Making Democracy Work

Encouraging Informed and Active Participation of Citizens in Government

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy.

From Nashville's President...

For those League members who have been diligently advocating for League positions with state legislators this session, there are times that we wish our voice carried greater weight. LWVN members have devoted great collective energy over many years as advocates for expanded health care coverage for Tennesseans, and for sound public education policies that benefit all children in the state. It is easy to be discouraged when too few of our elected representatives share our perspectives. Fortunately our members understand the importance of the public issues central to our advocacy efforts are worth enormous effort.

During the past month we have also begun implementation of a voter registration grant we received from LWVUS that enhances our ability to register and provide voter education for high school seniors in Nashville. It is hardly surprising that some high school students are a bit cynical about the value of voting and question what difference their vote might have. So it is a good time to remember the words of Abraham Lincoln: "The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just." If we really believe in the power of the vote and value of engagement in the democratic process, we need to inspire our future voters to be as passionate about issues of public interest as we are.

Meanwhile, a daily peek in your mailbox should confirm that the next election season has already begun in earnest. Candidates are soliciting our votes for the May 6 primary elections. This primary includes 30 judicial races as well as other county elections. Local races generally have smaller coffers than those that are statewide races so there is less in-depth information available, and differentiating among judicial candidates is particularly difficult. That is why we are so excited to be able to provide voters with timely information that they need. By the time early voting begins in April, we will have our website up and running. It will include basic information about each candidate and an opportunity for each to respond to a set of questions so that you, the voter, can select among them. My thanks to all our members who submitted questions to pose to the candidates.

Speaking of candidates, we look forward to the upcoming ATHENA Awards on March 27 at the War Memorial Auditorium. Barbara Gay is our nominee for the annual traditional ATHENA Award and Jennifer Tlumak is the LWVN Young Professionals Award nominee. Given the many accomplishments of our members, it is not surprising that two of our other members, Sue Bredensteiner and Matia Powell, have been nominated to represent other organizations for these prestigious awards. We know that all four of these talented women are well deserving of the honor!

Debby Gould, President League of Women Voters of Nashville



Consistent Voter Services

League members can impact the election process by volunteering to help educate the citizens of the community and provide opportunities for voter registration. Voter education and voter registration opportunities are continuous but peak during election years. Get involved by:

  • Planning and participating in candidate forums
  • Conducting voter registration drives at events such as the All About Women Conference and the Mayor's First Day of School Festival and assist other groups with drives
  • Speaking to groups on the voting process: community associations, schools, and GED classes
  • Working with others, such as the Tennessee Disability Coalition, to ensure access to the polls
  • Serving as poll observers on election days
  • Observing meetings of the Davidson County Election Commission
  • Monitoring and studying the election process
  • Supporting adequate resources for the election process

Strategic and Effective Issue Advocacy

League members can impact public policy by educating the public about issues important to good government and community well-being, and advocating for League positions on key issues. Because we live in the state capital, Nashville League members work on both local and state issues. We also answer calls to action from the LWVUS when issues are pending in Congress. Whatever your interests, you can get involved!

Specifically, the League advocates for access to health care; education to prepare students for responsible citizenry and the economy of the future; good stewardship of our natural resources; election processes that are fair and secure; and ethics and transparency in government. League members interested in issue advocacy can participate by:

  • Educating our members and the community by writing articles in the Voter, submitting op-ed columns, or planning and conducting public forums
  • Advocating for League positions on critical issues by writing or talking to elected officials

The League is a grass roots organization, guided by positions adopted by its members at all three League levels--local, state, and national. To learn more about the issues identified and supported by members, go to our ISSUES Page.

Please tell us how you would like to become involved by calling (615) 297-7134 or sending an email to or

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Join the League!

To join the League, click here: Membership to jump to our membership page where you will find our on-line or mail-in membership options. As a member you can serve on one of our committees, volunteer to work a voter registration booth, organize a candidate debate, write letters to your elected officials, work at the polls, etc. We encourage you to let us know your interests and area(s) of expertise. There is plenty to be done and we welcome your participation!

Make a Donation!

If you prefer to donate to us without joining our organization, we would appreciate your support. Your donations help the League provide voter services, sponsor forums, participate in community events and be a strong advocate for good government policy.