League of Women Voters of Northern Valley to Celebrate Organization’s 100th Birthday in Nationwide Day of Action

Carol Simon Levin (center)
Re-enactor Carol Simon Levin (center) portrays Lillian Feickert, president of the NJ Woman Suffrage Association from 1912-1920. Photo Credit: Carol Simon Levin

(Eastern Bergen County, New Jersey; January 2, 2020) –- The League of Women Voters turns 100 years old on February 14, 2020.  During that week, the League of Women Voters of Northern Valley (LWVNV) joins local and state Leagues around the country in a nationwide day of action, ‘Women Power the Vote’.

Dr. Florence Spearing Randolph, founder of the NJ Association of Colored Women’s Clubs. Photo Credit: Public Domain

The LWVNV will commemorate this historic occasion with a special program, “Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote”, on Monday, February 10, 2020.  The festive celebration takes place at 7:30 p.m. at Leonia High School Little Theater, 100 Christie Heights Street in Leonia, New Jersey.  The event is free and open to the public.

“The League was founded by suffrage leaders 100 years ago to help American women exercise their new right to vote,” said Nike Prieston Bach, Co-President, League of Women Voters of Northern Valley.  “Today, we celebrate and join Leagues nationwide in demonstrating the power of women to achieve a more perfect democracy.”

‘Women Power the Vote’ celebrates the League’s 100-year milestone by bringing together Leagues in over 750 communities across the country with one unified day of action.  “For 100 years, Leagues have registered voters, informed their communities on the issues, advocated in their legislatures, and helped shape their communities and this country,” said Chris Carson, president of the board of the League of Women Voters of the United States.  “We only saw it fitting that we should celebrate this milestone with a coordinated day of the kind of grassroots activism our members and supporters have embraced for an entire century.”

Fight for Woman Suffrage in New Jersey
In Leonia, re-enactor Carol Simon Levin will perform ‘Reclaiming Our Voice: New Jersey’s Role in the Fight For Woman Suffrage’, showing how women fought for generations for the right to vote.  Simon Levin portrays Lillian Feickert, president of the NJ Woman Suffrage Association from 1912-1920, and explores New Jersey’s overlooked role in the long fight for woman suffrage.

The performance highlights how some women in the state had the right to vote and then lost it, with prominent suffrage advocates Lucy Stone, a resident of Orange, New Jersey, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who lived in Tenafly, continuing the fight by staging tax and voting protests.  Advocate Dr. Florence Spearing Randolph, founder of the NJ Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, brought African American women into the movement, and Alice Paul of Mount Laurel pushed relentlessly for a federal amendment.

The LWVNV will also discuss current initiatives and events the chapter is involved with.  These include the 2020 decennial census, People Powered Fair Maps, Vote 411, Voter Registration, and Candidate Forums.  Partners, to date, of the event are Northern NJ NOW, Displaced Homemakers Network of NJ, Inc. and Women’s Rights Information Center.  The public is invited to attend a reception after the program.

Suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton with Susan B. Anthony. Photo Credit: Public Domain

“The League of Women Voters of Northern Valley celebrates this history by taking action for our future,” said Joyce Luhrs, Vice President Marketing, LWVNV.  “Our founders achieved the impossible by working tirelessly to pass the 19th Amendment 100 years ago.  Today, we honor their hard-won fight by continuing to push our democracy forward and to empower every voter to play a critical role in shaping our country.”

The League of Women Voters of Northern Valley draws members from 29 municipalities in Bergen County, New Jersey.  These municipalities include:  Alpine, Bergenfield, Cliffside Park, Closter, Cresskill, Demarest, Dumont, Edgewater, Emerson, Englewood, Englewood Cliffs, Fort Lee, Hackensack, Harrington Park, Haworth, Hillsdale, Leonia, Montvale, New Milford, Northvale, Norwood, Old Tappan, Park Ridge, River Vale, Rockleigh, Tenafly, Washington Township, Westwood and Woodcliff Lake.

Lillian Feickert Pres NJ Woman Suffrage Assoc
Lillian Feickert, president of the NJ Woman Suffrage Association. Photo Credit: Public Domain

For further information about the celebration or other details about the organization, contact the League of Women Voters of Northern Valley at lwvno.valley@gmail.com.  Updated information will be posted on its webpage,  lwvbergen.org/about-us-more/northern-valley-information/, and on Facebook, www.facebook.com/LeagueofWomenVotersNorthernValley/, and Twitter at twitter.com/LeagueNValley.

About League of Women Voters of Northern Valley
The League of Women Voters (LWV), a non-partisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of public policy issues and influences public policy through education and advocacy.  The nonprofit organization was an outgrowth of the 19th Amendment passed in 1920 giving women the right to vote.  Today, the LWV operates at the state and local levels through more than 700 state and local Leagues in all 50 states and in Washington D.C., the Virgin Islands and Hong Kong.

The League of Women Voters of Northern Valley was founded in 1946 as the League of Women Voters of Closter.  By 1964, the chapter expanded to include 11 municipalities in the Northern Valley and was renamed the League of Women Voters of Northern Valley.  The organization develops grassroots leadership and achieves widespread credibility because it is strictly nonpartisan.  Throughout the year, a range of voters services and programs are provided, including candidates’ forums, registration drives, dissemination of nonpartisan information about candidates and issues, and public meetings to discuss current issues.  For more information about the League of Women Voters of Northern Valley, contact lwvno.valley@gmail.com and visit it online, https://lwvbergen.org/about-us-more/northern-valley-information/.

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