American Society on Aging | Adam Ambrogi

There is no “right” age to give back to your community. But for members of the League of Women Voters (LWV)—50 state League (and the District of Columbia), and more than 750-plus local leagues— there are key ways that leadership, which includes many volunteers older than age 50, is working to revolutionize our civic life. That work includes bringing people together, inspiring hope around government and expanding the franchise to new citizens.

Let’s look at two Leagues in particular—one that supports the ability of brand-new citizens to register to vote in Houston, Texas; and the other that works on government transparency in Alabama. It’s a job—among many—that Leagues are tackling around the country. What follows are highlights of these programs.

New Citizen Registration in Houston, Texas

In Houston, naturalization ceremonies are a big deal. A diverse city, Houston has more than 2 million residents, and a metro area with many more. It claims to be the most ethnically diverse metropolitan area in the United States—with about 145 languages spoken. Also, there are thousands of people at any one time studying to be accepted as U.S. citizens and each month, some receive news that they will be sworn in through the naturalization process via the USCIS (U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services) system or the federal court.

The Houston League and the League of Women Voters in general has a long history of being there to welcome new citizens into civic life in the United States by registering them to vote and sharing how to participate in the democratic process.