For the past 100 years, the League of Women Voters has been a national non-partisan organization fighting for voter protection and education within our democracy. With local leagues in all 50 states, members nationwide fight and advocate for their community on a number of local issues such as K-12 and alternative education, tax allocation, natural resource preservation, childcare and many others.
Here in Moscow, Idaho, we are home to the largest league in the state with over 130 members since its establishment in 1952. The League of Women Voters in Moscow is responsible for bringing support to certain issues the community has faced in the past such as, childcare, K-12 education, natural resource protection and preservation. While their main focus is in local issues, they still maintain the national league’s broader mission statement of voter registration, citizen education and protection of democracy. Some specific studies from the League of Women Voters of Moscow collection include, the Paradise Creek study, Solid Waste forums, water protection, Mock elections and other local environmental projects that continue to serve the community in the present day.
According to the materials found in the LWV of Moscow records, a Solid Waste forum was held in Moscow in the late 1980s and served to educate the public on the harm of solid waste in landfills, what protections need to be in place going forwards to keep breathable air and clean water, as well as suggestions to adopt the reduce, reuse, recycle alternative.
The local league’s efforts to encourage recycling and facilitate public knowledge on key issues has only continued. The league’s effort to educate the community on issues related to preventing water pollution can be seen in the 1997 panel conference in Latah County called ‘Tools for Drinking Water Protection’. Here once again the league took it upon themselves to educate the community on water pollution prevention. There are numerous other studies and research materials found in this collection that truly represent the work of the League of Women Voters Moscow. Furthermore, it shows their dedication not only to the civic duties of democracy, but the importance of citizens who are aware of the current issues in their community and provide them with the resources to successfully navigate themselves and be a part of the solution.
This blog post was written and researched by Erin Geslani, the 2021 Gary E. and Carolyn J. Strong Special Collections Fellowship Recipient, as a part of her fellowship project.