Mission and History

The League of Women Voters encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

We envision a democracy where every person has the desire, the right, the knowledge and the confidence to participate. We believe in the power of women to create a more perfect democracy.


See “LWV-Needham Through the Decades” for a detailed history.

1940—LWV-Needham established. In its first year, the Needham League’s fifty members formed two study groups: foreign policy and “Know Your Town.”

1945—LWVN held its first Candidate’s Night. LWVN had 250 members.

1950—LWVN held first “town meetings in miniature” in each precinct to discuss the Town Meeting Warrant, the precursor to the current “Warrant Meetings.”

1954—Published “Know Your Town,” and “Know Your Schools,” which continued for several decades.

1965—Held “Punch Parties” in each precinct to meet Town Meeting candidates.

1974— LWV voting membership open to men.

1982—Studied town finances and impact of the Proposition 2 1/2.

1991—Began Town Meeting Orientation.

2006—Board of Selectman declared April “League of Women Voters of Needham Awareness Month.”

2010—Membership, which dipped below 100 in the 1990s, rose to 167.

2014—First LWVN Civics Bee.

2015—Established LWVN Education Fund.

2015—Celebrated LWVN 75th Anniversary with a High Tea at Town Hall.

2016—LWV voting membership open to all people at least 16 years old.