League of Women Voters celebrate 98th anniversary

MANISTEE —On Feb. 14 the League of Women Voters marked its 98th anniversary.

The Manistee League of Women Voters recently celebrated its 98th anniversary. Pictured (left to right) are Dave Wallace, Kurt Schindler, Fran Wallace, Sandy Nelson, Jan Sapak, Dick Albee, Mark Nelson, Mary Reed, Sylvester Wood, Marilyn Eipperle, Dennis Terhorst, Nancy Behring and Dan Behring. (Courtesy photo)

The Manistee League of Women Voters recently celebrated its 98th anniversary. Pictured (left to right) are Dave Wallace, Kurt Schindler, Fran Wallace, Sandy Nelson, Jan Sapak, Dick Albee, Mark Nelson, Mary Reed, Sylvester Wood, Marilyn Eipperle, Dennis Terhorst, Nancy Behring and Dan Behring. (Courtesy photo)

The League of Women Voters of Manistee County joins nearly 800 fellow local and state chapters in honoring the milestone.

“Ninety-eight years after the League’s founding, members of the Manistee County League are proud of the great progress it has made empowering voters and defending our democracy,” said Nancy Behring, president of the League of Women Voters of Manistee County. “By providing non-partisan forums before elections, the Manistee League has given voters the opportunity to hear and ask questions of the citizens running for public office, enabling them to make an informed decision at the ballot box. We will continue to work for more accessible elections in Michigan through our coming ‘Promote the Vote’ campaign in 2018.

Behring said barriers still exist, but look different in today’s world.

“Today’s barriers to the ballot certainly look different than they did when the League was founded nearly a century ago, but they remain threats to voter participation all the same,” Behring said. “Our efforts to take on discrimination and improve our government in our region and to improve our democracy continue today.”

Since its inception, the backbone of the League of Women Voters has been work of volunteers.

“The League has been powered by the efforts of civic volunteers and activists over the decades to successfully take on a range of key issues,” Behring said. “Not only have we undertaken sustained efforts to improve the voting process and to protect the environment over the years, but the national League has played widely acclaimed roles in international efforts, including the creation of the United Nations and the protection of Americans’ civil liberties from the 1950s on.”

Behring said the future of the organization looks bright.

“As we look to a vibrant future, we’re excited by the fact that our dedicated members locally are increasingly being joined by significant numbers of online activists across the community and country,” said Behring. “Together, we will continue to fight voter discrimination and ensure that our elections are fair, free and accessible. The League’s historic commitment to register, educate and mobilize voters is not only stronger, but more effective than ever, utilizing such tools as VOTE411.org, a cutting-edge election information website utilized by millions of voters each election cycle.”

The League of Women Voters has accomplished a great deal over the years.

“As we mark the League’s 98th anniversary, and see our 100th birthday quickly approaching, we celebrate our many accomplishments,” concluded Behring. “League members throughout Manistee County and Michigan are keeping our energies firmly on the future and the actions we will be undertaking to realize our goal: A better Manistee County, Michigan and a better America.”

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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