LWV of Greater Cleveland Heights Chapter History

Founded 1946

In 1934, foreign affairs study groups were started in Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights. The Cleveland Heights group got into a little trouble. Locally, study groups were a new League technique and no hard and fast rules had been established for their procedure. This particular group wandered so far off the League’s program of study, that in 1937 the board took direct action to “pull in the reins.” There was a reorganization of the foreign affairs study groups, and it was announced that in the future, LWV study groups would be “for members only” and would follow a program in conformity with work of the League.

In 1938, the Cleveland Heights branch of the LWV was revived. The branches in the County were revivals of the old suffrage district groups. After 1939 and through the war years the LWV enjoyed a tremendous increase in membership, which led to a reorganization of the County League into individual city Leagues. In 1943, the University Heights branch League was formed. In 1946, it became the Cleveland Heights-University Heights LWV.

Mrs. Andrew Meyer was the first president of the CH-UH League in 1947-48, followed by Dorothy Raymond, in whose name the CH-UH Chapter presents an annual award to a senior high school student for noteworthy political activity and/or knowledge. In 1950, 37,500 County Voters Guides were printed. Postage for each Voter was one cent!

In 1973, dues were $8.00. At the 1973 annual meeting a sherry bar preceded the luncheon. In 1979, the annual meeting dinner at Tim Ryan’s Pub cost $6.00. That year CH-UH conducted interviews of new homeowners in UH.

The first Beatrice Halle award for significant League involvement was presented in 1979 to Regina O’Leary. In 1982 the LWV participated in a National Study of Reproductive Choice. In 1987, during Donalene Poduska’s presidency, the League proposed town meetings in Ch-UH.

The CH-UH LWV participated in international initiatives in the late 1990s. In 1992, during Donalene Poduska’s tenure as President of the Inter-League Organization and Lolly Jacobsen’s term as CH-UH President, the Building Political Participation in the Poland Project involved two women who came from Poland.

In 1998-99, Lainah Magama and Sheba Dube, Zimbabwe Fellows, were a focus for CH-UH League activity. President Linda Tobin (1998) said, “We helped educate them about the democratic process.” Claudette Woodard and Carol Gibson completed the exchange in 1999 by traveling to Zimbabwe to conduct workshops on building grassroots democracy, from which the Zimbabwe LWV chapter sprung.

Spearheaded by 1999-2002 CH-UH LWV President Wendy Deuring, the “Schools Awareness Project” provides painstakingly gathered and researched information about the complex issues facing the local school district (CH-UH).

The year 2003-04 was the first year for the CH-UH Chapter as part of the newly formed Cuyahoga Regional Area. The CH-UH Chapter now calls itself simply “Heights Chapter,” and the League is now called LWV of Greater Cleveland.


University Heights City Hall



Cleveland Heights City Hall