Award presented to LWVCA on May 2, 2014 by Gloucester Bar Association for “Power of the Vote”
The League of Women Voters of Cape Ann was selected by the Gloucester Bar Association for its annual award. A presentation was made at the Bar’s celebration of Law Day on Friday, May 2nd at the Gloucester District Court. The theme of the meeting this year was “The Power of the Vote” which was their reason for choosing to celebrate the League’s efforts to make voting accessible and understandable. LWVCA Co-presidents Susan Hand and June Michaels accepted a plaque on behalf of the League, and reminded people that the fight for voting rights is not over. Acceptance Speech – May 2, 2014 at the Gloucester Bar Association Law Day celebration, Gloucester District Court: It means a great deal to our League members to be honored with this award, to know that our hard work in the community is not invisible. Thank you. Now let’s talk about the future. In recent years, the LWVCA has concentrated on advocacy on a variety of issues – children’s health, toxic cleaning and gardening products, transparency in local government – because we thought the right to vote was settled! To use a lawyer’s term – moot. League members marched in the sixties in support of the Voting Rights Act. We went out and registered hundreds of new voters – immigrants, 18-year-olds, people who had never voted before, people who thought their vote was not important. We thought the battle was won. We never thought that in 2014 state after state would be passing laws to make registering and voting less rather than more accessible. We never thought in Massachusetts, liberal Massachusetts, that defending the vote would still be a hot issue. The League of Women Voters of Cape Ann exists, not to keep grey haired ladies off the street in order to reduce the crime rate. It exists because our freedoms and our democracy are never to be taken for granted. As long as there are politicians who can say with a straight face – stay home, don’t vote, show your disdain for this government by refusing to participate in it – there is a role for the League of Women Voters.