The League of Women Voters

by Jeremy Loudenback

In the June, only a quarter of California voters cast ballots in the state’s primary election, a record low.

Lunch with a Leader promo box - BeltranIn Los Angeles, similar concerns about voter turnout aren’t new. The Los Angeles 2020 Commission highlighted the city’s woeful record of voting and civic engagement, which has stimulated calls to find new ways to bring registered voters to ballots, including a startling proposal to offer voters cash prizes via random drawings.

In a time where civic participation is seemingly at its lowest ebb, the role of the League of Women Voters is more important than ever. Though it often flies under the radar, the nonprofit organization plays an important role in
encouraging voter participation and education. Long known for its voter guides and election information, the League of Women Voters sponsors civic events at the national, state, and local levels designed to broaden understanding of public policy issues.  But the organization also pursues an active advocacy role for select issues and provides election management services to a wide array of local democratic organizations such as neighborhood councils, labor unions, and nonprofits.

On Monday, September 8, the Bedrosian Center welcomes Raquel Beltran, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles, as part of 2014-2015 Lunch with a Leader series. Beltran will discuss lessons learned from legendary labor leader and political activist Cesar Chavez, the unique civic character of Los Angeles, what citizens can do to become more involved in the electoral process, and her experiences overseeing a largely volunteer-driven political organization includes Los Angeles, Culver City, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, and North Hollywood.

According to Beltran, education is central to improving voter engagement. “My hope is that we give people the tools they need to make educated decisions at the polls,” she said recently. “Only then will we see voter turnout increase significantly in the state. Engagement is pivotal to having a successful democracy in our country.”

 Seating is limited for this event. For more information, contact Donnajean Ward to request an invitation.

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