League of Women Voters of Tacoma-Pierce County Records

LWV banner

The Northwest Room is excited to announce one of our latest additions to ORCA, The League of Women Voters of Tacoma-Pierce County Records! The material included in these records encompasses a wide range of assorted reports, studies, histories, and other types of documents. We have digitized a sample selection of different types of interesting studies from the 1960s and 1980s, along with historical summaries and reports. The digitized studies include Juvenile Facilities and Services in Tacoma and Pierce County (1960), Water Conditions in the Tacoma Area (1968), and Neighborhood Political Organization in Tacoma-Pierce County (1981). Click on any of the images of these studies in the blog post to visit them in ORCA!

A Brief History

The League of Women Voters Tacoma-Pierce County is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization working to protect and expand voting rights and ensure everyone is represented in our democracy. 

As the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote was passed by Congress in 1919, the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) reorganized to form the National League of Women Voters. Women in the Tacoma area had been active in statewide and national efforts to secure voting rights for women. The Tacoma League began the Woman Voter newspaper in 1922 and took an active role in local politics. While the League became involved in work around restructuring city government as early as 1946, it wasn’t until the 1950s that membership expanded as a result of increased attention to local politics and restructuring efforts. By the end of the 1950s, there were 200 members of the Tacoma league. As

more women joined from other areas of Pierce County, the League began to expand its focus to cover local issues outside of the City of Tacoma. In 1962, the group officially became the League of Women Voters of Tacoma-Pierce County to reflect their broader membership and scope. In 1974, the League dropped its requirement that members be women to join, allowing anyone with an interest in local political engagement to become involved. The group continues to produce and distribute The Voter newsletter. They also produce studies on a range of local and regional political topics and TRY (They Represent You) directories of elected officials in Pierce County.

We invite you to browse these records online or in person. If you are interested in seeing any of the material that has not been scanned yet, please let us know! The Northwest Room also holds a collection of print issues of The Voter the League of Women Voters' newsletter. The Voter focuses on its members in the League and publishes articles on meetings, activities, calendars of events and financial/budgetary matters concerning the organization.

Click here to visit access the records!