more satisfaction than being a League member.
When I moved to San Francisco, dozens of issues were being settled at the ballot box and each had supporters and opponents with strident, contradictory campaign materials. I struggled to find unbiased analysis and, for the first time in my life, I considered not voting because I felt so unprepared. I was horrified: I was in one of the most famously politically active cities in the country, and yet I couldn’t find basic voter information?
Then I found the League Education Fund, the only consistent source of straightforward election information I could trust. I started hosting parties before each election: we order pizza and discuss our ballots using http://www.SmartVoter.org, the http://www.EasyVoter.org Guide, and other League resources. This inspired me to train to present the ballot measures to community groups and on television, give testimony at hearings, and organize issue forums. I couldn’t have imagined I’d have so much fun educating myself about the issues, improving my research and presentation skills, and strengthening democracy.
I’m also proud that I can share such rewarding opportunities with colleagues, new members, and even international visitors from the State Department, United Nations and student exchange programs. We need everyone to participate in civic life in order to be a strong, safe, fair and vibrant place to live. Because the League is a model grassroots organization, my hands-on work is part of a powerful movement dedicated to tangible civic improvement at the local, state, national and even international levels.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
every aspect of my life, from the friendships I've made to invaluable networking with leaders across the state. Most importantly, I know that I, my friends, and my community are more active and informed. We make democracy work, thanks to the League!
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
be so incredibly proud of the grassroots network of Leagues, experts, writers, speakers... what amazing volunteers!
What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...
the mentors I have found and their encouragement to mentor
others through the League.
The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...
from all walks of life, with divergent views, but always happy to be brought together by a trusted, respectful organization that puts the democratic process and community building above all else.
If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...
still rely upon grassroots volunteerism - it isn't top down programs, but community engagement, which matters.
Ways to make it better...
I had realized the full scope of the resources, activities, and people involved in the Education Fund.
In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...
how many people need to be helped to understand that THEY are the government, THEY are powerful, and THEY have rights - and the responsibility - to make democracy work!
One thing I'd also say is that...
I can't recommend this organization highly enough. So many people assume it is funded by the government or has a large staff. The LWVC Education Fund is a success because of people just like you, who give their time, attention, and support.
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
Volunteer & my hands-on work is part of a powerful movement dedicated to tangible civic improvement at the local, state, national and even international levels.