The leaders that you elect make the decisions that affect you — your health care, your job, your security, environment and so much more.
The League of Women Voters fights to make democracy work by helping get individuals to become registered to vote, get to know their candidates and both sides of issues and get out and vote.
The League of Women of East Alabama was established as the League of Women Voters of Auburn in 1957 by a group of politically-conscious women at Auburn University.
East Alabama branch co-president Cory Unruh moved to Auburn four years ago with her husband and kids.
Although she had never had any political affiliations to any organizations before, the president of the organization at the time introduced her to the group and she went to a couple of meetings.
Unruh went from sitting on the board, being treasurer, vice president to her current position sharing the presidency with Ann Moss.
She said that the East Alabama group works to facilitate healthy discussion and a safe and welcoming environment for all — no matter their political party.
"Our most impactful work in our community includes forums with candidates, where they can learn more and ask questions," Unruh said. "Past meetings conversations have included human trafficking, areas around legislature and prisons and detainment centers in the state."
The nationwide organization was founded in 1920 by suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt just six months prior to the passage of the 19th Amendment, which secured women the right to vote.
The importance of every single citizen having a voice in government is at the core of the league.
They encourage informed and active participation in government, while working to increase understanding of major public policy issues and influenced public policy through education and advocacy.
This past election season was a crucial time for them, she said, as they had a big push to register voters in Lee County. They worked to educate their fellow citizens as to where to vote and specific requirements for registering to vote.
"We would love to see more college students become apart of LWVEA," she said. "We find it more beneficial to have college students going to talk to high schoolers about the importance of voting, then when adults do it. We have already started to look at 2018 and campaign season. Our main goal is to simply educate our community on the campaigns and candidates by forums and open conversation."
Their upcoming work includes advocacy and educating the public on changes to laws to felony voting and reinstating voting rights. People convicted of certain felonies in the state of Alabama have to apply to have their right to vote reinstated after serving their sentence. Many are never eligible to apply.
The group is welcoming to all who are interested in learning more about making a difference in the East Alabama community. Membership is open to anyone 16 and older. Individual, family and student memberships are available.