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.

History in Brief

1939—LWV-Needham (LWVN) established as a local League by LWV of the United States.

1940—LWVN held its first meeting. During its first year the Needham League’s fifty members formed two study groups: foreign policy and “Know Your Town.”

1946—LWVN held its first Candidate’s Night. LWVN had 250 members.

1949–First Voter Guide printed in the local paper. It included replies to questionnaire from Town Meeting candidates

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

1952–First Voter Guide for townwide offices and Town Meeting Member candidates.

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 charitable organization.

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.

2018—LWVN Club at Needham High School is formed.

2019-2020—LWVN celebration of “Women: Past, Present and Future.”

2019—LWVN float honoring the Silent Sentinels awarded Grand Prize in Needham July 4th parade.

2020–LWVN participates in the nationwide Women Power the Vote Day of Action.

2020–The COVID-19 pandemic results in the cancellation of many planned 100th anniversary events.

2021–Karen Price retires from the presidency of the League of Women Voters of Needham after serving for 13 years.

2022-2023–LWV_Needham is the largest League in Massacusetts with over 250 members.